Saving Private Ryan

Factual error: The American troops at Ramelle bridge are supposed to be fighting the 2nd SS Panzer Division. Two things wrong: the 2nd SS never had Tiger tanks in Normandy, having turned over their Tiger battalion to another unit in Russia prior to being transferred to France. Second, in the scenes with the Tigers, a 1st SS Panzerkorps insignia (Crossed Keys) is seen on the front right hull of the Tigers; 2nd SS Panzer Division was never a part of 1st SS Panzerkorps.

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Suggested correction: Nowhere is it said that they were exclusively fighting the 2nd SS Panzer division...the only hint of the 2nd SS is the recon probe (half-track scene.) Different units are more than capable of linking up and fighting together (2nd rangers and 101st for example) it is also stated that there are only 2 bridges intact along the Merderet river and that the Germans need to get their armor across anywhere they can. It's entirely plausible that multiple armor units converged and fought together.

Steve Kozak

The map Capt. Miller pulls out during the scene where they are questioning the columns of soldiers by the glider wreckage shows "2nd SS Panzer" written on his map at the location where they need to go, the city of Ramelle.

Scott215

Factual error: When Jackson takes out the German sniper, we see the German snipers point of view through his scope and he eventually spots Jackson who fires at him. First you see the flash, then the bang, and then the German sniper gets hit through his scope. This is wrong because bullets from a powerful sniper rifle travel much faster than sound, he couldn't have heard the shot before he got hit. (00:51:30)

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Suggested correction: He wasn't using a high powered sniper rifle. It was just a Springfield 1903 bolt action rifle which was the basic rifle of the US military until the M1 Garand. Snipers in WW2 didn't always have a scope either.

The Springfield still fired a supersonic round - all rifles do unless the round has been extensively modified, and no sniper would use such rounds.

The 30-06 is a powerful cartridge and the Springfield a very competent rifle. Snipers had scopes. The mistakes in that scene are that tower doesn't remotely look 400 yards away. Had it been then the projectile at 400 would have hit the German at a steep angle and could not have gone through the scope.

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

Revealing mistake: The shot of the eight members of the group is reused later in the film when there should only be seven.

jbrbbt

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Suggested correction: This is much too vague. Where is the repeated shot used?

Continuity mistake: Right before Capazzo dies he holds up the letter, but it's in a zip-lock bag. After the sniper is killed the medic retrieves the soaking wet, unbagged letter.

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Suggested correction: The letter is never in any bag, plastic or otherwise. It's always bare or else he wouldn't be worried if there is blood on it. Zip-lock bags weren't invented until the 1950's anyway.

lionhead

Continuity mistake: When they go to find Private Ryan there are eight of them, when they go to a French town and Caparzo picks up the little girl and he gets killed there are seven, right? Wrong. A few scenes later, the camera shows all eight of them marching on to the next town, only in a far away camera shot so it's hard to see. (01:23:11)

More mistakes in Saving Private Ryan

Private Jackson: What I mean by that, sir, is if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile from Adolf Hitler... With a clean line of sight... Pack your bags, fellas. War's over. Amen.

More quotes from Saving Private Ryan

Trivia: The movie was shot in chronological order, which is unusual for a film. Spielberg chose to shoot it that way so that the actors would feel like they were going through the experience in the same order as the characters they play, and they lose friends on the way. This helped create the resentment towards Ryan, who doesn't share the journey with them.

More trivia for Saving Private Ryan

Question: After Capt Miller gets briefed on his new mission to rescue Pvt Ryan and enlists Upham for the mission, there is a long shot of the beach. What are those Zeppelin-like things that are floating around, tied to the ground? What are they good for? (00:39:50)

Answer: These were barrage balloons, commonly used during the war. They are used to stop low level bombing and low level fly bys by enemy fighter planes. The cables attached to the balloons are designed to cut through the wings of the aircraft and to bring them down, so any pilot would have to fly above them, and the balloons would also restrict the view from above.

More questions & answers from Saving Private Ryan

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