Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment!
Without further ado, let's get to the questions. Justin of Firetree-US wrote in to ask...
Along the coastline in the Swamp of Sorrows there are skeletons of giant turtles with structures built onto the back of their shells. Is this a nod to the Gnome submarines used in Warcraft II? If I remember correctly, they were turtles as well.
While yes, the Gnomes did use the turtles as submarines in Warcraft II, they aren't the only ones that have made use of them. According to a few quests in Darkshore, the Naga have put the Giant turtles to work as transports. Also, in Wrath of the Lich King, the Tuskarr use giant turtles with carriages on their backs as transportation as well. In fact, you can use them to get from one end of Northrend to the other. Edit: I was wrong, the Gnomes didn't use the turtles. It was a Horde unit. Same answer applies, though.