Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Belgians in the Trenches

This scene is from the movie "Indiana Jones and the Trenches of Hell". I should give background: Indiana Jones lied about his age and joined the Belgian army as "Henri Defense" to fight in World War I. Before this scene it is explained that his company had been through heavy fighting and all their officers and sergeants are killed. That is why the lieutenant and sergeant are French, they are temporary until Belgian replacements can arrive. The French nor Belgians are happy about this "our countries have had their differences" the lieutenant says but, I like the French general saying the Belgians "are hell on the enemy" (yes!) and they get into this heavy fighting seen here. It seems very realistic to me though I don't know about the Germans horses wearing gas-masks, I never saw that before, seems unreal. Good showing though of how hard the fighting was for the Belgian troops in World War I.


  1. My grandfather was a Vetenerian and often spoke of horses wearing masks! Maybe this will help?

    Captured by the Germans,my other grandfather escaped to Britain and sent to train with the French infantry (!) before joining Belgian Forces in the trenches for 4 years.

    Vive la Belgique!

  2. That is true, I have seen the pictures of horse cavalry (rider and animal alike) wearing protective gear. However, as much as I like that episode, it is probably not very accurate to have horse cavalry charging in a major trench assault like that. Aside from a scouting role in the early days before trenches, cavalry did not do much on the western front, at least not in terms of mounted combat.

  3. That is interesting to know. It looked unreal to me having horses draped in gas capes. Good for the movie though, made the Germans look VERY creepy!

  4. Bonjour!

    Here is another site for you and for Mad Monarchist information, cavalry on both sides were used extensively for the duration!

    Bonne journee!

  5. The Belgian cavalry was very good. 12 August 1914 was the famous 'Battle of the Silver Helmets' when the Belgian cavalry defeated the German cavalry corps that was trying to cut off the army from Antwerp. The Belgian cavalry gave the Germans very heavy losses in that one.