New
New
Year 9

The Western Front

I can explain that war on the Western Front was fought largely in trenches, and by men from across the British Empire.

New
New
Year 9

The Western Front

I can explain that war on the Western Front was fought largely in trenches, and by men from across the British Empire.

Share activities with pupils
Share function coming soon...

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Lord Kitchener quickly began to recruit more soldiers in Britain as he anticipated a long, drawn out war.
  2. The troops who volunteered to fight found themselves fighting a war of attrition from the trenches.
  3. The attempt to break the stalemate during the 1916 Battle of the Somme caused large loss of life for little gain.
  4. The British and French troops fought alongside the British Indian Army on the Western Front.
  5. Over 1.5 million Indian troops fought for Britain in the war.

Common misconception

The British army went into the war confidently, with a large number of troops.

The British army had no more than 700 000 men in August 1914, they would need to use mass recruitment and colonial armies.

Keywords

  • War of attrition - a war of attrition is a conflict in which each side tries to wear the other down by inflicting maximum casualties

  • Stalemate - a stalemate is a situation in which further progress by opposing sides seems impossible

  • Conscription - conscription is the process of forcing people to join the armed forces

  • Trenches - long, narrow ditches which soldiers dug to protect themselves during the war against enemy attacks

  • Western Front - a 400-mile long strip of land through France and Belgium were the largest battles of WW1 were fought

In introducing the Indian troops into the lesson, emphasise that India was one of several British colonies who contributed to the war effort.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

Loading...

6 Questions

Q1.
Which one of these countries did Germany assume would remain neutral if Germany launched its Schlieffen Plan?
Austria-Hungary
Correct answer: Britain
France
Russia
Q2.
Match each key word to the correct definition.
Correct Answer:conscription,the process of forcing people to join the armed forces

the process of forcing people to join the armed forces

Correct Answer:war of attrition,a conflict in which each side tries to wear the other down

a conflict in which each side tries to wear the other down

Correct Answer:trenches,long narrow ditches which soldiers dug to protect themselves

long narrow ditches which soldiers dug to protect themselves

Correct Answer:stalemate,when further progress by opposing sides seems impossible

when further progress by opposing sides seems impossible

Q3.
Which one of the following countries had planned to use the Schlieffen Plan in the event of a European war?
Britain
France
Correct answer: Germany
Russia
Q4.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into the order in which they happened
1 - the unification of Germany
2 - the Balkan Wars
3 - the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
4 - Serbia refuses to accept all the terms of Austria Hungary's ultimatum
5 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
6 - Russia, France and Germany become involved in the war
7 - Britain declares war on Germany
Q5.
Which two of the following conditions best describes why a country would introduce conscription?
too many people have volunteered to join the army
Correct answer: not enough people have volunteered to join the army
too many people have medical conditions that disqualify them from volunteering
Correct answer: there are not enough soldiers in the army at the time war breaks out
the population of a country is made up of mostly children and elderly people
Q6.
Which three of the following are examples of the impact war can have on civilians?
Correct answer: deaths of relatives and friends in the war
increase in trade and availability of goods, especially food
Correct answer: introduction of new laws to help the whole country support the war
development of new battlefield tactics
Correct answer: important issues that do not directly relate to the war are delayed or ignored

6 Questions

Q1.
When was conscription introduced for British men?
1914
Correct answer: 1916
1918
1921
Q2.
Complete this sentence by filling in the missing name. The name of the battle in which German troops first used chlorine gas was the Second Battle of __________.
Correct Answer: Ypres, ypres
Q3.
Which British colony had 1.5 million soldiers ready for war in 1914?
Correct Answer: British India, India, india, british india
Q4.
What is the three-word term used to describe a conflict in which each side tries to wear the other down by inflicting maximum casualties?
Correct Answer: War of attrition, war of attrition, a war of attrition, War of Attrition
Q5.
Which three are examples of the steps Lord Kitchener took to recruit as many men as possible?
Correct answer: using recruiters and posters to encourage men to join
Correct answer: introducing conscription
using recruiters and poster to remind men of the risks of war
encouraging many women to join the war effort as soldiers
Correct answer: making the war seem like an exciting adventure
Q6.
Which one of the following best explains why new tactics were used in the Battle of the Somme in 1916?
military leaders wanted to create a stalemate
Correct answer: military leaders thought they had figured out how to break the stalemate
the troops thought they had figured out how to break the stalemate
new tactics were not used in the Battle of the Somme

Additional material

Download additional material
We're sorry, but preview is not currently available. Download to see additional material.