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The First World War

Interactive Timeline

Life on the Western Front - an interactive decision making exercise

Causes of the First World War

The Schlieffen Plan

War Poetry

The Role of Britain in the First World war

Trench Warfare


The Home Front




Trench Warfare

The First World War was the first major conflict that made use of what we would consider to be 'modern' weapons. No longer were the Cavalry and the sword the most potent weapons on the battlefield. It was now a case of the machine gun and a gas canister taking control of the battle. 

Trenches came about as a result of the German General Erich von Falkenhayn ordered his men to dig in to stop the Allies from advancing any further. Unable to break through this line of German defences the British and French had little option but to defend themselves by digging trenches themselves: otherwise the Germans would have been able to counter attack with ease.

Trenches were not nice places to live and fight in. They were often waterlogged, and had little if any comforts such as heating and toilets. Much of the time the trenches were as little as 40 metres away from the enemy and the method of attack was to 'go over the top' of the trench and charge at the opposing trench. Millions died as machine guns cut through most soldiers well before they reached the trenches.


Would you survive as an officer on the Western front? An excellent simulation of decision making that was done on the Western Front, submitted to by Mr Fleetwood.

Stalemate on the Western Front - use this image analysis exercise to try and work out how the introduction of Trenches led to a Stalemate on the Western Front.

External Links

The Trench Experience - an excellent selection of sources and activities from the National Archives. - this page outlines conditions in Trenches.






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Recommended Books related to the History of the First World War highly recommends these sites: - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils. - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links. - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils. - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way! - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit Militaria - a range of interesting pieces of militaria is available via tihs site
The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Oakworth - great historical public house with loads of great beer and a lovely atmosphere