The mobilization of resources and supplies to troops was undoubtedly essential to the success of the military in World War I. This is evident in many ways, primarily the Railway industrialization, the Schlieffen plan, the United States’ contributions to the war and England’s Navy, and alliances regarding resources.
Arguably the most important aspect for getting supplies to troops is figuring out how to transport them, and that is why railways were so important.
Countries that were more industrially developed, such as Germany and England, had a vast amount of railways. Countries such as Russia were not as industrially developed and therefore had a disadvantage in sending supplies fast and efficiently to their units.
The Schlieffen plan is an example of how detrimental inefficient mobilization of resources can be. The German army was trying to encircle France but didn’t take into account the fact that their units on the far side had a lot farther to go. As a result, these units began to wear down as there were not enough supplies, and they were not provided supplies quickly.
This was one of the main factors that made the Schlieffen plan unsuccessful. As well as Germany’s lack of time efficiency, Russia was able to mobilize themselves and its resources quickly to come to assist France. This quick mobilization time contributed to their success, as Germany had predicted that it would take them a much longer time to mobilize, and therefore were not expecting Russian reinforcement.
The success of the Entente can also be credited to England’s close ties to the United States. The U.S. had abundant resources, and their location allowed them to send supplies to England via ships through the Atlantic Ocean.
Ships were even better for sending resources than railways, as they did not have to follow a specific path and were harder to track down.
The Entente also had a naval advantage over the triple alliance due to location, and industrial development, so they could receive supplies from other places such as the United States, while land-locked Austria/Hungary for example could only receive supplies via railroads.
The mobilization of resources also affected alliances in World War I. The Franco-Russian alliance for example was unexpected from an ideological perspective but coupled with Russia’s extensive amount of resources and France’s industrial power, the two together were a huge power.
When England was added into the equation, with their many colonies and outlets to receive resources from, as well as their industrial power, the Entente had a significant advantage over the triple alliance.