The British Expeditionary Forceâ??s intervention in World War I

The British Expeditionary Forceâ??s intervention in World War I
When France, Britain and Russia entered the Triple Entente, Germany was faced with a problem. It wanted to capture France but knew that if it attacked then Russia would invade and it would face a war on two fronts. The Schlieffen plan was a solution to this threat. The plan was to invade France through Belgium and then to quickly to encircle Paris by flanking around it from the north. Once Paris was in German hands France would be relatively secure, leaving Germany to deal with Russia to the East.There were a number of reasons for the failure of the Schlieffen plan; it relied on a series of assumptions in order to succeed. The Germans assumed that Russia would take a long time to mobilise its forces from all over a large country. The Germans also forgot about the treaty signed by both Prussia and Britain in 1839, stating that they would defend the neutrality of newly formed Belgium, the Kaiser called it a ?scrap of paper? but it may well have lost Germany the war.
During the course of the war the British Expeditionary Force which arrived very soon after the invasion of Belgium had a very important role in slowing down German forces. Despite its comparatively small size of 70,000 men the bef was very effective in fighting alongside French units in order to inflict many casualties upon their attackers. Sir John French ordered the force to defend the town of Mons and they did so very effectively, holding the town against huge opposition before eventually falling back.
I think that the bef was one of a number of issues that Von Schlieffen did not account for in his plan and that altogether these meant that the plan failed. Although the British Expeditionary Force played a very important role it was certainly not the only cause of the problems encountered by Germany in executing the Schlieffen plan.
Other factor which played a major role were the defence put up by Belgian forces and the speed of Russia?s mobilisation, neither of which Germany was expecting. The Schlieffen plan was to capture France within six weeks; Germany assumed that during much of this time Russia would still me amassing its forces, in fact within 10 days Russia was mobilised to attack Germany from the eastern front with more forces than could be contained by Austria-Hungary and so some German units were forced to return in order to defend their homeland from attack, this weakened their advance through France.
I think that many factors were involved in the failure of the Schliffen plan, altogether they added up to cause it to fail. Although the intervention of the British Expeditionary Force was an important factor in the failure I do not think that any cause can be named as the ?most important reason? because looking back we cannot see their individual effects but the effect of them as a whole. The quick mobilisation of Russia certainly rivals the bef for its intervention.

The British Expeditionary Forceâ??s intervention in World War I 8.1 of 10 on the basis of 2860 Review.