Military Errors In Great Movies

We have written several posts about some military movies that have been highly popular. But, Hollywood and producers do make some mistakes. In today’s post, I am going to explain some of the mistakes that were made in the filming and how there were military errors made.

I will go through each movie and explain some of the mistakes I found, or others discovered. If you have any more, feel free to list them in the comments section at the end of this blog post.

Battle For Haditha

All in all, the producers did a good job making this movie realistic. But, there are a few slight mistakes.

  • A mad Iraqi pulls out a Beretta 92FS. It is quite doubtful he would have had this handgun. There are also parts where Iraqi’s have M16s instead of Soviet made weapons.

  • The Humvee mounted M-60 machine guns had no rounds, but this is understandable since it was filmed in crowded conditions.


This was a World War II film directed by Edward Zwick. It has a few mistakes:

  • A woman is filmed with an M1 Garand rifle. Winchester did not send any of those rifles to Europe when the time of this action took place.

  • There is a depiction of plastic hulls on shotgun shells. Plastic wasn’t used as shell hulls until the 1960’s.

There were more errors but not of a military stand-point. There is one scene where the actors are getting ampicillin, but ampicillin was not available at that period of time.

The Hurt Locker

When and if you watch this movie, you must know immediately that it is completely out-of-bounds to military reality. While it would take a book the size of an encyclopedia to list all the military mistakes, I will go over a few.

  • Sergeant Sanborn is wearing the Combat Infantryman’s Badge below his EOD badge.

  • Sanborn claims he was military intelligence before EOD. How does he have a Combat Infantryman’s Badge?

  • There would never be a Delta EOD Company. All EOD Companies are numbered.

  • All throughout the film, you see soldiers with their sleeves rolled up past their elbows. That is grounds for discipline in the U.S. Army.

  • Several soldiers have designer sunglasses on.

  • And, what is with James just going outside the wire and not getting reamed for it?

This is just a small portion of the inaccuracies in this movie. While it had a lot of action, do know it is no where near real.

Enemy At The Gates

This movie about the Battle of Stalingrad has many inaccurate depictions. These are a few:

  • At the start of the movie, a map is shown showing how the Germans are taking over Europe. The map is not of the era because it shows the Ukraine as a separate country. Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union during the Battle for Stalingrad.

  • The Germans never had an 116th Infantry Division during World War II.

  • There is a scene where the Soviet Anthem is playing, but that anthem had not been adopted during this time period.

  • There is no showing the Soviet soldiers with bayonets on their rifles. During that period, every soldier would have had a bayonet attached.

Green Zone

A very good movie starring Matt Damon, this film does have a few blunders. Errors such as:

  • There is a scene where we see sand colored Ch-47s. There were no sand colored Chinooks in 2003.

  • There are several areas in which the American Flag patch is backwards.

This is a great action filled movie, but in reality sake, the political ramifications are out-of-bounds. Those who watch it must keep that in mind.

Apocalypse Now

Personally, I loved this movie. But, there were some errors.

  • Captain Willard salutes Colonel Kilgore in a combat zone. We are taught in Basic Training never salute in combat zones.

  • The Huey lifting a patrol boat would have been impossible in real life.

  • Many M-16s were shown with 30 round magazines. Normal magazines in Vietnam were 20 round.

  • 1 error that was caught but is missed by many was when the Huey lands on the beach it has the motto on it “Death From Above.” That was the motto of the 505th Regiment, 82nd Airborne. The 9th Cavalry’s motto was “We Can, We Will.”

It was still, a great movie!


Overall, they did a great job with this movie, but there are still some small mistakes.

  • Rommel has a pin with a swastika. He never joined the Nazi party and would not wear a swastika. He wore the Iron Cross.

  • There is a scene in which the French MAT 49 machine gun is showed. These were not manufactured at this time period.

  • In one scene, Patton orders his driver to drive and calls him sergeant. The driver was clearly a corporal and General Patton would never had made a mistake like that.

  • Many of the tanks used were later models. Actually M46 and M47 Pattons.

The Longest Day

A movie from way back in 1962, The Longest Day was a great film, but it had its share of military goofs. These are some:

  • When MG Gavin first appears, he has a Senior Parachutist Badge. The problem is: Senior and Master ratings were not in use in that time period.

  • The ribbon on Richard Burton’s Distinguished Flying Cross is upside down.

  • Paratroopers are wearing infantry boots.

  • The Jumpmaster always left the plane first with the rest of the paratroopers following.

The Lost Battalion

This movie based on a true story from World War I has just a few errors.

  • It is evident that the boots wore by soldiers in the movie were more modern than World War I era boots. They had rubber soles.

  • The stripes on Sergeant Gaedeke’s uniform are from World War II…not World War I.

  • A plane is started with an electronic starter. In World War I, planes were started by spinning the propeller.

Really, the makers of this movie did a good job. They mistakes were reasonable.

The Great Escape

This 1963 movie that starred Steve McQueen has a few errors. Some are:

  • When he steals the motorcycle, it was a 1960’s era Triumph which was made in England. The Germans used either BMWs or Zundapps.

  • One of the men were reading a newspaper titled “Liberation.” It was not even published during this era.

  • Actors were shown wearing rings and watches. The Germans would never have allowed this.

There were a few other mistakes not of military nature, but overall, The Great Escape was a great movie.

A Bridge Too Far

This is one movie I have always loved, but there are noticeable errors.

  • Extras are waving mini American flags that have 50 stars.

  • Parachutes have anti-inversion nets that were not invented at this time period.

  • Redford’s hair was longer than Army World War II regulations.

  • The majority of C-47 planes were painted the wrong color.

Final Thoughts

Those are a few of the military movies I have loved that had some military errors. What others can you name?

Just post your comments below. Thank you.

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