Part II: Opening stage of the war.
Due to the 15 years of peace and stability in Europe, none of the powers involved in the Belgian conflict, were fully prepared for war. The opening stage of the war favoured the ‘allies’ as the French and Belgians had troops near the Prussian borders, while Prussian troops were stationed in Berlin and the Baltic coast.
The French were quick to advance towards Saarbrücken, Arlon and Luxembourg, while Prussian forces liberated Líege from the Belgians and marched towards Namur. By end May Prussian forces engaged the French forces near Arlon and subsequently defeated them, averting the fall of Luxembourg to France, however when the liberation of Luxembourg commenced, French forces had liberated Arlon, Saarbrücken and were besieging Krueznach and Aachen.
The Belgian conflict, mid 1836
By the end of October the 160,000 mobilized men had reached the Rheinland and engaged French troops near Saarbrücken and Aachen. Meanwhile in Luxembourg 20,000 Prussian troops were engaged in a battle against 56,000 French troops. The liberation of Saarbrücken enabled the Prussian to sent reinforcements to Luxembourg to ensure a Prussian victory. Meanwhile in Belgium, the Dutch advance had been halted and pushed back. The fall of Charleroi to the Prussians created some diversion for the Dutch, but they stood no chance against the British troops.
Start of the occupation of Wallonia, end 1836
The Netherlands finally signed peace with Belgium, losing Breda and Arlon to Belgium. Prussia by this time started to invade Belgium with larger numbers, which resulted in the fall of Arlon and Namur. The Belgians had defeated Prussian troops in Charleroi, their success, however, would last for a short time. By the end of 1836, large parts of Wallonia were occupied by Prussia, and Belgium appeared to be close to collapse.