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Why was the stalemate on the western front broken?

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Why was the stalemate on the western front broken? The stalemate along the western front began in 1914 and was finally broken 4 years later in 1918 for a number of reasons. Among these were the introduction of new technology such as the tank, the British blockade of German ports, Russia leaving the war and the USA joining in. Tanks helped end trench warfare and bring back mobility to the western front. At first they were better at defending and broke down a lot, but when the Mark IV tank came along things changed. At the battle of Cambrai in 1917 this tank was used the way all tanks would be from then onwards. Before this time tanks had been used to destroy and disorganise the opposition, but now it would be used to take land. This plan worked extremely well and the tank took so much land that the soldiers could not keep up with it and all had to retreat slightly, but this marked the first successful use of tanks in a combined arms operation and made the Allied army realise how important tanks would be in future battles. ...read more.


Morale among both troops and civilians was very low causing poor defending and attacking in the trenches as people began to lose faith in the war, most of the food went to the soldiers and the starving civilians criticized them and jeered at them demanding an end to war. Germany no longer had a sufficient chance in fighting. In 1917 Russia left the war and bought some relief and confidence to the German soldiers, now they could fully concentrate on defeating Britain and France on the western front. However, not long after still in 1917 the USA joined the war following the sinking of their ships by German U-boats and the Germans attempt to persuade Mexico to go to war with the rest of America, revealed in the intercepted Zimmermann Telegram of 1917. By summer 1918 the Americans were bringing in 50,000 new, unharmed men each month along with new advanced weapons such as better-controlled tanks and more accurate machine guns. ...read more.


On the other hand, the Allies under Commander Ferdinand Foch were thriving; they were well fed and had new tanks, aircraft and artillery. 456 tanks some of which were provided by the US were used against the Germans on August 8th 1918, named a "black day" for the German army. Germany was quickly losing and by late September the allies had reached the Hindenburg Line, a vast system of German defences in northeastern France. The US soldiers played a crucial part in this. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II fled to Holland when he realised Germany had no chance of winning the war, the army leadership called for an armistice. To conclude I feel that although there were many reasons as to why the stalemate ended the involvement of the USA was a major turning point. This is because without the support from America British troops would not have been as well fed and the Allies would not have possessed as many new technologies and soldiers. Roisin McCann 10E ...read more.

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