We Were Soldiers

Factual error: As the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry lifts off from LZ X-Ray at the end of the battle, it can be seen that there are no more American troops left at the battlefield. However, by the time 1/7 CAV left LZ X-Ray, it had been relieved by two full battalions (2/7 CAV and 1/5 CAV). There were around 700 American soldiers occupying LZ X-Ray by the time 1/7 CAV lifted off.

Texijapi

Factual error: At the end of the movie, Maj. Crandall is depicted as flying a UH-1 gunship, and attacking the NVA positions. Maj. Bruce Crandall was the Company Commander of A Co., 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division at the time of the Ia Drang battle. A/229th was a "lift" company, flying UH-1D "slicks" (troop carriers). There were no gunships assigned to that company. The gunships (UH-1Bs) supporting the battle were from D Co., 229th AHB. It's highly unlikely that Maj. Crandall would have commandeered an aircraft from the gunship company to attack the NVA.

rotorhead

Factual error: Throughout the battle, the artillery rounds impact far too soon after they have been called in. While the artillery supporting 1/7 CAV at Ia Drang did have some pre-planned targets, it is impossible for any gun crew to receive a fire mission, adjust the gun, and fire the round as quickly as depicted (i.e., in a matter of seconds).

Texijapi

More mistakes in We Were Soldiers

Trivia: After Hal Moore calls for "Broken Arrow" the shots of the A6 Intruders taking off from the aircraft carrier are taken from Flight Of The Intruder.

Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, the actor playing the French solder playing the trumpet, who gets shot in the neck, is the director's son.

Quantom X Premium member

Trivia: This can only be seen in the deleted scenes on the DVD version. In the church where the wives are having mass as their husbands are flying into combat, Second Lt. John L. Geoghegan's wife, played by Keri Russell, is sitting in front of the real widow of Second Lt. John L. Geoghegan.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: To follow your instincts and to inspire your men, by your example, you have to be with 'em. Where the metal meets the meat.

Sergeant Ernie Savage: Beautiful morning, Sergeant.
Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: What are you a fucking weatherman now?

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Where you from, son?
Joseph Galloway: Refugio, Texas, sir.
Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Well, that's the first thing I've heard today that makes any sense.

More quotes from We Were Soldiers

Question: Would a sergeant-major participate in a mission?

Answer: This one did, everything ascribed to him in the film was true.

Farmersboy

Question: One of the deleted scenes has a young soldier relating a story about one of his tough old SNCOs who was terrified of Plumley. This tough old Sergeant arrives on parade naked except for two Medals of Honor. Is this possible? As far as I can work out the last dual recipients were during WW1 - posthumously.

david barlow

Chosen answer: Smedley Butler and Daniel Daly. Both were awarded the medal of honor twice, and lived to tell about it. Both were also U.S. Marines. More info here at http://www.grunts.net/legends/butler.html and http://www.cmohs.org/recipients/double.htm.

Question: The early versions of the M16 had severe problems with jamming. There may have been several causes; instructions issued that the rifle was "self-cleaning", improper ammunition design, improper magazine design (therefore in a later stage 18 rounds instead of 20 were used in the mag). It is not necessarily a mistake, certainly not by the filmmaker, but there are several writers mentioning serious casualties amongst fighting troops specifically because of jamming M16 rifles. Why does this book/film not even include a hint of that problem which surely must have existed at that time and place?

Airborne Ranger

Chosen answer: There is no definitive information on this topic, and although factually accurate, a technical problem with a weapon was probably not enough to build an entire sub-plot, and would not hold the interest of the moviegoer. There were enough casualties without having to take into consideration weapon malfunction.

Macalou

Answer: The M16's used in this battle were second generation M16A1's easily distinguished by the forward bolt assist on the right hand side of the rifle. The original M16 had no bolt assist and the jamming was caused by a different propellant that made the weapon very dirty.

stiiggy

More questions & answers from We Were Soldiers

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