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Exploring The Possibilities Of A Successful Schlieffen Plan (Germany's Plan In Wwi)

2848 words - 11 pages

Germany Dictates the FutureExploring the Possible Results of a Successful Schlieffen PlanIan WesternInternational Relations - J BlockMR. THOMPSONDelbarton SchoolSeptember 25th, 2008World War I has been considered by many historians to be the defining event of the twentieth century, and had the outcome of the war been something other than an Allied victory, the world would be an entirely different place. The spark of the First World War, a simple and seemingly insignificant assassination, led to a chain of events that evolved into a global conflict. The catalyst that expanded the war was Germany's execution of the Schlieffen Plan, a plan that called for an invasion of France through neutral Belgium. Had Germany executed the original Schlieffen Plan successfully, the resulting events would have been better for the world in comparison to the actual results of World War I. Assuming that the successful execution of the Schlieffen Plan led to a short war that resulted in a German victory, the avoidance of the millions of casualties that resulted from the lengthy battles of World War I after the initial invasion would have made the world a better and happier place. There is also reason to believe that Germany's successful implementation of the Schlieffen Plan would have prevented the evolution of the conflict into a World War. Additionally, German victory would have prevented and/or delayed multiple negative international events that actually occurred as a result of the war, most noticeably the Treaty of Versailles, and its catastrophic effects that led to World War Two. Furthermore, Germany's demands after achieving victory would have led to a more peaceful and cooperative world than the one that resulted from the demands of the Allies within the Treaty of Versailles. Had it not been for the "Miracle of the Marne", Germany would have had the chance to determine the next century of history."You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees", Kaiser Wilhelm told his departing troops departing for the frontlines. Both the Allied powers and the Central powers believed that the future conflict would be a short and glorious war. Had the Schlieffen Plan worked, World War I could have very possibly lasted no longer than four months. The primary objective of the Schlieffen Plan was to conquer France by entering the country through neutral Belgium, avoiding the heavily fortified Franco Prussian border. From France, Germany would then proceed to attack its ally, Russia, before its armies had fully mobilized. Many factors led to the plan's failure, but Chief of German General Staff Helmuth von Moltke's placement of troops was ultimately the main cause that led to the collapse of the Schlieffen Plan. Germany would have almost undoubtedly won the war.Prior to the invasion and not in accordance to the plan, Moltke reinforced Eastern Lines with 180,000 men from forces that were supposed to attack through Belgium, greatly reducing their power in favor of...

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