The Schlieffen Plan, devised a decade before the begin of people War I, was a failure strategy for Germany to win civilization War I.

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The Schlieffen Plan, devised a decade before the start of people War I, outlined a strategy because that Germany to avoid fighting in ~ its eastern and also western fronts simultaneously. But what had been meticulously designed to transaction a swift “right hook” attack on France and then advance on Russia, dragged on to become an ugly, brutal war of attrition.

“The Schlieffen plan didn’t work since it was based on everything going right and it had actually no contingencies for the fog of war,” stated Peter Fritzsche, professor of at the university of Illinois.

The Schlieffen setup got its name from that creator, count Alfred von Schlieffen, who offered as cook of the royal German basic Staff from 1891 come 1906. Counting Schlieffen drew up the operation in between 1897 and also 1905 ~ an alliance established between Russia and also France in 1891 supposed that Germany could confront a two-front war.

The Schlieffen arrangement assumed Russia to be slow and also France to be weak.Schlieffen’s strategy assumed the Russia, having actually recently shed the Russo-Japanese War, would certainly take at the very least six weeks to mobilize the troops and attack Germany native the East. In that time, Germany would stage an assault on France through marching west through neutral region of the Netherlands and also Belgium.

This path avoided the greatly fortified straight border v France. Then German pressures would swoop south, carrying a hammer blow through Flanders, Belgium and also onward right into Paris, enveloping and also crushing French forces in much less than 45 days.

Once France to be defeated, according to the plan, Germany can transport its soldiers eastern using its railroad network and also deploy them versus the Russian troops, i m sorry Schlieffen thought would need six weeks come mobilize and attack Germany’s east border.


Helmuth johannes Ludwig Von Moltke, director of German strategy of human being War I. (Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

The initial Schlieffen plan was later modified by other military leaders.Schlieffen’s setup was adopted by Helmuth von Moltke, chief of the German basic Staff when war broke out in 1914. Moltke make some an important modifications come the plan, including reducing German forces comprising the ideal hook assault into France and invading v Belgium, yet not the Netherlands, during the initial offensive.


The front web page of the Birmingham evening Despatch ~ above August fourth 1914 when an excellent Britain claimed war ~ above Germany. Britain, led by prime Minister Herbert Asquith, had provided Germany an ultimatum to get out of Belgium. (Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Russia was faster to respond than Schlieffen had assumed.Russia likewise proved come be more adept at mobilizing its military than German army leaders had actually expected. Russia managed to attack East Prussia in ~ 10 days in respectable 1914 – not six weeks together was earlier assumed.

The Russian initial offensive was defeated, however their advances prompted Germany to send corps from France to eastern Prussia, bleeding Germany’s forces on the west Front of essential fighting manpower.

The French and English armies were a many tougher than expected.

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The Schlieffen Plan’s strategy forced that France be beat swiftly – however this didn’t happen. That failure led to sustained trench warfare on the western Front. In those grim battles of attrition, such as the fight of the Somme and also the fight of Verdun, allied forces ultimately outnumbered the Germans.

As Moltke told Kaiser Wilhem II after exhausted German pressures were beat at the battle of the Marne, “Sir, we have lost the war.”