Best war movie factual errors of all time

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.

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Red Tails picture

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.

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goofyfoot
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!" I just don't understand why he speaks Italian in a movie in English, where people are supposed to speak Latin, in a province where this language was never ever spoken.

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Pearl Harbor picture

Factual error: In every photo or drawing I have seen of the Oklahoma or Arizona, their main guns had no flash suppressors as depicted. The main rifles were sealed with tampions in port, and those would be impossible to fit into the muzzles shown in the movie.

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goofyfoot
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.

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7

Fury (2014)

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.

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Scott215
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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10

U-571 (2000)

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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11

Patton (1970)

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.

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Necrothesp
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.

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Necrothesp
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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14

Glory (1989)

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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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.

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Sink the Bismarck picture

Factual error: Here's a big historical mistake. The character of German Admiral L├╝tjens 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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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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Gone with the Wind picture

Factual error: Scarlett is seen walking on the main street on the way to the hospital. You can clearly see a light bulb in one of the street lights.

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20

Troy (2004)

Troy picture

Factual error: When the Trojans flee inside the walls at the arrival of the Greeks, you can see some llamas. Llamas were only known in Latin America and not in ancient Troy.

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21

Midway (1976)

Midway picture

Factual error: American carriers did not have angled decks until after W.W.II.

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Courage Under Fire picture

Factual error: The portrayal of the firing MLRS before Denzel's unit moves off is ludicrously inadequate. The rockets launched from the MLRS resemble a space shuttle lift-off, but in the movie it was more like a sparkler thrown into the air.

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Kingdom of Heaven picture

Factual error: The crescent as emblem on Saracen pennants is anachronistic as it appeared on Islamic military flags no sooner than the 15th century A.D.

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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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American Sniper picture

Factual error: Chris Kyle did not make Chief after his first deployment. He made Chief during his fourth deployment.

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Mike OToole
Cold Mountain picture

Factual error: In the scene where Inman is helping build the church he is handed modern pre-cut lumber. This product was not introduced until the middle of the 20th century.

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633 Squadron picture

Factual error: A modern (1950s) motorcar is seen parked behind the Mosquito aircraft after they have had their special bombs loaded and the crew are just about to board prior to taking off on the mission.

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david barlow
King Arthur picture

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.

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Seven Samurai picture

Factual error: Toshiro Mifune's character, Kikuchiyo, travels to the bandits' camp and steals one of their two remaining fuselock muskets. Shortly afterward, the bandits fire twice at the samurai within five seconds with their last firearm. A fuselock takes as much as two minutes to reload, prime, and fire.

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Cromwell picture

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.

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