Talk:Free Belgian forces

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Good article Free Belgian forces has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Good topic star Free Belgian forces is part of the Belgium in World War II series, a good topic. This is identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 4, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
February 25, 2014 Good topic candidate Promoted
Current status: Good article

Force Publique arrives in Ethiopia[edit]

The date for their arrival is given as June 1940 - can that be right? George Weller is always maddening vague on dates and chronology, but pretty firmly states: "[they attacked Asosa] March 11, just six weeks after the Belgians left the Congo." Which would mean they "left the Congo" (whatever that might mean!) in late January/early February, 1941 and arrived in Abyssinia... two or three weeks later? In any case, June '40 seems much too early. Great article, in general Tomseattle (talk) 01:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


Very good article. I have translated it into French for French Wikipedia. I have just one question. I noticed that, according to the article, the 350th Belgian squadron has been created more or less one year before the 349th. Is this correct? --Lebob-BE 18:17, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. The dates are correct, I listed the squadrons in numerical order, probably better to put them in the order they were created. W. B. Wilson 03:46, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


The Navy section here says Free Belgian Navy had two corvettes and a group of minesweepers; does anyone have any information about them? They aren't listed in the books I have access to; Conway just says that what ships the Belgian Navy had (gunboats, fishery protection vessels) were captured by the Germans in 1940. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:21, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

The seven minesweepers are mentioned on p. 17 of Foreign Volunteers of the Allied Forces. Note the minesweepers may have been acquired from another nation like Great Britain after 1940. Cheers, W. B. Wilson (talk) 08:07, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Free Belgian Forces/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hchc2009 (talk · contribs) 12:17, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I'll read through properly later on and commence the review proper. Hchc2009 (talk) 12:17, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for taking this on! Brigade Piron (talk) 14:17, 22 July 2013 (UTC)


(a) the prose is clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct;


  • "serving in Belgian-only units as well as in British units." - "mixed-British units"?
  • "German forces invaded Belgium, which had been following a policy of neutrality, on 10 May 1940. " - it's in the lead, but you probably need to start this paragraph by mentioning World War II somewhere.
  • " shortly after the Belgian surrender, Hubert Pierlot called for the creation of an army-in-exile to continue the fight" - you'll need to explain who he is - e.g "the Belgian Prime Minister, Hubert Pierlot, called for..."
  • "Already in July 1940, a British Mass Observation report..." - the "already" doesn't quite make sense here
  • The last two paragraphs of "Creation of the Free Belgian forces" feel like they should be combined; they seem like the same topic, and are otherwise both one sentence long paras.
All changed.Brigade Piron (talk) 17:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • the Brigade Piron - it needs to be consistently italicised (it is sometimes, at other times not)
OK, it's done.
  • " a significant number of Belgian pilots made it to England." - repetition of "significant". "escaped to England"?
  • " in auxiliary roles like navigator or gunner" - "in auxiliary roles such as navigators or gunners"?
  • "Royal Navy Section Belge" - should this really be italicised?
I think so - even if "Royal Navy" is English, the name itself is French (rather than "Belgian Section of the Royal Navy") and so should be.
  • "On the initiative of Lieutenant Victor Billet," - who was he...?
I'm toying with the idea of writing an article for him. Suffice to mention here that he was a Belgian naval sailor.
  • "Despite its military success during the conflict, the Force Publique remained in delicate equilibrium." - feels like there's a word or two missing here - I'm assuming the equilibrium was racial in nature? If so, is it right to call it an equilibrium, if there's a mutiny in the next sentence?
  • "(50% of the total)" - given that the figure is in the previous sentence and that the maths is simple, this seemed repetitious.
  • "The Brigade Piron, renamed" - inconsistent italics
  • Legacy section. I'd combine the last two paragraphs, which form a continuous flow.
All done! ---Brigade Piron (talk) 19:13, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Minor: (treat as comment only and pls ignore if you wish; they're not GA requirements!)

  • "which would fight in the European and Mediterranean Theatres" - "which fought in the..." would avoid the conditional
Good point!Brigade Piron (talk) 17:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "which would later become the Brigade Piron" - are the italics correct here under the MOS guidelines? (again, could just be "which later became the Brigade Piron", avoiding the conditional)
  • "Significant numbers of soldiers from the Belgian Congo fought on the Allied side against the Italians in East Africa." - "on the Allied side" is probably superfluous
  • Unclear why France and Bordeaux are wikilinked, but not England and London
Excellent point. I believe it was originally culled by another editor (an Anglocentric one, presumably!). Re-enstated.Brigade Piron (talk) 17:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Worth wikilinking "government-in-exile"?
  • "With some Belgian soldiers rescued from Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo, refugees as well as Belgian émigrés already living in England, the Belgian government-in-exile approved the creation of an "Belgian Military Camp for Regrouping" (CMBR) in Tenby, Wales." I'd recommend reversing this sentence, as the verb is otherwise hidden towards the end; e.g. "The Belgian government approved... using Belgian soldiers rescued... and refugees and Belgian emigires..."
Good point!Brigade Piron (talk) 17:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "During the course of the war, a total of 1,900 Belgians served in the British, Canadian and South African air forces.[24] 225 were killed in action" - I'd combine these two sentences, as otherwise the second is a little short.
  • "men of the Belgian fishing fleet had left for Britain" - "fishing fleet left for Britain" (avoids unnecessary pluperfect)
  • "From October 1940, many joined the RNSB." - "From October 1940 onward, many joined..."?
  • "Victory Billet himself was posted MIA during the Dieppe Raid in 1942." - was he confirmed as dead afterwards, or did he turn up as a prisoner?
  • "RNSB to 1,200 men which would later form the backbone" - "which later formed" (avoids conditional)

(b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

  • There's a slight difference between the capitalisation in the title of the article ("Free Belgian Forces") and the article itself ("Free Belgian forces") - I'm not sure which one is right!
Nor am I! The article "Free French Forces" has the capitalization, but the phrase "Free Belgian Forces" does not seem to have been used as an official title in the same way at the time. I'm inclined to leave it as it is for consistency's sake, but I certainly wouldn't object to a move.Brigade Piron (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

  • For edited volumes (e.g. Baete, Hubert (ed.) (1994)), I'd normally expect to see the actual author given, rather than just the editor of the volume as a whole.
Unfortunately the name is not given in the volume (which was written by committee) by the article.Brigade Piron (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Too minor for GA, but some of the ISBN numbers are hyphenated, others aren't.
There's a bot that can do that automatically, as well as changing short => long hyphens. I'll see if I can persuade it to come past. Brigade Piron (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If you can persuade it, let me know; I'm trying to get the hyphens added to the Peasants' Revolt bibliography! Hchc2009 (talk) 16:39, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • If you're looking to put it up to A Class review in due course, may be worth labeling non-English sources with language tags (e.g. (in French)).

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;

  • "Despite the formation of all-Belgian ground units from late 1940, many Belgian volunteers – especially those in the Royal Air Force – served in majority British units, particularly in the early years after the formation of the Free Belgian forces." needs a source
Done!Brigade Piron (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "Unlike the neighbouring Netherlands, which had possessed a sizeable navy, the Belgian Corps de Marine had had only few ships before the war and consequently most of the volunteers of the RNSB had been civilian fishermen or members of the Merchant Navy rather than soldiers." needs a source
Done. Brigade Piron (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "After liberation, the Belgian government decided to increase the size of the RNSB to 1,200 men which would later form the backbone of the fledgling Belgian Navy." - could also use a source
Done! Brigade Piron (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

(c) it contains no original research.

Broad in its coverage:

(a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;

(b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.

  • Seems neutral at this stage. Hchc2009 (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

Illustrated, if possible, by images:

(a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;

  • Only one I've an issue with is File:Soldiers in the Belgium Congo - NARA - 197079.jpg; the file claims that it was made by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties, but is listed as anonymous; I've gone back to the original source, which claims it was created by President Roosevelt. It doesn't seem very likely that the President took the photo in the Congo, but there's no other evidence from the original source that it was taken by an employee of the US Government. Hchc2009 (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the fact that it's in the archive at all means that it is US public domain. It's already in use at Belgium in World War II (which is a GA), so I wouldn't worry too much. 19:48, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
The tag will still need to match up to the file; at the moment it doesn't... Hchc2009 (talk) 19:58, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's his library and it is perfectly possible he could have seen it? In any case, I think that we must take what it says on the source page in good faith. It does mention "unrestricted" and "public domain" anyway.Brigade Piron (talk) 08:29, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
If we're taking the source at its word, the author should be updated to Roosevelt. If we don't think it's Roosevelt, for whatever reason, then we need to give the source for the information that it was taken by a serving soldier or employee. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, it's changed. Brigade Piron (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

(b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.

  • There are a number of captions ending in a period (full stop) which aren't full sentences, and so don't need the full stop under the MOS.
Done. Brigade Piron (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
  • "Van Strydonck had been made Baron for leading the cavalry charge at Burkel in 1918." this should probably be cut back under the MOS on captions (which urge shorter rather than longer, unless the information is essential to the image)
Done Brigade Piron (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

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