How was the Schlieffen Plan a success?
The Schlieffen Plan was christened General Field Marshal Alfred Graf von Schlieffen after its "inventor" or "thought leader". It was created many years before the First World War, in 1905.
Schlieffen did not want a two-front war
Field Marshal General von Schlieffen wanted to prevent the German Reich against France and Russia was at war at the same time. A war that is waged in two directions is called a war on two fronts. The plan to prevent this two-front war, however, failed completely. Alfred von Schlieffen had misjudged the situation. For what sounded easy and logical in theory in 1905, failed completely in practice in 1914. Ultimately, you just had no better idea than pulling this plan out of the drawer. Right from the start there was a risk.
Schlieffen's successor was the German Chief of Staff Johannes Ludwig von Moltke. And von Moltke believed in 1914 that the Schlieffen Plan was a good concept for a quick victory for the German Reich against France and Russia. The Entente had an advantage, as there were considerably more soldiers on their side and the population of all Entente countries was much larger.
What exactly was the aim of the Schlieffen Plan?
The right wing of the German western army should be affected by the neutral Belgium - Belgium is north of France - march to northern France. Then the French troops around Verdun and Metz were supposed to be encircled and beaten as if with pincers. After the victory in the west, plans were made to send all troops to the eastern front against Russia. It was of course assumed that the advance of troops in the west would be successful and that these troops would be free to fight in the east.
When Schlieffen developed his plan in 1905, however, the initial situation was very different from that of 1914. It was hoped that England, in particular, entered the war because of the violation of Belgian neutrality, would hold still. A hope that, as the course of the war showed, was not fulfilled.
The German Reich could neither successfully defeat France nor did Great Britain remain neutral. August 1914 the war. The plan was doomed to failure because the German troops could not move forward quickly enough after arriving in Belgium. It was taking too long to move the troops. Therefore, there was no quick surprise attack and the Allies were given sufficient time to reinforce their own troops. In the end it came to exactly the two-front war that General Schlieffen wanted to prevent with his plan.
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