Karl Heidenreich wrote:
I believe RF´s remarks about von Schlieffen are not fair. At last we must blame von Moltke (the young) for the ill execution of a workable plan. Schlieffen was given a quite difficult task of creating a plan that must deal with imposible odds. And, let´s face it, it could have worked if Moltke´s didn´t lost his nerve and weakened his right flank in order to protect his left one. The whole idea, anyway, couldn´t have worked because neither side had enough forces and resources to outmanouver the other. Schlieffen wasn´t that bad, at the least.
Lets leave aside Moltke, who mishandled what was a misconceived plan in the first place.
Schlieffen devised what he saw as a solution to Germany's strategic problem: war on two fronts. His solution was a quick knockout blow on France before Russia could properly mobilise.
His plan involved an invasion of France via both Belguim and Holland. This ignored political and strategic consequences, principally the British reaction, because he did not consider war against the British, to which his plan could not answer. In the outcome Moltke cut out the invasion of Holland, so the Germans got held up by General Lamond at Liege - throwing the plan out of kilter....
Coming back to Schlieffen I think he came up with the wrong set of priorities. The border on Alsace-Lorraine is easily defensible against concentrated French attack; Schlieffen should have planned a defensive posture against France and a fast mobile war against Russia, to knock Russia out and let France bleed itself battering the German border, while the British remained neutral. Result: no seaborne blockade of Germany, the HSF is free to operate on the high seas against the French, and ultimately German victory.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.