When a Soldier’s Bravery is So Great His Comrades Fear Him: The Story of Band of Brothers’ Ronald “Killer “ Spiers

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Manage episode 335005256 series 2421086
By Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
No paratrooper in the legendary “Band of Brothers” – a WW2 parachute rifle company part of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army -- was more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, he was one of World War II’s most storied soldiers, a controversial man whose ferocity and courage earned him the nickname “Killer.” But who was the real Ronald Speirs?
Most accounts about him end in 1945, but today’s guest Jared Frederick, author of Fierce Valor: The True Story of Ronald Speirs and His Band of Brothers, unveil the full story of Easy Company’s longest-serving commander and, for the first time, tell of his lesser-known exploits in Korea, the Cold War and Laos.
We explore how
• Speirs was a complex, driven man, and not a dark caricature as some have imagined him
• Speirs was deeply shaped by his whirlwind wartime romance with Edwyna. Theirs was a marriage that tragically ended in divorce after she discovered her first love was not dead, but a POW. Decades later, Speirs wrote about her, “I loved her and still do”
• Speirs survived gut-wrenching Cold War assignments in Korea and grinding battles with the Chinese. These lesser-known exploits come to light fully for the first time in Fierce Valor
As Easy Company’s most colorful and controversial figures, Spiers was a soldier whose ferocious courage in three foreign conflicts was matched by his devotion to duty and the bittersweet passions of wartime romance.

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