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

Why did the Schlieffen Plan Fail?

Extracts from this document...


Richard Tandy 18.09.02 Why did the Schlieffen Plan Fail? Introduction The Germans hope of a quick victory in the war were based on a plan called the Schlieffen Plan, formulated and composed by Count Alfred Von Schlieffen, chief of the General Staff of the German Army. Firstly, Germany knew they had one of the finest railway systems in the World. They would use this to their advantage to transport troops to the front line. The first stage of attack was to invade through neutral Belgium, sending most of their troops through the central and northern parts instead of the wooded Ardennes region, which would save time. Germany would then have enough troops to attack the west side of Paris. Within six weeks German troops would have captured the city of Paris by encircling it. The next step was to then transport the troops by rail to face "the Russian steamroller" which the Germans anticipated to take six weeks to get prepared. The first sticking point for Germany was when they invaded Belgium in August 1914. ...read more.


Meanwhile, Germany had some success. Frances' Plan XVII failed completely and there were 300,000 French casualties. Germanys Western armies now marched into France, however, they were forced, because of their lack of soldiers, to sweep east of Paris rather than west and they failed to encircle and therefore capture the city. The French armies were inspired by General Joffre to resist the German advance, he rushed reserve troops to the front from Paris, using taxis when necessary. Over the four days of the 5th - 9th September at the Battle Of Marne, which turned out to be the turning point of the war, the exhausted Germans were thrown back from the Marne River. They began to dig trenches to defend themselves. The German commander Moltke lost control of his armies. Holding back his tears he called for a general retreat. The German casualty figures were so high that they were never published. By October 1914 the Germans had failed to capture Paris, and they had been stopped at the Battle Of The Marne. The Schlieffen Plan was failing and Germanys soldiers were exhausted. ...read more.


This caused the plan to fail because the army was now stuck in a battle of trench warfare and this bogged down their advance and meant that other countries including Rusia had more time to prepare. The second reason is the Russian army getting mobilized quickly. As a result Germany had to weaken their western armies to prevent Russia gaining ground. Now that Germany didn't have enough soldiers in the west they failed to capture France. If Germany still had their complete army in the west they would probably have been able to take France and the channel ports then go and fight Russia. Therefore, the Schlieffen Plan would have been a success. However, irrespective of Russia's immediacy I believe the Battle of The Marne was the ultimate failure of the Schlieffen Plan because it resulted in the German army getting bogged down in this battle of attrition in trench warfare and consequently bringing the war to a stalemate. Do not copy my essay in its exact form as it has been distributed between teachers as a benchmark and you would get caught out as a result - Richard Tandy (Look out for my name in the near future as a famous musician (guitarist) or scientist). 1 ...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. Why did the Schlieffen Plan fail?

    This meant that Germany was now in a war against three main countries (France, Britain and Russia) with only one ally (Austria-Hungary), and that ally's army wasn't very well trained (later in the war, it became a hindrance to Germany).

  2. The Battle of Verdun.

    says that it was French willpower that made the German strategy of attrition a failure, I is likely that even though it was written by a Historian fifty one years after the war ended, it could still be biased. The last view was that it was an error of judgement that was the failure of the plan of attrition.

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

    During the entirety of the war, Britain blockaded German ports and attacked any merchant ships, attempting to limit food supplies. This was a long term plan but did start to cause problems in 1916: there were many food riots in Germany and she seemed to run out of supplies of shells and nerve agents.

  2. What was the Schlieffen Plan and why did it Fail?

    A final reason was Von Moultke now again weakened the northern army and sent troops to the eastern front where the Russian had mobilised in only six weeks.

  1. why did the schlieffen plan fail

    This made the plan fail already because they need 90% of the army to get to Paris. Schlieffen finished writing his plan I 1905. He considered everything but he forgot how things would have changed in 9 years. His plan and tactics were outdated.

  2. Failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

    (Reinforcements were sent in taxi's from Paris. During This battle, such was the need for extra men on the front lines). The Germans, unable to make the final break through, retreated back to the River Aisne. http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/Year9/firstworldwar/1914/september.htm The first battle of the Aisne. Hoping to take advantage of the German retreat to the Aisne the Allies launched

  1. Why did the Schlieffen Plan fail?

    The Germans, who had hoped the British would not join, were now forced to fight them at the Battle of Mons. The British retreated to the French armies. The German Armies were now moving south. The right wing was moving towards the west of Parris.

  2. Schlieffen Plan

    As early as 1899,. Schlieffen had developed a plan of attack against France. Schlieffen realized that Germany could not attack straight across their border due to the fortresses which France had built along Alsace and Lorraine after 1870. Therefore, at the heart of Schlieffen plan was the idea that Germany would have to attack France by first going through Belgium.

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