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Why did a stalemate develop on the western front?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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