Why Did World War I Last so Long?

In: Historical Events

Why did World War I last so long?

The First World War began on July 1914 and lasted till the armistice call from Germany in November 1918. World War or the Great War involved global powers assembled in two opposing alliances: at the beginning of the war, The Allies consisted of United Kingdom, France and Russia and were later joined among others by the USA. Against Allies stood alliance called Central powers, which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy (which fought for Allies then) later joined by Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Both Allies and Central powers expected the war to be very short and quick as for being regional (between Austria-Hungary and Serbia). The common belief in United Kingdom in the year 1914 was the war would last “till Christmas” (under half year). The Germany foresaw the war to last similarly short as they put their stakes on short and no diversionary war according to Schlieffen Plan. The most significant factors in term of prolonging the war were the failure of Schlieffen Plan together with the determined attitude of both camps to win. This resulted in the tactical stalemate of trench warfare, which again contributed to the length of the war. All factors mentioned above were essential in prolonging the war.

First of all, Germany gambled on a quick victory with the Schlieffen Plan that did not pay off and resulted in the trench warfare. Schlieffen Plan was a warfare strategy whose main aim was not to create diversionary war on Western front with France and Eastern front with Russia. The key strategy was to outtake the France earlier through the undefended boarder with Belgium before the Russia mobilizes all its units. This strategy anticipated Belgium to be unprepared and pass through in a couple of days to France. But Belgium proved itself determined and unwilling to give up easily, as it took 2 weeks for army of...

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