Britain, Germany, the United States, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy and the Ottomans: these will be Battlefield 1's multiplayer belligerents at launch. If you have a passing interest in history, that list might seem a little short—almost as if a major player has been pegged for its own DLC.
With France confined for the campaign, there was an inkling it might be redeployed to DLC at a later date. Those suspicions have been confirmed by DICE's Julien Wera, speaking to IGN France:
"To really do justice to the French army in multiplayer and, once again, to show a side that we're not used to seeing, we have chosen to dedicate an entire premium expansion with special treatment after the launch of the game."
That's a rough Google translation, but the meaning is clear.
What I find strange is the decision to structure Battlefield 1's DLC (because there was always going to be DLC) by army rather than by region or campaign. For example, the Brits will be duking it out over the French town of Amiens at launch.
The Russian Empire is still MIA.