We Were Soldiers

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Factual error: Throughout the battle, the artillery rounds impact far too soon after they have been called in. While the artillery supporting 1/7 CAV at Ia Drang did have some pre-planned targets, it is impossible for any gun crew to receive a fire mission, adjust the gun, and fire the round as quickly as depicted (i.e., in a matter of seconds).

Texijapi
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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: To follow your instincts and to inspire your men, by your example, you have to be with 'em. Where the metal meets the meat.

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Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, the actor playing the French solder playing the trumpet, who gets shot in the neck, is the director's son.

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Question: The early versions of the M16 had severe problems with jamming. There may have been several causes; instructions issued that the rifle was "self-cleaning", improper ammunition design, improper magazine design (therefore in a later stage 18 rounds instead of 20 were used in the mag). It is not necessarily a mistake, certainly not by the filmmaker, but there are several writers mentioning serious casualties amongst fighting troops specifically because of jamming M16 rifles. Why does this book/film not even include a hint of that problem which surely must have existed at that time and place?

Airborne Ranger

Chosen answer: There is no definitive information on this topic, and although factually accurate, a technical problem with a weapon was probably not enough to build an entire sub-plot, and would not hold the interest of the moviegoer. There were enough casualties without having to take into consideration weapon malfunction.

Macalou

Answer: The M16's used in this battle were second generation M16A1's easily distinguished by the forward bolt assist on the right hand side of the rifle. The original M16 had no bolt assist and the jamming was caused by a different propellant that made the weapon very dirty.

stiiggy
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