This post is a little different to my usual posts as I don’t spend all my free time working on my website. I also play the occasional shooter games on the pc, Battlefield being one of them. With the new Battlefield 5 Rotterdam Map beta weekend in September I couldn’t wait to test out the Rotterdam map. This fight is based on World War Two when the Germans were attacking the city from the south and with airplanes. This post has screenshots from the game to real photos I have taken from the same angles. I had to write about this since Rotterdam is my home city after all!
All screenshots are first, with the matching photo second!
Rotterdam during WW2
This map is set in Rotterdam, but plays out a fictional battle between British and German troops. In reality there was fighting in Rotterdam, but more so around the bridges (more on this later) and the fighting was between Dutch and German troops. The fighting lasted a few days and ended in the bombing of Rotterdam by orders of the German high command, due to the lack of progress the ground troops were making. As well as forcing The Netherlands to surrender completely.
The city of Rotterdam was bombed by the German air force, with surprisingly only 1,000 persons to have been killed. This was because the city was already evacuated before the day that the air force dropping the bombs. Unfortunately more than 85,000 persons were made homeless and jobless, with more than 25,000 buildings destroyed. The heart of the city was truly destroyed.
Please see my other post about the Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 where you can read more of the history of WW2 and see objects collected during that time.
The Battlefield 5 Rotterdam Map
From the image below you can see the screenshot of the Rotterdam Map, situated with the Witte Huis at the blue point B. The screenshot from google maps afterwards shows the layout of the present, with the Witte Huis tagged with a google marker. The blue base marked as point E is where both bridges used to be built, whereas now these sections of the bridges are gone, with the red Willemsbrug bridge now in place.
De Hef Bridge
As mentioned earlier, most fighting took place around the bridges of Rotterdam. The bridge was not affected during World War Two with hardly any damage from the bombings either. There is still one section of the bridge in Rotterdam on the south of the river Maas. This no longer attaches to the landscape where the Witte Huis is placed, which is historically correct during WW2. These days, the trains travel through the Willemsspoortunnel, which was opened September 15th, 1993.
We recently did a free tour of De Hef bridge to the protected remaining section and machine room during Open Monumentendag – you can see our tour photos here!
The Witte Huis
During WW2 the Witte Huis was the highest skyscraper building in Europe. So when the German troops on the other side tried to occupy Rotterdam, the Dutch found themselves defending and sniping from this historic building. The Battlefield 5 Rotterdam Map to me looks extremely similar to now. There are bullet holes to be seen in the side too.
The Oude Haven
This area are where many private and permanent boats are docked. After the war Piet Blom designed the Cubic Houses which now can be seen above the harbour area. In the photo you can see the area has been built up with apartments and local restaurants. This is now a pretty place to be for a drink and a bite to eat.
In the first screenshot you can see the bridge opposite, which is still in place today.
The Water Canals
The two canals that are within the game look very pretty and a lot more like Amsterdam, Leiden and Delft these days. Just like what the city center of Rotterdam used to look like too. As for Rotterdam in present times, you can see a big difference!
The River Maas
Along the River Maas you can see in the game where De Hef bridge passes over to the south side of the city. Again this is where the tunnel now is and the Willemsbrug bridge as car and pedestrian bridge. However there is still a walkway along the water now.
Within the gameplay you also see the city on fire and bombed on the other side of the river, location of the Noordereiland. This area was where German troops were positioned during the fighting and a location that was never actually bombed. Today you can find most original built houses dated before the war.
The Erasmus Statue
This statue represents Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536), designed by sculptor Hendrick de Keyser. It is known as the oldest bronze statue in the Netherlands. He was famous as a philosopher, Renaissance humanist and a catholic theologian.
The statue survived the German bombings as it was protected at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. From there it has been placed at several places in the city. However then relocated based on new buildings and structures. Now it is at its’ permanent location next to the Laurenskerk Church.
The original trams in Rotterdam used to be yellow and looking very similar to the present typical Lisbon trams still in use. There is one original tram used in Rotterdam for tourists to explore the city which I managed to get a photo of during one of the tours. The rest can be visited a the tram museum open on special days only.
The Laurenskerk church can be seen in the game outside of the map gameplay area. You can see if from the old train bridge, which is no longer there present times. As you can see in the photo at the beginning, the church building survived the war as one of the only standing buildings left in the city center. The beautiful coloured glass windows were removed before the bombings to prevent damage. Kept in a safe place, this allowed the city to put back in place the original glass after the war.
I’ve only currently viewed this Battlefield 5 Rotterdam Map but I have recently seen new footage of another map with the Laurenskerk right in the center, interested to see how that looks in gameplay!
I think the Rotterdam map is actually nice to play, since it does have these elements that I see every day. I like how the map does have the Laurenskerk church in the background and the Erasmus statue. I find it personally fascinating how the city used to be before the war, and love learning more about it. Since it was just the Beta version for 1 weekend I didn’t get to play it much, but enjoyed the Battlefield 5 Rotterdam Map so far. I also had fun exploring my own city to try and take photos from the similar angles too!