Other mistake: Speaking to General Hershberg (Michael Moriarty) in his office, Nat Serling (Denzel Washington) implies that it was easily discoverable that the US tank was destroyed by "friendly fire" because the US is the only country which uses "uranium depleted" shells. The correct term is "depleted uranium". Maybe Washington flubbed his lines.
Factual error: All through the movie the commander of the American tank that Ltc. Serling fired on is referred to as "Lt. Boylar" yet in the photo shown of him and Serling he is wearing captain's bars. He is also designated as "Cougar 6." In Army terminology "6" designates a unit commander. Had Boylar been a Lt. his designation would have been either "Cougar 16" or Cougar 26" respectively depending on which platoon he was the leader of.
Plot hole: Sgt Monfriez would have never been on a medevac helicopter with an automatic weapon. I served several years in U.S Army Medical units and they are allowed defensive weaponry only, medical units are not ever issued automatic weapons period. The plot says the Monfriez is from another unit and is asked to accompany the medevac but that would never happen; it is against the law of land warfare to put an automatic weapon on any type of ambulance vehicle.
Factual error: In the opening tank battle, we see oil wells burning in the background as the tanks drive across the desert. We later hear that this battle takes place in Basra, which is in Iraq. The Iraqis surely did not burn their own oil wells during the first Gulf War. They did so when they were in Kuwait.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie, Serling takes the file and rises it above holding it with the back of his hand turned upwards. When the file comes down to the table, the hand magically has turned and it also holds a different side of the file.
Factual error: Denzel's tank was actually a Centurion, but apparently dressed up to be an M1A1. The ammunition for M1A1s use semi-combustible cases; that is, most of the case is consumed in the explosion of the propellant. There is only a small base cap that is ejected from the gun, not the entire casing as portrayed in the movie. If Denzel's tank was supposed to be an M1 or M1IP, which would have non-combustible cased ammunition, then they wouldn't have fought any T-72s, as no M1s or M1IPs engaged any T-72s.
Monfriez: Sir, if you get a hangfire on your weapon, what do you do? You wait, with your weapon pointed in a safe direction, 'cause sometimes the primer bursts, and if you open the chamber it blows up in your face. Leave this round in the chamber, sir.
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