Schlieffen Plan

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Map of the Schlieffen Plan and the counter-attacks planned by the French

The Schlieffen Plan was a strategic plan developed by the German Empire in the early 20th century. It was developed in case there was to be a war in which Germany might be fighting both France to its west and Russia on the east. The plan was explored how Germany might win such a war. World War I later became such a war, with both a Western and an Eastern Front.

The Schlieffen Plan was to avoid fighting on both fronts at the same time. They would do this by quickly defeating the French first, and then moving those troops to the East to face the Russians before they had time to fully mobilise. The Schlieffen Plan was created by Count Alfred von Schlieffen. It was developed further by Helmuth von Moltke the Younger after Schlieffen retired. Moltke put the plan into action at the start of World War I.