The Schlieffen Plan Failed Because Germany Underestimated Their Apponents

Topics: Belgium, Schlieffen Plan, World War I Pages: 2 (653 words) Published: April 1, 2011
The Schlieffen Plan failed because Germany underestimated their opponents. The year was 1914, and the world powers were all at breaking point. As the war drew nearer each country created plans of attack that would make a swift and short war. The French had plan XV11 and the Germany’s had the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen plan was created in 1905 by the Chief of the German General Staff, Alfred Goraf von Schlieffen. The plan was a surprise attack in which the Germany army would capture and obtained France before Russia was ready to fight. Fearing the forts on the border, Alfred suggested a scythe-like attack through Belgium. Although this plan seemed to be impenetrable and impossible to overcome insuring that Germany would win the war, it did not. The Schlieffen plan failed because Germany had underestimated their opponents. Alfred Schlieffen had argued that if France was quickly occupied and the Capital seized, then Russia and Britain would not enter the war. This meant that time was of the essence to Germany. When war broke out Germany wanted to make sure that they would not be fighting a war on to fronts so capturing Paris was the goal of the plan. When the Schlieffen plan was put into action, 90% of the German army was sent to capture France leaving only the German Eighth Army to contain any Russian threat on the Eastern Front. Germany believed that Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilise and in that time Paris would have been successfully captured. But to unlucky ends the Russia army had been waiting for the attack on France and was able to efficiently mobilise in just ten days. With this flaw in the Schlieffen plan, Germany was forced to withdraw a large number of troops from Western Europe leaving fewer troops to deal with the British, French and Belgian armies. As the German Army moved through Belgium and Luxembourg they were met by the Belgian army who were originally neutral. The violation of the Belgian neutrality was seen as hardly a...
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