France WW1 Tour: Battlefield 1 Roadtrip
Embark on a thrilling journey through history inspired by the acclaimed video game 'Battlefield 1', which masterfully recreates World War 1 settings. Consider a trip to northern France to explore the real-life inspirations behind the game's maps. Visit the majestic Château de Chantilly, known in the game as Ballroom Blitz, and wander through the historic streets of Amiens and Soissons.
World War 1, a catastrophic event in human history, saw over 60 million soldiers embroiled in "the war to end all wars". This conflict, though it resolved little, forever altered the global landscape. My road trip through the WW1 battlefields in northern France, inspired by the Battlefield 1 video game, offered an enlightening real-life glimpse into this pivotal period in history.
1. Château de Chantilly
Known as Ballroom Blitz in Battlefield 1, perhaps my second favorite map after Sinai Desert
2. Rue de la Dodane (Amiens)
Rue de la Dodane is a street in Amiens that mostly resembles the map in Battlefield 1.
3. Cathédrale Notre-Dame Amiens
The gorgeous church as seen on the map of Amiens in Battlefield 1.
4. Somme 1916 Museum
One of the most complete collections of WW1, includes weapons, armor, artillery, helmuts and scale models.
5. Lochnagar Mine Crater
30-metre-deep, 100-metre-wide bowl that was created by the explosion of a large mine placed below German trenches just two minutes before the launch of the very first offensive of the Battle of the Somme.
6. Mont Saint-Quentin Australian War Memorial
Stop by the Australian WW1 Memorial near Saint-Quentin to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.
7. Museum of the Great War
Largest WW1 museum located in Péronne with a massive collection including propaganda and newspapers from war time. You will recognize many weapons from Battlefield 1.
8. Saint-Chamond Tank
The most iconic exhibit at the Museum of the Great War; the Saint-Chamond tank which you'll recognize from Battlefield 1.
9. Hôtel Le Carlton
During your 2-day roadtrip through the Battlefield 1 maps, stay at this hotel for their large murals of Amiens in each hotel room.
EA DICE, a Swedish game developer, created Battlefield 1 as the fifteenth installment in the acclaimed Battlefield series. The game, which sold over 15 million copies, is famed for its dynamic multiplayer battles, where two teams of 32 players each vie for control. This trip, particularly suitable during the COVID-19 pandemic, allows for safe exploration while maintaining social distancing, and is a must for anyone interested in WW1 history or the game itself.
At the Somme 1916 Museum, the display of a horse complete with wartime equipment strikingly resembles its depiction in Battlefield 1. The tour's highlight was the Ballroom Blitz, or Château de Chantilly, an extraordinarily beautiful castle also featured in the James Bond film "A View to A Kill" (1985), just a short drive from Paris.
The Western Front's grim reality, with its extensive trench networks and massive, often futile, offensives, is palpable throughout this journey. Today, these battlefields, with their museums, trenches, memorials, and cemeteries, offer a somber window into the past.
Discovering the Battlefield 1 map of Amiens was a quest in itself, with Rue de la Dodane near Quartier Saint-Leu being a remarkable resemblance. The Amiens Notre-Dame Cathedral, remarkably unscathed by both world wars, stands as a beacon of resilience and beauty.
My video is a tribute to Battlefield 1, capturing the essence of the game rather than serving as a comprehensive WW1 documentary. As my first 4K offering on YouTube for the Reformatt Show, it's a taste of what's to come. For additional context, the Netflix series 'Age of Tanks' is an excellent resource, showcasing tanks featured in Battlefield 1 and their historical use.
This trip is a pilgrimage for Battlefield 1 enthusiasts. Having played the game with friends every Friday night for three years, I'm contemplating organizing an annual Airbnb Experience in northern France. This two-day tour would cover the real-life maps from Battlefield 1, offering a unique perspective. Interested parties can express their interest in the comments section of the YouTube video.
For those seeking more information on Battlefield 1 and its maps, EA's website provides in-depth details. Also, check out YouTuber Flakfire's series on the real-life Battlefield 1 maps in northeastern France, like Fort de Vaux and Verdun Heights.
In summary, this trip across northern France's most famous WW1 battlefields, including the Somme, Verdun, and Pozieres, along with sites like Louvemont, the Lochnagar Crater, and the Ulster Memorial Tower, is a journey through history and gaming, uniting the past with present-day interests.