The Schlieffen Plan

Prof. Branestawm
Mind Map by Prof. Branestawm, updated more than 1 year ago
Prof. Branestawm
Created by Prof. Branestawm about 6 years ago


GCSE History (Changing Nature of Warfare C1936 - C2000) Mind Map on The Schlieffen Plan, created by Prof. Branestawm on 05/19/2014.

Resource summary

The Schlieffen Plan
1 Germans launched this plan in an attempt to defeat the allies on the western front.
2.1 Germany had long feared a war on 2 fronts - France West and Russia East. 1905 - Von Schlieffen prepared this plan to avoid having to right on both fronts at the same time.
2.2 1) He believed that Russia, would take 6 weeks to mobilise because of the state of its roads. In the meantime the German armies would quickly knock France out of the war before dealing with Russia.
2.3 2) How could they defeat the French in less than 6 wks? The border with france was too strong to attack - it had strong French Fortresses as well as a great number of troops. There was 1 gap in the French defences , the Belgian frontier. But belgiun was a neutral country whose neautrality was guaranteed by the great powers, including Britain. Von Schlieffen decided to attack through Belgiun - there army was small and would easily be brushed aside.
2.4 3) As the main French armies attacked through Alsace-Lorraine, the German armies would sweep through Belgian and into northern France.
2.5 4) The French army would realise their mistake too late by which time Paris would have been taken and the French armies surrounded. With the fall of the French capital, all French enthusiasm for the war would collapse and their armies would surrender.
2.6 5) Schlieffen realised that the invasion of Belgium would force Britain into the war but believed that France would be defeated before the British armed forces could make any impact.
3.1 Belgians would not resist, or if they did, they would be easily defeated and the German armies would quickly advance through the country.
3.2 The French would attack through Alsace-Lorraine and would be too slow to realise their mistake or the German Plan.
3.3 Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilise and Germany would only need to send, at first, a small force to the east.
3.4 The BEF would arrive to late to stop the German advance.
4.1 Belgian Resistance
4.1.1 Belgian, using their forts, resisted and slowed down the German advance. Deep concrete forts protecting cities like Antwerp, Liege and Namur, delayed Germans. Antwerp didn't surrender until Oct. Belgian resistance gave time for BEF to arrive.
4.2 BEF
4.2.1 Started to arrive in France on 18th Aug, much more quickly than Germans expected. A small but excellently trained force. Also slowed down German advance.
4.3 Changes to the Plan
4.3.1 Schlieffen died before plan was put into action. He urged that the right wing of the German army should be 6x stronger than any other. The new G commander - von Moltke, ignored this advice and the army wasn't strong enough to carry out plan. Also he sent addition forces to reinforce the Russian front. The German armies that invaded Beligium were 100,000 soldiers short because he sent additional forced to reinforce the Russian front. Moltke made other crucial changes to the original plan. Schlieffen wanted a wide sweep through Holland, Lux and Belgium. This was changed to a narrower attack thru Beligium. German armies were supposed to encircle Paris. This was abandoned in early September and they moved to the east , leading to the Battle of Marne
4.4 The French
4.4.1 They had attacked Alsace-Lorraine and had suffered heavy casualties. Delays brought about by Belgians and British gave French time to move their troops towards Paris and make a stand on the Marne
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