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Schlieffen plan (1905)

Schlieffen plan (1905)


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Schlieffen plan (1905)


Njemački plan, koji je 1905. razvio general grof Alfred von Schlieffen, načelnik njemačkog Glavnog stožera, za rješavanje potencijalno dva frontalna rata protiv Francuske i Rusije. Plan je iskoristio njihove glavne slabosti - sporo mobilizaciju ruske vojske i odlučnost da napadnu po svaku cijenu francusku vojsku. Stoga su početni napori trebali biti učinjeni na zapadu, dok su male snage za zadržavanje polako popuštale protiv Rusa. S pouzdanjem se očekivalo da će s početkom bilo kakvog rata s Njemačkom Francuzi gotovo istog trena pokrenuti invaziju na Njemačku preko Alzasa-Lorene, najbolje rute za invaziju na francusko-njemačkoj granici. Kad se to dogodilo, pokazalo se da su oba očekivanja istinita. Njemački plan je bio jednostavno masirati 90% svojih trupa - otprilike 35 korpusa - prema sjeveru, a kad je počeo rat marširajući ih kroz neutralnu Belgiju i Nizozemsku, preletjevši se zapadno od Pariza, obuhvativši francusku vojsku, koja bi bilo dozvoljeno da postigne određeni napredak u Njemačkoj. Francuska bi se vojska tada našla napadnuta sa stražnje strane, a Parizu je zaprijećeno ili izgubljeno.

Da je ovaj plan proveden u izvornoj verziji, Francuzi bi mogli biti poraženi u prvih nekoliko tjedana rata, iako je u originalnim memorandumima koji opisuju plan, sam Schlieffen smatrao da je vjerojatnost uspjeha mala, s tri glavni neriješeni problemi - kako neutralizirati vrlo snažna utvrđenja i garnizon Pariza, nemogućnost transportne mreže da uzme broj trupa koji mu je bio potreban, te nerješiv nedostatak trupa čak i nakon potpune mobilizacije. Međutim, u godinama između umirovljenjem Schlieffena 1906. godine i izbijanjem Prvog svjetskog rata, plan je više puta razvodnio general Helmuth von Moltke, njegov nasljednik na mjestu načelnika njemačkog Glavnog stožera. Prvo, odlučio je ne prekinuti holandsku neutralnost, već samo Belgiju, ostavljajući važnih 35 korpusa koji se bore kroz uski jaz da dođu do Francuske. Zatim, ne želeći dopustiti predaju njemačkog tla, ograničio je opseg povlačenja planiranog za Alzas-Lorenu. Konačno, i iz istih razloga, premjestio je više trupa u Istočnu Prusku, namjeravajući se braniti od svakog ruskog napada blizu granica. Tako je 2,1 milion vojnika koje je Schlieffen zamislio kao napad kroz Belgiju i Holandiju postalo 1,5 miliona vojnika koji napadaju kroz Belgiju, dok su francuske vojske, umjesto da budu zarobljene na neki način unutar Njemačke kada je došlo do napada, umjesto toga bile blizu granice i mogle su biti preraspoređen mnogo brže. Čak i u tom slučaju, njemački plan je umalo uspio, a poražen je tek nakon bitke kod Marne (5-10. Rujna 1914.).

Knjige o Prvom svjetskom ratu | Predmetni indeks: Prvi svjetski rat


Schlieffen plan

Schlieffen plan bio je borbeni plan koji su izradili njemački vojni stratezi. Njegova je svrha bila osigurati pobjedu u ratu protiv Francuske i Rusije. Ona je bila osnova njemačke ofenzive u kolovozu 1914., ali su njeni uspjesi bili ograničeni.

Izbjegavanje rata na dva fronta

Od 1870 -ih, njemački stratezi su imali jednu posebnu brigu. Ako bi se Njemačka našla u ratu i s Francuskom i s Rusijom, to bi postalo rat na dva fronta, prisiljavajući Berlin da podijeli svoje resurse i udvostruči rizik. Njihova omiljena strategija bila je da brzo izbace jedno prije nego što se obračunaju s drugim.

To je, međutim, bilo lakše reći nego učiniti. Francuzi su izgradili lanac utvrda, odbrambenih objekata i betonskih sanduka (mitraljeska gnijezda) uz njihovu istočnu granicu s Njemačkom. Ova utvrđenja otežavala su svaku invaziju na Francusku. Napad na francusku teritoriju bi se vjerovatno zadržao, trajao bi sedmicama, ako ne i mjesecima, i vjerovatno bi uključivao značajne gubitke.

Schlieffen plan osmišljen je kao rješenje za ovaj problem.

Poreklo plana

Plan je dobio ime po svom izumitelju, grofu von Schlieffenu, koji ga je izmislio 1905. nakon što je proučio učinak ruske vojske u njenom nesrećnom ratu s Japanom (1904-5).

Schlieffen je primijetio da je Rusija ogromna, ali da joj nedostaje dovoljan željeznički sistem. Potpuna mobilizacija ruskih snaga trajala bi nekoliko sedmica, možda čak tri ili četiri mjeseca.

Schlieffen je usmjerio pogled na pronalaženje načina za invaziju Francuske, zauzimanje Pariza i brzu prisilnu predaju Francuza, idealno u roku od dva mjeseca. Nakon toga, Njemačka bi mogla svoju punu pažnju usmjeriti na Rusiju.

Napadaju neutralni

Schlieffen-ov borbeni plan uključivao je val njemačkih trupa koje su ušle u Francusku kroz nježnije branjene sjeverne granice-ali većina bi napala francusku teritoriju preko malih nacija Belgije, Luksemburga i Nizozemske. Ove nacije bile su neutralne, bez značajnih vojnih snaga i imale su uglavnom nezaštićene granice s Francuskom.

Jednom na sjeveru Francuske, četiri vala njemačkih trupa preletjela bi jugozapadno dolje prema Parizu. Većina francuskih trupa bi se, u slučaju rata, koncentrirala duž njemačke granice, tako da bi bili zarobljeni i okruženi.

Schlieffen i njegovi planeri su predvidjeli da bi ova strategija mogla donijeti njemačku pobjedu u samo 40 dana.

To je bila odvažna i odvažna strategija koja je odražavala Schlieffenovu filozofiju: „Da bismo pobijedili, moramo biti jači od njih dvojice na mjestu udara. Naša jedina nada u ovo leži u vlastitom izboru operacija, a ne u pasivnom čekanju na sve što neprijatelj odluči učiniti. ”

Protivljenje planu

Nisu svi u njemačkoj vrhovnoj komandi podržali Schlieffen -ov plan. Neki su smatrali da je invazija neutralnih zemalja rizična, provokativna i da će vjerojatno privući druge nacije.

Schlieffenova strategija također je zahtijevala ogromne količine ljudi i materijala. Mnogi su smatrali da je njemačke snage rasipničke i previše angažirane ako nešto pođe po zlu.

Schlieffen -ova zamjena, general von Moltke, držao se ovog stava. Kada je von Moltke 1906. preuzeo komandu nad njemačkim generalštabom, smanjio je Schlieffenovu strategiju, smanjio broj trupa i uklonio Nizozemsku iz plana bitke.

Plan na delu

U kolovozu 1914. njemačke trupe ušle su u Belgiju, u skladu s von Moltkeovom modificiranom verzijom Schlieffen plana.

Invazija je iznenadila mali belgijski kontingent - ali strategija je počela da se otkriva u Belgiji. Belgijske vojne snage, uz podršku civilne milicije, zadržale su Nijemce gotovo četiri sedmice, udvostručivši predviđeno vrijeme.

Napad na neutralnu Belgiju je takođe značio da je Engleska, garant belgijske neutralnosti, uvučena u rat. Belgija je postala zreli izvor savezničke propagande o bezosjećajnom njemačkom zanemarivanju neutralnosti, kao i navodnim njemačkim brutalnostima nad belgijskim civilima, ženama i djecom.

Evaluacija Schlieffen plana

U vojnom smislu, Schlieffen plan je bio djelomično uspješan jer je zaobišao jako utvrđenu francusku granicu i omogućio brzi prodor u Francusku.

Međutim, priroda ovog napretka doprinijela je vlastitim problemima. Brzina njemačkog napredovanja postavila je veliki pritisak na njihove trupe, od kojih je većina putovala pješice.

U roku od mjesec dana njemačke divizije stigle su do rijeke Marne, sjeveroistočno od Pariza-ali bile su umorne, umorne od borbi i usput iscrpljene od angažmana.

Problemi u snabdijevanju

Brzina napredovanja znatno je opterećivala dugačke njemačke vodove opskrbe (rute kojima napredujuća vojska prima hranu, municiju, pojačanje i druge potrebe).

Schlieffen plan je također podcijenio vojne kapacitete, infrastrukturu i brzinu mobilizacije i Francuske i Rusije.

Na istočnom frontu Rusi su mogli pokrenuti ofanzivu protiv Njemačke brže nego što se očekivalo. Francuzi su takođe brzo organizovali i preselili svoje trupe. Nekoliko stotina pariških taksija čak je bilo pod kontrolom vojske i koristilo se za prebacivanje hiljada vojnika na odbrambene položaje.

Nemačko napredovanje je na kraju zaustavljeno u jednonedeljnoj bici kod Marne (septembar 1914). Njihova nesposobnost da napreduju izvan Marne doprinijela je upotrebi rovovskog ratovanja i formiranju Zapadnog fronta.

Stavovi istoričara:
“Zahtjevi nametnuti ljudima i životinjama, zahtjev za savršenom koordinacijom na velikim udaljenostima i poteškoće s uklanjanjem ukorijenjenih protivnika ukazuju na to da plan nikada nije mogao uspjeti. Schlieffen -ov plan bio je briljantna strategija, ali osmišljen za doba kada se vojske brojile na desetine hiljada, a ne na stotine hiljada i miliona. Ipak, čini se da su detalji planiranja pružili osnovu za sveprisutno uvjerenje da bi mogli pobijediti u ratu za koji vjeruju da će se dogoditi i da ga mogu brzo dobiti. ”
Frank B. Tipton

1. Schlieffen plan bio je taktičko rješenje Njemačke za izbjegavanje rata na dva fronta s Francuskom i Rusijom.

2. Prema ovom planu, sačinjenom 1905. godine, Francuska bi bila prisiljena na brzu predaju njemačkom invazijom na sjever.

3. Njemačke snage kretale bi se kroz neutralne zemlje poput Belgije i Luksemburga, zaobilazeći francuska utvrđenja.

4. Schlieffen -ov početni plan, koji je izmijenio general von Moltke, postao je prihvaćena strategija u slučaju europskog rata.

5. Plan je omogućio Nijemcima da brzo prodru na francusku teritoriju i sa relativno malim gubicima, međutim, brzina i logistika napredovanja značili su da se ne može održati, što je Francuzima omogućilo da brzo odgovore.


Nedostaci plana: Zašto Schlieffen plan nije uspio?

Bilo je nekoliko nedostataka povezanih s planom. Uveo je stroga ograničenja u pogledu mogućnosti pronalaska diplomatskog rješenja za srpanjsku krizu, zbog uskog vremenskog okvira za početno raspoređivanje trupa.

Eskalacija krize do rata u punom opsegu nije bila u velikoj mjeri posljedica njemačkih ratnih planova. Ali što je još važnije, pokrenuo je rat njemačkom invazijom neutralnih zemalja na Zapad.

Kršenje belgijske neutralnosti posebno je dokazalo njemačkim neprijateljima da se bore protiv agresivnog i nemilosrdnog neprijatelja. On je pružio savršeno propagandno sredstvo za okupljanje zemlje iza neviđenih ratnih napora i održao volju za borbom tokom četiri duge godine rata.

I pružio je opsežan dokaz, ako je dokaz bio potreban, da pobjednici dodijele odgovornost za izbijanje rata Njemačkoj i njenim saveznicima.


Ishod i ugled

Schlieffen -ov plan omogućio je Nijemcima da zauzmu ogromnu regiju koja je uključivala veći dio Belgije i sjeveroistočnu Francusku. Ali to se obično ne tumači kao da je plan bio uspješan. Nije uspio postići cilj da brzo zauzme Pariz kako bi Nijemci mogli usmjeriti svoju pažnju na istok. Tadašnji francuski čelnici izjavili su da bi se, ako bi Pariz zauzeli, povukli na jug i nastavili borbe. Dakle, očekivanje brze pobjede nikada nije bilo realno. Umjesto toga, plan je doveo do realizacije najgoreg mogućeg scenarija: četverogodišnjeg dvogodišnjeg rata sa užasnim gubitkom života i završetkom njemačkog poraza.

Godine 1919. Delbrück je napisao članak u kojem je tvrdio da bi ofanziva protiv Rusije bila realnija strategija od one usmjerene na Francusku. Budući da je neposredna provokacija rata bila ruska mobilizacija, napad na Belgiju i Francusku bilo je teško opravdati u smislu međunarodnog mišljenja.

U to vrijeme Schlieffenovo ime još nije bilo javno povezano s bilo kojim planom. Njegovu ulogu otkrili su bivši oficiri Glavnog stožera koji su napisali odgovore na Delbrückovu kritiku. Tvrdili su da bi Schlieffen -ov prvobitni plan uspio. Moltke je bio kriv jer je fatalno oslabio plan ne postavljajući dovoljno vojnika na desno krilo. Iz tog razloga Nijemci nisu mogli omotati Pariz kako je Schlieffen želio. Ironično, ova kritika potječe od iste grupe oficira koja je pomogla Moltkeu u reviziji Schlieffenove neizvodljive verzije. Nemačkoj su bili potrebni heroji koji bi služili kao primer svojim oficirima, ili "aplikativna istorija" kako ju je vojska nazvala. Wilhelm Groener, Moltkeov željeznički planer, a kasnije i najistaknutiji pokretač mita o Schlieffenu, napisao je: "Ne pišem za istoriju", već radije da poučava oficire "strategiji u sljedećem ratu". [11]


Francusko-pruski rat

Francuska vojska nije mogla parirati dobro naoružanim, dobro obučenim pruskim i njemačkim snagama. Nakon francuskog poraza u bitci kod Sedana početkom rujna, Napoleon III je zarobljen, a Pariz opkoljen. Revolucija u Parizu srušila je francusku vladu i proglasila Treću republiku. Četiri mjeseca grad je odbijao da se preda Nijemcima. Ali 28. januara 1871. izgladneli i hladni revolucionari konačno su odustali.

Nemci pobednici zahtevali su od Francuske da plati ogroman ratni dug i da se odrekne pograničnih provincija Alzas i Lorena. 18. januara 1871. pruski kralj krunisan je za nasljednog cara Njemačkog carstva. Njemačka se pretvorila iz slabe zbirke nezavisnih država u najmoćniju naciju na kontinentu.


Preko granica Belgije, Holandije,

Godine 1905. general Alfred von Schlieffen, koji je u to vrijeme bio načelnik Generalštaba Njemačke, razvio je plan rata u Evropi. On je razvio plan u pokušaju da se pripremi za neizbježno, dva frontalna rata s Francuskom i Rusijom. Prilikom izrade plana uzeo je u obzir sve aspekte mnogih događaja koji su se dogodili u to vrijeme. “Nažalost, plan bi uključivao kršenje Međunarodnog sporazuma, koji su velike sile potpisale 1839. godine, a Belgiji jamči trajnu neutralnost. ”Schlieffen je vjerovao da će Francuska pokušati povratiti Alzas-Lorenu.

Planirao je uvući Francuze u veliku ofanzivnu bitku u Alzasu. Dok je pažnja Francuza bila usmjerena na taj dio zemlje, 90% njemačke vojske jurišalo bi kroz Belgiju i Nizozemsku prema jugu Pariza u velikom pokretu. To bi omogućilo njemačkim snagama da putuju kroz granice Belgije, Holandije i okolne zemlje prema južnom Parizu, zarobivši francusku vojsku između dvije njemačke snage. To bi omogućilo Njemačkoj da napadne francusku vojsku sa njihove slabije tačke u pozadini. S obzirom da je francuska vojska u ratu s ostalih 10% njemačke vojske, Francuzi neće primijetiti Nijemce koji dolaze iz pozadine. Nijemci koji dolaze iz pozadine gurnuli bi Francuze naprijed, zarobivši ih između dvije njemačke snage. Viljem Drugi, njemački car, zamijenio je generala Schlieffena Helmuth von Moltke, kao načelnik Glavnog stožera Njemačke 1906.

Moltke je izmijenio Schlieffen plan u odnosu na originalnu verziju. Schlieffen plan je bio vrlo engenus plan. Plan je osmišljen tako da se njemačke trupe rasprše na sljedeći način: 1) 11 korpusa i 7 rezervnih korpusa južno od Namura2) 6 korpusa i 1/2 rezervnog korpusa kroz Mezieres3) 8 korpusa i 5 rezervnih korpusa kroz Verdun i Metz4) 3 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus kroz StrazburOvo nije ostavilo rezerve za zaštitu sela Njemačke. Schlieffen je očekivao da će njemačka vojska do početka rata s Francuskom i Rusijom imati najmanje 41 1/2 trupa trupa. Računao je na nešto što se neće dogoditi prije izbijanja rata.Moltke je s razlogom izmijenio Schlieffensov plan. Razlog tome je što je vjerovao da Njemačka nema snage za djelotvornu zaštitu od napada na zemlje.

Moltke je 1914. promijenio Schlieffensov plan na sljedeći način: 1) 8 korpusa i 5 rezervnih korpusa južno od Namura2) 6 korpusa i 3 rezervna korpusa kroz Mezieres3) 3 korpusa i 2 rezervna korpusa kroz Verdum i Metz4) 4 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus kroz Strasbourg5 ) 2 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus u rezervi. U revidiranom Schlieffen planu Moltke bi napustio teritorij Alzasa-Lorene ako se talijanska vlada ne pojavi da pomogne. Načelnik štaba Italije, general Pollio, obećao je da će njegove italijanske trupe pomoći Nijemcima. Do svoje smrti 1914. godine, general Pollio uvjeravao je Moltkea da će talijanska vojska zauzeti Alzas-Lorenu. Moltke je smatrao da je potrebno držati tu pokrajinu s dva korpusa. Ako se Talijani ne bi pojavili, postavilo bi se pitanje kako će njemačka vojska stići u Alzas-Lorenu na vrijeme da odbrani regiju. Francuski napad bio je usmjeren prema Mulhausenu, što je odgodilo transport njemačkih trupa na desno krilo napada.

Kako je Schlieffen plan izrađen, Rusija je još uvijek bila u oslabljenom stanju zbog Mandžurijskog rata. Rusija je i dalje zaostajala za vremenima redovnih vojnih operacija. Imali su ljudsku moć bez ikakvog pitanja. Međutim, ljudska moć ne čini vojsku velikom, vođe i zdrav razum Delegacije čine vojsku velikom. Da je ruska vojska imala dovoljno resursa, njemačka vojska ne bi morala samo da se bori protiv Francuza, već bi se morala boriti i na ruskoj granici. Ovo bi učinilo Schlieffen plan samo prolaznom mišlju jer ne bi bilo dovoljno njemačkih trupa da ga provedu. Rusiji bi bilo potrebno naoružanje i pristojno sredstvo za raspoređivanje svojih trupa s odgovarajućom količinom opreme za odbranu.

Moltke nije samo promijenio Schlieffen plan vojno, već i politički. U Schlieffen planu Belgija nije dala ultimatum. Moltke je smatrao da je to potrebno.

U prvobitnom planu, njemačke trupe trebale su se bez ikakvog obavještenja rasporediti na holandsko-belgijsku granicu. Plan je računao na to da će francuska vojska rasporediti svoje trupe u dolinu Meuse, koja se nalazi južno od Namura, kao protumjeru. Međutim, poduzimanjem ove radnje francuska vojska bi prekršila njihov sporazum s neutralnošću Belgije i Belgije. Nijemci su se nadali da će francuske trupe planirati preuzeti prirodnu odbranu doline Meuse, što bi učinilo da Francuska prva prekrši sporazum Belgije o neutralnosti. Godine 1914. njemačke trupe su napredovale u dolini Meuse, tim napredovanjem njemačke trupe su prve zapravo prekršile neutralnost Belgije. Ovom akcijom Britanci su se uključili jer su bili saveznici s Belgijom. Schlieffen -ov plan prema Schlieffenu nije bio da se razbije neutralnost Belgije.

Prvi grad koji su njemačke trupe zauzele bio je Liege u Belgiji. Njemačka je htjela zauzeti Liege s idejom coup de main, što znači zauzeti bez artiljerijske podrške, tokom mobilizacije njemačkih trupa duž granice. Njemačka vojska zatražila je od holandske vlade pravo prolaska kroz holandsku provinciju Limburg, da prođe sjeverno od Liegea. Moltke nije mislio da će holandska vlada dozvoliti njemu i njegovim trupama pravo prolaska preko teritorije. Razlog zašto je Moltke htio proći sjeverno od Liegea bio je postaviti svoje trupe da zauzmu Liege.

Iako je Moltke htio zauzeti Liege pod glavnim udarom do čega nije došlo, artiljerija je morala biti korištena u pokušaju da se spriječi odlaganje napredovanja njegovih snaga. Schlieffen plan je imao rok od 42 dana. Zauzimanjem Liegea, Moltke i trupe su kasnili devet dana.

General von Kluck, koji je predvodio desno krilo, trebao je provesti svoje trupe kroz Nizozemsku i otići do Brisela i koristiti ga kao prekretnicu za jug. Već kroz Belgiju, von Kluck je marširao ispred snaga General Bulowsa, otkrivajući tako njegov desni bok. Von Kluck je morao izdržati i pustiti snage General Bulowsa da ih sustignu. Ova akcija omogućila je francuskim i britanskim snagama da prestanu s povlačenjem i postave odbranu.

Počeli su Francuzi i Britanci uvući se u ” i ono što je poznato kao rovovski rat. Predviđena četiri mjeseca kasnije su se okrenula nagore i postala produženi četverogodišnji rat. Njemačka je morala ostati pri osnovnom dizajnu Schlieffen plana. Faktor vremena bio je ključni faktor plana. Kratki vremenski period ne bi dao protivničkim vojskama vremena da učvrste svoje pozicije. Bolja komunikacija između njemačkih vojnih divizija također bi imala važnu ulogu u razvoju rata. Da je direktor njemačke vojske slijedio Schlieffen plan kako je napisano, komunikacija bi bila lakša.

Plan je također mogao pomoći Nijemcima da dobiju rat. Njemačka vojska bila je bolje opremljena, imala je više ljudstva, pa čak i bolji strateški plan u odnosu na druge zemlje. Međutim, nedostatak komunikacije između različitih divizija njemačkih trupa uzrokovao je veliki nedostatak. BibliografijaCraig, Gordon A. Njemačka 1866-1945 New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Ryder, A.

J. Njemačka dvadesetog stoljeća: od Bismarcka do Brandta. New York: Columbia University Press, 1973. Rosenburg, Dr.

Arthur. Rođenje Njemačke Republike. New York: Russell & amp Russell, Inc. 1962. Ili, Schlieffen -ov plan 1905. general Alfred von Schlieffen, koji je u to vrijeme bio načelnik Glavnog stožera Njemačke, razvio je plan rata u Evropi.

On je razvio plan u pokušaju da se pripremi za neizbježno, dva frontalna rata s Francuskom i Rusijom. Prilikom izrade plana uzeo je u obzir sve aspekte mnogih događaja koji su se dogodili u to vrijeme. “Nažalost, plan bi uključivao kršenje Međunarodnog sporazuma, koji su velike sile potpisale 1839. godine, a Belgiji jamči trajnu neutralnost. ”Schlieffen je vjerovao da će Francuska pokušati povratiti Alzas-Lorenu. Planirao je uvući Francuze u veliku ofanzivnu bitku u Alzasu. Dok je pažnja Francuza bila usmjerena na taj dio zemlje, 90% njemačke vojske jurišalo bi kroz Belgiju i Nizozemsku prema jugu Pariza u velikom pokretu. To bi omogućilo njemačkim snagama da putuju kroz granice Belgije, Holandije i okolne zemlje prema južnom Parizu, zarobivši francusku vojsku između dvije njemačke snage.

To bi omogućilo Njemačkoj da napadne francusku vojsku sa njihove slabije tačke u pozadini. S obzirom da je francuska vojska u ratu s ostalih 10% njemačke vojske, Francuzi neće primijetiti Nijemce koji dolaze iz pozadine. Nijemci koji dolaze iz pozadine gurnuli bi Francuze naprijed, zarobivši ih između dvije njemačke snage. Viljem Drugi, njemački car, zamijenio je generala Schlieffena sa Helmuth von Moltke, na mjestu načelnika Glavnog stožera Njemačke 1906. Moltke je izmijenio Schlieffen plan iz originalne verzije. Schlieffen plan je bio vrlo engenus plan. Plan je osmišljen tako da se njemačke trupe rasprše na sljedeći način: 1) 11 korpusa i 7 rezervnih korpusa južno od Namura2) 6 korpusa i 1/2 rezervnog korpusa kroz Mezieres3) 8 korpusa i 5 rezervnih korpusa kroz Verdun i Metz4) 3 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus kroz StrazburOvo nije ostavilo rezerve za zaštitu sela Njemačke.

Schlieffen je očekivao da će njemačka vojska do početka rata s Francuskom i Rusijom imati najmanje 41 1/2 trupa trupa. Računao je na nešto što se neće dogoditi prije izbijanja rata.Moltke je s razlogom izmijenio Schlieffensov plan. Razlog tome je što je vjerovao da Njemačka nema snage za djelotvornu zaštitu od napada na zemlje. Moltke je 1914. promijenio Schlieffensov plan na sljedeći način: 1) 8 korpusa i 5 rezervnih korpusa južno od Namura2) 6 korpusa i 3 rezervna korpusa kroz Mezieres3) 3 korpusa i 2 rezervna korpusa kroz Verdum i Metz4) 4 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus kroz Strasbourg5 ) 2 korpusa i 1 rezervni korpus u rezervi. U revidiranom Schlieffen planu Moltke bi napustio teritorij Alzasa-Lorene ako se talijanska vlada ne pojavi da pomogne.

Načelnik štaba Italije, general Pollio, obećao je da će njegove italijanske trupe pomoći Nijemcima. Do svoje smrti 1914. godine, general Pollio uvjeravao je Moltkea da će talijanska vojska zauzeti Alzas-Lorenu. Moltke je smatrao da je potrebno držati tu pokrajinu s dva korpusa.

Ako se Talijani ne bi pojavili, postavilo bi se pitanje kako će njemačka vojska stići u Alzas-Lorenu na vrijeme da odbrani regiju. Francuski napad bio je usmjeren prema Mulhausenu, što je odgodilo transport njemačkih trupa na desno krilo napada. Kako je Schlieffen plan izrađen, Rusija je još uvijek bila u oslabljenom stanju zbog Mandžurijskog rata.

Rusija je i dalje zaostajala za vremenima redovnih vojnih operacija. Imali su ljudsku moć bez ikakvog pitanja. Međutim, ljudska moć ne čini vojsku velikom, vođe i zdrav razum Delegacije čine vojsku velikom. Da je ruska vojska imala dovoljno resursa, njemačka vojska ne bi morala samo da se bori protiv Francuza, već bi se morala boriti i na ruskoj granici. Ovo bi učinilo Schlieffen plan samo prolaznom mišlju jer ne bi bilo dovoljno njemačkih trupa da ga provedu. Rusiji bi bilo potrebno naoružanje i pristojno sredstvo za raspoređivanje svojih trupa s odgovarajućom količinom opreme za odbranu.

Moltke nije samo promijenio Schlieffen plan vojno, već i politički. U Schlieffen planu nije postavljen ultimatum Belgiji. Moltke je smatrao da je to potrebno.

U prvobitnom planu, njemačke trupe trebale su se bez ikakvog obavještenja rasporediti na holandsko-belgijsku granicu. Plan je računao na to da će francuska vojska rasporediti svoje trupe u dolinu Meuse, koja se nalazi južno od Namura, kao protumjeru. Međutim, poduzimanjem ove radnje francuska vojska bi prekršila njihov sporazum s neutralnošću Belgije i Belgije.

Nijemci su se nadali da će francuske trupe planirati preuzeti prirodnu odbranu doline Meuse, što bi učinilo da Francuska prva prekrši sporazum Belgije o neutralnosti. 1914. njemačke trupe su napredovale u dolini Meuse, tim napredovanjem njemačke trupe su prve zapravo prekršile neutralnost Belgije. Ovom akcijom Britanci su se uključili jer su bili saveznici s Belgijom.

Schlieffen -ov plan prema Schlieffenu nije bio prekid neutralnosti Belgije. Prvi grad koji su njemačke trupe zauzele bio je Liege, Belgija. Njemačka je htjela zauzeti Liege s idejom coup de main, što znači zauzeti bez artiljerijske podrške, tokom mobilizacije njemačkih trupa duž granice. Njemačka vojska zatražila je od holandske vlade pravo prolaska kroz holandsku provinciju Limburg, da prođe sjeverno od Liegea.

Moltke nije mislio da će holandska vlada dozvoliti njemu i njegovim trupama pravo prolaska preko teritorije. Razlog zašto je Moltke htio proći sjeverno od Liegea bio je postaviti svoje trupe da zauzmu Liege. Iako je Moltke htio zauzeti Liege pod glavnim udarom do čega nije došlo, artiljerija je morala biti korištena u pokušaju da se spriječi odlaganje napredovanja njegovih snaga.

Schlieffen plan je imao rok od 42 dana. Zauzimanjem Liegea, Moltke i trupe su kasnili devet dana. General von Kluck, koji je predvodio desno krilo, trebao je provesti svoje trupe kroz Nizozemsku i otići do Brisela i koristiti ga kao prekretnicu za jug. Već kroz Belgiju, von Kluck je marširao ispred snaga General Bulowsa, otkrivajući tako njegov desni bok.

Von Kluck je morao izdržati i pustiti snage General Bulowsa da ih sustignu. Ova akcija omogućila je francuskim i britanskim snagama da prestanu s povlačenjem i postave odbranu. Počeli su Francuzi i Britanci uvući se u ” i ono što je poznato kao rovovski rat.

Predviđena četiri mjeseca kasnije su se okrenula nagore i postala produženi četverogodišnji rat. Njemačka je morala ostati pri osnovnom dizajnu Schlieffen plana. Faktor vremena bio je ključni faktor plana. Kratki vremenski period ne bi dao protivničkim vojskama vremena da učvrste svoje položaje. Bolja komunikacija između njemačkih vojnih divizija također bi imala važnu ulogu u razvoju rata. Da je direktor njemačke vojske slijedio Schlieffen plan kako je napisano, komunikacija bi bila lakša. Plan je također mogao pomoći Nijemcima da dobiju rat.

Njemačka vojska bila je bolje opremljena, imala je više ljudstva, pa čak i bolji strateški plan u odnosu na druge zemlje. Međutim, nedostatak komunikacije između različitih divizija njemačkih trupa uzrokovao je ogroman nedostatak.BibliografijaCraig, Gordon A.

Njemačka 1866-1945 New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Ryder, A.J.

Njemačka dvadesetog stoljeća: od Bismarcka do Brandta. New York: Columbia University Press, 1973. Rosenburg, Dr. Arthur. Rođenje Njemačke Republike. New York: Russell & amp Russell, Inc.

1962. Orlow, Dietrich. Povijest moderne Njemačke: 1871-danas. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995. Automobil, William. Povijest Njemačke 1815-1945.

New York: St. Martians Press, 1969. Gatzke, Hans W.

Njemačke voze prema zapadu. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1950. Lyons, Michael J.

Prvi svjetski rat: kratka historija. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000. � Schlieffen Plan ” The Army Quarterly (London), srpanj (1929): 286-290.Saleske, Herr Von Below. ” Njemački zahtjev za slobodan prolaz kroz Belgiju ”, 2. augusta 1914. Davigion, M. (belgijski ministar vanjskih poslova).

” Belgijsko odbijanje slobodnog prolaska ”, 3. augusta 1914.Leman, general, “Pad Liegea. ” 11-15 kolovoza 1914.Michael J Lyons, Prvi svjetski rat, kratka historija (New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 2000), 54.

Schlieffen plan 1905. General Alfred von Schlieffen, koji je u to vrijeme bio načelnik Glavnog stožera Njemačke, razvio je plan rata u Evropi. On je razvio plan u pokušaju da se pripremi za neizbježno, dva frontalna rata s Francuskom i Rusijom. Prilikom izrade plana uzeo je u obzir sve aspekte mnogih događaja koji su se dogodili u to vrijeme. “Nažalost, plan bi uključivao kršenje Međunarodnog sporazuma, koji su velike sile potpisale 1839. godine, a Belgiji jamči trajnu neutralnost. ”Schlieffen je vjerovao da će Francuska pokušati povratiti Alzas-Lorenu.

Planirao je uvući Francuze u veliku ofanzivnu bitku u Alzasu. Dok je pažnja Francuza bila usmjerena na taj dio zemlje, 90% njemačke vojske jurišalo bi kroz Belgiju i Nizozemsku prema jugu Pariza u velikom pokretu. To bi omogućilo njemačkim snagama da putuju kroz granice Belgije, Holandije i okolne zemlje prema južnom Parizu, zarobivši francusku vojsku između dvije njemačke snage. To bi omogućilo Njemačkoj da napadne francusku vojsku sa njihove slabije tačke u pozadini. S obzirom da je francuska vojska u ratu s ostalih 10% njemačke vojske, Francuzi neće primijetiti Nijemce koji dolaze iz pozadine.

Nijemci koji dolaze iz pozadine gurnuli bi Francuze naprijed, zarobivši ih između dvije njemačke snage. William the Second, the Emperor of Germany, replaced General Schlieffen with Helmuth von Moltke, as the Chief of the General Staff of Germany in 1906. Moltke modified the Schlieffen Plan from the original version.

The Schlieffen Plan was a very engenus plan. The plan was devised for the German troops to be dispersed as follows:1) 11 corps and 7 Reserve corps South of Namur2) 6 corps and 1/2 Reserve corps through Mezieres3) 8 corps and 5 Reserve corps through Verdun and Metz4) 3 corps and 1 Reserve corps through StrasbourgThis left no Reserves left to protect the countryside of Germany. Schlieffen had expected the German Army to be at least 41 1/2 Corp of troops by the time war would break out with France and Russia. He was counting on something that would not take place before war would break out.

Moltke modified Schlieffens Plan for a reason. The reason being that he believed that Germany did not have the man power for effective protection against invading countries. Moltke altered Schlieffens plan in 1914, as follows:1) 8 corps and 5 Reserve corps South of Namur2) 6 corps and 3 Reserve corps through Mezieres3) 3 corps and 2 Reserve corps through Verdum and Metz4) 4 corps and 1 Reserve Corp through Strasbourg5) 2 corps and 1 Reserve Corp in Reserve.

In the revised Schlieffen Plan, Moltke would abandon the territory of Alsace-Lorraine if the Italian government did not show up to help. The Italian Chief of Staff, General Pollio, had promised that his Italian troops would help the Germans. Until his death in 1914, General Pollio had assured Moltke the Italian Army would occupy Alsace-Lorraine. Moltke felt that it was necessary to hold that Province with the two corps. If the Italians did not appear then the question would arise how would the German Army get to Alsace-Lorraine in time to defend the region. The French attack was directed toward Mulhausen, which delayed German troops transport to the right wing of the attack.

As the Schlieffen plan was drawn up, Russia was still in a weakened state due to the Manchurian War. Russia was still behind the times of regular army operations. They had man power no question about it. However, man power does not make an army great, the leaders and the common sense of the Delegation make the army great. If the Russian Army had sufficient resources, the German Army would have not only had to fight the French, they would have also had to fight on the Russian border. This would have made the Schlieffen Plan just a passing thought because there would have not been enough German troops to carry it through.

Russia would have needed the weaponry and a decent mean by which to deploy their troops with the right amount of equipment to defend themselves.Moltke not only altered the Schlieffen Plan militarily, but politically as well. In the Schlieffen Plan there was not an ultimatum given to Belgium. Moltke thought it was necessary.

In the original plan, German troops were to deploy without any notifications, into the Dutch-Belgium border. The plan counted on the French Army to deploy their troops into the Meuse Valley, which is located south of Namur as a counter-measure. However by taking this action the French Army would be in violation of their agreement with Belgium and Belgiums neutrality.

The Germans hoped that the French troops would plan to take over the natural defenses of the Meuse Valley which would have made France be the first to violate the agreement of Belgium to stay neutral. In 1914 the German troops advanced into the Meuse Valley, by that advancement the German troops were the first to actually violate Belgiums neutrality. By this action the British became involved because they were allies with Belgium. The Schlieffen plan according to Schlieffen was not to break Belgiums neutrality.The first town to be taken by the German troops was Liege, Belgium. Germany wanted to take Liege with the idea of coup de main, which means to take without artillery support, during the mobilization of German troops along the border. The German army asked the Netherlands Government for the right of passage through the Dutch Providence of Limburg, to pass North of Liege.

Moltke did not think that the Dutch government would allow him and his troops the right of passage across the territory. The reasoning behind Moltke wanting to pass north of Liege was to position his troops to take Liege over. Even though Moltke had wanted to take Liege under coup de main that did not occur, artillery had to be used in an attempt to prevent a delay in the advancement of his forces. The Schlieffen Plan had a 42 day dead line. By taking Liege, Moltke and troops were behind time by nine days.

General von Kluck, who led the right wing, was to take his troops through the Netherlands and go to Brussels and use it as a turning point to had south. Already through Belgium, von Kluck marched ahead of General Bulows forces, thus exposing his right flank. Von Kluck had to hold up and let General Bulows forces catch up.

This action allowed the French and British forces to stop retreating and set up a defense. The French and the British “dug in” and what is known as trench warfare began. A projected four month was than took a turn for the worse and became a prolonged four year war.Germany needed to stay with the basic design of the Schlieffen Plan. The time factor was a key factor of the plan. A short time span would not have given the opposing armies the time to fortify their positions.

Better communications between the German army divisions would have played a major part in the development of the war as well. If the Director of the German Armies would have followed the Schlieffen Plan as it was written, communication would have been easier. The Plan might have also helped Germans to win the war. The German Army was better equipped, had more man power, and even a better strategic plan over the other countries.

However the lack of communication between the different divisions of the German Troops caused for a massive disadvantage.BibliographyCraig, Gordon A. Germany 1866-1945 New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Ryder, A.J. Twentieth-Century Germany: From Bismarck to Brandt. New York:columbia University Press, 1973.Rosenburg, Dr. Arthur. The Birth of the German Republic.

New York: Russell & Russell, Inc. 1962.Orlow, The Schlieffen PlanIn 1905, General Alfred von Schlieffen, who at that time was the Chief of the General Staff of Germany, developed a plan for war in Europe. He developed the plan in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable, a two front war with France and Russia. When he developed the plan he took in account all aspects of the many events that were occurring during that time.

“Unfortunately, the plan would involve a violation of the International Agreement, signed by the Great Powers in 1839, guaranteeing Belgiums permanent neutrality.”Schlieffen believed that France would attempt to recover Alsace-Lorraine. He planned to draw the French into a major offensive battle in Alsace. While Frances attention was turned to that part of the country, 90% of the German Army would storm through Belgium and the Netherlands toward the South of Paris in a sweeping movement.

This would allow the German forces to travel through the borders of Belgium, Netherlands, and the surrounding country side toward the South Paris, entrapping the French Army between the two German forces. This would allow Germany to attack the French army from their weaker point in the rear. With the French Army engaged in war with the other 10% of the German Army, the French would not notice the Germans coming from the rear. The Germans coming form the rear would push the French forward, trapping them between the two German forces.

William the Second, the Emperor of Germany, replaced General Schlieffen with Helmuth von Moltke, as the Chief of the General Staff of Germany in 1906. Moltke modified the Schlieffen Plan from the original version.The Schlieffen Plan was a very engenus plan. The plan was devised for the German troops to be dispersed as follows:1) 11 corps and 7 Reserve corps South of Namur2) 6 corps and 1/2 Reserve corps through Mezieres3) 8 corps and 5 Reserve corps through Verdun and Metz4) 3 corps and 1 Reserve corps through StrasbourgThis left no Reserves left to protect the countryside of Germany. Schlieffen had expected the German Army to be at least 41 1/2 Corp of troops by the time war would break out with France and Russia. He was counting on something that would not take place before war would break out.Moltke modified Schlieffens Plan for a reason.

The reason being that he believed that Germany did not have the man power for effective protection against invading countries. Moltke altered Schlieffens plan in 1914, as follows:1) 8 corps and 5 Reserve corps South of Namur2) 6 corps and 3 Reserve corps through Mezieres3) 3 corps and 2 Reserve corps through Verdum and Metz4) 4 corps and 1 Reserve Corp through Strasbourg5) 2 corps and 1 Reserve Corp in Reserve.In the revised Schlieffen Plan, Moltke would abandon the territory of Alsace-Lorraine if the Italian government did not show up to help. The Italian Chief of Staff, General Pollio, had promised that his Italian troops would help the Germans. Until his death in 1914, General Pollio had assured Moltke the Italian Army would occupy Alsace-Lorraine. Moltke felt that it was necessary to hold that Province with the two corps.

If the Italians did not appear then the question would arise how would the German Army get to Alsace-Lorraine in time to defend the region. The French attack was directed toward Mulhausen, which delayed German troops transport to the right wing of the attack. As the Schlieffen plan was drawn up, Russia was still in a weakened state due to the Manchurian War. Russia was still behind the times of regular army operations. They had man power no question about it. However, man power does not make an army great, the leaders and the common sense of the Delegation make the army great.

If the Russian Army had sufficient resources, the German Army would have not only had to fight the French, they would have also had to fight on the Russian border. This would have made the Schlieffen Plan just a passing thought because there would have not been enough German troops to carry it through. Russia would have needed the weaponry and a decent mean by which to deploy their troops with the right amount of equipment to defend themselves.Moltke not only altered the Schlieffen Plan militarily, but politically as well. In the Schlieffen Plan there was not an ultimatum given to Belgium.

Moltke thought it was necessary. In the original plan, German troops were to deploy without any notifications, into the Dutch-Belgium border. The plan counted on the French Army to deploy their troops into the Meuse Valley, which is located south of Namur as a counter-measure.

However by taking this action the French Army would be in violation of their agreement with Belgium and Belgiums neutrality. The Germans hoped that the French troops would plan to take over the natural defenses of the Meuse Valley which would have made France be the first to violate the agreement of Belgium to stay neutral. In 1914 the German troops advanced into the Meuse Valley, by that advancement the German troops were the first to actually violate Belgiums neutrality. By this action the British became involved because they were allies with Belgium. The Schlieffen plan according to Schlieffen was not to break Belgiums neutrality.

The first town to be taken by the German troops was Liege, Belgium. Germany wanted to take Liege with the idea of coup de main, which means to take without artillery support, during the mobilization of German troops along the border. The German army asked t


Ključne činjenice i informacije o pojačalu

BACKGROUND ON THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN

  • After the Napoleonic Wars, military thinking was dominated by the German Wars of Unification, which occurred following the decentralized German Confederation and Holy Roman Empire.
  • The Unification of Germany, as well as the Franco-Prussian War, prompted countries like Austria and Russia to begin conscription in 1868 and 1874, respectively, just like Germany was already doing.
  • German writers and professors took note of the shifts that were occuring in the way the military was organized and run.
  • They noticed that there was a shift from small, professional armies that made small, quick victories to a larger, more powerful nationalistic militia that fought on a much larger scale.
  • Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, referred to as “Moltke the Elder”, recognized the growing number of countries introducing Conscription. He felt that Germany needed to be better prepared for the challenges they may face in the future against these countries.
  • He knew that European armies were growing, so he adopted many defensive and offensive strategies to train the army.
  • He strongly believed that peace would be preserved in Europe by the
    maintenance of a powerful German army, and that any battles fought would mean Germany would be in a great position to negotiate and get what they wanted.
  • Unfortunately, he didn’t consider that the defeated enemy might choose not to negotiate.
  • In February 1891, Schlieffen was appointed as Chief of the Great General Staff, and he was tasked with devising a grand strategy for unifying and strengthening the German state institutions.
  • He wanted to make the army more formidable, increase its size, and introduce new weapons to ensure the defeat of enemies.

DESIGNING THE PLAN

  • Schlieffen faced the difficult decision about what to do regarding the French and Russian armies that surrounded Germany to the west and the east.
  • Schlieffen originally wanted the German forces to defeat France
    quickly, then transfer to the Russian front to fight. He was initially
    unsure about the logistics of the plan.
  • After witnessing Russia’s defeat by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War in
    1905, Schlieffen concluded that Russia’s strength had been Overestimated. Therefore, he felt confident that an attack on France was possible and would allow German forces to reach Russia in time for an attack in the east.
  • He determined to wage an isolated Franco-German war, where Germany would attack France and move through northern Belgium, hopefully securing France within six weeks.
  • Schlieffen then planned to send troops via Germany’s rail system to the Russian front, where they would attack and defeat Russian troops in the east.
  • A holding operation on the Russia/German border would be carried out if it was necessary.
  • In August of 1905, at 72 years of age, Schlieffen was made “incapable of battle” due to a kick from a horse. His successor, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger (son of Moltke the Elder), became Chief of Staff in January of 1906.

DEPLOYMENT OF THE PLAN

  • Moltke the Younger had doubts about Germany’s ability for victory in a European war, but despite these doubts, he continued on.
  • By 1910, the Russian army had reorganized themselves and were far
    more prepared than they had been during the Russo-Japanese War a few years prior. This added a layer of difficulty to the original plan.
  • Due to the likelihood of a longer war with Russia on the eastern front, it was of paramount importance to defeat France quickly.
  • As a result of these changes, Moltke the Younger made substantial changes to the original Schlieffen Plan.
  • Although anticipations and different outcomes were considered, there were no contingencies laid out in case things went wrong.
  • When Germany declared war, France implemented Plan XVII, which included five attacks in August of 1914 (referred to as the Battle of the Frontiers).
  • Within a few days of fighting, the French were retreating and not doing well. Germany advanced through Belgium and Northern France, but by this point, England had gotten involved.
  • Unfortunately, at the first Battle of the Marne in September of 1914, poor communication, the withdrawal of German troops on the Russian front, and no attacks on the French meant that the plan was unsuccessful.
  • The First World War and the onset of trench warfare began shortly after the failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

Schlieffen Plan Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Schlieffen Plan across 20 in-depth pages. Ovo su ready-to-use Schlieffen Plan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Schlieffen Plan which was originally created in December of 1905 by General Count Alfred von Schlieffen. It was designed to attack France, then move to the Russian border to attack Russia. The plan’s execution led to the breakout of the First World War.

Kompletna lista uključenih radnih listova

  • WWI: Schlieffen Plan Facts
  • Deployment Plans Snapshot
  • Schlieffen Plan Wordsearch
  • Spotlight On: Alfred von Schlieffen
  • Quote Analysis
  • Schlieffen Plan Crossword
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Design a Commemorative Stamp
  • Map Examination
  • Schlieffen Storyboard
  • HIstorical Perspectives

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The Attack Falters

However, a key vulnerability formed in the German’s attack. During the march south through France a hole formed between the main German forces. They were forced to close the gap, though this meant that the western most army did not go far enough west.

That army was meant to land on the western side of Paris so as to encircle the city. Instead, they ended up east of the city, exposing their right flank to the Parisian defenders themselves.

In addition, as the Germans marched through France, their advance slowed. The German Army was moving too fast for their supply lines to keep up, and the soldiers were weary and underfed.

The slowing advance allowed France time to regroup and organize a defensive stand. France did just that at the Marne River, east of Paris.

At the subsequent Battle of the Marne a heroic effort by the French defenders repulsed the Germans and sent them retreating back. The German offensive and modified Schlieffen Plan had failed.

It is not confirmed, though allegedly after the failure at Marne the defeated General Moltke reported to Kaiser Wilhelm II, “Your majesty, we have lost the war.”

Regardless of whether those words were spoken, the hopes for a quick victory on the Western Front were dashed. The Germans retreated back, settled in, and dug deep trenches in preparation for a long war of attrition.


The Schlieffen Plan

General Count von Schlieffen (1833 – 1913) was Chief of the German General Staff from 1891 until he retired in 1905. As a testament to his work for Germany, he finished an operational plan with which Germany could successfully attack France.

With certain modifications, the ‘Schlieffen Plan’ as it became known, was used as the basis for the massive German attack in 1914. Schlieffen believed a number of things, based on his military knowledge, and general awareness of exactly what was what and what could be done, or ne done:

(1) That the war would have to be fought against France and Russia, probably supported by Britain.

(2) That the decisive theatre of war would remain in France, but that Germany must stay on the defensive with Russia.

(3) That in the case of France’s swift defeat, her allies would offer little resistance.

(4) That the French fortifications facing Germany were virtually impregnable, and therefore should simply be outflanked in a great curving, scythe-like movement through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, even if Germany had been bound by treaty to observe these countries’ neutrality.

During his retirement, Schlieffen revised these plans with the help of his son-in-law, at the end of each year, coinciding with Christmas celebrations. His successor as Chief of Staff was von Moltke, also a brilliant strategist, who decided to limit the ‘scythe’ manoevre to Belgium and Luxembourg.

The Great War began with the usual German triumphs, but Moltke failed to capture Paris in 1914, experts said, because he not fully followed the plans of the ‘masterly military genius’ – von Schlieffen.

The experts’ view was challenged, however, in 1956 by Dr. Gerhard Ritter who published the text of the full plan, with Schlieffen’s amendments and Moltke’s comments. It then became clear that there was not such a difference between the stategy of Schlieffen and Moltke as earlier historians had maintained.

Since the end of the Great War (1918) an intellectual storm has raged between followers of the original Schlieffen Plan, and observers of the campaigns, defeats and victories that occurred during the War. In the 1990s, readers of The Spectator, an important British political weekly, were entertained during nearly seventeen weeks by a furious exchange of letters on the correspondence pages between modern historians, and someone describing herself as a direct descendent of von Schlieffen himself. Her argument was that had the German high command followed the Schlieffen Plan to the letter, Germany would have won the First World War quickly, and with infinitely less loss of life on all sides.

There remains some doubt as to whether the Plan deserves its high reputation, because von Schlieffen had under-estimated the strength of the Russians, as Napoleon had done before, and as Hitler would do later . Schlieffen had also under-estimated Berliners’ panic as Russian forces drew near, the strength and bravery of Belgian resistance, the effectiveness of the British Expeditionary Force, and the importance and efficiency of the French railway system, bringing up reserves.


SCHLIEFFEN PLAN

The so-called Schlieffen Plan, Germany’s infamous military deployment plan of the early twentieth century, took its name from Count Alfred von Schlieffen, chief of the German General Staff from 1891 to 1905. Its genesis and the reasoning behind it are best explained against the background of international developments in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century.

INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND TO SCHLIEFFEN’S MILITARY PLANNING

The Entente Cordiale (1904) between Britain and France had just been successfully tested during the First Moroccan Crisis (1905–1906), and Germany began to feel the full consequences of its own expansionist foreign policy. To Germany, British involvement in a future war now seemed almost certain, and consequently Italy, allied to Germany and Austria since 1882, became a less reliable ally, because it would be unable to defend its long coastlines from Britain and might therefore opt to stay neutral in a future war. The international events of 1905 and 1906 marked the beginning of Germany’s perceived ‘‘encirclement’’ by alliances of possible future enemies.

Between this time and the outbreak of war in 1914, the General Staff became increasingly concerned about the growing military strength of Germany’s enemies. As a result of the Russo-Japanese War (1904– 1905) Russia was eliminated as a serious threat to the European status quo for the foreseeable future. It would first of all have to recover from a lost war and revolution. For Germany’s military leaders who feared Russia as a potential future enemy, this was a perfect time to consider ‘‘preventive war,’’ because Germany still had a chance to defeat Russia. In the not too distant future, Germany’s military planners predicted, Russia would become invincible. The Schlieffen Plan was developed against this background and designed primarily as a war against France (and Britain) in 1905 and 1906.

Schlieffen saw Germany’s best chance of victory in a swift offensive against France, while in the east the German army was initially to be on the defensive. Russia would be dealt with after France had been defeated. In effect, Schlieffen aimed to turn the threatening two-front war into two one-front wars. The plan further entailed that Germany would have to attack France while avoiding the heavy fortifications along the Franco-German border. Instead of a ‘‘head-on’’ engagement, which would lead to interminable position warfare, the opponent should be enveloped and its armies attacked on the flanks and rear. Moving through Switzerland would have been impractical, whereas in the north the terrain was easier to negotiate and the necessary railway lines existed that would ensure a swift German deployment. In addition, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium were not expected to put up much resistance. With these considerations in mind, Schlieffen decided to concentrate all effort on the right wing of the German advancing armies. The plan involved violating the neutrality of Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium, but Schlieffen and his colleagues in the General Staff considered the political ramifications of this act of aggression insignificant.

In his planning, Schlieffen counted on two things—that German victory in the west would be quick, and that Russian mobilization would be slow—so that a small German force would suffice to hold back Russia until France was beaten. After a swift victory in the west, the full force of the German army would be directed eastward, and Russia beaten in turn.

This scheme was the result of years of planning and strategic exercises designed to find the best solution to the problem of a two-front war. Schlieffen put this version on paper in December 1905 in a memorandum written on the eve of his retirement (this document is usually referred to as the ‘‘Schlieffen Plan’’). In subsequent years, the plan was adapted to changing international circumstances by his successor, the younger Helmuth von Moltke. Nevertheless, the underlying principles— trying to fight two wars on one front, wanting to fight against France before attempting to defeat Russia, and attempting to envelop the opponent—remained the same until August 1914, when Germany’s deployment plan (now significantly revised) was put into action.

In 1914 the plan (more aptly called the ‘‘Moltke Plan’’ at this point) imposed severe restrictions on the possibility of finding a diplomatic solution to the ‘‘July crisis,’’ particularly because of its narrow time frame for the initial deployment of troops into Luxembourg, Belgium, and France (the neutrality of the Netherlands was spared by this time). The escalation of the crisis to full-scale war was in no small measure due to Germany’s offensive war plans.

THE MYTH OF THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN

After the war was lost, Germany’s military leaders initially attempted to keep details of the plan a secret, not least because they might have underlined the war guilt allegations made by the victors against Germany. Official document collections omitted Schlieffen’s memorandum of 1905, although in private correspondence and in their memoirs, contemporaries frequently referred to Schlieffen’s ‘‘recipe for victory,’’ which had, in their opinion, been squandered by his successor. Details of the memorandum did not become public until after World War II, when the German historian Gerhard Ritter published this and other documents. His study of the Schlieffen Plan, and his subsequent publications, blamed German militarism for the outbreak of war.

More recently, however, it has been argued by the American historian Terence Zuber that there never was a Schlieffen Plan. His contention is that the famous 1905 memorandum did not amount to a military plan. Other historians have suggested that it would be more appropriate to use the term Moltke Plan when referring to the outbreak of war in 1914, because by then Schlieffen’s own plan had been superseded by that of his successor. Zuber’s thesis has provoked much debate (see, for example, the journal War in History where much of this debate has taken place), but he has largely failed to convince his critics that there was no Schlieffen Plan. His apologetic interpretation that Germany did not have an offensive war plan in 1914 has similarly found few supporters.

The debate has, however, reemphasized what others had already stressed: that there never existed a guaranteed recipe for victory that Schlieffen’s hapless successor adulterated, and that it would be prudent to think carefully about the terminology used to describe Germany’s prewar military plans. The term Schlieffen Plan as a convenient way of summarizing German military intentions is perhaps not accurate enough by 1914, when Germany put its offensive war plan into action, Schlieffen had long ceased to have any influence on Germany’s military planning. The responsibility for the plans that were put into practice in August 1914 lay with his successor, Helmuth von Moltke, who had adapted Schlieffen’s ideas to changing international and domestic conditions.


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