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

Why had the Western Front been established by the end of 1914?

Extracts from this document...


Why had the Western Front been established by the end of 1914? The Western Front was the line of trenches stretching for a staggering 500 miles. By the end of 1914 both sides had established lines extending from Switzerland to the North Sea; these lines were destined to remain almost stationary for the next three years. Over the next four years the countries would be involved in a stalemate. Casualties would be enormous and injuries horrific. The question is why this front was established. I believe there were many reasons for the beginning of World War 1, both long-term and short-term plus the trigger cause. It was a combination of events and blunders that lead to the formation of the Western Front. I believe that in the end, no one is to blame simply because war became inevitable. People were very loyal to their country and this resulted in hatred. People across the world were eager to let the rest of the World know how strong their country was and countries were desperate to enforce their authority across the world. The French were very hateful of Germany due to Germany's capture of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870-71. Decades later, the French bitterness was still rife and their lust for revenge had not disappeared. Therefore the French were even more against Germany. Also France now had allies to finally revenge Germany. ...read more.


Not only were they "encircled" but this was coupled with the French bitterness that Germany was certainly well aware of. The alliance system can be linked to the Schlieffen plan because it split two major countries in France and Germany into separate alliances, who shared a large amount of tension. Therefore the Germans devised a plan that they were certain would not fail. It was designed by Count Von Schlieffen in 1905, so known as the Schlieffen Plan. Germany wanted to avoid fighting a war on two fronts so Schlieffen proposed attacking France through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. He planned to use 90% of his forces to deliver a knock out blow to France and use the remaining 10% to defend the eastern border from any Russian attack assuming the Russians would be slow to mobilize their forces. However in 1906 Schlieffen was replaced by Von Moltke who made some alterations to the original plan. His version avoided invading through Holland but instead concentrating the attack through Belgium. It was thought the Belgians would not be able to resist the powerful German military, and German forces would rapidly enter France. In the final plan the assumptions were that Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilise, France would be defeated within six weeks, Belgium would not resist any German attack and Britain would remain neutral. ...read more.


Both sides now extended their operations northward, each attempting to outflank the other in a series of maneuvers that has been called "the race to the sea." Maubeuge, on France's northern border, fell to the Germans on September 8th , as did the Belgian fortress of Antwerp on October 9. Fierce battles in Picardy and Artois were followed in late October and November by the Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres. At Ypres, the BEF was nearly battered while successfully resisting a German drive. Shortly thereafter the trench warfare began, as mass conscript armies used the spade, machine gun, and barbed wire to prevent any movement between the North Sea and the Swiss border. The Western Front had been formed after a combination of failures, including some military decisions, and the final Battle of Marne and race to the sea. So in conclusion I believe that the main cause of the Western Front was the Schlieffen Plan due to the fact that its massive failure changed the course of everything. Instead of attacking the French capital, Paris, they turned east and were met by the French resulting in the famous Battle of the Marne. Each country had a reason for going to war against their opposing countries so they were all partly to blame for the establishment of the Western Front. France was against Germany and Britain against Germany. They all looked for power as single empires and they believed war would bring this to them. ...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. "Tension between the countries of Europe increased in year before 1914 due to the ...

    The treaty of Frankfurt had changed the people's views on France and their defenses. France had consistently spent more on her army than Germany, so people thought that this might have made France stronger than the Germans. France didn't like the way Bismarck had treated them and eventually war was ready to break out.

  2. The Battle of Verdun.

    This source is from a British magazine (punch) and because of this it is likely to be biased, it is likely that this was shown to the public so that they thought that the army was standing tall amid destruction and tragedy where as this may not have been the

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

    However, this attack could not continue in such magnitude as there were a few major flaws in the plan. As the German infantry advanced, they captured many stores which were full of luxuries that they had been denied of for 4 years and so looting halted the German offensive.

  2. The Western Front

    France, and Italy, and in the eastern Mediterranean, would without further notice be prevented by all weapons, clearly a return to unrestricted submarine warfare on any and all vessels within the designated zones. This was finally too much even for Wilson and diplomatic relations with Germany were severed 3 Feb.

  1. Why did the Germans fail to achieve victory in the West in 1914? Source ...

    Ludendorff was lower-ranking than von Moltke and this factor would probably allow Ludendorff to be frank about Moltke's decision as a whole, and the failure of the Schlieffen Plan. I think that if you were to read all his memoirs, you would find a lot more information than you would

  2. Nato is an international organization that is established by signing the North Atlantic Treaty ...

    Another claim is that members will have more disputes over common alliance policy as they are now taking more independent decisions in their foreign and defence policies. The last significant argument neorealists is the one stating that members will move away from Nato to some other less costly international cooperation forms.

  1. Was there much change in the fighting methods employed by the British Army on ...

    Offensives, British artillery strength was fully made up by August and they began their final offensives with more guns than they had before the Germans attacked. A comparable transformation was obtained in the supply of ammunition. Initially Kitchener restricted the orders of munitions to a small number of firms who had supplied the pre-war BEF.

  2. Was Field Marshall Douglas Haig more important that the allied blockade of German naval ...

    Amiens was of immense importance to the allies as it was a major rail hub used to receive supplies for the front line and from there these supplies were moved out to where they needed to be. In early 1918, Ludendorff ordered a major attack on the city.

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