Attempts to Break the Stalemate.

Outline the main attempts to break the stalemate.
Refer to source A and B as well as your own knowledge.

The stalemate that had formed by the end of 1914 was an unforeseeable event that neither the Allied or German forces expected. Resulting from the changing nature of warfare, Commanding officers from both armies knew that there would be only one way to make a decisive push against the enemy – they would need to break this stalemate. Through the incorporation of tanks on the battlefield and the employment of various artillery tactics, through three iconic battles, Verdun, Somme, and The 3rd Battle of Ypres, commanders pushed and made attempts to break this stalemate.

German officials knew the only way they would be able to beat France would be getting to and capturing France as quickly as possible. General von Falkenhayn knew this more than others and proposed an attack on the French town of Verdun for two main reasons; Verdun was a symbolic of the French defenses and the town protected the plateau of Champagne, which once captured would lead quickly to Paris. Falkenhayn exploited the notion that Verdun would be protected at any cost and prepared for a massive battle to capture to city. February 21st marked the beginning of the massive preparatory bombardment – close to 10000 rounds per hour were shelled at French with the intention to reduce their defenses to nothing. After 4 days of battle, Fort Douaumont fell to German forces thanks to their use of small group infiltration tactics which marked the start of further assaults to gain more ground. With the battle ongoing for close to 6 months now, Falkenhayn knew that a quick victory was impossible and thus changed his objective from the capture of Verdun, to 'Bleeding the French white' [Source A]. Fort Vaux fell to the Germans on the 7th of June, but the French were relatively unharmed. French commander Joffre, appointed General Petain in charge of the defense of Verdun – which proved crucial. Petains...