The following were equally as important reasons why stalemate developed on the Western Front was finally broken:
* New Technology
* The American entry to war
* The blockading of German ports
* The German offensive in March 1918
Explain how fair you agree with this statement:
Although stalemate through out the war seemed to be constant it was finally broken; this was because of the four reasons above. The German offensive, this helped to break stalemate because it was a change of tactics. The war so far had been fought as a defensive war or trench warfare. This meant that there could be no advance on either side, therefore keeping the armies in the same place through out; however when the German Offensive was brought into action this changed the tactics giving opportunity for an advance. This change also effects morale, as the German troops may now see a way out of the war, or a way of winning therefore morale is boosted.
Another reason why stalemate was is the American entry into the war, before the entry America remained a neutral country however Germany believed that America were siding with Britain; therefore Germany bombed American ports. America then saw this as the final straw, so America joined the war: bring along with then fresh troops with high morale, new equipment, and new weapons. This broke German morale greatly as Germany was no fighting a brand new army and they were not sure if they could cope; the entry also boosted British morale as Britain now saw this as a chance to win the war and go home.
There was also the Blockading of German ports; this broke stalemate because Germany had now lost: 300,000 civilians; a 1/3 of their pigs, and caused rations to be reduced extremely. Therefore the general population of Germany no longer supported the war; not only this but the German army was slowly becoming weaker due to starvation/malnutrition this caused a slump in the morale in German troops. The blockade was caused by the German Offensive, each of these factors intertwine and therefore are stronger to break stalemate on the Western Front.
Finally, there is new technology; this helped to break stalemate because the new technology had a great psychological impact on the troops as they were being used; such as the tank – the tank was very slow however no one had ever seen anything like it, therefore they feared it’s capability, it could also break through the barbed wire this was also a frightening thought for troops; another piece of new technology was poison gas: as the impact of gas was so grave and gases such as mustard gas seemed to be so terrifying as there would be a cloud of yellow smoke coming towards the troops. Gas also reduced morale because there was no certainty as if the wind changed the gas could blow in the opposite direction coming back to the army the gas was released from. This fear breaks morale very strongly although gas masks were invented and also tanks were very slow it is the initial fear of not knowing what lies ahead that broke the morale of troops.
In conclusion I believe that these points are not equal, and have a hierarchy however they are all connected as all the factors effect morale in some way. Also factors lead to each other as the American entry to war causes the German offensive as Germany believes that if she gives one last, powerful push that she should win; also the German offensive caused the Blockading of Germany. I believe that the order of importance is: the German offensive, as it changed the way war was fought – giving opportunity for an advance on either side; this advance is the opposite of stalemate. Then the American entry to war as broke the morale of the German troops gravely and also boosted the morale of the British troops: bringing the spirit and extra force that they needed.
After there was the blockading or German ports; the blockade caused such a huge impact as it affected civilians, business, and troops. Although there was this impact the blockade does not come before the other two in my opinion as if the blockading was never happened I believe that stalemate would still have been broken. Lastly there is new technology: I believe this comes last because both sides after a while had developed the tank; therefore learning it’s capabilities and at the same time as poison gas was invented so was the gas mask. Both were still feared among the men however it also caused rivalry between the countries: one of the key factors as to why stalemate was caused in the first place. Even though I believe in the hierarchy of the factors they were all important to break stalemate, there were some more successful that others.