Dunkirk

Factual error: Not until the very end of the 10-day evacuation were the French (or British for that matter) defending the very beaches themselves, and yet the movie opens with the French roadblock doing just that.

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Factual error: Near the start of the film in the harbour when the camera pans around to the left looking out to sea, you can see the back of the modern Weymouth Lifeboat 17-32 moored up in the background.

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Factual error: When the returned soldiers are on the train at the end of the film, it's an open plan post-war British Rail Mark I type, which where built from around 1950. Also the blue upholstery on the seats looks to be the corporate blue introduced by British Rail in the 1960s, used by the preserved railway owning the stock, and not what would have featured in Southern Railway carriages of the time. The carriages also have horizontally-sliding windows, which are far more contemporary than wartime trains, which had windows with a much larger vertical opening, held in place by a leather strap.

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Factual error: The sea often changes state from shot to shot. One minute we've got a reasonable Force 4 blowing and some surf, the next it's 'sea like a mirror' and then there's everything between.

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Factual error: In the scene towards the start of the film in Weymouth harbour, you can see the huge building which is Weymouth Pavilion, which was built in 1954, after the original 1909 building burnt down.

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freedom2006

Factual error: There are a number of scenes of the buildings along the coast where TV aerials are visible.

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Demmedelusive

Factual error: In several scenes, but notably very near the end, the background shows numerous container handling cranes, which weren't invented until the mid sixties.

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Victor Meldrew

Factual error: When the boat returns to England they state the cliffs are Dorset. There were 3 evacuation routes from Dunkirk - all to Kent. It would be nonsense to sail from Dunkirk to Dorset as you have to almost pass Dover on the way! (never mind the fact the boat would probably not have made it without refuelling).

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Anthorin

Factual error: In the silent overfly of the plane that ran out of fuel in the background you see a lot of modern architecture that is definitely not from the 1940s.

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Factual error: Commander Bolton addresses the rear-admiral by his full rank. In fact, he would undoubtedly just address him as "Admiral", the courteous form of address for all flag officers.

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Necrothesp
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Suggested correction: A rear-admiral can be referred to as such. It is not technically incorrect.

Factual error: Oriented strand board (OSB), also known as sterling board, sterling OSB, aspenite, and smartply in British English, was not invented until 1963. The French warehouse floor was covered with it. See blood spot close up.

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Factual error: One of the dams in or around Dunkirk has a foundation made of tetrapods. These concrete structures were developed in the 50s, according to wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrapod_ (structure)).

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Factual error: When asked whether he had a gun, Cillian Murphy says he had a .303. As an officer, he would have carried a pistol but not a rifle. It was not until later in the war that British officers began to carry weapons other than sidearms, and even then it was usually SMGs and not rifles.

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Necrothesp
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Suggested correction: Cillian Murphy did not play an officer.

Factual error: As the last Spitfire runs out of fuel, it continues to fly along the beach; then apparently turns around and flies the opposite direction along the beach still maintaining his steady low altitude. This is an impossible feat as distance flown (and any turn without power) results in loss of altitude.

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Suggested correction: While the flight dynamics in the final scene are improbable (especially shooting down the Stuka), altitude and manoeuvres are a function of energy, of which height (potential energy) it just one component. You could fly level along the beach, slowing down trading speed (kinetic energy) to maintain height, execute the turn trading more speed to execute the manoeuvre, then fly in the other direction to land on the sand. This is demonstrated in real life footage (searchable on the internet) of Bob Hoover flying his Aero-Commander dead stick in level flight at an air show, executing an 8 point roll and then turn, and flying/gliding back to land.

Factual error: Generally the clothes are not 100% of WWII. We see a lot of hats and head protection which didn't exist at that time. Also the holsters for the side guns were all closed and not open like in the movie.

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Suggested correction: I didn't notice any headgear that was inaccurate. In fact, many servicemen did use open holsters, especially vehicle and aircraft crews.

Necrothesp

Factual error: Velux windows were invented in German occupied Denmark in 1941. When burying a soldier on the beach, you can see them installed into French houses in 1940.

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Matthew Haynes

Factual error: In the scene at the beginning of the movie where two characters met in the dunes we see some white villas with seventies/eighties roof windows (Velux type).

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Factual error: Colonel Winnant wears a regimental cap badge. In fact, full colonels (as he is) and brigadiers have a different cap badge (a lion standing on a crown). It's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility that he would choose to continue to wear his old cap badge, but it would be very unusual (and completely against regulations).

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Necrothesp

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Quotes

Commander Bolton: You can practically see it from here.
Colonel Winnant: What?
Commander Bolton: Home.

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Mistakes

Near the start of the film in the harbour when the camera pans around to the left looking out to sea, you can see the back of the modern Weymouth Lifeboat 17-32 moored up in the background.

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Trivia

In reality, Adolf Hitler ordered his commanders and troops to stand down and allow Allied forces to escape at Dunkirk, because Hitler admired the British as "Aryan brothers," whom he expected to eventually join the Third Reich.

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