Saving Private Ryan

Stupidity: When they are preparing for a German assault towards the end of the movie, Miller explains to them the concept of the sticky bomb and adds, "If you have a better idea of knocking the treads off a tank I'd like to hear it." Um... The bazooka? They had eight rounds for it, and it could have easily been used to disable the treads. And the men wouldn't blow themselves up with it. While it couldn't destroy a tank by penetrating the armour, it's certainly strong enough to disable the tracks.

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Suggested correction: Allied forces familiar with the Panzer VI "Tiger", a 60-ton Main Battle Tank during the war knew that the armor is very tough and, even with support fire from a friendly tank, the odds of destroying a Tiger tank with a bazooka like Horvath's are pretty small. From the infantry perspective, techniques that were developed and employed in order to combat heavy Tiger tanks focused mainly on disabling the tank rather than destroying it. Anti-tank weapons of the era, such as the bazooka, were ineffective against most areas of the Tiger's armor, so specific weak points in the design were the focus. Hitting the Tiger in the tracks, suspension, engine compartment, observation slits, and in the joint between the main body and turret were some of the common weak points. Tiger tanks could only be destroyed head-on or from the sides by land mines, or direct hits by heavy artillery shells, or bombs dropped from aircraft. In the film, the first Tiger is disabled by taking out the tracks with "sticky bombs" followed by grenades thrown in the turret hatch. When Horvath fires at the second Tiger, both shots are placed on the joint between the body and the turret, the idea most likely being to hinder or incapacitate the turret's ability to swivel left or right. As the war went on, the Allies developed better strategies for disabling Tigers. One example involved British Cromwell or US Sherman tanks trying to "flank" a Tiger by working in squadrons or columns. One or more tanks would act as a diversion to keep the Tiger's crew focused in front of it while another tank would maneuver behind the Tiger and hit it in the rear section where its armor was the weakest.

Joey221995

Factual error: The Tiger tanks portrayed in the movie are actually Soviet T-34s. You could tell by looking at their wheels. Real Tigers had interleaved wheels. These Tigers had the T-34 suspension. Obviously, Tigers are so rare (only one operational Tiger left) that another tank had to be substituted. But an excellent job was done to make the T-34s look like Tigers.

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Question: When they are preparing to attack the machine gun emplacement guarding the radar, Captain Miller asks 'Who's going left?' There's a long silence and finally Jackson responds that he'll do it - he'll go left. What is the significance of going left? I'm assuming that it is more dangerous, but if this is the case, why? Also, why does Captain Miller ask for volunteers for someone to go left? (As he picks himself and Mellish to go middle and right, respectively).

bbarrington

Answer: As I seem to remember, the squad a viewing the gun position from the side and the gun is viewed pointing from their right to left, correct. So if someone is going to the left and is by the MG crew they, as said MG crew turn the gun to bring them under fire, would more than likely be the first target in line.

Chosen answer: There's no tree cover to the left. Whoever goes that way will likely be spotted and targeted before the others and get gunned down, but it's their best chance that one of them will make it into grenade range of the nest before they're all killed. It's not a job anyone sane would volunteer for, and the Captain is trying to get someone to volunteer so he doesn't have to potentially order TWO men to their deaths on a mission that all of them, including him, think isn't worthwhile.

Captain Defenestrator

Answer: Most people are not ambidextrous so running left means you'll have shoot left or use the right shoulder to shoot as you're running left which is much harder to do, try this out.

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