Why Did a Stalemate Develop on the Western Front?

Topics: Belgium, World War I, Schlieffen Plan Pages: 3 (959 words) Published: October 21, 2008
Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front?

Stalemate during war is when no action can be taken or progress made. The Stalemate on the Western front, a line of trenches stretching from the Swiss Alps all the way across France to Nieuwpoort in Belgium, was a dilemma that was not foreseen by either the allies or Germany. Originally it had been predicted that the war would be over after a quick and decisive battle, this perception was quickly diminished once the war had begun. No one reason explains why the situation on the western front developed into a stalemate but many factors can be considered. The developments in weaponry have been said to have contributed to the Stalemate. In the early twentieth century many new and effective weapons were being developed. Long range heavy artillery had been proved much more effective than the mounted rifle wielding soldiers of previous centuries. The allies and Germany were both caught up in this weaponry boom. This “race” for new technology led to the two sides being approximately evenly matched, because of this neither side could make much head way. Also, the Generals in charge of the troops were mostly aged officers whose knowledge of modern weapons was limited. The fast moving nature of modern warfare had taken them by and led to rather outdated methods being used. So even though new weapons were evadible if they were not used effectively they were useless. The problem with advanced warfare and having similar types of weapons was that it was really machine against machine thus getting an upper hand was virtually impossible. Problems in communications also contributed towards the stalemate because the connections between the front line, the artillery and the Commanders were very poor. Most of the Generals were stationed several miles away from the front line, due to this they could not get a clear idea of what was going on amongst the troops. This delay and confusion on the battlefield made it hard to get an...

Bibliography: History in Focus, GCSE Modern World History (second edition)
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