Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
The aim of the plan was to avoid having to fight two was at the same
time (France and Russia). The plan was devised by Alfred Von
Schlieffen. His plan was to attack France, not on the main border,
which was strongly fortified, but to attack through Belgium and circle
the Paris by going to the west of it, not east. He predicted this
should take 6 weeks leaving enough time to go to the eastern front at
Russia and fight there. The plan was very precise and accurate but
when it was put into action there were changes, which led to the
Germans failing to capture France.
The first change was made by Moltke (Schlieffen’s successor). He
decided that they would not go through Holland, but just go through
Belgium, hoping to keep Britain neutral. One of the main factors of
the plan was the speed. However, this slowed down everything as they
now only had one railway line to transport five large armies. Also,
they did not expect the resistance from Belgium. Although, Belgium was
not that strong, they delayed the Germans for 12 days at the fortress
at Liège. The Germans had to bring up the railway-mounted artillery.
The Belgians also stopped supplies and reinforcements, and destroyed
One of the great ideas about the Schlieffen Plan was that the army
invading France was so large and strong. However, when Russia
recovered unexpectedly in 10 days (not six weeks as the Germans
expected) the German leaders worried and many troops were transported
to the Eastern front, weakening the blow to France. By now they were
very behind schedule.
The consequences were bad for the Germans. France was sending troops
to the frontier at the North and even more importantly, Britain had
joined the war. They had promised to protect Belgium (because they
were worried about being attacked on...