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Let's look at some of the history behind Battlefield 1

How the war was one.

DICE's decision to go back to WWI for its latest Battlefield looks to have been complemented by a wealth of historical research and a neat line in authenticity, as chronicled by a recent and quite fascinating video detailing all the real-life artifacts that have made their way into the game.

YouTube channel The Great War - typically a repository for expertly researched videos on WWI - has taken an extended look at the most recent trailer for Battlefield 1, noting down all the weapons, vehicles and settings and explaining how they fit into the war itself.

There are, of course, some inaccuracies in the game - the Zeppelins that are a headline feature of Battlefield 1 never really saw frontline action, and as host Indy Neidell points out if they ever flew as low as they do in the game they'd be shot to ribbons in seconds.

Some of the moustaches, too, might be out of place. The period leading up to The Great War was a golden age for the moustache, Neidell points out, and British soldiers were once required to grow them. On the fields of World War One, however, it was soon discovered they got in the way of gas masks, so they had to go.

There are also, however, some great incidental details, such as the pigeon that panics across the interior of a British Mark IV tank. Pigeons played an important part in the war, acting as messengers and even being deployed from tanks to relay information (I probably should have remembered that having been to a brilliant exhibition about the role of pigeons in The Great War at Bletchley Park a few years back).

Needless to say, the video's worth a watch. Battlefield's never going to be a truly accurate document of what happened between 1914 and 1918, but it's a chance to see the war through fresh eyes, as Christian explored soon after the game's reveal.

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Martin Robinson avatar

Martin Robinson


Martin is Eurogamer's editor-in-chief. He has a Gradius 2 arcade board and likes to play racing games with special boots and gloves on.

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