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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.


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 "Through the Mud" mission, Black Bess is trapped in a swamp, immobilized and German troops climbed on top, trying to force their way in. At this point, Townsend ordered Pritchard to send their coordinates back to artillery command to drop a salvo onto their location, despite such act could just as easily killing them too. When Pritchard got shot by a German gun through the opening, Townsend yelled at Edwards - who was disoriented because a German pistol went off right next to his ear - to grab that message pigeon and sent it out. Edwards complied and the message was delivered.

When the expected artillery hit home, the Germans outside are dead and the quagmire outside was reduced to craters but one that'd allow Black Bess to drive away, alas Townsend took a shrapnel hit on the stomach that, in McManus observation, "he would be dead in the morning".

Black Bess advanced into a foggy section of the Bourlon wood. Knowing there are German field guns stationed along the route, Townsend have Edwards dispatched ahead on foot to clear out checkpoints ahead. Townsend would give positive compliments to Edwards if the latter cleared out those positions without alerting the enemy.

At night when they reached outside a town the Black Bess broke down and need new sparkplugs for its engine. Because Townsend was in no shape to go on foot to sneak into the now German-occupied town, Edwards was once again dispatched to get it done.

The next morning, Townsend led the now revived Black Bess charged through the town, dispatched the town's garrison and the newly arrived German armored column. Beyond the village was a railyard where Black Bess first eliminated the defending Germans, then weathered 3 waves of German armored assault coming from Cambrai.

Afterwards, Townsend ordered an advance on Cambrai, their original objective, despite his own health is fading fast. Not long after, Black Bess is immobilized by an artillery barrage, which took out its left track. Edwards goes outside to take a look at the damage, when 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 strucken tank, some even climb inside the tank but shot by Townsend. Seeing that the tank will soon be overrun, with gasoline fumes leaking rapidly from patchwork on fuellines, Townsend apologizes to Bess, and then lights a match, igniting the fumes inside her, sacrificing himself, but saving Edwards and McManus, and preventing Bess's capture, as the blaze burned the assaulting German troops to death.


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