The Belgian Army in World War I

The Belgian Army in World War I

by Ronald Pawly
     
 

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While small in numbers, the Belgian Army played a vital role in World War 1 that is often overlooked. Germany's invasion of neutral Belgium, which led Britain to declare war in August 1914, should have been swift and fierce yet the unexpected heroic defence, against great odds, of Belgian fortresses, frustrated the German Schlieffen Plan for a thrust to Paris and a

Overview

While small in numbers, the Belgian Army played a vital role in World War 1 that is often overlooked. Germany's invasion of neutral Belgium, which led Britain to declare war in August 1914, should have been swift and fierce yet the unexpected heroic defence, against great odds, of Belgian fortresses, frustrated the German Schlieffen Plan for a thrust to Paris and a lightning victory. The plucky Belgian resistance proved successful in buying time for French and British troops to mobilize and report to the front, where the Belgians would then go on to fight, stubbornly defending the northern end of the Allied trench line for the rest of the war. Discover the story of this determined Army, from their organization and commanders, to their uniforms and equipment. The only main combatant army of World War I not previously covered by Osprey, this volume will be an important addition to any enthusiast's collection, accompanied by detailed artwork and archive photographs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book fully covers the build up of the army, those heroic days and weeks in 1914 when the Belgians held back the German offense and their continuing defense of the northern part of the front until the end of the war. As with all Osprey Men-at-Arms books, it takes a look at the uniforms and equipment that were used by these men during the war. Assisted by a good choice of period photographs and the superb illustrations of Patrice Courcelle, you get a look at how these men lived and fought, defending what was, during most of the war, basically a swamp land dotted with small defensible islands... This all makes yet another great addition to the superb library of Osprey titles and one you can purchase with confidence.” —Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness, www.modelingmadness.com (July 2009)

“The first half of the book is a well-constructed concise overview of the Belgian Army's part in the campaigns of the western front. It covers their courageous fight against the German invasion and how this brought time for British and French forces to arrive in the region. It then goes onto their part in holding the line from 1915 to 1917 until the final grand offensives in 1918...Overall this a great introduction to the Belgian Army of World War One and it will prove a handy resource to Wargamers and Modellers alike.” —Flames of War (December 2009)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780964058
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
02/20/2012
Series:
Men-at-Arms , #452
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
48
File size:
8 MB

Meet the Author

Ronald Pawly was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1956 and still lives and works in that city. He is a respected member of several international societies for Napoleonic studies, and an expert on 19th century military portraiture. He is the author of the monumental The Red Lancers: Anatomy of a Napoleonic Regiment (Crowood Press, 1998), and of a study of Napoleonic veterans' tombs in Belgium. He has previously written for Osprey Men-at-Arms 355, Wellington's Belgian Allies 1815; MAA 371, Wellington's Dutch Allies 1815; MAA 371, Napoleon's Red Lancers; MAA 378, Napoleon's Guards of Honour; and Elite 115, Napoleon's Imperial Headquarters (1): Organization & Personnel. Although, a leading Napoleonic historian, Ronald Pawly has also always been fascinated by the First World War and has heavily researched the Belgian involvement in such a conflict.

Patrice Courcelle was born in northern France in 1950 and has been a professional illustrator for some 20 years. Entirely self-taught, he has illustrated many books and magazine articles for Continental publishers, and his work hangs in a number of public and private collections. His dramatic and lucid style has won him widespread admiration in the field of military illustration. His other enthusiasms include music, from Clapton and the blues to Mahler, and cooking. Patrice lives a few miles from the battlefield of Waterloo with his wife and son.

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