|Protectorate of Belgium|
|Current Leader||Protector Jean-Paul Vermeirens|
|Close Allies||Republique of France|
In the Dystopian World, the Protectorate of Belgium is a Minor Nation, and de facto member of the Imperial Bond.
The Prussian Wars Edit
During the Prussian Wars, Belgium had been overrun by the forces of Heinrich Otto when he sent forces into France in 1808 to shore up the Republique when it was under attack by the Kingdom of Britannia. To rule the country, Emperor Heinrich established a puppet government led by Regent Adalbert De Vos, a mercenary adventurer of Belgian decent. De Vos utilised a private army to quash opposition, and cover up his own corruption
The country was eventually liberated in 1815, but not before being the site of many of the defining battles of the Prussian Wars, including the First Battle of Waterloo.
The Founding of the Protectorate Edit
Following liberation, memories of De Vos's rule had soured many of the population to a restoration to the Monarchy, and instead, the Britannians and French set up the Protectorate Council.
In 1867, the Protectorate was in a crisis. The incumbent Protector, Jean-Paul Vermeirens of the Parti Nationale de Belgique, had spent several years building up a pro-french power base within the population, and then embarked on a program of millitarisation, with overseas expansion the overall aim. This move was opposed by a strong opposition within the parliament, lead by the Coronets, a pro-monarchy party.
Vermeirens had attempted to destroy the Coronets ever since its creation in 1860, but support for it had only grown. In 1866, Vermeirens banned the Coronets outright, and soon after suspended the Belgian Parliament and Council indefinitely, naming himself Protector for Life.
Vermeirens quickly came to use repressive measures to enforce his rule, including the use of a secret police known as the Iron Shield. Anyone even suspected of Royalist tendencies was rounded up and sent to work camps in the Ardennes Forest.
Civil War Edit
In 1869, the Coronets declared their leader, Countess Godeleva of Flanders as Queen of the Belgians, and civil war broke out. Vermeirens requested millitary aid from the Republique of France, and launched a blitz against Royalist held positions, capturing the port of Antwerp despite fierce opposition.
In turn, Godeleva looked for her own allies, requesting aid from the Kingdom of Britannia. Prime Minister Palmerston agreed, shipping arms and equipment to the Royalist Army and Navy, as well as sending Britannian naval units to the Belgian coast.
World War HistoryEdit
For the start of the World War, the Belgian Civil War was a stalemate. Belgium was studded with a network of fortifications - a legacy of the Prussian Wars - which made any sort of campaign by native Begian forces difficult.
This changed in the Summer of 1871. Both Prussian Emperor Fredrick Grunder of Prussia and President Bonaparte of France wished to end the Civil War in Belgium quickly, but each for their own reasons - Grunder wanted to control the country to act as a buffer against possible Britannian incursions on his southern border, and Bonaparte wanted to exert complete control over the country.
Following the Storm of Steel, the territory controlled by the Protectorate diminished significantly. Although Vermeirens primary power base around Liege was maintained, the Royalists and the Grand Coalition managed to take Brussels, Waterloo, Halle, and Geraardsbergen. Meise was also taken, but changed hands back to the Imperial Bond following the Battle of Meise.
Prior to 1866, the Protectorate was a Parliamentary Democracy. The Belgian Parliament appointed members of the nine-strong Protectorate Council, who in turn appointed the Protector, the Belgian Head of State.
After 1866, the Protectorate of Belgium was a Dictatorship under the leadership of Jean-Paul Vermeirens. Although the Belgian Parliament and Council were still in existence, they had been suspended indefinitely, and it can be assumed that a number of their members had been arrested.
Following the Storm of Steel (September 1871), however, the Republique of France moved in to shore up the Protectorate, effectively making it a protectorate of Republique - even going so far as to fold the remainder of the Protectorate millitary into its own. This made the Protectorate an independent nation in name only.
Following the outbreak of Civil War in 1869, approximately one-third of the Belgian army declared for the Royalists, with the Protectorate maintaining the balance. However, it suffered severe loses and defections during the Storm of Steel - the entire First Field Army ceased to exist following the Second Battle of Sint-Niklaas, with the rest of the army suffering severe morale problems.
The Protectorate, despite holding the port of Antwerp, does not have a navy of any substance - the majority of the navy declared for the Royalists in 1869.
On the TabletopEdit
The Protectorate of Belgium was initially released in 2012 as a variant force for the Republique of France. Only two Belgian units were available - the N-3 Liege Land Ship and R-4 Ardennes Medium Tank - with the balance of Armoured and aerial units being available from the French list.
Following the release of Dystopian Wars 2.0 in 2014, the two avaliable Belgian models were rolled completely into the Republique of France army list, reflecting the French millitary takeover of the country.
Generally speaking, the Belgian units are very similar to their french equivalents, with only minor changes in Armour ratings, weaponry strengths and weapon types.
Behind the ScenesEdit
There appears to be very few similarities between the Protectorate of Belgium (pre-Civil War) and historical Belgium, with the closest being the country following the Belgian Revolution of 1830-31. However, even this is not completely similar, given that in the real world, Belgium became a Constitutional Monarchy, as opposed to the Protectorate being a purely Parliamentary system.
Sammarco, F.; Walpole, A.; et. al. (Spetember 2012) Storm of Steel, Spartan Games