The Longest Day

Factual error: The U.S. Paratrooper uses his "clicker", and the German answers with a "double" click-click - click-click. The Paratrooper stands up, and the German soldier shoots twice with his Mauser K98 without pulling back the bolt between shots, which is impossible.

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pelib

Factual error: The ribbon of Richard Burton's Distinguished Flying Cross is on upside down. The Air Force Cross following it is the right way up. The stripes on both should point the same way, as they do on the uniform of his colleague in the mess. Nobody would be allowed to get away with a mistake like this - another officer or senior NCO would soon point it out. In addition, as a long-service veteran (his colleague says he served in the Battle of Britain) he should be wearing the ribbon of the 1939-1944 Star (as it was then), which was issued to all qualified personnel from 1943.

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Necrothesp

Other mistake: In the early part of the movie, Rommel is addressing his Officers on the Atlantic Wall. The "mid-shots" and "close-ups" are shot against a back projection. Rommel turns to view the sea/horizon and the view is exactly the same as their "mid-shots". The effect is a horrendous "jump-cut".

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Factual error: In the scene where Ike and the other leaders are deciding to either invade the next day or postpone the invasion, a jet plane can be heard loudly passing by through the open window. The only jet aircraft in service in the UK was the Gloster Meteor, which was developed in top secrecy; its first flight over London was on 21 July 1944, some six weeks after D Day.

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Factual error: The paratroopers in the film are wearing infantry boots, i.e., short ones with a buckle-on ankle-protector rather than a one-piece that protects the ankle from breaking on impact.

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Factual error: The landing craft bringing the troops ashore have PA-44 on the side. USS Fremont was in fact in the Pacific at the time, participating in the Saipan landing 10 days after D-Day.

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Factual error: Before Obertsleutnant Priller and Unteroffizier Wodarczyk attack the allies, the stock footage shown is incorrect. In reality, they flew FW-190's on that mission.

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Continuity mistake: Shadow of the dolly against the smoke of battle during the invasion of Omaha beach. The direction of the shadow and the geography of the beach indicate that this scene, while set at dawn, was filmed in the afternoon.

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Continuity mistake: The German General Pemsel says, "Wir haben starke RADAR-storungen," which means "we have strong radar interference." In 1944, the word "radar" was not used in Germany, and quite likely not even known. The Germans used a comparable system, called "FunkmeBgerate," which basically means "radio measuring equipment."

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Factual error: The caption says that Major Werner Pluskat is in the 352nd Coast Artillery Division. He was actually an artillery officer in the 352nd Infantry Division.

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Necrothesp

Factual error: French commando Philippe Kieffer is wearing the ribbon of the Military Cross throughout the film. He was actually awarded the MC in July 1944, a month after D-Day.

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Necrothesp

Factual error: As the British prepare to march inland following the capture of Sword Beach, Lord Lovat tells piper Bill Millin to play "The Bluebells of Scotland," but Millin instead plays "The Black Bear." Additionally, he can be heard playing the same tune during the landing, but the real Bill Millin did not play that song on D-Day.

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Texijapi

Continuity mistake: Sgt. Fuller's stripes disappear (actually one stripe is hanging from his uniform) as he is running with the detonation wire. They reappear in perfect place when he is about to detonate the first charge.

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Factual error: In one scene, two British paratroopers mistakenly land in the courtyard of the chateau where one of the German generals is staying. The film depicts the two paras being overwhelmed and captured by up to a dozen heavily armed guards. This event did occur but it was actually just one of the general's middle aged staff officers with a pistol who successfully rounded up the two paratroopers.

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Factual error: When John Wayne has a compound fracture diagnosis, the medic looks at John's foot with an uncovered light. Medics and soldiers were trained to use rain coats or anything available to block any light that they needed to use, to avoid drawing enemy fire. Furthermore, a compound fracture is supposed to mean that broken bone is protruding through the skin. John Wayne's skin is intact.

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Factual error: The film exaggerates the carnage at Ste Mere Eglise. In this battle sequence, the U.S. paratroopers of F company (from John Wayne's battalion) of the 82nd airborne are mown down like ninepins as they parachute into the square of the village which is swarming with German troops. In reality, only about thirty troopers landed in or around the square and less than a dozen were killed or wounded, not the whole company as the film suggests.

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Continuity mistake: When Wodarczyk and Priller bombarde the Gold-Juno Beaches, the barren beach - devoid of men, vehicles, etc., is visible in the overhead shot, just past the small strip of beach used for the shoot.

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Factual error: In the scene that introduces MG James M. Gavin, the wings on his uniform appears to be the Senior Parachutist Badge (official term for the wings), which has a star just above the parachute. The problem is that the Senior and Master rating was not approved until 1949 by the Department of Army.

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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."

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Revealing mistake: There is a short section where a U.S. soldier hops a rugged looking stone wall in France. As he goes over the wall, it moves back and forth a bit as if made of styrofoam and wood.

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RichS

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.

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Big Nose Kate

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Necrothesp

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].

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Paul Moortgat

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.

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Necrothesp

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.

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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).

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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.

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samell

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.

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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.

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jean-jines@woh.rr.com

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.

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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"

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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.

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Chikky2100

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.

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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.

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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.

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Necrothesp

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).

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Necrothesp

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.

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Necrothesp

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

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Necrothesp

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