Online game based on World War I’s Battle of Verdun features Christmas Day Truce

Verdun is an online video game where multiple players can take part in the fighting of World War I. The idea for the game was based on the 1916 Battle of Verdun.

The Battle of Verdun lasted for almost ten months in north eastern France with around a massive 700,000 killed, injured or missing. The huge loss of life was due to both the Allies and Germany taking a “war of attrition” strategy where you essentially wear the enemy down through loss of people, weaponry and resources to the point of downfall.

The battle was an attack by the Germans who hoped to bring the French army to its knees and then move to fight the British in the west using Germany’s U-boats.

Initial advances by the Germans were thwarted by the French troops even though they were unprepared for the attack. The battle became a bloody stalemate with neither France nor Germany claiming success.

Even though the Battle of Verdun took place in 1916, two years after the Christmas Day Truce, the Verdun game designers decided to build in an extra section where gamers could call a truce in commemoration for the centenary of World War I, the Mail Online reports.

The new sections give players the option to take a ceasefire and re-enact the truce. They can play football, have snow ball fights, make fires and sing Christmas carols with their opponents, rather than fighting.

The players can continue fighting at any point, but the designers felt it was a poignant feature to include at this time.

The game’s creators have also launched online competitions on social media for players to submit their best video or screenshots from their Christmas Day Truce in the game.

The Christmas Day Truce of 1914 is an iconic story and image of peace amongst bloodshed during World War I and still resonates today. Both sides of the conflict emerged from their trenches to meet in no-man’s land and enjoy a brief time of peace and festivities at Christmas.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE