A) Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work.
The Schlieffen Plan was invented by General Von Schlieffen in December 1905. It was a plan to allow Germany to quickly invade as many countries as possible when they got the chance. Their main aim was to not fighting on both fronts and therefore only be fighting one country at a time. They were aware of the Triple Etente between France, Britain and Russia. They knew France would be the easier country to conquer so Alfred Von Schlieffen devised a plan to invade France first.
Schlieffen planned to use 90% of the German armed forces to attack France alone. The plan involved the German army dividing in two. Firstly the Southern army, who were much smaller, were to fight France first invading from their French/German boarder. Secondly, a much larger Northern army were to await orders higher up on the Belgium border. The Northern army was ten times the size of the Southern army and made up of 1.3 million soldiers. There was an important reason as to why the Southern army was so much smaller. They needed to not be threatening or a tough battle for the French. This way they would look a tempting fight for the French as it would appear they’d have a fairly good chance of winning. The German Southern army would draw back and the French would drive after them drawing their own troops out of Paris. Thus why they wanted not look a threat to the French or they wouldn’t chase after Germany. Meanwhile, a message sent to the Northern army would prepare them to enter France through Belgium and launch a surprise attack on them. Now that there were no troops in Paris the Northern army could enter into Paris and attack from behind. As they were only using Belgium as a cut through they would not be fighting them so the process would be quick.
It was estimated that Germany could conquer France in 6 weeks: 39 days for the fall of Paris and a further 3 days for the capitulation of France. However, they also estimated it to...
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