World War I: tunnels, Zeppelins and more

zeppelinsWorld War I: tunnels, Zeppelins and more

We are continuing with our series of First World War comprehension worksheets by looking at three more unusual subjects: The Munitionettes, Tunnel Warfare and Zeppelins. The pages, which also include factsheets, provide clear and concise summaries as well as being an excellent starting point for further research.

The Munitionettes were women who worked in the Munition factories making weapons and ammunition for the war. They worked very long hours and under very dangerous conditions. Those working with TNT shells became known as the Canary Girls because their skin turned yellow!

Tunnellers were employed by the military to dig tunnels under No Man’s Land. They would tunnel towards the enemy’s trench and blow it up from below whilst foot soldiers attacked from above ground. This was some of the most dangerous work of the whole war and the men chosen to dig the tunnels were selected very carefully. The tunnels and tunnellers were largely forgotten after the end of the war. The tunnels were abandoned, just being blocked up at the entrances to prevent people entering. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the tunnels were excavated.

Read the worksheet to find out more about the conditions the tunnellers worked under and what gruesome discoveries were made when the tunnels were excavated.

Zeppelins were airships which were invented towards the end of the 19th century by a German Count called Ferdinand Von Zeppelin. They were long thin tubes which had a tough outer skin and between these layers were large bags filled with hydrogen. The Zeppelins floated because hydrogen is lighter than air. After deadlock in the trenches of the Western Front the Germans used these airships to bomb cities. The British military realised that they needed to fight back against these attacks from the skies. Have a look at the worksheet to see what they did and read about one man who received the Victoria Cross for his achievements.

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