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
1

Excellently put.

Ssiscool Premium member

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.

More mistakes in Saving Private Ryan

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

More quotes from Saving Private Ryan

Trivia: Some of the extras in the film were real amputees with one arm or leg missing so the effect of seeing someone blown up and lose their limb was as realistic as possible, as opposed to having a leg or arm "tucked away." There was uproar in Ireland because of this, but the extras loved meeting the actors and getting paid handsomely as well.

pierpp
More trivia for Saving Private Ryan

Question: After Capt Miller gets briefed on his new mission to rescue Pvt Ryan and enlists Upham for the mission, there is a long shot of the beach. What are those Zeppelin-like things that are floating around, tied to the ground? What are they good for? (00:39:50)

Answer: These were barrage balloons, commonly used during the war. They are used to stop low level bombing and low level fly bys by enemy fighter planes. The cables attached to the balloons are designed to cut through the wings of the aircraft and to bring them down, so any pilot would have to fly above them, and the balloons would also restrict the view from above.

More questions & answers from Saving Private Ryan

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