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"Remember, boys - do your jobs, take care of each other, and "Big Bess" will take care of you."

— Townsend briefs his crew at the beginning of Through Mud and Blood.

Townsend is a Scottish character featured in the campaign of Battlefield 1. He is the tank commander of the Mark V tank "Black Bess" that appears in the chapter Through Mud and Blood.


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"When this is all over and the war is won,
They Will Remember Us."
This section contains spoilers for Battlefield 1.

Over The Top[]

Speaking with a Scottish accent, Townsend is fair mannered and level headed. He learns of Edwards, the new driver assigned to him, and his past employment through his transfer papers prior to meeting him. Edwards nervously assures him of his commitment to his new post despite his record, to which Townsend responds he doesn't mind as long as he does his job properly. After resupplying the tank and getting the rest of the crew aboard, Townsend briefs them on their objective - break the German front lines and destroy their artillery guns at the rear, before proceeding to the French town of Cambrai. He emphasizes the need for cooperation and professionalism, urging that they "get through this together" before commanding Edwards to move the tank out of the staging area.

At the end of "Over The Top" mission, Black Bess is trapped in mud in the forest. Immobilized and with German troops climbing on top, trying to force their way in, Townsend orders Pritchard to send their coordinates back to artillery command in order to drop a salvo onto their location, despite the fact that such an act could just as easily kill them too. After Pritchard is shot by a German gun through an opening, Townsend yells at Edwards - who was disoriented because a German pistol went off right next to his ear - to grab the message pigeon and sent it out. Edwards complies and the message is delivered.

When the expected artillery hits home, the Germans outside are dead and the quagmire outside is reduced to craters that allow Black Bess to drive away. However, Townsend took a shrapnel hit in the stomach that, to which McManus observes, "he would be dead in the morning".

Fog of War[]

Black Bess advances into a foggy section of the Bourlon Wood. Knowing there are German field guns stationed along the route, Townsend has Edwards dispatched ahead on foot to clear out the checkpoints. Townsend gives compliments to Edwards if the latter clears out those positions without alerting the enemy.


At night when they reach the outskirts of a town, Black Bess breaks down and needs new spark plugs for its engine. Because Townsend was in no shape to go on foot and sneak into the now German-occupied town, Edwards is once again dispatched to get it done.

Steel on Steel[]

The next morning, Townsend leads the now revived Black Bess through the town, dispatching the town's garrison and the newly arrived German armored column. Beyond the village is a railyard where Black Bess first eliminates the defending Germans, then weathers 3 waves of a German armored assault coming from Cambrai.

Afterwards, Townsend orders an advance on Cambrai, their original objective, despite his own health fading fast. Not long after, Black Bess is immobilized by an artillery barrage, which takes out its left track. When Edwards goes outside to take a look at the damage, an anti-tank grenade knocks him off his feet. McManus tries to help Edwards, but is shot in the shoulder and wounded. Meanwhile, more German troops charge onto the damaged tank, with some even climbing inside the tank only to be shot by Townsend. Seeing that the tank will soon be overrun, with gasoline fumes leaking rapidly from patchwork on fuel lines, Townsend apologizes to Bess, and then lights a match, igniting the fumes inside her and sacrificing himself, but saving Edwards and McManus, and preventing Bess's capture, as the blaze burned the assaulting German troops to death.