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Destination Tokyo (1943) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

As the Copperfin is approaching their rendezvous in the Aleutians, they are submerged at periscope depth. The man on the sonar calls out depths of 1000 and 800 fathoms (6000 and 5400 feet respectively). The scene changes to show the boat moving submerged with the ocean bottom clearly visible only a couple of hull heights below. If the bottom were 5,400 feet below, it would not be visible sunlight only penetrates approximately 600 feet.
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On Christmas morning, one of the crew mentions Christmas 1941 in the past tense, meaning that this is Christmas 1942 or later. After that, the boat supports Doolittle's Raid, which occurred 18 April 1942.
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Character error 

Before getting underway, Cdr. Cassidy goes to the dock phone to check on a call he was trying to place to his wife. The shore operator refers to him as "Captain Cassidy." The men on his submarine would call him "captain," but anyone not a member of the crew would refer to him by his actual rank of commander.
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Continuity 

The deck gun shifts from the foredeck to the afterdeck.
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Just prior to the operation, the chief comes through a door and hands Pills the instruments. The handle of the door is open (straight up and down). As Pills gets up we see the handle open but as the camera angle changes to show Pills we can see that the handle is now locked (handle is at an angle).
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When the shore party is returning to the Copperfin (at about 1:48:50) the equipment in the rubber boat is stacked as a cube with two rifles strapped on top. As they are seen boarding the Copperfin seconds later, the equipment is randomly stored and the rifles leaning against the boxes.
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At the beginning of the mission, Cassidy gathers the crew and tells them to "gather round". They break ranks and form a crowd around Cassidy. When they are dismissed after his speech, they are shown in ranks again.
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When the PBY bringing Ridgely flies over the Copperfin, the plane from every angle shown is bigger than the submarine, even when the Copperfin is in the foreground.

The Gato class boats were 311 feet long and 27 feet wide (beam), the Catalina flying boat is only 63 feet long with a wingspan is 104 feet.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In several underwater shots, wires can be seen attached to mock-up of miniature sub.
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Errors in geography 

Cassidy looks through the periscope from the sub and sees Mt Fuji as though it were right on the shoreline. You can only see the tip of Mt Fuji from sea level in Tokyo Bay and only on a clear day. Mt Fuji is 300 miles away in Kyoto.
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At one point near Japan the skipper asks about the direction and is told it's 050. This sounds like the boat is traveling generally east. Not likely if one is heading towards Japan from the NE.
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Factual errors 

When the Copperfin surfaces in the Aleutians to pick up the team, Tommy and Wolf bring up the .50 machine gun. Wolf mounts the weapon, then Tommy hands him the magazine which he mounts on the MG. He then pulls the charging handle and mans the gun as if it was ready for battle. Unfortunately, at no time did he open the feed mechanism on the weapon and start the ammo belt so pulling the charging handle did absolutely nothing.
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Japanese soldiers board a truck to seek source of radio transmissions by a U.S. Navy shore party in Tokyo Bay. The truck has a left hand drive whereas Japanese vehicles have the steering wheel on the right hand side. Japanese drive on the left side of the road.
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When the infiltration team is in the cave, they are carrying lever action Winchester 30-30 rifles. This rifle was never issued to the Army, Navy or Marines.
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When the submarine first dives, the diving alarm incorrectly sounds three times with the announcement of "dive, dive, dive." The correct procedure for diving is two sounds with the announcement of "dive, dive," and surfacing is three sounds followed by "surface, surface, surface."
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On more then one occasion the submarine is referred to as a ship, once by the captain himself. Apart from a brief effort by the US Navy in the 1950s to refer to submarines as ships, they have always been "boats" to the officers and crews who work on them.
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When the quartermaster is typing the notice for the crew stating their patrol area is Tokyo, the banner reads war patrol six.

There is no way the Copperfin could have made five war patrols in the first four months of the war (7 Dec 1941 to 1 Apr 1942). This is further supported when Wolf who has been on Copperfin on previous patrols is on shore leave after returning from a three month patrol. This would indicate Copperfin did her first four patrols in Dec 1941.
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When briefing the volunteers for the mission to infiltrate Japan, the captain tells them specific details of the Doolittle Raid. This is something that wouldn't happen due to standard operational security. The landing party would be told what information they were to gather and how to return it and themselves to their sub, but they would be given as little information as possible in the event they were captured.
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The submarine "Copperfin" is essentially a "Gato" class boat, yet through the evolution of that class the superstructure changed as well as the armament. In the film you see everything from a 20MM gun to a 40MM as well as numerous .30 and .50cal machine guns, not to mention a 3" deck gun. The footage of the sub changes numerous times during the film, including the armament as well as the superstructure, obviously due to the extensive use of stock footage.
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In the beginning of the film, Cmdr Cassidy (Cary Grant) trades in his kepi with the braids (scrambled eggs) on the brim for his plain brim kepi used by lower ranking officers. In the final scene when he returns to SF in full uniform, he is still wearing the unbraided brimmed kepi. All officers of the rank of commander or above should be wearing the braided kepi. He therefore would be considered out of uniform.
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Footage of the bombing raid includes several shots of bombs falling from the bomb bay. One shot shows six bombs falling from one plane and another shot shows seven bombs. The B-25's that flew in the Doolittle Raid were armed with three 500 pound bombs and one incendiary cluster for a total of four bombs per plane.
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The B-25 takeoff sequence taking place on the Hornet goes back and forth between studio shots and actual footage. The problem with the studio shots is the fact that the planes pictured were Lockheed Hudsons, not B-25 Mitchells. The Hudsons used were originally built by Lockheed for export to Britain and bear no resemblance whatsoever to a Mitchell. The Hudson was a taildragger and the Mitchell used a tricycle landing gear. Warner's was very close to the Lockheed plant in Burbank and leftover Hudsons popped up in all sorts of Warner's films throughout the war.
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Plot holes 

In a fleet boat, there are at least 3 compartments (motor room, engine room, and after battery) between the after torpedo room and the control room. But in the flooded after torpedo room scene, when water is being emptied into the next compartment, the camera pans to give a look into that compartment, and we see the Captain, leaning on the chart table in the control room.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the two torpedoes are fired at the Japanese boat, they exit the same tube in impossibly rapid succession, due to the same footage being used for both launches.
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As the Copperfin enters Tokyo Bay following the crippled cruiser, the skipper orders the boat to rise to 60 feet, then 45 feet ("keel depth")be sure to clear the torpedo net. However, the shots of the submarine never show any changes in depth. At "keel depth", the top of the conning tower would be nearly breaking the surface.
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Upon entering and exiting Tokyo Bay, the Copperfin is shown several times rising and falling with the sea floor, often coming within a few feet of it. However, without active sonar - which would mean immediate detection by the Japanese - there's no way they'd know the distance to the bottom to maneuver like this.
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