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Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work.

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The First World War Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work. In 1870/71 France was humiliated by Germany in the Franco Prussian War when they lost Alsace Lorraine. France wanted revenge for this and so enlisted the help of Russia and made a treaty. Germany therefore always expected to Russia attack from the east to help France. This would mean fighting the war on two fronts. Germany needed to avoid this because fighting on two fronts would mean being squashed from both sides and using only half their army on each front. Germany knew they could beat France and Russia, but not at the same time. They needed to think of a way around this. In 1905, Von Schlieffen came up with the Schlieffen Plan. Von Schlieffen was the Commander in Chief of the Imperial Staff. He believed they should make defeating France the priority and make them surrender before Russia had chance to mobilise its armed forces. He believed it would take at least six weeks longer for Russia to mobilise and so he would have that time to defeat France. ...read more.


This was far quicker than calculated in the Schlieffen Plan and forced the Germans to withdraw troops from the Schlieffen Plan and send them to defend the eastern border of Germany. This forced the Germans to give up on the idea of advancing around Paris and instead chose to attack from the east of the capital. However, they were left exposed and were met by the French army at the Battle of Marne on the 5th-11th September. This halted the Germans advance and the Schlieffen Plan had failed. think that the American entry into the war was a very significant factor when it came to the stalemate being broken. The British Royal Navy used its submarines to stop supplies getting into Germany, just like the German submarines had done to Britain. The British, however, blockaded German ports in order to do this, rather than using unrestricted submarine warfare. Through the blockading of the German ports the Royal navy prevented imports of food, oil, chemicals and weaponry as far as possible. This method was much more successful than the German use of submarines. ...read more.


1700 aircraft were assembled but hindered by fog. They helped conceal the noise of assembling tanks at night by flying low over the enem ... ... an overall defensive tactic was used, which made breakthroughs very difficult. Breaking through the opposite trench was made more difficult because of the conditions of the trenches. When trying to get through no-man's land, the men were easy targets for the enemy's shell and machine gun fire. The men's ability to fight was further hampered by the barbed wire and the huge shell craters which they had to run through. By trying to fight around the trenches, both sides extended their trenches down to Switzerland, which made the stalemate even more apparent, with both armies' spread evenly across the trench system ... nderestimated it, but the Germans used it more to a greater affect against their Allies. After the attacks, which caused heavy casualties both forces made sure, they had an endless supply of machine guns and ammunition. The trenches were also a strong defence as they sheltered troops and kept their territory behind them. During the battle of the Somme the Germans trenches were re-enforced inside with concrete showing that trenches were thought of a defence mechanism. Ruth Greig History ...read more.

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