The Schlieffen Plan in The First World War Essay

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The Schlieffen Plan in The First World War

In 1894, France had made a treaty with Russia, meaning that if France or Russia ever declared war or became under attack they would fight for each other. When Germany declared war on France in 1914, they soon realised they would have to fight a war on two fronts; Russia and France.

The German Chief Of Staff, Count Alfred Von Schlieffen, designed the Schlieffen Plan, thought up in 1905, to defeat France and their allies Russia. The plan intended that1.5million of Germany’s men would win the war in just six weeks. They aimed to invade France through Belgium, en-circle Paris and therefore becoming behind the French army to the lack of their knowledge,
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Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

There were several reasons why stalemate occurred on the Western Front, of which can all be blamed on the disastrous failure of the Schlieffen Plan. Many changes in warfare meant stalemate developed in the trenches. As trench warfare was relatively new, nobody fully understood how to break the stalemate. The stalemate became enforced with the new weapons which were being introduced on both sides, making armies stronger for defence rather than attack, such as when gas warfare began in 1915, until it was necessary for people to carry gas masks. Other weapons were grenades, mines, the tank from 1916, the machine gun and aircraft development for reconnaissance and attack. In addition, British Officers were specialised in Cavalry, of whom kept a large quantity of cavalry in the reserve trenches; these tactics failed against the modern technology.

Germany did seem to be having an advantage though: they were advancing very quickly, faster than expected. This turned into a disaster, when the supplies could not keep up with the army, thus making the army short of food, ammunition and medical supplies. Also when they advanced, taking the land, they were unable to with hold what they gained and found themselves being quickly

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