The Dumbest Military Decisions Ever Made in Movies

Movies offer entertainment, but not always with a healthy enough dose of realism. A lot of people let this go simply because they are there to be entertained, not given a lesson in combat tactics. While this might be seen as okay for a good many viewers some of those who sit down to watch have actually been in combat and could attest to the fact that some movies simply have some of the dumbest military tactics they’ve ever seen. Whether it’s a glaring error on the part of the director or something historically inaccurate that was deemed necessary for the film, such things are usually noticeable by many fans that pay attention to the finer details of a film.

Here are a few scenes that seem a bit ridiculous when one really thinks about it in terms of military tactics.

5. Taunting the English – Braveheart

So not only is this kind of a dumb thing to do, but it’s also essentially brainless because look at the size of their shields. It might be possible to hide and evade a few arrows, but when the English have enough archers to turn the sky black it’s very likely that taunting them in this way will only insure death from afar rather than a close up encounter. While the film is filled with historical inaccuracies it’s kind of ridiculous to think that the Scots would bother hiking up their kilts, which weren’t worn for another three centuries, and baring it all to taunt their enemy.

4. No advanced intel – Independence Day

So tell me this, wouldn’t it be better to fire a surface to air missile at the bad guy just to figure out their defensive capabilities before sending live pilots in? Given the idea that our government might see a rocket as costing more than an actual pilot this seems very feasible unfortunately, but at the very least it might have been wise to test the enemy’s defenses BEFORE instigating a firefight. So many pilots died in a needless and haphazard fashion that it begs the question of why wouldn’t they save their best pilots until they were really needed? It takes so little to fire a rocket at a spaceship that blots out the sky, but it takes a lot more effort to train another pilot.

3. Dumping troops into enemy fire – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Empire is probably one of the most wasteful regimes ever. They throw their troopers at incoming fire needlessly without strafing the villages or cities they plan to decimate anyway. It would make so much more sense to bomb the village and then find what they wanted in the rubble. Of course that might destroy any information they were seeking, but it would reduce cost in troop procurement and training. And this is from a Star Wars fan.

2. Rushing towards Mordor without any further planning – Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Let’s keep Sauron’s eye on us! Wait, he’s got another army? Maybe this plan wasn’t really that well though out. Ever notice it’s the two smallest fighters on the field that go running into battle right after the king? Really, the smallest, weakest guys are the first to rush after the king into battle.

1. Lord Cornwallis trusts the word of a militia leader – The Patriot

Civilized warfare? Lord Cornwallis was above all a gentleman of war, and as such was completely outdated even for his time. While the Patriot was horribly inaccurate according to history, it did bring up a few interesting quirks of the Revolutionary War. Why did Cornwallis believe the word of a man he’d just met? Why did he not send out a contingent of soldiers to call the man’s bluff? This is not the military genius that legend would have us believe. Instead it is arrogance that is not befitting of a man that could have easily put a serious dent in the leadership of the American militia.

Movies are entertaining, yes they are. But in terms of military tactics, some just don’t seem to make a lot of sense.


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