1905 German military strategy. First invade France through Belgium and the Netherlands and defeat them in 6 weeks before Russia can mobilise and then defeat Russia.
Schlieffen Plan ratio before change
7:1 - Right flank 7 times the strength of the left
Schlieffen Plan ratio after the change
3:1 - Hammer swing weakened
10 days rather than the German's expected 6 weeks
(German) Colonel-General von Molke
Changed Schlieffen Plan in 1906. Weakened hammer swing, changed troop movement - not through Holland, didn't encircle Paris - went West of Paris instead
Results of changes to Schlieffen Plan
Hammer swing weakened Didn't encircle Paris Gave time for French mobilisation Slower German mobilisation
French response to Schlieffen Plan
Didn't believe it Germans didn't have enough men in professional army
Belgian resistance to German invasion Belgians aided by British First conflict between Britain and Germany Slowed German advance
Battle of Marne
6-12 September 1914 French Commander General Joffre and German General von Kluck Kluck's 1st army vulnerable Attack by Joffre created gap between 1st and 2nd army British troops could encircle them French troops mobilised from Paris German retreat to River Aisne Start of trench warfare -> STALEMATE
Start of trench warfare
Battle of Marne
Wilson quote on trench warfare
"for the Germans, this was an entirely new phenomenon"
French war plan
1913 - Plan 17 Defend Franco-German border
Race to the Sea
September-November 1914 - Armies trying to outflank each other to reach the sea first. Both wanted Channel ports
Results of Race to the Sea
Troops dug into position Established the Western Front
720 km of trench lines stretching from English Channel to Swiss Frontier
First Battle of Ypres
October-November 1914 Made Western Front and Stalemate official
Fussell quote on Christmas Truce
"The Christmas truce was the last twitch of the 20th century."
(German) General von Falkenhayn
Believed the war would be won on the Western Front
(German) General von Hindenburg
Ended war of attrition at Verdun Elected President of Germany in 1926
(German) General von Ludendorff
Helped with the militarisation of the German economy
(French) General Joffre
(French) General Nivelle
Commander in Chief 1916-1917
(French) General Pétain
Commander in Chief 1917
(French) General Foch
Généralissime ("Supreme General")
(British) Field Marshal Sir John French
Commander in Chief of BEF 1914-1915
(British) General Haig
Commander in Chief 1915-1918 Used controversial methods
Cult of the Offensive
Defensive strategy associated with WW1 immobility
Network of trenches consisting of multiple lines and traversing connections between the lines.
A part of the trench system where reinforcements would wait to be called up to the front line.
Trenches that provided protected passage between the rear and front lines of a defensive position. Used to move soldiers and supplies from trench to trench without exposing them to enemies' fire.
The first line of attack and defence in the trench system.
The second line of trenches where front line soldiers retreat during a bombardment.
No man's land
The area of land between the two enemies' front lines
An underground shelter dug into the side of trenches to protect from enemy fire and the elements.
A military position which bulges forward into enemy territory and is vulnerable to enemy attacks. Ypres.
A board or board walk laid across wet or muddy ground or flooring.
Twisted strands of fence wire with barbs at regular intervals. Put in front of trenches to deter the enemy from going 'over the top'.
Over the Top
To leave the trenches and attack the enemy.
A step built into each trench two or three feet from the trench floor to enable a soldier to look through the parapet into No Man's Land in the direction of the enemy trench line.
A protective wall or earth defence along the top of a trench or other place of concealment for troops.
Concrete structures occupied by a few men and positioned to control a section of the front.