The Schlieffen Plan, lights and shadows of German military strategy

The Schlieffen Plan, lights and shadows of German military strategy

The Schieffen plan It was a major strategic plan that he devised before the First World War the Chief of the General Staff of the German II Reich, Alfred Graf von Schlieffen, in the event of a multi-front war. The objective of this tactic was to stop the Russians, taking advantage of their slow movement, and launch the bulk of the troops on France, through Belgium, to avoid the fortifications of Lorraine and enter France through Champagne. Once that front is settled, focus on the Russians on the eastern front.

Schlieffen He planned that the German army could mobilize half a million men to fight on the Russian front, so that the remaining one and a half million would attack the French. As long as a part of the army contained the Russians in the Vistula River, the western front could pass through Belgium to launch a full-power attack on northern France.

But at this point he encountered a problem, since that Belgian invasion required more troops so as not to weaken the rest of the troops that had to stop the French. So Schlieffen decided to use the reservists to be able to perform the maneuver. Although they were considered mediocre soldiers whose only skills were occupation and rear, the German strategist added them to the front. In this way, the right wing of the army that had to cross Belgium was very powerful, while the rest of the front was sufficiently competent.

This plan was used in World War I by the nephew of Moltke and Schlieffen's successor at the head of the General Staff, Helmuth Johan von Moltke. But he made several changes. Instead of deploying the majority of forces on the Western Front, assigned enough troops to the Russian defense. This slowed the power of the German attack on the French and prevented it from working well. However, the attack against the Russians was very simple, showing that what Schlieffen planned would have been more convenient than what Von Moltke deployed.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

Video: The Origins of the Schlieffen Plan. Ross Beadle