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

Why was the Western Front so static for so long?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The western front 1914~1918 continuity and change For over three years, from the end of 1914 to early 1918 the Western Front never moved for more than a mile or so one way or the other. Then in 1918 there was considerable movement as first the Ger,ams amd then the allies advanced. Why was the Western Front so static for so long? There are arguably two main reasons why the Western front was static for so long. The first is the failure of the German and French plans of attack. The second is the inability to adapt to the changing nature of warfare. The French and Germans both had plans that relied on rapid offensive attacks, however when these failed war became static. The German offensive plan known as the Schlieffen plan failed for a number of reasons; it was not followed because the Generals von Kluk and von Moltke went to the east instead of taking Paris, the BEF proved a problem, and the Russians mobilised quicker than expected. This last factor not only helped to ensure the failure of this forward going plan, hence to initially bring about static but it also helped ensure it continued by acting as a diversion from the western front.This diversion helped to ensure the Germans did not have the power to attack and break the stalemate.The French plan, plan 'XVII' also failed as a result of a lack of ability to move forward. ...read more.

Middle

Their use on the Western front was not only a change in itself but it also changed the nature of warfare more fundamentally as it meant that warfare was no longer just about men fighting men, but technology was now a vitally important factor. An important example of this new technology is the powerful machines guns introduced by the Germans which could kill rows of advancing men. This is supported by the words of a German gunner at the Battle of the Somme, 'when we started firing they went down in their hundreds.' In 1918 these machines guns were made portable. Tanks and aeroplanes, even if both only reached the early stages of their developemnt and were largely not used to the full extent of their capabilities, are further examples of such new technology. Planes, for example even though they were largely only used for reconnaisance missions signalled the dawning of a new age of warfare. This was because it took warfare into a whole new dimension, the skies. Poison gas, first used by the Germans in 1915, also signalled a great change in the nature of warfare, as it was the beginning of the use of chemicals in warfare. Another important change in the course of this period was in the sphere of tactics. ...read more.

Conclusion

The allies too adopted new tactics in July 1918 and these also relied on a series of rapid blows. They also introduced a new tactic of properly uniting their forces under one supreme commander, Foch. The morale of both sides changed dramatically in 1918 and morale is a vitally important factor in warfare. The Germans morale was broken by September not only because the British blockade was causing suffering on the 'Home Front' but also because the German spring offensive had failed whilst the allies counter-attack was proving more successful. The morale of the allies was obviously high as a result of this success. The fact that the Americans had entered the war on their side, as well as providing the practical support for the 1918 offensive at the rate of 300,000 men a month, must also have served to boost the morale of the allies in 1918. The final change in 1918 was the successful exploitation of the further improved offensive war technology. This was not only a change in itself but it perhaps also suggests that the millitary mindset had changed and it had finally been realised that it was of little use just using men to face machines, offensive machines needed to be used. The British counter attack in 1918 involved the use of 450 tanks to lead the infantry through the barbed wire, tanks that were now more reliable. ...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. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    Robert silently encourages the horses to keep going. HORSES page one hundred seventy-eight The horses are dying despite Robert's attempt to save them. This may make Robert feel like feel helpless (he wasn't able to save his sister either). MULES page one hundred seventy-eight Same situation HORSES and MULES page

  2. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    It was meant to be a French led attack with British Empire forces support, but because of the bloody battle in Verdun, the French could not supply many troops. Despite this, Haig had done a very good job with his logistics and preparing for the battle.

  1. How Was The Stalemate Finally Broken?From Christmas 1914 until March 1918 there had been ...

    This resulted in a shortage of ammunition and rations for the soldiers. This also reduced German trade by $5.1 billion. Although this reduced the German trade and made life uncomfortable for the troops and German civilians it didn't really damage Germany and didn't help break the stalemate at all.

  2. The long and the short and the tall

    In this conversation, Bamforth and the prisoner are able to communicate through sign language while discussing the photographs. For example, Bamforth observes two children of the prisoner, but the prisoner uses sign language to indicate an expected baby. Willis Hall uses stage directions here to indicate this.

  1. Propaganda, Recruitment and Resistance: The Home Front 1914-1918

    Some men decided not to enlist on occupational grounds. Men who worked in vital industries such as mining felt it was there duty to stay home and continue their essential job. However, this was not the only reason on work-related grounds that people did not volunteer.

  2. In my work i am going to explain why i believe that new technology ...

    The Germans then sent out u boats to blow up the convoys that were blocking the port so we stopped the U-boats by putting mines into the water and more convoys. Now the war at sea was centred on supply ships so the supply ships were transported with battle ships to protect them.

  1. Why did stalemate develop on the western front?

    * Machine guns, and the newly-made Lee Enfield rifle, could mow down charging infantry. As the Germans were the first to decide where to stand fast and dig, they had been able to choose the best places to build their trenches.

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

    On October 8th the Germans took Ostend and on 15th October they captured Antwerp. On October 18th Ypres in Belgium was recaptured from the Germans and the other channel ports were safe in allied hands. The race for the sea was over and both sides were 'dug in' for the

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