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

Explain How the Schlieffen Plan Was Meant To Work.

Extracts from this document...


HISTORY COURSEWORK 2003-04: EXPLAIN HOW THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN WAS MEANT TO WORK. Before the First World War, tensions were already high. Great Britain were rivals with Germany over industry, their Empire, and Naval dominance. Germany had a rivalry with the French, following the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. France therefore hated the Germans, and clashed with Germany on numerous occasions over the control of Morocco. Russia had a heated rivalry with Austro-Hungary over access to the Black Sea. Both wanted to take over the crumbling Turkish Empire. Austro-Hungary resented Russia at the loss of prestige, as Russia were taking over the Turks Empire. Italy wanted overseas colonies, and to show Europe that it was a strong nation. The smaller nations, such as Serbia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, all wanted to express their own national identity, and many used terrorism to promote their cause. The situation in Europe prior to World War One was dire. ...read more.


However, before it was put into practise, Von Schlieffen had died. The plan was intended to counter Plan 17, the French war plan, as both knew that the other knew about the plans, the Schlieffen plan had to counter the defences on the French border. The plan was made in 1905, thirteen years before the outbreak of the First World War. It was created to prevent a war on two fronts, something Germany didn't want. The triple Entente (friendship in French), sandwiched Germany, with Russia being the Eastern Front, and France being the Western Front. Plan 17 (the French plan), was created to counteract any German war plan, and therefore defending in the region of Alsace-Lorraine, therefore heavily fortifying Toul, Epinal, Verdun, and Nancy. Had the French generals known the German's planned to invade through Belgium, thus making their border defences irrelevant, they would have changed their plan accordingly. As it was, they didn't, and the Schlieffen plan looked a superb creation. The British had also devised a plan. ...read more.


Therefore, the German leaders thought that if the moved fast enough, they could race past the French troops, and capture Paris within six weeks. After that had happened, the majority of the German army would be transported to their Eastern border (with Russia) by the railway system they had spent months developing, and hold any Russian opposition. The German leaders didn't fear the small British contingent, known as the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F), and didn't even expect the British to aid the Belgians. Even if the British army did come, the Germans planned to capture the ports on the Channel, at Ostend, Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne. They would then sweep south, preventing the British army travelling across France in large numbers. As it was, the Germans didn't expect the Russians to be ready in any less than six weeks. They therefore intended to ignore them to start with. After France was conquered, and the British were unable to land, the enormous German army could transfer across via the railway system, to the Eastern Front, and take on the Russians. ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    Two huge armies stayed there until mid 1918, because neither side could break through the enemy's lines or gain any land. This was a stalemate; neither side could make a move to win the war because the other would oppose it.

  2. The Marshall Plan.

    and had failed to make significant headway against Europe's social and economic problems. The plan that Marshall enunciated at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, was revolutionary in that it required the recipients to organize to produce a rational, multilateral approach to their common economic problems.


    get invaded, and with control of the ports they thought that there was no way that even if Britain decided to enter the war that they could prevent them from defeating the French.

  2. Explain how the schlieffen plan was meant to work The schlieffen plan was concocted ...

    The English soldiers slowed down the German army by organizing An orderly retreat helping French uses their forces to stop the German advance. By doing this no country was getting anywhere! Another reason for the stalemate devolving was because of new weapons for example the tank and the machine gun.

  1. The Schlieffen Plan and the Reality

    This would also avoid an extra battle or stronger army to fight against and this would also save soldiers and provisions, but mainly the most crucial factor which would be time. Having rid of Belgium and the BEF if called for and defeating France, Germany would then be able to

  2. American History.

    - Ideologically, during this time, America's leaders were searching for some way to maintain self-government but still remain British subjects. But b/c of Brit. unwillingness to surrender on the issue of Parliamentary power this simply wasn't going to work. - But resistance to the Stamp Act was soon more than ideological arguments about Parliamentary power.

  1. The First World War - Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work.

    From 1914 onwards, trench warfare became a central feature of military conflict. This new technology allowed better and more powerful weapons to be used. One example of this was the machine gun. Because of such weapons, soldiers had to dig themselves in so they would not be easy targets.

  2. The schlieffen plan "What was meant to happen"

    He reasoned that by doing so he would reduce the number of men available for the attack on France, and might by doing so bring about the very problem he feared. Instead schlieffen decided to try to guarantee a speedy victory in France.

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