Americans in Occupied Belgium, 1914–1918
Accounts of the War from Journalists, Tourists, Troops and Medical Staff
About the Book
Belgium in the First World War—the first country invaded, the longest occupied, and when the war finally ended, the first forgotten. In 1914, Belgium was home to a large American colony which included representatives of American companies, artists, writers and diplomats with the American Legation. After the invasion, American journalists and adventurers flocked there to follow the action; military restrictions on travel were less stringent than in England or France.
As the most industrialized country in Europe, Belgium depended upon trade and food imports to support its economy. The war isolated Belgium and wholesale starvation was imminent by the fall of 1914. Herbert Hoover and his Commission for Relief in Belgium raised funds to purchase and import food to sustain Belgium and, eventually, Occupied France as well. Idealistic American volunteers (including some Rhodes scholars) supervised food distribution in the occupation zone. Along the Western Front in Belgium, hundreds of Americans served (illegally) in the British and Canadian armies. This book tells the story of the German invasion, occupation and retreat from the perspective of Americans who were there.
About the Author(s)
For years, Ed and Libby Klekowski have spent lengthy periods in a farmhouse in Lorraine, exploring the nearby villages and forests for the artifacts of war. Their discoveries were the basis of two hour-long documentaries on World War I on American Public Television. They live in Leverett, Massachusetts.
Ed Klekowski and Libby Klekowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 51 photos, 10 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1. The Attack 9
2. Book Burning 30
3. Murder and Mayhem on the Meuse 50
4. Besieged Antwerp 67
5. The Last Ditch in Belgium 91
6. Prussian Belgium 113
7. Is Food a Weapon? 131
8. Feeding the Etappen Zone and Social Darwinism 151
9. Battles Around Ypres 169
10. Medieval U-Boat Nest 190
11. Americans Going and Coming 208
12. Final Acts 227
13. After the War 244
Chapter Notes 259
Book Reviews & Awards
“vividly describes the human condition of Americans in Belgium and uncovers the horror brought against the Belgian people by the German Army. The authors captivate the reader by revealing the personal experience and individual perspective of the war and its effects…gripping accounts”—H-Net Reviews.