The Sch1ieffen Plan
Catalogue reference: CAB 20/1 (2)

. . . . . . The idea of an attack on these many strong positions would have to be approached with scepticism. An attack from the northwest against the flanks near Mézières, Rethel, La Fère and across the Oise, directed against the rear of the position, seems to be more promising than a frontal attack including encirclement of the left flank.
           In order to achieve this, the Franco-Belgian border on the left bank of the Meuse with its fortified positions – Mézières, Hirson, Maubeuge, 3 small defensive forts, Lille and Dunkirk – must be overcome. This necessitates violating the neutrality of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
           The violation of Luxembourg's neutrality will have no significant consequences other than protests. The Netherlands, no less than Germany, regard an England allied with France as an enemy. An agreement could be reached with them.
           Belgium will probably resist. In the event of a German advance north of the Meuse, its army, according to plan, will retreat to Antwerp and will have to be contained there – where possible also in the north by means of closing off the Scheldt, in order to sever the connection to the sea and England. Observation will suffice for Liège and Namur, where only a weak military presence is intended. Huy Citadel can be taken or rendered ineffective.
           If the Germans advance under cover against Antwerp, Liège and Namur, they will face a fortified border, which is, however, not as extensively fortified as the border that is directed against Germany [i.e. the French border]. If the French want to defend it, they will need to transfer army corps and armies from the original front to the threatened front and bring in inactive reserves – for example, the corps from the border in the Alps.

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