Book Review: Fierce Valor: The True History of Ronald Spiers and His Band of Brothers


Fierce Valor: The True Story of Ronald Spiers and His Band of Brothers, Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr. ISBN: 978-1-68451-199-0, eISBN:978-1-68451-248-3. Regnery History.

If you enjoyed Stephen Ambrose’s book, “Band of Brothers” or watched the TV drama series of the same name, you will want to find out more about Ronald Spiers, the commander of Easy Company. This book will give a more accurate picture of this enigmatic paratrooper….Carol   

Band of Brother’s iconic commander of Easy Company, Ronald Speirs, was a controversial man whose ferocity and courage earned him the nickname, “Killer” but was this the real Lieutenant Spiers? Most accounts about him end in 1945, but the sharp scholarship of historians, Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr, unveil the full story of Easy Company’s longest-serving commander, and for the first time, tell his lesser-known exploits in Korea, the Cold War, and Laos. Fierce Valor is a complex and groundbreaking portrait of Spiers that every WWII enthusiast must-read.

His comrades called him “Killer.” Of the elite paratroopers who served in the venerated “Band of Brothers” during the Second World War, none were more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, Speirs became a foxhole legend among his troops. But who was the real Lieutenant Speirs?

In Fierce Valor, historians Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr unveil the fuller story of Easy Company’s longest-serving commander. Tested by trials of extreme training, military rivalry, and lost love, Speirs’s international odyssey begins as an immigrant child in Prohibition-era Boston and continues through the bloody campaigns of France, Holland, and Germany. But 1945 did not mark an end to Speirs’s military adventures. Uncovered by sharp scholarship, his lesser-known exploits in Korea, the Cold War, and embattled Laos also come to light for the first time.

Packed with groundbreaking research, Fierce Valor unveils a compelling portrait of an officer defined by boldness on the battlefield and the inherent costs of war. His story serves as a telling reminder that few soldiers escape the power of their own pasts.

About the Authors: Jared Frederick is the author of numerous books, including Dispatches of D-Day and Hang Tough (with Erik Dorr). He appeared on PBS, C-SPAN, and Turner Classic Movies. A former park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park, Frederick is the host of Reel History on YouTube and an instructor of history at Penn State Altoona.

Erick Dorr is the owner of the Gettysburg Museum of History, which houses the largest collection of Easy Company artifacts in the world. The co-author of Hang Tough, Dorr has appeared on the History Channel, Syfy, The Travel Channel, C-SPAN, and Smithsonian Channel.  He is the co-host of The History Underground’s “American Artifact” series on YouTube.


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