Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.
Factual error: The strong current of the river the main character falls into carries him to a considerable waterfall. There is not, nor has there ever been, a river of that kind in Flanders' Fields, let alone a waterfall. Anyone who has any insight into the geography of the region will tell you it is flat as can be. The largest body of water, the Yzer, gently meanders and flows into the Channel, even during really rainy times.
Factual error: When the bombs are being taken down the lane, in the background where the lane meets the road a white mini can be seen passing the entrance.
Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)
Factual error: During the war games they have Jefferson pose as a major in order to facilitate the commandeering of the ambulance and the jeep. Regardless of their personal feelings in the matter the ambulance crew and the driver and troops in the jeep would be perfectly aware that no black man would ever be promoted to a position of authority in an otherwise all white command. We may find it repugnant today but the US Army was rigidly segregated during World War 2 - and it stayed that way until 1948. Jefferson may have been inducted into a special unit like the Dirty Dozen but considering that the future of the entire mission is riding on their success at the games, throwing it all away like that makes no sense at all.
Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.
Factual error: During the final battle, Gordo the tank driver calls out, "Panzerfaust, four o'clock!", as he looks through his periscope. He could not have seen any targets at four o'clock, as the driver's periscope could barely rotate towards the eleven and one o'clock positions, close to the left and right front corners of the tank's hull. The four o'clock position would be near the right rear of the tank.
Revealing mistake: In the final scene where Fonda and Holbrook are looking over the carrier at the crowds on the dock you can see that only the first rows of people are dressed in period clothes, the rest of the crowd are dressed as they would have been in 1976 when the film was made.
Factual error: In one scene they are playing on an Xbox 360, but the Xbox 360 did not come out until 2005, and the game being played, Gears of War, wasn't released until 2006. The movie takes place in 2004.
Factual error: Frank, Archie and Snowy are all rural boys from New South Wales, but they all play Australian Rules football expertly. In 1915 Australian Rules was almost unknown outside of Melbourne. In a time before television or film they wouldn't even know what the ball looked like. In fact the game was only established in Sydney in the 1980s, and is still not terribly popular there. There is no way that three people from New South Wales would know how to play the game in 1915, let alone with such skill.
Other mistake: When the Japanese planes take off for Pearl Harbor, some of the 3 man torpedo planes only have a pilot.
Factual error: Before receiving the North American P-51D Mustangs, the Red Tail squadron was using the Curtiss P-40E Warhawk. The movie shows the Warhawks being able to keep up with the German Bf 109 G-6s quite easily, fighting on even terms. In reality, the Bf 109 G-6 could easily outperform the Warhawk, being able to easily outrun and out-turn the Warhawk. Still, the Bf 109s are no match for the Warhawks.
Revealing mistake: When Mr Witt rides out of the Zulu camp in a 2 horse cart at the beginning of the movie, just before it exits, you can see it's a stunt double at the reins.
Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues. (02:05:27)