The Belgian Army in World War I

The Belgian Army in World War I

The Belgian Army in World War I
Osprey Men-at-arms 452

Written by Ronald Pawly and Pierre Lierneux
Illustrated by Patrice Courcelle
Osprey Publishing 2009, 48 pages
ISBN: 978-1-84603-448-0

The Belgian Army in World War I at Osprey...

When this book rolled into the office with a bunch of other Osprey new releases last month there was initially little interest from the rest of the team. The general drift of most comments were, “the Belgians, World War One, didn’t they just get steamrolled?”

But as a bit of a WWI buff myself I took up the challenge and took it home for a read. It, in fact, reads very well. The first half of the book is a well-constructed concise overview of the Belgian Army’s part in the campaigns of the western front. It covers their courageous fight against the German invasion and how this brought time for British and French forces to arrive in the region. It then goes onto their part in holding the line from 1915 to 1917 until the final grand offensives in 1918.

It covers the unusual aspects of the fighting such as the flooding of the Yser and the Germans brutal suppression of the Belgian civilians. There is also a brief section on Belgian Air Force during the war.

The last third of the book covers the weapons and dress of the Belgian Army during WWI backed up by the usual array of colour plates in the middle of the book. The Belgians went through a number visual changes from uniform and weapons to specialist clothing for the watery Yser front.

My only bugbear with the book is just the one double page colour plate, F & G. It seems like the artist, Patrice Courcelle, has not quite finished the particular plate. However, I quite like the rest of the plates and their watercolour style reminds me of the late great Richard Scollins.

Overall this a great introduction to the Belgian Army of World War One and it will prove a handy resource to Wargamers and Modellers alike.


Last Updated On Friday, March 5, 2021 by Wayne at Battlefront