Saturday, August 01, 2009
95 years ago... August 2nd 1914
On August 2 1914 the Imperial German Government delivered an ultimatum demanding free passage for its army through Belgium to attack France. Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned the Belgians nonetheless chose to resist, as best as they could, the invasion of their country. There weren't a lot of truly "innocent" victims in the insanity of the First World War. Belgium was the exception. The country had strictly observed a policy of diplomatic neutrality and isolationism. Relying on the honor of its neighbors to respect their neutrality (guaranteed by treaty) the Belgians refused to enter into any alliances and largely ignored their national defenses. At the outbreak of hostilities their army had almost no heavy artillery and only a handful of machine guns. Their rifles were antiquated with many soldiers limited to one round of live ammunition per year for target practice. They paid a heavy price.