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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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