Corrected entry: Every weapon used in the movie was an authentic WW2 weapon. Capt. John Miller used a Thompson SMG and a Colt 45 pistol, Pvt. Daniel Jackson had a Springfield 03" sniper rifle, Pvt. James Ryan had an M1 Garand, the private who survives at the end used a BAR M1918A1, and the Germans used mounted MG42 machine guns. The grenades used were also real, Germans having Stielhandgranates and the Americans using Mark 2 Fragmentation grenades.
Corrected entry: What Ryan said to Miller would not have been enough to convince Miller to let him stay behind. Military members can't just choose which orders to obey.
Corrected entry: When the Waffen SS unit attacks the town at the end of the film (Ramelle), the Germans use "allied" tactics such as crowding behind a tank to enter the center of the town at a disadvantage by the tall buildings and rubble that inhibits quick forward thrusts. At this stage of the war, especially Waffen SS units (even if they may be replacement units - which I doubt) they would not be blindly led in such horrific maneuvers.
Corrected entry: When they exit the beach and attack the big concrete bunker two grenades are thrown at the entrance some distance away but the explosion happens on the other side of the wall and not near the entrance at all.
Corrected entry: When the planes fly in to the rescue at the end of the movie, Miller refers to them as being part of the Air Force. The Air Force was not established until after WWII. During WWII it was the Army Air Corps.
Corrected entry: At the start of the beach landing, the landing craft are either beached or a few feet out - we know this from the view of the machine gun nest and the cameras beside the landing craft. Several soldiers are waist deep in water, but when the men go over the side they fall into water that is 10-20 feet deep, as we see men sink to the bottom and drown and get shot etc. This is a continuous scene so the landing craft would not have moved.
Corrected entry: Well after the beach has been secured and communication posts are set up where Upham is typing and Miller comes to reassign him, it then shows a panning view of the beach of soldiers still unloading. However, the big X-shaped tank traps are still littered all over the beach. During the assault there were combat engineers telling soldiers to get away from the traps so they can destroy them. How come even now after they've had the beach secured this long they haven't removed the tank traps? The fact that many of the engineers were killed in some of the initial waves on the beach is irrelevant as there were many coming ashore after the beachhead was established. (00:38:05)
Corrected entry: During the beach landing sequence we see what is left of Captain Miller's company fire up the German bunker with a flamethrower. A few seconds later Miller and troops are running along the top of a trench shooting into it. In the background you can see the same bunker not on fire and then bursting into flames as the SFX fire is added. (00:24:10)
Corrected entry: In Neuville just after Miller's group joined the other scattered soldiers, they try to get to the other side of the city. One of them tears down a wall with Germans hiding in the building. After screaming at each other, the Germans all get shot by others from above. Some moments after this shootout, you hear this very distinctive M1 Garand "pling" sound. This sound only is to be heard after the last shot has been fired and the clip is ejected automatically. Bang - pling. But in this scene there is no shot. If you unload manually, the pling will not sound.
Corrected entry: In the scene in the Pentagon between several officers and General Marshall, when the camera pans over Marshall's left shoulder towards the officers, you can see that the colonel, who was missing his left arm in earlier scenes, has it again; it's missing again in the next shot. It may be just that his sleeve's rolled down in the middle shot, but that's still an error. (00:34:00)
Corrected entry: During the climatic battle scene near the end, a Marder III tank destroyer is driven into the city and gets destroyed by American soldiers with molotovs. However, a Marder III would never be driven into a city as a vanguard with such high ambush possibility, as it was a vehicle solely dedicated for anti-tank purposes and would be hopeless against infantry.
Corrected entry: When inside the higgins boats, we see some men have netted helmets. However when they started to get blown to bits, they all have regular helmets.
Corrected entry: When Jackson is firing on the Hetzer, the Hetzer eventually silences Jackson with its main gun. The vertical elevation for the Hetzer was no more than 30°, much too low to hit Jackson in the tower. (02:17:00)
Corrected entry: When Miller arrives at the bottom of the hill, under the German machine gun, there's a radioman to his left. This soldier gets his face shot off, but in a later beach scene, he appears as a different wounded soldier.
Corrected entry: Upham is referred to throughout the film as a Corporal. He is actually a Technician 5th Grade, indicated by the 'T' beneath his stripes. The same pay grade, but without the NCO rank. This doesn't stand for "Translater" as some people have argued - "Technician" was a term applied to anyone with a special skill - the US Army now uses "Specialist" instead to avoid confusion.
Corrected entry: When the Americans are preparing the final ambush in Ramelle, there is a part with Miller explaining to a soldier and Ryan how the bridge has to be blown, then the soldier mentions that the last man to do it must run away because they are going to use a 30-second delay fuse. But at the very end, Miller tries to detonate the explosives with a electrical switch. (01:57:40 - 02:29:50)