WWI and its Aftermath

WWI and its Aftermath - I . WWI, Schliefen plan, etc. a....

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I. WWI, Schliefen plan, etc. a. Schliefen Plan: How to fight a two-front war: i. Example of Carthage (city state on north African coast): a. Carthage’s problem: how to defeat Rome while heavily outnumbered: a. Hannibal (one of the greatest generals of all time): used mobility to catch Rome by surprise time and time again b. Rome expects Carthaginian attack from the south, thus Hannibal decides to go all the way around the Mediterranean and attack from the North. i. Catches Rome by surprise, but they eventually lose their War Elephants (shock weapon to break Roman formations) and become outnumbered once again c. Battle of Cannae: i. Carthaginian formation: Bulge at the front. Roman formation: Linear. 1. Romans attacked bulge directly, at which point the troops in the bulge retreat until the bulge turns concave. Carthaginian cavalry on the sides loop around and surround the Romans, negating the numerical advantage. ii. Clausewitz (Prussian general) example: a. Engage opponent in decisive battle, destroy opponents forces in the field, instead of trying to occupy territory iii. Schliefen’s take on the 2 examples: use speed and mobility to destroy opponents on the field. a. The desired outcome was to encircle opponents on the battlefield.
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b. Schliefen’s assumptions: a. Germany has technological superiority b. France will attack Alsace and Lorraine (the places that Germany seized after German Unification Wars) i. French battle plan involved “spirited attack to seize Alsace and Lorraine” c. Russia will be slow to mobilize (2 or more weeks to send troops) i. Window to take out France before fighting against Russia d. France won’t defend the Belgian border, thus Germany can catch them by surprise sweeping through Belgium iv. The actual battle plan:
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WWI and its Aftermath - I . WWI, Schliefen plan, etc. a....

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