“A Less-Than-Total Total War”: Neutrality, Invasion, and the Stakes of War, 1914–1918

  • Sophie De SchaepdrijverEmail author


This chapter examines the concept of “war culture” as a set of beliefs that allowed the Belgians to countenance war as a necessary reality. A major contribution of this chapter is its account of King Albert’s Book, published by the Daily Telegraph for Christmas 1914, in which the “sacrifice” of Belgium was eulogized and Belgium’s status as a martyred nation established. De Schaepdrijver dismisses as a myth the widespread view of Belgian sufferings as a “sacrifice for the greater good”, and sees the reality of Belgium’s position as lying in its need to comply with international law in order to ensure its long-term survival as an independent, neutral nation.


Occupied Countries Occupied Population Belgian Government Belgian Army Rhetorical Mobilization 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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