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Why did stalemate develop on the western front?

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Introduction

Question 8 Why did stalemate develop on the western front? Stalemate; A deadlock in battle situation where neither side makes any progress. Stalemate occurred in the western front, during 1914-16 because of the threat of the Germans losing some land caught from the French, which the French regained after a counter-attack. Both countries decided to defend so therefore dug trenches from the Swiss mountains all the way to the sea. They did this because of the both the Generals had no back plan and couldn't think of another plan. A further significance is that both armies were closely matched in strength and ammunition, even without same sized armies. During the 1914's trench warfare had developed, instead of what happened in the Battle of the Somme, Generals make precautions to protect their armies. ...read more.

Middle

It was so thick that daylight could barley be seen through it'. This showed that the Germans had been thinking defensively as well has attackingly. Another defensive based weapon is the machine gun, the British and the French underestimated it, but the Germans used it more to a greater affect against their Allies. After the attacks, which caused heavy casualties both forces made sure, they had an endless supply of machine guns and ammunition. The trenches were also a strong defence as they sheltered troops and kept their territory behind them. During the battle of the Somme the Germans trenches were re-enforced inside with concrete showing that trenches were thought of a defence mechanism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The French and British Armies combined was a big force but so was the German's and Austria-Hungary's. Both Armies had adopted the same method of fighting making it even more of a closer combat. My conclusion is that stalemate occurred because, not one, but many reasons such as the incompetence of the Generals who didn't have a back up plan so had to make do with trenches, also the way the weapons and way of fighting have changed from all out attack to a defensive encounter, which the generals couldn't figure out. The most apparent reason I find is the how trench warfare had developed and the race to the sea, which showed that neither country didn't, was to lose any more territory. Word Count: 619 Signed: Vishnu Sreedharan Great Marlow School 52435 Modern World History 1937 ...read more.

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