1914 : Going to war


On 2 August 1914, Germany presented Belgium with an ultimatum: the free passage of Reich troops headed towards France, or the invasion of its territory. The Belgian government had twelve hours to reply. After consultation, King Albert refused to give in to the ultimatum, in the name of the obligatory neutrality of the country. Two days later, on 4 August, the German troops crossed the national border. Belgium was at war! As soon as the news spread, the people of the capital took to the streets. The city was adorned with national flags, while the people sang the Brabançonne.