The German Army in Belgium, August 1914
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Leuven University Press
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (101.3 KB)
Table of Contents
Download PDF (78.9 KB)
Download PDF (88.2 KB)
I’m grateful for the help I’ve received from various archivists and their staffs. I’d especially like to thank Pierre-Alain Tallier of the General State Archives in Brussels, Dr. Françoise Peemans of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Duran, Sandrine Smets, Luc Vandeweyer, and Roger Vranken of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military ...
Download PDF (154.1 KB)
Download PDF (119.8 KB)
This book describes what happened when three German armies invad-ed Belgium in August 1914. In district after district, troops looted and burned homes and murdered the inhabitants. By the end of the month, nearly 6,000 Belgian civilians were dead, the equivalent of about 230,000 Americans today. The worst of the carnage took place during an eight-...
CHAPTER 1An ultimatum
Download PDF (195.4 KB)
Sunday, August 2, 1914, was not an auspicious day in the career of Karl-Konrad von Below-Saleske, German Minister to Belgium.¹ Suave and polished, recruited from the ranks of the aristocracy, like nearly all pre-war diplomats, the forty-eight-year-old envoy had served the German Empire in Turkey and China before assuming his position in Brussels ...
Download PDF (725.7 KB)
GEMMENICH: CROSSING THE RUBICON The first Belgians to encounter the invaders were two border guards at Gemmenich, on the route to Visé, officers Thill and Conard. They were approached by about twenty-five uhlans at 8:05 on the morning of August 4th. The gendarmes stood their ground and ordered the patrol to halt. “Belgian frontier!” they an-...
Download PDF (1.8 MB)
...“A VERY KINDLY, GOOD MAN” The Germans approached Aarschot very early on the morning of August 19. At 5:30 a.m., their artillery began bombarding Belgian positions east of the town. The 9th Regiment of the 3rd Division was not attempting to hold Aarschot, but was covering the Army’s retreat to the Antwerp forts. The regiment was outnumbered ...
Download PDF (989.3 KB)
A BAD ATTITUDE Andenne, with a little over 7,900 inhabitants in 1914, sits on the right bank of the Meuse, about one-third of the way from Na-mur to Liège. It lay in the path of the 28th Regiment of Pioneers and the 81st, 83rd, and 87th Infantry Regiments of the southernmost corps of von Bülow’s Second Army, the Reserve Prussian Guard, which was advanc-...
Download PDF (1.8 MB)
CROSSES “I have said that the worst of all was Tamines,” wrote the American minister to Belgium, Brand Whitlock, of the massacres of ci-But perhaps it only seems the worst because it made such an impression on the minds of the young men of the C.R.B. [the Commission for Relief in Belgium]. “Yes, but have you seen Tamines?” they would say whenever the conversation, ...
CHAPTER 6Dinant: Introduction, Leffe
Download PDF (1.5 MB)
...records and memoirs (there is a passing reference in the German White Book)¹, a decisive French victory on August 15 may have provoked the destruction of Dinant and the massacre of its inhabitants on the 23rd. The French repelled a premature attempt on the part of the Third Army to force a passage of the Meuse. (The larger significance of von Hausen’s ...
CHAPTER 7Dinant: St. Jacques, St. Nicolas
Download PDF (4.5 MB)
ST. JACQUES: INTRODUCTION The authors of the crimes in the quartier St. Jacques were soldiers of the 46th Brigade of the 23rd Division, in particu-The officers and soldiers who executed civilians in Leffe and in the districts south of St. Jacques attempted to explain and justify their actions in the German White Book. But the principal massacre in the quartier St. ...
CHAPTER 8Dinant: Les Rivages, Neffe
Download PDF (1.4 MB)
LES RIVAGES: OVERVIEW Les Rivages in 1914 consisted of two streets run-ning parallel to the river. Homes faced the water across quai de la Meuse and lined both sides of rue des Rivages a block east. Because of its ex-posed position, the Germans didn’t reach the Meuse at Les Rivages until mid-afternoon on Sunday, the 23rd. The first man to arrive that day was ...
CHAPTER 9Leuven: Preliminaries
Download PDF (234.8 KB)
SAINT THOMAS HOSPITAL Hervé de Gruben, a student at the Higher In-stitute of Philosophy (Institute St. Thomas), left Leuven on July 22nd, just before the three-week examination period ended. He was looking Scarcely had I settled there when, in the newspapers of the 25th, I read Austria’s ulti-matum to Serbia. Then one grave item of news succeeded another, causing general ...
CHAPTER 10Leuven: Fire and Sword
Download PDF (3.7 MB)
INTRODUCTION Until the night of the 25th, one of the most distressing things about the German occupation was the dearth of news. Leuven residents had no idea that the “First Sortie” had commenced the after-noon of the 24th until they heard guns booming in the distance the fol-lowing morning. The Battle of the Frontiers had been raging for over ...
CHAPTER 11Leuven: Exodus
Download PDF (989.1 KB)
INTRODUCTION For most of Leuven’s residents, the suffering inflicted on them after they were expelled from the city exceeded what they had endured during the first forty-eight hours of the sack. Much depended on where one went. Most families were directed to the station, where hundreds of individuals had been taken by force before the 27th. But ...
CHAPTER 12Leuven: Aftermath
Download PDF (656.1 KB)
...“A COMMENDABLE JOB” Armed with bleaching powder and carbolic acid, and wearing a surgeon’s apron and rubber gloves, Frans Claes (Father Valerius), Professor of Social and Political Science, began the daunting task of locating and transporting to the cemetery the bodies of those massacred on the 25th and 26th. He and his assistants began with corpses ...
Download PDF (317.0 KB)
FRANC-TIREURS? Were German soldiers responding, albeit harshly, to at-tacks by Belgian civilians? The question as to whether or not there were any franc-tireurs had been discussed in the chapter on Liège. To reca-pitulate briefly, any determination has to rest ultimately on the plausibil-ity of Belgian accounts, as opposed to the claims of the depositions in the ...
CHAPTER 14Denials: Germany
Download PDF (1.1 MB)
INTRODUCTION The following two chapters describe attempts in Ger-many, Great Britain, and the U.S. to deny that the German Army mas-sacred innocent civilians during the 1914 invasion of Belgium. The mo-tives of those in Germany who wished to discredit the evidence of war crimes were straightforward. Germany was at war with the Allies, and ...
CHAPTER 15Denials: Britain and America
Download PDF (578.5 KB)
QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES The section that follows describes how German war crimes in Belgium came to be regarded in the English-speaking world as the invention of British propagandists. From un-promising beginnings – the quixotic wartime pronouncements of Ber-trand Russell and G. B. Shaw – the notion that massacres of innocent ...
Download PDF (3.5 MB)
DEJA-VU At 3 a.m. on May 17, 1940, a monk in the Benedictine abbey of Keizersberg high above Leuven was startled to observe flames flick-ering from the roof of the University Library, rebuilt in the late 1920s. An hour later, a Minorite friar in town stepped outside and saw small pieces of burned paper flying up in the air. Like Emile Schmit, Lodewijk ...
APPENDIXThe Report of the British Committeeon Alleged German Outrages (RBC)
Download PDF (175.6 KB)
On September 15, 1914, Ronald McNeill rose in the House of Commons and asked if the Government had any plans to investigate charges of atrocities against the Germany Army. Replying for the Government, the Prime Minister said that he had already instructed the Home Secre-tary and the Attorney General to “take the steps necessary to ascertain ...
Download PDF (976.1 KB)
Download PDF (174.1 KB)
Download PDF (73.5 KB)
Download PDF (927.4 KB)
Page Count: 816
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: History