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Letters from the Front

Heligoland22

( Played on Conquest Assault.)

The First Battle of the Heligoland Bight took place less than the month after Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in August 1914. Initially, at the beginning, the war on the European continent went badly for the French and their allies as the Germans were now crossing the border  and they requested an urgent need to gather men and supplies to be sent to France to hold off the invasion. The British government  looked to the Navy for some success on the continent as they didn’t have anything but bad news. The British Navy tactics at that time were to block the ports and taking the fight to the enemy.  The first battle of the Heligoland Bight was the first naval battle during The Great War, it took place in the North Sea where the British attacked German patrols off the north-west coast of the German homeland.

The German High Seas fleet remained in safe harbors on the north German coast while the British Grand Fleet remained in the northern most area of the North Sea. Both sides engaged in long range combat with cruisers and battleships and close reconnaissance with seaplanes and a destroyer.  The British came up with a plan to ambush the German destroyers on their daily routes, a fleet of 31 cruisers and two cruisers and submarines was dispatched.  They were supported at longer range by several cruisers. The German fleet had expected that the British would use their usual tactics, and had prepared defenses. The main body of the German Fleet was smaller then the British Grand Fleet and could not expect victory in a head to head fight so therefore, the Germans adopted a strategy of waiting and letting the British come to them.

The bulk of the BEF was transported to France in August 1914 and this operation was protected by the British Fleet patrolling the German Bight, the Fleet remained in Heligoland Bight ready to move south should any attack come to pass. Although, the Germans expected a quick response from the British to aid France, the German Navy expected more time from the British to organised thus they were caught off guard when it commenced.

The Battle of Heligoland Bight was a success. Three German light cruisers were sunk, three more were damaged and 712 sailors were killed and 365 were taken prisoner while the British lost 35 men and 40 wounded. In England, the battle was regarded a victory. Meanwhile, the effect of the  battle had affected the German Government especially Kaiser Wilhelm which he told the Navy to stay put and avoid any contact for several months.

Schermopname_530

Heligoland Bight is an interesting map, it brings out the naval warfare aspects of the First World War and of Battlefield 1 although it is also an over-dramatic representation as you can also fight on land. The map itself reminds me alot of Wake Island from 1942 and Battlefield 3, it has that same feel and has the same look as Wake Island just a bigger scale than that map, one thing that strikes me most about the map is how beautiful it looks and how real it is to the actual place. That’s one thing I like about the Frostbite Engine and how DICE goes the extra mile to put in things around the map that are historically accurate and the attention to detail is exquisite.

In Heligoland Bight, the flags are somewhat in a linear fashion although the German Empire does start off with all flags captured and you have to slowly build your way up and win the round but they do have a head-start on you. This mode is called Conquest Assault, Conquest Assault is a variation of the Conquest gamemode that’s been around since 1942 and Battlefield 2 and recently, the mode is lackluster and it’s no different in Battlefield 1. The mode has never really worked in the recent games like Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 so I’m not sure why DICE has a need to add a mode that never really worked and never really made sense since Battlefield 4. One thing that I applaud about Conquest Assault is how the mode brings the naval aspect into this, you can capture flags using boats, ships, and dreadnoughts. Heligoland Bight is a true naval warfare map.

Besides bringing naval warfare out, the coolest thing about Heligoland is how each team has 2 destroyers and 2 dreadnoughts to play out the naval warfare aspect and as a result, Heligoland feels like the true Battlefield experience that most other maps within Battlefield 1 don’t really have.

Heligoland Bight is an excellent map, it’s a shame that this expansion doesn’t deliver on this epic experience.

 

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