Courage Under Fire

Factual error: The portrayal of the firing MLRS before Denzel's unit moves off is ludicrously inadequate. The rockets launched from the MLRS resemble a space shuttle lift-off, but in the movie it was more like a sparkler thrown into the air.

Factual error: Throughout the film Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling uses a Powerbook which did not come out until 1995, whereas the film was set in 1991.

Factual error: All through the movie the commander of the American tank that Ltc. Serling fired on is referred to as "Lt. Boylar" yet in the photo shown of him and Serling he is wearing captain's bars. He is also designated as "Cougar 6." In Army terminology "6" designates a unit commander. Had Boylar been a Lt. his designation would have been either "Cougar 16" or Cougar 26" respectively depending on which platoon he was the leader of.

Factual error: In the opening tank battle, we see oil wells burning in the background as the tanks drive across the desert. We later hear that this battle takes place in Basra, which is in Iraq. The Iraqis surely did not burn their own oil wells during the first Gulf War. They did so when they were in Kuwait.

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Suggested correction: The friendly fire accident during the opening tank battle sequence takes place during the battle of "Al Bathra", not Basra. The name is referenced several times throughout the movie. However; the movie does not specify if Al Bathra is in Kuwait or Iraq. If the battle was supposed to take place in Kuwait, then the burning oil wells would certainly have been there. The Iraqi Army burned them as they retreated from coalition forces during the war.

Factual error: Denzel's tank was actually a Centurion, but apparently dressed up to be an M1A1. The ammunition for M1A1s use semi-combustible cases; that is, most of the case is consumed in the explosion of the propellant. There is only a small base cap that is ejected from the gun, not the entire casing as portrayed in the movie. If Denzel's tank was supposed to be an M1 or M1IP, which would have non-combustible cased ammunition, then they wouldn't have fought any T-72s, as no M1s or M1IPs engaged any T-72s.

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Quotes

Monfriez: Sir, if you get a hangfire on your weapon, what do you do? You wait, with your weapon pointed in a safe direction, 'cause sometimes the primer bursts, and if you open the chamber it blows up in your face. Leave this round in the chamber, sir.

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Mistakes

During the early part of the movie, there are a number of references to the Blackhawk crew, yet the wreckage is that of a Huey.

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Trivia

The unit that was portrayed in the tank battle was to be the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment because they were actually in a friendly fire incident. During the shoot, someone showed the director the 2nd ACR's patch and he thought that was better looking.

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