Polygon

The battle for history: Why Russians and developers argue over the accuracy of Company of Heroes 2

The battle for history: Why Russians and developers argue over the accuracy of Company of Heroes 2

This is an amazing story by Colin Campbell, and it works on a number of levels. In fact, I've read it a few times to try to figure out what to think. The critics of Company of Heroes 2 don't seem to be claiming that the events shown in the game didn't happen, but instead that the developers unjustly focused on a very rigid view of war on the Eastern Front in World War 2.

War, and how we fight during war, does much to deteremine how we view ourselves culturally, and how others see us. The image we carry of the soldiers wearing our nation's flag is important, to the point that politicians argue for laws that legislate how that history can be shown to its own people. When our understanding of war is backed up against that of someone else, you get anger, resentment, and articles such as this.

I don't think there's a right or wrong side of this debate, but to have an opinion that means a damn you have to go back to the source material and look at the history behind these battles, that front, and the war in general.

Even primary documents can contradict themselves, and trying to piece together what happened in combat can be an impossible task. The value is in trying, however, and gaining as much of an understanding of history as possible. A video game is a good place to start, but it's likely to be a very limited place to end that journey.