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Why did a stalemate develop on the western front?

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Why did a stalemate develop on the western front? During the First World War, a stalemate occurred between Germany and its rivals Britain and France. This meant that neither army was in a position to win or lose the war. This stalemate was caused mainly by the change from rapid invasions and attacking with bayonets and rifles to static trench warfare which lead to the intervention of various new weapons, modern war machines. The failure of the Schlieffen plan had led to the stalemate. The plan was intended to quickly invade France through the neutral Belgium. This violation was not accepted by Great Britain who entered the war on the French side to defend Belgium. As a consequence, the war became static in Belgium as both sides switched to trench warfare. ...read more.


On the western front, the opposing armies had different versions of these types of rifles. This meant that trenches were built on each side to avoid the crossfire. The land in between the trenches was called No-Mans Land. The Machine Gun was also used on the western front. Machine guns could, in theory, fire up to 400-600 calibre rounds every minute meaning it was a very powerful weapon. However, it was difficult to maintain and required at least 4-6 people to shoot from it. The disadvantage of the machine gun was that, to avoid it, trenches were dug deeper. Other weapons that were used on the western front were Heavy Artillery. These were long range, heavy field guns which would fire from heavy shells. ...read more.


This impacted the stalemate as it showed the war was not progressing. Barbed Wire was another war invention used on the western front. It was used by the enemy to cover the outer parts of the trenches, making it impossible to get through. This also stopped surprise attacks meaning the soldiers in the trenches could feel safer. One warfare tactic was to leave a gap in the barbed wire where the enemy would cross. This, however, was a trap and if the enemy crossed through the gap they would be in the perfect position to be killed. As a result of modern war interventions a stalemate developed at the western front which lasted for years. Both armies had similar weapons so it was impossible to gain an advantage over the opposition, which meant neither army could win or lose the war. Sophia Danielsson-Waters ...read more.

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