Belgium's Dilemma: The Formation of the Belgian Defense by Jonathan A Epstein

By Jonathan A Epstein

In Belgium’s drawback: The Formation of Belgian security coverage, 1932-1940, Jonathan Andrew Epstein provides, for the 1st time in English, an in depth exam of the formation of Belgian protection coverage within the 8 years top as much as the the most important international conflict II Blitzkrieg crusade in Western Europe. Belgium’s determination to give up army ties with France in 1936 has been largely criticized as a deadly mistake however it used to be actually an affordable reaction to Belgium’s state of affairs and used to be now not a major factor within the Allied defeat.
Drawing on Belgian records, Jonathan Andrew Epstein seems to be on the leaders and concerns that formed the Belgian military of 1940 and demonstrates that whereas error have been made, many of the judgements have been sound.

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Albert had good intelligence that the Germans were planning to attack in central Belgium while the French military mission insisted the Germans lacked the strength and called the Belgians cowards for planning a retreat while the Allied forces were marching to link up with them. The Belgians began their withdrawal on August 18 and Brussels fell two days later while Namur was besieged and its garrison forced on August 23 to withdraw into France and thence back to Antwerp. 23 The Antwerp redoubt was not as impregnable as the Belgians hoped and the war minister’s men started discussing a retreat from Antwerp on September 29.

24 Chapter 1 by the water, with some additional flooding in March 1918. 28 The Belgian army was reorganized in January 1918, abolishing the brigade headquarters within the divisions, with ‘army divisions’ constituted by two infantry divisions. The army as a whole now numbered 170,000 enlisted and 5,700 officers. It would become involved in the bitter fighting started by the last-ditch German offensives of spring 1918. Although the main German effort, code-named ‘Michael,’ was aimed further south, the Germans also planned an attack, ‘Georgette,’ in Flanders, scheduled for April 9 and aiming for the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, outflanking the Allies in that region.

Pawly and Lierneux, p. 19; de Schaepdrijver, p. 101. 24 Chapter 1 by the water, with some additional flooding in March 1918. 28 The Belgian army was reorganized in January 1918, abolishing the brigade headquarters within the divisions, with ‘army divisions’ constituted by two infantry divisions. The army as a whole now numbered 170,000 enlisted and 5,700 officers. It would become involved in the bitter fighting started by the last-ditch German offensives of spring 1918. Although the main German effort, code-named ‘Michael,’ was aimed further south, the Germans also planned an attack, ‘Georgette,’ in Flanders, scheduled for April 9 and aiming for the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, outflanking the Allies in that region.

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