Tiny details in historical movies that you're not sure happened.

Mar 2010
I created this thread to discuss small occurrences in historical films that you are not sure if they occurred or not.

It is not to discuss the historical accuracy of films but more to discuss tiny details, which may/may not be historically accurate.

To start it off, in the film Tora, Tora, Tora admiral Kimmel gets hit by a spent bullet whilst watching the attack on Pearl Harbour. He picks it up and says "It would've been better had this killed me." Did this happen, did he get hit by a spent bullet?? Did he say those words.
Nov 2011
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
During the movie "The Battle of Britain", did one of the Luftwaffe pilots actually say to Herman Goering, "Give me a squadron of Spitfires!"
This one is true, although there is doubt about who said it. Adolf Galland claims it was him but in a different context--he wrote:-
The theme of fighter protection was chewed over again and again. Goering clearly represented the point of view of the bombers and demanded close and rigid protection. The bomber, he said, was more important than record bag figures. I tried to point out that the Me109 was superior in the attack and not so suitable for purely defensive purposes as the Spitfire, which, although a little slower, was much more manoeuvrable. He rejected my objection. We received many more harsh words. Finally, as his time ran short, he grew more amiable and asked what were the requirements for our squadrons. Moelders asked for a series of Me109's with more powerful engines. The request was granted. 'And you ?' Goering turned to me. I did not hesitate long. 'I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my group.' After blurting this out, I had rather a shock, for it was not really meant that way. Of course, fundamentally I preferred our Me109 to the Spitfire, but I was unbelievably vexed at the lack of understanding and the stubbornness with which the command gave us orders we could not execute - or only incompletely - as a result of many shortcomings for which we were not to blame. Such brazen-faced impudence made even Goering speechless. He stamped off, growling as he went.
Nov 2011
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
In The Longest Day, did the beach master (played by the redoubtable Kenneth More) actually have a bulldog named Winston at the Normandy landings?
Commander Colin Maud RN (not Captain as shown in the film) did have a dog with him, but it was an Alsation (German Shepherd) and its real name was "Hazlewell Winston, or Winnie for short.
Oct 2009
San Diego
During the movie "The Battle of Britain", did one of the Luftwaffe pilots actually say to Herman Goering, "Give me a squadron of Spitfires!"
during the battle of britain, the Spitfire was not nearly as lethal as was the 109. The spitfire had measly .30 caliber machine-guns against the 20 mm cannon in the 109. And whenever the Spitfire dove into negative G's, its carburetor float would lift and starve the engine of fuel.

Spitfire pilots complained bitterly and it was;t unit after the BoB that Spitfires were improved in these regards and attained their full potential.

In fact... Spitfires were being shot down faster than Britain could make them, early in the BoB- and british command staged bombing raids over berlin in hopes that Hitler would shift the focus of his air attacks away from the airfields and radar installations and onto London. And he fell for it... allowing Britain a key breathing space for building up aircraft inventories.

The problem facing the 109s was not the Spitfire- it was their short TIME OVER TARGET... they often had to break off and fly back as they ran out of fuel, while a Spitfire could burn his whole tank within gliding distance of his home fields.

People keep forgetting that the early versions of MOST allied aircraft had major shortcomings. Even the Mustang- as glorified as it ended up being, was a dog when it first saw combat.
Nov 2011
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Raiders of the Lost Ark shows Nazis using MP40s, even though its 1936. Maybe they were testing them out.
It is a golden rule of Hollywood that German soldiers must always be equipped with MP-40s regardless of unit, rank or period in much the same way and at least one Gestapo or SS officer must be clothed in full-dress black and silver SS uniform, despite the fact that the Gestapo wore plain clothes and the black and silver uniform was not worn after September 1939 except by Senior Officer on ceremonial occasions and then not at all after 1941. It was a refreshing change to see the occupation troops in SS-GB on the BBC last month using Kar98k which was historically correct.
The MP40 was, by the way, only produced from 1938, not 1936.
A similar rule applies to Western films that always show the US Cavalry equipped with Winchester lever-action repeating rifles in almost any post Civil-War period, despite that no US Army unit ever used the weapon.