It is time for every history buff’s favorite activity: analyzing the historical accuracy of modern media. The YouTube channel The Great War recently published a video critiquing the historical accuracy of the Battlefield 1 trailer. The trailer for Battlefield 1 was released on May 6th, 2016.
According to Indy Neidell, the voice behind The Great War video, the trailer is a hodgepodge of accuracy. Some of the most spectacular moments in the trailer, such as the tanks bursting into trenches or giant, ominous zeppelins hovering, are actually historically accurate. The trailer often shows soldiers wearing custom armor or carrying weapons from the opposing side.
One example is of a young woman riding a horse through the desert and carrying a saber. Sabers were actually a weapon more commonly used by European or British Hussars. Hussars were members of light cavalry regiments. Anatolians would have typically carried scimitars. Although the British occupied much of the Middle East, sabers were mostly ceremonial weapons. They were rarely given to family members, let alone, Anatolian soldiers.
Neidell also claims that some of the armor shown is “ridiculous”. The material available at the time would have made armor like this incredibly heavy and impractical.
Some Germans did have “lobster” armor, but this was reserved for sentries. It was considered unsuitable for actual battle.
This is not what I imagined when they said "Ladies love a man in uniform".
Neidell admits that many of these idiosyncrasies could be due to multiplayer customization options. For example, it is possible that once you have killed a enemy, you could loot their weapons. Some of the weapons featured in the trailer could also be placeholders or unfinished designs.
The channel ultimately applauds Battlefield 1 for incorporating so many different elements of WWI. Many people often forget that much of WWI was fought through hand-to-hand combat or that battles took place throughout Eurasian landmass.
Neidell is quick to point out that Battlefield 1 is ultimately a game and therefore cannot be expected to be 100% accurate. He stated, “We get asked a lot how accurate the trailer is in historical terms, and it’s difficult to say. Some of the scenes feature some unusual or experimental gear, and some weapons are carried by soldiers from the other side. Overall, it is an entertainment product foremost, and you probably won’t get an accurate depiction of the horrors of the war. However, the trailer already shows a lot of aspects that are usually forgotten when talking about this war.”
Do you see any other glaring inaccuracies in the trailer? Let us know in the comments below.