• 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...


Fourth Form History Coursework On The First World War. Explain How The Schlieffen Plan Was Meant To Work? This was a plan devised by Colonel Von Schlieffen in 1905. The plan was devised to help Germany to avoid a war on two fronts against Russia and France. Graf Von Schlieffen thought that Russia would be extremely slow to mobilise and that would give Germany time (approximately one and a half to two weeks) to attack France and hopefully capture Paris. It was thought that by the time they had captured France the Germans could leave a small token force in France and then go over to fight the Russians in the east. They believed that the whole capture of France would take only six weeks. One of the major parts of Graf von Schlieffen's plan was that Britain would not enter a war just over a piece of paper that she had signed eighty years previously. This piece of paper was the Treaty of London. It said that Belgium was neutral and that the countries signing it would defend Belgium's neutrality. In any case the Germans thought that if the British did enter the war as Britain had a 'contemptibly little army' they would not have any effect on the outcome. ...read more.


3. Exhaustion by 1914: Both sides had casualties in their millions by the end of 1914. The highly trained and well-equipped B.E .F, which was originally dispatched at the start of the war, was now nearly depleted. At the end of the battle of the Marne there were over two million dead soldiers and many different armies from both sides were beginning to feel these huge losses as they were a great deal smaller. Germany were around one million men less because they had to transfer some of them to the Eastern Front where Russia were attacking. The home front was now starting to feel the strain of keeping up with the ammunition and weapons that were being used by the soldiers at the front. And this meant that neither side could plan big offensive to make a breakthrough if they did not have the resources to do so. 4. Inexperience of modern warfare: Both sides had entered the war expecting the conflict to be won by tactics that had been used to win previous wars like cavalry charges and pitched battles. Many of the Generals e.g. Jofre, von Kluck and Haig in charge of the countries were previously in Cavalry divisions and thought that these were definitely the way forward, as it happens they were completely the opposite and were the ultimate way to lose men as they were shot down by enemy machine gun fire. ...read more.


Initially they managed to advance well through the Allied lines and made a gain of about forty miles. But soon they were struggling for supplies. The offensive had gone too fast, too far and some say too north. They had made so many advances in the few days that they had been attacking that they were out protruding with a salient bulging around them. The Allies then simply attacked from the sides to take back lost land. They could not get any supplies of food or weapons to the front line because the Allies mostly cut them off en route. Now a significant breakthrough had been made this left the gate open for another attack this caused a movement along the whole Western Front which ultimately ended the stalemate. After the Allies had counter attacked they started to push towards Germany, A small time later Allied troops could be seen crossing the Hindenberg Line. The factor that least contributed to the breaking of the stalemate was the invention of technology like the tank. Although this was successful the two sides did not learn how to make breakthroughs for a while when they adopted tactics such as the all arms attack. These technological advances did help to win battles but they did not signal the end of the breakthrough but once the breakthrough was made they were used well to push back the Germans. ...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?

    The Germans had assumed that Russia would take 9 weeks to mobilise however they only took ten days. Germany were faced with a war on two opposite fronts, this weakened their forces and put a massive strain on their resources meaning it was harder for the Germans to push and making the failure of the Schlieffen plan a major role.

  2. The Schlieffen Plan and the Reality

    The arrival of the BEF resulted in Germany's assumptions about the BEF being a 'contemptible little army' being put to the test and the Germans were soon proved wrong as they were held up at Mons. The BEF's experience from the Boer War helped them through.

  1. The great war plan, preparations, collapse, and recovery - a revised view

    The plan to invade Germany and conquer all of Europe in the name of Communism's expansionist ideology, is likely the greatest secret of World War 2 that remains officially Top Secret. The Communist Empire kept that secret for five decades, preferring to appear peaceful and militarily incapable, even dumb, than

  2. The home front (source based work) 1914 - 1918.

    crisis will soon be solved and that they can be assured to get their jobs back after the war as the chalkboard is included in the picture. However Source D is not useful as it could have been staged by the factory owners so that they can show the people that the women are not happy in the factories.

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

    Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front? (8) A stalemate is when no one wins. The war became a stalemate because the techniques and the weapons were better suited to defence than to attack. It was also much easier to defend a position than to attack one.

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

    Schlieffen was unable to suggest any solution to these. One problem was that by attacking through Belgium, Germany would almost certainly involve Great Britain in the war. Since 1839 Great Britain, with most other European nations, had promised to protect Belgium from foreign attack. Schlieffen realised this, but he was not particularly worried.

  1. Explain how the Schlieffen plan was meant to work.

    on Germany, within a week, 120,000 troops of the British Expeditionary Force had been secretly shipped to France, this held the Germans up briefly and the British the retreated to France to help the French. The Germans marched in to France but they were forced, because of their lack of

  2. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work.

    Question 2: Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front? There a numerous reasons why a stalemate developed on the Western Front. The main factor that led to the stalemate on the Western Front was the failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

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