Factual error: When Patton is given command of Third Army in France in 1944, he says that the assassination attempt on Hitler took place several days ago. Later on we see Field Marshal Rommel in a German command HQ looking quite healthy. Rommel was actually severely wounded three days prior to the attempt on Hitler and was in the hospital.
Factual error: Before the Battle of El Gattar, Patton is shown reading a book on tank warfare purportedly written by Field Marshal Rommel, his German opponent. Rommel in fact wrote a book on infantry fighting and tactics based on his experiences in World War I. He never wrote a book on tank combat.
Factual error: At the beginning of the movie, Patton is reviewing Morrocan troops during a formal parade. This includes a scene of camel mounted soldiers at attention lined up side by side. These soldiers are armed with the French MAT 49 submachine gun. This weapon was first manufactured in 1949, several years after World War Two had ended.
Add timeBruce Trestrail
Factual error: During the early portions of the film, General Bradley's Jeep is a proper WWII Willys Jeep Model MB (wipers on top of windshield), but the second Jeep that follows Bradley's is a 1950-1952 Model M38 (wipers below windshield) which won't exist until five years after WWII ends.
Factual error: The drum major leading the British pipes and drums into Messina is a corporal wearing the usual two point-down chevrons on his upper arm. British Army drum majors, who all hold a minimum rank of sergeant, wear four point-up chevrons on their lower arm (on a leather strap if in shirt-sleeve order).
Factual error: When he is talking with General Bradley at the Carthaginian ruins near the beginning of the film and he recites his re-incarnation poem. If you look very carefully at the sky you will see a jet streaking, from left to right on the screen. Easy to miss but I've replayed it many times. The object is going in a straight line and going way too fast to be an internal combustion engine plane.
Factual error: Bradley tells Patton that there is trouble in the Ardennes, foreshadowing the Battle of the Bulge. In reality, General Bradley dismissed the German operation as a "spoiling attack." His command was virtually annihilated by the German attack, and Eisenhower transferred the remnants to General Montgomery's 21st Army Group. Bradley was quietly sidelined and given a fourth star as compensation.
Factual error: Patton wears two overseas service bars (one awarded for every six months' service outside the USA from 7 December 1941) until he goes to Normandy to take over the Third Army. On the plane over he is suddenly wearing four bars. He would have received his third bar before he arrived in Normandy, and his fourth afterwards.