Alfred Graf von Schlieffen’s Lasting Influence on the German General Staff

  • 2012

Alfred Graf von Schlieffen’s Lasting Influence on the German General Staff

Author:
Thomas Dale
Abstract:

Germany has always faced the strategic dilemma of geography. Limited in access to the sea by the vastly superior naval forces of the British Empire essentially land locked Germany, and its position in central Europe between France and Russia was a continual restriction on German geopolitical objectives.

To counteract these forces, the Great German General Staff committed itself throughout two world wars to a plan originally devised by Alfred Graf von Schlieffen that envisioned a German attack on France through Belgium as the most promising first strike option in the event of the outbreak of a general European war. This essay demonstrates von Schlieffen’s lasting influence on the German General Staff.