Deathwatch is a 2002 British horror film that involves the survivors of a British unit, Y Company, who are separated from their regiment during the brutal trench fighting of the First World War. Attempting to return to their lines, the British soldiers discover what appears to be a bombed-out German trench, abandoned except for three German soldiers. After killing most of the Germans, and taking one prisoner, the British company fortifies to hold the trench until reinforcements can arrive. Soon, however, strange things being to happen as a sense of evil descends upon the trench and the British begin to turn on each other.
The film contains largely accurate World War I-era weaponry, but there are some major historical inaccuracies as the filmmakers used some WWII-era weapons for much of the film.
The following weapons were used in the film Deathwatch:
Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I
The Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I is used by almost all of the British soldiers of Y company including Pte. Charlie Shakespeare (Jamie Bell), Sgt. David Tate (Hugo Speer), Pte. Jack Hawkstone (Hans Matheson), Pte. Willie McNess (Dean Lennox Kelly) and Pte. Anthony Bradford (Hugh O'Conor). Pte. Barry Starinski (Kris Marshall) has a telescopic sight fitted to his. During the opening sequence, these rifles are equipped with period-correct Pattern 1907 Bayonets.
This is a painfully inaccurate anachronism. While the rifle is a British design, the No. 4 wasn't even adopted by the British Armed Forces until 1939, closer to World War II. The film takes place in 1917, during World War I, and the cast should be using the period correct No. 1 Mk III*. But there is nary a No. 1 to be seen in this film, unusual since the No. 1s design is one of the most iconic weapons of the first world war.
Most of the German rifles seen in the trench are the Karabiner 98k. They are used by Pte. Charlie Shakespeare (Jamie Bell), Cpl. 'Doc' Fairweather (Matthew Rhys), and some British soldiers in the opening sequence. Shakespeare also gives one to German prisoner Friedrich (Torben Liebrecht) to defend himself.
Like the use of No. 4s in WWI, the use of the Kar98k in WWI is painfully incorrect, considering the fact that they weren't even adopted by the Wehrmacht until 1935 (at that point the WWI-era German Empire didn't even exist anymore and Germany was now under the Nazi regime). In WWI, the Germans did use carbine variants of their Gewehr 98 long rifle, but they were called the Karabiner 98AZ/98a and looked significantly different than the Kar98k.
Mauser Gewehr 1898
The German soldier Friedrich (Torben Liebrecht) uses a Mauser Gewehr 1898 to hold Pte. Charlie Shakespeare (Jamie Bell) at gunpoint at the end of the film. The historically accurate Gewehr 1898 is only used in this part and at the beginning; the rest of the Mauser rifles are the historically incorrect Karabiner 98k. This is bizarre and baffling, since the filmmakers had period accurate rifles on set for Germans to use.
A Bergmann MP18/I is wielded by Pte. Charlie Shakespeare (Jamie Bell) at one point in the film. This gun is a post-World War I conversion that has been retrofitted with a box magazine feed rather than a period-accurate TM 08 "snail magazine". In some shots, the gun is replaced by a Haenel MP28/II, standing in for an MP18/I; the two guns are distinguishable by their rear sights.
An anachronistic Haenel-Schmeisser MP28/II stands in for the aforementioned MP18/I in some shots. To be fair, however, it's hard to tell the difference and the guns are very similar, with the MP28 simply being an upgraded version of the MP18.
Pte. Willie McNess (Dean Lennox Kelly) uses a Goryunov SG-43 visually mocked up to resemble a British Vickers Machine Gun in the opening sequence. Perhaps it is the same mockup used in the 2008 Czech movie Tobruk.
Vickers Mk. I
ZB-53 / Vz.37
Webley Mk IV
The revolver used by the British troops of Y Company including Pte. Charlie Shakespeare (Jamie Bell), Capt. Bramwell Jennings (Laurence Fox), Sgt. David Tate (Hugo Speer), Pte. Thomas Quinn (Andy Serkis), Pte. Anthony Bradford (Hugh O'Conor) and Cpl. 'Doc' Fairweather (Matthew Rhys) is the Webley Mk IV. This choice of revolver is anachronistic with the .38 Mk IV not entering service until 1929. The correct revolver would be the larger .455 Webley Mk VI. Note that Quinn has a bayonet attachment fitted to his; whilst the bayonet had never been used officially by the British Army since 1915, it is still possible that Quinn got his hands on one.
A Mills Bomb is carried by Jamie Bell as Pte. Charlie Shakespeare when he compares it with the Model 24 Stielhandgranate, it is incorrectly identified as a 'Pineapple' by Sgt. David Tate (Hugo Speer).
Model 24 Stielhandgranate
Y Company soldiers Sgt. David Tate (Hugh O'Conor) and Pte. Thomas Quinn (Andy Serkis), along with several others, use captured Model 24 Stielhandgranate hand grenades to clear out German dugouts. Based on their shape, they appear to be antipersonnel fragmentation models.