Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

4 suggested corrections

(5 votes)

Factual error: When the map of the German advance is shown, Switzerland is shown to be taken over. Switzerland was never invaded by the Germans. (00:05:10)

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Suggested correction: It doesn't show German advances. It shows the German influence over Europe, symbolizing it covers all of Europe and then expanded towards the East. Italy was never conquered by the Germans either yet it was part of the axis and is shown being covered by black. Switzerland, though neutral, was fully surrounded by the Axis and their influence played heavily upon the country. Its a very crude simulation.

lionhead

Suggested correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.

dizzyd

Factual error: The film map depicting the German advance showed Germany invading Turkey. Turkey did not enter the war until 1945 and never engaged in any combat. (00:05:05)

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Suggested correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.

dizzyd

It's not red but black. Norway was conquered by Germany, Turkey was an Allied country.

lionhead

Factual error: The Junkers 88 bombers are flying far, far too low for a bombing run. They are barely clearing the buildings they are bombing. Low level bombing on an urban target would mean the bomber would be flying at between 600 and 700 feet whereas these bombers are flying at something like 30 or 40 feet above the rooftops of the buildings they are attacking. Even banking steeply would be a ridiculously dangerous manoeuvre, and at that height they would be sitting ducks for small arms fire and would be damaged by the explosions and debris from their own bombs. (00:40:15)

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Suggested correction: The JU 88 was a diver bomber used for low level bombing for precision. Because of the lack of sufficient JU-87's (Stukas), the JU-88 was used for ground support. It was normal for them to fly that low, despite being more vulnerable to small arms fire.

lionhead

That isn't "low level" bombing - it's suicide. Low level bombing on an urban target would mean the bomber would be flying at between 600 and 700 feet. These bombers are flying at something like 30 or 40 feet above the rooftops of the buildings they are attacking. Even banking steeply would be a ridiculously dangerous manoeuvre. The original posting is correct.

Ju88s had a climb rate between 700-800 feet per minute. Given that the primary German airfield was less than 15mi away at Pitomnik, their maximum altitude for a less-than-3-minute flight was a meager 2340 feet (~700m). Lower altitudes are within the realm of reason. Due to the Soviet strategy of keeping their front lines as close to the Germans as possible, it's almost necessary to fly low and get as accurate bombing runs as possible.

Low level bombing is most definitely not 600 feet. They could easily operate at altitude below 100 meters. I've seen footage of low level bombing at exactly the altitude of the planes in the movie (by B-25s). Planes that fly that low won't be using bombs that explode right under them, they would use whats called "retarded-fall" bombs that have increase air resistance so there is a delay of their fall and won't explode right under the plane. They may even fly lower in Stalingrad to avoid AA fire, which have a harder time targeting low flying aircraft. They might also be flying as low as possible to get visual confirmation of their targets, to avoid hitting friendlies.

lionhead

Enemy at the Gates mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Danilov first shows Vassili the leaflets that praise his exploits, the shot shows a leaflet coming off the printing press with four "x-ed out helmets", indicating how many German soldiers Vassili has killed. The camera follows the leaflet off the press, Danilov picks up the leaflet and hands it Vassili. The next shot shows Vassili looking at the leaflet, but now there are five x-ed out helmets. (00:20:30)

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Suggested correction: The other X'd-out helmet is beneath Danilov's thumb. You'll notice that the border is wider and there is an additional text column on the left of the page beneath the helmet hidden by his thumb.

That other X under his thumb is from a 2nd printed leaflet. There's not an extra column of text or a 5th X. Plus, look how the first X lines up with the B, whereas what you think is the first X wouldn't be under the B.

Bishop73

Factual error: When Kruschev and Vasy go to the press meeting the Soviet National Anthem is playing in the background. The actual anthem was not written until January of 1944, a year after the Battle of Stalingrad. In addition, the song sung is the 1977 lyrics. The lyrics used in 1944 were slightly different. See http://www.skazka.no/anthems/ for more info.

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Trivia: The film is based upon William Craig's book of the same name, yet the entire movie is based upon a sniper duel that covers no more than two pages of the entire book. German army historical records never mention an elite sniper named "Major Koenig" hunting Vassili Zaitsev at Stalingrad.

Scott215

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Chosen answer: Vasily Zaitsev (Jude Law) uses a 7.62 x 54mm Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle with a PU scope. Major König (Ed Harris) used a 7.92 x57mm Mauser Karabiner 98 K with scope. Law's scope was wrong as the model used in the film wasn't available until after the Battle of Stalingrad.

Grumpy Scot

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