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47

This appears to be a distortion of the Battle of Bodange, May 10th, 1940. The 5th company of the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment of Chasseurs Ardennais (about 120 men) delayed elements of the 1st Panzer Division (not 7th Panzer) on the first day of the Battle of France (and Belgium). 40 men possibly refers to specifically the surrender of the 3rd Stand (...


18

There was no magic transportation, of course. France moved troops by land; British Expeditionary Force landed from sea, and then moved to Belgium during August 1914. The relevant diplomatic documents are available in so-called "The Belgian Grey Book". Here is Russian edition of 1915. And here are English translations available online. The events were as ...


15

Here is a virtual tour of a temporary exhibit Magritte La Ligne de vie that was held at MASI Lugano in Switzerland in late 2018 to early 2019. (I found this by way of an Italian language blog post which does not seem to include any details about the painting itself, except for an image.) If you navigate toward the back of the gallery in this virtual your, ...


13

Comparing just to the Constitution of the Netherlands, that of Belgium was for a Unitary State with no substantial body of Common Law and tradition, while that of The Netherlands was for a Federal State, with a substantial body of Common Law and Tradition. Further part of the motive for the separation of Belgium from Netherlands in 1831 had been a feeling ...


12

The thing is that at the time in question, France was actually quite diverse (and yet sufficiently unified on a political level to become a rather successful democratic nation-state rather than crumble like Austria-Hungary). And as you correctly surmised, Alsace-Moselle (the German “Elsaß-Lothringen”) loomed large in French minds but not quite for the ...


12

The so-called Scrap of Paper that was the Treaty of London (1839) committed the signatories to guarantee Belgian neutrality and independence. "by implication [it also] committed the signatory powers to guard that neutrality in the event of invasion." Once Belgium refused free passage to German troops, and committed itself to forcibly opposing that passage, ...


11

It may seem absurd to us today, but in 1914 the German General Staff fully believed that it was possible to march through Belgium and simultaneously maintain her neutrality. The Schlieffen Plan was in fact premised on this assumption. You rightly ask how this absurd notion arose - in Napoleon's 1805 campaign when the French marched through Ansbach-Bayreuth, ...


10

This article, "A Brief History of Dutch in Africa", explains: From the start, Stanley worked with officers and agents of a variety of nationalities, many of them Belgians. These Belgian nationals were of either Dutch-speaking or French-speaking origin. As at that time French was still the only language for all formal communication in Belgium, the ...


9

Not much. For the most part the Zone Rouge was never a contested ground. Let's consider the campaign in four phases and look at each one: Assault across the Meuse This occurs entirely in the area north of Laon and Verdun and east of St Quentin; so is unaffected by the Zone Race to the Channel The Germans perform this almost without any contact with ...


9

Wikipedia has the answer, but it requires some assembly Wikipedia: Leopold III contains the phrase, Leopold's controversial actions during the Second World War resulted in a political crisis known as the Royal Question. Royal Question is hyperlinked to another Wikipedia page, which explains, The "Question" at stake surrounded whether King Leopold ...


8

I think you're referring to a study done for his 1964 painting, 'Le Météore (Étude)' ('The Meteor'). Here's the study. Note that it shows the "lady" facing left rather than right (perhaps the image you remember was shown reversed?). Farther down that page is the final painting, where the sill has been removed and the background changed to a forest. For ...


7

In 1830 the Netherlands was a minor power, not a great power. The Netherlands had been a rival of England in the mid 17th century but in the early 19th century it was no rival of the United Kingdom. England, Great Britain, and the UK did not like major powers controlling the nearest ports in what is now Belgium. The 19th century Netherlands was no great ...


7

Spanish influence didn't take root, at least in the modern Netherlands, because it was "unnatural." Belgium and the Netherlands represented the inheritance of Marie of Burgundy, who married Maximilian of Austria (and lost her native Burgundy to France after she did so). They had a son, Philip the Fair, who married Juana, the daughter of Ferdinand and ...


6

Same reason the chicken crossed the road, to get to the other side. More seriously, the Schlieffen Plan depended on knocking out France before Russia completed its mobilization. Since Russia had publicly begun mobilization before the war, as a way of showing Germany its seriousness, Germany felt extra time pressure to get the job on with France. It seemed ...


5

The Le Chapelier Law was a French law. In 1862, there was a notorious strike by Parisian printers and book binders which garnered international attention and was followed by other strikes by other craft groups. The Emperor, Napolean III, pardoned these strikers "effectively making moot" the laws against association, such as the Le Chapelier Law. In ...


5

Adding to Pieter Geerkens' answer, in 1944 the Germans were retreating at high speed when the battle front crossed the Zone, and did not attempt to use it. At that time, doing so would have just caused them pointless casualties, since their units were shattered and disorganised. Source: Victory in the West, volume II, The Defeat of Germany, the British ...


4

That seems pretty much like asking why most countries force their people to drive on the right side of the road, when left driving is clearly superior. Or vice versa. It's pure historical contingency, then path dependency mixed with convention and afterthought rationalisation (like here). It could have been switched at any time to an arbitrary date. Just ...


4

In both wars, the Belgian government left the country, and continued operating from elsewhere. That was Le Havre in WWI, and London in WWII.


4

Well, as Delfosse was fighting against French influence on Belgium, I think he tried to say that the idea's of the 1848 French revolution shouldn't brim over to Belgium! On the other hand, we shouldn't also forget that, after the first French revolution, in 1794 France invaded Belgium. And after the period as part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands ...


4

I believe the commenters are on the money; the mine was unimportant and became naturally flooded. My guess is: The mine was closed in 1939 and flooded. This sentence is badly written in a way that implies that someone flooded it in 1939. Instead it should say that in 1939, the mine was closed and became flooded. Other questions: Exactly when was the ...


4

Despite the Franco-Belgian accord of 1920, the Belgians were skittish about becoming too dependent on, or becoming a protectorate of France. Basically, they wanted a "balanced" relationship with both France and Germany, barely "tilting" toward France. By 1936, Belgium "thought better" of the above accord, backed off on its provisions, declared its on ...


4

The official site of the city of Liège states that The letters L and G on the coat-of-arms correspond to the Latin expression "Libertas Gentis", which means "Freedom to the People". Interestingly, the French Wikipedia article about perrons says that originally the letters were added to distinguish the coat-of-arms of Liège from that of Saint-Trond, which ...


3

But of course there is influence. Every year on December 5th, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of Saint Nicolaas, Patron Saint of Children . . . "Sinterklaas" or "Sint" or "Klassje" arriving from Spain is enacted for all to view. See http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/amsterdam-arrival/. Now politically incorrect, his helper "Black Peter" or "Zwarte ...


3

It has been claimed that this general was Sir Launcelot Edward Kiggell (1862-1954), but there seems to be a lack of evidence. Kiggell was Chief of Staff to Douglas Haig, and another of Haig's staff officers, John Humphrey Davidson apparently claimed that it was himself. The descriptions I've read of the conditions at Passchendaele make it seem plausible ...


3

According to this chart comparison of France and Quebec, translated from the Montreal SGCF Society "Memoires" journal, Vol 56, Book 243, Spring 2005, page 31 article written by Helene Lamarche & Guy Desjardins. the age of Civil Majority in France was 21 years of age for both males and females from July 21, 1907, until July 5, 1974. Since then ...


3

In WW1 Belgium never surrendered. During WW1 Belgian Congo was under threat by German forces in German East Africa, under command of ltn-col Paul von Lettow-Vorbek. It wasn't a big threat, as the German forces were barely strong enough to defend their own colony. Though von Lettow-Vorbek fought a highly successful offensive guerrilla campaign, the colony ...


2

There is also another reason. Relations between The Netherlands and Belgium were not exactly friendly after the Belgian revolt until the end of WW2(!). Belgium wanted even to annex Zeeuws Vlaanderen, North Brabant and Limburg after WW1. These tensions led to the founding and rise of the NSB party (Dutch Quislings). Extending the Magniot Line up to the ...


2

Actually, there was a mild form of French "Irredentism" that manifested itself in the Austro-Sardinian war of 1859, when France demanded the return of Savoy and Nice in exchange for aiding Sardinia in a war against Austria. When France overran and occupied Switzerland, Belgium and other nations under Napoleon, she illegitimately claimed control of more than ...


2

The histories describe, for example, the Battle of Ypres as though the English and French were just magically transported into those areas of Belgium. What happened? So what Pieter describes is the political mechanism though which the French and British Armies were allowed onto Belgian soil. However the second part of your question seems to imply How did ...


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