The Schlieffen Plan was the German
Army strategy, designed by Chief of Staff Alfred von Schlieffen, for quickly
overwhelming French forces in the course of an invasion by attacking the French
along their shard border and then falling back in the south so that the French
would counterattack with reinforcements from the north, allowing the Germans to
sweep down and encircle the French Army. The gambit failed when Schlieffen’s
replacement as army chief of staff, Helmuth von Moltke, failed to follow its
directives, resulting in prolonged trench warfare.