The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Was the failure of the Schlieffen plan the main reason for Germany losing the war?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
CallumB123 has forfeited round #2.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 413 times Debate No: 98443
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




In this debate you are welcome to use any kind of source but if you do be sure to link it so i can educate myself if you happen to be right, the character limit is only 2000 to stop myself from going on because i could talk about this for weeks.

First of all for people that don't know the Schlieffen plan was a strategy made by the Germans and it was that they would be able to go into France and invade Paris and be back in Germany before Russia was able to fight so they would be ready for them. This was so they could avoid fighting a war on 2 fronts.

I do think this was the main reason because Germany wasn't expecting Russia to be fully mobilized, they were told that they would be mobilized in 6 weeks. They also had trouble getting into France because they had to go through Belgium first and Germany expected them to just let them through but they put up a fight. This also caused Britain to get involved by they had an alliance with Belgium because of the Treaty of London signed in 1839 (i think) Germany didn't expect Britain to get involved because according to Kaiser Wilhelm ll, the treaty was just a "scrap of paper"

I'm aware that there are many other factors to Germany losing and i would love to hear someone else's opinion, good luck :)


The Schlieffen Plan as originally designed in 1905 was never executed - and in fact, relied on four key points that would not come to fruition.

  1. The German offensive was to come as a surprise attack, counting on the neutral low countries' collapse or allowing military access. In fact Germany did not invade Holland and was held up by fierce resistance from the Belgian military.
  2. The force concentrations outlined in Graf Schlieffen's original plans[1] were never met, as Von Moltke amended the plan to weaken the knock-out blow in the west and reinforce the holding force in the east prior to execution.
  3. The Plan relied on Russia taking six weeks to mobilize their army to readiness, in which time the Plan aimed to knock France out of the war and redeploy eastwards. After 1905 Russia began investing in internal rail development, and the first major Russian offensive began 2.5 weeks after mobilization.
  4. The Plan relied on Belgium's quick surrender and Britain staying out the war. Instead the UK honored the Treaty of London of 1839 and immediately committed the BEF.

The Plan as implemented allowed for German victory at the Battles of Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes, but threw away the possibility of an early knockout blow in the West in favour of a better position in a long-term conflict.

While on the face of it a two-front war was not one the Central Powers could win, empirically they had several opportunities to break the allies arrayed against them and historically did so with the Russian Revolution and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

Even right up to the final Kaiserschlacht offensives Germany was within reach of possible victory, but with the ongoing blockade, the military exhaustion from the Kaiserschlacht and the growing US deployment to Europe they finally collapsed - but in 1918, four full years after the amended Schlieffen Plan failed.


Debate Round No. 1
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 2
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Androgyn 1 year ago
I will accept - though like EXO, I wish it was a little longer (though EXO is referring to WW2 I believe?).

Happy to debate WW2 with EXO as well, if he's up for it and has an interesting premise.
Posted by EXOPrimal 1 year ago
I would accept this debate if it was just a bit longer, I would probably argue that the failure of Operation Barbarossa was probably the main reason why the Germans lost.
This debate has 2 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.