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

In 1914 the First World War broke out, it quickly became Stalemate on two fronts, when the German Schlieffen plan failed.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INTRODUCTION: In 1914 the First World War broke out, it quickly became Stalemate on two fronts, when the German Schlieffen plan failed. This was a plan thought of by Count Von Schlieffen to invade France, the idea that the German's could swing round Paris capturing the City in six weeks and ending the war before the Russian's could mobilise. However the German's did not expect the fierce resistance they received when attempting to pass through Belgium, the Russian's and the French both had time to mobilise and were ready for the German's, giving the Allies a great advantage in the beginning of the war. At the battle of the Marne in September 1914, German troops where already exhausted and where easily pushed away from Paris by the French although not right out of France digging into trenches and unknowingly starting a long trench based war. THE WESTERN FRONT: The Western front was a "theatre of war" or the defence area of the western allies to the Germans. This theatre is where the main stalemate took place, in the lines of trenches in France. The Western front was a result of the failure of the Schlieffen plan, a German plan to capture France in six weeks. ...read more.

Middle

GAS: Poison gas was one of the many attempts to get an edge over the opponent. The gas attacks varied from gas being drifted across no man's land into enemy trenches to shrapnel shells covered in chemicals being fired from artillery. During the early stages of the war, Gas was used in small amounts. In April 1915 the Germans Launched a major Gas attack at Ypres on French army trenches, as a result gas masks were invented to stop soldiers being affected by future attacks. Gas attacks only killed 3000 allied soldiers during the war, showing that it was an unsuccessful attempt to break the stalemate, Gas was unreliable because it had little affect and needed the wind to carry it to the enemy trenches, which could change direction and drift into friendly trenches. TANKS: At the beginning of the war the British started to invent the tank, the idea being that it would roll across enemy lines and defences, creating a breakthrough. It took two years for the tank to be developed and made ready for battle. At the battle of the Somme the British first used the tank against enemy trenches, however these early tanks suffered from breakdowns and were very slow, the Germans soon caught up and had their own tanks from using captured British designs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although their sink on sight theory caused panic among British and French the Germans got themselves into trouble when they sunk the Lusitania in 1915 a American passenger ship, this made American public and Government strongly against the German's, bringing highly trained American troops to fight on the Western front. CONCLUSION: There where many factors affecting the breaking of the stalemate and the ending of the war however some of the factors are more important than others. Without the American's it could be argued that the war would have gone on for years. As the American influence brought fresh trained troops, new and successful tactics, and multiplied the amount of soldiers on the Western front. Another factor in the stalemate was Germany losing her allies, this meant that a lot of resources and soldiers were lost at once also port blockades meant that they were losing much needed resources. The Ludendorf offensive however was a main factor in ending the stalemate as this was before the American's arrived when the German's mad a last, desperate attempt to burst through the trench lines inevitably ending the stalemate. This offensive failed but still caused the stalemate to end, and with a German force gone, the allies were able to counter and push the Germans back. ...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?

    However, this was ineffective because most soldiers couldn't cut the bared wire and would be killed by ruthless machine guns; millions of soldiers died like this. The loss of men meant the generals demanded more and more men to send 'over the top'.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    1964 1974 USA ICBMs 834 1054 SLBMs 416 656 Soviet Union ICBMs 200 1575 SLBMs 120 720 SLBMs were Submarine-launched Ballistic Missiles * Brezhnev now wanted to reduce Soviet military spending so that he could sort out the problems facing the Soviet economy.

  1. The Marshall Plan.

    government welfare programs. The Europeans wanted to know what the U.S. required of Europe, and the Americans wanted the potential recipients of aid to list their resources for self-help. Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov was invited to the Paris meetings, and some countries in the Soviet sphere of influence (e.g., Poland and Czechoslovakia)

  2. Why did World War 1 end so quickly after the years of stalemate?

    The attack took the allies by surprise but it didn't turn out exactly the way Lundendorff had expected, despite achieving a complete breakthrough south of the Somme the main attack was hindered by a considerable amount of allied concentration of strength at Arras.

  1. The Schlieffen Plan and the Reality

    This is why the Trenches were dug. The countries all switched to from an attacking strategy to a defensive tactic and the first exchanges of the war were over. From now until 1918, neither side would advance more than 10 miles forward or backwards from the positions that they now held.

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

    Both sides also introduced gas as a weapon. However, this was sometimes ineffective, due to wind direction. The violent machine gun, the scratching shrapnel of exploding shells and mortars as well as the deadly accuracy of the sniper's bullet were all additions to the Warfare. The trenches were used as a shelter from these vicious new weapons.

  1. The First World War - questions and answers on the Schlieffen plan, and the ...

    Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front? There were several reasons why stalemate occurred on the Western Front, of which can all be blamed on the disastrous failure of the Schlieffen Plan. Many changes in warfare meant stalemate developed in the trenches. As trench warfare was relatively new, nobody fully understood how to break the stalemate.

  2. The First World War - Explain how the Schieffen Plan was mean to work.

    Trenches began as simple shelters but by 1915 they had developed into complex defensive systems. Heavy artillery barrages that sometimes lasted for days preceded attacks. Before an attack, whistles were blown; then the troops advanced across No Man's Land to attack the enemy trenches - this was known as 'going over the top'.

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