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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The First World War Explain how the Schieffen Plan was mean to work. Before 1914, nationalism and rivalry over colonies and trade led to increasing tension and an arms race between the main countries of Europe. This led to two opposing alliances being formed in 1882 - the Triple Entente (Allies - Great Britain, France and Russia), and the Triple Alliance (Central Powers - Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary). Each member of the alliances promised to help its allies if a country belonging to the other alliance attacked them. Britain wasn't the only country expecting war. Each European power had its own plans. Many of their peoples also expected war. The final steps to war were triggered by the assassination by Serb nationalists (in particular a young student, Gavrilo Princip) of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria - heir to the Austrian throne, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in June 1914. This set a chain reaction throughout Europe. Anti-German feeling had become common in Britain for some time. The Germans were seen as 'the enemy'. Although there was a big protest against war a week before it broke out, once Germany invaded Belgium on the 3rd of August many ordinary people felt that declaring war on Germany was the right thing to do. This was seen as a heroic war against 'the German aggressor'. Anti-war feeling disappeared almost overnight and was replaced by strong patriotism. Throughout Britain (and all over Europe) women cheered as husbands and sons went off to fight in Northern France. The British government warned that the War might be a terrible one, and recruitment posters asked men to sign up 'for three years, or as long as the war lasts'. But the popular feeling was 'It will all be over by Christmas', and queues outside army recruitment offices were enormous. One soldier remembered his rush to join the army: 'Our one great fear was that the War would be over before we got there.' ...read more.

Middle

Behind the frontline trenches (from which attacks were made) were support trenches and, behind them, reserve trenches. Communications trenches connected these three types of trenches. German trenches tended to be better constructed and so gave better protection from artillery barrages. Conditions in the trenches soon became dreadful as the heavy shelling destroyed drainage systems. Soldiers on the Western Front went through an enormous range of experiences, from extreme boredom to appalling stress of an enemy bombardment or attack. Millions of men and thousands of horses were close together. Sanitation arrangements were makeshift. In summer the smell of trenches was appalling owing to a combination of rotting corpses, sewage and unwashed soldiers. The soldiers were also infested with lice or 'chats' as they liked to call them. The weather had a marked effect on the soldiers' lives. In summer the trenches were hot, dusty and smelly. In the wet weather soldiers spent much of their time up to their ankle or knees in water. Many thousands suffered from 'trench foot', caused by standing in water for hours or days. In winter the trenches offered little protection from the cold. Many got frostbite. For much of the time shells were falling, so working, sleeping or eating soldiers had to live with the fear of being killed by an exploding shell. Despite the constant dangers of trench life, the daytime was mostly very boring as an attack was always most likely to happen at night, when sentries had to keep a careful watch while others repaired defences or barbed wire, or carried out scouting and spying missions. In the day however, some soldiers tried to sleep. Others just sat around reading, ore smoking or playing cars. There were also routine jobs to do such as filling sandbags, cleaning latrines and fetching supplies. Breaking the stalemate The tank was a British invention. Early in the war inventors took the idea to the army leaders but it was rejected as impractical. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance take the tank: The Germans were amazed. But there were not enough tanks to have a big effect; they were unreliable, and they only travelled at around ten kilometres per hour in any case. Worse of all, the great secret weapon was no longer a secret. Anti-tank ditches defended German positions from then on, and armour-piercing bullets were developed to go through the tank to the crew inside. Despite all this, there were not enough infantry to follow up and this gave the Germans time to recover and fight back. Sixty-five tanks were destroyed by enemy shellfire and then as the battle went on, over 100 ran out of petrol and were marooned in enemy territory. Having spent all day in their cramped compartments with gun smoke and petrol fumes, the crews were exhausted. Many of them died trying to get back to their own lines. The USA entry into the way did have a big effect in breaking the stalemate, as it was one of the reasons Germans had to act quickly. However it was the Blockading of the German Ports and the Ludendorff offensive which were most important. The blockading was upsetting the people of Germany because of the rationing and in some cases starvations; while the Ludendroff offensive worked for a time, until other things broke down. There were not enough German troops and they were exhausted! With the help of some new technology, the Allies were putting a lot of strain on the German army. By the beginning of November, all of Germany's allies - Austria, Turkey and Bulgaria - had surrendered. In the northern ports, German sailors mutinied and in Berlin crowds marched through the streets demanding an end to the War. There were food riots and strikes in other German cities. The Kaiser unable to take the mounting pressure, fled to Holland. A new German government formed and immediately asked for a ceasefire. At the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 an armistice was signed. All fighting stopped. The Germans had surrendered. Laura Booth ...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 stalemate on the Western Front had been going on for one and a half years because both sides were evenly matched, however the American entry into the war gave the Allies an advantage because their soldiers were fresh and not weary of fighting like the other nations involved.

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

    It claimed that a railway had been blown up at Mukden on 18th September. * From 1932 the Japanese government fell under the control of the army and the country began a period of territorial expansion on the mainland. * In 1932 the Japanese set up the puppet state of

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    In 1973, East and West Germany joined the UN. In 1972, Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev signed two agreements, together known as SALT I, to limit the production of U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons. SALT stands for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. In 1979, the two countries signed another pact, SALT II, limiting long-range bombers and missiles.

  2. The failure of the Schlieffen Plan - Stalemate.

    ? Results close. The 'No' vote won by a majority of 72,496 nationally whilst NSW, SA, Queensland voted 'No' and Victoria, WA and Tasmania supported the 'Yes' cause. * critical 'No' votes came from conservative farming community - feared labour shortages. ? After offensives against Hindenburg line, 2nd referendum held on 20 December 1917.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    Within 24 hours, Syrian forces had arrested around 200 of his followers in and around Tripoli. The Syrians were not willing to tolerate any resistance to their occupation. Some months earlier, in May 1989, the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Sunni community, Hassan Khalid, who had expressed his support for

  2. How important was Haig's tactics on the Western Front in bringing an end to ...

    The soldiers who fought were experienced and more adapted for warfare conditions as an outcome of this. This was not so much of a success as first seems, because in 1918, Passchendale was taken back by the Germans. Haig was also involved in the Battle Cambrai, which was after the Passchendale events.

  1. 'Propaganda Was an Essential Weapon In the War Against Germany’ - To ...

    Hostility towards the enemy To justify the event of going to war against another country the British government used propaganda to put forth a bad image of its enemy; in almost every scenario of propaganda this was apparent and was, in every scenario, at least bias against the enemy.

  2. The Marshall Plan.

    Kennan and his Policy Planning Staff and Will Clayton's memorandum on the seriousness of Europe's economic plight. Marshall then modified the draft, contributing the insistence that the program come from Europe and be open to all European states willing to abide by the rules.

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