The terrific explosions that filmmakers portray are great theater and probably excite most audiences. However, for those of us with any knowledge of weapons, their artistic license makes it difficult to suspend disbelief and enjoy the show.
Generally, audiences are eager to accept almost any fantastical element that a storyteller throws at them. Even trained scientists are vulnerable to their fantasies as evidenced by the recent announcement that they discovered a particle traveling faster than the speed of light. Oh, how they dreamed of hitching a ride on it to the stars until they found the data error that led to the erroneous conclusion.
However, every story must have some semblance of truth. Storytellers must throw their audience a bone of reality here and there to help them out.
People who read books or listen to radio dramas are the easiest to appease. They are, after all, helping the storyteller by providing the visual images. Name a monster, and the audience will visualize whatever is believable for them. However, in film and on television, the audience are passive viewers and an actor in a rubber suit isn't going to cut it, especially not with modern audiences. Serious dramas will turn into comedies at the drop of a hat.
I have much the same problem watching modern police dramas featuring female detectives. Now, before you dismiss me as a knuckle-dragging chauvinist, allow me to explain that I have nothing against women serving their communities on police forces and fire departments. However, in all honesty, I would not expect that such women are physically challenged as are the anorexic models who star in these roles in film and on TV. I cringe when I see one of them kick in a balsa wood door. Actually, I'm surprised that they aren't injured attacking props.
I don't suppose that I helped things very much when I wrote Rebels on the Mountain. I not only took great pains to portray weapons and tactics in a realistic fashion, but also, I took the time to educate the audience. Inasmuch as I surmised that Fidel's few trained soldiers must have had to teach the recruits the weapons and tactics of organized warfare, I included scenes inspired by the infantry training I received in the Army. In my book, readers learn what a grenade is and how it is employed in battle. They learn about rifle squad tactics and the use of demolitions. I not only infused my story with a sense of reality, but also, I made it harder for my audience to suspend disbelief when they see these elements poorly used in other stories. Why should they have it any easier than me?
Ultimately, I believe that audiences read historical fiction because they find reality far more fascinating than pure fantasy. Like me, they must find real heroism more exciting than imagined feats of daring. After all, who inspires us more, an imaginary person facing imaginary danger, or a person like ourselves, confronting their fears and doing what is good and necessary in spite of those fears?