Best war TV factual errors of all time

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M*A*S*H pictureM*A*S*H mistake picture

Depressing News - S9-E12

Factual error: When Klinger's walking with Captain Allen and the Stars and Stripes photographer, just before their introductions to "Ben" they pass an empty corrugated box with its flap open, and the recycling symbol can be seen on the flap. Recycling symbols were not in use until about 20 years later.

Super Grover Premium member
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Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. picture

PFC Gomer Pyle - S2-E1

Factual error: Sgt. Carter is wearing a plain belt buckle with his dress blues uniform. Since Sgt. Carter is Gunnery Sgt, he is a staff NCO so his buckle should have the USMC emblem on the buckle. (00:24:00)

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Don't Forget the Diver - S4-E2

Factual error: While Capt. Square is looking through his binoculars at what he thinks is Mainwaring's platoon marching with their rifles, a 1960's Bedford lorry drives past on the road behind them.

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Carentan - S1-E3

Factual error: In this episode we see Blithe get shot in the neck and are told that he died in 1948. In reality he was shot in the shoulder and survived. He later served in Korea and was promoted to master sergeant as well as receiving the paratrooper of the year award. Blithe died in 1967 while on active duty in Germany.

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Rome picture

Stealing From Saturn - S1-E4

Factual error: The verse Octavia recites is from Virgilius' poem "the Aeneid". That poem was written at least a quarter of a decade after the death of Caesar.

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Factual error: Aetius' troops don't look anything like 5th century Roman soldiers. They are carrying a large rectangular shield, a pilum (a spear which was used for throwing) and a sword (gladius) on their right. This was typical for the Roman army until about the 3rd century A.D. In Aetius' time, the soldiers would have had smaller oval shields, a hasta (a lance used for stabbing and for fending off cavalry attacks) and a sword (spatha) on their left. Also, there would be an enormous amount of "barbarian" mercenaries in the Roman army (Goths, Vandals, even Huns.), so it was hardly a Roman army anymore. And where's Aetius' cavalry?

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Winds of War picture

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Factual error: Part 4: The cord on the telephone Pug uses to call Pam should be a straight wire. Instead, it's coiled: a design not yet in use in the 1940s. (00:13:30)

Jean G
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Over There picture

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Factual error: In episode 7, we see a toilet in the improvised jail. In fact, most "toilets" in Iraq are specially built holes in the floor.

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TURN: Washington's Spies picture

Mercy Moment Murder Measure - S1-E7

Factual error: Early in the episode, there is a long shot of Woodhull's farm, snow on the ground...and aeroplane vapor trails in the sky.

goofyfoot
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War and Remembrance picture

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Factual error: When Pug comes home, Rhoda puts on a Christmas record. The record player has an automatic changer that drops the disc and then moves the arm into place. Though a small 45 rpm changer was designed as early as 1938, and this movie's set in 1942, the type Rhoda uses here wasn't around for another 20 years. (00:09:00)

Jean G
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Hold That Tiger - S1-E2

Factual error: The tank used in the episode was not a tiger tank but an American M7 tank.

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Fracture - S2-E1

Factual error: The briefer on the oil platform mission says the platform is 12 stories, and 80 million square feet. Doing the math, that makes it half a mile per side if completely square. It is nowhere near that size as shown. The largest oil rig in the world - Berkut in Russia's Far East - has a combined deck area of only 342,000 square feet. (00:13:35)

toroscan
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The Blue and the Gray picture

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Factual error: Disc 2: There is a scene where a cannon shell explodes inside a hospital ward. Everyone in the ward is killed, but there are no signs of limbs torn off or even shrapnel wounds, only some blood here and there. The same thing happens at the Battle of Bull Run when the old woman gets blown out of her bedroom by cannon fire. (01:32:00)

Daz
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He Was Only Seven - S13-E22

Factual error: As the boy dies, his hand opens and coins roll out. Included are Washington Quarters (first made 1932), Jefferson Nickels (1938), and Roosevelt Dimes (1946). (00:15:45)

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Factual error: The battalion commander wears the correct crown and pip of a lieutenant-colonel, but the four cuff rings of a full colonel (lieutenant-colonels wore three).

Necrothesp
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Factual error: Throughout the mini-series, the First Recon Marines use AN/PAQ-4 laser sights, when in reality they used the AN/PEQ-2 laser. Another error is that they are using (according to them) AAA batteries for the sights, while both sights actually run on AA batteries.

Matdan97
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Factual error: When they first meet, Rodrigues tells Blackthorne that aboard his ship there is plenty of food and grog. The problem is that grog was not "invented" until 1740, when it was introduced into the British Navy by Admiral Edward Vernon, who was nicknamed "Old Grog" because of his habit of wearing a grogram coat.

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Factual error: Season 3, "To Seek and Destroy": It's supposedly 1944, but the German agents are pursuing the Americans in a Renault Dauphin manufactured in the 1960s. (00:41:30)

Jean G
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The Pacific picture

Guadalcanal/Leckie - S1-E1

Factual error: The climax of the first episode, The Battle of The Tenaru River, is not historically accurate. Leckie did not run about shoring holes in the Marine defensive line. The real heroes of the engagement known variously as The Battle of Alligator Creek (a misnomer - no alligators in the South Pacific), Battle of the Tenaru River (mismarked on Marine maps, properly known as The Battle of The Ilu a tidal lagoon) were Marines Leroy Diamond, Al Schimd and John Rivers. These men accounted for over 200 Japanese KIA. All three paid dearly. Rivers was killed, Diamond sustained over 8 bullet wounds and Schmid was blinded. For their gallantry in action the three were awarded the Nation's second highest honor the Navy Cross. An accurate depiction of this battle was in the movie "Pride of the Marines."

Bill Freedman
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Factual error: In the 4th Season Episode "Hero," Betsy Blane is shown in her Army Class-A uniform preparing to address the press. She is wearing infantry cross rifles. Women are not allowed in the infantry.

hed812
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