Wednesday, August 31, 2011
At least the Prince can say he did not fall down this time in front of everybody, tripping over the carpet like in Monte Carlo.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
The contribution of foreign experts to the instruction and modernization of the Ethiopian military was considered crucial and the largest probably came from Sweden. However, there were Swiss, British, Dutch, Finnish and an array of other foreigners represented in helping the Ethiopians prepare themselves to fight the Italians. The Belgian government sent a military mission to Ethiopia in 1934 which established itself at Harar to build up two completely modern infantry battalions, in addition to squadrons of horse cavalry, camel cavalry and armored cars. In 1935 one Belgian Colonel Reul commanded the "Unofficial Belgian Mission" to Ethiopia, all modern soldiers where he reported to Emperor Haile Selassie at his headquarters at Dese. The Belgian Congo also sent many military instructors and these were highly prized since the Force Publique was the most feared military force in Africa made up of African soldiers. They helped to organize and modernize the Ethiopian army and Belgian officers even led some of these troops into battle such as Captain Cambier who was killed in one of the early battles with the Italians.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Never, since 1839, has a more solemn hour struck for Belgium: the integrity of our territory is threatened.
The very force of our righteous cause, the sympathy which Belgium, proud of her free institutions and her moral victories, has always received from other nations, and the necessity of our autonomous existence in respect of the equilibrium of Europe, make us still hopeful that the dreaded emergency will not be realized.
But if our hopes are betrayed, if we are forced to resist the invasion of our soil, and to defend our threatened homes, this duty, however hard it may be, will find us armed and resolved upon the greatest sacrifices.
Even now, in readiness for any eventuality, our valiant youth is up in arms, firmly resolved, with the traditional tenacity and composure of the Belgians, to defend our threatened country.
In the name of the nation, I give it a brotherly greeting. Everywhere in Flanders and Wallonia, in the towns and in the countryside, one single feeling binds all hearts together: the sense of patriotism.
One single vision fills all minds: that of our independence endangered. One single duty imposes itself upon our wills: the duty of stubborn resistance.
In these solemn circumstances two virtues are indispensable: a calm but unshaken courage, and the close union of all Belgians.
The irreproachable mobilization of our army, the multitude of voluntary enlistments, the devotion of the civil population, the abnegation of our soldiers' families, have revealed in an unquestionable manner the reassuring courage which inspires the Belgian people.
It is the moment for action.
I have called you together, gentlemen, in order to enable the Legislative Chambers to associate themselves with the impulse of the people in one and the same sentiment of sacrifice.
You will understand, gentlemen, how to take all those immediate measures which the situation requires, in respect both of the war and of public order.
No one in this country will fail in his duty.
If the foreigner, in defiance of that neutrality whose demands we have always scrupulously observed, violates our territory, he will find all the Belgians gathered about their sovereign, who will never betray his constitutional oath, and their Government, invested with the absolute confidence of the entire nation.
I have faith in our destinies; a country which is defending itself conquers the respect of all; such a country does not perish!
3 August 1914
This note has made a deep and painful impression upon the Belgian Government. The intentions attributed to France by Germany are in contradiction to the formal declarations made to us on August 1, in the name of the French Government.
Moreover, if, contrary to our expectation, Belgian neutrality should be violated by France, Belgium intends to fulfil her international obligations and the Belgian army would offer the most vigorous resistance to the invader.
Belgium has always been faithful to her international obligations, she has carried out her duties in a spirit of loyal impartiality, and she has left nothing undone to maintain and enforce respect for her neutrality.
The attack upon her independence with which the German Government threaten her constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. No strategic interest justifies such a violation of law.
The Belgian Government, if they were to accept the proposals submitted to them, would sacrifice the honour of the nation and betray their duty towards Europe.
Conscious of the part which Belgium has played for more than eighty years in the civilisation of the world, they refuse to believe that the independence of Belgium can only be preserved at the price of the violation of her neutrality.
If this hope is disappointed the Belgian Government are firmly resolved to repel, by all the means in their power, every attack upon their rights.