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The Bridge at Remagen (1969) Poster

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

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.
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Anachronisms 

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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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

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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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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Character error 

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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Continuity 

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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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.
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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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Errors in geography 

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.
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Factual errors 

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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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.
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

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.
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Revealing mistakes 

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.
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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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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.
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Throughout the movie, hundreds of rifles, pistols, and machine guns are fired by both sides. However, none are shown to eject empty shell casings as they are being fired.
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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