Jump to: navigation, search

Why did Germany not achieve victory at Verdun in 1916

No change in size, 18:52, 26 February 2018
no edit summary
In 1914, Germany came close to repeating the success of the Franco-Prussian War. It invaded France via Belgium and pressed onward towards Paris. However, at the battle of Marne in 1914, the French were able to defend Paris and even managed to push the Germans back.<ref>Clayton, A. <i>Paths of Glory: The French Army 1914–18</i>. (London: Cassell, 2003), p. 117</ref> The French army had saved Paris but its country was still under grave threat and much of northern France was under the control of the Germans. After the Autumn of 1914, the war became a stalemate. Both sides dug in and they engaged in bloody attempts to seize each other trenches. By 1916, both sides had suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties and all the participants began to feel the strain of waging absolute war. The Germans did not have the resources of the allies, mainly as they had no colonies and also the western allies had the tacit support of the Americans.<ref>Clayton, p. 116</ref> Some in the German High Command became concerned that if Germany could not deal a blow to the allies and force them to the negotiating table that the Imperial Army would eventually collapse, as it struggled against the allies with their superior numbers and resources. The German commander on the western front, Erich von Falkenhayn, believed that a German victory would not be possible in a set piece battle because of the nature of the war. He argued that if the French suffered enough casualties then they could be forced to the negotiating table. Von Falkenhayn believed that if the Germans killed enough of their soldiers that the French would simply give up. This was based on the idea that the French would not be able, to fight the Germans by themselves and had only been able to continue the war with the support of the British.<ref> Clayton, p. 120</ref>

Navigation menu