For a long time, it was generally believed that the 1914 declarations of war were made in a spirit of enthusiasm. Today's historiography nuances this view somewhat. In contrast to this generally held belief, newspaper commentaries described the idea of war on Belgian soil as something rather gruesome.
The Belgian people did, however, go to war in a determined and optimistic spirit. They felt it their duty to defend their fatherland and, above all, their freedom. Moreover, nobody expected the war to last very long. As early as September of 1914, the papers started questioning how much longer the war would last.
Read more on the complexity of war enthusiasm in our blog: ‘War enthusiasm’.
De grote oorlog