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The Schlieffen Plan (1905)

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Encircling Antwerp is expected to require five reserve corps (though these will perhaps not prove sufficient).

For the surveillance of the following towns, the Germans are expected to require:

Liège 2 Landwehr brigades Mézières }1 Landwehr brigade
Namur 2 Landwehr brigades Givet
Maubeuge 2 Landwehr brigades Hirson
Lille 2 Landwehr brigades Longwy }1 Landwehr brigade
Dunkirk 3 Landwehr brigades Montmédy

The railways must be secured if they are needed to provide supplies to the army, and the Germans must occupy the large cities and the populous, industrial regions of Belgium and northwest France. The entire area must provide the army with a secure rear base. We will have to draw on Landsturm troops for this. If this measure violates current law, the law must be changed quickly once mobilization commences.

Other troops must be procured. We have just as many replacement battalions as infantry regiments, and, as in 1866, we must form fourth battalions not only from these but also from the existing reserve units and, if necessary, the Landwehr. As in 1866, we must also use them and the replacement artillery units to form divisions and army corps. This will enable us to assemble eight army corps. These new formations should not be set up only when the need is greatest or operations inevitably get bogged down. They must be created after the other troops are mobilized.

So we must activate the Landsturm troops in order to occupy the entire military zone from Belfort to Maastricht, etc. [We must pull up the Landwehr forces that have remained in the forts] and additionally form at least eight army corps. This is the very least that duty calls us to do. We were the ones who invented general military service and the concept of a people in arms, and we demonstrated to other nations the necessity of introducing these institutions. Yet after driving our sworn enemies to vastly increase the size of their armies, we have scaled back our own efforts. We always boast of the large number of people living in Germany, the masses at our disposal, but not every suitable soldier in these masses is trained and armed. [With 39 million inhabitants, France has 995 battalions in its field army, while Germany has only 971 battalions, though it has 56 million inhabitants. These facts speak clearly for themselves.]

We most urgently need the eight army corps on or behind the army’s right wing. Railroad capacity will dictate how many can be transported there. Those troops that cannot be transported through Belgium and France on the left bank of the Meuse and the Sambre must be conveyed to the Meuse between Verdun and Mézières south of the Liège-Namur line. If all of this cannot be done either, the remaining troops can, if necessary, be deployed near Metz and on the right bank of the Mosel.

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