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

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Introduction

Adam McGee History THE FIRST WORLD WAR A). EXPLAIN HOW THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN WAS MEANT TO WORK? The Germans devised the Schlieffen Plan as a way to win the war by Christmas. The main objectives of the plan were to set off into France and go through neutral Belgium. When the Germans reached Belgium, they thought because it was a neutral country they wouldn't encounter any resistance, and if they did the Germans were a much stronger side. Once through Belgium they would march to the capital, Paris. The Germans would defeat the French and then turn back to fight off the Russians. They went to defeat the French first because they thought it would take the Russians longer to mobilize their troops. The plan was designed so that the Germany wouldn't have to face a war on two fronts. The Schlieffen Plan did not reach its main objectives because when Germany moved into Belgium the Belgium army held them up. While Germany was fighting against Belgium, France and Britain heard news about the Germans advancing towards France. So the French surrounded their border with trenches, soldiers and machine gun posts. The British sent over some of its troops to help defend France. Once Germany had defeated the Belgium army they advanced to France and were very shocked at all the troops waiting for them. The French and British fought against the Germans and held them up at Mons and the Marne. ...read more.

Middle

It had a short range, medium killing power dependant on which gas was used. Gas could be used for attacking or defending. All the weapons were geared towards fighting a defensive war. The trenches were dug in zigzag formation, so that enemy soldiers couldn't shoot from one end to the other. The trench conditions were very poor and the floor was constantly muddy, these conditions made very trench foot very common. Rats and lice thrived in these conditions, rats constantly raided the soldiers' rations, and the soldiers' food, which they ate, became contaminated causing illness. Their daily rations consisted of soggy, stale biscuits and stagnant water. Sometimes when it rained, the trenches were known to cave in, drowning the soldiers' who were in the dugouts sheltering from the gunfire. When men went over the top they had a very slim chance of making it across. Generals just sent men over in groups of twenty, and they were killed within minutes over leaving the trenches. This was mass slaughter but the Generals kept on commanding them over the top, many lives needlessly wasted. All the men going over the top lined up in queues waiting to go. All this alone helped the stalemate occur on the Western Front. Due to the conditions and the nature of the fighting stalemate occurred on the Western front. C). THE FOLLOWING WERE ALL EQUALLY IMPORTANT REASONS WHY THE STALEMATE ON THE WESTERN FRONT WAS FINALLY BROKEN: Planes, though initially primitive helped play a part in breaking the stalemate. ...read more.

Conclusion

They helped break the stalemate because they brought a new lease of life to the Allied forces that now outnumbered the Germans. The German offensive of 1918 was crucial to the outcome of the war. The Russians who had lost millions of soldiers, turned against their leaders, forcing Russia to leave the war. The Germans had to launch an offensive against the growing Allied army. They transferred troops from the east to the west to try to stop the Allies constant attacks in a single place. It was effective as the Germans broke through the Allied lines. The attack had gone well, however, the Allies held their nerve; they retreated so as to spread the Germans out. The Germans, unlike 1914, had no reserves and were badly fed and disciplined. Between May and August of 1918 the Germans made little progress and defeat was inevitable. The Allies who had supplies and food managed to counter attack. On the 8th August 1918 the Allies reached the Hinderburg Line. On the 11th November the Armistice (ceasefire) was called and the Great War was finally over. All of these factors played a role in breaking the stalemate on the Western Front. The use of planes and tanks helped break German defence lines. The influx of fresh American troops proved too much for the tired German troops. The war at sea played a vital role as it prevented supplies getting through the German troops and people. They are all interlinked in breaking the Stalemate on the Western Front. ...read more.

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