• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

Extracts from this document...


Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front? A stalemate is a situation where neither side can win. During the First World War, a stalemate developed between the Allies and the Germans on the Western Front. One reason why a stalemate developed on the Western Front was because the Schlieffen Plan failed. Before the invasion of Belgium, the British had been uncertain about joining the war, but Germany had invaded a neutral country and in 1839, Britain had guaranteed to defend Belgium because of their treaty in 1839. Germany failed to capture the ports at Dunkirk and Calais, and Britain declared war on the 4th of August 1914 and sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) ...read more.


The failure of the Schlieffen Plan led to a stalemate on the Western Front because not attacking Paris meant that they had to dig trenches in France, and trench warfare proved to be very difficult. Another reason why stalemate developed on the Western Front was that commanders on all sides failed to realise the importance of the new technology and weapons that had been developed. The machine gun, heavy artillery and barbed wire all made attacking very difficult, especially when there were no ways of transporting infantry quickly. In addition many commanders clung on to the idea of using cavalry as a way of breaking the deadlock for far too long, sending soldiers across No Man's Land to attack the enemy trenches, resulting in the loss of many men. ...read more.


The tank was believed to be able to crush barbed wire, cross trenches and destroy machine guns. General Haig used 50 'Mark I' tanks at the Somme, but these were proved to be unreliable as they broke down a lot and got stuck in the mud across No Man's Land. Artillery also failed to break the stalemate, as new tactics such as a 'creeping barrage' would fire in front of soldiers as they crossed No Man's Land, which had no effect as they often ended up killing their own men due to the requirement of extreme accuracy. Also, the Germans were prepared for bombardments of artillery shells on their trenches as they built reinforced dug outs underground and so were sheltered and protected from the shelling. Steph Birnage 10L History coursework - The First World War ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    There are many arguments for both sides. I think the main one supporting the statement and against Haig are the high casualty rates. The numbers in Source C illustrate this fact. Source G gives us a sanitized visual image of these deaths. Both sources agree with the point of view.

  2. "Poems and stories; official accounts. Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    This shows that Wilfred Owen was firmly opposed to war; he says that he wants to expose the pity of war in his poetry, which gives him a reason to exaggerate the severity of Gas attacks. Another thing that tells me he aimed to warn people of war in his

  1. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

    However, orders did not get through to the troops who were advancing, and so the gap in the line was not exploited. This was typical along much of the Western Front; as troops advanced their only contact would be through wire-connected phones.

  2. Why Did the Stalemate on the Western Front Occur?

    The Germans' defensive strategy also resulted in the stalemate, as I have already stated. Having to fight a war on two fronts was going to be difficult for the Germans, who were already outnumbered by the Allies. Past theories of attack said that the attackers were always going to lose fewer men than those who were defending.

  1. New technologies and their effect on the stalemate on the Western Front.

    It was now possible for a pilot in a single-seater aircraft to fire successfully a machine-gun at enemy aircraft. However this technology fell into German hands after Garrors was shot down, and then captured. Anton Fokker, a Dutch designer who had set up an aircraft factory in Schwerin, German, was informed of this development.

  2. The development of a Stalemate

    France's Plan seventeen had failed completely. When the plans eventually failed or didn't pay off it lead to a lot of disbelief, confusion and worry in each army as everything they were relying on to win them the war had failed. This caused stalemate as the armies had done everything they were told to do and they had still failed.

  1. Why Did A Stalemate Develop On The Western Front ?

    General Von Moltke took over Schlieffen's plan he sent the troops the wrong way around Paris so they collided with the retreating French army which meant it was a longer and harder journey for the German army to get to Paris.

  2. Why was there a stalemate on the Western front?

    The 'Race for the Sea' ended at the first battle of Ypres - the bloodiest battle, with 90,000 British casualties and 250,000 French and German casualties.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work