Continuity mistake: When Miller's men are about to take the bunker under the radar tower, they are kneeling on the ground behind some bushes discussing their flanking moves and Jackson is about two feet away from Reiben to his left, but when it cuts Jackson is now behind Reiben. (01:22:35)
Revealing mistake: In the scene in Ramelle, the sniper is taking out Germans from the bell tower and saying "Be my strength" etc. He shoots two guys in quick succession on the corner of a wall. The "shot through the chest" effect goes off on the second actor but perpendicular to the direction of the shot.
Continuity mistake: In the first town the group comes to (the one where Caparzo is killed) they meet up with the Airborne troops and the Airborne Sergeant. They then move through the town to find the Airborne Captain. Right after they start this move the Airborne Sgt. stops and drops to a knee before moving on. When he gets up and moves, the coiled up rope (that all the Airborne carry) falls out of the left side of his back-pack. No-one notices it and they all keep moving. A couple of seconds later they show him with Miller, and the rope is back in his back-pack like it magically reappeared.
Continuity mistake: In the scene near the end, when two soldiers are in a row boat packing a bag with explosives, in the overhead shot the guy at the back of the boat puts the oar into the water to his right, but in the following shot from behind the oar is on the other side of the boat. (01:51:40)
Revealing mistake: Near the end of the movie there is a hand-to-hand combat scene which results in an American soldier being knifed in the chest while pleading for his life. You can see that it is a fake cardboard box body with his head poking out.
Continuity mistake: During the Omaha Beach scene where Captain Miller is at the front of the concrete bunker and calls upon Jackson to get into one of the impact craters, Miller moves behind Jackson. When Miller makes the move for the diversion he puts his hand on Jackson's right shoulder but in the following shot Miller is at least 2 to 3 feet away from Jackson. (00:20:20)
Continuity mistake: After Caparzo has died from the sniper bullet, when Miller's men are grouped around Caparzo's body, Horvath is holding his gun in his right hand pointing it to the ground with his left arm by his side, but in the following shot, when Miller walks up, he is holding his weapon at waist height. (00:54:25)
Continuity mistake: When Tom Hank's men are in the village close to the start of the film, the soldier knocks down the wall accidentally, and the German soldier at the front picks up his weapon and points it (this can be seen from outside the house looking in). Then when it cuts back to all the German soldiers, he's picking and pointing the weapon again. (00:56:20)
Continuity mistake: When Miller has just explained to Ryan that his comrades came to take him back, Miller talks to Horvath alone. While Horvath is talking over his shoulder, you clearly see him moving his hands in the next shot, from an angle just past Miller, his hands are held tight to his gun. (01:48:40)
Factual error: During the final fight scene the German armour enters the town (a built up area) with open-topped AF V's and unbuttoned tanks. The Germans learned not to do this, greatly to their cost, at Stalingrad and other urban battles. It is very unlikely they would have risked their scarce armour in such a way without first securing the area with infantry.
Revealing mistake: In the final battle scene, where Jackson (the sniper) is in the tower you see him from the side view shooting Germans, and his rifle recoils with every shot; but when you see the Germans through the scope, there is no sign of recoil at all. (02:13:10)
Continuity mistake: When Upham is hiding behind a cow while his squad rushes the communication tower/bunker, he uses a sniper scope to see his squad mates. Upham holds the scope differently every time. The two knobs would first be at north/west, and the next shot would be south/east. This will change several times until Captain Miller tells him to get the gear. (01:24:20)
Continuity mistake: During the scene where Horvath and the BAR are facing down, things are getting out of control with Horvath pulling a .45 on the BAR. In the background, from among the rest of the Ranger group, alternating scenes of Jackson, the sniper, show him with his pistol either raised or holstered.
Factual error: When the group is trying to take the German radio tower and the medic gets killed, the American hiding behind the cow is watching through a small rifle scope. The adjustment knobs should be on the top and side of the scope when held level and upright. The American is holding them crooked which means the crosshairs should be crooked, but when it shows the view through the scope, the crosshairs are perfectly vertical and horizontal. (01:24:15)
Other mistake: In the final battle where the two rangers are waiting for Upham to bring them 30cal ammo, they fire their rifles through a hole in the wall. At one point two German soldiers are seen dying from the same shot, even though they are at least five meters (about sixteen feet) apart.
Factual error: After Miller has been shot, whilst trying to reach the detonator to blow up the bridge, we see him sat against what is supposed to be a wartime German motorcycle and sidecar. The vehicle in question is actually a Russian Ural M66 which was only produced during the 1970s.
Factual error: When Upham and Mellish are conversing before the fight at Ramelle, Mellish is seen placing Mk. 2 Pineapple grenades into Upham's helmet. The "spoon" on the grenades does not look to be the correct type. The ones in the film appear to be modern, folded, sheet metal painted dark green; World War II era ones are a simple piece of stamped, sheet steel. The modern ones are angular while World War II ones have a slight curve.
Factual error: In the scene where the soldiers are going through the dog tags to try and find Ryan, they all have the smaller chains attached to the tags. When taking the dog tags off a dead body, the smaller link that you see attached is broken away from the necklace around the dead body. It would be rare, if ever, that a soldier would take the time to reconnect the smaller chain. More likely, he would simply take the tag.
Continuity mistake: Ryan and Miller have a moving dialogue. In the scene Ryan talks about the time his brother was trying to have sex with a girl in the barn. While the pained Miller sits in a chair, we notice his hand which often shakes rests underneath the other. Then in a split second the left hand is on top of the other, then below.