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The Failure Of The Schlieffen Plan And Its Effects On The German Defeat On The Western Front

1380 words - 6 pages

The Failure of the Schlieffen Plan and Its Effects on the German Defeat on the Western Front

By the spring of 1914, imperial Germany was spoiling for war.
Germany’s leaders were determined to break up the Triple Entente of
Britain, France & Russia that had isolated Germany in Europe &
thwarted its territorial ambitions. And when Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand
was assassinated on June 28 1914 it gave Kaiser Wilhelm the reason to
declare war. In the diplomatic controversy growing out of the
assassination, the Kaiser backed Austria-Hungary & totally opposed
Russia. This started a series of political & military tactics that
made a war inevitable. The constraints of The German ‘Master Plan’ for
mobilisation, The Schlieffen Plan, would inevitably involve both
Britain & France in any conflict between the Kaiser and the Tsar. And
so when Germany declared war on Russia on August 1st World War 1 was
launched.

“Germany’s inability to produce a quick victory of autumn 1914
resulted in the war of stalemate for which the country was militarily
& economically unprepared & ill-suited” Bismarck to Hitler 1890-1937
By Geoff Layton

There were many consequences that arose from the Schlieffen plans
failure, such as the resignation of General Von Moltke who made
changes to the original plan; he apparently burst into Kaiser
Wilhelm’s office declaring, “The war is lost”, Years Of Change
1890-1945. He was replaced by the eager but less experienced General
Von Falkenhigh, this was not good and would make Germany seem weak if
the Allies found out they were replacing Generals. It also did not
help inspire German morale or the war effort. Another consequence was
the one thing the Schlieffen Plan was supposed to stop, due to the
Russian Armies quick mobility the Germans had a war on two fronts
changing it from a war of mobility to a war of attrition.

However, many long-term causes arose from the consequences of the
Schlieffen plans failure. The German inability to control the high
seas is a clear reason for her defeat. Neither the allies nor the
Germans wanted a war at sea, as the winning navy would gain control of
the trade routes & thus would basically end the war, as the losing
side would be unable to bring resources in for their army or people.
Though the Battle Of Jutland (31st May 1916) was a failure, for even
though the British lost more vessels the Germans retreated back to
harbour, not to leave for the rest of the war, with no real winner,
both sides claimed an equally shared victory. The British navy were
also hard at work organising an economic blockade to cut off Germany’s
food supply by stopping neutral ships and confiscating cargo that
could have been taken to Germany. The German reply to the blockade led
to the turning point of the war, unable to battle the British on the
sea they...

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