Corrected entry: Although Miller's group is wearing canvas gaiters and boots issued on the first American uniform, in the scene that precede their arrival on the first French village , when rain starts falling on the leaves, they show paratroopers or the second type regular boots of later issue stomping on the water pool.
Corrected entry: At the first battle scene, when the camera is up in the pill boxes, looking down at the soldiers, there are hardly any wounded or dead or even live soldiers, but when the camera comes back down to ground level, there are clearly more soldiers. This happens a number of times.
Corrected entry: At the end of the movie, a tank explodes from a P51 bomb before the plane over flies the scene. A real bomb would have exploded after the plane had passed.
Corrected entry: In the final battle an American solider gets stabbed through the chest after a long scuffle with a German soldier. It is impossible for a human chest to be penetrated that slowly and smoothly by even a really sharp knife, especially with clothing on and only using one hand.
Corrected entry: At the start of the film on the attack on Omaha Beach, when we see the ship bringing the soldiers in and it lowers its platform we can see there are no steel things in the sand, and even from the enemies' point of view there aren't any, yet when Tom Hanks says "over the sides" if you watch closely, there are loads. (00:06:15)
Corrected entry: The men are sitting in the French village waiting for the Germans to arrive. They listen to a French record and a large pile of rubble can be seen in the background. The camera then cuts to a face shot of one of the soldiers, which gives a closer view of the rubble; and just above his shoulder can be seen a black shiny plastic rubbish bin lid - a product that surely wouldn't have been available in a small French village, let alone before say, 1970.
Corrected entry: When the sniper says, "This sniper's got real talent," and shoots through the scope, the scope is not damaged and you can tell that in post-production the sniper's eyelid was painted black.
Corrected entry: In the scene where the troop comes upon the crashed aircraft you can see Ryan in the background as an injured soldier. As Miller crosses under the netting Ryan can be seen sitting next to the pilot with a bandage covering the left side of his face. Again, about thirty seconds later when the pilot stands up to talk to Miller, you can see Ryan on the ground behind Reiben as he is lighting his cigarette. (01:14:07)
Corrected entry: On the shore it shows a full can of ammunition floating in and out on the tide. A full can would be as heavy as a rock and would not move.
Corrected entry: Many tanks were landing on the beach at the beginning. Actually, only two tanks landed on "Omaha Beach."
Corrected entry: In a scene where Miller is talking to Ryan after blowing up the truck, Miller's uniform clearly displays the Screaming Eagle, the insignia of the 101st airborne, also Ryan's division. However, Miller was a ranger, not a paratrooper.
Corrected entry: In the scene immediately preceding the climactic battle in the village at the end of the movie, Capt. Miller is watching Jackson giving him hand signals from the tower regarding approaching Germans. He indicates two Tiger tanks, two "Panzer" tanks, and some infantry. However, the two Panzer tanks he refers to are actually tank destroyers which were a model called the "Marder" (which had several different models) and were opened-top (i.e. no enclosed crew compartment). They were never considered as bonafide tanks and, most likley, would not be referred to as a "Panzer" by a combat veteran. In all fairness, Jackson might not have been able to identify them accurately at long range.
Corrected entry: During the scene in the French village, where Hamill comes to the rescue of Miller's men, as both Americans and Germans are screaming at each other to lay down their weapons - if you look closely at Miller's Thompson machine gun, it has no clip.
Corrected entry: On the beach, when Capt. Miller is dragging the wounded Briggs, there is a tank in the background, most likely a Sherman M4. Yet, a few minutes before he was telling "All the armor's foundering in the channel". Also we never see tanks landing on the beach so this tank appeared from nowhere. (00:12:05)
Corrected entry: In the Scene where the American knocks down the wall to reveal the Germans, Jackson (the sniper) is pointing an unscoped Springfield at them. When they exchange words, you see Jackson aiming his rifle with a scope.
Corrected entry: When the patrol has conquered the MG 42 at the radar station, there are several shots of the MG. In none of these shots does the MG have its gunsights up. It is almost impossible to hit anything with the sights down. A WW2 German MG crew would not have made this mistake.
Corrected entry: Toward the end of the movie Private Ryan tells the soldiers who came to save him that the last time he and his brothers were together was before they went off to boot camp. But in the pan shot of the interior of the farmhouse, you see a picture of all four brothers in their uniforms. (00:32:54)
Corrected entry: During the whole opening sequence of the storming of Omaha beach, not once are the barrels on the German MG-42's changed. The heat developed in these barrels due to this machine-gun's extreme cyclic rate (25 rounds pr. sec), makes it necessary to replace them with a spare barrel on regular intervals. Granted, in the heat of battle, it might get problematic to do this, but a seasoned German soldier would've managed to change the barrel in only a few seconds. There is also no barrel change in the scene where Miller's patrol attack the German MG-34 position later in the movie (where in the end the medic gets hit and dies).
Corrected entry: In the beginning, we see the invasion of Normandy, and Miller arrives at the beaches. But the strange thing is that the beaches weren't taken until the third wave in the invasion. There were three invasion waves. The first wave were all but slaughtered; few of the men survived. But because there are no dead bodies on the beaches when Miller and his men arrive, we assume he is with the first wave. But Miller and his invasion wave take the beaches.
Corrected entry: At the end of the opening battle the Americans use grenades to clear the trench leading to the entrance to the bunker. Reiben unpins a grenades and throws it to Sergeant Horvath who lobs it over the wall. During this Reiben unpins another grenade and throws it over the wall but there is only one explosion.