• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. Questions on World War One.

    There were grounds on which each of the main elements of "Weltpolitik" might be justified - these elements being the naval expansion, the development of empire in Africa and the commercial and financial penetration of the Near East. It can be argued, though, that for Germany to pursuit all

  1. The Battle of Verdun.

    says that it was French willpower that made the German strategy of attrition a failure, I is likely that even though it was written by a Historian fifty one years after the war ended, it could still be biased. The last view was that it was an error of judgement that was the failure of the plan of attrition.

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

    would not trade with its rival, and the growing German empire would threaten the empire. The German navy was massing in the North Sea as well, and could wipe out British merchant shipping very quickly, the Royal Navy was very afraid that Germany could control the largest navy, and wanted

  1. Why The Stalemate Broke

    The first of the defences against gas was wet rags, after this came issued gas masks which worked but their were still some deaths. Gas caused over a million deaths but had no major impact on the war. I think that gas added a more terrible way of dyeing and

  2. Cause of World War 1

    He was parading down of the main streets of Sarajevo, (on a Serbian national holiday, St Vitus' day, ironically) when members of a secret radical, and nationalist, group called the Black Hand lined parts of the street to kill the prince.

  1. Causes of World War 1.

    This is an important incident as a background cause to World War 1. The first Moroccan crisis (1905) After Russia's defeat by Japan in the Far East and the outbreak of revolution at home Germany saw an opportunity to free itself from the encirclement the Franco Russian alliance and the Anglo-French Entente had created around her.

  2. 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.

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