Military history is filled with stories about great battles, heroic warriors and incredible acts of courage. There are so many great stories from around the world, in fact, that many of them tend to get overlooked as time goes on.
Sweden's power metal music favorite, Sabaton, is out to make people remember these stories. Sabaton became one of the biggest metal bands in the world with ballads of battlefields and bloodshed, filled with unbelievable but real war stories your history teacher should have been telling you.
Its new effort is a worldwide museum project designed to encourage more people to visit their local museums and spark their interest in history. The centerpiece of the project is a new, animated movie, "The War to End All Wars," coming to a museum near you this November.
The title of the project is "History Rocks," and 36 museums in 16 countries have already signed on to join it. "The War to End All Wars" (a nickname for World War I) tells the stories from Sabaton's latest album, also called "The War to End All Wars." It begins with "Sarajevo," a song about the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which sparked World War I. It ends with "Versailles," about the 1918 Treaty of Versailles that ended the war.
Some of the tracks include songs about events and soldiers in the war that can be seen in the trailer. "Dreadnought" is about the rise of dreadnought battleships and the Battle of Jutland. "Hellfighters" is a song about the U.S. Army's all-Black 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the "Harlem Hellfighters." There's also "Lady of the Dark," about legendary female Serbian soldier Milunka Savić.
Sabaton uses more than heavy metal songs and a tank that fires into the audience at its shows to teach history. The band also has the Sabaton History channel on YouTube. This channel includes historical looks at World War II, Swedish military history and even the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, among others.
The band and its communications team conducted a study this year to see if their efforts were having an effect. Although it's not a strictly scientific study, they looked at Wikipedia traffic for the subjects of their songs before and after the song's release. The day before "The First Soldier" was released, the Wikipedia hits for Albert Severin Roche had 392 views. After the release, traffic on the page jumped 2,879%.
Wikipedia's page for Fritz Haber, known to history as the "Father of Chemical Warfare," had just more than 2,000 views. After Sabaton released its song, "Father," which is about Haber, the page experienced a 470% bump in traffic. Again, it's not exactly a scientific study, but it is an encouraging sign for the band.
Sabaton says it is dedicated to a mission to entertain and educate. "The War to End All Wars" is just the latest effort. Sabaton has more albums forthcoming this year, and will even make a child-friendly series on its YouTube Channel.
"The War to End All Wars" will be available in museums during the weeks surrounding Nov. 11, 2023. Check out Sabaton's movie website to learn more or get the movie in your local museum.
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