• 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

    The death rates were extremely high and Haig knew that was to happen. He had warned the country and the politicians that if they wanted victory, they had to be prepared for heavy losses. Despite this, he was still criticized heavily by everyone after the war, not least the Prime Minister.

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

    This leads me to think that maybe this photograph was staged; maybe a group of relatively well blinded soldiers were lined up and photographed. As this is a photograph, it is limited as it is only possible to see a small area at one time, therefore it could easily be

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

    the Airco DH2 and the Nieuport 17), that were also armed with synchronized machine-guns. Nevertheless both sides made rapid advances in all areas of aircraft technology, but the balance of power was constantly changing, as each advance of one side was equalled or bettered by the other side.

  2. The development of a Stalemate

    The reason that the leader's tactics were out of date was due to the fact that they had all learnt their tactics in an age were attack was the best kind of defence and Cavalry charges were one of the most effective ways to win battles.

  1. Why did stalemate develop on the western front?

    Faced with an impenetrable German line the Allies themselves dug in. The Commanders of the opposing sides, Joffre and Falkenhayn, realised that the advantage now lay to the North between their position on the Aisne and the Sea. A race began to take control of this position.

  2. The stalemate developed on the Western front - why and for how long?

    Instead of sweeping West of Paris to take control of the ports, they went East to try to make up time and because they lacked soldiers. France had now received word of the Germans advancing into Paris, so the French armies that had failed to take Alsace Lorraine joined the retreating French armies in the North.

  1. 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.

  2. The Western Front.

    Entanglements of barbed wire were used to protect the front line from enemy attacks, and they were virtually impassable. protected the front line from any enemy attacks. Because the Germans were on the defensive side and so were not moving forwards, they built far deeper trench systems.

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