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How Important was the Role of the BEF in the Failure of the Schlieffen Plan?

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  • Essay length: 1994 words
  • Submitted: 08/11/2004
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GCSE International relations 1900-1939

The first 200 words of this essay...

26th September 2003 Ewan Miller Y2

How Important was the Role of the BEF in the Failure of the Schlieffen Plan?

Introduction:

The Role of the British Expeditionary Force (the B.E.F.) was an in important contributing factor to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, but not the only one. The French's Plan XIV, the out of date Schlieffen plan itself, and the role of the Belgian army all were contributing factors that together resulted in the failure of Germany's Schlieffen Plan.

The Background:

Germany had anticipated war for a long time, and in 1905 the German Chief of Staff, Alfred von Schlieffen devised a short, decisive plan to win it. The biggest problem with Germany's location was that it was in between France and Germany. In a European war, the Germans knew they could not, and so would have to avoid, dividing their forces and fighting a war on two fronts.

Consequently, von Schlieffen's plan counted on Russia's inability to mobilise - he estimated it would take them 6 weeks to do so. Thus, to avoid a war on two fronts, the Schlieffen Plan meant 90% of the German army

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