The Schlieffen Plan
Terms in this set (23)
Why was the Schlieffen plan created?
To avoid the war on two fronts.
Who created the Schlieffen plan?
General Alfred von Schlieffen
Who was the leader of Germany at the time?
Kaiser Wilhelm II
How could Germany avoid being crushed?
They had to strike first.
What was the Schlieffen plan?
Germany would attack France first by traveling through Belgium, and take Paris in about 3 weeks. France would surrender once Paris was taken, and then Germany would attack Russia.
What was Belgium?
A small, neutral country.
What assumptions were the Schlieffen plan based on?
1. Russia's large but backwards army would take months to mobilize
2. Belgium could be intimidated into allowing Germany to pass through without opposition
3. France would surrender if Paris was taken
4. Britain wouldn't send their army in time to save France
5. Germany was strong enough to defeat any ONE opponent with ease
What would happen if any of the Germans' assumptions were wrong?
The plan could fail and Germany might lose the war
What did Germany do after formulating the Schlieffen plan?
They declared war on Russia, then France, then put the plan in action.
What actually happened with Russia when the Schlieffen plan was put in action?
Russia mobilized a lot faster than Germany expected and attacked Germany.
How did Germany counter the Russian attack?
They had to pull troops out of France to defend the east of Germany.
What happened with Belgium?
It refused passage despite threats of horrible violence and promises of great rewards.
How did then nature of war change?
It was now slow-paced and had horrible casualties instead of being quick-paced.
How long did it take the Germans to get through Belgium?
What did the Germans do to the Belgians?
They were brutal, killing thousands of innocent people and causing a lot of damage.
Who helped the French stop the German attack?
What did Italy do?
It didn't honor the alliance and stayed out of the war.
What happened between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance?
What is a stalemate?
When both sides are evenly matched.
What was almost impossible on both sides?
What were soldiers ordered to do when the stalemate occurred?
"Dig in", dig trenches
What were the trenches?
A complex system of ditches, tunnels, underground bunkers, barbed wire and machine gun nests - which made attack almost suicidal
How much movement was there for more than 3 years?