Charles de Broqueville (Belgium)

charles de broqueville

Charles de Broqueville (1860-1940) was a Catholic Party politician and prime minister of Belgium for almost the entirety of World War I.

From an affluent family near Moll, Broqueville was elected to the Belgian parliament before his 22nd birthday. A member of the powerful Catholic Party, Broqueville held several ministerial portfolios, before becoming party leader and prime minister in 1911.

With European tensions deteriorating, Broqueville assumed personal control of the war ministry in 1912 and ordered the expansion and modernisation of the Belgian military. His preparations were later justified by the German ultimatum and invasion in August 1914.

Even as German troops occupied Belgium and its major cities, Broqueville – by now in exile in France – maintained his country’s neutrality and refused to consider either an alliance with Britain and France or a negotiated surrender with Germany.

These issues plagued his war leadership and eventually led to Broqueville’s resignation in June 1918. He remained in politics nevertheless, holding several post-war ministries and serving again as prime minister in 1932-34.

Title: “Charles de Broqueville (Belgium)”
Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson
Publisher: Alpha History
Date published: July 10, 2017
Date accessed: June 30, 2022
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