Famous Belgian soldiers

#1
I was having a conversation with a Belgian friend recently (alright, a rant about how they always expect someone else to defend them. TG we've known each other a long time and he doesn't take me seriously after that much beer), and tried to think of a famous Belgian war hero.

All I could come up with was Leon Degrelle, who doesn't really fit the mould of Belgian defender of democracy against totalitarian dictatorship. Does anyone have any better suggestions?
 
#7
This chap was born in Belgium to Russian parents so wee bit unsure if he was emigre Russian, Belgian or finally naturalised British.

Vladimir Peniakoff :? :?
 
#9
Young Indiana Jones was in the Belguim army!
 
#11
merchantman said:
As an individual soldier and battalion (not so much formation) commander, Carton de Wiart must be No 1, certainly among Belgian and, quite possibly, British troops of the 20th century. For once, that much-abused word 'awesome' is fully justified in describing this amazing man. Was he the only Belgian-born VC?
 
#12
Adrian Carton de Wiart was of Belgian/Irish descent. Born in Belgium, he was brought up in Egypt before being sent to school and university in England. He was commissioned into the Yeomanry, after an earlier stab at soldiering as an IV which ended in his being wounded. He then transferred that commission into the 4th DG. I think it is safe to say he was not a very Belgian Belgian but a very British one.

He is the only "Belgian VC". Although perhaps some of the Channel Islander recipients could opt, under EU rules to be considered Belgians?
 
#13
Cuddles said:
Adrian Carton de Wiart was of Belgian/Irish descent. Born in Belgium, he was brought up in Egypt before being sent to school and university in England. He was commissioned into the Yeomanry, after an earlier stab at soldiering as an IV which ended in his being wounded. He then transferred that commission into the 4th DG. I think it is safe to say he was not a very Belgian Belgian but a very British one.

He is the only "Belgian VC". Although perhaps some of the Channel Islander recipients could opt, under EU rules to be considered Belgians?
They'd need to have suffered a very serious head wound to consider that course of action! :D
 
#14
Democritus said:
Cuddles said:
Adrian Carton de Wiart was of Belgian/Irish descent. Born in Belgium, he was brought up in Egypt before being sent to school and university in England. He was commissioned into the Yeomanry, after an earlier stab at soldiering as an IV which ended in his being wounded. He then transferred that commission into the 4th DG. I think it is safe to say he was not a very Belgian Belgian but a very British one.

He is the only "Belgian VC". Although perhaps some of the Channel Islander recipients could opt, under EU rules to be considered Belgians?
They'd need to have suffered a very serious head wound to consider that course of action! :D
A mere whimsy on the lines of Guernseyman Budge Pountney opting to represent Scotland...and why wouldn't he? That's rhetoric by the way!
 
#17
A first-class all-rounder, apparently. He certainly deserved better than the bunch of scheming, back-stabbing politicians he had the misfortune to report to. (Some things never change.) Anyway, tribute to a fine soldier.
 
#18
Famous Belgian Soldiers...

Medieval and Renaissance Europe had quite a few:-

Rulers from the Counts of Flanders include:-
Charles the Bold
Emporer Charles Vth of the Holy Roman Empire

They also had quite a few local heros leaders of the burghers who gave the French mounted knights a kicking in the C14. Willem van Gullik of Bruges gets a monument for leading the Flemish footsolders at the Battle of the golden spurs in 1302. It was a bit like Bannockburn an unexpected result with the footsolders beatign the knights. (The Flemishg Ambassador to london once claimed that Robert the Bruce was really a Belgian. He claimed that the Bruces were origianly the "de Brugges".

General Marcognet one of Napoleon's Divisional commanders at Waterloo is buiried in Ypres, where he lived for the last decade of his life.

In the Great War 1914-1918 the Belgian army fought well at the start of the war. Their delaying tactics seriously hindered the Schlieffen Plan. They produced a coupleof air aces of whom Willie Coppens is the best known.
 
#19
Very impressed with Blondeel and de Wiart (although I had heard of the latter, I didn't realise he was Belgian). Thanks gents.
 
#20
What about the Count de Merode Westerloo? Served with the French Army throughout the War of the Spanish Succession. Lost a leg at the battle of Malplaquet and is quoted as having said to his servant "stop snivelling you fool, can't you see you have one less boot to polish"

:clap:
 

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