Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Our Great Kings, Part III, Albert I
Albert I was also a wise and far-sighted man who recognized the threat of Germany and, like Leopold II before him, tried to strengthen and modernize the Belgian military to be ready for any disaster. Often, unfortunately, the politicians were often not willing to recognize this threat and they had always been reluctant to spend money on defense and for what level of unpreparedness existed, responsibility rested with the government that controlled government funds rather than with the King. When war did come he stood up for the rights and independence of Belgium and spared himself no danger or discomfort in leading the army in defending the country. His courage was undoubted by all as he refused to leave Belgian soil and the crucial victory by the Belgian army on the Yser was crucial in saving the entire Allied line from being turned and rolled up by the Germans in the first months of the war. Maybe the most despicable criticism of Albert I is that he tried to “sell out” the Allies by trying to make peace with Germany and Austria during the war. This is the most ridiculous and outrageous criticism a person could make.