Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.
Factual error: The strong current of the river the main character falls into carries him to a considerable waterfall. There is not, nor has there ever been, a river of that kind in the Ecoust front line area, let alone a waterfall. Anyone who has any insight into the geography of the region will tell you it is flat as can be. The largest body of water, the Yzer, gently meanders and flows into the Channel, even during really rainy times.
Factual error: During the war games they have Jefferson pose as a major in order to facilitate the commandeering of the ambulance and the jeep. Regardless of their personal feelings in the matter the ambulance crew and the driver and troops in the jeep would be perfectly aware that no black man would ever be promoted to a position of authority in an otherwise all white command. We may find it repugnant today but the US Army was rigidly segregated during World War 2 - and it stayed that way until 1948. Jefferson may have been inducted into a special unit like the Dirty Dozen but considering that the future of the entire mission is riding on their success at the games, throwing it all away like that makes no sense at all.
Factual error: When the bombs are being taken down the lane, in the background where the lane meets the road a white mini can be seen passing the entrance.
Plot hole: The huge guns are set high up on a cliff face facing out to sea and it is obvious that they cannot be depressed to fire at a downward angle - the massive gun carriages set on rails would prevent that happening. They cannot be elevated to fire at an upward angle, too, because they fit pretty snugly in the hole cut into the cliff face to accommodate them. This means that their maximum and minimum ranges would be quite close together, covering a strip of maybe a few hundred metres either side. Given that the sea is completely open on the side of the island they are protecting, why don't the ships targeted by the guns while passing the island simply sail inside or outside of the narrow stretch of sea the guns can hit?
Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)
Factual error: Doug Masters and his friend Reggie would be grounded on the spot and have their pilot's licences suspended (and in all likelihood cancelled) after buzzing the motorcyclist. Their flying is grossly unsafe. They would be visible for miles flying well below a safe altitude, but even if they were not seen their radio traffic and radar tracking would tell the authorities everything they needed to know.
Factual error: During the final battle, Gordo the tank driver calls out, "Panzerfaust, four o'clock!", as he looks through his periscope. He could not have seen any targets at four o'clock, as the driver's periscope could barely rotate towards the eleven and one o'clock positions, close to the left and right front corners of the tank's hull. The four o'clock position would be near the right rear of the tank.
Visible crew/equipment: During the "full attack" at the start of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Wallace repeatedly shouts, "Hold," and in the wideshot right before Wallace finally shouts, "Now!" as the horses gallop towards the right side of the screen, we can see a white car at the left side of the screen. Viewed widescreen version. (01:27:15)
Factual error: In the final scene, where Fonda and Holbrook are looking over the carrier at the crowds on the dock, you can see that only the first rows of people are dressed in period clothes. The rest of the crowd are dressed as they would have been in 1976 when the film was made. Also, between them in the background is a yellow Ford Pinto.
Factual error: In one scene they are playing on an Xbox 360, but the Xbox 360 did not come out until 2005, and the game being played, Gears of War, wasn't released until 2006. The movie takes place in 2004.
Factual error: In the scene where Admiral Kimmel is inspecting the crew of the battleship an aide comes up with a message to send some ships to the Atlantic. Admiral Kimmel starts complaining about the orders. No Admiral would ever do this especially in front of enlisted men. In fact he was placed in charge of the Pacific fleet when his predecessor complained about moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.
Revealing mistake: When Mr Witt rides out of the Zulu camp in a 2 horse cart at the beginning of the movie, just before it exits, you can see it's a stunt double at the reins.
Continuity mistake: When the main character goes to visit his friend that had been shot in Iraq, they're driving down a country road in a 2 door Dodge Challenger, but when inside the vehicle it's a Dodge Charger, which is a four door car.
Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues. (02:05:27)