Wednesday, 21 December 2011

albert king of the belgians

King Albert is the most beloved of Belgium's monarch, largely because if his role in resisting the Germans. Albert while visiting Berlin in 1909 was informed by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany's war plan. He is famous for remarking about the Germans, "Belgium is a nation, not a road." Albert was aware of the German invasion plans, but could do nothing, as Belgium's neutrality prevented the country from arming itself. In August 1914 Germany demanded permission to march its army through Belgium to attack France. Albert refused. Germany not withstanding the Treaty of London (the famous "scrap of paper"), invaded Belgium. It was later said by French Prime Minister Clemenceau when asked how history would remember the start of World War I, replied "One thing is for certain: they will not say that Belgium invaded Germany." Gemany occupied most of Belgium before stopped by British and French troops. The Belgian constitution provided that the King would become Commander in Chief in case of war. Albert led the Belgians in delaying actions against the powerful Germans drive preventing the Germans from gaining victory in first month of the War as they had planned. While the Belgian Army was small and poorly equipped, The gallant Belgian action in the face of the massive German invasion force did slow the German advance, probably saving Paris and was a key factor leading to the French "Miracle on the Marne" that finally stopped the German Army. Albert became regarded as a great hero of the War. Nearly all of Belgium, however, was occupied by the Germans through 4 years of war. King Albert declined to cooperate with the Allies and maintained separate command of the Belgian forces. In 1918 Albert finally gave in to pressure and cooperated with the allies in the final offense of 1918, being made commander of the Flanders Army Group by General Foch of France. 

No comments:

Post a Comment