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9. The ‘Eighteen-Days’ Campaign’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the events of the 'Eighteen-Days' campaign, including the increasing problems between the monarch and his government and the fate of the Belgian troops that found themselves either in France, Britain, or the resistance. It also addresses the post-mortem conducted by Belgian officers. The Belgian army on May 10, 1940 constituted 18 infantry divisions, two Chasseurs ardennais divisions, two cavalry divisions, a heavy artillery division, two fortress artillery divisions, a fortress infantry regiment, and the Unités cyclistes frontières. Along the Belgian-German frontier north of the Ardennes, the Belgians by order abandoned their covering positions and the demolition was achieved despite the efforts of German commandos wearing civilian attire. The official history of the Belgian army notes that the Germans were so impressed with the resistance that they thought there were many more Belgians than were present and retreated.

Keywords: Belgian troops; Eighteen-Days campaign; German commandos; infantry divisions

10.1163/9789004269736_011
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