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WWI: TOTAL WAR The Schlieffen Plan Fails: Trench warfare & technology.

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Presentation on theme: "WWI: TOTAL WAR The Schlieffen Plan Fails: Trench warfare & technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 WWI: TOTAL WAR The Schlieffen Plan Fails: Trench warfare & technology

2 Schlieffen Plan: Avoiding a Two Front War European war - Germany would face France in the west and Russia in the east = needed to defeat France quickly before Russia mobilises troops Needed quick defeat of France by invading it through neutral Belgium and moving on to capture Paris The Germans did not believe that Britain would go to war over Belgium The Kaiser felt the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to be weak With France defeated, Germany could then defeat the Russians in the east rather then fighting a war on two fronts

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4 What Actually Happened Belgium army managed to delay the German advance Members of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) arrived to help in France Germans were held up at Mons & could not take French Chanel Ports

5 Britain declared war on Germany Helped Belgians hold Germans at Mons Moved to support French and prevent Germany from reaching Paris By 1914 more than half the BEF were dead

6 France launched attack on Alsace & Lorraine but this failed Switched to defend Paris With the help of the remaining BEF the French troops pushed the Germans back 35 miles All Channel Ports were secured

7 Stalemate Both sides now had to secure the land that they had Trenches were dug and machine-guns erected = The Western Front The first exchanges of the war was over – from now until 1918, neither side would advance more than 10 miles forward or backwards from the position they held

8 Why the Schlieffen Plan Failed The plan relied on rapid movement – the resistance of the Belgians and the BEF prevented this Russia mobilised its troops quicker then expected – in 10 days Russians had invaded Germany on the Easter Front Germany was fighting a war on two fronts!!!

9 e/launch_ani_western_front.shtml Animated Schleiffen Plan

10 Trench Warfare

11 New Technology Rifles & Pistols Machine Guns - Kill entire lines of advancing soldiers

12 New Technology Heavy Artillery -Claimed more lives than any other weapon Grenades - Clear our trenches

13 New Technology Tanks - Used to cross no mans land Chlorine Gas – Burned the Lungs Mustard Gas – Burned the Skin

14 New Technology Planes – Used by Germans at first to spy, but then for machine gun fire & bombs U-boats -German U-Boats threatened Britain’s Navy & commercial passage

15 Impact of New Technology: TOTAL WAR Old military tactics + new technology = deaths by the millions!!! Whole generations were lost Clear that the power and resilience of each state would drag this war out much longer than just a summer States were willing to make any sacrifice in lives and other resources to obtain a complete victory


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