The Schlieffen Plan: Case History of the Relation of Military Strategy to National Security Policy
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The national security policy of Imperial Germany during the decade prior to World War I is described in terms of the dynastic and diplomatic efforts made to split the Triple Entente and redress the Empires political isolation. The related offensive military strategy designed to achieve by means of war the results that could not be realized by the civil authorities is then considered in the context of, first, the Schlieffen Plan proper and, second, the drastically modified strategy actually employed during the First Marne campaign upon the outbreak of war. After an analysis of the merits and disadvantages of these two offensive strategies there is a brief expositon of the contrasting defensive strategy that might have been employed instead of those planned and used. Finally the German experience is related to current U.S. defense planning and certain lessons derived from that experience are discussed in connection with the formulation our national security policy today. Except for this latter section the essay is historical in nature and is based on research in diplomatic and military references.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics