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Thread: Historical inaccuracies in films

  1. #1
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Historical inaccuracies in films

    I love this guy. Some find him annoying, but I really like the way he thinks and the way he makes his videos. Here is a review of the historical inaccuracies in the film Ironclad (which I have not seen and will not bother seeing now after watching these)









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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films



    Oh god, where would you even begin? I'll just go with one of my favorites from PATTON...the scene in Tunisia where Rommel's 10th Panzer Division is attacking the American positions near El Guettar.

    And look....10th Panzer is advancing but....why are the grenadiers on foot, and why, for gods sakes, are they out for a Sunday stroll in the middle of their armor? oh wait.....not a single one of those "German" tanks looks even remotely like a Mark III or Mark IV. Ehhhh....must be some kind of meta-phase shift Captain Kirk because those tanks are M-47 Patton's [and you would think the battle-hardened veterans of the 10th Panzer tank commanders would have enough sense to not be entering the blast zone up top in the observation position]

    And look at the Americans [what is presumably supposed to be CCA of US 1st Armored Div]....not a single M4 Sherman or M10 TD to be seen. Ooops

    And of course the biggest snafu of all for that scene....George C. Scott's line at the end "Rommel....you magnificent bastard...I READ YOUR BOOK." ........???

    Except Rommel's "book" was on WWI infantry tactics.....
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 02-18-2014 at 16:59.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    It has been some years since I saw Patton. I am sure I distinctly remember the tanks as M-48A3 from the California National Guard.

    The Americans, at the time were equipped with the M-3 Grant at the time and perhaps a few converted halftracks mounting AT guns. M-4s and M-10s came a little later.


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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    When it comes to Patton or other older war movies, you can't really gripe about the equipment. The cost of using the real thing or authentically mocking up substitutes would likely bankrupt the production. Newer movies with access to modern CGI can't use this excuse, of course.
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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    When it comes to Patton or other older war movies, you can't really gripe about the equipment. The cost of using the real thing or authentically mocking up substitutes would likely bankrupt the production. Newer movies with access to modern CGI can't use this excuse, of course.
    You took the words right out of my keyboard drone. I will add that a CGI tank would probably look sad next to the real thing.

    This is a good and oft funny topic. However it can go too far. I was at a talk about the making of the movie Gettysburg (and Gods & Generals to an extent) given by Patrick Falci at a Gettysburg reenactment one year. He related a historical inaccuracy criticism leveled at G&G by someone that the pitch of a train whistle heard in the movie wasn't correct. That's a bit of a nit pick if you ask me.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    I am sure I distinctly remember the tanks as M-48A3 from the California National Guard.
    I stand corrected.....sort of

    The M48 A3 was, indeed, used to represent 10th PzD (but not from the California National Guard); the M47, M46, and M41 Walker Bulldog were used for the Americans; M24 Chaffee's were used for British armor. Most discussions I've seen have the Spanish Army supplying the armor. Seeing as most of the film was shot in Spain, I'd tend to agree with that assessment

    The Americans, at the time were equipped with the M-3 Grant at the time and perhaps a few converted halftracks mounting AT guns. M-4s and M-10s came a little later
    But on this, I stand by my earlier statement. The US 601st TD Battalion was equipped with M3 75mm GMC halftracks. But the US 899th TD Battalion was equipped with the M10. The AAR of US 1st AD (to which those two TD units were attached) shows the loss of 20 of 28 M3's in the 601st and 7 M10 lost from the 899th in the action from 23 March to 7 April 1943.

    The debut of the M4A1 in N. Africa came at El Alamein in October 1942 with the British 9th Lancers of 1st AD.

    The first US use of the M4A1 was in Feb 1943 in the battles around Kasserine and Sidi Bou Zid. The 1st & 13th Armored Regiments of 1st AD both were equipped with M4A1's according to Zaloga in Armored Thunderbolt. The photos on pgs 52 and 53 show M4's from both regiments in action at Sidi Bou Zid.

    I cannot find (yet) a detailed TO&E for the 3rd Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st AD which participated in the assault on Hill 369 as part of the Benson Force at El Guettar, but I would find it very strange if they had downgraded to M3 Grant's since the Kasserine battle

    When it comes to Patton or other older war movies, you can't really gripe about the equipment.
    I suppose Patton was probably 20yrs too early to make use of sophisticated CGI, and 20yrs too late to make use of operable WWII equipment. Still, the grenadiers should have been mounted in halftracks, and no tank commander who valued his head would be going into an LZ exposed.

    Just for $@#%&'s and giggles, some noted inaccuracies for Patton:

    http://jbell2ja.umwblogs.org/history-in-film-patton/

    A great deal of effort was spent by the films producers and staff in making the film accurate. The film does a great job in portraying the uniforms and equipment of soldiers correctly. The producers were able to gain access to actual World War II war equipment
    Except for the armor...

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066206/goofs

    And btw, Patton is one of my favorite war movies, despite the snafu's and inaccuracies.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 02-19-2014 at 05:43.
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Rommel's book was about breakthrough and reinforcing success not reinforcing difficulty. The general ideas would apply to armour as well.

    My bugbear is 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It was the local Arabs who had the idea to attack Aqaba and they guided Lawrence there. They didn't cross the nastiest desert, just across a corner of it to avoid the railway.

    The arabs are criticised for going home after each action, but that's what you do in a guerilla war. The British weren't prepared to supply and pay a force to be in the field all the time, they wanted the Turks to repair the railway and send troops there to guard it (to deplete other areas).

    There was no quiksand event in Lawrence's book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    My favorite is Braveheart. Battle at stirling bridge. Wut bridge

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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    My favorite is Braveheart. Battle at stirling bridge. Wut bridge
    My favorite also, but for William Wallace and Isabella romance. Mighty impressive considering Isabella was still in France at the time of Wallace's rebellion.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lurker Below View Post
    My favorite also, but for William Wallace and Isabella romance. Mighty impressive considering Isabella was still in France at the time of Wallace's rebellion.

    and that she was only 9 or 10 years old at the time.


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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    I hate when they use T-34s with carton boxes over them to make them look like Tigers in WW2 movies. Does that count?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lurker Below View Post
    My favorite also, but for William Wallace and Isabella romance. Mighty impressive considering Isabella was still in France at the time of Wallace's rebellion.
    I didn't see the film, but I hear that William Wallace wore woad and behaved like a nationalist guerilla, even though nationalism didn't exist yet. Surely a guy who can span time and space like that would have no trouble dating someone who was a mere few hundred miles away.

    From what I hear, Braveheart needs its own historical inaccuracies thread, possbily its own historical inaccuracies site.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    From what I hear, Braveheart needs its own historical inaccuracies thread, possbily its own historical inaccuracies site.
    http://www.scottishhistory.com/artic...raveheart.html

    http://celticfringe.net/history/brave.htm

    http://thehande.wordpress.com/2011/1...ing-the-movie/

    http://www.angelfire.com/rebellion/h...raveheart.html

    And these are just from page 1

    And then this:

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/08/sto...l-inaccuracies

    So despite the controversy over Braveheart, I still believe it’s one of the greatest films ever made. The story is deeply moving, powerfully told, and I don’t give two mirrors on a leather shoe if the kilts are from the wrong time period.
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Ja-mata TosaInu

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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy Blue View Post
    From what I hear, Braveheart needs its own historical inaccuracies thread, possbily its own historical inaccuracies site.
    It's a surprise some history geek society has not gathered funds to bring Mel Gibson to a stop. All of his movies take great liberties with history/reality.
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    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    I tried watching Apocalypto and when I saw the Maya depicted as stereotypical, primitive tribals I couldn't watch it for longer than two minutes. A Mesoamerican archaeologist did a pretty good critique of the film on Reddit:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/c..._part_1_happy/

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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lurker Below View Post
    It's a surprise some history geek society has not gathered funds to bring Mel Gibson to a stop. All of his movies take great liberties with history/reality.
    I don’t think he is any different than any of the others.

    All of them want to change something or don’t want to bother with the difficult parts.

    Most movie makers can’t even stay true to books, why should history be an obstacle.


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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Until recently, accuracy was not the main problem for movies makers. They are stories tellers. The fact is most of the people got their ideas of History in films and series... The distortion in history is more damaging than actually the material used in movies.
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    Member Member TiagoJRToledo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    It's like one of my friends says: "Braveheart? Lulz. Too late for Woad, and too early for Kilts."



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    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical inaccuracies in films

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    and that she was only 9 or 10 years old at the time.
    Isabella was 6 at the time of wallaces' death.


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