There’s a lot of outrage circulating the internet regarding the inclusion of women in the latest Battlefield 5 reveal. Some are calling EA’s decision “historically inaccurate,” but consider this: Aside from the fact that there actually were women in combat roles (Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a badass sniper), there were animalsinvolved in wartime as well.
Wojtek the Bear was a real member of the Allied forces. That’s right, he participated in World War II. If we’re rounding out EA’s version of the battlefield, we may as well include the bear. We need him. Put him in a DLC.
Who is Wojtek?
He was purchased in Iran by a lieutenant who was traveling with a group of Polish POWs on their way to the Middle East. Wojtek was found alone, his mother nowhere to be found. Many assume that she was shot, leaving her cub behind.
Soldiers from the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps adopted and nursed this little bear, going so far as to bottle feed him condensed milk from an old vodka bottle. As he grew older, Wojtek adopted all the markings of a soldier. Beer was his favorite drink. He liked cigarettes. Play-fighting was his specialty. They even taught him to salute as a greeting.
What did he do?
Wojtek wasn’t just a mascot. He carried 100-pound crates of ammunition on the battlefield, never dropping a single shell. For a bear that stood at around six feet tall, Wojtek was known to have a gentle disposition. So no, he never went on a mauling spree a la The Revenant.
In order to keep him around and pay for his rations, the Polish Army officially drafted him as a Private. That meant he got his own paycheck, lodgings and serial number. He was later promoted to corporal.
“I felt like he was my older brother,” former soldier Wojciech Narebski said.
Why Battlefield 5?
Be honest, it would be amazing to have a character by your side that throws you ammo when you’re running low. Think of a bigger, fuzzier version of Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite or Atreus in God of War. Hell, what if DICE implemented a system where during your downtime, you increase your “bond” or rate of picking up healing items by feeding him pints of beer?
The Battlefield franchise has never been 100 percent historically accurate, and we shouldn’t expect that from EA. So I guess I could settle for some bear-mounted combat or a “Primal Rage” type mode that lets Wojtek demolish your enemies. Maybe even an option to just pet him or do a round of boxing at the camp.
Please, EA. Do it for the bears.