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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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