When war was declared in August 1914, Germany was allied in "The
Triple Alliance" with the Austro - Hungarian Empire and Italy.
Britain, Russia and France were allied as "The Triple Entente."
The alliance between Britain, France and Russia rendered Germany's
geographical position a weakness, with France and Britain on it's
Western Frontier, and Russia in the East. This meant that Germany
would have to split its army into two, in order to fight the war on
both fronts - which was an immense quandary. The Schlieffen plan was
devised by the German Chief of Staff, Count Alfred Von Schlieffen in
1905 as a solution to this dilemma.
Count Von Schlieffen appreciated that due to its vast area, Russia
would take more than six weeks after the declaration of war to
immobilise its troops. On the basis of this, Von Schlieffen deduced
that if the German army defeated France's army within six weeks, they
could move onto the eastern front. The could then defeat the Russian
army, with the entire German army, and prevent splitting the army in
half to deal with a war on both fronts.
To defeat France so quickly, they would need the element of surprise.
Most of the French army was stationed on the border with Germany in
the historically disputed region of Alsace - Lorraine. Von Schlieffen
decided to surprise the enemy by invading France through the newly
formed neutral country of Belgium.
Upon the formation of Belgium, several countries agreed to its
neutrality, meaning that if it were ever invaded, the countries that
backed Belgium would help fight the invaders. However, the Germans did
not believe ...
... middle of paper ...
... of weapons and supplies then affected the
soldiers on the battlefield, and an armistice was called on the 11th
In conclusion, I agree with the statement saying that these for
factors were of equal importance as to why the stalemate on the
Western Front was finally broken. Parts of a factor lead to a
development of parts of another factor, which eventually lead to
allied victory. The Russian Revolution and submarine warfare began
this chain, and before the armistice, the lack of supplies and failure
of the German offensive ended the chain. However, these four factors
alone were not the overall reason why the stalemate was broken as they
were not enough to completely break the stalemate on the Western Front
alone, counter attack plans from the Allies like the Foch strategy
also helped break stalemate.
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