Author: Ryan Quint

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade”: The D-Day Landings in Video Games

The seas are rough, the landing craft crash through the waves, and the ramps lower to meet a wall of German machine gun fire that scythes through the soldiers packed into the small boats. As corpses fall into the water, dying it red, the player advances, trying to seek some sort of protection. So begins a typical level in many video games whose focus is the Second World War—the invasion of Normandy, France. D-Day: June 6, 1944.… Read the rest

When Drill Manuals Fail, Turn to Video Games

As a history major with a focus on warfare, knowing how armies fought is kind of a prerequisite. In the social consciousness it’s easy to say of 19th century battles, “They lined up shoulder to shoulder and fired massive volleys until one side ran away” and that would not be totally inaccurate. Where a statement like that misses the mark, however, is how organized armies were, and how specific drill manuals for individual units were.

With each army and each individual unit fighting in large lines, it was vital that each unit march exactly right, form-up exactly right, and maintain their distances exactly right; without the precise dimensions, the whole thing fell apart.… Read the rest