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

Why was the stalemate on the western front broken?

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 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 Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Britain And The Western Front - Sources Questions

    The evidence is that the Germans hid in underground bunkers, which protected them from the bombardment leaving them untouched. After the bombardment the Germans rushed to their positions to await the British attack leaving the bombardment to not have filled its objectives and therefore be a failure.

  2. Poems and stories; official accounts Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    The extract above from his despatch, describes the situation of a gas attack by the Germans, near Wulverghem, Belgium. This extract is very detailed and helpful for someone studying tactics of the war; however, it does not represent the experiences of soldiers much at all.

  1. Describe the conditions that soldiers experienced on the western front in the years 1915-1917.

    Collecting water from craters, rainwater and eating ice was a last resort for the soldiers but it was common practise. As the supply of water increased the cleanliness of the water could not be guaranteed. Drinking water was transported in used petrol cans.

  2. Why was fighting on the Western Front such a new and terrible experience for ...

    Instead they covered their faces with rags soaked in water which slightly reduced the effects- The chemicals in the gas would travel to your lungs and burn them internally. You would then die a cruel slow death in agony. Machine guns on the other hand usually caused instant death.

  1. Britain And The Western Front of World War One - Sources Questions

    He also believed that he would be able to deal the Germans a considerable blow or at least to wear them down with attrition and be in the superior position. He chose to attack at the Somme because the two other possible places to attack from where not as suitable;

  2. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front??

    They also contained essential services such as forward first aid stations, latrines, and headquarters. For this reason they were sometimes known as command trenches. There were normally at least three lines of cover trenches behind the fire trenches. The Battle of the Somme (1916)

  1. Why was their stalemate on the western front?

    Haig still sent the men out even if he knew that the barbed wire was tangled and therefore they would have no chance. However, Was Haig trying to make the stalemate go on for longer or did he not try to breakthrough as he did use some very good ideas

  2. 'Lions Led by Donkeys' How Valid is this Interpretation of the Conduct of the ...

    Source A5 (i) shows us how the soldiers had to face agonising waits to go 'over the top'. They were expected to carry with them all of there equipment and were to fight for their lives with bayonets. However they were bombarded with heavy machinegun fire as soon as there heads were out of the trenches.

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