Schlieffen Plan

Belgian annexation policyGerman invasionplanned to quickly defeat France by sweeping through Belgiumas it did in 1914Aufmarsch II Westdeployment plansGerman invasion of FranceGerman plans to capture Paris quicklyGermany planned to attack FranceGermany's "Schlieffen Plan
The Schlieffen Plan (Schlieffen-Plan, ) was the name given, after the First World War, to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914.wikipedia
304 Related Articles

World War I

First World WarGreat WarFirst
The Schlieffen Plan (Schlieffen-Plan, ) was the name given, after the First World War, to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914.
German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan.

Alfred von Schlieffen

SchlieffenAlfred Count von SchlieffenAlfred Graf von Schlieffen
The Schlieffen Plan (Schlieffen-Plan, ) was the name given, after the First World War, to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914.
His name lived on in the 1905–06 'Schlieffen Plan', then Aufmarsch I, a deployment plan and operational guide for a decisive initial offensive operation/campaign in a one-front war against the French Third Republic.

First Battle of the Marne

Battle of the MarneMarneMarne 1914
Generaloberst (Colonel-General) Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, succeeded Schlieffen as Chief of the German General Staff in 1906 and was dismissed after the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September 1914).
The German retreat left the Schlieffen Plan in ruins and Germany had no hope of a quick victory in France.

Hermann von Kuhl

Post-war writing by senior German officers like Hermann von Kuhl, Gerhard Tappen, Wilhelm Groener and the Reichsarchiv historians led by the former Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-Colonel) Wolfgang Förster, managed to establish a commonly accepted narrative that it was Moltke the Younger's failure to follow the blueprint, rather than German strategic miscalculation, that condemned the belligerents to four years of attrition warfare instead of the quick, decisive conflict it should have been. From 1920, semi-official histories had been written by Hermann von Kuhl, the 1st Army Chief of Staff in 1914, Der Deutsche Generalstab in Vorbereitung und Durchführung des Weltkrieges (The German General Staff in the Preparation and Conduct of the World War, 1920) and Der Marnefeldzug (The Marne Campaign) in 1921, by Lieutenant-Colonel Wolfgang Förster who had written Graf Schlieffen und der Weltkrieg (Count Schlieffen and the World War, 1925), Wilhelm Groener, head of Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL, the wartime German General Staff) railway section in 1914, published Das Testament des Grafen Schlieffen: Operativ Studien über den Weltkrieg (The Testament of Count Schlieffen: Operational Studies of the World War) in 1929 and Gerhard Tappen, head of the OHL operations section in 1914, published Bis zur Marne 1914: Beiträge zur Beurteilung der Kriegführen bis zum Abschluss der Marne-Schlacht (Until the Marne 1914: Contributions to the Assessment of the Conduct of the War up to the Conclusion of the Battle of the Marne) in 1920.
The intelligence from this department was essential for the development of Feldmarschall Alfred Graf von Schlieffen's Plan.

Wilhelm Groener

GroenerWilhelm GrönerGeneral Groener
Post-war writing by senior German officers like Hermann von Kuhl, Gerhard Tappen, Wilhelm Groener and the Reichsarchiv historians led by the former Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-Colonel) Wolfgang Förster, managed to establish a commonly accepted narrative that it was Moltke the Younger's failure to follow the blueprint, rather than German strategic miscalculation, that condemned the belligerents to four years of attrition warfare instead of the quick, decisive conflict it should have been. From 1920, semi-official histories had been written by Hermann von Kuhl, the 1st Army Chief of Staff in 1914, Der Deutsche Generalstab in Vorbereitung und Durchführung des Weltkrieges (The German General Staff in the Preparation and Conduct of the World War, 1920) and Der Marnefeldzug (The Marne Campaign) in 1921, by Lieutenant-Colonel Wolfgang Förster who had written Graf Schlieffen und der Weltkrieg (Count Schlieffen and the World War, 1925), Wilhelm Groener, head of Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL, the wartime German General Staff) railway section in 1914, published Das Testament des Grafen Schlieffen: Operativ Studien über den Weltkrieg (The Testament of Count Schlieffen: Operational Studies of the World War) in 1929 and Gerhard Tappen, head of the OHL operations section in 1914, published Bis zur Marne 1914: Beiträge zur Beurteilung der Kriegführen bis zum Abschluss der Marne-Schlacht (Until the Marne 1914: Contributions to the Assessment of the Conduct of the War up to the Conclusion of the Battle of the Marne) in 1920.
His plans for the extension of the railway network and for deployment routes were based the deployment plans of Alfred von Schlieffen, the Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906.

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger

Helmuth von MoltkeMoltkeGeneral von Moltke
Generaloberst (Colonel-General) Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, succeeded Schlieffen as Chief of the German General Staff in 1906 and was dismissed after the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September 1914).
Some critics contend that Moltke's weakening of the Schlieffen Plan led to German defeat.

German General Staff

General StaffChief of the General StaffChief of the German General Staff
Schlieffen was Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906.
To meet this threat, Chief of Staff Alfred von Schlieffen drew up and continually refined the Schlieffen Plan to meet this eventuality.

Terence Zuber

Zuber, Terence
From a 1999 article in War in History and in Inventing the Schlieffen Plan (2002) to The Real German War Plan, 1906–1914 (2011), Terence Zuber engaged in a debate with Terence Holmes, Annika Mombauer, Robert Foley, Gerhard Gross, Holger Herwig and others, with his proposition that the Schlieffen Plan was a myth concocted in the 1920s by partial writers, intent on exculpating themselves and proving that German war planning did not cause the First World War, a view which was supported by Hew Strachan.
He has advanced the controversial thesis that the Schlieffen Plan as generally understood was a post-World War I fabrication.

Gerhard Ritter

Ritter, GerhardGerhard Albert Ritter
In 1956, Gerhard Ritter published Der Schlieffenplan: Kritik eines Mythos (The Schlieffen Plan: Critique of a Myth), which began a period of revision when the details of the supposed Schlieffen Plan were subjected to scrutiny and contextualisation.
The following year, Ritter published the "Great Memorandum" together with his observations about the Schlieffen Plan as Der Schlieffen-Plan: Kritik Eines Mythos (The Schlieffen Plan: Critique of a Myth).

Battle of Mons

Monsretreat from MonsBattle of
The British position on the French flank meant that it stood in the path of the German 1st Army, the outermost wing of the massive "right hook" intended by the Schlieffen Plan (a combination of the Aufmarsch I West and Aufmarsch II West deployment plans), to pursue the Allied armies after defeating them on the frontier and force them to abandon northern France and Belgium or risk destruction.

Battle of Lorraine

Lorraineadvancing German forcesattacked into Alsace-Lorraine
The armies of France and Germany had completed their mobilisation, the French with Plan XVII, to conduct an offensive through Lorraine and Alsace into Germany and the Germans with Aufmarsch II West, for an offensive in the north through Luxembourg and Belgium into France, supplemented with attacks in the south to prevent the French from transferring troops to the greater threat in the north.

Battle of Charleroi

CharleroiattackedHeavy fighting
The Fifth Army retreat after the Battle of Charleroi, arguably saved the French army from decisive defeat, as it prevented the much sought envelopment of the Schlieffen plan.

Oberste Heeresleitung

German High CommandSupreme Army CommandOHL
From 1920, semi-official histories had been written by Hermann von Kuhl, the 1st Army Chief of Staff in 1914, Der Deutsche Generalstab in Vorbereitung und Durchführung des Weltkrieges (The German General Staff in the Preparation and Conduct of the World War, 1920) and Der Marnefeldzug (The Marne Campaign) in 1921, by Lieutenant-Colonel Wolfgang Förster who had written Graf Schlieffen und der Weltkrieg (Count Schlieffen and the World War, 1925), Wilhelm Groener, head of Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL, the wartime German General Staff) railway section in 1914, published Das Testament des Grafen Schlieffen: Operativ Studien über den Weltkrieg (The Testament of Count Schlieffen: Operational Studies of the World War) in 1929 and Gerhard Tappen, head of the OHL operations section in 1914, published Bis zur Marne 1914: Beiträge zur Beurteilung der Kriegführen bis zum Abschluss der Marne-Schlacht (Until the Marne 1914: Contributions to the Assessment of the Conduct of the War up to the Conclusion of the Battle of the Marne) in 1920.
Co-ordination was poor at the beginning of the war between OHL and SKL, the navy did not even know about the Schlieffen Plan, an initial attack on France through Belgium.

1st Army (German Empire)

1st Army1 Armee1st
Some German territorial gains were reversed by the Franco-British counter-offensive against the 1st Army (Generaloberst Alexander von Kluck) and 2nd Army (Generaloberst Karl von Bülow), on the German right (western) flank, during the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September).
The 1st Army during World War I, fought on the Western Front and took part in the Schlieffen Plan offensive against France and Belgium in August 1914.

2nd Army (German Empire)

2nd ArmySecond Army2 Armee
Some German territorial gains were reversed by the Franco-British counter-offensive against the 1st Army (Generaloberst Alexander von Kluck) and 2nd Army (Generaloberst Karl von Bülow), on the German right (western) flank, during the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September).
The 2nd Army during World War I, fought on the Western Front and took part in the Schlieffen Plan offensive against France and Belgium in August 1914.

Hans Delbrück

Delbrück, HansDelbrückH. Delbrück
The Strategiestreit (strategy debate) was a public and sometimes acrimonious argument after Hans Delbrück (11 November 1848 – 14 July 1929), editor of the Preußische Jahrbücher (Prussian Annals), author of Die Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politischen Geschichte (The History of the Art of War within the Framework of Political History; four volumes 1900–1920) and professor of modern history at the Humboldt University of Berlin from 1895, challenged the orthodox army view and its critics.
Schlieffen Plan

Alexander von Kluck

von KluckGeneral von KluckGeneraloberst von Kluck
Some German territorial gains were reversed by the Franco-British counter-offensive against the 1st Army (Generaloberst Alexander von Kluck) and 2nd Army (Generaloberst Karl von Bülow), on the German right (western) flank, during the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September).
According to the Moltke revisions of the Schlieffen Plan, the First Army was part of the strong right wing and positioned on the outer western edge of the German advance through Belgium and France.

Karl von Bülow

von BülowBulowKarl Wilhelm Paul von Bülow
Some German territorial gains were reversed by the Franco-British counter-offensive against the 1st Army (Generaloberst Alexander von Kluck) and 2nd Army (Generaloberst Karl von Bülow), on the German right (western) flank, during the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September).
This decision, however, resulted in Kluck's advancing south and east of Paris, instead of south and west as specified in the Schlieffen Plan.

6th Army (German Empire)

6th Army6 ArmeeGerman 6th Army
In 1909, a new 7th Army with eight divisions was prepared to defend upper Alsace and to co-operate with the 6th Army in Lorraine.
Schlieffen Plan

7th Army (German Empire)

7th Army7 Armee7th
In 1909, a new 7th Army with eight divisions was prepared to defend upper Alsace and to co-operate with the 6th Army in Lorraine.
Schlieffen Plan

Field marshal

field-marshalMarshalFeldmarschall
The Schlieffen Plan (Schlieffen-Plan, ) was the name given, after the First World War, to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914.

German Army (German Empire)

German ArmyArmyImperial German Army
Schlieffen was Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906.

Military deployment

deploymentdeployeddeployments
In 1905 and 1906, Schlieffen devised an army deployment plan for a war-winning offensive against the French Third Republic.

French Third Republic

FranceThird RepublicFrench
In 1905 and 1906, Schlieffen devised an army deployment plan for a war-winning offensive against the French Third Republic.

Gerhard Tappen

Tappen
Post-war writing by senior German officers like Hermann von Kuhl, Gerhard Tappen, Wilhelm Groener and the Reichsarchiv historians led by the former Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-Colonel) Wolfgang Förster, managed to establish a commonly accepted narrative that it was Moltke the Younger's failure to follow the blueprint, rather than German strategic miscalculation, that condemned the belligerents to four years of attrition warfare instead of the quick, decisive conflict it should have been.