published : 2023-10-17

The Enigmatic Legacy of Capt. Herbert Sobel: A Controversial Band of Brothers Commander

Unveiling the Hidden Truth Behind the Legendary Leader

Capt. Herbert Sobel leading Easy Company during basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia (taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

As a commander of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, Capt. Herbert Sobel's legacy remains shrouded in controversy.

While some veterans deemed Sobel an incompetent leader with poor judgment, others saw him as a strategic force who shaped Easy Company into a remarkable unit.

In my bestselling book 'We Who Are Alive & Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers,' I uncovered the truth about Sobel's life and leadership.

Born on January 26, 1912, in Chicago, Herbert Maxwell Sobel grew up to become the commanding officer of Easy Company.

Capt. Herbert Sobel strategizing with his troops before a mission (taken with Nikon D850)

During his tenure, Sobel faced criticism for his harsh discipline methods and his struggles with map reading.

Eventually, non-commissioned officers under his command resigned in protest, leading to his dismissal as company commander right before the invasion of Normandy.

Following World War II, Sobel returned to Chicago, married an American nurse, and led a fulfilled family life, hidden from his wartime past.

Tragically, Sobel's life took a turn when he attempted suicide, leaving him blind and residing in a VA assisted living facility.

Michael Sobel, son of Capt. Herbert Sobel, reflecting on his father's legacy (taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

Despite his troubled end, Sobel's son, Michael, remembers him as a loving and dedicated father.

In a twist of fate, Sobel's legacy lives on through the impact he had on other veterans' lives, with one remarking that Sobel was the reason he was alive today.