Tactics and Strategies<br />Planning the War<br />
France: Plan XVII<br />Adopted by the French General Staff in 1913<br />Implemented as an offensive into Alsace-Lorraine<br />German defense was far stronger than predicted<br />In retrospect, the German Schlieffen Plan had intended to lure France in, so a success of Plan XVII would have led to French defeat at the First Battle of Marne.<br />
Germany: Schlieffen Plan<br />A strategic plan for victory in a two front war against France and Russia.<br />Germany wanted to avoid a two-front war by concentrating their troops in the west, defeat the French, and then rush the troops to the east to fight Russia.<br />Successful French counterattack on the Battle of the Marne and faster-than-anticipated offensive of the Russian troops led to the trench stalemate situation.<br />
Question for Thought(France & Germany):<br /> How does the German Schlieffen Plan fit in with the French Plan XVII? How did the stronger-than-anticipated German defense in Alsace-Lorraine actually help the French?<br />Schlieffen Plan was meticulously planned out in day by day planning. How did this contribute to the eventual stalemate that developed in the western front?<br />Schlieffen Plan tactically involved invasion of a neutral state. How did this impact the course of the war?<br />
Austria-Hungary: Plans B and R<br />Plan B<br />Intended for warfare with the Balkan states. It had detailed requirements for six Austro-Hungarian to divide up into attack Serbia and defense against Russian troops.<br />Plan R<br />It was a revised version of Plan B that had greater emphasis on defense against Russia in case of warfare with Serbia (and Russia coming to Serbian aid).<br />
Question for Thought(Austria-Hungary):<br /> Austria Hungary, like most other nations, had the plans mapped out decades before the war. What, then, can be inferred from this plan about the Austria-Hungarian response to the Sarajevo Crisis?<br />
Russia: Plans G, A, and 19<br />Plan A (Plan 19)<br />It was based on French partnership for a more offensive war.<br />It correctly assumed that Germany will open the war with an attack against France.<br />Russia was to advance into East Prussia and Silesia towards central Germany while mounting defense against any major forces entering Russian territory.<br />Plan G<br />A plan devised to defend against full scale German invasion. It was based on the previous methodology against Napoleon, where Russia prepared to take heavy defeats initially to use the vastness of Russian territory as a defense mechanism.<br />It required drastic sacrifice of Russian manpower.<br />
Question for Thought (Russia):<br /> How did the Russian Plan 19 (a.k.a. Plan A) effect the effectiveness of the German Schliffen Plan?<br />
American Neutrality<br />President Woodrow Wilson declared US neutrality shortly after the war started<br />US still exported vast amounts of war materials and resources, especially to the Allies.<br />German aggravations including the Zimmermann Telegram and the unlimited submarine warfare led to US involvement.<br />While Woodrow Wilson was reelected with the slogan “he kept us out of war” in 1916, he entered the war in 1917<br />
Question for Thought (USA):<br /> Was US involvement to the WWI really about the German submarine warfare tactics? Or was that simply an excuse for US involvement?<br /> US was filled with many European immigrants seeking refuse from draft. How did this cause problems in the American ‘home-front’?<br />
Question for Thought (General):<br /> Many of the military plans were drafted years before the actual war. How did the utilization of 19th century plans with 20th century weapons and technology impact the war in terms of casualties and death tolls?<br />
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