Friday, 18 July 2014


German troops entered Brussels, Belgium's capital, on 20th August, 1914. The Belgian government had already moved out to the port of Antwerp, which had the same kind of out-of-date fortifications as Liege, and so it was surmised that as soon as the Germans could move up their Big Bertha guns, it would be curtains for Antwerp.

As for Brussels, it was a pretty city, so rather than have it smashed up for no good reason; the German army were offered unopposed entry. It was hoped that the invaders would behave themselves with decorum.

As this photograph shows, the German army were an orderly lot when they wanted to be. Someone in their military hierarchy could not resist organizing a Brussels victory parade - the photos would doubtless play well in the newspapers back home. But it was the start of an appallingly oppressive occupation. It soon became apparent that in their haste to conquer their little neighbour, they had overlooked one rather important detail – how to feed the population.

It wasn't long before Belgium had had its chips.

My latest novel The Deadly Playground, 1914 is out now. Why not click on this link and get yourself a copy?

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