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 Post subject: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 31 May 2013, 14:13 
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War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships and Weapons

On this thread we will be posting 'mistakes' in war films where the real life equiptment has been substituted for more easily available alternatives.

DISCLAIMER: If you are a big fan of Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Battle of Britain, Kelly's Heroes or The Battle of the Bulge or just wish to maintain an air of blissfull ignorance this thread is not for you, YE BE WARNED!

Period ships
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Strange, having missiles on a WW2 destroyer...
In the age of CGI (although I do prefer models don't like CGI much) there is no excuse for using modern ships, this one is from Pearl Harbour, but look at any film involving naval warfare and its the same, it seems that directors don't seem to take much notice when it comes to ships. Also is that an Iowa class, I don't remember them being at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day in December 1941. Now to some of you this may seem nitpicky, but then again in Titanic they actually built a full size Titanic set, although that film was actually about the event in question, Pearl Harbour was just a cheesy love story in a war setting.

BF-109's
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Maybe Spain wasn't as neutral as we all thought, it appears they had been supplying the Luftwaffe.
In The Battle of Britain, Spanish HA-1112's were used to play the BF-109's, the only obvious difference is the engine cowling and some variants used the Merlin engine, strange. You may have also noticed Spitfires with two radiators on the underside of their wings (early Spitfires should have one radiator and 1 oil cooler, which is basically a cylinder shaped thing), early Spitfires, and also the hurricanes should only have 3 exhausts on either side.

Mitsubishi Zero's
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They don't really look that scary, especially when you take into account that they are usually painted bright yellow.
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This aircraft is in fact a Harvard/Texan trainer (I think Harvard/Texan are basically the same) which was used in the film Tora!, Tora!, Tora! to portray a wide range of Japanese aircraft, the Harvard has also been used to portray FW190's, and as we will see below the Thunderbolt.

P 47 Thunderbolt
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Another use of the Harvard/Texan is as P47 Thunderbolt's in Kelly's Heroes and the Bridge too Far, I think even Das Boot has them in the last scene of the film (along with, if I remember correctly footage from the Halls of Montezuma?). The chances are if there is a film portraying Allied ground attack aircraft they will have been substituted by the not-so-scary Harvard (Texan).

Halftracks
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Contrary to popular belief the USA did not supply the Germans half-tracks through lend-lease, I know I can't believe it myself, their airforce was nicknamed the American Luftwaffe and everything. The makers of Kelly's Heroes thought they could get away with it with a liberal application of ply wood and a thick coat of grey paint (well at least they tried), another problem is German vehicles were only grey during the first few years of the war. Almost every single war film involving German halftracks, actually uses the American M3.

German uniforms
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Come on film makers no more grey uniforms and highly polished jackboots, its 1944 not 1934!
Every war film falls into Germans= grey uniforms trap, the Germans were well acquainted with the art of camouflage and they were very good at it. A lot of infantry would wear the field grey uniform, but many would wear combat smocks, more specialised units would such as panzer grenadiers would wear fully camouflaged clothing.

Karabiner 98k
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Unless that is a whole platoon of squad and platoon leaders someone in the props department needs to do some research. This time it is from Kelly's Heroes but you can also find whole battalions of Mp 40 armed Germans in Where Eagles Dare, and any other film from that period. Guess those K98k's and Mg 42's (the German army was based around the light machine gun, there should be one for every squad and a lot of Germans running round with ammunition belts) were too expensive. I think you'd consider yourself lucky to hit a barn door with an Mp 40.

The Martini Henry
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Is that a Short Magazine Lee Enfield? Only about 30 years too early...
There obviously weren't enough Martini Henry's on set when Zulu was being filmed, look very closely and you'll see some Lee Enfields. I would also like to know why all the British have white helmets, they should be khaki.

M1 Garand
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Wait, is that a Lee Enfield No. 4? Bit of reverse Lend-Lease going on here, but I can't blame those Americans Lee Enfield No. 4's are great, this picture is from Kelly's Heroes.

Springfield Rifle
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Looks like the Russians were doing a bit of reverse Lend-Lease as well! This time with the sniper version of the Mosin Nagant 91 30. Some rather far-fetched stories in defence of Kelly's Heroes have been suggested such as the rifle was captured of a German soldier who had taken it from a Russian, the only problem is that the K98k which the German would have had in the first place was far superior to the Mosin Nagant (alas, still nowhere near as good as a Lee Enfield No.4!). Also a MN91 30 is a lot less expensive than a Springfield, not that I am suggesting Kelly's Heroes is low budget or anything.

HMS Hood and the Bismark
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The British Kreigsmarine thats new...
This is a picture of HMS Vanguard which was Britain's last battleship. Some of you may recognize her as the Bismark from the film Sink the Bismark. The scenes with the close ups of the guns are all of Vanguard.

Tiger II
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M47 Patton being used as a Tiger II in the Battle of the Bulge. This film confused me especially in the fight scenes where the American German tanks were fighting the American American tanks. To make matters worse the German tanks are the wrong colour, they should have a cream base with green and brown over the top, or as it was winter just white.

A person from the society who may, or may not have been on the Rochester Ramble, who I can't remember the name of once said:
"Every war, is fought in America, by Americans agaisnt the Americans"
wise words, wise words, particularly if you have ever watched The Green Berets, who would have thought that Vietnam is full of fur trees and deciduous forests!

M4 Sherman
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This one is inexcusable given the abundance of the M4 Sherman tank, for some reason the makers of the Battle of the Bulge decided that the Chaffee was better, same goes for The Bridge at Remagen. There were Chaffee's serving in WW2 but they were light tanks and were not the mainstay of the US army. We don't know why the producer's liked the Chaffee so much, prehaps they were in the pay-roll of General motors.

Tiger Tanks
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The Americans in Kelly's Heroes and Saving Private Ryan needn't have been scared, the Tigers in the film were in fact T-34's and if Korea is anything to go by they had nothing to worry about. It also explains how Tom Hanks was able to blow it up with a pistol. I think most people can probably forgive this one given the number of working Tiger I's in the world, there is one in Bovington. But my moto is if you can't find a real one, don't have one at all. Also in Saving Private Ryan there is also a scene where the Americans stick their Thompsons through the drivers viewport and open fire, the only problem was, is that real Tiger's had armoured glass.

Panther... I think?
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From the film Big Red One here we have an Israeli Super Sherman mocked up as a German tank with not-so-historically accurate battleship grey, surrounded by Germans in their classic (inaccurate) field grey uniforms I think this scene is meant to be North Africa so why is everything grey!

Jagdpanther? JgPz IV? who knows?
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"That's one of ours! It sure is, and it's a terrible paint job. You can still see the cross! ... Ivan's pinched my tank!"
Sorry mate, I think it is the other way round...
Here is a scene from the Misfit Brigade, which contained one of the worst vehicle substitutions I have ever seen. SU 100's were used as Jagdpanthers, but the Soviets in the film also used SU 100's as SU 100's.

Jagdpanther, again
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Here is a T 55, oh sorry I mean Jagdpanther from Band of Brothers. This is probably one of the better examples of substitute vehicles as they haven't done a bad job, apart from the wheels and suspension, 9/10 well done Band of Brothers.

Zimmerit (the lack of)
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From 1943 to 1944 a special anti magnetic mine coating was applied to many German AFV's (for example; Jagdpanzer IV's, Stug III & IV's, Panthers, Jagdpanthers, Tigers, Tiger II's and early Jagdtigers). This feature is however lacking in almost all German AFV's in films. Think of all the films portraying WW2 from 1943 onwards with German vehicles without zimmerit. The Germans stopped applying zimmerit in 1944 because it added extra time to production, and the Germans were the only people who used magnetic mines in large numbers anyway so it was a bit of a white elephant. This means that any film which has D-Day in ti, should probably have a lot of zimmerit coated tanks.

I am sorry I have ruined almost every war film for you, but you were warned at the top of the page, its not my fault you decided to look at the pretty pictures and overlook the disclaimer.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2013, 22:48 
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Most owners of authentic war movies would be mad to loan their vehicle to a film crew, there are a few examples of authentic vehicles that were used on movie sets and were severely damaged in the process. For example in August 2010 a C47 Dakota which was on loan by the Museum Liberating Wings in Best, The Netherlands to a musical producer was destroyed during transport.


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 11:27 
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Oliver the butt plate you mention for Kelly's Heroes is in fact that of an M1A1 Thompson. It can be seen due to the overall shape and that of the cover for the storeage compartment. The No.4s (even US made models) had a much deeper cutting into the steel to allow for opening.


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 15:34 
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The guy to the right of Clint is carrying the No.4 :P



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 20:18 
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My mistake, for some reason I didn't even take notice of that guy.

The reason for the variety in the weapons for Kelly's Heroes was due to it being filmed in Yugoslavia, hence the 91/30 with the PU scope and the No.4 which we sent over there in abundance


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 21:06 
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Filming Kelly's Heroes in Yugoslavia caused a heck of a lot of trouble for the cast, there was mega problems with Donald Sutherland's wife involving her, the Blank Panthers and hand grenades!

A couple of things I noticed and later checked up on films I've seen recently.

In the Bridge at Remagen a number of the M1 Carbines being used by the Americans are anachronistic as they have bayonet lugs and 30 round magazines which to my understanding were only features of post war M1's and M2's.

Go tell the Spartans features a Colt (Trooper Mk III) revolver which was produced in 1969, whilst the film is set in 1964, although it also correctly features a large number of second world war American, German and Soviet weaponry in the hands of both the US advisor's (M3 Grease Gun) and the local South Vietnamese forces/militias.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2013, 12:03 
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in Kelly's Heroes I think they are also using the wrong variant of the M1919 Browning MG, I read somewhere they were using the aircraft variant, but that was too nit picky even for me!



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2013, 14:09 
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How about the M3 Halftracks passing off as FAMO vehicles or similar in Tobruk? Not to mention the M48's posing as both German and Italian tanks in the same film.

Tobruk also features Quad 50's and a Chaffee as German vehicles. And the trucks look post war and American. That said, they do make the effort and many of the cars and motorcycles seem legit and the uniforms almost spot on imo.


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2013, 11:36 
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Haha Tobruk, so awful its great! Very entertaining. Although I must point out that it was not a Chaffee you saw... but a Walker Bulldog! Also, a large number of the German soldiers actually use rifles instead of the Hollywood SMG.

In the 1958 film Sea of Sand, which follows a LRDG patrol on a lengthy mission, ends with a scene where an LRDG truck armed with a Bren gun engages and knocks out a German halftrack, rescuing the patrol which had lost it's vehicles.

The German halftrack is an M3 with a Bren gun. Possible yes, but funny to see!



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2013, 21:44 
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Apparently genuine Panzer IV and Panther tanks were used in Czechoslovak war movies.

Source: http://ftr-wot.blogspot.nl/2013/02/czec ... mmary.html


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2013, 22:14 
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And they destroyed them....

That's what £1m looks like when on fire.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2013, 21:55 
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In Anzio they used real Staghounds, yet on some of the Jeeps (probably past war versions) you can see M60 machine guns. I'm not sure about the recoilless rifles either!



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2013, 17:41 
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In Defiance and Enemy at the Gates they used conversions of the Swiss "61" tank as Panzer III's. The conversion is pretty good although the end vehicle is oversized.

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There are shortages of modern vehicles in modern films as well, typically because various armies/governments refuse to cooperate with the production company.

These pretty convincing tanks from Courage Under Fire are supposed to be M1A1 Abram tanks.

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However they are all designed from Centurions.

This one is actually a Chieftain and is from a 2003 movie called "Hulk"

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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2013, 18:42 
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I find the 2nd Abrams looks the most convincing of the two

although that camo looks a bit dodgy



this thread is actually really really annoying, because now every time I watch a war film (say Battle of Britain) I keep seeing mistakes (in the shape of Spitfire Mk. IX's)



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 03 Jan 2014, 17:15 
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I think this thread shows off just how much effort film makers put into sourcing equipment actually.

You could go about saying how the style of German soldier haircut in Saving Private Ryan is anachronistic, the fashion was for longer styles and only called for clean shaven on the sides, but these are entertainment pieces. Imagination and poetic licence required.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 24 Apr 2014, 23:07 
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"Panther" in The Night of the Generals (1967)

It's a Chaffee.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 30 Apr 2014, 08:58 
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That is surprisingly quite convincing.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 18 May 2014, 11:39 
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I thought so as well, I think the wheels kinda work.



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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 16:32 
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Excellent points there- especially the Germans' use of camouflage and absence of the K98 rifle


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 Post subject: Re: War Film Vehicles, Aircraft, Ships & Weapons
Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2014, 15:42 
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In Battle Cry, a 1955 film about a US Marine Battalion starring Aldo Ray, there is a scene during the invasion of Saipan where the marines land in LVTs, rush inland, and meet up with LVT-As with stubby 75mm guns. They then advance against the Japanese positions. In between the mixture of black and white and colour stock footage, some of which is from Normandy, the Marines run into some Japanese tanks which are portrayed by Shermans. Watching LVTs beat Shermans is rather funny!

It's actually a fairly good film though, its certainly watchable.



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