At one bridge, Captain Wright of the Royal Engineers swung hand over hand back and forth beneath the bridge to connect the explosives.
The German ultimatum to Belgium on 2nd August gave King Albert and his government the choice of fighting or being conquered. The German occupation of Belgium (French: Occupation allemande, Dutch: Duitse bezetting) of World War I was a military occupation of Belgium by the forces of the German Empire between 1914 and 1918. Albert was married in Munich on 2 October 1900 to Bavarian Duchess Elisabeth Gabrielle Valérie Marie, a Wittelsbach princess whom he had met at a family funeral. The German soldiers taking them prisoner congratulated them on the way they had fought. Belgian Army Royal Museum, Decorations of King Albert I, Netherlands. The Munsters held off a stronger German force, letting their comrades retreat without trouble.  The Allies considered Belgium to be the chief victim of the war, and it aroused enormous popular sympathy, but the King's advice played a small role in Paris.. 1922 p.100, http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/memoryofwar/the-rape-of-belgium-revisited/, Flemish organization for Immovable Heritage, "Belgians want money after German war apology", Occupation during the War (Belgium and France), 1914-1918-online. After the warlike statements made after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June, 1914, the Belgian Army (43,000 men) were placed on its borders.  A 1929 article in The Nation asserted: "In 1916 the Allies were putting forth every possible atrocity story to win neutral sympathy and American support. As they held on in that cottage, the British line wavered but did not break.  Nonetheless, rumors of murder have been dismissed by most historians. Lipkes, Jeff. Albert took personal command of the armed forces and although outnumbered, decided to resist the German … One of Leman’s aides, Major Marchand, soon caught on to the trap and alerted the headquarters, but was subsequently shot down. The fate of one German cavalry officer was even more embarrassing.
The two countries refused free passage to the German troops and were invaded on August 2 … Beginning in August 1914 with the invasion of neutral Belgium, the country was almost completely overrun by German troops before the winter of the same year as the Allied forces withdrew westwards. By the time the cavalryman emerged, the Territorials were ready. From his prison in Germany, Leman wrote to Albert pledging, “I am convinced that the honor of our arms has been sustained. In 1918, King Albert forged a post-war "Government of National Union" made up of members of the three main parties in Belgium, the Catholics, the Liberals, and the Socialists and attempted to mediate between the parties in order to bring about one man, one vote universal suffrage for men.
Military losses were 26,338 killed, died from injuries or accidents, 14,029 died from disease, or went missing. Belgian Army Royal Museum, Decorations of King Albert I, Norway. At the start of the war, the Krupp works rushed to make a road transported version. The forts could not return fire as the German guns were out of range.
Of the 500 defenders in Fort Loncin, 350 were dead and 150 wounded. :20, Although the infamous German phrase "scrap of paper" (referring to the 1839 Treaty of London) galvanized a large segment of British intellectuals in support of the war,:21–22 in more proletarian circles this imagery had less impact. When it was realized that Leman was actually not dead, his lifeless body was carried out of the fort unconscious by German soldiers to General von Emmich. That same road outside Ypres was the scene of one of the war’s more grizzly moments. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper". They were guarding the town, and here was an enemy officer walking in as if he owned the place. :18–19, Gullace argues that "British propagandists were eager to move as quickly as possible from an explanation of the war that focused on the murder of an Austrian archduke and his wife by Serbian nationalists to the morally unambiguous question of the invasion of neutral Belgium".  Throughout the beginning of the war, the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, including the destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, and 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, imprisonment, or death sentence by court. , Agreeing with the analysis of historian Susan Kingsley Kent, historian Nicoletta Gullace writes that "the invasion of Belgium, with its very real suffering, was nevertheless represented in a highly stylized way that dwelt on perverse sexual acts, lurid mutilations, and graphic accounts of child abuse of often dubious veracity. The German policies enacted by the Imperial German General Government of Belgium would later create major problems for Belgian economic recovery after the end of the war, the Germans destroyed the Belgian economy so thoroughly by dismantling industries and transporting the equipment and machinery to Germany that it never regained its pre-war level. In the second of a two-part article, Frank Jastrzembski continues from part 1 and tells the tale of the heroic Belgian defense of its homeland in 1914…. In his youth, Albert was seriously concerned with the situation of the working classes in Belgium, and personally travelled around working class districts incognito, to observe the living conditions of the people. As they then pulled back, they drew the attention of much greater numbers of enemy troops. It would fire up to ten 2,200 lb. The body was naked and the breasts had been cut off. Even though the city was in German hands, the forts were still intact, and the guns of the forts controlled the roads coming in and out of Liege. Leman later vividly remembered the effects of the explosion as, “Poisonous gases seemed to grip my throat as in a vise.”.  Civilian homes were set on fire and citizens often shot where they stood, with over 2,000 buildings destroyed and 10,000 inhabitants displaced.
Outside, French Territorial troops stared in amazement. Rape was nearly as ubiquitous as murder, arson and looting, if never as visible. General Leman set up his headquarters in Liege on July 31, 1914. He considered that such a resolution to the conflict would best protect the interests of Belgium and the future peace and stability of Europe.
Together, they cultivated the friendship of prominent scientists, artists, mathematicians, musicians, and philosophers, turning their court at Laeken into a kind of cultural salon. In another instance of tenacity, a corporal valiantly tried to drive the Germans back single-handily by firing his rifle in vain with one good arm, as his other arm was dangling wounded at his side. In the early days of World War One, the Germans planned to march through Belgium as part of their plan to win the war. Keegan, John. The King, fearing the destructive results of the war for Belgium and Europe and appalled by the huge casualty rates, worked through secret diplomatic channels for a negotiated peace between Germany and the Entente based on the "no victors, no vanquished" concept. :162 There is a debate between those who believe the German army acted primarily out of paranoia, in retaliation for real or believed incidents involving resistance actions by Belgian civilians, and those (including Lipkes) who emphasize additional causes, suggesting an association with German actions in the Nazi era. In support of her thesis, she quotes from two letters of Lord Bryce. Lord Kitchener, the Minister for War, dressed in his full Field Marshal’s uniform left behind the safety of his Government office to travel to France. Rehearsals: The German Army in Belgium, August 1914. The pressure of early German attacks almost broke the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). All rights reserved. And on the very evening after he made it this Chancellor of the German Empire, in a talk with Sir Edward Goschen, the British Ambassador, referred to the international obligations on which Belgium relied for her neutrality as "un chiffon de papier", "a scrap of paper"... Mistreatment of civilians in Belgium during World War I. Milne, Nick. Only Fort Loncin remained. ), The Germans were responsible for the deaths of 23,700 Belgian civilians, (6,000 Belgians killed, 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, in prison or sentenced to death by court) and caused further non-fatalities of 10,400 permanent and 22,700 temporary invalids, with 18,296 children becoming war orphans.
The day after the fall of Fort Loncin, the German Army resumed its march through Belgium toward France. Belgian Army Royal Museum, Decorations of King Albert I, Russian Empire. In places, the British went to extraordinary lengths to try to prevent the German advance.
 The German invasion brought Britain into the war as one of the guarantors of Belgian neutrality under the Treaty of 1839.
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