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

Why was their stalemate on the western front?

Extracts from this document...


Why was their stalemate on the western front? There are many different perspectives to the question above. However it is clear that the reason for the stalemate weighs heavily on the role of the Generals as well as other factors including technology and other fronts. The role of the generals was the benefactor of stalemate on the western front. Schlieffen was definitely not to blame; it was not his fault he had died many years earlier. However, if he did not die before the war and his plan was followed the war would have ended in the first few months and there would have been no stalemate on the western front. However, he did die and you can blame the General taking his place for the stalemate, as he did not follow the plan, which lead to the stalemate. The General, who took his place, Von Moltke could be a general to blame, as he was very inexperienced and did not take the key ports like Dunkirk and Calais so the highly trained, professional BEF (British Expeditionary Force) landed at the ports and made the stalemate. On the other hand, Von Moltke's boss or the person who chose him as the general could be blamed as he chose a bad General that would cost them a quick victory. Other reasons why Von Moltke was to blame are that he went the wrong way around Paris so that they clashed into the retreating: French army. ...read more.


The failure of the Nivelle Offensive made all the French soldiers loose their moral and caused mutiny. None of the Generals made a good attempt at opening a front elsewhere. The attempts that they did make were feeble like the Gallipoli Campaign, which led to needless slaughter. If they actually broke open another front through Gallipoli and then it might other nearby countries join the allies, surround Austria-Hungary, and force them to surrender isolating Germany to make them get defeated easily. So if they opened another front it would have ended the war quickly. None of the battles was very well planned for example they should have easily seen that Paschendale was below sea level and will become marshy if heavily bombarded. Haig won one battle and then he thought hat he will win all the battles easily so he sent lots of men to 'the sea of liquid mud', Paschendale. When an officer saw the scenes at Paschendale the burst into tears, crying "My God! Did we really send men to fight in that?" That exclamation shows that even the higher ranks of the army were horrified by the conditions for fighting in. Haig did not actually make the breakthrough although he takes most of the credit in this country; it was the French who actually did so this might mean that the arguments against Haig might unbalance the arguments for Haig. ...read more.


Although magazine design was clearly a factor in determining rifle performance, a greater impact was dependent upon the training and skill of the rifle operator himself. Much has been made of the 15 rounds per minute achieved at Mons by riflemen of the British Expeditionary Force. These were highly trained soldiers of what was then a professional army. The flood of entrants to the New Armies - of all nations - could not hope to achieve such a sustained accurate rate of fire. The norm was perhaps eight to twelve rounds per minute. In terms of range, the average during the war was around 1,400 meters, although accuracy could only be guaranteed at around 600 meters. So therefore the British use of rifles halted the advancement of German infantry. The sniper was also used a lot, snipers often killed people into triple figures, and this was very effective in lowering the morale of the enemy and causing them to go into a defensive mode. The machine gun was also a major weapon which was used to stop offensives, machine guns wiped out thousands of soldiers especially when Haig had ordered his solders to march across instead of running. The machine gun could rapidly fire out bullets which cut whole lines of advancing men down. As you can see if is understandable to see why there was stalemate for four years on the western front. The stalemate on the western front eventually led to the killing of a total amount of just over 5 million people. By Hehao He (2446 Words) ...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 differences in their opinions are; Haig doesn't believe numerical advantage is important in capturing machine guns as he states it is "a much overrated" weapon whereas Foch acknowledges the machine gun's prowess. Question 9: According to source I what was the difference of opinion between Rawlinson and Haig over the planned offensive?

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

    Pearson hated the fact that someone who had never been any closer than 50 kilometres behind the trenches and had no idea what life was like down there! The soldiers were brave and were putting there lives in jeopardy whilst Haig is so far behind the Front-line ordering soldiers to there deaths.

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

    This poem is in ways, very similar to 'Dulce et Decorum Est', as the same views of the effects of gas are expressed and the poems also use similar language. Stories The first story of the two stories I have chosen is an extract from 'All Quiet on the Western Front', by Erich Maria Remarque.

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

    Other methods were tried, like putting their uniform through special machines designed for exterminating lice that lived in the seams of clothing, but this was almost always unsuccessful because the machines were not completely reliable. There were always a few remaining eggs that hatched when the soldier put on his uniform again (body warmth enabled this)

  1. Home front

    If he doesn't possesses the characteristics of being: strong, brave, willing, courageous and patriotic then he really can't be called a man. The word worthy is underlined and in bold capital letters to get this point across. Thirdly in the next point it is trying to say you shouldn't feel

  2. Who was responsible for what went wrong at Gallipoli?

    They sat around because of the lack of orders from the Generals & Commanders. The high ranking men were based on warships in the Aegean Sea. They were unable to relay orders to the troops on the beach and officers were sent out too late to take command of the troops who were slaughtered quickly and easily.

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    He then fired two torpedoes at it. It sunk within eighteen minutes, taking 1098 of her 1906 passengers and a crew to the bottom of the sea. This also caused the loss of many American lives, leading to a controversy between the United States and Germany that almost started war between the two nations.

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

    on trench latrines, discarded food and tins, and the remains of decomposing corpses. Both sides used barbed wire as an obstacle. Barbed wire was usually staked in the ground around 20 yards into no-man's land. Also in no-man's land, there were observation posts where sentries could watch the enemy's trenches and gather intelligence or report an impending attack.

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