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Belgian Army

Lithograph postcard of the uniforms of the Belgian military including infantry, cavalry, and bicycle corps beneath a portrait of King Albert I.
Text, Reverse:
Litho - L. Clement & Cie. Rue Ste Anne 23, Bruxelles

Lithograph postcard of the uniforms of the Belgian military including infantry, cavalry, and bicycle corps beneath a portrait of King Albert I.

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Litho - L. Clement & Cie. Rue Ste Anne 23, Bruxelles

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Baedeker's 1910 Belgium and Holland Including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg reported the following as of 1905: conscription was by lottery with purchase of substitutes allowed. The peacetime army was 46,400 officers and men, which could be increased to 147,700 in the event of war. There were 19 infantry regiments (line, rifles, carabineer, grenadier), 8 cavalry (guides, chasseurs-à-cheval, lancers), 4 field artillery, 15 battalions of fortress artillery, engineers, and military train. The Garde Civique, the militia, had an additional 40,400 men.

The Belgian Army was being restructured when the war began in 1914, with a plan that called for a build-up of its forces to be completed in 1917.

On August 5, 1914, French Prime Minister René Viviani reported to the Chamber of Deputies that the Belgian Army mobilized with 250,000 men.

The defeat of Belgium left the country with few resources to draw on.

In 1916, Belgian forces lost 16,000 men. By the end of that year, Belgium had 130,000 men in arms.