New Weapons of War
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World War II also brought new weapons for combat for land, sea, and air.
The first thing that changed was trench warfare – it disappeared. Now, it had changed to intense ground battles in blasted cities, such as the cities that Hitler had destroyed himself. Machine guns turned from huge, lumbering, unwieldy guns to smaller, easier to handle handheld versions, such as the Browning automatic rifle on the American side, and the MP-40 for the Nazis. Combat was more movement oriented, with troops not having to move through the terror of no man’s land. Battles were no longer a string of stalemates taking place in long hole. You were out in the battlefield, running from side to side, trying to find cover on the other side of the alley. The air battle had also become more advanced.
Air combat had changed from clunky biplanes flying over no man’s land to real planes fighting in intense air battles over water and air. On the Axis powers’ side, there was the Japanese plane the Zero, the second meanest, most efficient plane in the air. The first, however, was the American P-38 Lightning, arguably the best plane in the sky during the time period, helping the U.S. win many battles in the south Pacific and in Europe. The most devastating weapon ever created was also part of World War II.
The atomic bomb was the deadliest new weapon ever made in the period, possibly in all history. It was used at the very end of the war, after the fighting in Germany and Europe had ended. Two were dropped in Japan, one in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, killing 80,000 instantly; another on Nagasaki three days later, killing 40,000 instantly. It was a controversial military strike, still argued over whether it was humane or not. Not to say it didn’t help push Japan in the right direction to reform.
In short, new weapons of the era were more advanced than the First World War.
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D-Day in Video Games
A popular form of media is video games. And this medium has tackled World War II – but the object here is D-Day. Medal of Honor: Frontline by EA Games has an accurate representation of it, more or less.
MOH: F begins the first level of the game with D-Day. You start in a landing boat, with some men throwing up from seasickness. The driver of the boat tells you “30 seconds!!” as you approach the shore. German planes fly over and drop a bomb in front of your boat, causing the front to fall down, sending you into the water to run to shore. Several of your comrades fall when the front opens from Nazi machine gun fire. In the water, two men are shot through the water as you get to the surface.
The surface is a different story altogether. Machine gun is rife across the field as you move to the sand bur. There, you watch as medics vainly try to save those on the ground dying. You then have to get the private using the Bangalore tubes to blow you a hole in the wire to bust into the Nazi emplacements.
On the whole, this is very accurate and would have even been more so if the actual violence had been more realistic, with guts spattering and more blood falling from dead soldiers. And the deaths in the water would have been better with more violence, more blood. But the level gets one thing right—stress. This whole thing is very difficult and stressful. In the eyes of a gamer, this is a bit of humor. “The storming of Normandy beach is both stressful AND historically accurate! Now THAT’S edutainment!
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Medal of Honor: Frontline above any attempt to make a MOSTLY historically accurate game from World War II, and for the most part, it succeeds, with weapons, aircraft, and ground vehicles looking very close to their real counterparts. It also has finely crafted environments from blasted French cities, and the grim, dark setting of D-Day is very close to real. Sadly, this is where the realism ends.
NO ONE in their right mind would take on a mission like this. As lieutenant James Patterson from the United States Army, you will single handedly bring down the Nazi war machine, doing everything from helping a unit in need to full on espionage to achieve your objectives. You destroy Panzers with Panzerschrecks. You also steal a jet from a secret Luftwaffe base in Germany BY YOURSELF. And you sink an entire German naval fleet with your own two hands. Most would think the Nazis could take one man.
And this is for only one game, also. You also have other insane missions to accomplish in the first game in the series, like sinking a U-boat by yourself.
Also to take into account is the not yet released Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, focusing on the Pacific Theater of Operations. The opening level will be the attack on Pearl Harbor, and go through many island missions, one in particular being the storming of Iwo Jima and maybe (as rumors have circulated) another character breaking off in the death marches and become a guerilla fighter. One can only hope what will be in it.
Overall, MOH: F gets it down in terms of setting, equipment, character models, and mood setting, but the hair brained stealing of a secret plane and rescuing of many intelligence operatives from Nazi strong holds serves up a good video game time.
I won’t even go into the single handed rescue of the Neimeigen Bridge from Nazi destruction,…
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