The Significance Of An East, West And Home Front During World War I

1040 words - 5 pages

The Western Front was the name applied to the fighting zone, where the British, French, Belgian and later American Armies confronted Germany military powers. The Western Front of World War I opened in 1914, with the German army invading first Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France, according to von Schlieffen proposal, which was a breathtaking plan that would defeat both of long-term enemies such as Russia and French. It was considered that Russia would be slow to mobilize it's armies, giving time for Germany to attack France so France would need to be quickly defeated, allowing Germany to pay it's attentions to the Russian forces. The tide of the ...view middle of the document...

There was an Eastern Front too. Eastern Europe is, for the most part, physically similar to Western Europe in that both belong to the same European plain. The key difference was the level of economic development. While Belgium and France were among the most industrially advanced areas in the world with excellent road and rail networks, Eastern Europe was undeveloped in comparison. Furthermore, the length of the front in the East was much longer than in the West. This had a drastic effect on the nature of the warfare. While World War I on the Western Front developed into trench warfare, the battle lines on the Eastern Front were much more fluid and Trench War never truly developed. The war in the East began with the Russian Army attempting to invade Germany's East Prussia province and the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, where it was under the Russians control. This early Russian success in 1914 on the Austro-Russian border was a reason for concern to the Central Powers and caused considerable German forces to be transferred to the East to take pressure off the Austrians. Despite this success, the effectiveness of the Russian army at the same time rapidly declined as the underdeveloped Russian arms industry proved unable to meet the demands of the front. Furthermore, as the situation on the Western Front stabilized, the German command decided to make its main effort on the Eastern Front in 1915, and accordingly transferred considerable forces there. Therefore, a successful counteroffensive by German units halted the Russian attack. By 1917, the Russian economy finally neared collapse under the strain of the war effort. While the equipment of the Russian armies actually improved due to the expansion of the war industry, the food shortages in the major urban centers brought about a revolution. In March, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed and the Eastern Front collapsed. Thus, the Germans were finally able to transfer many of their divisions in the East to the West in order to use gained numerical superiority to mount an offensive in France in 1918. However, by then the arrival of American forces in Europe was sufficient to offset the German...

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