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World War 1 - Breaking of the Stalemate

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Introduction

The following were equally important reasons why the stalemate on the Western Front was broken: * New technology like the tank. * The American entry into the war. * The blockading of German ports. * The German offensive of March 1918. Explain how far you agree with this Statement The Stalemate of WW1 marked the need for new ways to wage war. It involved the Allies and the Germans, who were stuck in a deadlock along a 400 mile stretch of fortified trenches. In chess, when a stalemate is reached, it signals the end of the game and the result of a draw. In a war, this is not the case, and a stalemate can later be broken. I will be looking at how the stalemate on the Western front was ended. The stalemate was broken in March 1918, when the Germans launched an all out offensive for the first time in just under 4 years. They began again a war of movement, which then, in turn, ended with an armistice in November that year. As asked in the question, I will look at the 4 reasons given as the causes of the stalemate ending. I will make a judgement on whether I think they were all equal causes that ended the stalemate. ...read more.

Middle

The Little Willie could not get past trenches, and this proved to be a major set back. Early tanks were also very unreliable, mostly breaking down before getting into battle. As tanks became better equipped, more reliable and able to cross trenches, more were produced. In 1918, the British produced 1,391 and the French produced 4,000. However, the Germans never saw the potential in them, and only made 20! Quite possibly, the tank could have aided the Germans greatly with their final push in 1918. Another weapon used for the first time was aeroplanes. At first they were used for spying, and taking aerial photographs. They were flimsy, made of wood and material. There was no protection for the pilot if they were shot at. Over the war, planes were used to drop bombs and usually carried machine guns. Pilots were often involved in 'dogfights' with other planes. If a pilot survived many of these by shooting down the other plane, they became known as aces. The British had the most planes, and made good use of them in terms of surveillance. Overall, weapons can't really claim to be a cause of the breaking of the stalemate, as both sides used the new technology equally, and so neither side gained a huge advantage. ...read more.

Conclusion

They drove the Germans almost all the way out of France, and the Germans admitted their defeat. The treaty of Versailles was signed in November 1918, it signalled the end of the gruelling 4 years of trench warfare. The German's attack was what finally broke the stalemate, but if the other factors weren't taken into account, it could have been a very different story. I now looked at other reasons for the ending of the stalemate. The 'Stop the War' protests in Austria-Hungary and Germany must have contributed to the final push by Germany, and put huge amounts of pressure on the government. If the public don't want a war, the army probably doesn't either. This was expressed by the German navy when they mutinied because they were ordered to sea in the last months of the war. Looking back to the question, I have come to the conclusion that no, the 4 given reasons were not all equally important. As I said earlier, the new technology did not dramatically affect the wars outcome, as each side developed similar technology. In my opinion, the second two reasons were actually reasons for the 4th, which was the most important reason that the stalemate was broken. The German offensive was the actual move that ended the stalemate, and I think that means it was most important. ...read more.

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