Hôtel de Ville, Grand Place, Bruxelles / © I.A. DaglisDespite the German invasion in 1914, Belgian returned to a policy of neutrality after World War I.
Upon the start of hostilities of World War II, Belgium remained strictly neutral but was invaded by the Germans for a second time on May 10, 1940. King Leopold without consulting the cabinet or the Allies surrendered the Belgian Army and capitulated to the Germans on May 28, 1940. On the same day the British began the evacuation at Dunkirk. King Leopold's actions were widely resented in Belgium. His surrender at a crucial point in the battle for the Low Countries left a critical gap in the Allied ring around Dunkirk and could have made the evacuation impossible.