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Why did Stalemate develop on the western front?

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Introduction

Why did Stalemate develop on the western front? Stalemate in war is when there is a deadlock and neither side can win. There are many reasons for the stalemate of World War 1. By the end of 1914 both Germany and France were digging trenches, using bared wire and sitting machine guns. The war became stagnant the war had changed from a war of movement to a war of stalemate. Both sides began to build trenches along what would become the western front. This was not what Count Von Schlieffen had planned to happen. So why did Stalemate develop on the western front. There are many reasons why Stalemate developed on the western front, one of the reasons was because the German troops were exhausted as the German army had to cover from 20 - 25 miles a day. So they were getting emotionally and physically drained. J.M Winter who wrote 'The Experience of World War 1' said 'Why did the plan fail? First the men of the German army had to cover 20-25 miles a day. ...read more.

Middle

General Joffre inspired the French armies to resist the German advance, and he rushed reserved troops to the front from Paris, using taxis when necessary. He ordered that 'a unit which can no longer advance must at all costs retain the ground it has gained and rather than retire, be killed on the spot.' Over the four days 5-9 September, at the Battle of the Marne, the exhausted Germans were thrown back from the Marne River. They began to dig trenches to defend themselves this is one of the reasons why Stalemate developed on the western front. Another reason why Stalemate developed on the western front was because Moltke lost control of the army because he was too far away. J.M Winter who wrote 'The Experience of World War 1' said 'Moltke could not obtain enough information to direct the campaign. The German army had tried to do the impossible.' Stalemate developed because Moltke was too far away to tell the German army what to do and where to go, so they started to dig trenches to protect them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Battle of Ypres was also another cause of Stalemate. The Battle of Ypres happened between 12 October to the 11 November 1914. The BEF lost around 50,000 men and the Germans probably 100,000, but British (led by Lt Gen Haig in this area) held this important ground. They kept control of the English Channel ports, which meant they could be supplied with equipment and reinforcements. By November 1914 it was deadlock. The BEF had been decimated. The French had already suffered around 1 million dead or wounded in just 10 weeks. Despite this, the French army tried to break through the German lines in Anton and Champagne in December, but they were beaten back with heavy loses. As 1914 ended, the fighting had developed Stalemate. So Stalemate had developed on the Western Front because of many different reasons. One was that the German troops were just too exhausted to fight and started to dig trenches as this was the only way to defend them so they wouldn't be killed. The failure of the Schlieffen Plan led to the German troops being exhausted and a fruitless race to the sea, which lead to both sides digging trenches. All of these factors together caused stalemate to develop. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Andrea Streets ...read more.

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