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How The Schleiffen Plan Was Meant To Work

1725 words - 7 pages

How the Schleiffen Plan was Meant to Work

The Schleiffen Plan was made between 1871 and 1905 by General count
von

Schleiffen. The main aim of the Schleiffen plan was to avoid a war on
two fronts;

they decided that they wanted to knock France out of any war with one
lightening

attack. In the time between the General’s retirement and the actual
event, the plan was

worked on and amended by many people. The majority of the plan was
based on

assumptions that the Russian army would take quite a while to
mobilise; in this time

the Germans would attack the French, at Paris. The idea was that the
greatly

strengthened right wing of the German army in the northern Rhineland
would carry

out a wide skirting movement through neutral Belgium and Holland
before moving

south to encircle the French near Paris. The army would create a
sweeping arc of

400miles just to the west of Paris. Belgium and Holland seemed like a
good route

because they expected very little if any resistance, and they were
sure that any

Belgian army would have any effect on the German progress. They were
also working
====================================================================

under the assumption that Britain would not uphold its ancient pact
with Belgium and

would therefore not get involved. Once the army reached France and
encircled Paris,

they would attempt to take over the French Government, giving Germany
control over

the country. By this time they expected the Russians to have mobilised
and the

German army would then be switched to the eastern front to defeat the
Russian army.

Timing was a vital part of the plan. Any hindrance in the timing could
have major

consequences. They expected it to take six weeks to take over Paris,
which was the

same amount of time they expected it to take for Russia to prepare for
a war on the

eastern front.

Why did a stalemate develop on the Western front?

There were a number of reasons why a stalemate was developed on the
western front.

It began with the failure of the Schleiffen Plan in 1914. The Germans
had assumed

that British armies would not respond to an ancient pact and go to
help the Belgians,

however they did. This meant that the Schleiffen Plan didn’t reach its
six-week target.

At the same time, the Russian forces mobilised a lot quicker than
anticipated so many

German troops had to be moved back to the eastern border. Due to the
hold ups in

Belgium and the mobilisation of the Russians, the German’s decided to
change their

plan and shorten their route, however this meant them meeting the
French on the river

Marne resulting in the Battle of the Marne. These failures led not
only to a war on two

fronts but also a race...

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