Citation: C N Trueman "The Schlieffen Plan"stclairdrake.net. The history Learning Site, 31 Mar 2015. 12 Nov 2021.

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The Schlieffen plan was produced by basic stclairdrake.netunt Alfred von Schlieffen in December 1905. The Schlieffen plan was the operational arrangement for a designated assault on France as soon as Russia, in response to worldwide tension, had started to mobilise her forces near the German border. The execution that the Schlieffen plan led stclairdrake.netme Britain declaring war on Germany on august 4th, 1914.


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Photograph of general stclairdrake.netunt Alfred von Schlieffen


In 1905, Schlieffen was chief of the German basic Staff. Europe had actually effectively separated into two camps by this year – Germany, Austria and also Italy (the Triple Alliance) top top one side and Britain, France and Russia (the Triple Entente) ~ above the other.


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Schlieffen thought that the many decisive area for any future war in Europe would be in the western sector. Here, Schlieffen identified France together Germany’s most dangerous opponent. Russia was no as progressed as France in many areas and Schlieffen believed that Russia would certainly take six weeks stclairdrake.netme mobilise she forces and that any feasible fighting ~ above the Russian-German border stclairdrake.netuld be stclairdrake.netped through by the Germans for a stclairdrake.netuple of weeks when the mass of her forces stclairdrake.netncentrated on defeating France.

Schlieffen stclairdrake.netncluded the a massive and also successful surprise attack against France would certainly be enough to put off brothers bestclairdrake.netming associated in a stclairdrake.netntinent war. This would permit Germany time (the six weeks the Schlieffen had stclairdrake.netnstructed into his plan) to move soldiers who had actually been fighting in the successful French project to Russia to take on the Russians.


Schlieffen also planned for the attack on France to go v Belgium and also Luxemburg. Belgium had had her neutrality guarantee by brothers in 1839 – so his strategy because that success depended on Britain not supporting Belgium.

The Schlieffen plan was modification as stress and anxiety in Europe increased. However, the basic mechanics that it stclairdrake.netntinued to be the same:


a devastating strike on France via Belgium as soon as Russia had announced she intention stclairdrake.netme mobilise.a holding operation on the Russian/German border stclairdrake.netme be carried out if necessary and if required.Germany had 6 mainly to loss France.Germany would certainly then use her modernised rail system to move troops from the French procedure to the Russian front.Russia would certainly then be attacked and defeated.

The Schlieffen setup was daring but it had actually a number of glaring weaknesses:

The plot of Russia established when Germany would need to start her assault on France even if she was all set or not.It assumed the Russia would require six weeks to mobilise.It assumed the Germany would certainly defeat France in less than six weeks.

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In fact, the assault in respectable 1914 virtually succeeded and also was only defeated by the first Battle of the Marne. Poor stclairdrake.netmmunication in between the frontline stclairdrake.netmmanders and the army’s headquarters in Berlin go not aid Moltke’s stclairdrake.netntrol of the campaign. Additionally the withdrawal of German troops in solution to a greater than meant threat ~ above the Russian front, supposed that the Germans did not have actually the army clout the Schlieffen had developed into his original plan. It to be a plan that nearly succeeded but its success might only it is in measured by being 100% successful. France had to be beat – and also this did not happen. Schlieffen’s speedy attack and expected loss of France never arisen – it’s failure did water level in the era the trench warfare that is so much linked to civilization War One.