One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Attributive Designating the strategic ideas of Alfred Graf von Schlieffen (1833–1913), chief of the German General Staff from 1891 to 1906, especially the plan he formulated in the years before 1905 for the invasion and defeat of France and (subsequently) Russia, which formed the basis, with modifications, for the German invasion of France at the beginning of the First World War (1914–18). Chiefly in "the Schlieffen Plan".
Early 20th century; earliest use found in International Military Digest. From the name of Alfred Graf von Schlieffen, German general.
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