Why 'Call of Duty: WWII's Female Soliders are Historically Accurate

A soilder on the beaches of Normandy, from the upcoming Call of Duty Game
Credit: Activision
 Why 'Call of Duty: WWII's Female Soldiers are Historically Accurate

Though the battlefields of World War II were often filled with brave young men, you may be surprised to learn about the courageous young women who fought beside them.

Following the recent announcement from Activison detailing their female playable soldiers for Call of Duty: WWII, the company has come under fire for disregarding the historical context of the controversial time period.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour // Tanya Pavelovna
A female Russian sniper during the siege of stalingrad, from Call of Duty: Finest Hour

In Call of Duty: Finest Hour's campaign the player takes control of a Russian Sniper by the name Tanya Pavelovna. The story engrosses you in the retaking of Stalingrad during Nazi occupation, and its popularity even extended into the WWII period action film Enemy at the Gates. I honestly played this game a significant amount when it was released on Playstation 2, and the inclusion of Tanya and the quality of the writing and level design for the title really did make it a great game.

Comparatively in real world history, Russia really did employ a large amount of women soldiers to fill the role of sharpshooters. The power of Russian sharpshooting during the period was unrivaled, with their ability to provide long range suppressive fire and precision accuracy unprecedented. 

"Much military doctrine was devoted to the use of snipers, who were able to provide suppressive fire from long range and capable of eliminating enemy leaders on the battlefield. During the war, 261 Soviet marksmen — and women — each with over 50 kills — were awarded the title of distinguished sniper." Military Education

Tanya Pavelovna became the first playable character in the Call of Duty series, just one year into its lifespan back in 2004, which makes the backlash about women soldiers being historically inaccurate, well, inaccurate.

Violette Summer // Velvet Assassin
A female war time spy aims her weapon, from Velvet Assassin

Velvet Assassin is a game set in the midst of the Nazi occupation of France, with players taking control of a British spy, Violette Summer. Being a spy, Violette must use stealth to traverse the locations and uniform disguises to infiltrate enemy zones undetected.

Similarly, in reality, Britain did in-fact employ female spies during the Second World War. Spies like Romanian born Vera Atkins fed information straight from Nazi officials, in the heart of the Nazi warmachine, to British intelligence and sometimes the Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself.

Velvet Assassin itself is based on a real life war time assassin, Violette Szabo, who conducted two missions in occupied France and was a Special Operations Executive up until her capture following an operation severing the enemies lines of communication.

"Madame Szabo volunteered to undertake a particularly dangerous mission in France. She was parachuted into France in April, 1944, and undertook the task with enthusiasm. In her execution of the delicate researches entailed she showed great presence of mind and astuteness. She was twice arrested by the German security authorities but each time managed to get away."

With the truth being; women played a vital role in the war effort, as well as military and intelligence operations, it would be unfair to deny the acknowledgement of their efforts as a whole under the guise of historical accuracy. The addition of women can only validate their capability, honor their sacrifice and celebrate their bravery in a way we are so used to for our own male soldiers.
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