Hunter Mnich & Noah Marcotte
October 23rd, 2014
Work History 9.1
World War 1 Strategies and Tactics
World War 1 was an event that would change modern warfare forever. World War 1 showcased the debut of many vehicles, weapons, and strategies. Some of these new attacking strategies and tactics were; chemical warfare, trench warfare, submarines, planes, tanks, zeppelins, and many plans of action such as the Schlieffen plan. Based off of online sources, I can describe how WW1 battle strategies and tactics shaped modern warfare.
The topic we directed our main focus to was battle strategies and tactics. Strategies and tactics cover a wide array of attacking methods. These are the tools armies used to attack. Some battle strategies and tactics we focused on were; trench warfare, aerial warfare, chemical warfare, and some plans of attack such as the Schlieffen plan. The Schlieffen plan was created by General Count Alfred Von Schlieffen. Schlieffen’s grand plan of attack was formed in December of 1905. The Schlieffen plan was a plan of attack that utilized Germany’s railroad system.
The Schlieffen plan was a plan of attack that was based off of Russia’s mobilization timing. Alfred Von Schlieffen’s plan was to attack and invade France, and then have troops shipped to the Russian front, all before Russia’s army mobilized. Germany’s plan was to attack France through Belgium but they rant the risk that Britain would come to defend their Belgian allies. Things for Germany unfortunately did not go as planned, and Britain joined in the fight. This caused a stalemate on now known as the western front this was because of trench warfare.
Picture an open field, craters, corpses, artillery shells all around. Towards one end of the open field you can make out barbed wire, followed by a trench. Behind that, you can notice huge pieces of artillery. Trench life was difficult, boring, and death was inevitable. On a trench battlefield, armies would take turn charging the other trench in an attempt to gain land. Trench warfare was a fight fought with inches, the ultimate goal of trench warfare was to gain territory. Many different elements provided difficulties during trench warfare disease, boredom, and just the thought of death provided a huge roadblock during the battle. Another one of these roadblocks was enemy planes.
World War 1 showcased the debut of the militarized plane. In the trenches planes were death from above. Planes were able to gather the same amount of information behind enemy line in 4 hours as a cavalry unit would be able to in 24. Planes were able to drop bombs on troops in the trenches, and as military technology progressed machine guns were able to be mounted on these high flying pieces of machinery.
Throughout this time battle strategies and tactics changed warfare in a noticeable way. One big thing that was used in WWI and that isn’t used today in warfare is chemical warfare. Many deaths were brought upon on both sides because of this strategy and are no allowed in use of war. Without the ideas of planes we would also not be as air based as we are today. Now we have things like armored drones, fighter jets and even cargo planes and without the main idea of just having a scout plane we would not have developed these things as quickly if we did at all. World War I also bought a big change to weaponry and vehicles by making guns automatic and bringing in tanks and submarines. In conclusion without the strategies and tactics used in World War I modern warfare would be completely different today
- (Kiln.it, Francesca Panetta, Lindsay Poulton, Alex Purcell, Stephen Moss, Nabeelah Shabbir and Lily Brazier. “A global guide to the first world war – interactive documentary: Trenches.” The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jul/23/a-global-guide-to-the-first-world-war-interactive-documentary, Accessed on October 23, 2014)
- (Snow, Dan. “2.Eyes in the skies.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zgxhpv4, Accessed on October 20th, 2014.)
- (BBC.” Animated Map: The Western Front, 1914- 1918.” BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/launch_ani_western_front.shtml, Accessed on October 19th, 2014)
- (Sommerville, Donald. World War 1 story of warfare. Austin, Texas: steck-vaughn, 1999. Book.)
- (YouTube. “WWI Trench Warfare Scene -Joyeux Noel” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvHEUxIok00, Accessed on October 21st, 2014)
– (The Atlantic. “World War 1 in photos.” The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/introduction/, Accessed on October 23rd, 2014.)