The Schlieffen Plan

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The Schlieffen Plan
The Background:
• Germany knew that if war came, the Germans
would have to fight a two-front war with
France to the west and Russia to the east.
http://www.3dhistory.co.uk/fact-sheet/029-schlieffen-plan.php
• The German General Von Schlieffen developed
a plan to deal with fighting a two-front war.
• He knew that Russia would take a long time to
mobilize their army.
• He figured that if Germany could attack France
quickly, then France would fall before Russia
arrived to fight Germany.
The Plan:
• France had long anticipated a fight with Germany,
and had built up their defences along the border
between France and Germany.
• Schlieffen’s plan called for the German army to
invade France from the north by sweeping
through tiny, neutral Belgium.
• Then the German forces would take Paris, the
French would be knocked out of the war and
Germany could concentrate on Russia.
https://web1.caryacademy.org/facultywebs/joe_staggers/Europe_Lectures/11_12_EURO/sources/Tri_2/schlieffen_plan.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWschlieffenP.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWschlieffenP.htm
The Reality:
• Schlieffen’s plan was based on the assumption
that Britain would not object to the invasion
of Belgium. However, Britain entered the war
because of the German violation of Belgian
neutrality.
• General Von Schlieffen died and the new
generals changed his plan. As a result, the
French and British forces were able to attack
the Germans before they reached Paris.
• The plan was based on speed. Schlieffen
thought it would take about 6 weeks to
conquer France. But the Germans did not
anticipate the Belgians putting up a fight
when they marched through their country.
The Belgians also had help from the British
who came across the British Channel to help
them.
• The Germany soldiers were exhausted after
marching for weeks, carrying all their supplies
with them.
• Russia mobilized its forces much more quickly
than the Germans had anticipated and
Germany was forced to send some of its army
to the Eastern Front.
http://pierreswesternfront.punt.nl/content/2008/08/marne-verberie-nery-villers-cotterets
http://medusalegend.deviantart.com/art/Germany-and-Belgium-Schlieffen-plan-s-failure-330315662
The Result:
• The Schlieffen Plan was a failure. The German
advance was halted at the Marnes River.
• Both sides began to dig in, creating extensive
trench systems that stretched from the Swiss
border in the East to the Belgian coast in the
West.
• The German army was trapped on the
Western Front and would be stuck there for
four more years.
https://sites.google.com/site/thesecondbestwwisiteever/the-germans-failure
http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/hst332_p2.htm
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