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"Explain why the open war of movement became a stationary war in the trenches by November 1914."

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Introduction

"Explain why the open war of movement became a stationary war in the trenches by November 1914." World War 1 had begun in August with both sides certain that their sudden attacks with cavalry and infantry would create a war of rapid movement, which would bring them a swift victory. The ending of this possibility and build up towards a stationary war of fixed entrenchment was not only due to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and Plan XVII, but the problems in communications, problems faced through tactics and strategies and the role of the commanders throughout the planning and progression of the war. ...read more.

Middle

However, this did not stop them, launching repeated disastrous offensives, relying on weight of men, artillery and supplies to crumble the opposition through attrition and each side endeavored to weaken the other. The generals decided only a 'big push' would be able to break through the enemy lines and restart the war of rapid movement. This was not achieved until the attrition of 1915-18 finally weakened the German lines in mid-1918. The Schlieffen Plan, originally devised by Alfred von Schlieffen, the then German Army Chief of Staff, in 1905, was the German Plan which would they would implement to avoid a war on two fronts. ...read more.

Conclusion

The plan greatly depended on speed and movement, the strict deadline of 42 days was impractical, this unreasonable goal was pushed further away from the Germans. General von Moltke did not follow through the original Schlieffen Plan; instead, he had shifted the numbers of the planned armies and therefore altered the balance for the plan to work. All these events led up to the Battle of the Marne, the first major battle on the Western Front. The French Allied victory at this battle marked the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, and the death of any German hope for a quick decisive victory. The German forces were not only to blame for the reason of stationary war during 1914, the problems with the French Plan XVII also contributed to the fact. ...read more.

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