The Development of a Stalemate on the Western Front
A stalemate is when two forces meet and neither side can advance any
further, all they can do is dig in and hold their ground. In the
context of world war 1 it was when the French and German sides dug in
extremely well designed trenches stretching over 400 miles from
English channel all the across to the Swiss border, creating a very
much defence based war.
There are four main reasons why a stalemate occurred on the western
front. The first being the failure of the 'Schlieffen plan', when the
Schlieffen plan failed as a result of a few wrong turns from the
German troops, Germany were faced with a war on two opposite fronts,
this weakened their forces and put a ...view middle of the document...
battle also produced many casualties and the final part of the failure
of the Schlieffen plan.
The third reason for the development of the deadlock on the western
front is hat's historically known as 'the race to the sea', this was
when both sides dug in trenches but whilst doing so tried going around
each others defences (they both tried to outflank each other) the
problem with this was that both armies anticipated each others
movements and quickly moved across where they would dig in even more
trenches, this resulted in a huge line of trenches stretching from the
sea all the way across to the Swiss border.
The final factor for the stalemate occurring on the western front was
the nature of the fighting. Ww1 was an extremely defensive war; troops
from both armies were attacking heavily defended trenches, which
resulted in very high casualties. Technology in the war was also very
defensive, with machine guns, barbed wire and artillery it was
difficult for an infantry to advance and capture trenches and then
hold it afterward without sustaining very high casualties, planes and
tanks were around but still very much in their infancy and were
considered unreliable. Overall there is no single definite reason for
the event of the stalemate on the western front during ww1, in fact
there were many different factors that all played a role in causing
the dead lock between forces. No one single reason can be deemed more
important than the other since they all relied and depended on each
other to affect ww1's infamous western front standstill in 1916.