History KS3 / KS4: How did Britain deal with the Zeppelin threat during World War One?

Ben Robinson looks at how German Zeppelins caused terror in World War One by bombing British towns and cities.

Aeroplanes were used to counter the threat from these airships to set fire to the hydrogen and shoot them down.

New developments that could penetrate the Zeppelin canopy and set fire to them reduced the threat from these airships.

In total, over 500 people in Britain were killed by Zeppelin raids and over 1000 more were injured.

By 1918 the newly formed Royal Airforce was able to counter the Zeppelin threat.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

Could be used as part of a study about the Home Front.

Students could watch the clip and then write a newspaper report about a bombing raid, using it as propaganda to encourage people to join the army to counter the German threat.

This could then be linked to propaganda posters about recruitment and the role of the RAF on the front line as well as in Britain.

Key Stage 4/ GCSE / Higher Levels

Could be used in a lesson about new technology and weapons in the First World War.

Students could watch the first part of the clip about Zeppelins and then be asked to work in groups to come up with a plan to counter the Zeppelin threat and compare their ideas to the Royal Airforce solutions.

They could then compare the threat from Zeppelins to other new technology (machine guns, artillery, gas) to evaluate which was more of a threat.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4/National 5 and Higher in Scotland.