This is no time to embark on a complete history of the war in Belgium--too many essential facts are still missing.

The German offensive of May 1940 was so dramatic and had such devastating results that it made a very deep impression on public opinion. People were badly shaken by such unexpected events; they were bewildered, and found it difficult to understand what had happened. Under the emotional strain of those critical hours, feeling was so intense that the facts were distorted and twisted. The popular imagination seized on the kind of explanation that always flourishes in time of trouble: the disaster was said to be due to treason or, to use the current expression, to the work of a Fifth Column which was said to be assuming alarming proportions. Amongst thinking people some deemed it wiser to suspend judgment.

A year has now elapsed. Many new facts have gradually come to light and their accuracy has been tested. We are also a little farther away and are able to judge them in their true perspective.

In these circumstances, we have thought fit to bring together such of the principal documents as we have been able to obtain. They are arranged in chronological order, and are preceded by a commentary putting them in their proper setting and showing the connexion between them. The comments also describe the mission assigned to Belgium,


in agreement with the neighbouring Powers, in the arrangements for guaranteeing the security of Western Europe, and what she did to fulfil it. With the help of these documents, the reader should be able to form his own judgment.

The series comes to an end with the surrender which brought the campaign of the Belgian Army to a close on May 28th. A second work on similar lines will deal with the steps taken by Belgium--with the co-operation of the British Government and the other Governments engaged in the common fight--to free her national territory.

July, 1941


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Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation