The Longest Day

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

Factual error: In one scene of the Omaha beach landing, an American soldier is wearing eyeglasses with heavy black frames, which were issued to U.S. troops during the 1950's and 1960's. Eyeglasses issued to U.S. military personnel in World War 2 had thin metallic silver frames.


Audio problem: During the firefighting scene in Sainte-Mère-Église, when the French townspeople and the German soldiers notice the American paratroopers landing, a German fires his rifle but no gunshot is heard.


Revealing mistake: In the Orne bridge attack, a wounded British paratrooper rolls a grenade over the bridge wall to a walkway where some German soldiers are, the grenade landing in the middle of the walkway. The explosion of the grenade, however, comes from the bridge wall to the right, presumably where the pyrotechnics were placed for the grenade explosion.


Continuity mistake: When the gliders are about to land at the Orne River Howard instructs his troops "feet up" but when they land their feet are back down.

Larry Redfield

Revealing mistake: In the very first scene, the tire tracks from the camera crew's vehicle are visible trailing behind as they follow the distance of the scene.

Character mistake: According to the subtitles, when the landings begin General Marcks asks his aide to get General Pemsel at 5th Army on the phone. Pemsel was chief of staff of 7th Army, as the caption correctly states when he first appears. 5th Army was disbanded in 1939.


Factual error: Luftwaffe pilot Josef Priller is depicted wearing the rank insignia of an oberst (colonel); he was actually an oberstleutnant (lieutenant-colonel) on D-Day, although he was later promoted to oberst. His wingman, Heinz Wodarczyk, is depicted wearing the insignia of a feldwebel (flight sergeant); he was actually an unteroffizier (corporal).


Factual error: Group Captain Stagg is wearing several medal ribbons. In actual fact, Stagg was too young to have served in the First World War and had no military service before being commissioned into the RAF specifically to act as chief meteorologist for Operation Overlord. He would have had no ribbons at all until 1945, when he received the OBE, the US Legion of Merit and wartime service ribbons.


Continuity mistake: On Omaha Beach, the engineers are able to use Bangalore Torpedoes to create large openings under a massive concrete barrier at the end of a sandy ravine. They then pack the holes with high explosives and after the dust clears, the barrier is about half as high as before, with two large sections remaining in the breach. In an immediately following scene, as troops advance through the breach, it is shown from the opposite side as a wide, flat opening, nothing like the view from the beach side.

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Factual error: Group Captain Stagg is described by the on-screen caption as J N Stagg. He was actually J M Stagg.


Brigadier General Norman Cota: I don't have to tell you the story. You all know it. Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts. You guys are the Fighting 29th.

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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