- from World War I
Germany’s plan was to conquer France quickly and then send its troops east to fight against Russia.
But France put up strong resistance. Soon after the war began, the German offensive in northern France was stopped by French troops. Because of powerful new weapons, such as machine guns and accurate rifles, neither side could advance. Both sides built trenches (deep narrow lines of defense dug into the earth). The trenches extended about 400 miles, from the French-Swiss border to northern France. From the trenches, the enemies launched attacks against each other. But neither side could win a clear-cut victory.