The Longest Day

Factual error: When Richard Burton's character is introduced, the on screen caption gives him the rank of Flight Officer. The rank that Burton's character has is Flying Officer. Flight Officer was a rank in Women's Auxiliary Airforce (WAAF), equivalent of Flight Lieutenant.

Big Nose Kate

Factual error: Vandervoort's ankle was stated to have a compound fracture, symptoms of which are protruding bones and/or blood, and it would have been impossible for him to put ANY weight on his ankle. Vandervoort did not have a "compound fracture."

Factual error: Josef "Pips" Priller and Sergeant Heinz Wodarczyk did not attack at the Gold and Juno beaches. They strafed the invading Allies at Sword Beach.

Audio problem: The voice of the German soldier, who corners the French Resistance woman at the railroad track near Caen, sounds completely different when he attempts to stop the train.

Revealing mistake: In the scene where Roddy McDowell shoots the machine gun nest, you see when he takes his first shot, the "dead" soldier next to him jumps when the gun goes off.

Audio problem: During the assault on Point-du-Hoc, a BAR gunner tries to take on a bunker from the ladder he stands on, and nearly falls back as he fires his gun. The sound of his gun firing doesn't match the muzzle smoke and the movement of the gun, which fires on full auto - they rather sound like he was shooting three shots in rapid succesion from a semi-automatic rifle.

Factual error: During the assault on the cliff on Point-du-Hoc, the hulking silent fellow (who is later shot in a 'duel' with a German) carries a M1 Carbine. During the climbing action, the carbine is shown without a magazine - going into battle without a loaded weapon is fatal neglect for a soldier.

Factual error: Brigadier General Norman Cota came ashore in the second wave, not the first wave as depicted. Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt was the only American general to land in the first wave, as correctly depicted.


Continuity mistake: On Pointe Du Hoc when the German soldier cuts the hook loose from the wires, you see that hook falling down. In the next view only the rope comes down and the hook has vanished. [The falling hook apparently caused too much danger for the actors].

Paul Moortgat

Other mistake: During the scene depicting the (only) two German aircraft which participated in defense of the beaches, they are shown strafing advancing Allied soldiers. However, other than a few random explosions on the ground, there is no indication of their machine guns kicking up any sand. In a later scene, fighters strafe a German column with expected results on the ground.

stevewaclo Premium member

Factual error: Beachmaster Colin Maud is correctly wearing the ribbons of the Distinguished Service Order (which he won in 1942) and the Distinguished Service Cross (which he won in 1940). However, he is not wearing the rosette on his DSC ribbon to indicate the bar he won less than a month after the original.


Other mistake: During the French Commandoes' attack on the Ouistreham casino, the Germans spot commando units at a tower. A lookout gives the information to the cannon crew, but the cannon is aimed towards the target while the commanding officer is still confirming the information.

Continuity mistake: In the scenes in the square at Ste Marie Eglise you can quite clearly see the war memorial (vaguely disguised by a tarpaulin or something).

Factual error: Col Vandervoort, 2nd Batt 505 PIR 82nd Airborne Div, is shown with a 'cricket,' "1 click to be answered by 2 clicks." The code is correct but the 'cricket was only issued to members of the 101 Division. This was at the insistence of General Maxwell D.Taylor after his experiences in the airborne assault on Sicily. It should also be noted that the cricket was not shaped like a frog but was made mainly from brass by the Birmingham based THE ACME company, founded by the maker of the original London Police Force's whistle manufacturer, and they did a special run of over 7500 for the order. This makes telling original D-Day crickets from fakes easier due to die marks and press marks.


Factual error: In one scene, a German Mauser bolt-action rifle makes an exaggerated click-click sound when a bullet is chambered. (A U.S. paratrooper mistakes this click-click sound from his enemy's Mauser rifle with the click-click sound from the American signaling device, which was used when challenged by other U.S. paratroopers.) However, a Mauser rifle does not make such a loud sound when chambered. No decent soldier would allow his rifle to make such a loud click-click sound anyway.

Continuity mistake: Near the start, Oberst Helmuth Meyer enters, wearing a long leather coat, which is dry. A few seconds later he turns away in another shot and the back of his coat is covered with rain drops. Shortly after that, he's shown again facing the camera and his coat is lightly sprinkled with rain drops, which weren't there in the earlier front view. (00:06:20)

Factual error: At the start of the movie Rommel is seen reviewing the beach defences and is holding his Field Marshals Baton. This is not true as he did not carry it. This is covered in the print version of the book.

Clarence Daugette

Audio problem: During the scene of the padre looking for his communion case in the river, the soldier helping him in the search says "Stone the crows". However the DVD subtitles come as "stuff the grouse"

Audio problem: In the scene with Henry Fonda, as he leaves the ward room on one of the ships approaching the Normandy coast, you can hear the pilot in the background repeating an order for a course of 310 degrees, this would be heading north-west and not south towards Normandy. (01:33:15)


Factual error: The Gliders are shown being towed by Lancaster Bombers (oval twin tail) when they were actually towed by Stirlings (single tail).

Flight Officer David Campbell: The thing that's always worried me about being one of the few is the way we keep on getting fewer.

More quotes from The Longest Day

Trivia: The private of the 82nd Airborne F-Company who accidentally lands on the St Mere Eglise bell tower has become sort of a local celebrity. On the 50th anniversary of D-Day, a dummy on a parachute was hung up on the tower in his memory, and is still there.

More trivia for The Longest Day

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