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

Why did a stalemate develop on the western front?

Extracts from this document...


Why did a stalemate develop on the western front? The western front was a line of trenches stretching from the sea in the west to the Alps in the east. By December 1914 a stalemate had developed here meaning neither the German or French armies were taking any land or making any progress at all. There were many reasons for this. Germany invaded Belgium on the 4th of August 1914, hoping to get through quickly and easily as predicted in the plan, but the Belgians had other ideas. They resisted and were able to hold up the Germans until French and British troops had mobilized, particularly at Liege. Already the schlieffen plan was failing; it required the British to not get involved. ...read more.


Now the Germans were stuck right in the middle of what they had been trying to avoid, a war on two fronts. The rest of the German army continued marching towards Paris but were driven back 60km to the River Aisne when the French and BEF arrived on the front along with new French troops ferried in by taxi and railway systems. British field marshal Sir John French wanted to withdraw all British troops from the front to rest reoraganise, but with help from Lord Kitchener French commander in chief Joseph Joffre managed to prevent this. Germany was losing land to the allies and so trench warfare began. The first signs of a stalemate began to show by September 8th. ...read more.


Battles were fought during this race, the battle of Ypres began on October 12th and lasted just under a month resulting in the loss of over 1 million French soldiers and the destruction of the BEF. France continued to attempt to break German lines to no avail, more men died. High power artillery had caused great damage to both trenches and forces meaning the stalemate progressed, there were not enough soldiers to make a forceful attack so neither side could take land from the other, again. The stalemate lasted 4 years only finally ending in 1918. The Schlieffen Plan had completely failed along with later attempts due to inaccurate calculations and the disadvantages of new technology. There was a huge lack of soldiers following the Battle of The Marne and the Race to the Sea meaning there was little progress if any at all. ...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 Britain 1905-1951 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 Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Britain And The Western Front - Sources Questions

    This source shows Haig was out of touch with the way his army lived. Question 14: How does the evidence in source M support the view that the battle of the Somme was badly planned? It is shown to have been badly planned because the men had to carry over

  2. How did life for a typical soldier serving in a trench on the western ...

    By 1918 more modern tanks could carry up to 10 men and reach a speed of 4mph. Aeroplanes were used in battle for the first time, they delivered bombs to the battle areas. Battles between aeroplanes in the sky became known as 'dogfights'.

  1. Why was fighting on the Western Front such a new and terrible experience for ...

    The number who had enlisted to join was always increasing and food shipment was gradually growing scarce so the rations for soldiers were being cut down gradually as time passed. It varied from tinned meat -which was bearable when famished but otherwise revolting- to pea soup.

  2. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

    armies from different countries such as Germany, France and Russia were conscripted so not very well trained or prepared. The British Expeditionary Force (the British army) also had the Enfield rifle, which could fire so fast it could pass as a machine gun.

  1. Why was the stalemate on the western front broken?

    with Germany so troops were withdrawn from the east, balancing out the numbers on either side of the battlefield. Despite this the Allies were still at an advantage and now even closer to winning the war. Before the American forces had gathered in great numbers Germany launched one last shot

  2. Free essay

    Why did Stalemate develop on the Western Front?

    So Germany assumed that the BEF would take no action, of course they were wrong and Britain stood by the Treaty and fought against Germany. Another incident that influenced the development of the stalemate is the speed of the Russian's preparations for war because Germany expected the Russians to take

  1. The failure of the schlieffen plan

    Railway lines and bridges could be replaced but the destruction of railway tunnels caused considerable hold-ups. Soon the Schlieffen Plan was falling behind schedule, though Liege was taken only two days late. However, the delays enabled the British Expeditionary Force to land and play a part in delaying the Germans at Mons and Le Cateau.

  2. 'Lions Led by Donkeys' How Valid is this Interpretation of the Conduct of the ...

    However these wars were very one sided as the enemy were poorly equipped. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces on the Western Front in 1915 and was then promoted to the rank of Field Marshal on 3rd January 1917.

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