Where Eagles Dare

Stupidity: Why does Lt Schaffer attempt to sneak up on the German radio operator? The radio operator has his back to him and is distracted with the music from his radio so Schaffer easily has enough time to run up behind him and kill him before he raises the alarm. (01:41:30)

Stupidity: Why does Smith even take along the traitors to begin with, instead of simply killing them outright? He got the information from them he wanted. He didn't need them for anything else. Was it to make them stand trial instead of summarily executing them? Even after he's killed dozens of other people for less? But on the other hand, you wouldn't have had the excuse for the gondola fight that was a film highlight.

Stupidity: Major Smith takes an incredibly unnecessary risk in the tavern by telling an officer that he is Himmler's brother. Heinrich Himmler was chief of the SS and news of his brother's presence in the tavern would have spread like wildfire, especially amongst the SS and Gestapo officers who would have wanted to come and say hello, potentially exposing the group. The group eventually gave themselves up in the tavern but revealing himself as Himmler's brother could have got Smith caught before he had time to get out to the woodshed to meet Mary and Heidi. (00:36:13 - 00:36:50)

Stupidity: Why didn't the Major turn the gondola around rather than jump onboard and confront the spies?

Plot hole: Why do all the Germans abandon the cable car control room after the alarm has been sounded? If the cable car is critical for access to the castle then you would expect a hard core of SS troops to remain behind to control access and protect the machinery in the event of an attack. (01:42:55)

More mistakes in Where Eagles Dare

Mary Ellison: I nearly froze to death in that damn plane. Why couldn't you have supplied some hot water bottles or an electrically heated suit? I thought you loved me.
Major John Smith: Can't help what you think.

More quotes from Where Eagles Dare

Trivia: The idea of helicopters was not necessarily new in WW2, but effective designs were not made until after the war; there is evidence from some literary sources (one of them being a book named "German Secret Weapons of WW2" or something like that) that the Germans did indeed conduct experiments and designs on this vehicle type.

More trivia for Where Eagles Dare

Question: During the opening dialogue, it is explained that Carnaby's plane was brought down after a raid on Nuremberg. Later in the same scene, it is explained that he was on his way to Egypt when his plane was shot down. Which one was it?

Answer: The way I interpret it is that "following" the raid on Nuremberg, the plane was then on its way to Egypt when it was shot down by the Germans, prompting the mission to rescue Carnaby.


The "saturation bombing of Nuremberg" was a separate raid which should have lured all the fighters away from the Austrian border. The "General's" plane, on its way to Crete, was shot down by a roving Messerschmitt.

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