The Schleiffen Plan

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The Schlieffen Plan

The Schlieffen plan was started and produced by Alfred Von Schlieffen who was the German army chief of staff. He was given instructions to devise a strategy that would be able to counter a joint attack during December, 1905 he began circulating which later became known as the Schlieffen plan. He later argued that if the war took place then he had to get rid of France as fast as he could because in fact Britain and Russia would have to keep on battling and this would probably take Russia six weeks to organise to get their large army to attack Russia. The Schlieffen plan sought to solve a complex set of tactical and strategic problems most especially that of how to fight simultaneously

France & Russia. The plan was to get Germany to face a war on two fronts but Germany wanted to avoid this at all costs. Germany planned to defeat France rapidly and then turn to the eastern front for a major offensive on Russia. This was the basic plan for the Schlieffen plan, but his other plan was that Schlieffen proposed attacking France through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg (The Benelux Countries).

The assumptions were that -

* Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilize.

* France would be easily defeated in six weeks.

* Belgium would not resist any German attack.

* Britain would remain natural.

Germany had a plan to go to war with France and Russia because Schlieffen was using 90% of Germany's armed forces to attack France through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg (The Benelux countries). Schlieffen planned to use 90% of German military forces to deliver a knockout blow to France. The remaining 10% would defend the eastern border of Germany against Russian attack. The Schlieffen plan was basically called for quick, encircling movement that would surround and destroy the enemy. The background behind the alliance hostility and suspicion in Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s was that in 1871 when the German empire was created after the war with France; Germany, kept two areas of land which were recently owned by France but Germany took the land called Alsace & Lorraine. Germany started to worry that France might attack them just to get their land back so Germany made good friendship or an alliance with Austria and Russia in 1879, but when disaster struck Austria and Russia were to fall out and Germany were an alliance of Austria, but when Italy joined it was called The Triple Alliance. So when Russia was left without and ally until 1892 all the countries thought that Russia would use all her forces against Germany and if Germany attacked Russia then France would attack Germany so now that Russia had someone to protect them, they where secure, when Germany wanted to gain colonies, Britain had to warn them and when they did it said that Germany had to be careful with it's 60 million inhabitants and to expand to have territories. Soon after this because of the Germans and their navy Britain had to in 1906 build a new battle ship called the dreadnought but soon Germany heard this and built brand new ships and this was costing Britain a lot, so Germany were in demands for more spending on defence in Britain then cuts should be made in the royal navy. Now that Britain knew the Germans were getting stronger the British signed and alliance with Japan which then they were friendly with France & Russia. Everyone one was happy and they where so happy that in fact King Edward VII wrote to the Russian ambassador. As early as 1899,. Schlieffen had developed a plan of attack against France. Schlieffen realized that Germany could not attack straight across their border due to the fortresses which France had built along Alsaceand Lorraine after 1870. Therefore, at the heart of Schlieffen plan was the idea that Germany would have to attack France by first going through Belgium. Because Belgium had been neutral since 1839, it was assumed to be an...
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