11.11.11: the Armistice

At the start of November 1918, an allied delegation and representatives of the new German government came together to prepare an armistice. The negotiations were conducted in a train carriage in the woods of Compiegne, on the allied side of the front. The Germans, however, did not have much room for negotiation.
Redactie 10 November 2019

The story of warpapers, now on Belgian Press of the Great War

What do newspapers reveal about the Great War? A whole lot, apparently. People got their news from written sources in times of no social media, television or radio. The new website elaborates on the role and importance of newspapers from the First World War. Apart from the 270.000 newspaper pages it also shows you the way to digitisation project The Belgian War PRess and BelgicaPress.
Redactie 12 July 2019

Elections in Wartime

In October 2018, the Belgian people will go to the ballot box to elect a new municipal council, as we do every six years. Before the First World War, this was as often as every four years! The mayors and municipal council members elected in 1911, however, kept their posts for almost a decade.
Redactie 18 April 2018

Russia quits the War

In spring 1917, the Russian tsar was overthrown. The interim government that took power promised a freer, more democratic regime. When it came to the war, however, the new regime was categorical: Russia would continue the struggle together with the Allies until Germany surrendered unconditionally. A separate peace was not an option, though it was the greatest wish of the Russian people.
Redactie 14 December 2017

Tanks at the Front!

The First World War quickly got bogged down in a trench war whose front lines barely moved, and which had all warring parties frantically searching for ways to break the stalemate. Independently of each other, the French and British hit on the same idea: motorised, armoured vehicles armed with machine guns and cannons.
Redactie 05 December 2017

A Pint Brewed from Treacle and Pigeon Feed

The First World War had a devastating impact on most economic activities in Belgium. The breweries in the unoccupied part of the country behind the front formed an exception, however – they flourished, thanks to an explosive population growth in the region during the war years.
Redactie 07 November 2017

Mata Hari

A century after her death, Mata Hari is still a household name. She is mainly remembered as a femme fatale, a dangerous double agent who used her sensuality to extract military secrets. On 15 October 1917, she died before a firing squad in the woods near Paris.
Redactie 13 October 2017

A Banquet for Activists

At the request of Flemish Movement activists, the German occupying force reopened the University of Ghent in 1916, this time with Dutch as the language of instruction rather than French. The German interference went against the grain of many professors, and only a limited number of students enrolled. In spite of that, the 'Flemish Academy' stayed open.
Redactie 10 October 2017

Knights of the Skies

In the early days of aviation in 1914, people already had soaring expectations of it. The airplane would allow humanity to go further, faster and higher. When the First World War broke out, both the Germans and the Allies immediately started exploring the military possibilities of aviation.
Redactie 11 September 2017