When the Wehrmacht Engineer Hauptmann blames the poor grade of explosives for the failure of the bridge to collapse he names the explosives as "Donerit". Donerit was (& still is) a manufacturer of commercial & military explosives, the actual explosive supplied was marked on the boxes as Gelignite - a commercial blasting product that would indeed have been less effective than the usual RDX compounds in military use.
Not only do the junior SS officers in the film wear the incorrect pre-war black uniforms, but most also display the Honor Chevron of the Old Guard on their right sleeve. This was not an insignia of rank, as often assumed, but signified that the wearer had been a party member and/or SS member prior to Hitler taking power in 1933. A young junior SS officer in 1945 could not have been a party member long enough to have merited this distinction.
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In the battle at the west ridge, a German gun crew is shown firing an MG42 but its making the traditional *rata-tata-tat* sound rather than the buzz saw/ripping-cloth sound distinctive to the MG42's very high rate of fire.
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When the American troops are moving through a narrow street, behind a tank a soldier is firing his machine gun, but no sound can be heard.
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When the Americans attack the German positions on the heights guarding the western approach to the bridge, German Major Paul Kreuger (Robert Vaughn) on the eastern bank calls the command post outside the church. American Lt. Phil Hartman (George Segal) picks up the field phone. Kreuger, without introducing himself, demands to know from Sgt. Becker what's going on. Hartman interrupts him and answers, "He's dead, Major." Hartman couldn't have know who was on the other end of the line.
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Early in the movie, Lt. Phil Hartman and Cpl. Grebs try a daring run toward a farmhouse which is occupied by an enemy anti-tank troop. They start the run in a captured German vehicle, equipped with a rear mounted machine gun. The car also has a very distinctive pair of red lamps on the front. As the car speeds into battle with the German defenses, it is somehow transformed into a different vehicle, for when it arrives at the farmhouse yard we see it has lost the gun mount, gained a wiper on the passenger's side, and the red lamps have disappeared.
During the beginning scenes, you see the train approaching the Obercassel Bridge in a gentle right curve. Then you see the M24 Chaffee tanks and their support running for the Bridge. Then the error appears: The armor is seen on the river road, but the negative is reversed. Names on the tanks are reversed, the truck's steering wheel is on the right side, and the train is now making a gentle *left* curve onto the bridge. Reversal ends as the sequence ends with the explosion/destruction of the bridge.
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In a shot from an approaching aircraft during the U.S. bombing attack the barge is clearly directly under the bridge and alongside the central pier. However, all other shots of the barge show it moored to the pier and down river from the bridge.
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The same overweight German soldier with his arm in a sling is seen to exit the tunnel at least five times.
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Angel takes a white scarf from a dead German and after wrapping the scarf around his neck he tucks in both ends inside his jacket. He then lifts up the upper torso of another dead German who has a small amount of blood on his forehead and takes a pair of binoculars from him. When Angel drops the dead German back onto the ground, there is more blood on the German's forehead. Next scene when Angel speaks to Hartman the scarf ends are outside Angel's jacket.
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The movie makes it look like the Rhine river near Remagen is floating through a steep sloped valley. The town of Remagen however is built on the flat bank of the river.
Toward the end of the film Maj. Paul Krüger makes his way back to army high command to speak with Generaloberst von Brock when he is arrested by the SS. Outside the Wehrmacht (Army) HQ, Several SS officers are seen wearing the famous 1930's era black SS uniforms. This is a very common mistake in many WW2 films. The Black SS uniforms were discontinued at the start of the war in 1939 and replaced by the green/grey uniform. Only Waffen SS tank crews wore black uniforms in combat. This was not, however, the all-black uniform worn by the pre-war SS, but rather a short, black waist-cut coat similar in style to that worn by tank crews in the Wehrmacht.
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Several American infantrymen are correctly armed with M1 Carbines. However, the weapons are equipped with long 30-round magazines, which did not reach troops in the field until the very end of World War II. None were available in time for the Remagen Bridge battle. Some carbines are also equipped with bayonet mounts, which were not added until the carbines were refurbished after the war.
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Most of the helmets worn by the German army troops have decals on their sides (national colors on one side, Army insignia on the other). However, the German army stopped using helmet decals in 1942 or 1943. By the time of the Remagen battle in March of 1945, few, if any, German helmets with these insignia would still be in use.
In the air raid on the bridge, the B-25 has the pre World War II markings with the red "meatball" in the star. By 1945, the U.S. aircraft marking was a white star, on a blue disc, with white bars on either side.
The battle for the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen took place in early March, 1945. Yet all of the deciduous trees in the film are in full summer leaf. In early March in Germany such trees would be bare of leaves.
While the Remagen Bridge is full of defending German troops and fleeing civilian refugees, it is attacked by several American B-25 medium bombers. In actuality, B-25's were used by the RAF in the European Theater of Operations, not the American USAAF.
The blond SS man wears an arm band with the word "Germania", indicating his regiment. The SS Regiment "Germania" was on the Eastern Front in 1945, not the west.
Kreuger says to Von Brock that he heard the Russians were at the Elbe River. The Russians didn't get there until April, after the Remagen bridge was taken. Kreuger should have said the Russians were at the Oder River, which would have been correct for Jan.-Feb. 1945.
All of the American hand grenades are painted a solid olive drab color. Real grenades also had a narrow yellow band around the upper (fuse) section to denote that they were live fragmentation grenades, as opposed to practice types.
Throughout the movie, German soldiers are seen wearing leather marching boots, during that stage in the war it would be more correct to see them wearing the "Schurschuhe" ankle boots with gaiters.
When Hartman's task force attacks the German farm house, a German soldier in a window is shown firing a Panzerfaust (a one-time use anti-tank weapon), which misses. Four seconds later, he fires a second Panzerfaust. Even if a second soldier was there to hand him another, four seconds is not enough time to deploy the weapon.
While the Remagen Bridge is full of defending German troops and fleeing civilian refugees, it is attacked by several American B-25 medium bombers. In actuality, B-25's were not used in this area of the European Theater of Operations.
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When American tanks engage and destroy the anti-aircraft battery overlooking the bridge, explosions occur in and behind the battery at locations where a direct-fire tank round could never have reached due to the flat trajectory of the tank guns and the tanks being below the battery.
As he is imparting new orders to Capt. Colt, Maj. Barnes asks him, "You don't want to let the Russkies beat us to Berlin, do you?" Berlin was explicitly in the Russian zone of operations, and American forces were never assigned to take it.
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In the beginning of the film, as Robert Vaughn speaks with his commanding officer in the castle, his father is clearly named as Von Krüger, which can be spelled Krueger in German. However, in the credits Vaughn's character is called Paul Kreuger (which would be pronounced as Kroyger). This besides the apparent dropping of the 'von'.
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When the American bombers are attacking the bridge, no bombs are seen dropping from the planes. The bomb bay doors are open but no bombs can be seen.
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The superstructure of the real Ludendorff Bridge remained intact after the explosion. As depicted in the film, the German demolition charges were placed only on critical points on and under the roadbed and railroad tracks. The damage was mostly to girders connecting the road bed to the superstructure. There are many photos of the Ludendorff Bridge in American hands after the battle with the superstructure largely undamaged.
As the bridge comes under fire, there is a German train approaching the bridge from one side as American tanks approach from the other. The American tanks open fire on the train and it explodes. However, the train then comes to an immediate halt. Real trains have an immense amount of momentum and require a considerable distance to come to a complete stop. The train we see explode is undoubtedly a scale model, but it should have been allowed to continue moving forward after having been hit.
During several quiet night scenes near the end of the movie, crickets can be clearly heard. However, in Germany in the month of March, the weather would still be too cold for crickets to be present.
In the scene where a German firing squad is shooting a victim near a checkpoint, none of the bullets are seen to impact the wall behind the victim. In actuality, all the bullets would have passed through the victim and made noticeable explosions in the wall.
When Major Kreuger meets General von Brock, the General's headquarters has several maps on the wall. One of them is a political map of Europe from prior to March 1938. It shows Austria and Czechoslovakia as independent countries. Before the war, both were annexed by Nazi Germany and considered to be German territory. It is highly unlikely that a German general's headquarters in 1945 would be using a map that pre-dates WW2.
When a line of American tanks are shelling German positions, none of the tanks' cannon barrels recoil when they are fired.
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Throughout the movie, hundreds of rifles, pistols, and machine guns are fired by both sides. However, most are shown not to eject empty shell casings as they are being fired. Only the MG-42 and close up scenes using the MP40's, BAR, M1 and Thompson actually fire and cycle blanks and even then not in every scene.