Invasion of Belgium
Overwhelming their enemies with weapons not seen or heard before, German troops with a strength 320,000 men were marching through Belgium at the speed of 30 km/day slaughtering anyone who came in their way. The first resistance was put up by Belgium at the border city of Liege (1) with 70,000 defenders.
Liege, a city surrounded by huge forts, built to undeniably halt a possible invasion by Germany was bombarded through long distances by German howitzers namely “Big Berthas” and reduced to almost nothing but rubbles. The towers which took efforts and resources of over 50 years to be constructed were hammered down in a matter of days resulting in the capture of the city and loss of over 16,000 Belgium troops while the Germans suffered just over 3000 casualties. These fortresses were all that Belgium had to defend itself and after they were demolished, nothing slowed down the German storm. French Army was also being defeated in every city and was retreating towards France.
At the same time, civilian resistance pockets were popping up in order to break the German advance. German troops were fired upon by citizens many times in the cities they occupied. This resulted in mass public executions of civilians, notably at Louvain and Brussels where German troops shot dead nearly every civilian they suspected. This genocide was deemed collectively as the “Rape of Belgium”.
By August 20th, Brussels had fallen to the Germans. All hopes were now placed on the British forces which finally arrived. On August 23rd, British and German troops faced each other for the first time in the war at the city of Mons (2). Fully motivated to secure the win and help their French and Belgium allies, they put up a brave resistance inflicting heavy casualties on the Germans at the beginning, but things again took a turn when German howitzers arrived forcing French and British troops alike to retreat into France. A final siege lasted at the city of Antwerp (3) where Belgium troops surrendered on 9th October suffering nearly 10,000 casualties and a formal capture of Belgium was now announced.