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The tank was a supposed miracle weapon intended to overcome the advantages of the German defences. However, as tank commander Horace Birks describes, they did not have the desired impact in the first two years of service; indeed they arguably posed more of a danger to their crews than the enemy. Only at the battle of Cambrai in November 1917 did their potential really become evident, and they were to play a decisive role in the defeat of Germany in 1918.
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First broadcast:
8 April 2014

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used as an introduction to an investigation into the role played by new technologies in the defeat of Germany. Students could be divided into two groups, with one half focusing on information from the clip which supports the view technology played little part, with the other half of the group using the information to make a counter argument.

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