Saving Private Ryan errata

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by MrPVRd, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. Ahh, the joy of plagiarised pedantry! I enjoyed the film, mainly because I got the missus to go (woman watching a war film!) but hated the bucketloads of syrupy sentiment and the implausible plot.

    The factual errors are reproduced from this most interesting website!

    My favourite error - as a proud pedant - is the glaring error in splitting the Mercator projection at the International Date line.

    To be fair to the film, I think they did as much research as could be expected.
  2. All that aside it wasn't a bad film but my only real argument is with the post production team, specifically the Foley Men (sound specialists).

    Please.. it would have made the opening sequences so much more effective... if only the HV incoming had made the expected loud, neck-cringing 'CRACK!' and not trundled past with an anaemic LV 'whssst'!

    Mr Spielberg did it again in 'Band of Brothers' and took some of the gloss off what was probably one of the best series ever to hit the TV screens.
    'Whsst, whsst, whsst' just doesn't cut the mustard when you're supposed to have an MG42 hammering away.

    A long ago TV production called 'Contact' got it right, with an effective bit of sound engineering, although the script was a load of McNabish crap.
  3. As a schoolkid in the 60's (i.e. before the NGS decided to split the Mercator projection at the International Date Line in 1988), I seem to recall that the Mercator projections were already split at the International Date Line.

    This was because we had British-printed maps and therefore had the Greenwich Meridian at the centre. It was also quite sensible as it's the only way to open a globe without cutting through a continent and still retain a land mass in the centre.

    Is it feasible that a British map was shown, rather than a US one, particularly as the relevant theatre of operations would be in the middle (and hence, less distorted), and therefore this isn't actually an error?
  4. And the old favourite.
    Apparently the password 'Thunder-Flash' Was oly to be used on D-Day but it is used throughout the film.
    Is it not possible however that units isolated and cut off decided to carry on using the password as they were not in touch with their CoC to recieve an updated one?
  5. I would say it's not only possible, but likely.

    Saving Private Ryan was a landmark film all the same. It marked a change in the way the subject of WWII was handled. With Band of Brothers, they had the experience of Saving Private Ryan, lessons learned since then, more research, and of course the real men of Easy Company to help. There were a few inconsistancies (Sgt Carwood Lipton noted a few regarding a scene where the men were singing and one where a soldier was portrayed with a beard).
  6. Yes, they may well have obtained the maps from the UK rather than expensively shipping them from the US! :oops:
  7. Fcuks sake, do people actually sit through a film and count mistakes...get a life. "Sgt Hill's jacket had no rank"...Perhaps he had to get a new jacket at the last minute..who actually gives a fcuk
  8. This is a great example of counting trivia and ignoring the big stuff.

    The big glaring omission n D Day is the absence of any evidence that this was an ALLIED rather than a US story.

    - The Royal Navy and Royal Marine boat crews have been erased from history.

    - The only mention of the British is that they are "held up making tea in front of Caen. How did the cut off paras work that one out?

    - The film shows the US paras facing "Tiger Tanks" yet the only troops facing ANY real tanks by D+4 were the British. The real heroes of fights in villages attacked from several directions on D+6-8 by tanks and infantry were the Canadians and the Durham Light Infantry.

    Second glaring error is the plot line. Finding Private Ryan is a G1 Admin task for the 101st Airborne, not the basis of a ranger mission! Military logic can be twisted but not event he US Army of WW2 would waste the lives of a patrol to save a specific soldier's mother from grief.

    PS Some of the pedantry is simply wrong.

    That's only the DD Tanks that attempted to swim ashore from ONE of the battalions supporting the landings at Omaha. A further two were landed rather than swum in from the same battalion (741st?) the second battalion landing on the beach were not ordered to swim but were landed from the LCTs You can count more than two in Robert Capa's famous photos of Omaha Beach. I am sure that the signals log of the 352nd Infantry Division they report tanks moving up the Vierville Draw at 07 30 hrs. I could be very petty but I have packed my copy for a house move. Hows that for pedantry :)
  9. It was the "P51 Tankbusters" that got me. Should have been a Typhoon but the director/production/company wouldn't countenace any British involvement. They were then going to use a P47 Thunderbolt (although none were in theatre AFAIK) but it was too much money so they had an air superiority fighter magically blowing up a "Tiger Tank". (Actually a T34 with a body kit).

    It could have been even worse - the original story board had Tom Hanks rolling a grenade down the tank's barrel into the lap of the gunner. When it was pointed out that this was b_____x they suggested that he shoot his pistol down the barrel to set off a loaded shell!


    Ex STAB
  10. Err... Not quite, I'll post you a pic when I get home this evening. It shows some P-47's coming up to take a closer look at the F-5 Lightning PR aircraft making a run up GOLD.
  11. One that got me during the final fight for the bridge.

    Blokes asking other blokes for bandoliers and grenade, when they've still got them hanging around their chests.
  12. Fair enough. Were they the "tank busting" variety?

    Still should have been a Typhoon IMO but I'm not that arrsed to be honest!


    Ex STAB
  13. Most of the military tactics displayed in SPR are utter tosh, so its hardly worth picking out the myriad of smaller errors. E.g. For much of the film, the Ranger patrol is seen bimbling along - in enemy territory - in a bunched-up loud-mouthed gaggle, often choosing skyline over dead ground. Maybe having your sniper OP party sitting right in the windows of the church bell-tower is not a good way to conceal yourself from approaching Panzer grenadiers, etc. Etc, etc, etc, etc....
  14. Abit **** i know, but Tom Hanks is seen wearing a helmet with swivel chinstrap bales when in fact only fixed bale helmets were worn -swivel bales didn't appear in the ETO till September.
    The 101st Airborne never wore the big mesh helmet nets and all the hand signals were Vietnam era compliments of that big ego Dale Dye.

  15. With Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers etc. what you have to consider is the fact they were taken from the writings of an extremely biased author, who 'wearing his stars and stripes tinted Goggles' proceeded to write so called Historical accounts of D-Day - Stephen E Ambrose (May he Rest in Peace) his writings are very good but he seemed to have lost the plot when it comes to the fact that there were actually other countries fighting for the Allies from D-Day onward!!! if you read and take in what he says, he is always slating the Brits at every opportunity, calling the Battle for Caen a complete British disaster and how better the Americans could have done it etc. he talks about how the Americans were the only ones to land 'opposed' on the Normandy beaches thus suffering the heaviest losses! yes they did indeed suffer immensely and lost more than anyone during the D-Day landings but could this in some very small way have been due to the fact that a large % of the British, French etc. were Battle hardened troops who were the survivors of years of fighting! he also fails to mention facts like the Americans refusal to trust the Royal Engineers "Hobart's Funnies" (Major General Sir Percy Hobart, who had commanded the famous British "Desert Rats" armored division in North Africa and his 'inventing staff' designed and built a series of unusual vehicles designed to breach all the enemies obstacles and borne out of the disaster previously at Dieppe where 3,500 out of 6,000 Canadians were very unfortunately wiped out with the loss of almost all their armour during an earlier attempt at gaining a foothold on the French mainland).

    'A combination of events, almost forced the Americans back into the sea.

    The first concerned a decision taken by General Omar N. Bradley, the Commander of the First US Army, who had the responsibility for Omaha and Utah beaches.

    Bradley rejected the use of Hobart's Duplex Drive tank in favour of regular tanks with flotation screens around their hulls. During the attack, however, these were launched too far out in rough waters, swamped in the first few minutes and went under. Twenty-nine out of 32 tanks floundered, thus stripping the G.I.s of any armoured support, only 5 out of a total of 64 floating tanks in support of the American beaches made it ashore.

    A bombing run to pound German defences was hampered by thick clouds which blanketed the beaches. Fearful that soldiers in landing craft could become victims of Allied bombing, the drop was put off by the briefest of time. As a result, 13,000 bombs fell on the Normandy countryside instead of hitting hard at the Germans.

    A storm of shells from US battleships also failed to meet their targets. As a result, the first wave of men hitting the beach were struck down by intensive enemy gunfire. Landing craft coming in continued to disgorge their human cargo on a narrow shelf from which no exits had been opened.

    By the end of the day, just a small strip of real estate was obtained at a cost of over 2,000 lives.'

    Out of the 40 Duplex Drive Tanks from the British 79th Armoured Division dropped out to sea, 33 of these made it to shore! the Americans didn't trust the AVRE's (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) and thus didn't have the use of the Brits 'inventions' the flails for mines and barbed wire, the Bobbins carried by the AVRE's huge reels of hessian and steel poles that could be dropped in ditches and on the blue clay to allow troops and tanks to advance, they used the first mobile assault bridge (the SGB) and also the crocodile a churchill tank that could project a flame 200 yards! On the morning of D-Day by 9:30 a.m. the Royal Engineers had cleared seven out of the eight exits from Sword beach - The Brits by no means had an easy ride of it as this short phrase taken from "The Piper on Sword Beach" -

    'The British suffered heavy losses due to mines, bullets, bombs and shells. Many wounded men were engulfed by the rising tide. It was difficult to imagine that these beaches were once full of debris and cadavers.

    As I walked, I imagined hearing the strains of "The Road to the Isles" played by piper Bill Millin as he marched up and down these very beaches. He boosted the morale of many as they came ashore fifty years ago on this beach..'

    Ambrose only mentions the U.S. Rangers at Pointe du Hoc (which was a remarkable assault against defended 30 metre cliffs!) but failed to mention the British 47 Commando Unit -

    'The commandos were specifically trained for amphibious operations and spearheaded for the main forces. No. 47 Commando produced one of D-Day's most startling success stories.

    After being forced back from their original landing place, they tried again further east. Thereafter, they fought their way through coastal villages to occupy the high ground south of their target, Port-en-Bassin....'

    As good as Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers are in showing the World what these very brave men went through, Stephen E Ambrose failed miserably in every book to mention the equally brave men of the British Military!!!