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

Source Based Question on World War One: A model answer.

Extracts from this document...


Source Based Question on World War One: A model answer Answer: Sources B, C, D and E imply that German military planning made it impossible for Germany accept a peaceful solution. On 2nd August 1914, the Schlieffen Plan was put into operation when the German Army invaded Belgium. The successful execution of Germany's Schlieffen Plan was contingent on carrying out the plan meticulously according to its timetabling. On the whole, the said sources imply that the inflexibility of the mobilization plans and preparations for war, more particularly the German Schlieffen Plan made it inevitable that the Austro-Serbian dispute would turn into a general European war. Once priority was given to military factors the momentum towards war seemed irresistible. Source C is the clearest of all the sources, explaining how the Schlieffen Plan involved "advance through Belgium" and "Everything depends on meticulous planning and surprise..." The success of the Schlieffen depended on the Germans achieving victory over France before Russia could fully mobilize. Germany was banking on using the excellent lateral railways that were being built to move masses of troops from a conquered France to the East, and then beat the Russians too. This source sets out in blunt language, pointing out in no uncertain terms how the Liege fortress had to be "taken at once" just as soon as mobilization took place, although Helmuth von Moltke had cautioned in his speech that the Dutch territory should not be violated. ...read more.


Apart from blaming the war on "military plans" Churchill hinted that the ignorance of contingencies of military planning on the part of the sovereigns contributed to the War. I would say that this source is accurate and believable based on the fact that it corroborated with my readings. Moreover, Churchill was an expertise in military strategies and theories and the source was written with the privilege of hindsight in 1931. Source B is the least useful of the sources that "support" the hypothesis. It explains how King Leopold of Belgium was unable to affirm if he "...would take her stand on..." the side of the Germans, i.e., to allow the Germans safe passage through Belgium. It did not state in as bold a manner that the neutrality of Belgian would be compromised, except that Germany could not "guarantee" that Belgian territory would be safe from German attack. Whether King Leopold knew what this meant exactly is not clear in the source, but contextual knowledge points out clearly that the fortification of the Liege was meant specifically for that purpose. So looking at Source D again, I would think that Churchill may not be right in painting the monarchs of Europe as rather ignorant sovereigns. Source B appears to take Germany to task for demanding that Leopold should "should give him (the Kaiser) ...read more.


However the crucial consideration of military momentum as a result of advance planning and a desire not to lose the race of mobilization made the war inevitable. While the Germans had their Schlieffen Plan, the Germans had their Plan XVII, hence the hypothesis might be better phrased as "Military planning of all countries, principally that of Germany's Schleiffen Plan, made it impossible for a peaceful solution to the diplomatic crisis of July 1914." Obviously, the set of given sources could then include reference to France's Plan XVII. Comments: The parts in blue have been included/edited Notes on Plan XVII Technically, Plan XVII called for an advance by four French Armies into Alsace-Lorraine on either side of the Metz-Thionville fortresses, occupied by the Germans since 1871. The southern wing of the invasion forces would first capture Alsace and Lorraine (in that order), whilst the northern wing would - depending upon German movements - advance into Germany via the southern Ardennes forests, or else move north-east into Luxembourg and Belgium. The architects of Plan XVII, which included Joseph Joffre, took little account of a possible German invasion of France through Belgium until just before war was declared; and in modifying the plan to deploy troops to meet such an eventuality, actual French activity to meet an invasion via Belgium was lacklustre at best in August 1914. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 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 AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    Machine guns were lethal; they could fire up to 600 bullets a minute. Soldiers on the attack could be mown down in minutes by a hail of lead. All the new technology used in the war played its part and was important in breaking the stalemate.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    D�tente soon covered other areas, however, when in 1975 the USA and the Soviet Union, along with 33 other countries signed the The Helsinki Agreement on Human Rights This guaranteed that they would respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief for all without distinction as to race, s*x, language or religion.

  1. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill Focusing on his Political Career

    In 1953 Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the Knighthood of the Garter, and he became Sir Winston Churchill. In the same year he won the Nobel Prize for literature for his historical and biographical works and for his oratory.

  2. Vietnam source based work

    This shows that the guerrillas looked after and treated innocent civilians with a great deal of respect. By doing this the guerrillas gained support from the Vietnamese people. Source E contradicts source C because in source C it says that some 'men acquired a contempt for human life' whereas in source E it says that you should 'love the people'.

  1. History Question C

    The Spring Offensives attacked along all of the Front Line meaning the allies could not just defend in one place. Small groups of infantry could break through the allies defence line and attack from behind the front line. The soldiers were not as trained as the soldiers from the beginning

  2. Vietnam Question 2

    Therefore, Source D has been proved to have some truth to it using the ideas of an American journalist in Source F. The My Lai massacre in 1968 was presumably the most significant event in the Vietnam War. It resulted in 347 unarmed civilians being murdered.

  1. China After World War II

    The murderous and foully corrupt Kuomintang government, resting on the small minority of exploiters, is unable to make any serious social or political concessions to the masses. It can neither alleviate the economic plight of the people nor grant them any democratic rights, for this would only open the floodgates of revolution.

  2. Evaluation of key sources to address the question of increased tension

    but also the fact that the Soviets shot down the plane is an aggressive action, which in-tern increased tension. Gary Powers was captured by the Soviets and they planned to demand an apology from the Americans. This apology was demanded during the Paris summit, organised to discuss the state of Berlin, discussed in source A4.

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