1944 - 1946


Two agreements were signed between the Belgian Government and SHAEF.

The first agreement was signed on June 25 1944.

Its purpose was raising 6 fuseliers battalions and 6 pionneer battalions once Belgium would be liberated.

Already end September 1944 the Belgian Government started with the recruitment of volunteers.

End of September 1944 SHAEF asked for another six fuseliers battalions.

Major-General ERSKINE,
head of the SHAEF Mission in Belgium

In November 1944 SHAEF foresaw that the War would continue until 1945
and that subsequently the 18.000 Belgian troops would not be sufficient
for internal security and for guarding the Lines of Communication in Belgium.

Therefore SHAEF requested the Belgian Government to raise the number of troops from 18.00 up to 91.000.

Fuselier battalions, engineer units, transport units and traffic control units
were to be raised, toghether several other small units.

On December 1 1944 a second agreement Belgian Government - SHAEF was signed.

between the Belgian Government
and SHAEF, signed December 1 1944

It was agreed that those units, called "Liberated Manpower Units" or LMU's, would be assigned
to the 21st Army Group or the 12th US Army Group.

Due to the billeting problem, most military barracks were occupied by Allied troops
the Belgian Government was only able of raising 6 fuselier battalions, 1 engineer/pionneer battalion
and a limited number of smaller units every two months.

All units were equipped by the British Army.

Brussels, December 3 1944.
The first LMU's parade before the Prince-Regent and the Belgian Government.

As a result on May 8 1945 not all 142 planned units were operational
though the LMU's had 71.000 men under arms.

On May 15 1945 the Belgian Government agreed to leave the LMU's at the disposal
of the British Army for another 12 months
and at the disposal of the US Army for another 6 months.

No more new units were to be raised, but, after the capitulation of Japan on August 28 1945,
the Belgian government agreed to leave the LMU's
at the disposal of the Allied High Command until June 23 1946.

Presentation of awards on July 30 1945

Once a LMU was no longer needed by the Allied High Command
it returned to Belgium and was disbanded a few weeks later.

Thus practically all LMU's were disbanded at the end of September 1946.

1944 - 1946