History Storytime - For Kids
World War Two - Blitzkrieg

World War Two - Blitzkrieg

December 6, 2021

Sophie (age 8) and Ellie (age 6) tell the story of Blitzkrieg – how the Germans used tanks to conquer much of Europe at the start of World War Two.

In World War One Britain invented the tank. America, Russia and Britain used tanks to defeat Germany. However, after the war people in those countries did not want to fight any more wars. They made their armies small. They also decided to defend in the future not to attack. The French built a line of forts for defence. They did not have many tanks and those they did have they used for defence.

The Germans though had other plans. After Hitler came to power his built a powerful army for Germany again. This army had many tanks. The German generals invented a new way of fighting. It involved lots of tanks in one place smashing through the enemy lines. They would be helped by planes and paratroopers. They called this type of fighting, Lighting War. In German that is Blitzkrieg. It relied on their tanks – in German they were called Panzers.

The Germans invaded Poland. The Blitzkrieg worked. They crushed Poland with his cavalry and old fashioned army.

Next the Germans attacked France. They smashed through the French lines. The British ran away and the French surrendered.

The battle was followed by an air battle over Britain. This saw many German planes destroyed and the British one.

Next the Germans attacked Greece. Again the Blitzkrieg worked. Then they attacked Crete. Crete was an island and the British Royal Navy controlled the seas so the German used their paratroopers. They won the battle but many of the paratroopers were killed. Now the Germans had lost mucg of their airforce and their paratroopers. However, they still had their tanks.

Next they attacked Russia. At first, the Blitzkrieg worked again. However, the Russians had developed their own excellent tank called the T-34. They were also happy to attack the Germans. There were huge tank battles in Russia. Slowly the Russians started to win. Then America joined the war. She had learned from the Germans how to use tanks. The British had also now learned. As the British and Americans fought the Germans they used their massive tank armies and many planes to defeat Germany.

The War was won.

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The Fall of Constantinople

The Fall of Constantinople

November 15, 2021

Sophie (age 8) and Ellie (age 6) tell the story of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Constantinople was all that was left of the once mighty Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, 1500 years ago, the Eastern Roman Empire survived. Its capital was Constantinople. Over time though it became known as the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was a might city. It had 500,000 people living there and huge walls to protect it.

Then came Islam. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. They conquered much of the Byzantine Empire. Other Christians came to help. This was called the Crusades. However, the Muslims defeated them too. Eventually, all that was left of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople. By now Constantinople had lost most of its people. It only had 50,000 left in the city. However, it still had its mighty walls.

The Muslims were determined to conquer it. Its location made it difficult for people in Asia to attack Europe. The muslims who wanted to attack the city were called the Ottomans. They ruled what we now called Turkey.

They had a secret weapon. Massive cannon. The walls of Constantinople were not built when cannon existed.

The massive Ottoman army surrounded the city. Their cannon began firing. They blasted holes in the walls.

Then the Ottomans attacked. The Ottoman army actually had Christians fighting in it. They led the way. There were not enough Byzantines to defend all the holes in the walls and the gates. As the Ottomans breached the city gate the Byzantine Emperor tore off his robes, drew his sword and charged into battle.

His body was never found.

The city was captured. 30,000 people in the city were made into slaves. The Ottomans turned the largest Church into a Mosque. This was now their capital.

Europe was stunned. Now Constantinople was conquered it meant that the Ottomans could now attack Europe more easily.

However, there was one benefit for Europe. Constantinople had been a centre of learning. They knew of many things that the ancient Romans and Greeks had invented. As people fled Constantinople they took with them that knowledge. This caused a rebirth in science, art, literature and history in Europe. We call this Rebirth, the Renaissance.

 

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