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

The schlieffen plan "What was meant to happen"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN Almost all European countries, even today, posses at least some armed forces. At very least, they are supposed to defend their countries against outside attack. It follows that every army needs to plan carefully what it would do In the event of war. Most armies have specialist units; made up of senior officers, whose job it is to produce such plans: these units are usually known as general staff. In the years before the First World War the German army had a General staff. At its head, unit 1906 was count Alfred von schlieffen. Schlieffen was appointed Chief of the general staffing 1881. At once he began to think about Germany's future in the event of war. His thinking resulted in two plans. Both assumed that one day there would be war against Russia. Ever since the 1880's relations between Germany and Russia had been growing ore hostile. ...read more.

Middle

The Germans had in fact done this in 1870-71, a victory in which schlieffen himself had taken part. Second, schlieffen believed that he would have quite a long time - perhaps two months - to destroy the French army. He did not believe that the Russians could organise an attack against Germany in that time. If Germany could defeat France quickly, it would be able to transfer its victorious army against the Russians and launch an offensive against St Petersburg. Naturally, there were many risks attached to this plan, and Schlieffen was well aware of them. The most obvious was that it might take longer than two months to defeat the French. If it did then the whole of Germany's eastern frontier would lie open to a Russian attack. Despite his worries, Schlieffen refused to solve this problem by leaving large German forces in the east to prevent a Russian attack if things went wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

He knew that this would weaken the attack on France, and this certainly played on his mind. In 1906 schlieffen was replaced as chief of the general staff by Helmuth von Moltke. Moltke was unimpressed by thee changes that schlieffen had made to the plan. In 1911 he produced the third and final version. In this the attack on Holland was dropped.. Moltke never satisfactorily explained this decision. He also ignored Schlieffen's deathbed instructions - he withdrew soldiers from armies which were to attack in the west and placed them on Germany's eastern border to help guard against Russian attack. But he went even further. He removed still more men from the attacking force, and moved them to face France's border with Germany. He hoped that he could use them to attack France from another direction as well, and maybe even trap the French in a giant pincer movement. This was very optimistic, and it seriously weakened the force that was to go through Belgium. Nevertheless, this was the plan that Germany was to put into operation in 1914. The schlieffen plan "What was meant to happen" ...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?

    Trenches were built to protect from heavy artillery barrages which sometimes lasted for a few days. Trenches were really easy to defend because they were built in a zigzag shape, which meant that that if a grenade was thrown into the trench only the people in there would die because the grenade wouldn't kill the soldiers around the corner.

  2. The Schlieffen Plan

    The political cartoon is also an example of propaganda. 2. Compare and contrast the nature of the German request for passage through Belgium as depicted in Source C and Source D. (6) The nature of the German request for passage through Belgium as depicted in Sources C and D shows

  1. Explain how the schlieffen plan was meant to work The schlieffen plan was concocted ...

    The English soldiers slowed down the German army by organizing An orderly retreat helping French uses their forces to stop the German advance. By doing this no country was getting anywhere! Another reason for the stalemate devolving was because of new weapons for example the tank and the machine gun.

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

    Everyone though that this was the weapon that could achieve a breakthrough. However, these gigantic machines moved at walking pace. They were very unreliable because even one small technical flaw could make the whole tank break down. More than half of them broke down before they got to the German trenches because they could not keep up.

  1. The Schlieffen Plan and the Reality

    As most of the French army was stationed on the border with Germany, the Schlieffen Plan aimed for the quick defeat of France by invading it through Belgium who were considered to be neutral and not cause a threat. The Belgians were not believed to cause a threat as the

  2. Essay on the Schlieffen Plan

    It also allowed Russian forces valuable time to mobilise. Some of the supporters of the motion that the German high command's changes led to the failure of the plan take another view. An example of this was the historian and publicist Hans Delbruck, who brought the Schlieffen plan to the attention of the German public.

  1. The failure of the Schlieffen Plan - Stalemate.

    * Hotels & restaurants operating times regulated. Rationing of bread, milk, sugar, tea, & meat * April 1917: Convoy system ensured food supplies never reached German shortages - only 1% sunk. ? Early in August 1914 the Asquith government past the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA)

  2. The Marshall Plan.

    Nevertheless, the conferees meet forty-three times between March 10 and April 24 but found few areas of agreement. More important were Marshall's frequent discussions with the British and French, smoothing out disagreements and displaying American concern; Marshall also received a dire picture of Anglo-French economic and political problems.

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