Corrected entry: Right before the NVA try to overrun the Command Post CSM Plummley slaps a magazine into his 1911 (pistol) and says, "Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves." The mistake is that the hammer on his pistol is down, on a M1911A1 this indicates an empty chamber. Had he inserted a new magazine before the pistol was totally empty the hammer should have been in the cocked position. Had he emptied the pistol before reloading the slide should have been locked to the rear.
Corrected entry: As the troops gather for the transport to Vietnam, they are all carrying weapons and full combat gear. This is incorrect, as weapons would have been issued on arrival in 'Nam. They would not even have worn combat fatigues, let alone the other gear during the flight over the ocean.Airborne Ranger
Corrected entry: When Galloway and an unidentified medic are clearing Jimmy Nakayama off of the field, Galloway tries to pick him up by the legs and peels them to the bone. Jimmy screams in anguish. Severe burns are merciful. With badly burned tissue (which would have had to be the case for the skin to peel off) the nerves have been destroyed. Jimmy would not have felt additional pain when the tissue tore. (01:38:30)
Corrected entry: Where are all the charred bodies? There should have been thousands of charred bodies littering the battle field after all the bombing (especially napalm). The trees and vegetation should have been burnt black and down to the dirt. Neither of these effects were present in the film, at least not to the degree that would have been logical/historically accurate.
Corrected entry: The rifles used in this movie, the Armalite AR15 / Colt M16. There are two models. The earlier (1965) model did NOT have the forward assist on it. This was a device on the right side of the rifle to ram the round up the chamber. This earlier model also had a 3 prong flash suppressor on the front end of the barrel. The later (1967) model did have the forward assist. It also had a flash hider which was caged in. This later model was not released and issued until 28 February 1967. The model used in the movie was this latest model (1967). The Battle of Ia Drang took place in November 1965.
Corrected entry: When the napalm canister is accidentally dropped on the US troops, it's dropped by a computer generated F-100 Super Sabre. Historically, the aircraft which actually dropped the errant napalm canister was an F-105 Thunder Chief. Since the aircraft was CG, they could have depicted the F-105.
Corrected entry: In the film, Hal Moore repeatedly fires his weapon at NVA soldiers near the command post. In actuality no NVA soldiers got into the command post area, and Hal Moore never fired his weapon.
Corrected entry: In the beginning, when the soldiers are attacked, a soldier is blowing a horn when it appears that he gets shot in the throat. In slow motion, the blood shoots up out of his uniform from a special pouch.
Corrected entry: Both Snake and Too Tall are shown piloting their helicopters from the right seat, the pilot's seat is the left seat.
Corrected entry: When CSM Plumley hands Joe Galloway the M-16, Galloway takes off his camera and drops it on the ground, but after the battle when he gets it back it is hanging from the branch of a tree.
Corrected entry: During the most intense fighting, Mel Gibson calls for "Broken Arrow" meaning that all available planes drop their ordinance. Several NVA soldiers are shown running across the ridge wearing bandanas completely across their faces due to allergies from the dust; they were supposed to remove them during the final shooting but obviously they didn't. These aren't seen at any other time.
Corrected entry: When the reporter finds Jimmy half-burned from napalm, Jimmy is writhing on the ground. The problem is that his clothes aren't burning, the ground around him isn't singed, and Jimmy obviously was not able to move himself in any way.
Corrected entry: Colonel Moore calls in an air strike when his men have been overrun by NVA. The next scene shows Navy EA-6B's launching from an aircraft carrier deck. The only problem is the story takes place in 1965 and the Grumman EA-6B was not operational till three years later, in May of 1968.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Lt. Herrick dies, he says that he was glad to die for his country. After he says this, he stops breathing and the medic checks for a pulse in his neck with his thumb. You never check a pulse with your thumb because it is big enough that you will feel your own pulse. (00:53:35)
Corrected entry: In the movie some of the North Vietnamese underground tunnels were huge. Some of them were almost 6 feet in diameter. According to an acquaintance who actually inspected many NVA tunnels in Vietnam, most of them were much, much smaller in diameter. In fact, one can only crawl through many of them. None of the tunnels he inspected was 6 feet in diameter. Imagine the tremendous amount of labor required to dig out a huge 6-foot diameter tunnel.
Corrected entry: This film is supposed to take place in Vietnam. It looks like it was shot in the same location as "Little House on the Prairie". Where's the jungle? It looked as though the battle took place in Northern California, not Northern Vietnam.
Corrected entry: Isn't it odd that the telegrams were arriving even as the battle raged? How could they arrive so quickly?
Corrected entry: As a former US ARMY helicopter pilot - I noticed from the opening frame that the helicopters they were using in the movie were late model HUEYs that were not available in 1965. The give-away is that all of the helicopters in the movie have 2 windows on the troop compartment door. The 2 windows reflect a change made in either the Delta ("D") or Hotel ("H") model Huey where the troop compartment was expanded for a larger payload.