Wednesday, February 2, 2022

You Sank My Battleship!

Battleship wasn't always a board game. The original version, reportedly created as a French World War I game, was played on square grids, and each player drew in where their battleships were located. It wasn't until 1931 when the Milton Bradley Company turned what was a simple two-player, paper-and-pen game into the popularized children's board game. The gist of the game -- both then and today --is to capture or sink the other person's battleships through a series of strategic moves.

Many variations have appeared over the years from the distinctive plastic ships and pegboards of the classic board game to numerous online versions. Our classroom version brings us full circle to World War I: the large 'aircraft carrier' has been replaced with the historic Lusitania and the submarines with German U-boats. Can you sink American neutrality?

1) Which boat do you think is the most valuable? The least? Why?

2) What strategies did you develop as you played the game?

3) Why did the Germans target a defenseless passenger ship like the Lusitania? How did the attack pull America closer to war?

4) What was the Sussex Pledge? How did the German U-Boats change the 'rules of engagement?'

5) What modern weapons have changed the way we fight wars today?

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