Why did the Schlieffen plan fail - Assignment Example

Was it because too many mistakes were made by the Germans? Or was it just the Belgium resistance and the job of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force)? In this essay I will tell you on the reasons of how it failed therefore coming to a conclusion about what the actual reason it was the Schlieffen plan failed. The Germans did make many noticeable mistakes when Alfred Von Schlieffen died he clearly said keep to the right. The right wing must be kept strong at all times.

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But von Molkte made some very big changes to the plan. At first in 1905 Schlieffen had said too send 90%of the army to France to attack Paris. In order to invade France, the German first and second armies were in Belgium needing to get to and conquer Fort Liege. They’d expected Belgium not to fight back and allow German control but Belgium did. This delayed Germany 10 days however they still conquered Fort Liege. If Belgium hadn’t resisted German forces then the Germans would’ve had those extra 10 days and could’ve used it very well to their advantage.

But the Belgium resistance held the Germans up. Schlieffen fought that the British would stay neutral but they didn’t instead they declared war on Germany hen they invaded Belgium. The BEF had, unbeknownst to the Schlieffen Plan, crossed the channel and fought the German first army, under the lead of Alexander von Kluck, at Mons in Belgium which held the German first army up for two days. The BEF were very well trained and equipped. The Schlieffen Plan had anticipated, and counted on, the Russian armies taking longer to mobilise.

The plan estimated Russia to take 6 weeks to immobilise but instead they took 10 days and were ready to attack. The original plan was too do a wide sweep through Holland and Belgium but Von Molkte changed it too a narrower sweep through Belgium. France wanted Alsace-Lorraine back as they had lost it to the Germans in a pervious war. The other reason the Germans lost the war was partially because of the other countries such as the Belgium resistance and French resistance.

The French caught up with the now-rested German armies and attacked. Reinforcements were rushed from Paris to the battle scene. The French forced Kluck’s and Bulow’s armies to separate and this opened a gap 30 miles wide. The French army and the BEF entered this gap and posed a threat to the German armies on both sides. Bulow felt he had no choice but to retreat and Kluck had to follow. The Schlieffen Plan had failed. The BEF played a huge part in this war as they were able to hold back the Germans even though there were so few of them.

The worst battle was the battle of Ypres and that’s hen the Schlieffen plan had completely failed as both side had horrendous losses but overall the Germans lost the race too the seas. Therefore I think it was the resistance of the other countries and courage of the men that stopped the Germans from advancing and from winning the war. The Belgium resistance may have seemed small but they played one of the biggest and maybe most important role to the war as they held up the Germans so that France could go to Paris and to defend her country.