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By the end of 1914 a stalemate had developed on the Western Front, Discuss the reasons for this.

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Introduction

By the end of 1914 a stalemate had developed on the Western Front. Four of the reasons why it ended are: * The impact of new technology * The blockading of German ports * The American entry into the war * The Ludendorff Offensive These reasons are all linked but I do not think they are equally important. New technology included tanks, poison gas, submarines and aircraft, Machine guns were also a new form of technology but they were actually responsible for making troops dig trenches in defence, therefore contributing to the stalemate. Tanks and poison gas attacks assisted infantry charges to enable soldiers to invade enemy trenches. However scientists developed gas masks and so gas attacks became ineffective. Also, tanks were big targets and German forces used armour-piercing machine-gun bullets, however tanks did boost morale. ...read more.

Middle

This included passenger ships and many American civilians were killed. The most remembered sinking is the Lusitania. Over 100 American civilians died. Then American discovered that Germany planned to ally against them with Mexico and so declared war on Germany in 1917. The USA brought fresh troops, at a rate of 50,000 per month and also supplied weapons. However, this didn't directly cause the end of the stalemate but provoked a German attack. Germany wanted to try to break the stalemate, particularly now that America was involved so, in March 1918, they launched the Ludendorff Offensive. The attack began with typical gas attacks and bombardments but what made it different was that they were followed up with attacks made by small, specially trained bands of "storm troops." It was a very effective method of attack and German forces managed to break through the Allied lines. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Ludendorff Offensive is probably the main reason why the stalemate ended as the counter-attack led to the Germans being defeated and left Germany no choice but to surrender. However had the German troops not been so poorly supplied and under-fed the outcome may have been different. Also the attack may not have been launched if America hadn't joined the war and America may not have joined had Germany not killed American civilians. Although the American entry into the war and the Ludendorff Offensive were the most important reasons why the stalemate ended, without new technology and the blockading of German ports the two most important reasons may not even have occurred. Sophie Morand 10FW History GCSE Coursework 2003 Assignment 1 b Four of the reasons why the stalemate ended are equally important. Explain how far you agree with this statement ...read more.

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