#ItisMyBattlefield: Fact Checking Battlefield 5’s Inclusion of Women

Soon after the reveal trailer for Battlefield 5 went live, the reaction from parts of the community showed disappointment and complained about the game not being “historically accurate.” There are four primary reasons why some fans feel this way and started the #NotMyBattlefield in protest.

  • The inclusion of Women (Common believe is that Women did not serve on the frontlines)
  • Customization (Face paints, funky jackets, and more)
  • The trailer gave a very casual feel similar to Call of Duty (People want a gritty War Simulation and judging by the trailer the game doesn’t seem to be taking itself very seriously)
  • The female soldier’s steampunk prosthetic arm (Believed to be historically accurate)

In this article, we will try to bring some facts to light and discuss the history of women in World War 2 among other things. Let’s list the three primary reasons why the community is not happy with Battlefield 5.

First, it is completely false that women did not serve as combatants in World War 2. They had an active role in the War but their positions vary from country to country. Several hundred thousand women served in combat roles, especially, they were crucial to the anti-aircraft units.

The Soviet Union integrated women into its main army units. More than 800,000 women served in the Soviet Armed Forces during World War 2.  Most served as medics but 300,000 served in anti-aircraft units. Soviet women also had combat roles in the infantry and armored units as well as Snipers. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is the most deadly female sniper known to mankind with over 300 recorded kills with her sniper rifle.

Meanwhile, Poland had a number of Women’s Military Assistance Battalions. They were placed in auxiliary roles in defensive action during the invasion of Poland. Later in occupied Poland, women had a major role as part of the resistance.

The Americans never gave combat roles to females because at the time it wasn’t an acceptable practice (it seems it still isn’t as far as WW2 goes) but many other countries did. But women served as nurses, even airforce pilots and drove trucks though.

Part of the community being so bitter about the inclusion of a single female character in the reveal trailer is nothing but ignorance. Is it impossible to think that a soldier like her would have existed at the time? Is it historically inaccurate? No, it isn’t, still, some are boycotting the new Battlefield game over this non-issue.

Let’s move on to customization, and this is where I agree with some people; the game’s funky customizations will break immersion and aren’t historically accurate. However, should we expect a war based video game to be historically accurate in every way? Is jumping out of the plane to shoot someone and getting back in mid-air accurate? Customizations are an issue, I agree, they should not be there but this isn’t something that makes me want to burn down DICE and boycott Battlefield. Also, we only saw a small piece of the full puzzle so we do not know how deep the customization system goes and what it offers. Hold your judgment until more is shared.

Next on the list is the prosthetic arm and believe it or not, similar prosthetics existed during the World War 2.

There were many different variants of prosthetics available to the World War 2 soldiers. Some of them seemed to come right of the Frankenstein novel. Even if there wasn’t something identical to the one we saw in Battlefield 5, aren’t developers allowed to be a little creative with their designs? Aren’t allowed to put their own spin on some of the gadgets of that time?

Last but not the least, the casual feel, and to be honest I felt it. However, what I have heard from Angry Joe and others who were present during the 3-hour press presentation ahead of the public reveal, there is nothing casual about Battlefield 5.