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War Plans

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff, Vienna, 1914. By the end of that year he had lost as many as one million men, much of his country's rolling stock, and the northeastern region of %+%Location%m%85%n%Galicia%-%. His forces had also been defeated by Serbia three times.
Text:
Generalstabschef Conrad von Hötzendorf
Ch. Skolik jun.
Wien, 1914
I. Wallfischg. 11
Reverse:
Postkartenverlad Brüder Kohn Wien I

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff, Vienna, 1914. By the end of that year he had lost as many as one million men, much of his country's rolling stock, and the northeastern region of Galicia. His forces had also been defeated by Serbia three times.

Image text

Generalstabschef Conrad von Hötzendorf

Chief of the General Staff Conrad von Hötzendorf



Ch. Skolik jun.

Wien, 1914

I. Wallfischg. 11



Reverse:

Postkartenverlad Brüder Kohn Wien I

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The von Schlieffen Plan, Germany's plan for war against the alliance of France and Russia, aimed to achieve a quick German victory over France before moving its troops east to combat a Russia slowly mobilizing its massive army. Military planners aimed to turn a two-front war into two sequential single-front wars.

Von Schlieffen thought that France would attack Germany in Alsace and Lorraine, the provinces France lost to Germany in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. Here on its left wing, Germany would fight a defensive war, giving ground if necessary to keep the right wing, the offensive, strong. At the northern end of the Franco-German border, German armies would pivot and sweep into three neutral nations, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, before turning to attack France along its northern border. The westernmost forces would then envelop Paris and the French Armies defending their capital.

Schlieffen's successor, von Moltke, modified the plan, excluding invading the Netherlands.

Russia had plans to counter a German offensive, but its primary plan, and that executed in 1914, focused on defeating Austria-Hungary.

Austria-Hungary planned a war on two fronts, against both Serbia and Russia, but had variants as to which to strike first. In 1914 Austria-Hungary began by focusing on Serbia, then responded to Germany's request for help against Russia by shifting its Second Army from one front to the other, with disastrous results.

Military leaders in Great Britain and France had coordinated plans to respond to a German attack on France. This planning, unknown to many British political leaders, was the basis for the deployment of British forces on the continent.

Von Schlieffen had been right about the French plan for an attack through Alsace into Germany. In executing the plan, the French delayed responding to the real German threat coming through Belgium.

More about War Plans:

1914 War Plans