Saving Private Ryan

Stupidity: When they are preparing for a German assault towards the end of the movie, Miller explains to them the concept of the sticky bomb and adds, "If you have a better idea of knocking the treads off a tank I'd like to hear it." Um... The bazooka? They had eight rounds for it, and it could have easily been used to disable the treads. And the men wouldn't blow themselves up with it. While it couldn't destroy a tank by penetrating the armour, it's certainly strong enough to disable the tracks.

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Suggested correction: Allied forces familiar with the Panzer VI "Tiger", a 60-ton Main Battle Tank during the war knew that the armor is very tough and, even with support fire from a friendly tank, the odds of destroying a Tiger tank with a bazooka like Horvath's are pretty small. From the infantry perspective, techniques that were developed and employed in order to combat heavy Tiger tanks focused mainly on disabling the tank rather than destroying it. Anti-tank weapons of the era, such as the bazooka, were ineffective against most areas of the Tiger's armor, so specific weak points in the design were the focus. Hitting the Tiger in the tracks, suspension, engine compartment, observation slits, and in the joint between the main body and turret were some of the common weak points. Tiger tanks could only be destroyed head-on or from the sides by land mines, or direct hits by heavy artillery shells, or bombs dropped from aircraft. In the film, the first Tiger is disabled by taking out the tracks with "sticky bombs" followed by grenades thrown in the turret hatch. When Horvath fires at the second Tiger, both shots are placed on the joint between the body and the turret, the idea most likely being to hinder or incapacitate the turret's ability to swivel left or right. As the war went on, the Allies developed better strategies for disabling Tigers. One example involved British Cromwell or US Sherman tanks trying to "flank" a Tiger by working in squadrons or columns. One or more tanks would act as a diversion to keep the Tiger's crew focused in front of it while another tank would maneuver behind the Tiger and hit it in the rear section where its armor was the weakest.

Joey221995

Excellently put.

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Quotes

Private Reiben: You wouldn't shoot the kraut and now you're gonna shoot me?
Sergeant Horvath: He's better than you.

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Mistakes

When they go to find Private Ryan there are eight of them, when they go to a French town and a solider picks up the little girl and he gets killed there are seven, right? Wrong. A few scenes later, the camera shows all eight of them marching on to the next town, only in a far away camera shot so it's hard to see.

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Trivia

The pivotal role of "Minnesota Ryan", the Private Ryan that Captain Miller mistakes for the Private Ryan for whom he is searching, is played by a very young and, at the time quasi-unknown, Nathan Fillion.

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