Filming Locations of ‘Band of Brothers’: Discovering the Places Where the Series Came to Life
The celebrated American miniseries Band of Brothers, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, centers on Easy Company and their real-life experiences in World War II. Based on the non-fiction book by Stephen E. Ambrose, the series has been praised on Reddit for its realistic portrayals of historic events, which saw the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army led by Major Richard “Dick” Winters (Billions actor Damian Lewis) through various missions, from the D-Day invasion to the capture of Eagle’s Nest. It can reasonably be expected, therefore, that the filming locations must have been carefully chosen to depict the war in as true a way as possible. The select few filming locations which were utilized may come as a surprise to some, including unassuming spots in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire in the UK…
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The town of Hatfield in the county of Hertfordshire is a fairly standard English town, complete with a university, a train station… and an aerodrome, a structure ripe for filming opportunity, apparently. It was this aerodrome that had already been used by Spielberg and Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, making it a natural choice — and further facilitated by the generous UK tax break, it was the logical move to make this the setting for filming. Proving to be a space which met a diverse range of filming needs, Hatfield Aerodrome served as storage for wardrobe and props and held multiple sets of various villages from countries like Belgium and France, and even a completely manufactured forest.
The quaint village of Hambleden in Buckinghamshire was the particular locale used for the village of Aldbourne scenes, and it may seem strangely familiar to those with an eagle eye. They would be right; not only was this quaint location filmed for the Band of Brothers series, but it was also featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the creepy children’s movie featuring the beloved Dick Van Dyke. The beautiful little village served as the perfect backdrop to war activities and whimsical flying-car journeys alike.
Another location, which did not stray far from the other filming spots by being situated in another home county (which consists of the counties neighboring London) was North Weald Airfield in Essex. The airfield was fittingly used for the shots of planes taking off ahead of the D-Day mission whereby soldiers including Easy Company parachuted into Normandy. These iconic take-off scenes were captured perfectly at the airfield which was historically utilized in the real Battle of Britain during World War II.
Clearly, the filming locations were a success, and the Band of Brothers series’ popularity endures today. Winning Emmy Awards and Golden Globes, and turning Damian Lewis — who recently starred in another gripping true story — into a household name, the series authentically conveyed the harrowing events of the war from the perspective of an American Company with skill and grace, afforded by the excellent location setting.