Battle of the Bulge

Continuity mistake: Near the beginning, Lt. Col. Daniel Kiley is in a scout plane and flies over Col. Martin Hessler, who is in a German staff car below. Kiley tells the pilot to "rev the engine" just above the car to entice Hessler to look up at them, so he can get a good photograph of his face. The plan works, and the ground level movie camera shows Hessler looking up. When the "photo from the air" is later developed, it shows Hessler looking up from the ground level camera's perspective, eyes focused about 30 degrees behind the airplane and giving a profile of Hessler.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Col. Hessler is visited by a courtesan, he refuses her "services", opens the door and hands her her fur coat. In the next shot, the door is closed again and the colonel still has the courtesan's fur coat.

Continuity mistake: When the German saboteurs dressed in American MP uniforms jump out of their plane, all the parachutes are black, except two that are white. When the scene cuts to those soldiers on the ground gathering their parachutes to hide them, they are ALL white.

Continuity mistake: Before the massacre scene, a German truck is reversing with a German soldier walking with it on the left side of the screen. When Lieutenant Weaver looks to his right, the same truck is backing up, and the same German soldier is now on the right side of the screen. The film was obviously flipped.


Continuity mistake: In the initial German panzer attack against the Americans, a German tank 104's left side track and road wheels are damaged by a bazooka shell, resulting in a missing front road wheel and a loose/sagging track. However, when the tank turns off the road and goes down the slope, the left track is taut and the missing road wheel has magically appeared.


Continuity mistake: Views from the German tanks show American troops being cut down and run over by the German tanks, but the long camera shots from the American side show no dead bodies anywhere on the battlefield.


Factual error: None of the German tanks are accurate representations of German WWII types. They are all post war US variants. ie. M47 Patton Tanks. [Still a mistake, but an elaboration: This is a common problem in depicting German tanks: few, if any, survived the war. The few museum examples wouldn't be released for movie work, and certainly WHERE, some 20 years after the war, would one find a brigade's worth of running Tiger II tanks? Never mind that Kampgruppe Pieper, which Hessler's command is loosely based on, actually used Mark IV and Panther tanks. There was one King Tiger battalion, and it was in reserve well behind KG Peiper. The M47s versus the M24 Chafees (mistakenly called "Shermans" at times) is a fairly accurate comparison of the respective sizes, firepower, and other combat capabilities of the respective tanks. Some other movies, like "Kelly's Heroes", have their "Tigers" mocked-up with sheet metal, wire mesh, and sacking over a different type of tank (in that case, T-34/85s of the Yugoslav army are mocked up as Tiger Is, a fairly decent job).]

More mistakes in Battle of the Bulge

Col. Martin Hessler: They have the fuel and planes to fly Cake over the Atlantic Ocean.
Col. Martin Hessler: Do you know what this means?

More quotes from Battle of the Bulge

Trivia: Robert Shaw's character is based on Kampfgruppe Jochim Peiper of 1st SS Leibstandart Adolph Hitler, Panzer Division. Peiper was a ruthless but extremely effective officer who had learnt his trade in death on the Russian front. Peiper survived the battle and the war and although he was initially sentenced to death for his part in the Malmedy massacre his sentence was commuted. He was killed in France in 1976 when his house was firebombed in a revenge attack.

More trivia for Battle of the Bulge

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.