Brussels Soldiers' Council

A Soldiers' Council (German: Soldatenrat) was established in Brussels on 10 November 1918 after news of the naval mutiny at Kiel and the November Revolution reached German troops in German-occupied Belgium in the final days of World War I.[1] Intended as a kind of revolutionary council and socialist and communist in inspiration, it was created after the soldiers mutinied against their officers and seized control of Brussels which had been occupied since August 1914. They tried unsuccessfully to create an alliance with Belgian civilians and socialists and there was sporadic fighting in the city between right-wing and revolutionary soldiers. At the same time, the Soldiers' Council struggled to maintain law and order. Its chief concern was to secure the repatriation of its men to Germany.[2] After a few days, the council disbanded and the final German troops left Brussels on 16 November.[1] The Belgian Army under King Albert I finally entered the city on 22 November 1918.

Soldiers on the streets during the Brussels Soldiers Council period

The Brussels soldiers' council was contemporary with another similar body established at Beverloo at the same time. Both looked to the more important soldiers' council at Cologne for nominal leadership.[2]

Notable people involved in the Council


  1. ^ a b Kesteloot 2015.
  2. ^ a b Howard 1999, p. 18.


  • Kesteloot, Chantal (2015). "Brussels". International Encyclopedia of the First World War. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  • Howard, Nick (1999). "The German Revolution Defeated and Fascism Deferred: The Servicemen's Revolt and Social Democracy at the end of the First World War, 1918-1920". In Kirk, Tim; McElligott, Anthony (eds.). Opposing Fascism: Community, Authority and Resistance in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 12–32. ISBN 0-521-48309-3.

Further readingEdit