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Why did stalemate develop on the western front?

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Why did stalemate develop on the western front? Stalemate developed on the western front because of many factors, which contributed to various degrees. Starting with the failure of the Schlieffen plan which contributed to stalemate because if it hadn't have failed stalemate probably wouldn't have developed. The battle of the Marne, which followed, was key because it caused the two forces to be facing each other in a field with exhausted troops and artillery and no military supremacy gained. This (and the trains) also contributed to the outflanking movement's failure, which in turn contributed to the development of stalemate because the two forces were still equally matched. The outflanking movement also known as 'the race to the sea' followed on from the Marne and helped develop stalemate because it was the last resort for ...read more.


Because they were equally matched every time the enemy blocked their outflanking attempt they could not breakthrough this blockage and vice versa. When both sides reached the sea, which was at the same time of course, they dug trenches, which stretched for miles. Trenches had become very sophisticated and were extremely defensive it was virtually impossible to break through one and if you did troops transported by train would plug the gap this was a major factor contributing towards stalemate. They were zigzag shaped so a shell's blast was contained and caused minimal damage. They had dug outs for soldiers to hide in if they heard a shell flying over they also had barbed wire fences to slow down an attacker. ...read more.


The soldiers when ordered to go over the top were mown down in their hundreds by machine gunners who didn't even have to aim there was so many of them but the generals kept ordering more and more troops over to clamber over shell craters and even if they did storm the trench they were likely to be shot by the soldiers in the reserve trench. If the generals had been in touch with the technology and reviewed the situation they might have been able to break the stalemate with an effective strategy. The generals were donkeys that couldn't stop the stalemate develop because they were too stupid. In conclusion stalemate developed because of the outflanking movement's failure due to trains and the Marne, the trenches sophisticated defensiveness, technology including the supreme defensive weapon the machine gun and the inability of the generals. ...read more.

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