August 1914 in Belgium
'the Opening Rounds'

the Fall of the Fortresses of Liége, Namur and Dinant

On the eve of battle : Belgian troops take up positions around the citadel of Liége.


As the French armies hurled themselves at the German frontiers in eastern France, the main German advance began through neutral Belgium. Hardly a warlike nation, it was not expected that the Belgian army would put up more than a token resistance to the invading armies. Much to everyone's surprise and to the German's annoyance, the little nation of shopkeepers and farmers proved to be a tougher nut to crack than was expected. There was little doubt as to the ultimate outcome, but even so the forts of Liége held up the German advance for 2 weeks and provided the Allies and the Belgians with great newpaper headlines.

In the early days of August there were few reporters on hand. Later newspaper correspondents from all over the world flocked to Belgium but by then Liége had fallen and Namur and Dinant soon followed. There are however some accounts of eyewitness reporting that still make for interesting reading. In the links section below, you will find several excerpts regarding these events.


Links to Contemporary Texts

English Texts
The Stand of Liége
'At the Front with Three Armies' : Liége - by Granville Fortescu
'At the Front with Three Armies' : Namur - by Granville Fortescu
'At the Front with Three Armies' : DInant - by Granville Fortescu
'Hacking Through Belgium' : Liége
How Liege Won the Legion of Honour
The Campaign Round Liége
The Campaign Round Liége : Namur
Great Battles of the Great War : Liége
An American Reporter Visits Fort Loncin - by Irvin S. Cobb
The Story of Liege, from Personal Investigation
Kidnapping General Leman
French Texts
Combats à Retinne - 1914
Brève Histoire d'un Soldat du 29e, Défenseur de Liège
Souvenirs d'une Maman de Soldat - Liège 1914
La Résistance et la Prise des Forts de Liège
l'Agonie du Fort de Loncin
Le Colonel Naessens
Récits de Combattants
La Défense de Visé
La Prise du Premier Drapeau Allemand
l'Attaque des Bureaux de la 3e Division Liège
l'Attentat de la Rue Sainte-Foi
Combat de Sart-Tilman
La Retraite des 800
Le Fort de Chaudfontaine - Aout 1914
Le Fort de Loncin
Quelques Épisodes de la Retraite de Namur
La Prise de Namur - 23 Aout 1914
l'Héroique Défense de Liège
Bataille de Charleroi - Notes et Impressions
Six Jours de Mobilisation


Liége and Surrounding Forts


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