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The Military Position of Limburg. The Passage of military forces.

First some observations on the military significance „ of the territories in question, after which we hope to prove their importance to Holland from a national point of view. It is argued that the position of Dutch Limburg is such as to imperil Belgium in the case -of an attack on the part of Germany. Expérience has • hitherto proved the contrary! Dutch Limburg has helped to safeguard Belgium. How much easier would the invasion of 1914 have been, if Dutch Limburg had been Belgian and therefore as accessible to the Germans as the rest of Belgium. How much more rapidly would the German armies have overflowed Belgium, crossed the Meuse and reached the French frontier! As things were, the neutrality of the Netherlands closed Dutch Limburg to the German forces, who had to effect their invasion through a narrow opening. It was therefore to the advantage of Belgium and the Allies, that Dutch Limburg lay across the path of the German. And even though admitting that Germany might not hesitate on a future occasion to violate Dutch territory, it must be acknowledged that the possession of South Limburg would not protect Belgium any more effectively. For on that case Germany could with equal ease envade Holland a little more to the North, march through North Brabant and attack Belgium on the extreme left flank. The difficulty would be shifted to a still more exposed point. The Belgian military authorities would consequently be forced to claim the whole of Holland as otherwise she might always somehow prove a danger.

This leads us to deny once again in passing the allegation that German troops crossed the territory of Dutch Limburg in 1914, in order to invade Belgium. Holland has always been able to refute this allegation, which was presumably spread in Belgium by the

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