According to the Schlieffen Plan of the Germans they would move rapidly through Belgium and then onto France capturing all the French coastal ports thus cutting off the British from coming to the aid of the French. Then the German troops would move to Paris approaching it from the north, west and south. Then knocking off the French quickly and keeping the British away from landing, the German troops would be thrown on the eastern front to defeat Russia.
But the Belgian resistance was fierce and so the German advance was slower. It gave the British to land its troops on the European coast. The German did move towards Paris but from the east. They came within twenty miles of Paris. The French government shifted to Bordeaux. But the Germans were slowing down. The supply lines were strained. The soldiers were tired marching in the August sun.
The French attacked under Joffre at the Battle of Marne. The Germans fell back to River Aisne where they dug trenches and settled in. The trenches stretched from Alps to the coast.
This meant that the German dream to knock out France in six weeks under the Schlieffen Plan went in smoke. The British fought hard at the First Battle of Ypres and held on keeping the other French ports open to let the British troops and supplies flow in. Moreover Germany had to fight on two fronts something they had never bargained for. The British started a crippling blockade of German ports that clogged supplies for Germany from the sea.
Turkey entered the war on the side of the Germans thing got worse for the Russians. Turkey would now cut off Russian supplies through the Black Sea. One bright spot for the allies i9n 1914 was that Serbia threw out the invading Austrians.
WW1: A Photo Essay
Battle Of Somme
Battle Of Verdun
American soldiers in WW1
WW1: Use of Body Armor And Poison Gas
WW1 Images: British Soldiers: Part 1
WW1 Images: British Soldiers: Part 2
Dramatic (and rather grim) pictures from WW1
Rare German WW1 pictures: Part 1
Rare German WW1 pictures: Part 2
Rare German WW1 pictures: Part 3
Neutral Netherlands during the Great War