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

World War 1 - Development of the Stalemate

Extracts from this document...


Why did a Stalemate develop on the Western Front? A stalemate is when neither side can make any significant advances or progress. This can also be called a deadlock, a standoff or a dead heat. While in chess, a stalemate means a draw and the end of a game, in a battle or war, a stalemate can be temporary, and broken at a later stage. I will be looking at how the stalemate developed in World War 1. I will research events in the period between the start of the war and Christmas 1914, the events that lead up to the digging of trenches, and the start of an unprecedented war. When war broke out in 1914, war plans had already been drawn up. In Germany's case, this meant the Schlieffen plan. This involved invading France via Belgium, and heading straight to Paris, leading to a quick victory. On the 3rd of August 1914, Germany poured troops into Belgium. ...read more.


It was a success, and the German commander, Moltke, organised a retreat. The Germans withdrew 40 miles, with the British and the French pursuing. The Battle of the Marne is known for the first effective use of airplane reconnaissance, which helped identify weak points in the German line. It was after the German retreat, that they started digging trenches, and the stalemate began. The allied forces pushed on, and met the German trenches, which were easy to defend. The allies began to try and flank the Germans, via the open right wing, however were repeatedly repelled. The Germans tried to do the same, and the two sides began exchanging attacks, while lengthening the trenches to keep up with the movement north. It has become known as the 'Race to the Sea'. Once the two armies reached the channel, the attention turned to the other flank, until the front line stretched from the channel to the border of Switzerland, some 400 miles. ...read more.


For example, in the past, cavalry had been a main part of an army; however, with the trenches in place, and new weapons like machine guns, they were not very useful. All of the events formed a chain, each triggered by the previous ones end. Therefore it is difficult to see which reason was the main cause of the stalemate. If you look at the start of the chain, the Belgian resistance provided the BEF with time to arrive, and without it, the war could have ended a lot sooner. However, if you look at the individual causes, the Battle of the Marne illuminates as the cause of the stalemate. If the BEF and the French had been unsuccessful in their endeavours, the Germans may have made it to Paris, knocking France out of the war. In my opinion, the battle of the Marne is the main cause, because that is the point at which Germans retreated from their original plans and dug trenches. The digging of trenches marked the end of a war of movement, and the start of a slow war of attrition. ...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 International relations 1900-1939 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 International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. World War 1 - Breaking of the Stalemate

    This gave Germany a large advantage near the beginning of the war. However, while the stalemate was in place, Britain and France produced many more. The guns of both sides were similar in power and efficiency, causing neither side to have an advantage over the other with machine guns.

  2. The Battle of Verdun.

    Germans made two errors of judgement that cost them the Battle of Verdun and thus they failed the break the French army. Source I gives this view, that it was the improper execution of the plan that as the error of judgement.

  1. Questions on World War One.

    It was not simply with this (and such provocations as the support for Austria during the Bosnian Crisis) that Germany lost the sympathy of the Powers - it appeared to them that she was quite indifferent to their attitude. 7.

  2. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready ...

    and a me and a few more people to walk through and also loads of space to keep my equipment there for the time being. The trench was a huge 6-foot long hole, which went on for miles and was a zigzag shape.

  1. Causes of World War 1.

    So they pretended to care about the rights of the people living in morocco when really their hidden agenda was to weaken, if not destroy the Anglo-French entente. This is not such an important incident as a background cause to World War 1.

  2. Was the Kaiser the main influence to start World War1?

    the largest empire in the world and much wider resources to fight with. Britain however, made it clear it would defend Neutral Belgium from the Germans threat. Britain felt it was necessary that Germany did not establish an empire in Europe, because its trade with Europe would suffer, as Germany

  1. Causes of World War 1

    In the Crisis of 1911, France tried to take over Morocco. In retaliation to the French, this Kaiser held another meeting in which it was decided that France would take over Morocco, on condition that Germany gained some land in central Africa.

  2. The development and introduction of tanks in World War 1.

    name was quickly changed to water tank because WC was another way of saying toilet in Great Britain at the time. The first men to work on the tanks would be selected from the others for their knowledge of machinery.To keep the wonder weapon of the British a secret they

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