WWI Intelligence Gathering

TASK:   A deputy in the Kaiser’s office has given you a piece of paper with hastily scrawled questions on it concerning the war.  It is your job to answer these questions as completely as possible in the time available.  Place questions and answers in your trench journal.

Evaluation:  You will be evaluated on

  • the accuracy of your research
  • how well you followed instructions
  • how well you completed each question
  • how well you searched the Internet
  • how well you worked together with a comrade to complete this covert task
  • how creatively you transported your information to headquarters.

After gathering your information, please conceal your papers (your trench journal) in some kind of protective covering, for example: inside a German restaurant menu, glued to the inside of a folded map of Germany or France, secreted inside a hollowed-out book, concealed within a folded newspaper hidden in something, disguised as an old, perfumed love letter in an envelope, tucked into a soldier’s boot, or baked inside a loaf of bread.  Military information is worth a lot of money on the open market and could change the outcome of the war.  Take care to conceal your information as it is being passed to Lieutenant Larson.

Lieutenant Larson will collect all information and deliver it to the Kaiser’s office.  Make sure you answer the questions using complete sentences (for easy decoding).


Be prepared to reveal your secret information to your commanding officer on December 11, to confirm that your information is accurate.  Be careful not to get caught.  Captured intelligence officer will be interned to hard labor in a penal institution (Prison 113) on Saturday, December 11, from 8:00 A.M. until 3:00 PM.

Deputy Vhermier’s hastily scrawled questions . . .

1. Research the following new weapons that are being used in the Great War and explain how they are changing the face of warfare in 1918.  Weapons to explore: flamethrower, tank, machine gun, submarine, airplane, and 3-inch mortar.

2. Explain what “no man’s land” is and draw an illustration of it.
3.  How is gas used as a biological weapon in the Great War?  What types of gas are used, and what are their effects?
4.  What is life like in the trenches for a typical German soldier?
5.  Find a recipe that soldiers in the trenches sometimes followed to make food more attractive, edible, or appetizing.
6.  Who is the Red Baron?  Why is he famous, and how does he die?
7.  What is the Schlieffen Plan, and is it working in 1917?
8.  Explain how the Archduke’s assassination is a catalyst for the war.
9.  Draw a map (hand-drawn) showing the battle lines of the Allies at the end of 1917, and make a list that identifies the counties allied with France and a list of the countries allied with Austria-Hungry.
10. What is a dogfight?  Explain it for someone who has never seen one.
11. Draw an illustration of a typical set of trenches used in France during Word War One.
12. Explain the concept of “Pal Battalions” and evaluate whether or not they were a good strategy for the German and English armies.

Results of the 2010 activity

15/16 groups made it past security checks. One hapless agent sneaked part of his data through, hidden in a slice of banana bread. They checked his pen, however, and since he was caught, he will do hard labor as a prisoner of war, clearing lunch trays for three days next week.

Security checkpoints are thorough. All that traveling experience comes in handy.
Grade 7 students take their security responsibilities seriously.

Parent feedback

Thank you for the “intelligent search” today…thank you for adding some fun during test time and the holiday season to come. My daughter spoke about it all night…it took three of us to come up with a secret place.
I am very appreciative as a parent !!
Blessings to you and your families,

Yes, I ditto those comments! [_____] was motivated to complete the assignment and had fun trying to come up with creative hiding spots.

Thanks too!

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