The Low Countries is a term broadly applied to the small countries in northwestern Europe, specifically Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, also known by the acronym Benelux. The name is taken from the low altitudes of the region which these countries encompass.
Low Countries in The Hot War
On the morning of 18 February 1951, the massed tanks of the Soviet Red Army began the invasion of West Germany through Fulda with the operational goal of the Rhine River. Once the western zones of Germany were cleared, it would be decided whether the Low Countries and France would be attacked, in turn.
Low Countries in Ruled Britannia
Low Countries in Southern Victory
German Colonel Alfred von Schlieffen had recommended violating the neutrality of the Netherlands and Belgium to invade France in the event of a Franco-German war. German forces did so in the early days of the Great War. Some Low countries remained neutral despite the violation, others joined the Entente. Belgian soldiers saw action on the Western Front. As a result, Belgium was occupied during the war and annexed to Germany afterward. The Netherlands maintained neutrality, but in the immediate aftermath of the war, it grew closer to Germany diplomatically.
In the Second Great War, it was the British Army which violated the Netherlands' neutrality during its 1941-2 drive on Hamburg, forcing it to officially join the Central Powers. The Low Countries were a major battlefield in Europe both in 1941 and in 1943, with Britain and France temporarily liberating Belgium in 1941 and then Holland, and Germany retaking both in 1943.
When the war ended in 1944, Belgium was once again fully occupied by Germany. An area between the Belgian cities of Ghent and Bruges was hit by a British superbomb when the plane carrying it was shot down by a German plane. While this was a bit of good luck for Germany, it did Belgium no favours.
Low Countries in Worldwar
The Low Countries were conquered by Germany early in World War II. After the war against the Race's Conquest Fleet ended with the Peace of Cairo in 1944, the Race and other human powers recognised German sovereignty over these countries, which were annexed to the Greater German Reich.
- Bombs Away, pg. 114, HC.