Saving Private Ryan

Other mistake: During the Omaha Beach scene, the radio man lying next to Tom Hanks suffers a massive wound to his face, killing him. But there is no blood or gore at all, just a hole in his face. It is impossible to sustain this type of injury and have no blood present.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The wound is immediately cauterized from the heat. Therefore, no bleeding. You notice the hole in the face smoking, so he was probably killed by a grenade or shell from a mortar.

lionhead

Factual error: When Jackson takes out the German sniper, we see the German snipers point of view through his scope and he eventually spots Jackson who fires at him. First you see the flash, then the bang, and then the German sniper gets hit through his scope. This is wrong because bullets from a powerful sniper rifle travel much faster than sound, he couldn't have heard the shot before he got hit. (00:51:30)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: He wasn't using a high powered sniper rifle. It was just a Springfield 1903 bolt action rifle which was the basic rifle of the US military until the M1 Garand. Snipers in WW2 didn't always have a scope either.

The Springfield still fired a supersonic round - all rifles do unless the round has been extensively modified, and no sniper would use such rounds.

The 30-06 is a powerful cartridge and the Springfield a very competent rifle. Snipers had scopes. The mistakes in that scene are that tower doesn't remotely look 400 yards away. Had it been then the projectile at 400 would have hit the German at a steep angle and could not have gone through the scope.

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.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

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.

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

Captain Miller: It's like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

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: When they are preparing to attack the machine gun emplacement guarding the radar, Captain Miller asks 'Who's going left?' There's a long silence and finally Jackson responds that he'll do it - he'll go left. What is the significance of going left? I'm assuming that it is more dangerous, but if this is the case, why? Also, why does Captain Miller ask for volunteers for someone to go left? (As he picks himself and Mellish to go middle and right, respectively).

bbarrington

Answer: Most people are not ambidextrous so running left means you'll have shoot left or use the right shoulder to shoot as you're running left which is much harder to do, try this out.

Chosen answer: There's no tree cover to the left. Whoever goes that way will likely be spotted and targeted before the others and get gunned down, but it's their best chance that one of them will make it into grenade range of the nest before they're all killed. It's not a job anyone sane would volunteer for, and the Captain is trying to get someone to volunteer so he doesn't have to potentially order TWO men to their deaths on a mission that all of them, including him, think isn't worthwhile.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member
More questions & answers from Saving Private Ryan

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.