Explain Why There Was a Stalemate on the Western Front by the End of 1914.

Topics: Belgium, World War I, World War II Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Germany was prepared for the war in August, 1914. The Schlieffen Plan was a huge plan of attack to be used in the event of a war which was announced by Count Von Schlieffen on the 31st of December, 1905 (9 years before the war started). The European powers (allies) heard about this plan in 1914 before the outbreak of the war. The idea was that the Germans would sweep across Holland and Belgium to the sea at Dunkirk, the area between forts at Verdun and the Dunkirk coast would be attacked by 35 army corps and France was thought to of been defeated in about 6 weeks. These are only examples of results that Germany would get after using their plan of attack ‘The Schlieffen Plan’. This was until unforeseen problems occurred. This included the unexpected supply problems created by the rapid advance through Belgium and France, The Germans not realising the strength of French armies and how they would be able to switch troops using the rail network, German rail transport ended at the Belgian border meaning that from there soldiers would need to walk making them exhausted, Germans did not account the strategic importance of the royal Navy and it’s control of the English Channel, Germans did plan for unexpected attacks such as the Russian attack on them into East Prussia. These immediate unexpected difficulties that German ran into caused the stalemate. The 1914 stalemate was partly due to the inexperience of many of the German commanders, such as Von Molthe, who were trained in defensive rather than offensive military maneuverers. The role of commanders Haig and Smith-Dorrien also played a vital role in stopping the Germans and bringing in the stalemate. The German military commanders were often referred to as "donkeys" and the soldiers as "lions" because the commanders did not empathise with the soldiers whatsoever and were quite happy to sit back within the safeguard of the trenches whilst the soldiers fought on the battlefield. Problems in communications with...
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