• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Failure Of The Schlieffen Plan

Extracts from this document...


The failure of the Schlieffen plan There are many reasons for the failure of the Schlieffen plan and in this essay I will look at three of the main reasons. The Schlieffen plan was devised by Count Von Schlieffen the plan was to advance through Belgium and around Paris forcing the French to retire as all the French supplies were in Belgium. Then the German army would move to the German border with Russia and fight the remains of the Russian army, as they had just come from a war on the other side of Russia. The aim of this plan was to prevent fighting a war on two fronts, which if it was carried out properly would have worked and the war would be "over by Christmas". ...read more.


Perhaps the biggest mistake was that Schlieffen didn't expect Belgium to resist or Britain to get involved. The Belgian forces held the Germans up for ten days, this may sound like nothing, but as the plan was running on a very tight schedule it was too long, also the ten days gave Britain enough time to transport an army across the channel and into a defensive position. Secondly the German high command made vital mistakes during the plan. The main one is that they changed the plan half way through. If a band was singing a song and decided to change the words half way through it just wouldn't work. ...read more.


The Belgians weren't expected to fight back as the Germans passed through their small country, but the small forces put up a reasonable fight. The British weren't expected to get involved as there treaty with Belgium dated back to 1839. Schlieffen did not expect this ancient treaty. And finally the Russians as they were able to mobilize incredibly quickly this caused the Germans to fight a war on two fronts and it ultimately destroyed the aim of the plan. In conclusion I think that Schlieffen's plan would have been a great success but he did not look at all the details and ask all the questions, and if he had done so the plan would have been a success. The war would have actually been over by Christmas! ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. The Schlieffen Plan

    The German army attacking France would be divided, one eight times larger than the other would advance through Belgium, and Schlieffen believed that the Dutch and Belgium army would not be able to put up enough resistance and that they would be able to pass through Holland Belgium.

  2. Why did the Schlieffen Plan fail?

    This means that the resistance the Allies put up caused enough disruption to the plan to ensure that the plan failed, due to its complexity and inflexibility. Moltke also played an important part in this. His doubt about the plan's complexity meant he didn't take proper risks.

  1. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    It had 128 US citizens on it and this angered America, as they were neutral. The Kaiser was furious as he did not want the full force of the richest country in the world against him. Nevertheless, in 1918, Germany restarted the unrestricted U-boat campaign, making it more dangerous to

  2. Failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

    To the suffering of the fighting, the weather added a new element. As the bombardments destroyed the foliage and even the topsoil along the four-hundred-mile front, the rains turned the land surface into a kind of moonscape of muddy pools, from which bodies protruded and in which men drowned.

  1. Schlieffen Plan

    Now that Britain knew the Germans were getting stronger the British signed and alliance with Japan which then they were friendly with France & Russia. Everyone one was happy and they where so happy that in fact King Edward VII wrote to the Russian ambassador.

  2. How Important was the Role of the BEF in the Failure of the Schlieffen ...

    Even if the British did send troops, the Germans counted on meeting no resistance whatsoever in Belgium, and so thought by the time the British did arrive, it would be too late.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work