State-ranking notes - World War 1

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1 HSC Modern History Year 2015 Mark Pages 42 Published Feb 12, 2017 State-ranking notes - World War 1 By Pola (99.8 ATAR)

2 Powered by TCPDF ( Your notes author, Pola. Pola achieved an ATAR of 99.8 in 2015 while attending Sydney Girls High School Currently studying Bachelor of Psychology at The University of Sydney Pola says: HSC State-Ranker and All-Rounder: Detailed, high-quality notes! In 2015, I ranked 1st in NSW for Extension History (50/50 both internally and in my HSC Examination), and 21st for Modern History. I also achieved band sixes in English Advanced, Mathematics, French Continuers and French Extension and was on the All-Rounders list. I offer highly detailed notes, and find that for subjects like Modern History it's best to make them interesting to read too - when I was writing and revising my own notes I included some commentary to help me really engage with the content. So I hope you find them not only informative, but amusing too!

3 World War I Notes War on the Western Front Reasons for the Stalemate on the Western Front Focus on the western front as: o Germany and France were old enemies o Schieffen Plan and Plan 17 targeted each other The Schlieffen Plan Expectation 'Hammer Swing' armies through Belgium to the north of France, attacking from an unexpected direction Defeat France in the 6 weeks (42 days) needed for Russia to mobilise Return to fight Russia on the Eastern front Why It Failed Russia mobilised faster than expected Britain sent the BEF to Belgium Too reliant on speed - the resistance by the Belgians and British slowed it down Failure to realise that, once off the railways, the speed of the army was determined by foot - the 42-day deadline was unrealistic Von Moltke was not prepared to fully commit to the plan Von Moltke altered the plan: o He strengthened the left wing and weakened the right o Troops were diverted from the Western to the Eastern front o Moltke didn't stop Wilhelm etc. from altering the Plan o He didn't guide the centre's route away from the right wing o Didn't reinforce the 4th and 5th armies with reserves, which may have allowed them to break through the French line o The 6th and 7th armies on the Alsatian border (as the pivot of the hammer swing) were twice the size that Schlieffen intended, while the 1st and 2nd armies were reduced in size the 6th (lead by Prince Rupprecht) and 7th armies were therefore too big to achieve a main aim of the plan: to withdraw and hold the French beyond the safety of their forts o 24 August - 14 September: von Moltke virtually surrendered control of his forces to the commanders of individual armies The Commanders had conflicting views on what the German strategy should be Von Moltke's subordinates altered the plan: o Crown Prince Wilhelm (commander of 5th German Army) began a large offensive in late August (CHECK DATE) This pushed the French armies back to a position where reinforcements could reach them more quickly Crowded the armies that were advancing through Belgium

4 o Prince Rupprecht's 6th army pushed the French back to their forts instead of drawing them forward, giving them an advantage o Von Bulow (2nd army) attacked too early at the battles of Mons and Charleroi, before the 1st or 3rd armies were ready The invasion of Belgium lead to British involvement As the Germans failed to secure the Channel ports below Nieuport, French-English communications remained open throughout the war By ordering troops onto the defensive, the German commanders introduced a strategy which the army had not trained for The Plan relied on numerical superiority - however, the reserves lacked the physical fitness and tactical skill which was needed The German withdrawal to the Aisne effectively ended the Schlieffen Plan Plan 17 Expectation Locate forces close to the Franco-German border Quickly recapture Alsace and Lorraine, lost in 1871 Launch an offensive forward into Germany Why It Failed France underestimated Germany's numerical military strength France did not expect Germany to attack through Belgium and insufficient forces were initially allocated to the left wing The offensive through Alsace-Lorraine was insufficiently organised and not strong enough to penetrate the German left wing (big surprise France your plan sucks tbh) Failure to coordinate with the British or Belgians in training meant that the Allied offensive was weak and disjointed The offensive was over-emphasised despite heavy defeats by the Germans. Commanders were forced to fight counter-attacks which repeatedly failed (until the Battle of the Marne) Officers were poorly trained, unable to control troops or coordinate artillery Joffre: "Our troops are not good at attacking in open country" Tactical and Strategic Problems Reliance on the railways: o Swift movement was only possible where track had actually been laid (HOW DID THEY NOT REALISE THIS) o E.g. French 6th army reinforcements brought to the Battle of the Marne by Paris taxi o Guerrilla-type operations sabotaged the tracks o However, troops could quickly move to pug gaps in the front line - this reinforced the stalemate Where railways were not available, troop movement depended on horse or foot. The muddy conditions October-November made this difficult Use of machine-guns and artillery made progress difficult on the battlefield - commanders underestimated their power Marching kilometres/day as well as death and injury exhausted the soldiers - troops welcomed the opportunity to dig in Commanders abandoned tactics of cover and concealment because:

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