Not sure if it's on topic. I and some friends are doing a short movie, just for fun. The theme is ww2, and we have some soldier costumes, but they will be the same for all soldiers, so German, soviet and British soldiers will all look the same.

How can I make that we distinguish soldiers easily on each scene?

One thing could be name like Hans, but this seems odd, as in normal dialogue, you don't usually call someone by his name


closed as off-topic by Vincent, KernelOfChaos, Confounded by beige fish., Gryphon, JBH Mar 9 at 18:11

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Vincent, Confounded by beige fish., Gryphon, JBH
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ All I can think off is changing how they exactly wear their uniforms. For example the British would wear it by-the-book while soviet would wear it partially undone, helmet eschew (unless its supposed to be winter) and with some added dirty bandages or something. Perhaps have a coloured hankerchied sticking out of a breastpocket, bound around a head, sleeve or weapon to colour-code each faction. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Mar 8 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ Can your friends make/procure some insignia? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Mar 8 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site NotANazi, please take the tour and read up in our help centre about how we work: How to Ask You'll see in help center that your question is not on topic, but you can edit it to make it so. $\endgroup$ – Confounded by beige fish. Mar 9 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ Dozens of popular war movies have been made where Germans could be recognized by them speaking English with thick German accents (or rather, what British/US people think is a German accent). $\endgroup$ – Abigail Mar 9 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure this is a worldbuilding question. It's about depicting them in a story, not making your own story world where this depiction will take place in. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 9 at 11:37

In addition to Henry's answer, I would say: music.

WW2 was just a big musical comedy, with quite realistic fights.

Joke aside, music played an important role in WW2. It was the first total war with mass distributed music, and each side have his own recognizable style.

Just play some famous music, a red army choir music will give a huge hint on wich side a soldier is

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    $\begingroup$ This approach worked perfectly for Girls und Panzer, an anime where all characters are Japanese, but they fight in historical WW2 vehicles. The teams are based on different nations, and whenever tanks of a specific team are shown, a historical music of that nation is heard in the background. This is the music where all the teams are introduced before the final battle: youtube.com/watch?v=BRyIEnkk86Q Too bad it's audio-only, but you can identify the characteristic marches of Germany, USA, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland and Japan. $\endgroup$ – vsz Mar 9 at 8:49

Moustaches. Cheap, fun, and country specific!

French males generally have twirly, skinny waxed mustaches.

French stache

UK soldiers have furry, elaborate moustaches; larger yet if you are Scottish.

enter image description here

Of course WW2 Germans would all have prim little Hitlery mustaches.

adolf source

Americans of the era generally wore thin Cab Calloway type jazz mustaches. enter image description here


Since it is all for fun, historical accuracy is not important. Find some small British Russian, and Nazi flags and cut them into the breast pockets on your uniform shirts. Use Velcro tape to temporarily affix the flags to the shirts, changing them out between scenes. If you can find some slightly larger flags, you could do the same thing to the backs of the shirts so that soldier's can be recognized from behind as well.

In the place of flags, you could use ethnic stereotypes such as fur collars, cuffs and fake mustaches for the Russians. Also work a lot of salutes into the script as an easy German identifier tool.

Also, bad accents can't hurt.


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