History KS2: Machines of the military

This short film highlights the importance of technology in the war effort and the key roles that tanks, planes and ships played.

An eye-witness called John describes seeing fighter planes when he was growing up, and recalls the time he mistook a German plane for a British plane.

The ‘Did You Know’ section examines the developments beyond the military that came about as a result of World War Two.

Created in partnership with Imperial War Museums.

Teacher Notes

This short film could be useful in maths:

  • Pupils could learn about degrees of turn, angles and coordinates and how these can be used to locate people and places.

This falls within the “Properties of shapes/Position and direction” section of the national curriculum in England in the following years:

  • Year 3
    • Recognise angles as a property of shape or a description of a turn.
    • Identify right angles, recognise that two right angles make a half-turn, three make three quarters of a turn and four a complete turn; identify whether angles are greater than or less than a right angle.
  • Year 4
    • Describe positions on a 2-D grid as coordinates in the first quadrant.
    • Describe movements between positions as translations of a given unit to the left/right and up/down.
  • Year 5
    • Identify, describe and represent the position of a shape following a reflection or translation, using the appropriate language, and know that the shape has not changed.
  • Year 6
    • Describe positions on the full coordinate grid (all four quadrants).

Additional fact for the class:

  • During the war, Britain built an incredible 132,500 aircraft and over a million military vehicles.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching history at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

This short film could also can be incorporated into different subjects as part of a cross-curricular lesson, especially when teaching maths at KS2 or 2nd Level.

More from World War Two:

Britain declares war on Germany
Rationing in the UK
Geography of World War Two
How propaganda was used during World War Two
The Blitz
The Battle of Britain and beyond
Codebreaking during World War Two
VE Day