Corrected entry: Even when POW's, Americans are still considered members of the military and subject to military laws and regulations. Accordingly, Lt. Dunbar would have taken command of barracks 4 as soon as he was assigned to live there. This would not have been an option but required not only by him but by Hoffy, the enlisted man and barracks commander, who would have immediately handed command to the higher ranking Dunbar. Also the Germans would not have recognized anyone but Dunbar as barracks commander by virtue of his rank.
Corrected entry: When the Commandant asks Lt. Dunbar for his serial number; Dunbar has to read it from his dog tag. Military members knew their serial number (which was not your social security in those days) as well as their name; I still remember mine 45 years later.
Corrected entry: At the end, when Sefton has unmasked Price as the spy, he reaches into Price's coat and pulls out the black queen, stating "The one you pulled out from the corner of your bunk and put in this pocket!" When the camera was looking at Price pulling the queen out, Sefton was on his back looking in the direction of his feet, which were pointed at the wall next to the window. So he couldn't have witnessed the event.
Corrected entry: At the end of the movie, Sefton escapes with Dunbar. In response to the question "I wonder why he did it?", Animal suggests that "Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters." In reality, escaping prisoners would never take the wire cutters through the wire with them. They were too hard to replace. After cutting the wire, the procedure would be to hide the cutters inside the fence nearby at a prearranged spot to be retrieved later by the prisoners and then reused.
Corrected entry: Near the beginning of the film when two of the POW's are caught and shot trying to escape,they walk into a German machine gun nest. The machine gun is an American Browning 1919 A4, which was definitely NOT German military issue.
Corrected entry: We know the movie takes place in December of 1944 because of the reference to the Battle of the Bulge. That winter was particularly cold yet we see mud and water on the ground with remnants of snow and ice on the buildings. In addition the barracks windows are frosted over throughout the movie; this frost would melt away before ice and snow on the ground.
Corrected entry: Inmates in German POW camps did not receive sufficient food. This was particularly true late in the war when even the German people were beginning to go hungry. Yet in this film, which took place late in the war, all the inmates appear to be well fed and even fat such as Animal. There is no logical reason for this because the prisoners are only fed soup which is shown to be so inedible it's used to wash clothes.
Corrected entry: A great deal is made in the opening about the escape attempt taking place on 'the longest night of the year', meaning December 21. Yet the narrator says that the barracks were rousted out the next morning at 6 a.m. to view the bodies of the would-be escapees, and the sun is high in the sky.
Corrected entry: During World War II American military personnel used the slang term "Kraut" to refer to Germans, and British military personnel used the term "Jerry." This film featured American POW's and no Brits yet the term "Jerry" was almost exclusively used.