Chapter Twenty-Six. Belgium

  1. John Horne Professor member
  1. Sophie De Schaepdrijver member

Published Online: 19 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323634.ch26

A Companion to World War I

A Companion to World War I

How to Cite

De Schaepdrijver, S. (2010) Belgium, in A Companion to World War I (ed J. Horne), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323634.ch26

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 23 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405123860

Online ISBN: 9781444323634



  • Belgium, German Empire's attack on a neutral state - an instant casus belli, and “Belgium” becoming shorthand for moral issues of war;
  • brave little Belgium, symbol of heroic resistance and victimization;
  • routine of war, routine activities becoming loci of confrontation with invader;
  • Germany's Belgium, dismantling the “home front” and creating basis of common interest for occupation regime;
  • crisis and remobilization, re-rallying around basic notions of national defense;
  • Belgium's war legacy, blow against racism pervading German imperial culture;
  • Belgium, the Comité, through its regional and local branches - sold imported foodstuffs in special stores, coordinated charitable efforts, charted needs, and administered welfare;
  • Germany's Belgium - Germany's leaders making the most of the capture of Belgium


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • “Brave Little Belgium,” 1914

  • The Routine of War, 1915–16

  • Germany's Belgium

  • Crisis and Remobilization, 1917–18

  • Belgium's War Legacy

  • References and Further Reading