Kelly's Heroes

Corrected entry: In the scene in which Kelly and the others must go through a city while it is being shelled, if you look in the bottom right corner you see German troop traffic going through the town with lots of German soldiers walking around. None of them seem too concerned about the shelling, even when it starts falling on the road they are on. There is even an explosion that happens just behind two German soldiers - they do not move and then merely stroll away afterwards.

Correction: The German soldiers are veterans who are used to the shelling and accept it as part of their lives. They would also know what kind of shelling they are under and react appropriately. In this case, the shelling is routine and inaccurate (harassing fire) nothing for veteran German soldiers to panic about.


Correction: Crapgame said Kelly was a lieutenant before ("a pretty good one, too"), so he still had connections, influence, and respect from other soldiers, especially those who knew Kelly was the scapegoat for the attack on a hill that wiped out half a company of friendly troops. As an example, notice how First Sergeant Mulligan panics when Kelly requests a favor of a mortar attack - and Mulligan outranks Kelly by several pay grades.


Corrected entry: During the discussion between Crapgame and Kelly in the supply depot, just after Crapgame realises that snatching the gold from behind enemy lines would be "the perfect crime", a jet airliner can be heard flying overhead. Jet aircraft were in use by the Luftwaffe - but only on their side of the lines with the exception of a few recon and bombing missions at the front, specifically on the Remagen bridge in March of 1945, months after the movie's timeframe.

Correction: After watching the scene many times, the sound heard is not of a jet aircraft, but a piston-powered propeller-driven craft that can be prominently heard over the whistling sound that was mistaken for a jet engine.


Corrected entry: When Mulligan is sleeping his alarm clock goes off. Kelly arranged to start the mortar attack at 2100 hours (9 PM). The alarm clock does not read 9 when it goes off.


Correction: This scene is an example of the indifference and incompetence of Mulligan's command of the mortars to deliver accurate fire at precise time coordinates, as Mulligan demonstrated in the first part of the movie, when Big Joe complains about Mulligan not giving him "three minutes" before Mulligan started firing off the mortars and dropping them all over the place. For Mulligan to not launch a barrage on time and target is in character.


Correction: The SS Tiger tank troopers in the movie are panzer crewmen whose uniforms were black. Even the Wehrmacht (Regular Army) tankers wore black uniforms throughout the war, as well as being issued camouflage uniforms.


The key marking on the tank plate means the tank is supposed to be from LSH Lieberdstand Adolf Hitler Panzer Div. LSH tank crews wore camo pattern black or grey uniforms. They had Deaths head emblems on the collars of the black tank uniform, often leading to them being mistaken for SS and executed in the field.

Corrected entry: I could be wrong, but I reckon trained soldiers would rather seek cover than to take on tanks with only rifles and submachineguns. In the scene where Oddball's tank squad shoots a German train station to pieces, the Germans fire at the vehicles with their smallarms, even though it's just a waste of ammo (maybe they were just desperate?).

Correction: Soldiers will use whatever weapons they have on hand to defend against the enemy, whether or not they are outgunned or even outnumbered (reference Captain Miller in "Saving Private Ryan" using his .45 caliber pistol against a German Tiger tank). The heaviest weapon the Germans had in the rail yard was a 4-barreled 20mm anti-aircraft gun that would be useless against a Sherman tank, yet, they used it to fire on Oddball's Sherman's, in addition to the small arms the Germans were using against the Shermans.


Corrected entry: When Kelly convinces the German tank commander to blast the door open so they can get the gold, an 88 mm shell at that close range would have blown the bank apart. But only a relatively small hole is through the doors and the gold in the middle of the floor lies undisturbed.

Mike Lynch

Correction: If the shell fired was a high explosive shell, then yes, maybe the bank would have been blown apart, as you say. Since the German tank commander just needed to "blow a hole through that door", then an armor piercing shell would have done the job (as was likely ordered by the Tiger commander) with little damage to the interior of the bank.


Your suggestion doesn't fit the facts since there's no hole in the back of the bank.

Mike Lynch

Corrected entry: When Kelly drives into the American area after capturing the Colonel we see an M16 (Multiple Gun Motor Carriage) firing its machine guns into the air. What are they shooting at? Its an artillery barrage not an air raid, and Big Joe even comments later on that it's too lousy to fly so it couldn't have been enemy aircraft.


Correction: The M2 machine gun can be used in an indirect fire role similar to artillery/mortars. The unit was either attempting to break up the advancing attack at long range with "plunging fire" from their location or they did not have direct sight of the opposing force on the far side of a hill and were "plunging fire" on that normally geographically sheltered area.

Corrected entry: Clint Eastwood drives his jeep up to Telly Savalas who asks where Eastwood has been. Shot changes to over Savalas' shoulder, and look at Eastwood. At the rear of the jeep, immediately behind Eastwood and in the middle of dozens of fatigue clad GIs, a crew member in a button-down striped shirt fiddles with something for a few seconds before glancing up at Savalas and then walking out of the frame. (00:20:20)

Correction: Don't think this is crew - refugees are also walking with soldiers in background.

Corrected entry: During the minefield shooting, Corporal Job puts himself upright after Willard is killed. Job is hit in the chest once but shows no sign of pain. Only on the second hit does he go down.

Correction: Willard was not killed in the movie.

Corrected entry: When the Tiger tank shoots a hole in the bank door, the hole is a neat rectangle.

Correction: The shell punches out a rectangular panel of the wooden door, which would have been too flimsy to detonate it, then strikes the rear wall of the bank and explodes, shattering the otherwise intact door.

Corrected entry: When Oddball is showing his tanks to Kelly, he says they have a standard 76 millimeter gun. In fact, Sherman tanks came standard with a 75 millimeter gun.

Correction: While it's true M4A1, M4A3 and Easy Eights were fitted with 76 guns, Oddball's turret was definitely housed for the 75 (D50878 "Low Bustle" turret and the D78461 "High Bustle" turret). 76 guns were housed in T23 turrets.

The Shermans were M4A3E4 which were wet stowage M4A3 (75) rearmed with 76mm in the original turret. They were given as aid to Yugoslavia after the war.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Kelly is guiding Oddball's tank into the shell of the building to shoot at the rear of the Tiger tanks, there is a bright blue bucket on the top left corner of the Sherman. During the scene the shot keeps switching from Kelly's point of view to Oddball's. When Kelly climbs off the tank the bucket disappears but as soon Oddball looks back, the bucket appears again. Through the rest of the scene the bucket between shots the bucket keeps disappearing and re-appearing. At one point its not even the same color.

Correction: The bucket remains throughout the scene. As they are travelling through a building though, it sometimes appears in dark shadow and is difficult to pick out.

Corrected entry: Oddball always played music very loudly when going into battle, but tape recorders weren't available until 1948.

Correction: Tape recorders weren't invented yet, but wire sound recorders were.This was a crude recorder that recorded sounds on a fine wire reel.

Corrected entry: A 'Tiger' tank is prevented from turning its turret when the main gun barrel hits a sapling. Not likely - it would have snapped the tree in half or simply uprooted it.

Correction: A tree that size would stop the main gun barrel traverse of a modern day tank, so it would surely have stopped the traverse of a Tiger.

Correct...traverse rate on Tiger I was slower than Sherman.

Corrected entry: Just before the town celebration really takes off and as the bank is being emptied, a small Nazi flag is shown in foreground - presumably being waved by a towns person. The remainder of time, where there are flags, they are French and American.

Correction: Unless you are suggesting that the extras were asked to bring their own prop flags along for the days' shooting, this is not a mistake. For whatever reason, one of the townspeople is waving a Nazi flag.

Plausible...if you look at film from liberated towns many people can be seen waving but some giving Nazi salutes, like kids to Allied tanks, so confused after 4 years of occupation.

Corrected entry: In the beginning of the film after Clint Eastwood has been spotted by the Germans we can see them drive away in their jeep. They pass lines of soldiers marching. Along with the soldiers there is a field gun being pushed instead of towed as it would have been during the war. (00:02:15)


Correction: They were pushing the gun because the trucks had no fuel. They say that multiple times in the movie.

Corrected entry: After the bank's front doors are blown open by tank 115, the lead group of GI's, along with the German, come through the front door. As they're approaching the pile of gold boxes covered by a canvas, a second, smaller group of GI's come into the room through a side door. How did they get in?


Correction: The explosion of that shell inside the bank would have blown any other doors open from the inside. It is interesting that there wasn't more damage inside the bank.

Corrected entry: In the credits, as Don Rickle's name is fading and it is moving onto Carroll O'Connor's name the shot is passing a tank with a gun in tow. There is a fire in between two barrels just above Carroll O'Connor's name. Upon closer inspection of the fire, it is in fact, a guy shaking a reflective painted tree branch, up and down to make it look like a fire. (Slow motion may be necessary.) (00:00:50)

Correction: This 'mistake' is impossible to spot without using freeze frame, invalidating it per the rules of this site.

Corrected entry: In the shot showing the exterior the German headquarters, several of the vehicles parked in front are actually American M3 Half-Tracks painted a darker shade of green.

Correction: Towards the end of the war, the increasingly desperate German Army used all sorts of captured equipment.

Revealing mistake: Blank firing adaptors are visible on the bow machine guns of Oddball's Shermans as they shoot up the rail yard.


More mistakes in Kelly's Heroes

Oddball: A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge.

More quotes from Kelly's Heroes

Trivia: As Oddball's Sherman tank rolls through a town, an old man gets up to look around the corner to observe the tanks passing through. After that scene, the old man had a heart attack and died immediately after. Donald Sutherland and members of the film crew tried to save him, but were unsuccessful. The film crew built the old man's coffin for his burial and the cast and crew raised money for his family.


More trivia for Kelly's Heroes

Question: What type of Allied fighter destroyed the units vehicles? It doesn't look like any allied combat aircraft I've seen before.


Answer: It's a Yugoslav Soko 522 Ikarus.

Chosen answer: From the markings it looks like a P47 jug. Strange thing is it was equipped with rockets, which I have only seen outfitted on the P-38 lightning and the P-51 Mustang. Kelly's is a great movie but far from historically accurate. There is a country song Odd Ball Plays as the blow up the rail yard that not even close to having been released at the time.

James Rowell

More questions & answers from Kelly's Heroes

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