This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Steve wrote:British General Allanbrooke wrote the following in his diary during the campaign. About Belgian General van Overstraeten "I found that arguing with him a sheer waste of time, "I found that arguing with him a sheer waste of time, he was not familiar with the dispositions of the B.E.F. and seemed to care little about them. Most of his suggestions were fantastic"and seemed to care little about them. Most of his suggestions were fantastic". On May 12th "Results of the day are not satisfactory as regards resistance put up by Belgians". On the 14th "Gort was not really in the picture as to the troubles and difficulties which I have been having with the Belgians. Nor did he realise their poor fighting quality". On the 19th "If we let go our hold on the Belgians now I feel certain they will stop fighting". On the 25th "Recieved information at 2am that the German penetration through the Belgian front was growing rapidly and that the Belgians were not offering much resistance".
Hitler wrote on May 25 to Mussolini "The Belgian soldier, too, has generally fought very bravely. His experience of war was considerably greater than that of the Dutch. At the beginning his tenacity was astounding. This is now decreasing visibly as the Belgian soldier realises that his basic function is to cover the British retreat".
Though Hitler and Alanbrooke disagree on the ammount of resistance offered by the Belgium army at the start of the campaign, and Alanbrooke may have been to harsh, they both agree that it was almost at an end by the 25th. The Belgium army suffered 23,350 killed and wounded.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:Just to ask a question here, which has puzzled considerablly. Before 10 may 1940 the Gelgian Army had deployed a mobile corps in its Ardennes region. The general deployment of this corps made sense. A foward screen was posted on the German Luxembourg border, and the main force was distributed further west around the fortification built in the 1930s. This appears to be a reasonable deployment for a delaying action, or fighting withdrawl.
On the morning of 10 May as the German attack developed it appears a order went out for the screening force on the border to fall back imeadiatly. It also seems this was part of general order to leave the Ardennes as quickly as possible. In any case the Belgians seem to have delayed the Germans for the briefest time & then withdrew north of the Maas River as soon as French soldiers arrived.
Was there infact a order given for the Belgian dfenders to move north so quickly?
Why was this order given, as it abandoned consdierable areas of well developed defenses, bunkers, roadblocks, ect?
pugsville wrote:the refusal of the Belgians to face facts about German intentions is one of the major critical causes of the allied defeat in 1940. they refused the allies moving into Belgium before the Germans actuality attacked. they wished to be defended by the allies but clung madly to their neutrality despite capturing the German plans. foolish and stupid, they had evidence of the German intention.
IF the allies had been allowed to advance in the phony war period and took up their positions, the ardennes would have been defended, the planned demolitions completed. The German plan defeated.
Belgian stupidity and cowardice by the King was a direct cause of the allied defeat in 1940,
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