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8. Belgium to May 10, 1940

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with a look at the complicated relations between the Belgians and the Allies during the policy of 'independence' and then at the interestingly similar relations between the Belgians and the Dutch. It then describes the mobilization and the difficulties the Belgian army experienced with discipline and morale, especially the issue of leaves. The chapter ends with an examination of the information the Belgians were getting from Germany and the alerts that resulted. Belgium's first major alert was issued on November 11 in reaction to increasing German press belligerence against Belgium and Holland, and the deployment of troops to their borders. There was also an alert caused by the 'Mechelen Incident' on January 10, 1940. Alarming news had been steadily coming in from around the turn of the year from diplomatic sources including the Italian ambassador to Berlin, from King Leopold's sister.

Keywords: Belgian army; Germany; Mechelen incident



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