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Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France

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Title: Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France  
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Subject: German occupation of Belgium during World War II, Nazi Germany, Military Administration (Nazi Germany), German-occupied Europe, Belgian prisoners of war in World War II
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Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France

Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France
Militärverwaltung in Belgien und Nordfrankreich
Territory under German military administration


Flag Emblem
German and Italian occupation zones: the zone occupée, the zone libre,the zone interdites, annexed Alsace-Lorraine Luxembourg and Eupen-Malmédy, and the Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France.
Capital Brussels
Languages Dutch
Political structure Military administration
Military Commander
 •  1940 Gerd von Rundstedt
 •  1940–1944 Alexander von Falkenhausen
 •  1940–1944 Eggert Reeder
Historical era World War II
 •  Established 1940
 •  Disestablished 1944
Currency Belgian franc

The Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France (German: Militärverwaltung in Belgien und Nordfrankreich) was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany that included present-day Belgium and the French departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais.[1] The administration was also responsible for governing the zone interdite, a narrow strip of territory running along the French north and east coasts.[2] It remained in existence until July 1944. Plans to transfer Belgium from the military administration to a civilian administration were promoted by the SS, and Hitler had been ready to do so until Autumn 1942, when he put off the plans for the time being.[3] The SS had suggested either Josef Terboven or Ernst Kaltenbrunner as the Reich Commissioner of the civilian administration.[4]


On 18 July 1944, the Military Administration was replaced by a civil one, led by the Gauleiter, Josef Grohé, who was named the Reichskommissar of the Reichskommissariat of Belgium and Northern France (Reichskommissariat Belgien und Nordfrankreich)[1][5]

Role of collaborationist groups

The Nazi administration was assisted by fascist Flemish, Walloon, and French collaborationists. In binational Belgian territory, the predominantly French region of Wallonia, the collaborationist Rexists provided aide to the Nazis while in Flemish-populated Flanders, the Flemish National Union supported the Nazis. In Northern France, Flemish separatist tendencies were stirred by the pro-Nazi Vlaamsch Verbond van Frankrijk led by priest Jean-Marie Gantois.[6]

The attachment of the departments Nord and Pas-de-Calais to the military administration in Brussels was initially made on military considerations, and was supposedly done in preparation for the planned invasion of Britain.[7] Ultimately, the attachment was based on Hitler's intention to move the Reich's border westward, and was also used to maintain pressure on the Vichy regime - which protested the curtailment of its authority in what was still de jure national French territory - to ensure its good behavior.[8]

Command structure

The Military Administration formed the core of a wider command structure which allowed the governance of occupied Belgium. It could rely on both military and civilian components:


Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France
Militärverwaltung in Belgien und Nordfrankreich
Part of the Wehrmacht
Militärbefehlshaber: Alexander von Falkenhausen

Part of the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst
Independent of the Military Administration and directed from Berlin.

Military Administrative Staff
Militärverwaltungschef: Eggert Reeder

Command Staff

Committee of Secretaries-General
Representatives of the Belgian civil administration

Economic Department


Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo)
Part of the SS

Belgian civil service:
Burgomasters and local government;
Belgian police and state security

Regional and district headquarters:
Oberfeld-, Feld- or

Belgian collaborationist groups
Principally the Vlaams Nationaal Verbond (VNV) or Rex;
Each with internal command structure.

Based on description in

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kroener, Müller & Umbreit (2003) Germany and the Second World War V/II, p. 26
  4. ^ Kroener, Müller & Umbreit (2003) Germany and the Second World War V/II, p. 27
  5. ^ Kroener, Müller & Umbreit (2003) Germany and the Second World War V/II, p. 29
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Kroener et al. (2000), p. 84

Further reading

External links

  • (German) Militärbefehlshaber Belgien/Nordfrankreich: Gliederung (administrative structure) at Lexikon der Wehrmacht

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