In a recent Battlefield 1 announcement for In the Name of the Tsar’s first gameplay looks at EA Play 2017, DICE confirmed something a little more interesting than the usual: female soldiers. Not previously featured in any Battlefield title, DICE is using their upcoming Russian expansion to feature women in the World War I setting.
Historically, during World War I, Russia formed 15 women’s battalions, including the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death following the February Revolution. Some Russian women had successfully petitioned to join regular military units, joining previously all-male platoons. However, beginning in the spring of 1917, many more women were pressuring the Russian Provisional Government to create the special women’s battalions.
While Russia was hesitant to introduce female platoons and battalions, the government believed the female soldiers presented significant propaganda value, believing they might revitalize the demoralized infantry.
In addition to the announcement image, DICE shared early concept images in their official art book. The Art of Battlefield 1 shows a number of female soldiers of both German and Russian nationality.
The image above may be another character model for the Russian female soldier, while the image below depicts a female German soldier.
Female soldiers in other countries participated in combat units: over 2000 women fought in the Women’s Red Guards during the Finnish Civil War and Serbia hosted a number of female officers. However, Russia was the only country to deploy female combat troops in substantial numbers, though the Women’s Battalions were disbanded before the war was over. Generally, most other countries that fought in World War I employed women in important auxiliary positions such as cookery, mechanical, and clerical divisions.
In addition to the female soldiers, In the Name of the Tsar will feature new maps and new weapons as well as new vehicles. Although the entire content package has not been revealed, the latest French DLC brought in a new Behemoth and a new game mode, so we may see similar additional features.
As for what maps and scenarios to expect, DICE’s previews show off the Battle of Galicia, a Russian offensive against the Hungarians and the Germans, and Operation Albion, the German land and naval operation to invade the West Estonian Archipelago.
We’ll get the first gameplay previews of Battlefield 1’s In the Name of the Tsar during EA Play 2017 on June 10.