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Characters / Call of Duty: World at War

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Note: some characters from this game reappear in Call of Duty: Black Ops. For more information, please refer to the character page for that game.

For characters in Nazi Zombies, see here.


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Allies

Soldiers of the Allied forces during World War II. For Call of Duty: World at War, two different fronts are depicted, one in the Asia-Pacific Theater and one in the Eastern Front, with the United States and Soviet Union as the primary belligerents, respectively.

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    United States Marine Corps 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/faction_american.png

The playable faction of the American campaign. There are two units prominently shown, the Marine Raiders, elite Marines tasked with difficult missions while being Trapped Behind Enemy Lines, and the 1st Marine Division, one of the most battle-hardened divisions in the Pacific Theater, famous for their actions on Peleliu and Okinawa.


Private C. Miller

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cmiller.jpg
An American Marine fighting in the Pacific theater of the war. The player character in the American campaign of the game.


  • The Big Guy: Most often, he starts out with heavy equipment such as flamethrowers or machine guns, thus marking him as this by default in his squad.
  • The Cameo: Mentioned in a FBI file in Black Ops as one of the people who spoke with Alex Mason after he escaped from Vorkuta.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Implied to have been a victim of this following his capture on Makin.
  • Do-Anything Soldier: Not as bad as most examples, but it's shown that Miller is both capable of handling machine guns and TNT charges. Jutisifed, since he's a marine, who are usually tasked with multiple objectives.
  • The Everyman: Possibly.
  • Heroic Mime: Like most Call of Duty protagonists.
  • Player Character: For most of the American campaign.
  • Semper Fi: Unlike previous Call Of Duty protagonists from the American campaign, he's a US Marine, rather than a member of the US Army. As such, it's repeatedly shown how capable he is, from Makin to Okinawa.
  • Weapon of Choice: While he can practically use any weapon in the American campaign, he most often starts out with the M1 Garand, M2 Flamethrower and Browning M1919 machine gun.

Corporal/Sergeant Roebuck

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sgtroebuck.jpg
Voiced by: Kiefer Sutherland
Sullivan's second-in-command during the raid on Makin. Following the former's death during the Peleliu landings, he becomes leader of Private Miller's group.


  • Field Promotion: He's promoted to Sergeant following Sullivan's death.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: He almost never wears a helmet, save for one time in Blowtorch and Corkscrew.
  • Heroic BSoD: If Polonsky bites it, he briefly breaks down, before snapping out of it and going on Unstoppable Rage on the counterattacking Japanese.
  • The Leader: Of Miller's squad after Sullivan kicks the bucket.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While normally calm and composed during most of the American campaign, if he survives and Polonsky dies, him having a Heroic BSoD , completely losing it immediately afterward, and then coldly telling Miller to Kill 'Em All demonstrates how he's finally reached the titular "Breaking Point".
  • Sacrificial Lion: He could be, depending on your actions in Breaking Point.
  • Sergeant Rock: Like Sullivan before him, Roebuck makes it a point to always keep moving and fighting. Because of this, he often comes into a clash with Polonsky.
  • Unstoppable Rage: If he survives and Polonsky dies, he goes into a revenge-driven frenzy during the final part of Breaking Point.
    Roebuck: You fuckin' animals!
  • Weapon of Choice: He prefers automatic weapons like the BAR and the M1 Thompson.

Private Polonsky

The other notable soldier in Miller's group, and the only named replacement in Miller's group.


https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/polonsky.jpg
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: His defining trait. When he's not complaining about exhaustion or late ammunition resupply, he blatantly asks on what should be done next.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: If Miller saves him and he survives, he does this after Roebuck kicks it.
    P-51 Pilot: Airstrike Available.
    Polonsky: You hear that? Call in those fucking planes! Blow the bastards to kingdom come!
    • And by this point, he's sick of the word Banzai.
      Japanese soldier: BANZAIIII!
      Polonsky: Another fuckin' Banzai charge!
  • Doomed Contrarian: Only if the player saves Roebuck, the complaining Polonsky is killed by grenade-armed Japanese.
  • New Meat: At the time of the Peleliu landings, he's the only notable replacement among veterans like Miller, Roebuck, and Sullivan.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: He could be, just like Roebuck, should Miller choose to save the former.
  • Took a Level in Badass: If Roebuck is killed, Polonsky takes charge and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Starting with beating a man to death with his fist. Note that there is probably a man of higher rank with you fire-team when you charge forward.
  • You Are in Command Now: If Roebuck dies, he takes charge of the other Marines during the final part of "Breaking Point."

Sergeant Tom Sullivan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sullivan_waw.png
The former leader of the group that rescued Private Miller, he gets killed early in the game.


  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: His death at the hands of a Japanese soldier with a bayonet comes off as surprising as the soldier seems to come out of nowhere.
  • The Leader: Of the Marine Raider unit tasked with rescuing Miller's recon team at Makin, and later, Miller's unit at the time of the Peleliu landings.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He's killed early in the Peleliu battle by a Banzai Charger, leaving Roebuck to command the unit.
  • Weapon of Choice: He prefers Shotguns like the M1897 Trenchgun. In fact, he's the only non-player character in the campaign to use it.

Major Gordon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/majorgordon_waw.png
Commander of Miller's battalion during the Battles of Peleliu and Okinawa, and also a radio contact for the Black Cats operating off Okinawa.
  • Big Good: The highest-ranking officer among the US Marines shown, and the person that the Blacks Cats take orders and approval from at the start of their only mission.
  • Cool Shades: Wears a pair of aviator shades in his only appearance.
  • The Neidermeyer: Implied, judging by Roebuck's and Polonsky's remarks regarding his orders to push on even with dwindling supplies.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's only shown behind the front lines, commanding from the rear.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied, as he apathetically brushes off Polonsky's remarks rather than scolding him, a possible sign of exhaustion.

    United States Navy 
In addition to the US Marine Corps, the American campaign also features the US Navy, in this case members of the "Black Cats", flight crews who specialize in night intrusion raids against Japanese merchant shipping, as well as partaking in rescuing sailors whose ships were damaged or destroyed by air attack.

Black Cat Mantaray 5-4

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/codwaw_wallpaper_black_cat.jpg
A PBY Catalina flying boat assigned to VPB-54, one of the so-called "Black Cats" squadrons. Along with Hammerhead, they're assigned to interdict a Japanese convoy.
  • Ace Custom: This particular PBY Catalina is fitted with extra guns in the front, in this case two additional 20mm Oerlikon Anti-Air guns, for use in attacking unarmored merchant ships.
  • Death from Above: What they're good at doing to Japanese merchant shipping. Demonstrated in the first half of Black Cats, where they obliterate 3 Japanese merchant ships.
  • Gunship Rescue: They're forced to help the beleaguered US fleet off Okinawa following the attack on the Japanese convoy. In the process, they're forced to engage Japanese Zero fighters, Kamikazes, and PT boats that have made it through the screening destroyers with their machine guns.


Petty Officer Locke

A US Navy flight crew assigned to Mantaray, he's one of two machine gunners on board.


Booth

The pilot of Mantaray.


  • The Captain: He's the pilot of Mantaray. And he's presumably an officer, due to the fact that he's giving orders to the other crew members.
  • Danger Deadpan: Most of the time, he remains calm and composed when giving the other crew members orders. The only time he's visibly shaken is when Harrington and Hammerhead are destroyed, but immediately afterward, he goes back to his composed dialogue.
  • Determinator: Even after being damaged during the attack on the Japanese convoy, and being attacked by Zeroes, he still goes through with helping the US Fleet off Okinawa.
  • Disposable Pilot: Averted. He survives the entire ordeal.
  • The Faceless: While we do see him piloting the plane, we never get a glimpse of his face.

Landry

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/landry.png

Mantaray's radioman.


Laughlin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laughlin.png
The other gunner on board Mantaray.


  • Damage Control: Aside from being a gunner, he's also tasked with patching the plane up after it gets damaged during the convoy attack.
  • Guy in Back: He's the other machine gunner on board.

Hammerhead

Another PBY assigned to the "Black Cats". This one accompanies Mantaray on a night-intrusion mission against a Japanese convoy.

Harrington

The pilot of Hammerhead.


  • Character Death: He and his entire crew get blown to pieces in midair by Japanese Zeroes.
  • The Faceless: We never get a close-up of him.
  • Mauve Shirt: He does get a number of dialogue, and survives the convoy attack, but he bites it shortly thereafter when Hammerhead and Mantaray are attacked by a swarm of Zeroes.

    Red Army 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/faction_soviet.png

Much like previous World War II Call of Duty titles, the Red Army is a playable faction. And like the previous games, levels are set in both Stalingrad and Berlin, though more emphasis and detail is put into the latter rather than in the former.


Private Dimitri Petrenko

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dimitri_petrenko_dossier_image_bo.png
Voiced by: Boris Kievsky (Black Ops)
A Soviet soldier fighting in the Eastern Front against Nazi Germany. The player character of the Soviet campaign in the game.


  • Back for the Dead: In Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • Cold Sniper: Takes Reznov's place as one during "Vendetta".
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Killed along with most of Reznov's new squad in Black Ops when Dragovich unleashes Nova 6 on them, causing their bodies to pretty much fall apart... as a test of the gas.
  • Heroic Mime: In World at War, he never speaks. In Black Ops, however, we hear him actually talk.
  • Made of Iron: He cheats death, like, five times over the course of one game. This is actually acknowledged by Sergeant Reznov. Unfortunately, he gets killed off in Black Ops, subverting this trope. Not surprisingly, Reznov is not amused.
  • Player Character: Of the Russian campaign.
  • Walking Spoiler: Not in this game, but several major plot points in Black Ops hinge on his fate after the war.

Sergeant Viktor Reznov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reznov3.png
Voiced by: Gary Oldman
An incredibly hammy sergeant of the Red Army, and the leader of Petrenko's group of soldiers.

For his actions in Black Ops, see his character sheet there.


  • A Father to His Men: It can't be said that he doesn't care about the men under his command. Even Chernov, especially after he gets mortally wounded during the assault on the Reichstag.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV, brushing with a Type V judging by his penchant for killing surrendering Germans.
  • Ax-Crazy: Towards the Germans, in retaliation for not showing any of his men mercy.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT harm Dmitri Petrenko if you don't want to die. The German soldier that shot Petrenko with a P38 at the end of World At War found this out the hard way.
  • Blood Knight: Relishes in the slaughter of Germans throughout World At War. Especially evident in "Eviction", where he bluntly tells the other Russian soldiers to Kill 'Em All.
  • Character Development: While he belittles Chernov for most of the campaign, it's when the Russian Private gets mortally wounded that he starts to feel pity and sympathy towards him, even going as far as to take back what he said at the start of "Heart of the Reich".
  • Cold Sniper: Used to be this until his hand was wounded.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Surviving the massacre in Stalingrad, and to an extent Amsel's actions, are implied to have caused him to become vengeful towards the Germans once the tables have turned.
  • Determinator: It's pretty clear from "Vendetta" alone that he is willing to do anything for the sake of revenge, down to tracking a German general's daily routines in the bombed out city of Stalingrad.
  • Expy: He is basically the Good Counterpart Foil of his voice actor Gary Oldman's Big Bad / The Heavy character Ivan Korshunov from Air Force One, simply both characters being Russian combatants who are Large Hams, Ax-Crazy, Blood Knights and Sociopathic Soldiers, except if Korshunov was a good guy then a psychotic bad guy.
  • Fingore: His hand gets injured during the Battle of Stalingrad, thus preventing him from sniping at the Germans.
  • It's Personal: Towards the Germans, and especially Amsel, for massacring his men in Stalingrad. It comes to a point that he practically becomes fixated on killing him throughout "Vendetta".
  • Large Ham: He has his moments, in particular when he makes a Rousing Speech at the end of "Their Land, Their Blood".
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Russian, obviously, but is an Implacable Man. Not even having his trigger finger wounded will stop him from killing a German general responsible for massacring his men.
  • Revenge: His raison d'être throughout the Russian campaign.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Pretty much what drives him throughout the Soviet campaign is to get revenge on the Germans for what they did to the Motherland, particularly to his men at Stalingrad.
  • Sergeant Rock: Even if he does belittle Chernov for not being bloodthirsty enough.
  • Sociopathic Hero: He really likes killing Germans and encourages the player character to kill helpless, surrendering German soldiers.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • His knife. He doesn't use it often, probably because everyone else is shooting, but it's pretty memorable when he does.
    • In terms of firearms, he prefers the PPSh-41, due to his injury in Stalingrad preventing him from being a sniper again.

Private Chernov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chernov_waw.png
A Soviet soldier in Petrenko's group.


  • Blood Knight: The notable aversion in Petrenko's group. He gets called out by Reznov for this.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets the short end of the stick a lot, mostly Reznov calling him out for not being bloodthirsty enough.
  • Man on Fire: He gets torched by a flamethrower near the end of World At War.
  • Only Sane Man: The only one among his group who openly despises needless killing. As he himself puts it:
    Chernov: [after his squadmates kill a German begging not to be killed] This is not war! This is murder!
  • Uncertain Doom: His fate after the aforementioned torching is left unaddressed and he doesn't come Back for the Dead like Dimitri and Reznov in Black Ops.

Sgt. Daletski

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/daletski.jpg
A sergeant in the Red Army during the Battle of Stalingrad who survived the massacre at Red Square, and Dimitri's former superior.


  • Character Death: He's killed by a German armored assault just outside of General Amsel's headquarters.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Reznov states his situation as such, upon seeing Daletski's squad outnumbered and outgunned against a German armored unit.
  • Red Shirt: His only purpose is to save Dimitri and Reznov when they're about to be executed, lead a counterattack on the German communications post and Amsel's HQ, and provide a distraction for them. He dies shortly after succeeding in capturing the German comms station.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His assault on Gen. Amsel's HQ, despite failing, succeeds in forcing the German general to flee in panic, thus giving Reznov and Dimitri an opening to kill him.

Commissar Markhov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/markhov_waw.jpg
A Soviet political officer, and Reznov's direct superior during the Berlin offensive.

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: While most of the time he's just directing troops into battle, during "Ring of Steel" he personally leads Reznov and the other soldiers under the latter's command into battle, while killing several dozen Germans himself.
  • Blood Knight: Like Reznov, he has no sympathy for the Germans.
  • Commissar Cap: He's a high-ranking commissar, so he gets to wear one. In fact, he's the only Soviet officer shown wearing one throughout the Black Ops series.
  • The Political Officer: Most of his screentime is giving Soviet soldiers rousing speeches and encouraging them to show the Germans absolutely No Mercy and give them hell as revenge for what they did to the Motherland.

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Axis Powers

Members of the Axis Powers during World War II. While the German Army returns for the Russian campaign, the game introduces the Imperial Japanese Army, due to the fact that the American campaign is now set in the Pacific Theater of War.

    Wehrmacht 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/german_faction_logo_waw.png

As with all World War II-era Call of Duty titles before it, the German military appears as an enemy faction. Unlike previous games though, they are only encountered in the Soviet campaign, as the American campaign is set in the Pacific instead.

Gen. Heinrich Amsel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heinrichamsel.jpg

A German general responsible for massacring thousands of Russian civilians and soldiers, and Reznov's prime target for assassination during the Battle of Stalingrad.


  • Big Bad: Of "Vendetta". Men under his command were responsible for massacring Reznov's unit in Stalingrad.
  • Character Death: Killed by Dimitri at the end of Vendetta.
  • Dirty Coward: Having your men do all the fighting while fleeing at the sight of a Russian counterattack is a pretty good sign he's one.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When he sees Russian soldiers counterattacking at his doorstep, he knows it's time to move house. Unfortunately, Reznov anticipated this, and he and Dimtri manage to pick him off just outside his HQ.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The fact that his first action upon seeing a Russian counterattack is to flee shows that he isn't much of a fighter.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: His men are notorious for killing Russians mercilessly, soldier or not, as mentioned by Reznov, and shown beforehand in the opening of "Vendetta".
  • Red Baron: "Architect of Stalingrad's misery."

    Imperial Japanese Army 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/faction_japan.png

A new faction introduced in World at War, the Imperial Japanese Army is the enemy faction for the American campaign. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese soldiers make use of camouflage more, and often would suicidally charge into American lines in order to stop them.

Japanese Officer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/japanoffic28.png

A Captain in the Imperial Japanese Army, who is in charge of interrogating Miller's squad following their capture.


  • Asshole Victim: He's killed by Sullivan immediately after ordering the execution of Miller and the other captured Marines. And suffice to say, he had it coming.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What he puts Miller and his squadmates through. Seen firsthand when he partakes in torturing K. Pyle.
  • No Name Given: We never learn his name.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: His first and only scene is him partaking in one, and ordering the execution of prisoners not too long afterward.
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