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A stalemate developed on the Western Front as a result of the failure of the German Schlieffen Plan. There were many reasons that the Schlieffen plan failed.

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First World War Coursework B. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front? A stalemate developed on the Western Front as a result of the failure of the German Schlieffen Plan. There were many reasons that the Schlieffen plan failed. As many unexpected things happened, the original Schlieffen plan had to be modified. Firstly, when the Germans invaded Belgium in August, they were not anticipating the resistance the Belgians put up. The Germans expected the Belgians to let them through Belgium with no resistance. Yet the Belgians held up the German advance giving time for Britain to send in expeditionary forces into France. ...read more.


The French now had to rush to stop Germany from reaching Paris and trapping their armies. On the 23rd August, the Germans were delayed by the BEF (the British Expeditionary Force) at Mons. The BEF then went south and joined the French. The Germans still went into France but they could not encircle Paris because they lacked soldiers (the army had been split in half because they had to fight the Russians). The Germans were counting on being able to encircle Paris and they wanted the French to sign for peace. The Germans wanted to hold onto their land and they hoped to gain more land from the French. ...read more.


On 8th October the Germans captured Ostend and they captured Antwerp on the 15th. British marines tried to stop them, but they were defeated. However, on the 18th October Ypres, Belgium, was recaptured from the Germans and the channel ports were reached by the British and French first. The Germans had lost the race to the sea. This meant that both sides had to resort to trench warfare. Both sides began to dig in, making defensive positions stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss border with France. The German Schlieffen plan and French Plan 17 had both failed, so neither army had a clear idea of what to do. Neither army wanted to move from their defensive positions as it became very dangerous to do so, therefore a stale mate developed. ...read more.

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