The Last Hussar - August von Mackensen

Described as a life less ordinary, August von Mackensen was one of Germany's key generals during World War I. Detailed in its approach, an informative video describes his military career, along with some of his doubts about the conflict and disagreement with the final disposition of the war. Informative and intriguing, von Mackensen's biography provides a lens for pupils to consider the long-term effects of the Great War.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use August von Mackensen's story to debate the ethics of death in war
  • Have scholars use the video as a case study for German leadership during World War I
Classroom Considerations

  • Resource presumes the class has an understanding of the end of World War I and the ethnic composition of Germany prior to the war
  • Part of the larger Who Did What in World War I video biography series
Pros

  • Detailed research paints a vivid picture of a figure most Americans do not typically study
  • Intriguing primary sources quoted in the video stimulate learners' curiosity
Cons

  • Too many details make the narrative hard to follow and may lose students' interest
Common Core