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Report RSS Historical Inaccuracies in Call of Duty: World at War and suggestions (Part 1)

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This is gonna be the first topic about my thought on the Call of Duty: World at War's authenticity, historical mistakes, and suggestions to improve it.

First of all, I have to say this game is my top favorite game from the entire Call of Duty franchise. Mainly because of its impressive storyline, atmosphere, ambience, and soundtracks. Also, one of the few FPS that really shows how dark, violent, and terrifying the WAR is.
However, I have found out that there are TONS of historical mistakes in this game. Well, of course, it's nearly impossible to make any kind of historical media to be 100% because of so many reasons. And for videogames, just 70-80% accuracy is fair enough to me. But this case... I could only give the accuracy rate for this game as only 40-50%. To make the matter worse, some of those mistakes are completely unbearable. And it's only raising my DOUBT on the capabilities of Treyarch's research team.

Nevertheless, the vast amount of mistakes in this game is the main reason why I decided to create this topic, just for an educational case for those who interested in historical and realism content.
Also as a suggestion to make the possibly future reboot version of the game even better and gain more valuable aspects.

And of course, I'm NOT A HATER. All these efforts are just to make the game and this franchise even more interesting and get more respect from the fans.

Intro cut scene
- The cut scene should mention the years of Nazi 3rd Reich’s territorial expansion.
What it should be: Mention a year since the beginning of the Nazi Empire until the Battle of Stalingrad as a letter, like 1933 ~ 1942.
- During the 'Japanese territorial expansion' scene, the year '1937' should be appeared as a letter.
- The cut scene featured Emperor Hirohito, but it wasn't mentioned anything about one of the most famous and controversial figures of the Japanese Empire - Hideki Tojo. Although his name is mentioned and used in the game to replace the ‘Japs’ word.
- When it represents how the Empire of Japan expand its territory, it only mentioned the French's 'Indochina' while what in the cut scene is how they expanding into 'China' (Second Sino-Japanese War).
- The Japanese invasion of French Indochina happened during September 22–26th 1940, certainly NOT in 1937 (which should be used for Second Sino-Japanese War instead).
WISB (what it should be): Mention both events as a letter, 'the Invasion of China' in 1937 first then 'the Invasion of Indochina' in 1940.

Semper Fi
- From the cutscene, the Japanese military base was located in the north-western area of the Makin atoll.
WISB: In reality, the base should be located on the SOUTH-WESTERN area of the atoll (Butaritari island).
- Most of US marine raiders should wear the PAINTED BLACK USMC P1941 Utilities, mix with those who wear a regular greenish P1941 uniform. For helmet: a plain greenish camouflage cloth (with some of the black painted marks is optional) + a regular helmet (non-camo). I've no idea why Treyarch uses the 1943-44 camo uniform on the original marine raider model, guess they probably mistook them with the raiders during the Bougainville campaign (since November 1943 until deactivation in Pre-1944).
- Remove 1944 USMC Utility cap entirely from the raiders, left only just camo helmet and non-camo one.
- In reality, there were only about 60~100+ defenders on the island, but in the game, there were likely about 200+ of them. So I guess it's all about the 'Alternated' history thingy done by TREYARCH all over again. It seems like the arrival of Miller's recon team surely alerted the entire island defenders and ended up they called for some additional reinforcements before the arrival of the main group of raiders.
- From above, the failure of Miller’s Recon team since almost a week ago should have to lead the entire operation being completely abandoned.
- IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) troops MUST be replaced by the SNLF and IJN (Special Naval Landing Forces, Imperial Japanese Navy) troops. Based on the real defenders of the island: 51st Guard Force (51 Keibitai), as a part of 6th Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force.
- From above, the uniform and insignia of regular Japanese soldiers and officers MUST be changed from the IJA style into IJN/SNLF style.
- Japanese model with tropical uniforms seems to lack of variations.
WISB: It should have a rolled up-sleeves version, shorten sleeves, and with shorts.
- Many of Japanese with the tropical uniform have the 'M' sign chest mark. But this kind of insignia shouldn't be appeared in the uniform anymore since 1940 (Makin settings is August 1942).
- Type 100 (the firearm that supposed to be a rare one) with the 1944 model during Makin atoll raids in 1942 is completely anachronistic.
WISB: Use the ‘1940 model’ and decrease its appearance from a common weapon into an uncommon or RARE one.
- Recommend since this mission until the end of US campaign: The model of the original 'Arisaka' rifle should be Type 38 (longer model), while the Type 99 Arisaka version should be made as a new weapon with a separate ammo supply. Overall performance of Type 99 Arisaka;
Pro: Lighter than Type 38, shorter time to aim and swap, faster reloading and higher firepower.
Con: Slightly lesser accuracy and firing range, higher recoil, and muzzle flash.
Type 99 Arisaka could be appeared in-game along with Type 38 but in a smaller amount. It could be equipped mainly by the ambush team, base guards, and some random AIs among the regular Japanese soldiers.
- Also, recommend since this mission 'til the end of US campaign: A few amounts of Type 99 Deployable light machinegun can appear on this mission. And similar to the suggestion for the Arisaka rifles, 'Type 96 LMG' can appear as a new LMG for the Japanese troops with a separate ammo supply from the Type 99 version. Overall performance of Type 96 LMG;
Pro: Slightly lighter than Type 99 LMG, lower recoil, also slightly shorter time to aim, to swap, and reloading.
Con: Lower rate of fire and firepower.
- In addition, Type 96 LMG could be appeared in-game along with Type 99 LMG but in a larger amount (more common). And both Type 96 and 99 LMGs could be equipped with BAYONET as a special variation, which can be appeared among the Banzai chargers and few Japanese troops. Also, a long telescopic sight with fixed 2.5x magnification can be attached on both LMGs, as a customize attachment for the Multiplayer mode.
- Few of the IJN/SNLF troops can be hidden in the tree and sniping at the player + teammates like in other missions.
- Type 97 sniper rifle (Type 38 with 2.5x scope and turned down bolt) can be included as a new variation for the Type 38 Arisaka. Overall performance;
Pro: Lower recoil, lesser muzzle flash, higher accuracy and firing range than Type 99 Arisaka with scope.
Con: Heavier, slightly longer time to aim, to swap, and reloading than the Type 99 + scope.
- Since this mission 'til the end of the campaign, there should be more variation of the face/head models for both American and Japanese faction. Especially for the Japanese side, and the regular OFFICER model (this guy only had a single face model throughout the game).
- Also since this mission 'til the end of the game, teammates AIs can be more USEFUL by improving their aiming and accuracy.

Little Resistance
- 'The Point' seems too high in the mission, the real one is just a 30 feet-tall hill and it might don't look so rocky like in the game.
- The inner parts of the island should be the Japanese airfield areas, not a group of tall hills filled with trees.
- Due to the historical fact that the 1st Marines Division just arrived on the white beach on the very ‘first day’ of Peleliu invasion (September 15th, 1944). So it impossible that Japanese troops could be able to capture enemy weapons like 1897 Trench Gun and keep them inside their own bunkers on the first day of US forces invasion on the island.
WISB: remove the Trench Gun from the mission, and replace them with other Japanese weapons like Type 99 Arisaka and Type 96 LMG.
- Since this mission until the end of the US campaign: the USMC P44 uniform should have a more Greenish tone (same color as Sgt.Sullivan and Pvt.Polonsky uniforms). And about half of them should wear their uniform in a casual way (similar to Polonsky’s dressing).
Such as: rolled up tunic sleeves, and untuck pant legs. Mix up with the original proper dressing style.
- A SERGEANT insignia of rank on Cpl. Roebuck's tunic should be changed into a 'Corporal.'
- For US marine AIs, few of them can use M1 Carbine and BAR also in this mission.
- The name M1A1 Carbine (the version for Airborne troops) MUST be changed into M1 Carbine.
- Since it's a .45 pistol, the firepower of M1911 should be increased.
- US Navy rocket strike is way too accurate, its attack 'radius' should be wider or imprecise like the Katyusha rockets in the Soviet campaign. Also, the rocket strikes should have done more damage to the wooden Japanese bunker building.
- US marine LVTs (Landing Vehicle Tracked) should have .30 cal and .50 cal machine guns attached to them. And they could be briefly used by Cpl. Roebuck and Pvt.Koopman also.
- When Sullivan's LVT got a DIRECT hit by a Japanese artillery shell, somehow most of the crews were managed to survive from that blast and jump out of the LVT as nothing happened.
WISB: To make some more sense, the artillery shell should be just hit nearby LVT, but that would be enough to roll the LVT upside-down and throw everyone into the water.
- [Optional] To make Sullivan's LVT doesn't feel so empty, 1 additional marine can be included behind Miller's position.
- Same as IJN tropical uniform models in Semper Fi, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) tropical uniform seems to lack of variations.
WISB: Apart from colors, it should have a rolled up-sleeved version, shorten sleeves, and with shorts.
- Same as Semper Fi, many of Japanese with the tropical uniform got the 'M' sign chest mark. But this kind of insignia shouldn't appear in the uniform anymore since 1940.
- [Optional] For the Japanese troops with TROPICAL uniforms, recommend adding Non-commissioned officer (NCO) models among them. Overall appearances:
1) Got a better gear/equipment than ordinary soldiers in overall.
2) 1 or 2 models per 1 Japanese 'SECTION' (12~15 men).
3) Their insignia of ranks on the uniform could be Corporal and Sergeant (random).
- There should be 1-2 more color variations for Japanese officer models, such as olive and brownish khaki uniforms. And most of them didn't have to decorate with the IJA medal on their chest.
- Recommend since this mission until the end of US campaign: The appearance of Type 100 (model 1944) should be fewer, as an uncommon ~ rare weapon for the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). This including those left scattered around the map as a pickable weapon, most of it should be replaced by some other Japanese weapons like Type 96 LMG.
- Every Japanese officer shouldn't equip only with Type 100 SMG.
WISB: Most of them can equip with Type 38 and 99 Arisaka rifles, also with a pistol (sidearm) only. About a few of them should be allowed to use such a rare/uncommon SMG.
- New weapon: Type 26 revolver - a Japanese break-action revolver, recommend to be an uncommon sidearm for the Japanese officers and Non-commission officers (NCO).
- Here are my thoughts on the randomization of primary firearms among the common Japanese troops, since this mission until the end of the game (not included snipers and other scripted AIs throughout the entire US campaign):
Equipped with Type 38 Arisaka = 40-50%, Type 99 Arisaka = 20-30%, Type 96 and 99 LMG = 15-20%, Type 100 and others = 5-10%.
For ambush squads (every firearms can be equipped with bayonet): Type 38 and 99 = 60-70%, Type 96 and 99 LMG = 20-25%, Type 100 (could be attached with a bayonet, fitted to the barrel) = 10-15%.
- A new Banzai charge conditions for Japanese AIs, since this mission to the end of the US campaign:
In the original game, Japanese AIs often swap their main firearm into their pistol (sidearm) right after their main weapon ran out of ammo or when they were shot down. They're acting like the pistol was a common weapon among the regular soldiers. But in reality, the pistol was likely to appear among NCOs and high-rank officers only.
WISB: After their main firearm ran out of ammo, most of the Japanese soldiers should be charging right at the player or teammates AIs, attacking them with gun's butt and bayonet. And some can be running at the player or teammate AIs while holding the Japanese Type 97 hand grenade in their hand (suicide).
While for NCOs and high ranked officers, some of them can use their Japanese Shin-Gunto sword for suicide charging.
- Type 97 'Chi Ha' tank NEVER EXISTED in the Battle of Peleliu, the only kind of Japanese tank that ever existed in the battle is "TYPE 95 Ha-Go", while the 'Chi Ha' could appear only in the Multiplayer.
- From above, Type 97 'Chi Ha' tank in the Multiplayer can be equipped with a "Type 97 7.7 mm heavy tank machine gun" as a replacement for the original mounted turret machine gun (German's MG42). And please don’t confuse it with the Japanese Type 97 ‘aircraft’ machine gun.
- According to the History Gaming Verified YouTube channel (Youtube.com), the Japanese tanks shouldn’t appear in the beachhead section at all (totally removed from the mission).
WISB: When the players reach the 2nd floor of the last bunker, they should have been ordered to destroy only the Japanese mortar pits and some MG nests (additional) instead.
- Since this mission until the end of the US campaign, a majority of Japanese Type 94 trucks should have a greenish color base.

Hard Landing
- I’m not sure if the mangrove forest at the beginning of the mission was actually existed or not, but I guess it was quite acceptable for the scenario reason.
- In the original version of this map, most of the areas nearby and inside the airfield had so MANY trees, rocks, dunes, and high terrains. And it completely makes no sense to build the airfield and runways in the middle of these things, without clearing and sweeping all the areas first for the runways, airport buildings, and other structures.
WISB: Decrease a majority of these environments and replace them with more sensible things like a plain terrain and runways, mixing with small Japanese bunkers and buildings (like barracks).
Here are some of the BEST example to describe it:
1) Real WW2 photographs of the airfield.
2) Peleliu map from the Red Orchestra 2: Rising storm.
3) Peleliu chapters from HBO's the PACIFIC miniseries.
- The Japanese Head Quarter building (2 stories building near the airfield) in this game was 100% MISPLACED. In reality, the fictional Japanese Anti-aircraft building is where the HQ building supposed to be located.
WISB: Change the misplaced HQ building into some Japanese concrete bunkers, and replace the fictional AA building into the HQ building. Also, change the surrounding areas of the new bunkers to looks more realistic and reasonable. Such as more plain terrain, decrease rocks and dunes, and add few more barracks and other smaller buildings or structures near the place.
- From above, since the Anti-Aircraft (AA) building has been removed, there should be new AA positions that appeared among the airfield areas.
WISB: 1 AA position nearby tanks battle areas, 1 AA position about 100~200 meters in front of the relocated HQ building, and 2 AA positions behind the HQ building about 50-100 meters.
And for the last 2 positions, they could be later served as a defending position for the US marines from the Japanese counter-attack (last section of the game).
A similar example - Japanese AA positions in the Peleliu map from the Red Orchestra 2: Rising storm.
- According to the actual WW2 photos, the real Peleliu airfield runways are definitely MUCH LARGER than what is appeared in the game. And most of the runways should have appeared in a background/outside the tanks battle areas instead.
- Minefields in the middle of the airfield should be removed. And to prevent the players from reaching the outer areas, there should be a teammate AI who will be shouting at us to keep us away from those areas (like in COD2, Hill 400 mission).
- Umurbrogal Ridge aka ‘Bloody Noose Ridge’ can be seen in the background. But strange enough, this ridge and the famous battle upon this place NEVER mentioned at all in this game.
- US marine AIs can use M1 Garand with bayonet and M1 carbine (fewer) in this mission. Also, M1919A6 (replacement for the original 30 Cal) is an optional choice for a very few of marine AIs.
- [Optional] Add the actual NCO models for the US marines AIs. Their appearances (in overall):
1) Got insignia of ranks on the uniform, 1 for Corporal and another for Sergeant (random).
2) Equipped with an M1 carbine and M1A1 Thompson (random).
3) 2-3 models per 1 USMC 'Squad' (13 men).
- [Optional] This is the only mission that Sgt. Roebuck equipped with BAR, but I think he should keep using his M1A1 Thompson throughout the entire game.
- When using Japanese AA triple 25 gun, there should be 1-2 US marines assist the player to operate and reload the gun.
- [Optional] For US marines with M2 Flamethrower, who got shot at the fuel tank and then exploded in front of the misplaced Japanese HQ building: This kind of mistake appeared several times in movies, video games and other kinds of media. In reality, only bullets alone can’t make the flamethrower exploded that easily.
According to this Reddit’s thread, 'Do flamethrowers from WW2 explode when shot?' From; Reddit.com
And its sources:
1) Kleber, Brooks E., Dale Birdsell. The United States Army in World War II, The Technical Services; The Chemical Warfare Service: Chemicals in Combat. Washington; United States Army Center of Military History, 1990.
2) United States. War Department. War Department Technical Manual 3-376A Portable Flame Thrower M2-2. Washington; War Department, 1944.
3) Zaloga, Steven J. U.S. Flamethrower Tanks of World War II. Oxford; Osprey Publishing, 2013.
WISB: Use similar animation like the first US marine with a flamethrower who was shot by a Japanese machine gunner.
But what I’d recommend making the event still brutal is, when the guy was shot and falling to the ground, the flamethrower firing tube would be pointing at the marines who about reach a cover and the fire will burn them all up. And by this point, if the players are also in the flamethrower’s fire radius they’d be killed as well.
- [Optional] For the M2 flamethrower in Hard and Veteran difficulty, the flame thrower’s fuel should be limited (about 10~20 sec).
- To make the tanks battle event looks more realistic and reasonable (US side):
1) Replace the first 2 Sherman tanks in the airfield area, which got easily destroyed by Japanese tanks into LVT(A)-4 instead. And they can be accompanied by a group of US marines, but many of them will be killed by the arriving Japanese garrisons + tanks.
2) The 4 Sherman tanks which arrived later in the scene should be able to wipe out most of the Japanese tanks within the first section of the airfield.
3) At least 1 or 2 of those Sherman tanks should be destroyed by Japanese Artillery shells, forcing the rest of Shermans to retreat back to their safe areas.
4) Then the players and teammates must proceed through the airfield on their own, and they have to destroy the remaining Japanese tanks + few Anti-tanks, and 2 Anti-Aircraft positions along the way.
Before they could reach the REAL Japanese HQ building and other 2 Anti-Aircraft positions behind the HQ building.
- Seems like EVERY IJA troops with a regular tunic (Type 98) only had a 'Lance Corporal' insignia on their collar.
WISB: Add other insignia of ranks for the IJA troop. Or using the EASIEST way - no-collar tabs, just simply remove it. But if Treyarch still insists, the insignia for low-ranked soldiers are recommended to be Private 1st class and 2nd class.
- [Optional] Add NCO models for the Japanese troops with Type 98 uniforms.
Appearances (same with tropical models):
1) Got a better gear/equipment than ordinary soldiers in overall.
2) 1 or 2 models per 1 Japanese 'SECTION' (12~15 men).
3) Their insignia of ranks on the uniform could be Corporal and Sergeant (random).
- IJA with Type 98 tunic models should be mixed along with the tropical models for variation of the enemy.
But as for this mission, Type 98 models should be a majority of the enemy models.
- [Optional] Add 'Button-up collar' version for the Type 98 tunic models, mixed up along with the original opened-collar (casual style) version.
- For the Japanese AI models with nationalistic HEADBAND:
If you ask me, I think this kind of model seems to be more compatible with the Okinawa based missions.
Because they got a feeling of desperation (last man standing situation) for the Japanese troops more than the Peleliu missions. But as for this mission (also Burn 'em out and Relentless), the headband model could appear but in a fewer number than the original.
- From above, the original pattern of the Japanese headband should be changed into a normal red circle (sun) in the middle of the white background. Because the original one looks more suitable for the Kamikaze pilots than the regular IJA models.
- As from above again, there should be a 'helmet-scarf' version of the headband also (a smaller cloth wrapped around the Japanese helmet).
- To make the tanks battle event looks more realistic and reasonable (IJA side):
1) As I mentioned in the Little Resistance section, the only kind of Japanese tank IJA's 14th Division had during the entire battle is "TYPE 95 Ha-Go" (less than 20 of them). And they can only do such minor damage to the US Sherman tanks.
2) In order to destroy at least 1 or 2 Shermans and forcing the rest to fall back, there should be a couple of TYPE 1 47 mm anti-tank gun with its crews located somewhere behind the tank battle areas.
3) Like in the PACIFIC miniseries, there should be several groups of IJA infantrymen escorting those Type 95 tanks by running behind it and riding on the tanks.
- Add 1-2 more Type 94 trucks for the Japanese convoys during the last section of the mission.
- Increase firepower of Triple 25, deal higher damage on Japanese trucks and light tanks.
- In the last section of the game, napalm fires should burn down all trees and plants in the area (beyond our defensive position) also.

OK, guess that's all for Part 1! If you have any disagreement, questions or even more suggestions, feel free to leave it here in the comment section.

In addition, I finally manage to sugarcoat some of the problems for the sake of authenticity with big help of deathwarrior700 by making a series of Overhaul Mods for COD WaW.
You can check them from here: Moddb.com

See you guys in Part 2!



Very good post, Treyarch seems to of remade the game from scratch and cut a lot of stuff out in a rush to finish the job on time. Its a shame really but that's business I suppose. You should make a post on all the cut content from the game next.

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FeReise Author

I agree that's possibly the main reason for all the messes.
And I might just to only mention some of those cut-contents materials also in my future topics because there are just... SO MANY of them, lol.

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Here's a few things that I honestly find it quite interesting:
1. Scrapped British weapons (Sten, Bren, and Lee-Enfield) Unfortunately, it's only 3 of them.
2. Scrapped British Campaign
3. Katana (Japanese Sword) that was originally going to appear in World at War but that was scrapped during the development
4. PPs-43 that was originally going to appear but scrapped. Just imagine it'll compete with the PPSH in Nazi Zombies
5. M3 Grease Gun which it could compete with the MP40 (The gun is still overpowered in console version for multiplayer than PC)

It is possible to restore most of the scrapped weapons and at least the british weapons except the whole campaign (good luck with that)

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Final Fronts had British campaign. At least might've been recycled.

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