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Belgium from 1939 to 1945


Belgium during world war II
Belgium during world war II

In 1936, after France failed to oppose German remilitarization of the Rhineland, Belgium again returned to neutrality with the understanding that Britain and France would assist in its defense against foreign aggression. Nevertheless, Belgium was attacked for a second time by Germany on May 10, 1940, early in World War II. Without warning or ultimatum, Belgian airfields, railroad stations, and communications centers were bombed by German planes, and German armored units rolled across the border. The army and the French and British troops that came to Belgium’s aid were overwhelmed by the superior might of the invading forces.

By May 26, 1940, the Allies had been pushed into a narrow beachhead around Dunkerque, France, near the Belgian border. King Leopold III surrendered his remaining forces unconditionally on May 28 and was taken prisoner. The Belgian cabinet, which had fled to Paris, refused to acknowledge defeat, declaring the king’s surrender “illegal and unconstitutional.” On May 30 the ministers voted to divest the king of all powers and of the right to rule, a decision supported by the Belgian parliament. After the fall of France, the Belgian government moved to London; it returned to Brussels on September 8, 1944. Later that month parliament elected Leopold’s brother, Prince Charles, as regent. "Belgium" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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