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Explain how the Schliefen Plan was meant to work.

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A) Explain how the Schliefen Plan was meant to work Tension began to mount in Europe when the nations started competing to take colonies for trading overseas. Each nation was trying to prove that it was the most powerful - this was Nationalism. Two European alliances were formed: the Triple Entente (the Allies), which consisted of Britain, France and Russia; and an opposing alliance, the Triple Alliance (the central powers), which consisted of Germany, Austria and Turkey. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in June 1914 in Sarajevo by Princip, a Serb member of a secret organisation, known as the Black Hand, the outbreak of war was triggered. ...read more.


As Germany did not want to fight a Franco-Prussian war, Schliefen created The Schliefen Plan in December 1905 to prevent this such an outcome. Schliefen calculated that it would take at least six weeks for Russia to mobilise its army and so he decided that Germany should send ninety per cent. of its armed forces to defeat the ally, France, before sending the army back to the east coast of Germany to defeat Russia. Germany believed that it could easily defeat France in less than six weeks as it has done in 1870/71 when it gained power over Alsace Lorraine. Hence, France and Germany were not allies. ...read more.


The main route was to be through the flat plains of Flanders. Moltke decided that Belgium's army was not large enough to stop the German forces from entering France quickly. Once in France, the German army would attack Paris from the west. The plan was not a secure route to success as it involved many assumptions. First, they assumed that it would take about a month and a half for Russia to mobilise its army. Second, that it would take less than six weeks to defeat France. They also relied on the assumption that Belgium would not resist a German attack and that Britain would not come to Belgium's aid and remain neutral. It was these optimistic assumptions that caused the Schliefen plan to fail. ...read more.

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