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"The World Wars" A Rising Threat (TV Episode 2014) Poster

(TV Series)

(2014)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (2)  | Character error (2)  | Factual errors (11)  | Revealing mistakes (1)

Anachronisms 

In scenes set during the 1930s, Douglas MacArthur is wearing the five silver stars that signify the O-11 rank of General of the Army. This version of the rank was not created until 1944. MacArthur attained this rank on December 18, 1944.
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Video shows MacArthur wearing the stars of a five stars of a General of the Army before the start of World War 2. However at this point in time, this rank did not exist, and wouldn't exist for a few more years.
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Character error 

Patton' s character introduces himself to Douglas MacArthur as Lieutenant Patton; he was a (LT?) COL at the time.
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The soldier reporting to MacArthur salutes with his left hand.
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Factual errors 

The narrator states that 60% of London was destroyed during the Blitz. Although London did suffer some destruction and loss of life during the Blitz, the damage in that city was far less than 60%--especially in contrast to other British cities, which suffered much greater losses.
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The Rheinland was not a territory "taken from Germany" after World War I, nor was it "guarded by heavily armed British and French soldiers" when Hitler decided to remilitarize it in 1936. Neither is it appropriate to describe the events of March 7, 1936 as an "invasion."

The Rheinland remained German territory (definitively after the referendum of January 1935 resulted in more than 90% support for remaining a part of Germany): the Treaty of Versailles (and the subsequent Locarno Pact) simply prohibited Germany from building or maintaining any fortifications, or quartering any troops on the left bank of the River Rhein, or in a zone 50 kilometers east of the river. The last British troops stationed in the Rheinland left in late 1929, and the last French troops stationed there left in June 1930--years before Hitler's decision to send troops (a token force of 19 battalions of infantry and a handful of airplanes--only three battalions of which actually crossed to the west bank of the river) into the demilitarized zone.
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Douglas MacArthur is shown to be a 5-star general while he was the Army Chief of Staff in the 1930s. However, he was actually a 4-star general at that time. He did not become a 5-star general until December 1944.
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George Marshall became the Army Chief of Staff in September 1939. He is shown to be a 5-star general during the this episode, which ends just before the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). However, he was actually a 4-star general at that time. He did not become a 5-star general until December 1944.
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The narrator said that Japan invaded northeast China in 1937. Manchuria is circled on the map. However, Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Japan invaded the rest of coastal China in 1937.
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Germany is depicted as attacking France along the Maginot Line. In actuality Germany didn't attack along the Maginot Line at all. Instead, it reached France via the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands).
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British prime ministers are not elected: they are appointed by the Sovereign.
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Douglas MacArthur and George Marshall were shown wearing the five star insignia for General of the Army in 1942 when in fact they didn't even attain that rank until two years later.
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Several times, Douglas MacArthur is shown wearing his five-star insignia prior to World War II, most notably while US Army Chief of Staff. In fact, MacArthur was a Major General (two stars) when appointed Chief of Staff. He did not receive his fifth star until being declared General of the Army in December, 1944.
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The rank of 5-star general wasn't established until December 1944. However, Douglas MacArthur is shown to be a 5-star general while he was the Army Chief of Staff in the 1930s. He was actually a 4-star general at that time. Similarly, George Marshall is shown to be a 5-star general when he became the Army Chief of Staff in September 1939 and through the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). He was actually a 4-star general at that time.
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The narrator said that Japan invaded northeast China in 1937. Manchuria is then circled on the map. However, Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Japan invaded the rest of coastal China in 1937.
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Revealing mistakes 

In one of the acted scenes were principals are listening to Winston Churchill's on-air warnings of coming war, the circa-1930's style radio is clearly a modern "retro" model as its tuning dial clearly includes choices for "AM, FM and AFC".
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