A map shows the allied positions close to the Italian/Austrian Border. By 1943 when the film is set, they hadn't even taken Rome yet, which fell in June 1944. They would not even come close to the border until November 1944.
The map behind Colonel Phillips at the last briefing depicts modern-day Canada, all in the same color. Newfoundland and Labrador didn't join Canada until 1949; before then, it was a separate Dominion ruled directly from London.
When Steve Rogers and Carter are sat in a bombed out pub in London during an air raid, a rather modern sounding two tone emergency services vehicle siren can be heard outside. Emergency vehicles during the 1940s used bells and this type of siren was not used until the 1970s.
When Steve Rogers and Dr. Erskine are sitting in the barracks having a discussion, Steve's footlocker has his social security number on the lid. During World War II, military personnel had a service number which had a different format than the social security number used by today's military.
Red Skull is heard listening to a recording of Richard Wagner's opera "Die Walkure" ("The Valkyrie") in an early scene with Dr Zola, but the recording he is listening to, conducted by Herbert von Karajan and featuring the distinctive voice of Canadian tenor Jon Vickers, wasn't recorded until 1968. 25 years after the scene takes place. What's more, the same record contains both Siegmund's aria "Ein Schwert verhieß mir der Vater" from "Die Walküre" and Siegfried's funeral march from "Götterdämmerung," heard without a break. Both pieces could not have fitted on one side of the short-playing 78 records used during World War II.
When Captain America is doing the bond promotion, there is a scene where a motorcycle drops from above (on cables) with three people on it. The engine in the motorcycle shows it to be a post-1985 "Evolution" engine.
Before Captain America and Bucky zip line onto the Hydra train, Jim Morita can be seen wearing a H4855 Personal Role Radio, an item which only came into use in 2002, for the British Army. While they do have advanced equipment it is unlikely they'd have something 50-60 years before it was actually in use. Especially as Captain America's team is not the British Army.
A number of the tracked vehicles seen outside the German prison are the FV432 armoured personnel carriers. These vehicles are part of the British fv430 series of armoured vehicles which have been mistaken for the similar American M113 armoured personnel carrier. Both vehicles were first in service in the 1960's 17 years after the time frame in which the film is set.
Just before getting ready to slide down to the train, after Captain America mentions becoming a bug on the windshield, James Montgomery Falsworth says to "Mind the Gap", a phrase that didn't come into use in Britain until 1969, 26 years after the film was set.
We're told that the shield is "completely vibration absorbent", and this is demonstrated to be true when Peggy shoots it. However, later, through out the film, the shield repeatedly makes clanging noises when things strike it, or it strikes other things. If the shield is "completely vibration absorbent", it shouldn't make any sound at all.
When a German grenade is used a 'ping' of the striker handle being released from a 'Pineapple' style grenade is heard. The German stick grenade is ignited with a pulled cord which starts a chemical friction ignition.
When Steve Rogers arrives at the building for his transformation, he exits the car and puts on his hat prior to entering the building. He then wears the hat indoors until the procedure starts. Military personnel are required to remove their headgear while indoors unless they are armed (such as Military Police).
When Captain America salutes Colonel Phillips after coming back to the camp with the rescued soldiers, he ends the salute before the Colonel salutes back. By regulation a soldier holds a salute to a superior officer until the superior officer fully salutes back.
When Steve and the Sgt are going to Brooklyn and the secret lab he is not wearing his garrison hat in the car. When he gets out of the car he does not put it on. He walks all the way to the doorway of the fake store and as he enters, he puts the hat on. This is not in keeping with military custom. He should have had the hat on before he got out of the car, and should have taken the hat off as he entered the store.
The Union Flag hanging outside the War rooms is upside down.
At the flagstaff, the white Saltire of St. Andrew (Scotland) takes precedence over the red Cross of St. Patrick (Ireland) because Scotland has been part of the Union longer than Ireland, i.e. at the flagstaff the white diagonal band must be thicker above the red diagonal.
While many countries fly their flag upside down in times of war, the United Kingdom is not one of them.
Just before his first fund-raising show, Steve is told that cooperating could get him his own platoon. In World War II, an Army captain would be put in charge of a full company. Lieutenants typically led platoons.
When Steve is crawling under the barbed-wire in boot camp, Hodge kicks one of the posts loose and causes the wire to fall on him. The sergeant yells at him, "Rogers, get that rifle out of the mud," but it's Hodge's rifle that was in the mud, and Steve clearly keeps his barrel off the ground.
The icon used for Hydra looks like an octopus with a skull instead of a head, with many arms. A hydra, on the other hand, has many heads emanating from a single trunk-body, not many arms as an octopus does.
During the radio broadcast of the Dodgers-Phillies game, the broadcaster mispronounces the name of Brooklyn outfielder Pete Reiser as "riser", but it should be "reeser". The broadcaster is apparently Red Barber, the Dodgers' long-time announcer, who would have known how to pronounce Reiser's name.
Dr. Erskine says he is from Queens, NY, 73 St. and Utopia Pkwy. This is incorrect as both streets run North-South and are about 5 miles apart. The correct Street is 73 Ave. which does cross Utopia Pkwy.
After Schmidt reveals his true face in the Hydra base to Captain America, the two begin their first fight scene. It's here that Red Skull displays his super strength and punches Captain America's steel shield leaving a fist impression in the metal. The two keep fighting but the fist impression is no longer on the shield. Later at HQ, when Stark pats the shield and remarks how Rogers is attached to it, the punch impression is there again.
When Captain America's ice-encased shield is revealed in the beginning of the movie, the paint job is pristine with no damage. However, in the final fight with the Red Skull, the shield is seen to have numerous dings and scores in the paint from bullet strikes.
The railing on Captain America's side in the 1st Hydra base (after Bucky crosses the gap on the bar) is intact, but when Rogers decides to jump, the railing is broken for no reason, and he bends one end away.
Before Steve Rogers is sealed into the pod for his transformation into a super-soldier, two metal arms with several hoses are pivoted over his shoulders to hold pads against his chest. When the pod opens after the transformation, the arms have disappeared. Nor are they detached and dangling from the hoses, which have also disappeared. There is insufficient space within the pod for the arms to retract in any manner. However, mounting studs for the arms are visible.
When Steve Rogers and Dr. Erskine are sitting in the barracks, Dr. Erskine pours a drink for each. Dr. Erskine is at first gripping the bottle around its neck. In the next cut, he is holding the bottle further down around the wider part of the bottle.
Captain America takes a helmet from one of the chorus girls when going to rescue the 107th. That helmet is green with the capital letter "A" on it. When he returns to the base, the helmet is blue with a capital letter "A" on it.
Captain Steve Rogers wears the yellow American Defense Service ribbon. The ribbon/medal was awarded for qualifying service performed between September 8, 1939, and December 7, 1941. Since Rogers joined the Army after America's entry into WWII, he would not be entitled to wear this ribbon.
During WW2 if a soldier/sailor/marine did not come back from a mission, he was initially declared "Missing in Action" (MIA). Only later would he be listed as "Killed in Action" (KIA). Sometimes this occurred long after WW2 ended.
The old lady in the antique shop, among other characters, uses a Thompson model sub-machine gun (M-1928) that held a 20 round magazine. The entire weapon was normally emptied in less than 4 seconds of continuous fire, making the shoot-out in the antique store impossible without several pauses to reload.
When Stan Lee is sitting dressed as a 4-star general in the audience at the senator's award ceremony, his medal rack shows a Meritorious Service Medal (not instituted until 1969) and a Prisoner of War Medal (not instituted until 1985). In addition, his Silver Star should be his 3rd decoration, not down in the 4th row, a mistake a general would never make. Finally, his fourragère cord is never to be worn looped in front of the uniform, but rather under or over the arm, and is always worn on the left shoulder, not the right.
When the iridium is weighed in the van, it shows a mass of 380 grams. That cylinder has a volume of approximately 200 cubic centimeters, which for iridium would give a mass of 4500 grams. This mass is consistent with the sample being made of crumpled and compacted aluminum foil.
While iridium is somewhat rare compared to other elements, it is not particularly difficult to get hold of. It costs $580 per ounce in 2015, and buying the cylinder they show (approx 200 cubic centimeters) would cost approximately $90,000 and could be bought from numerous suppliers.
While iridium is somewhat rare compared to other elements, it is not particularly difficult to get hold of. It cost $580 per ounce in 2015, and buying the cylinder they show (approx 200 cubic centimeters) would cost approximately $90,000 and could be bought from numerous suppliers.
After providing covering fire during the raid on the HYDRA base Bucky cycles the bolt on his sniper rifle. Bucky's rifle was an M1941 Johnson which is semi-automatic meaning such action was completely unnecessary.
On the train, Captain America's sidekick fires a Colt 45 M1911 until it is empty, visibly locking the slide back. He attempts to fire it again, but it goes click. This type of pistol doesn't do that, because the hammer can't move when the slide is back.
Military units show African-Americans and appear to be integrated, but the troops were not integrated until 1948. However this is a specialty unit from a fictitious military branch, not a standard battalion.
While chewing out Agent Carter for helping Rogers on his mission to free Bucky Barnes and other captured soldiers, Colonel Phillips leaves the tent without a helmet on. The next scene cuts to him walking outside his tent with a helmet on. While it's easy to miss, the Colonel grabs his helmet on the way out of the tent. He simply put it on as he walked.
Peggy takes a sample of Steve's blood, explaining that she wants to see how his "genetic code" has been altered. This is perfectly valid both historically and in the context of the plot. The term "genetics" was coined in the early 1900s, and by 1942 scientists in a field they called "molecular genetics" already understood that there was some chemical substrate in the cell responsible for determining an organism's characteristics. Although DNA wouldn't publicly be identified as the relevant molecule until 1944, a secret research organization like SHIELD would presumably be years or decades further ahead. (See, for example, all the other fancy gadgets they use.)
Some have taken issue with the ribbon placement on Col. Phillips uniform; specifically the placement of the Silver Star. The placement is correct as the order of precedence ranks it below the Distinguished Service Medal (Army). Others have taken exception to the placement of the Combat Infantry Badge on the pocket flap - while this is technically the incorrect placement it was a common occurrence with paratroopers in WWII who placed their Airborne insignia on top.
The exposition depicted in the movie is not, as some viewers have assumed, the World's Fair in New York City, which happened in 1939, much too early for the film. The characters actually attend the fictional "Modern Marvels of Tomorrow" exposition.
Some have taken issue when Captain America is presented with his second shield, he is told that it is vibration-proof.
Instead he is told that it is "totally vibration absorbent" therefore absorbing the vibration of incoming projectiles and not even allowing them to ricochet.
When Rogers is becoming Captain America he initially has a strap across his chest prior to the super soldier serum being injected, when he emerges from the machine at the end of the scene the strap is no longer there. The strap is off because Rogers was growing to his new size/height and was becoming stronger due to the Vita-rays and Super-Soldier formula, so the strap likely snapped off during the experiment.
The Nazi soldiers appear to perform an improper salute (two-handed, and mispronouncing "Hitler.") However, if one is paying attention, they are clearly saying "Hail HYDRA", and are thus apparently performing a HYDRA-specific salute, with a different motion than the well-known one-handed Nazi salute.
When Steve Rogers pulls Heinz out of his little submarine boat and throws him onto the dock - then climbing a ladder out of the water himself - both characters are dry. Their clothes are dry and no water is dripping on the ground beneath them.
Stark accidentally detonates an ammo pellet taken from one of the Red Skull's weapons while examining it in a safety chamber. Although the observation window explodes in Stark's face with enough force to blow him across the room, the only injury he suffers is a small cut over his right eyebrow.
The goof item below may give away important plot points.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
When Rogers breaks out of the recovery room, the skyline image is seen in what would have been behind his bed, whereas the window was to the right of his bed. This may have been an addition to 'enhance' the illusion in the event that Rogers stuck his head out of the window, but unlikely since there wasn't one on the opposite side (or above or below for that matter). Also unlikely since if he looked out the window it would be fairly obvious it was a screen due to the stereographic nature of human vision. This is fairly inconsequential since Fury explicitly states that the whole thing wasn't supposed to be permanent and only existed to make it easier for Rogers.