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Why And How Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943?
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As you can see from this map war was raging in Europe in 1940 and Britain ?was in big trouble. Germany appeared unstoppable as the defeat of Poland had ?taken just under a month in September 1939 by using their new Blitzkrieg ?tactics in which tanks would converge in one big group and punch a massive ?hole through enemy lines. For the next months a phoney war occurred in which ?Britain prepared for a German invasion. Although Britain was officially at ?war with Germany, Britain had decided not to assist the Polish with their ?war effort but if war broke...
of military ?hardware the Americans produced. German invasion of Russia took the pressure ?off us and military planning and scientific skill meant that the German ?threat in the Atlantic was put to rest. The grit and determination of the ?British people meant that we survived the Blitz. Although as a result of the ?Second World War this country was in massive debt and had work to do to ?build itself up again, the factors from 1940-43 caused Britain"s eventual ?victory over it"s enemies and enabled future generations to live their lives ?freely and peacefully. Just think what could have happened????
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The Schlieffen plan was a plan...The Schlieffen plan was a plan created by Alfred Von Schlieffen, aimed to capture Paris and defeat France within the first few days of a war solving the problem of the two fronted war. The plan involved sweeping through neutral Belgium and Holland with little resistance, then sweeping South West through France to Paris. There, the German army would encircle Paris from behind, split up its divisions and surround the capital of France; then the Germans would capture the city or France would surrender. This plan was aimed to last for 5 weeks, by that time the Russian army would have finished mobilizing its masses and Germany would send divisions over to the Eastern front and easily crush the poorly equipped Russian army. In 1906, Alfred Von Schlieffen retired leaving Helmuth Von Moltke as head of staff and Von Moltke, completely disagreed with the plan calling it too risky. In 1911, many modifications were added to the Schlieffen plan: Von Moltke decided to pull significant number of troops out of the main force in Northern France and place them in the lightly defended area of Alsace and Lorraine and forces on the Russian border and Von Moltke decided to go through Belgium and not Holland as he thought that it would have created a longer front for the Germans stalemate of WW1. Overall these changes led to a war on two fronts like they had tried to stop as they did not Paris before Russia mobilized. These modifications weakened the German forces and in turn this made the offensive longer by using fewer men. Hence, this created a two front war against both Russia and France. Because the Germans had not entering through the Netherlands, problems arose since the Germans did not have the Dutch railways at their disposal and this created a huge supply and communication problem. A very decisive factor in the failure of the Schlieffen plan was the resistance of Belgian forces. The Germans believed that the Belgians would allow the Germans to use the country as a thoroughfare, but the Belgians resisted this and fought the Germans. Although the Belgian army was only a tenth the size of the German army, they still managed to delay the German forces for nearly a month. The Belgians were brave and continued to fight back until they were finally crushed by German artillery. This meant that the Germans were behind schedule and could not reach Paris before the Russian army mobilized. Another important factor was the intervention of the British Expeditionary Force, comprising of roughly 100 000 men and many more during the war when conscription was introduced. The Germans believed that the British would not enter the war since the alliance called the Treaty of London between Belgium and Britain was completed 75 years earlier and was considered to the Germans as a scrap of paper. Also since England was a part of the triple entente, Britain was allied with France who was at war with Germany. This meant that England was drawn into the war to defend its pride. Britain provided invaluable help by delaying the Germans at the Battle of the Mons and at Liege. In fact they were so well trained in rifle shooting that at the Mons the Germans thought the BEF were using machine guns. The British also provided priceless support at the Battle of the Marne. Plan 17 was known to the Germans, and with the French advancing into Alsace-Lorraine the Germans planned to be able to bypass the French forces and capture Paris, leaving enough forces on the defensive in Alsace-Lorraine to hold the ground while keeping the French busy until the Germans had advanced to Paris. However, in 1914 the French offensive was a major victory for the Germans. Within the first few weeks of war France made gains into Germany but after charging heedlessly into full on artillery and machine gun barrage, the French were destroyed, losing 250,000 men in the first six weeks of the war Moltke counter attacked and as a result the French armies were driven back, closer to Paris but were in a better position to react to the German advance in the north. These armies, which under the Schlieffen plan were meant to be bogged down in Alsace-Lorraine and unable to react quickly enough to stop the Germans from getting Paris were much closer and able to participate in the Marne. The general in charge of Paris was Galienni; he was in charge of defending Paris. Galienni summoned the Parisians and rallied them to defend their city. Because of this, many Parisians were sent by taxi to the front the battle of the Marne. These extra troops really were needed and were necessary for the defense of Paris. After the Germans had pushed their way through Belgium, they suddenly changed course of direction. Instead of circling Paris, Von Moltke decided to head straight for Paris, due to the tiredness of his troops, the fact that the Schlieffen Plan was behind schedule since the Belgians had resisted and because the BEF had come to France's aid. This change firstly left the German flanks wide undefended and made the Germans on course to a battle with the French and English forces. As the British and French troops were in a better defensive position they were sure to win. Also at the battle of the Marne, the Parisians joined together united and went to the battle field, to defend their town. The general in charge of Paris was Galienni; he was the soul commander in defending Paris. Galienni summoned his fellow Parisians and rallied them to defend their city. Because of this, many Parisians were sent by taxi to the front the battle of the Marne. These extra troops really were needed and were necessary for the defense of Paris. The lack of technology in 1914 helped caused the failure of the Schlieffen plan. Well, the technology of attack lagged greatly behind the technology of defense infantry and cavalry vs. carefully planned trenches, machine guns and howitzers. They couldn"t reach Paris in enough time to totally outflank the French, and when they did, they had a nightmare trying to break through. The Schlieffen plan was not a bad plan, in fact. The Nazis used pretty much the same strategy ignore eastern front, attack through Belgium and ignore massive French fortifications. The difference was the Nazis had motorized transport, and the Blitzkrieg tanks and bombers. The Schlieffen Plan failed because Moltke lacked faith in the idea of the Schlieffen plan and changed it, Schlieffen's underestimation of the difficulties faced by army"“they had to advance 640km through Belgium, the rapid deployment of the BEF surprised Germany. Germany faced many problems of supply and communication as they moved closer to Paris, Germany underestimated Belgium resistance, Germany underestimated speed of Russian mobilization, and Germany under estimated reaction of Great Britain to violation of Neutrality Treaty. Overall all these factors added up to the failure of one of the most ambitious war plans ever created. I believe that the intervention of the British Expeditionary Force was a great factor as they slowed the Germans greatly; however, I believe the key factor was Von Moltke loosing his nerve and retreating.   

The Schlieffen plan was a plan created by Alfred Von Schlieffen, aimed to capture Paris and defeat France within the first few days of a war solving the problem of the two fronted war. The plan involved sweeping through neutral Belgium and Holland with little resistance, then sweeping South West...

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Following the collapse and subsequent... Following the collapse and subsequent breakdown of the communist systems/regimes of central Eastern Europe, the previous satellites of the Soviet Union were now free to reform, leading to the inevitable transition era. After more than forty years of mostly oppression under the communist regime, the people wanted the freedom of a democratic society and economic development with the result of material prosperity, which was expected from the transition to a capitalist market economy. Most of the ex-satellite countries wanted to renew their European heritage and form successful relations with the western world; their goal was ultimately admission to NATO and assimilation into the EU. Economic reform was the primary agenda throughout central and Eastern Europe, as a way of achieving economic status - through reforming the communist economies - that would also solidify the 'anti-Communist revolution' of Eastern Europe. The CMEA, or the establishment more commonly known as COMECON, was abolished by the ex-soviet states by 1991, providing them with freedom to trade with the more affluent western world. The new governments didn't have complete freedom to reform economies, as much required financial aid was only released under certain conditions from institutions like the International Monetary Fund IMF, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EBRD. On the arrival of the nineties significant changes were already underway in Poland, by 1989 Central Planning had been replaced by "Government Contracts". The exchange market had been legalised, so by 1990, Polish producers were already confronted with external competition. It was so changed that it gave cause for the OEZD to state that, 'Poland by 1989 was very far from the typical idea of a centrally planned economy' . The iron fist of communism cracked first in Poland by 1980, where in 1989 the first non- "“ communist President was elected. Although immense change had now occurred, inflation was around 66%, This was the plateau on which the Polish Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz unleashed his shock therapy reforms. This was a macroeconomic programme, which was to stabilise the polish economy, by initially reducing the acute inflation rate, and consequently 'freeing' prices, especially on imports and the strict wage controls of the communist regime. The shock therapy method, favoured by Mazowiecki's government was expected to reduce inflation almost instantaneously, and thus procure economic recovery, even growth within a matter of months, at the expense of a small fall in economic output. Balcerowicz himself expected imminent success in a few short months. This was an optimistic overview, which didn't quite come true, and subsequently resulted in an eighteen month recession, this is shown quite clearly in the reduction of living standards, with the percentage of the population living under the poverty line falling by 10% between 1989-94US$120 per month. This sentiment is reinforced by food consumption per capita resuming 1989 levels by 1993 It was 1992 before Polish transition began to see positive results in the economy, inflation had fallen to 44.3%, and down to a further 29.4% by 1994. The instantaneous method of forming a market economy had progressed into fruition, as between 1994 and 1997 Polish GDP had risen to an average of 6% making Poland the first transition economy to overtake its 1989 levels of real income, showing that recovery was complete, and economic expansion possible. Polish transition into the international market was immense, exports and imports soared, and this resulted in the reduction of trade deficits. This was effectively due to new foreign ventures, such as border trade with neighbouring Germany, amounting to about $6-7billion by 1997. As Poland where drawn into talks with the European Union over entry into the EU, and membership to the OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a certain stamp of approval was awarded showing Poland as an advanced market economy, more affluent markets were opened up. Foreign Direct Investment was extremely important in Poland's economic advancement, and with the stable backing of the EU, FDI poured into the domestic economy, a prime example of this can be seen in the flourishing automobile sector, where $3billion was integrated into the economy by 1996 through projects put forward by General Motors, Fiat and Daewoo. A further $1billion was invested in components plants, and Mercedez Benz and Isuzu held plans to expand into Poland. Due to growing trade with the world economy, foreign investment by 1997 had accumulated about $19billion in total. The method of Transition adopted by the Czech republic, was Gradualism a softer approach to change in comparison to Shock therapy, where change is implemented through existing institutions. The economy was prosperous in the fact that there was relatively low foreign debt in comparison to Eastern European standards, although no efforts of reform had been made throughout the '70's and '80's, leaving the current economy in stagnation. In the aftermath of communist collapse, the Czech community was still part of Czechoslovakia, and It wasn't until 1991 when the major economic reform program of gradualism came into being. A factor of this was price liberalisation, causing higher interest rates and the devaluation of the 'crown', Czechoslovakia's currency, which eventually led to around a 50% increase in retail prices. In 1992 a programme of 'Large Privatisation' took place, which included the use of vouchers, which were sold to the public for about 1000 crowns, the equivalent of one weeks wages, which were then ex-changeable for shares in industry that was previously state owned. The break up of the two communities in 1993 removed a major source of conflict, which was predominant in the coalition government. The Czech Republics economy remained relatively successful, with the percentage of unemployment continuing at 3% 1993. Economic growth resumed in 1994, and the Czech republic maintained strong fiscal policies, though this didn't prevent trade and current account deficits growing in 1996. Inflation rose initially to 58% in 1991 as restrictions on prices were abolished, though as prices settled, inflation declined and stood at 8.8% by 1996, putting Czechoslovakia in the low inflation transitional economies grouping. Foreign trade in the early years of transition fell by 33.5% between 1989 "“ 1991, thus continuing at a gradual but slow pace, due to the recession. As a result trade with the European community has expanded from 27% in 1989as Czechoslovakia to 55% Czech Republic. Privatisation in Czech Republic was relatively successful, by 1994 the Czech reforms had privatised 80% of previously state owned enterprise. The 'voucher system' was majoritively responsible for 4,300/6,000 large businesses being privatised, and the auctioning of small businesses throughout the Czech economy. Problems in the Czech privatisation process, occurred through the voucher system, as it was calculated that around 72% of vouchers were entrusted to IPF's Investment Privatisation Funds, as individual investment had relatively little effect on company control. The voucher system also provided a corruptible situation, with a great number of vouchers falling into criminal hands, also the general public had little or know knowledge of how big business faired, or how to invest their vouchers. The microeconomic impact of transition, as recorded by official data shows that there was a fall in household incomes through transition. The data shows a decline in consumer spending and an increase in personal savings. This was due to the unstable nature of the economy at this time, and the lack of faith in the new economic policies being embarked upon. Savings were recorded to have increased by contemporary bank standards, yet there was a predominant difference, and widening gap between the richer and lower classes. Although due to the economic upheaval all groups faced a reduction in household expenditure. The Hungarians also followed the gradualist approach to macroeconomic transitional reform. At the beginning of the transition era, no major political upheaval had occurred, with the more durable party system still in place, no new national elections had taken place. The only change of prime minister came on the death of Jozsef Antall whilst still in office. Hungary in the early 1990's was attracting around half of all western investment in Eastern Europe, and were the first eastern European country to open a stock exchange, happening in 1990. Hungary was better integrated into international markets and on the collapse of COMECON in 1991, where aided in redirecting trade. Although this economic advantage over the other ex "“ satellites soon disappeared. There was a fall in GDP of nearly 20% 1989/93 showing that the slower method of transition was equally as disruptive as the instantaneous method. The economy took a positive turn in 1994, as it did throughout Eastern Europe, and trade with the European community grew to 60% of her external trade. Transitional economies of Poland, Hungary and the Czech republic, experienced quite severe recessions throughout the first few years of economic upheaval. Yet through whatever methods, be it shock therapy or gradualism, and the hardships which have been faced during the first half of the nineties, all three have successfully transformed their highly centralised, and majoratively state owned economies into fully functioning market economies. An undeniable proof of this is their acceptance into the European Union, as democratic market economies that have achieved relative success.   

Following the collapse and subsequent breakdown of the communist systems/regimes of central Eastern Europe, the previous satellites of the Soviet Union were now free to reform, leading to the inevitable transition era. After more than forty years of mostly oppression under the communist regime, the people wanted the freedom...

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