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

Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Schlieffen plan A) Explain how the Schlieffen plan was meant to work France had made an alliance with Russia that said that nether country could attack the other. This was done to defend against a German attack because both countries border Germany and this made them very vulnerable. Germanys army was not strong enough to attack both France and Russia at the same time. Because of this, the Fuhrer wanted another way that Germany could attack both countries without the army being too weak at one front and being beaten there and not having the other half of the army ready to fight. A plan was formed called the Schlieffen plan. This plan worked on the assumption that the Russian army would take six weeks to mobilize. This would be because if the large size of the country, the poor rail transport system and also the poor communication network. It was decided that whilst France was being attacked, the Russian army would take six weeks to mobilize, which would be enough time for the German army to conquer France. France was very bitter towards Germany since the France-Prussian war of 1870-71 in which Alsace Lorraine was taken by Germany. Because of this bitterness, the border between France and Germany was very well defended. ...read more.

Middle

By this time, the Schlieffen plan had failed. The German army was split in two, half on the Western Front trying to break through the French and British army in order to conquer French. The other half was on the Eastern Front defending against the supposedly weaker Russian army. The German hope of rushing through Belgium, taking over Paris and then wiping out the French army had become impossible, due to the fact that the German army was half the original force it was, and that the French and British army had forced the German's into a stalemate by using trenches. Once the Schlieffen plan had failed, the German's were forced to use defensive tactics so that they were not forced out of France. The style of trench warfare was new, and because of this, nether side was very experienced with what to do. Therefore, an overall defensive tactic was used, which made breakthroughs very difficult. Breaking through the opposite trench was made more difficult because of the conditions of the trenches. When trying to get through no-man's land, the men were easy targets for the enemy's shell and machine gun fire. The men's ability to fight was further hampered by the barbed wire and the huge shell craters which they had to run through. ...read more.

Conclusion

The blockades were very successful because the German people began to starve and the German soldiers began to become very short-tempered because of the poor conditions of the trenches and the lack of food. Unrest began to rise with both the civilians and the armed forces. The German Generals were forced to do something. They were under extreme pressure to make something happen and make a breakthrough of some kind. To make things worse, the Russian army was also putting the Germans under much more pressure than originally thought it would and many German soldiers were dieing in Stalingrad because of the cold, lack of food and also because the Russian army was just so immense. On March 1918 the German army made one last attempt to defeat the American, British and French combined army. The British tanks, the fresh American troops and weapons and the French army defeated the German army on the Western Front and forced the German's to surrender. To conclude, I would say that the statement is true and that all the factors stated were equally important to the defeat of the breaking of the stalemate on the Western Front. This said however, it is difficult to measure how important these things are. Whilst I consider them equally important, it is difficult to measure them against each other and say weather one is more important than the other. This is why I consider them equally important factors, as they all helped in different ways. ...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 American involvement was the most important reason the stalemate on the Western Front was finally broken. With the American entry in the war, it meant that Britain could use its navy to put a blockade on the German ports.

  2. To what extent did the failure of the Schlieffen Plan lead to Germany's defeat ...

    In March 1918, the final German offensive , the Ludendorff offensive failed. Initially the attack seemed to be succeeding as the Germans managed to advance to the River Marne but the Allies managed to hold their line. The German troops had put everything into the offensive hoping that it would

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

    The new weapons were the submachine gun which had a large impact as the intensity, speed and accuracy increased immensely. Storm troopers were the new army of whom had extreme training and were given the latest and most advanced equipment.

  2. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front

    The Belgium soldiers fought much harder and with much more bravery than expected which slowed down the Germans and also created time for the British BEF to get across the channel to join France for the start or "The Battle Of Mons".

  1. What Broke the Stalemate Stalemate is the word used to describe the situation on ...

    sit in a trench and mow down anyone who tried to attack them with a machine gun. Machine guns were the most effective of all of the weapons, but they were also the weapon that helped to cause a stalemate the most as they could kill so many attackers in a minute.

  2. Why did a stalemate occur on the Western Front?

    Each force was now involved in a 'race to the sea' from 17th November, continuing to outflank each other and ultimately gain control of the channel ports. These actions forced both sides to 'dig in' further and consolidate their position.

  1. The Western Front - the soldiers' experiences and official reports.

    This poster would have appealed to many young men and is an effective way in obtaining soldiers, as they would have enlisted with the ambition of being the typical British hero, saving the damsel in distress. This conforms with the point of view that impressions of the war were influenced by government propaganda.

  2. Why did the Stalemate on the Western Front end?

    Yet more Allied attacks followed. Eventually, thanks to the new tactics and strategy of Haig, the Allies were able to break through the Hindenburg Line. Ludendorff now had the problem of evacuating his armies from France in the face of Allied superiority.

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