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

The stalemate developed on the Western Front because the Schlieffen Plan failed. The success of the Germans hinged upon them swiftly taking control of France and this did not occur.

Extracts from this document...


a) The Germans had been expecting a war for many years and so already had a plan to help them win when war finally broke out. The Schlieffen Plan was thought up by the war minister, Count Alfred von Schlieffen who said that Germany needed to avoid fighting on two fronts. The Russians were expected to take six weeks to mobilise their army and the plan was to take advantage of this by sending the German army to defeat France first, knocking them out of the war which would leave German troops free to be sent East to help the Austrians defeat Russia. Germany would invade France by passing swiftly through the neutral country of Belgium. Although the Germans knew that Britain had sworn to protect Belgium in the Treaty of London, the British were not expected to uphold the Treaty and go to war ...read more.


They even blew up their own bridges and flooded land. Although this did not completely stop the German advance, it did slow it down and bought time for the British and French troops to mobilise and meant that the Germans did not reach Paris in six weeks, as was expected. In addition, the German soldiers were able to advance more quickly than their supplies and therefore were underfed and exhausted. The Schlieffen Plan had depended on the British not defending Belgium but on 4th August, Britain decided to uphold the Treaty of London and protect Belgium. They declared war and sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), a small group of Britain's best soldiers to meet the advancing Germans at Mons on 23rd August. They had success early on but soon had to organise an orderly retreat because they were greatly outnumberd The Russians were also much quicker to mobilise than expected, taking only three weeks instead of six, and launched an attack on Germany. ...read more.


This meant that Germany was unable to knock France out of the war and the Schlieffen plan had failed. In order to protect the land that they already owned, the Germans dug trenches and soon the British and French dug their own in order to protect themselves from shell fire and snipers. Both sides followed a "policy of encirclement" and tried to outflank the enemy lines. As the Germans moved rapidly towards the sea, the British and French moved troops to block them. The Allies and the Germans wanted to reach the sea and gain control of vital ports such as Dunkirk and Boulogne. For the next four years, the positions of the two sides hardly changed and there was a stalemate on the Western Front. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abby Taylor - History Coursework ...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 Success Of Blitzkrieg II.

    That is why why when the German's were fast advancing towards the French boarder, he said that Germany would not be ready to cross the river for nine days, but in fact because Gamelan had not anticipated the rate of the advance of the Germans, it only took them four days and so caught the French under surprise.

  2. Why Did A Stalemate Develop On The Western Front?

    The guidelines for British trench construction stated that it would take 450 men 6 hours (at night) to complete 250 metres of a front line trench system. Thereafter the trench would require constant maintenance to prevent deterioration caused by weather or shelling.

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

    an important part of the war at sea; both sides had rows of mines to try and limit the number of supply boats coming into enemy territory. Britain's foreseen role in the war was to provide a naval backup to the frontline, having very little else to do with the hand-to-hand combat.

  2. haig coursework

    Source A supports the statement 'Field Marshall Haig was the butcher of the Somme' because Haig never visited the frontline himself. This is shown by 'The absence of the General, Sir.' This supports the statement because it suggests that Haig Haig did not mind sending his own men to their death without being there himself.

  1. The Western Front

    It was intended to capture Amiens and split the French and British armies. The attack was initially successful, forcing the Allies to fall back and the Germans were within a few miles of Arras before they were finally held. Battle Of Jutland It was naval battle between British and German

  2. A stalemate developed on the Western Front as a result of the failure of ...

    The French 'Plan 17' failed. The plan was to swiftly attack Germany, defeat them and win back Alsace-Lorraine. However, the French could not get through the German defences at Alsace-Lorraine and many French troops were lost.

  1. Failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

    In saving Paris from capture by pushing the Germans back some 72km (45 miles), the First Battle of the Marne was a great strategic victory, as it enabled the French to continue the war. However, the Germans succeeded in capturing a large part of the industrial north east of France, a serious blow.

  2. Why stalemate broke down on the Western Front World War One

    are all connected as all the factors effect morale in some way. Also factors lead to each other as the American entry to war causes the German offensive as Germany believes that if she gives one last, powerful push that she should win; also the German offensive caused the Blockading of Germany.

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