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cause of the stalemate

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What caused the stalemate on the western front From the end of 1904 until March 1918 the war on the western front was in complete Stalemate. The stalemate on the western front was a problem unforeseen by either side. The stalemate meant that side were in a total deadlock and could not make any progress. The stalemate was made by many different occurrences. Neither side had foreseen the problem of the stalemate. The Germany thought that with the Schlieffen plan it would be a quick decisive battle, which would finish the war. The plan was to invade France by going through Belgium and conquering Paris. Then get ready to attack Russia when they came to defend France and that Britain would not come at all. There were six main reasons that caused the Schlieffen plan to fail. The Germans had thought that cause Belgium's army was a tenth of the size of Germanys and it was neutral in the war that they could go through without any resistance. Though when they did go through Belgium they thought back for almost a month giving the French and there allies warning and time to prepare. ...read more.


The german had expected that this would take a lot more time. So by the time the germans got there the french were ready. Italy believed that the Alliance was only a defensive purposes and that it was started by a Austro-Hungarian Empire which was not in there Aliance. Germany had made the Italian a big part in the plan and when they refused they had to make a lot of changes to the plan. The chief of the gereral staff helmeth von Moltke made changes to the Schlieffen plan reinforcing the right wing amys with 180000 from the Defence. Thus weakening the defence. he also further reinforced the left wing of the amy with Corps from the right to prevent Allies armies from getting too far into Germany itself. This caused problem because the germans were meant to fall back and lure the french away from Paris where the right wing forces were to attack but now there were bringing them closer together. The falure of the shcliefen plan resluted in the defeat at the first battle in manes in 1914, the stalemate and a two-front war for Germany. ...read more.


Another reasons offered by historians are the technology and industry in 1914. Technology and industry had changed a lot since the war before this (maybe exception for the Crimean war depending on the view of its importance). Weapons like machine guns and rapid-fire artillery had overtaken the military strategy and tactics making them unneeded. The machine gun could kill up to 1000 men in half an hour and the soldiers so when the men came over the top there was no chance of them winning making it a very powerful weapon. The use of cavalry was out dated in this war because they were easy targets for machine guns. Also in the bad conditions of the trenches, especially in winter when it was muddy. Because of the new weaponry the old tactic needed to be adapted to match. Although at first many of the tactics were kept the same even though some desperately needed reforming. The armies (especially France) thought that machine gun would not affect the war greatly. The British debated whether to raise the number of machine guns in a battalion from the pre-war complement. ...read more.

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