Definition of Schlieffen Plan
The Schlieffen Plan was the German General Staff's early 20th century overall strategic plan for victory in a possible future war in which the German Empire might find itself fighting on two fronts: France to the west and Russia to the east. The First World War later became such a war, with both a Western Front and an Eastern Front.
The plan took advantage of expected differences in the three countries' speed in preparing for war. In short, it was the German plan to avoid a two-front war by concentrating troops in the West and quickly defeating the French and then, if necessary, rushing those troops by rail to the East to face the Russians before they had time to mobilize fully.
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