History's HEROES?

Teachers' section

The Secret War

This unit is aimed at KS 3, history and citizenship.

Why use this unit?
This unit aims to do two things. Firstly, for history, it emphasises that success in war by no means depends entirely on what happens on the battlefield; and secondly, for citizenship, it shows the variety of ways contributions can be made to the greater good.

What does this unit do?
The days when wars were only fought on the battlefield are long gone, if they ever existed. For students to understand modern warfare, they need to get away from the idea that soldiers, guns, rockets, warships and war planes are not all there is - there's also intelligence, food supplies, fuel supplies, home industries and so on.

This unit looks at the contribution of two individuals to the Allied war effort in the Second World War. Neither of these fought in battles and campaigns. One was Alan Turing, the one-off mathematics genius who devised a system, using the earliest computers, to crack German military codes; the other was Noor Inayat Khan, one of many secret agents sent to gather and send back information in enemy-occupied territory, who also lost their lives in so doing.


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