sábado, 8 de febrero de 2014

4º British: The defense of Belgium

In 1914 the political situation in Europe was very delicate. Due to different political and military alliances, any small incident between two countries would support their respective allies, causing a " dominoes effect" and large-scale conflict.

One of those incidents was Belgium, a "young" (It was independent since 1830) and neutral country. The Germans wanted to cross Belgium in order to invade France. The Belgians, led by their King Albert I, offered a harsh and unexpected resistance. The German army used Zeppelin LZ to bomb the city of Liege, decisive city to their plans of conquest (besides this bombing was the beginning of the air war in military history) .

Still, Belgium resisted and became a symbol of "honor and courage", receiving praise (and military support) of France and England.

Precisely the British were reluctant to officially enter the war. And that is reflected in these verses of the famous satirical magazine Punch:

Why should I follow your fighting line
For a matter that’s no concern of mine?
I shall be asked to a general scrap
All over the European map,
Dragged into somebody else’s war.

After the Belgian example, the English opinion changed and the Goverment took active part in organizing the offensive with their continental allies. You can see this change of opinion through "The Gutemberg Project - Punch", a good collection of their cartoons.

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