Best war movie factual errors of all time

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The Hurt Locker picture

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.

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The Final Countdown picture

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)

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Gladiator picture

Factual error: When a group of soldiers goes to Maximus' villa to burn it and kill his family, his son points them, saying in perfect Italian "Mama! I soldati!" For some reason he's speaking Italian in a movie in English, where people are supposed to speak Latin, in a province where this language was never ever spoken. (00:43:07)

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Fury picture

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.

Scott215
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Enemy at the Gates picture

Factual error: When the map of the German advance is shown, Switzerland is shown to be taken over. Switzerland was never invaded by the Germans. (00:05:10)

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Suggested correction: It doesn't show German advances. It shows the German influence over Europe, symbolizing it covers all of Europe and then expanded towards the East. Italy was never conquered by the Germans either yet it was part of the axis and is shown being covered by black. Switzerland, though neutral, was fully surrounded by the Axis and their influence played heavily upon the country. Its a very crude simulation.

lionhead

Suggested correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.

dizzyd
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Windtalkers picture

Factual error: The movie is set in 1944, when there were only 48 states, yet we see many American flags with 50 stars, then 48, then back to 50 throughout the film.

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The Last Samurai picture

Factual error: When we see the United States flag, it is the wrong flag. It has 43 stars, something the flag did not have until 1891.

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Behind Enemy Lines picture

Factual error: Shortly after our hero ejects you see the pilot flailing around trying to pull the ejection handle. In a Navy aircraft with two crew, the NATOPS manual (Naval Aviation Training and Operations Manual) clearly states that the seats must be set in the "command eject mode". This means, regardless of who initiates the ejection procedure, the rear seat goes first, followed by the pilot 1/2 later. There is no need for the pilot to pull the ejection handle.

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Patton picture

Factual error: When Patton orders his driver to drive to the Carthaginian battlefield he addresses him as "sergeant". He is, however, wearing corporal's chevrons. A famous stickler for discipline and ceremonial, Patton is not likely to have made a mistake like this.

Necrothesp
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The Great Escape picture

Factual error: A convoy of open trucks arrive at the camp bringing the latest batch of prisoners, many of whom are carrying rucksacks and tote bags of clothing and other possessions. Where did they come from? Combat servicemen in World War Two did not carry overnight bags with them - a change of clothes or a handy supply of toiletries was the least of their concerns. A prisoner of war arrived in the camp with the clothes he stood up in and nothing else.

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The Longest Day picture

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.

Necrothesp
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Gallipoli picture

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.

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Red Tails picture

Factual error: The German fighters depicted in the film are Messerchmitt Bf 109 G-6s, and every single one of them is using the Rüstsatz VI gun pod, that is, 2 extra 20mm Mg 151 cannons. The Luftwaffe only equipped their Bf 109s with the gun pods when they were going to intercept bombers. In this movie, even on the fighter vs fighter missions, they have these gun pods, which is inaccurate, because the gun pods dramatically reduced the turning performance of the Bf 109s.

André Vinícius
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U-571 picture

Factual error: In the last battle scene when you see shots of the German destroyer through the periscope the last one shot before it's blown up is really bad angling. The ship is far away but in the scope it's very close and the periscope (in order to get that camera angle) is 100 ft in the air.

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Pearl Harbor picture

Factual error: In the scene where the nurses walk among the flag-draped coffins after the attack, the nurses are in stylish civilian outfits. Those nurses are all Naval personnel, and once war was declared they were ordered to be in uniform at all times, except when in the privacy of their quarters.

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Glory picture

Factual error: In the assault on Fort Wagner, the regiment attacks the fort from the wrong side. In reality, the troops attacked from the south.

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Guns of Navarone picture

Factual error: Miller rigs his booby trap by attaching the wires from the bomb to a pole down which a metal runner slides, so that when the runner touches the wires it completes the circuit and detonates the bomb. The trouble is, the pole is made of steel, and steel is very conductive indeed. Miller attaches the exposed end of the wire to the pole without any insulation or gap. The circuit will actually be completed when Miller attaches the battery, and he and his booby trap will be blown sky high.

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Saving Private Ryan picture

Factual error: The Tiger tanks portrayed in the movie are actually Soviet T-34s. You could tell by looking at their wheels. Real Tigers had interleaved wheels. These Tigers had the T-34 suspension. Obviously, Tigers are so rare (only one operational Tiger left) that another tank had to be substituted. But an excellent job was done to make the T-34s look like Tigers.

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Three Kings picture

Factual error: It is said in the film that Ice Cube's character works in an airport in Detroit. When the scene shows Ice Cube at work as a baggage handler, there are mountains in the background. There are no mountains in the Detroit area. (00:14:10)

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Sink the Bismarck picture

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.

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