- The scene in England where Rafe McCawley is given a Spitfire plane covered in the previous pilot's blood is factual. Equipment and manpower were so scarce in England in the early 1940's that planes would literally be passed on when their pilots were killed without anyone cleaning them.- The way the Japanese fleet is depicted as approaching Pearl Harbor is accurate. They really did 'disappear' from US radars and flood the airwaves with references to every possible target in the Pacific, making it impossible for the US to predict where they would attack.- As is depicted in the film, a young radar operator did indeed see the massive Japanese approach, but was told not to worry about it as the officer in charge thought it was only a group of B-17 Flying Fortresses returning to Hawaii from training in California. The officer was later exonerated for his decision as the B-17s in question were indeed approaching the islands at the time and actually arrived at their home airfield whilst it was beng attacked. The approach of a large number of aircraft towards Pearl Harbour that morning was therefore not unexpected and would not have raised any particular alarm.- The report which Admiral Kimmel receives about a destroyer firing on and sinking a Japanese midget sub about an hour before the first wave of enemy planes attacked is entirely accurate (although in reality, Kimmel never received the report). The patrol ship USS Condor spotted a sub in restricted waters just inside the harbor and contacted the USS Ward, which raced to the scene and opened fire. The Ward sank the sub with its second shot. A second Japanese midget sub actually penetrated Pearl Harbor's inner defences and fired two torpdoes. Both missed and the sub was rammed and sunk by the USS Monaghan. A Japanese reconaissance photograph taken during the raid appears to show a third midget sub broaching the surface as it fires a torpedo towards US warships. A fourth ran aground and its commander was captured.- The film is a little ambiguous in its depiction of the whereabouts of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Mako) during the attack. Some people argue that the film implies Yamamoto is actually present on one of the Japanese carriers at Pearl Harbor itself, which would be historically inaccurate, as in reality Yamamoto was aboard the IJN Nagato in Tokyo Bay for the duration of the battle, with Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo in charge of the attack itself. However, if one watches the film closely, it is clear that Nagumo is correctly depicted as being in charge of the attack, whilst the two cutaways to Yamamoto contain no evidence that he is on board any of the carriers. This is especially obvious in the scene where Commander Minoru Genda (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) is surprised that Nagumo decides there will be no third wave of attacks. Obviously, if the film incorrectly depicted Yamamoto as attending the battle, it would be he who would take this decision, not Nagumo. However, it must be acknowledged that the film is a little unclear in depicting Yamamoto's location during the attack.- As is noted in the Trivia section, the scene of the Japanese gunner waving the kids away is entirely factual. It is believed that the Japanese crewman was apparently warning civilians on the ground to take cover since they were going to attack.- The scene where Lt. Red Winkle sees the planes heading towards the barracks whilst going to the toilet, before then rushing into the sleeping quarters to try to wake everyone up is based on the real experiences of Lt. Francis Gabreski.- Just before they take off during the Pearl Harbor attack, Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker are shown using a radio system which they hold against their throats as opposed to up to their mouths. This is historically accurate, as the communications device in P-40s worked by measuring vibrations in the vocal cords as opposed to simply transmitting the voices via radio waves.- Sailors really did report feeling torpedoes skim past their legs when they were in the water, as is shown in the film.- During the attack, nurses really did mark patients who had received morphine with an M, as well as mark them with a C for critical, and F for fatally wounded. Also, when they ran out of markers, they really did use lipstick.- Asian doctors and nurses did find themselves racially abused during and immediately after the attack, with many badly injured soldiers refusing to be treated by them.- As is referenced in the film, a third wave of attack planes was planned, an attack which would target the dockyards, maintenance shops, and oil depots, but Admiral Nagumo felt it was too big a risk as the Japanese had lost the element of surprise, and the US Navy and Army were beginning to mobilize. This is accurately portrayed in the film in the already mentioned scene involving Commander Minoru Genda who immediately protested Nagumo's decision.- As is briefly seen in the film, Roosevelt really did have a Hitler pincushion.- Lt. Col. James Doolittle really did wire the Japanese peace medals to the bombs before the Doolittle Raid, just as is depicted in the film (although where he places them is wrong; in the film he wires them to the head, but in reality, they were wired to the wings, as wiring them to the head could interfere with the detonation mechanism).- For the most part, the broader elements of the Doolittle Raid are depicted accurately, although some of the smaller details are inaccurate; the Raiders really were forced to launch early due to an encounter with a Japanese trawler which gave away the position of the USS Hornet before it could be destroyed, and they really did have to pitch down into China, where they encountered several Japanese patrols. Unlike in the film however, no US pilots were killed in skirmishes with Japanese soldiers. Also unlike in the film, none of the Raiders were actually killed during the attack itself (the film depicts one Raider killed by anti-aircraft flak). Fifteen of the sixteen B-25s made it to China (the 16th was low on fuel and had to head to Russia). Four crash landed and eleven bailed out. After touching down, ten men were unaccounted for; eight had been taken prisoner by the Japanese, two had died in the crashes. Of the eight prisoners, four survived, one died of malnutrition and the Japanese executed three, something which is not acknowledged in the film. According to Michael Bay on the DVD commentary, this point was actually mentioned in the original voiceover which closes the film, but, at the request of the Japanese government, it was removed, as it felt it might leave viewers with something of a sour taste as regards lingering animosity.