Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy – March 2023
English | 86 pages | pdf | 52.36 MB

Belgium is known affectionately to the French as “the gateway to Germany”, and just as affectionately to the Germans as “the gateway to France”.
— Tony Hendra

While Belgium may be a relatively new country (gaining independence in 1830), the land has a long history, from the Romans who first wrote of the Belgae. After changing hands several times in the Middle Ages, the southern Low Countries saw a succession of Spanish, Austrian, and French rulers following in turn, before brief unification with the Netherlands, and finally becoming independent.
From its independence until 1940, Belgium attempted to maintain its neutrality. Unfortunately, due its location, many battles have been fought on its soil, including both of the World Wars. Belgium was a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1947 and is now the seat of both NATO headquarters and the European Union, again thanks to its location.
In this issue, we will explore some of the many conflicts that have occurred in Belgium over the centuries. There are far more than we could adequately cover in one issue, so we have chosen a wide spectrum of battles to give readers a taster. Just last issue, we featured “Welkom in Vlaanderen!”, about the Battle of Walcourt in 1689. The Battle of Waterloo is of course the elephant in the room here. But in my mind at least, Napoleon’s great defeat is its own topic, one which has been covered before in WS&S. Next issue, we will look at the twilight of the Hundred Years’ War and how the French monarchy went from disaster to triumph in the conflict.

Guy Bowers
[email protected]

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