History KS3 / KS4: Horace Leslie Birks interview

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.

This is from the series: I Was There: The Great War Interviews

Teacher viewing recommended prior to use in class

Teacher Notes

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.

Curriculum Notes

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

Also at Third Level, Fourth Level, National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA GCSE and SQA.

More from the series: I Was There: The Great War Interviews

John Willis Palmer interview
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Attrition
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Life as a munitionette
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Life as an officer during WW1
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One woman's loss
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Recruiting soldiers in WW1
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Respite
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How did shell shock affect soldiers?
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The Christmas truce, 1914
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The Gallipoli campaign
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War in the air
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Being a pilot in WW1
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Changes on the home front during WW1
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Death and survival
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Fighting in the trenches
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Going over the top
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