Daniel "Danny" Edwards is a British character featured in the campaign of Battlefield 1. He is the last driver of the Mark V nicknamed "Black Bess", and the protagonist of the chapter Through Mud and Blood.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Edwards was formerly employed as a chauffeur for a wealthy home before volunteering for the Tank Corps, where he is assigned as the driver of a Mark V Tank during the Second Battle of Cambrai. Due to his lack of experience he is initially somewhat nervous, and is shown to lose his temper when all seems lost. Despite this, he proves himself to be a dedicated and competent soldier.
Through Mud and Blood[edit | edit source]
Over The Top[edit | edit source]
In the first scene of Through Mud and Blood, Edwards is seen arriving at the front for the first time, where he is greeted by his new commanding officer, Townsend, and is led to Black Bess. After gazing in curiosity at the outside, he explores the tank interior, and befriends the tank's mechanic, Finch. Pritchard, the Mark V's right-side gunner has a sense of humor, as he jokes with McManus, the Mark V's left-side gunner by implying that he will not like the promise "wine, women and song" upon receiving orders from Townsend to move out. Edwards seats himself at the controls for the first time, but the tank stalls with a jolt, much to the disapproval of McManus, who laments Edwards' inexperience. Afterwards, Edwards pilots the tank over the trenches and out of the base camp.
As "Black Bess" and its crew traverse the destroyed terrain, they are informed by Townsend to wait until the whistle blows for the initial attack to commence. Upon the whistle, a line of infantrymen comes from the trenches and charges into the ensuing fray. With Edwards driving, and McManus and Pritchard manning the guns, they fight their way through the battlefield, destroying artillery and guns along the way.
When they reach an uphill progression, they stave off a continuous barrage of German infantryman, heavy fire and even a German tank. After its destruction, they seem to be relieved in victory. However, during their revelry over the defeat of the German tank, an artillery strike renders them immobile. This forces Finch to leave the Mark V and attempt outside repair. Edwards pursues Finch, as well leaving the Mark V. Once outside, Edwards understands the grievous fighting and the danger of being outside the tank, and attempts to cover Finch.
An anti-tank grenade is thrown and blows both Finch and Edwards down. Edwards remains quick and responsive, managing to stay alert for the duration. Finch, however, is heavily disoriented and/or injured and cannot get up. Finch and Edwards look to each other for a few moments before gunfire penetrates Finch's chest, killing him. Edwards is forced behind the Mark V, where he yells to Townsend that "Finch is gone". Townsend hardly acknowledges the fact and tells Edwards to repair the tank so they can go. Edwards picks up what appears to be Finch's discarded repair tool, and repairs "Black Bess" from the outside. He then gets inside the tank and drives the Mark V up the hill.
After destroying the remaining artillery, the Mark V and her crew continue deeper into the enemy territory, seeing new challenges to their goal, such as smaller FTs that the Germans have commandeered. After destroying these vehicles and traversing the remainder of the terrain, they continue onwards to finish off the artillery that has plagued their offensive.
During an attempt to destroy artillery, Black Bess is soon immobilized in mud in the forest, and is subsequently attacked at close range by Imperial German infantry. Whilst Edwards and his fellow crewmen are fighting the enemy attempting to breach the outside of the tank, he became disoriented when an enemy pistol is thrust into a port and fires directly next to his ear, which its bullet kills Pritchard in the confusion, who lets go of the pigeon.
Deafened by the pistol, Edwards is hardly able to hear Townsend yelling at him to release the pigeon, and that it is an order. McManus, in fear of their lives and the supposed stupidity of the attempt, informs Edwards that releasing that pigeon was as good as suicide. Edwards, for the duration of the argument, is deafened and cannot properly judge the situation. When he finally regains good hearing, he is subsequently ordered to release the pigeon. With a meek acknowledgement, Edwards releases the pigeon through a side-hatch.
The pigeon successfully reaches the base, to which its message, a set of grid coordinates, is delivered to the artillery commander. The commander orders a salvo onto the grid coordinates, and the soldiers load the artillery guns, firing the shells. Back at the Mark V, the crew lies in wait for the salvo. McManus hears the artillery, and comments how it was nice to have worked with the crew, in acknowledgment that they were going to die.
The strike hits the area, fiercely shaking the Mark V, killing the Germans outside and seemingly delivering a sliver of shrapnel into Townsend's stomach. McManus, seeing they survived, turns to Townsend and acknowledges that he "has the luck of the devil". McManus continues on to say that the war was fought on blind orders and luck, and he'd like to see which one gets them first. Angered by McManus' cynical jabber, Townsend stands up and informs McManus that he's getting "sick of his lip", and to be quiet. McManus reluctantly acknowledges the orders and sits down.
Townsend orders Edwards to continue on, and Edwards pilots "Black Bess" from the former rut-turned-crater, and past the artillery they intended to destroy. After travelling for an short while, the crew comes up to a wood which they suppose is housing a large German defensive.
Fog of War[edit | edit source]
Townsend acknowledges that they will not be very effective at moving through the woods without a guide, as it is too dark and foggy. Edwards is made to leave the tank, and Townsend assumes the driving position. Edwards is made to scout ahead, clearing the areas so that the Mark V can move forward unperturbed. After killing the German soldiers in the individual camps, with congratulations from Townsend along the way, Edwards leads the Mark V through the wood with marginal difficulty.
The crew finally reaches a bridge that leads further into the encampment, to which Townsend prepares for Edwards to go and scout ahead, but is interrupted by a German surprise assault. Townsend sends the tank forward, across the bridge, aiding to take out the Germans with Edwards. After reaching the end of the bridge, Edwards is made to scout ahead once more. After dealing with the final ensuing bout of German soldiers, Townsend greets Edwards with praise. Edwards assumes control of the Mark V, and they plunge deeper into enemy territory.
Breakdown[edit | edit source]
Continuing in towards Cambrai, later in the night, the Mark V suddenly stops just atop a hill from a village down below. Edwards checks the engine, acknowledging that it needs new sparkplugs. Townsend, disgruntled and seemingly distressed, has Edwards look down at the village to see if an earlier league of tanks had made it to the village to greet them. Edwards takes the binoculars, spotting out their tanks- and, to his surprise, that the Germans had captured them, dismantled them and even converted some of them to their own design.
Disheartened, Edwards informs Townsend that he saw the tanks, but they weren't theirs anymore. Perplexed, Townsend notes that "anything they need", the sparkplugs, "would be down there", the village. McManus, seeming to be oddly cheerful, says they should get a start at getting the sparkplugs and leads Edwards outside. Once outside the tank, and out of Townsend's earshot, McManus informs Edwards that their efforts are hopeless, and they should run, as Townsend would be "dead by the morning".
Infuriated by his cowardly suggestion, Edwards tells McManus to go. McManus, in a final effort to try and get Edwards to come with him, prods him of the hopelessness of the endeavor. Edwards, even more angry than beforehand, tells him to "just fucking go", to which McManus heeds and runs back. To himself, Edwards notes the supposed structural discord of the whole thing, saying, "So much for being in this together". Nevertheless, he takes his mission at heart and goes down into the village.
Once there, he is able to sneakily avert any detection, killing the German troops occupying the village as quietly as possible. At intervals, Edwards stops at the disassembled Mark V's that came before them earlier, removing a functional sparkplug from each engine. After claiming four sparkplugs from the engines, he makes his way up the hill again. As he is about to enter the tank, a German soldier suddenly comes from behind, knocking Edwards down. He attempts to spear him with his bayonet, but Edwards manages to get his hand in the way of it before it strikes. He shakily holds the bayonet away from him, while the German soldier pushes harder, and it becomes apparent that Edwards would most-likely die from the soldier.
However, McManus came from behind the Mark V, shoving his own bayonet into the German's back, saving Edwards. The German soldier falls, and McManus helps Edwards up. Edwards, thankful but still bitter over his near abandonment, snarkily comments about how he decided to come back. McManus, either in earnest or sarcasm, says he couldn't find his way. Edwards says in a quote-worthy manner that the way is never the same in this war. Edwards goes into the Mark V, with McManus soon to follow.
Once inside, Edwards finishes installing the new sparkplugs. McManus sits across from Townsend, who seems more gloomy than the usual positivity. Confident the error was rectified, Edwards lays his hands on the Mark V's crank and tries to start the tank. It gives little more than a feign, refusing to start. Angry, Edwards devolves into a rhetoric about how he 'lived his life by the manual', and how he knew he had correctly fixed the engine. In disheartened rage, he attempted once more to crank the tank, to which it again failed. Beyond his limit, he began punching the fuel lines, expressing how he thought "Black Bess" liked to "bloody well fight".
In his most desperate mannerism, he began cursing the tank and seething, all while being onlooked by a continually declining Townsend and McManus. In a fit of desperate anger, with all his resolve on the line, Edwards lays his hands on the crank one more time, yelling "COME ON!" as he flips the crank. The tank roars to life, the pistons of the engine rotating slowly at first, and finally revving up. McManus, utterly surprised, begins laughing, commenting "she likes it when you swear". Townsend, seeming surprised but unresolved, says nothing. Overjoyed, Edwards mans the Mark V and continues into the village.
Steel on Steel[edit | edit source]
Soon, the remaining crew members of "Black Bess" sought to escape from enemy territory, but find out that the Germans are planning a counter-attack with supplies and artillery. In an instant decision, the crew decide to destroy the artillery while fending off waves of German infantry and tanks. After destroying the counter-attack supplies and continuing on their way, the Black Bess and her crew soon find themselves under strong artillery fire, which has immobilized the tank. Edwards bravely jumps out of the vehicle to repair the tank, but is suddenly knocked down by the force of an anti-tank grenade.
Wounded, McManus runs to Edwards' aid, shooting any German in sight, but McManus is soon shot down himself by one German soldier, who in turn is then shot by Townsend, who remains in the tank. Defending his tank, Townsend begins to shoot any German entering Black Bess, but he would soon realize that the enemy have overwhelmed him, and taking advantage of a gas leak, he lights a match and destroys Black Bess himself, sacrificing his life to kill the German infantry surrounding the now destroyed tank. Edwards then looked gruellingly at the sight of Townsend's demise, and looks at his hands, which had stains of blood all over them, shocked at what had just occurred.
Suddenly he hears McManus calling his name "Edwards...", revealing he had survived the gunshot wound. Helping him up, Edwards is asked by McManus, "So, what do we do now... driver?" Edwards then takes out his pistol and replies, "We walk." The two remaining crew members of the Black Bess soon walk off towards the town and surviving, for the war will have ended nearly one month afterwards.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Edwards' appearance has changed over the course of the game's development, as shown in various trailers. However, his final version does bear a striking resemblance to his actor, Ed Speleers.
- Although Edwards is only the driver, actual gameplay allows the player to control all facilities, and by extension McManus, Finch and Pritchard, of the Black Bess.
- On the map Passchendaele, one of the flags is dubbed 'Edwards House'. This has not yet been confirmed as to if this is a direct link to the singleplayer campaign.