History Gcse Coursework Ww1. Answering Various Questions

2253 words - 9 pages

The First World War(a) Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work (7)The Schlieffen plan was the strategy that was supposed to allow the German army a swift and deceive victory over France in a short space of time so that the German army could be rushed to the boarder to hold up the Russian 'Steamroller'Germany had one of the best transport systems in the world and they were going to use their network to move their troops around quickly. The most crucial aspect of the Schlieffen plan was mobility, because if the German army did not keep up it's swift momentum it would get bogged down and they would not be able to stop the Russian army. The Germans knew that France was protected by fortresses that spanned across the French border so the Germans decided to invade France through neutral Belgium. Germany did not believe that Britain would go to war with Germany over the 1839 treaty with Belgium, they later referred to the treaty as a 'scrap of paper'. The Kaiser also thought of the British Expeditionary Force as a 'contemptible little army' and thought that even if Britain did stand by their 1839 treaty Germany would have no reason to worry because the Kaiser believed that the British army was absolutely no match for the German one. German troops would then capture the coastal ports of Dunkirk and swing West of Paris and encircle it. The Germans believed that once Paris was overrun, the rest of France would effectively surrender and the German army could then be rushed to the boarder to stop the Russian army.(b) Why did the stalemate develop along the western front? (8)The stalemate developed because of two key factors; the failure of the Schlieffen plan and the nature the nature of the war and the inability to take enemy trenches. The Germans had to keep moving, this plan and war was about mobility. If the German army slowed down and lost momentum a stalemate would develop. The stalemate began with the failure of the Schlieffen plan, the reasons why the plan failed are, the Schlieffen assumed that when the German army invaded through the neutral Belgium, Britain would not stand by their Treaty of 1839, however the British did hold by the their agreement and within one week one hundred and twenty thousand British troops had been secretly been shipped to various French ports. The Schlieffen also assumed that the Belgians would not show any resiststance, again this was another underestimation.Although the Belgians resisted the Germans and held the Germans up at the fortress cities like Liege the Germans destroyed the Belgian army. However the Belgian resistance made the German army loose momentum and it slowed down. The British involvement and Mons also slowed down the Germans.After the battle of Mons the German army marched into the France to encircle Paris, however the German army sustained heavy losses at Mons and they did not have enough troops to encircle the city, thus they swung east if the city and failed to capture it.The French General...

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