New
New
Year 9

War in the colonies

I can explain the contribution of colonial troops to the First World War and that war was fought across the British Empire.

New
New
Year 9

War in the colonies

I can explain the contribution of colonial troops to the First World War and that war was fought across the British Empire.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Fighting took place throughout European colonies in Africa.
  2. Colonial troops from across Britain's empire took part in fighting.
  3. The war in the colonies explains why 1914-1918 is called a world war.

Common misconception

Historically the contribution of colonial troops to the war effort has been overlooked.

Colonial troops made significant contributions to the war, both within Europe and across the world.

Keywords

  • Empire - an empire is a group of countries or provinces ruled from another country by one person or a group of people

  • Colony - a colony is a country or area under the control of another country and occupied by settlers from that country

  • Siege - a siege is a military operation in which an army forces an area to surrender by cutting of access to essential supplies

Use slides 8, 15, 22 to emphasise the geographical scope of German's empire and how this contributed to the global scale of the war (as Britain and France looked to weaken Germany by attacking her colonies).
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • 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

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which one of the following is the best definition of 'empire'?
a country or area under the control of another country
Correct answer: a group of countries or provinces ruled from another country
a group of countries forming an alliance
Q2.
What term best describes a country that is under the control of another country, and often occupied by settlers from that country?
Correct Answer: Colony, A colony, colony, A Colony, colonies
Q3.
Which one of the following countries was an ally of Britain in the First World War?
Austria-Hungary
Correct answer: France
Germany
Italy
Q4.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into the order in which they happened
1 - many European countries had built empires across South America, Africa and Asia
2 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated
3 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
4 - Russia, Germany and France all declare war in July
5 - Germany begins its Schlieffen Plan
6 - Britain enters the war
7 - European nations begin to recruit soldiers from their colonies
Q5.
Which one of the following countries failed to carry out its Schlieffen Plan, triggering British entry into the First World War?
Britain
France
Correct answer: Germany
Russia
Q6.
Which one of the following statements best explains why the conflict of 1914-1918 became known as a world war?
Lots of people around the world heard about the war.
Every single country was involved in the war.
Correct answer: The war involved and impacted a large number of people all around the world.
Millions of Europeans died as a result of the war.

6 Questions

Q1.
What was the name of the first German colony to surrender to British forces?
Correct answer: Togoland
Gold Coast
Kamerun
German East Africa
Q2.
How many days after Britain declared war on Germany did British forces invade German Togoland?
Correct answer: Three
Ten
Eight
Six
Q3.
Which country led the siege of Tsingtao, in support of the British army?
Correct Answer: Japan, japan
Q4.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into the order in which they happened
1 - Many European countries had built empires across South America, Africa and Asia.
2 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
3 - The 'July Crisis' means Russia, Germany, France and Britain join the war.
4 - The Gold Coast Regiment, a British colonial army, invades German Togoland.
5 - Japanese forces lead the siege of Tsingtao.
6 - The East African campaign ends, with 300 000 civilian deaths.
Q5.
Which one of the following statements is the best explanation for why European colonies were targeted in the First World War?
The war had started between colonies.
Correct answer: European countries wanted to weaken their opponents by attacking their colonies.
European countries did not want to fight in Europe.
Colonies were not targeted in the First World War.
Q6.
Which two of the following statements best describe the East Africa Campaign from 1914 to 1918?
Correct answer: The battle conditions were different from those of the Western Front.
The battles were much less brutal than those of the Western Front.
Correct answer: The high proportion of losses were similar to those of the Western Front.
The battle conditions were very similar to the Western Front.
We do not know much about the East African Campaign.

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