With the recently-announced Battlefield 1 sparking renewed interest in its WWI setting, historians are poring over the launch trailer to see how closely it sticks the details. The Great War’s Indy Neidell takes us through the good, the bad and the okay then.

I attempted to go through the trailer myself and look for any glaring inaccuracies, but the best I could come up with is that World War I ran from 1914 to 1918, nearly 90 years before The White Stripes recorded “Seven Nation Army.” I’d best leave the details to Indy.

Neidell concludes that the Battlefield 1 is making a valiant attempt to stick with equipment, vehicles and tactics from the era, but there are several inconsistencies and one or two bits that feel like outright errors but might just be artistic license or something. Like this guy right here:

Armor was used in World War 1, but it wasn’t quite this fancy. That helmet, given materials available at the time, would have been neck-straining-ly heavy.

We’ve got trench fighters wearing full gear, something they’d leave behind in the trench before venturing forth. The trailer goes a little heavy on the Red Baron imagery, putting Red planes where they probably wouldn’t have been. Several of the soldiers seen in the trailer are wearing the outfit of one army but carrying the weapons of the other, though grabbing fallen enemy equipment was certainly a thing that happened back then.


I think the trailer strikes a lovely balance between accuracy and fantasy, to the point that I’ve been watching The Great War videos all morning long, excited to experience the conflict from a new angle later this year.