Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain (1969)

6 corrected entries

Corrected entry: When the Polish pilots are on a training mission before they were made operational they are shown in loose flying formation. Hurricanes are in the forefront but in the background you can clearly see that the rest of the squadron are flying Me-109s, which were German aircraft.

Correction: The planes at the back of the Polish Hurricane formation are not ME109's. They are Spanish built Hispano Buchon's. The major differences (important ones) being: A: 4 Blade prop rather than 3. B: Rolls Royce Merlin Engine which resulted in a completely new shape forward of the fire wall. C: Rounded wing tips rather than blunt or "square" tips. D: No support struts under the stabilizers. E: No radio mast on top of fuselage. F: Large wing fence on top of wings. G: No fuselage guns. Addition of fake fuselage and fake proper wing guns, removal of round wing tips and wing fences, addition of radio mast and stabilizer struts were among the changes made to make these planes appear (as much as practical) to be ME 109's. Only 3 of the 6 Hurricanes used in the film were airworthy. As it would have looked wrong to have only 3 Hurricanes on patrol, Buchons were used as stand in Hurricanes. This was because when viewed briefly from the front, they could easily fool most eyes into thinking they were Hurricanes. Yes, there were more than 6 Hurricanes visible in the film. They were fiberglass and fabric copies.

Corrected entry: The film takes place in 1940. In at least two scenes on an airfield, a Land Rover (possibly a made-for-defence purposes Defender model) can clearly be seen. The Land Rover was not developed until after WW2 & not actually put into production until 1947, as the British "answer" to the US Jeep.

Correction: This is utter nonsense. The vehicle was a period Bedford MW 15cwt truck. There is no Land Rover anywhere in this film.

Corrected entry: On the attack on the airfield by He111s, a burning Spitfire is out of control and heads towards a fuel truck. Unfortunately the truck blows up before the Spit' hits it.

Correction: This is wrong. We see the Spitfire approaching from behind the fuel truck, from our point of view. The spinning propellor hits, unseen, and the fuel truck explodes. The only visible part of the Spitfire on impact is the starboard wingtip - and as that is some way behind the propellor itself (obviously) it is not in contact with the truck itself.

Corrected entry: During the dog fight when the German gunner gets shot in the face, if you slow the scene down you can see the false blood being squirted into his face from the left of the screen.

Correction: The requirement to use slow motion invalidates this entry.

Corrected entry: In many scenes you will see Spitfires diving to avoid the German Messerschmitts. Now the film shows the beginning of the Battle of Britain to the end, well there is one problem with the Spitfires diving, it wouldn't happen. The type of Spitfire in service during the Battle of Britain was the Spitfire Mark 1, which had a carburetor. If the plane dives the engine will stall. Spitfire pilots would never intentionally dive, but Messerschmitt 109 pilots, when being tailed by a Spitfire, would engage in a sharp dive to save their butts as they knew the Spitfire couldn't follow them.

Correction: The Mark 1 couldn't match the performance of the Me109, but the Spitfire Mark 2, first delivered in August 1940, could match it. The filmmakers based their recreation of combat footage on film taken during the actual battle, so the flight characteristics of the Spitfires shown are realistic. Plus Spitfires and Hurricanes in the film are correctly shown turning over before diving away, as this kept fuel in the carburettors, enabling the aircraft to continue flying.

Corrected entry: During the film, a German bomber crew, lost in the dark, accidentally jettison their bombs over London, thus starting the Blitz. In reality, the very first German air-raid on London in late August 1940 was planned and intentional, borne out by the fact that a number of aircraft bombed the city at different times during the night.

Correction: This is wrong. The sequence of events in the film is almost completely accurate. On August 25, 1940 a lone German bomber lost its way and dropped its bombload on London. The British reacted by launching an 81 bomber attack against Berlin. In fact the German response was relatively muted and the raids on the RAF airfields continued until September 7th, 1940 when the first full-scale attack on London was mounted.

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Mistakes

It is 1940. Two pilots come out of a house - one of them has just lost his wife and family in the London Blitz, the other is an RAF Squadron Leader. The door they come out of has a modern electric bell push - a post 1965 version, white rectangular box with a round button.

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Trivia

During the Stuka attack on the radar station, the two Stuka radio controlled models that collide was a complete accident. It looked good so was left in the final version.

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