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Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work.

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Richard Godley Great Marlow (52435) Modern World History 1937 Essay Questions Word Count: 966 7. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work. The Schlieffen Plan was devised so that Germany could successfully invade France by going through Belgium and Luxembourg instead of battling the heavily fortified French areas near Metz. This would all take place within six weeks. If successful, the plan would eliminate the threat of a war on two fronts, giving Germany the opportunity to take large parts of Europe. However, this would have been a master plan if there were no flaws. As clever a plan it was, mistakes were made and the costs phenomenal During the late 1800s to early 20th century, Europe was living in a state of tension. Many of the major nations knew that a war was inevitable and so alliances were formed. By 1881, Germany had already signed a pact with Austria-Hungary. ...read more.


Von Schlieffen presumed that Britain wouldn't go to war 'Over a scrap of paper.' He still kept faith that invading Belgium would be a surprises attack. This a huge mistake. Germany felt that the Schlieffen Plan was absolute and therefore had no backup plan if errors occurred. Another example of Von Schlieffen's complacency was that he strongly believed that because France were defeated in six weeks back in the Franco Prussian War, it was highly possible to do it again. However, times change and Germany suffered the consequences. Britain also stuck by their vow to protect Belgium and Russia was ready to battle much quicker than expected. The plan was meant to work in the shape of a scythe. Cutting through Belgium and curling around the back of Paris. This was decided because the French fortifications between Metz and Switzerland were far too sturdy and powerful to be quickly defeated, if at all. Instead, curling through Belgium and into the back of Paris would be a safer option. However, this was a gamble. ...read more.


A good way of increasing the German army numbers. The train timetables were also altered so that troops could reach the front line in no time at all. However, Britain dismissed the idea of conscription and tried to bring the nation together by encouraging the public to sign up. If they signed in groups they could be assigned to the same station as each other. All the nations wanted to end the fighting quickly because they knew that if they didn't trench warfare would develop and fighting would go on for much longer than hoped. Unfortunately that did just happen and the war lasted for another four years. In conclusion, the Schlieffen Plan was of high quality on pen and paper. However, put into practice it went disastrously wrong. At least it wasn't a complete failure. Germany wasn't defeated. They managed to re-organise and fight for a few more years. Maybe if a backup plan was devised as well, there may have been a difference in the outcome. Overall, the plan was great, the consequences were not. Page Page ...read more.

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