The Dam Busters

Factual error: One of the shots of individual British Lancaster bombers approaching one of the dams is actually and incorrectly an American B17, seen for only a second or two. [At no time in the film is a B17 visible in the British release of the film. However the B17 crashing appears in a version of the film released in the U.S.A.]

Factual error: When belts of ammunition are being loaded into the rear of a Lancaster before the mission they appear to be 20mm or .50 cal. The Brownings on Lancaster were 0.303.

Factual error: The system devised to get the height right was, in the film, said to have been thought of by the 617 Sqn crews following a visit to the theater. In reality it was devised by the 'boffins' at Farnborough.

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Suggested correction: See many previously posted 'mistakes' of this type and the standard correction: this is not a documentary and never pretended to be. It is a war drama and many facts were changed to fit the action.

Those correction are often made in fallacy. Dramas based on historical accounts have liberty to change small or inconsequential things, like adding a person that may have never existed, or change a relationship for dramatic purposes. Despite not being a documentary, unless it's a fantasy film, changes in historical facts are mistakes (for example, a drama can't have the Eiffel Tower in London just because it's not a documentary).

Bishop73

Suggested correction: This was the version given in Brickhill's book. The real story wasn't published till many years after the film was made.

Continuity mistake: Wallis is showing his idea to the doctor and draws on the sketch of the dam. Shortly after, he shows the doctor the same sketch again and the middle line we saw Wallis draw has now changed position. (00:06:40 - 00:07:50)

Mr Manchester

More mistakes in The Dam Busters

Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production: You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?

More quotes from The Dam Busters

Trivia: A (corrected) entry states that a USAAF B-17 'Flying Fortress' bomber is visible in the film. In fact in some prints produced for release in the US irrelevant stock footage of a B17 was randomly cut into the film to make it more acceptable to American audiences. This was a deliberate alteration of the film done very much against the wishes of the producer and director, and it explains the 'error' - the contributor has seen one of the non-canon US prints.

More trivia for The Dam Busters

Answer: I think Gibson is shown wearing the ribbons (and rosettes) of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar and Distinguished Flying Cross. He was awarded these medals before the Dam Busters raid. In black and white, the ribbon for the VC with its miniature cross can look similar to the DSO with a rosette for a second award.

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