The European Dictators Webquest



London, 1938

The British government desperately needs accurate information about the dangerous dictators that have risen to power in Germany, Italy and Russia. The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is currently recruiting a group of key personnel that can take part in a dangerous mission to expose these men.




You have been called to a meeting at the Cabinet War Rooms where the Head of SIS is going to brief you on your mission. You will need to recruit two other people to work with. They must be reliable, trustworthy and willing to work hard. Your mission, and the fate of your country could be at stake if one of you fails the task. You will need to gather evidence on each of the folowing men:

Adolf Hitler

Josef Stalin

Benito Mussolini

Once you have gathered enough material, including several images, you need to compile a Top Secret report in which you outline the following areas:

You will then need to present your information to the War Cabinet in Downing Street.



You will be working in groups of three. Each of you will take on the role of undercover agent with each person working on a separate dictator. You will need to use the Internet and your own resources to complete the task. You can use the following websites to help you with your research:

Hitler (Very detailed biography) (Early years) (Ideas)

Stalin (very detailed biography) (good overview) (good overview) l

Mussolini (very detailed biography) (good overview) (good summary) (good summary)

Once you have completed this research you should write up a report using Word. You should then use Powerpoint for your presentation to the War Cabinet.



You will be assessed both individually and as part of a team:

Group Work - Each student is graded by the group.
1 point         - Student did not participate.
2 points       - Student participated to a small degree.
3 points       - Student offered a few helpful thoughts and ideas.
4 points       - Student offered opinions and ideas that helped others a great deal.

Research (to be graded by teacher and student together)
1 point         - Student used one or two resources.
2 points       - Student used a few online resources but shows low level of understanding
3 points       - Student used a variety of online resources and shows good understanding.
4 points       - Student went out of the way to gather independent resources and shows excellent understanding of the material.

Article for programme (to be graded by teacher)
1 point         - Student made minimal effort, copied much material from sources.
2 points       - Student made an effort to put material into his or her own words.                                  

3 points       - Student had original thoughts and took the time to organise material.
4 points       - Student wrote and organised the article, drawing on many resources.

Presentation of research (a joint grade for each group from classmates and teacher)
1 point         - Student put in little preparation, stumbled over material.
2 points       - Student did a good job but did not make extra effort.
3 points       - Student presented informative and well-planned material.
4 points       - Student's and group's extra effort was obvious to all.


If you have managed to complete your mission then your country will be very grateful to you. You may also want to investigate further:

Was Hitler a 'passionate lunatic'?

Could you assassinate Hitler?

Heroes and Villains: Mussolini


D Lyndon

March 2004