Best history movie factual errors of all time
Factual error: Me 262's were armed with 30 mm cannon in the nose, a round penetrating a canopy would leave a hole much larger than was depicted, and being high-explosive, once it detonated inside the cockpit, the pilot was toast. One of the red tails had a number of holes in his canopy.
Factual error: When Mark types email addresses in to tell people about facemash, he writes to several people @harvard.edu. At the time the movie takes place, undergraduate email addresses were all of the form [email protected] Furthermore, the network brought down by facemash would have been referred to as the FAS network. (FAS stands for Faculty of Arts and Sciences; the eponymous network covered all buildings within the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.).
Factual error: Mel Gibson sits around the campfire at the railway camp with the lads, reading newspaper reports of the April 25, 1915 landing at Gallipoli. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade (including the 10th Light Horse Regiment from Western Australia) landed at Gallipoli on 20 May 1915. This would have given him less than 3 weeks to enlist, train, travel to Egypt by ship and land on the Peninsula. A bit of a stretch. In reality, the 10 Light Horse regiment was raised in October 1914, with the 1st-3rd reinforcements departing Fremantle February 19-22, 1915.
Factual error: The ribbon of Richard Burton's Distinguished Flying Cross is on upside down. The Air Force Cross following it is the right way up. The stripes on both should point the same way, as they do on the uniform of his colleague in the mess. Nobody would be allowed to get away with a mistake like this - another officer or senior NCO would soon point it out. In addition, as a long-service veteran (his colleague says he served in the Battle of Britain) he should be wearing the ribbon of the 1939-1944 Star (as it was then), which was issued to all qualified personnel from 1943.
Factual error: Here's a big historical mistake. The character of German Admiral Lütjens is depicted overall in this film as a wild-eyed Nazi fanatic. In real life, he was distinctly anti-Nazi, vehemently protested the anti-Semitic actions of Hitler's regime, and was himself subject to intense Nazi scrutiny as he was a quarter Jewish and his wife was half Jewish. He was one of many German naval officers who fought only for their country, not Hitler.
Factual error: Louis Simo gives his son an Etch-A-Sketch while taking him to school, and later when Louis stops by to see his son at his ex-wife's house, his son is playing with the Etch-A-Sketch in his bedroom. Both incidents take place in the summer of 1959. George Reeves died June 16, 1959, hence the investigation. The first Etch-A-Sketch toys were produced on July 12, 1960 and Ohio Art launched the toy in the United States in time for the 1960 holiday season.
Factual error: The underground station shown is not St. James Park, which would be 1 stop east on the District line. St. James Park has green and yellow tiles on the wall indicating District and Circle lines. The platform in the film has black and brown tiles, indicating Northern and Bakerloo lines, neither of which serve St. James Park.
Factual error: I normally wouldn't bother with this sort of nitpicking, but this film specifically claims to be historically researched - and it's full of historical blunders. For a start, the film is set as the Empire withdraws its last troops from Britain - which was in 407 AD. Now Artorius Castus was a real Roman officer who really did command Sarmatian foederati at Hadrian's Wall, but he died around 200 AD. Cerdic was a real Saxon warlord who did go raiding the Britons with his son Cynric, but he did this in the early 500s. Pelagius really was tried for heresy, but he was acquitted and died of old age; the trial was a decade after this setting, and in the fifth century you couldn't be executed for heresy anyway. Also in the fifth century the Pope had no authority over Imperial troops. I could go on and on but that will do for now.
Factual error: In the scene where the king attempts to seize the five members from Parliament, Cromwell makes a dramatic refusal to leave and proposes various "Laws" to prevent his arrest. Cromwell was not one of the five members whom the King tried to arrest and no law can come into force until it had been signed by the reigning Monarch anyway.
Factual error: There indeed was a moment in the game (vs. USSR) where Jim Craig was shaken up, but contrary to what's shown in the movie, the hit did not happen as the Soviets scored a goal. Furthermore, if a goalie is that flagrantly knocked down and out so that a teammate can get a shot off, it should be a two-minute penalty for "goaltender interference" and the goal disallowed.
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Factual error: When Lovell's daughter is complaining that the Beatles have broken up, she slams the album Let It Be into her rack. The scene takes place on the day of the initial explosion aboard Apollo 13, April 13 1970 - immediately prior to the Lovell family attending the screening of a television broadcast from the spacecraft. Let It Be was not released as an album until May 9th, 1970.
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