chapter  9
14 Pages

The Scutum Belgarum: The 1 (BE) Corps in Germany, 1945–1991

WithLuc De Vos

The motto of the 1 (BE) Corps, "Scutum Belgarum", has symbolized its mission in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization structure (NATO). The story is a familiar one, highlighted by such events as the monetary reorganization, out of which came the Deutsche mark; subsequent free elections in the Western zones; the Berlin Airlift; birth of NATO; and, on 28 September 1949, the creation of the new Federal Republic of Germany, with Bonn being chosen as the provisional capital. The administration and internal security of the Belgian-controlled territory was assured by the Control Commission for Germany, a British institution. Several compensatory arrangements previously made by the German government came to an end, meaning that Belgian troops in Germany were required to become more self-sufficient. One contradiction in the professionalization drive was that it occurred at a time when the military service for conscripts in Germany was being reduced.