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ANSWERED on Sat 10 Apr 2010 - 8:58 am UTC by Leli Crawford

Question: For Leli: General Maglinse - A Famous Belgian!

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probo 

Customer

 7 Apr 2010 05:35 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 5:35 am UTC 

Hi Leli

As you and I know, Tintin and Poirot are not the only famous Belgians and I would now appreciate your efforts at revealing more than I have been able to find out on General Henri Hector Maglinse.

He was Chief of Staff until resigning in 1926 but, surprisingly, he was awarded an American medal in 1918!

However, it's his subsequent career that mainly interests me, particularly his involvement with the Association Generale de Credit based in Linkebeek, near Brussels.

Evidently, the AGC had been formed 'to promote business enterprises' but, as it was not a success, it was wound up around 1936/7, when he was reported to be living at 60 Boulevard St Michel, Brussels.

An obituary would also be useful but for some reason which eludes me, most of the stuff (on Google books for example) appears in French.

I don't mind links to French material but I would appreciate your help at finding the good stuff, if any.

There's absolutely no rush.

Many thanks!

Bryan

 

Leli Crawford 

Researcher

 7 Apr 2010 08:10 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 8:10 am UTC 

Thanks for the question. It looks interesting - but my first attempts are not encouraging. I'll get back to it later today. At least I can tell you that he was born in 1869, so well into his fifties when he resigned. He died in 1945, but where are the obituaries?

 

probo 

Customer

 7 Apr 2010 09:37 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 9:37 am UTC 

Many thanks, Leli

Providing his dates of Birth & Death is already more than I had before.

Bryan

 

Leli Crawford 

Researcher

 7 Apr 2010 17:42 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 5:42 pm UTC 

Not much luck finding out about Maglinse's life after 1926, and no luck at all on the AGC, I'm afraid.

In the later 1930s he had directorships with British Glycerine (explosives?) and Thor Engineering (arms manufacturers) according to David Seabrook in "All The Devils Are Here".

In 1928 he was asked by the Ligue Nationale pour l’Unité Belge/Nationale Bond voor Belgische Eenheid (National League for Belgian Unity) to join a committee of eminent professors, lawyers etc. working through newly-released documents about Flemish separatist activists. Some of these activists had collaborated with the Germans in wartime. Selected parts were published in 1928 as "Archives du Conseil de Flandre", and then as "Archieven van de Raad van Vlaanderen". (Archives of the Council of Flanders)
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gH4Ra_8MfPMJ:https://lirias.kuleuven.be/bitstream/123456789/211297/1/lisboncensorship.doc

In 1929 he worked on another Ligue publication with historian Prof. Henri Pirenne, senior lawyer Charles de Jongh, and [Charles?] Terlinden. This was "Aperçu historique sur l'activisme" or "Geschiedkundig overzicht van het aktivisme".  (Historical overview of activism)

Maglinse is a rare name. The youngest one I came across was born in 1905 and married into the Robyns de Schneidauer family.

Dates of birth and death (1869-1945) and outline bio to 1926:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=olUKHJ8huS4C&lpg=PA47&ots=9h-AZ7nrDq&dq=%2Bmaglinse%20ecole&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q&f=false

Hope someone will help you find something on the AGC!

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 7 Apr 2010 18:05 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 6:05 pm UTC 

The surname shows up in quite a few documents in Hathitrust:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/ls?q1=maglinse&a=srchls

and a number of them look to be on target in terms of timing and themes.

Unfortunately, very few of the books are fully accessible online, so what they might actually tell us about the good General remains a mystery.

 

probo 

Customer

 7 Apr 2010 18:13 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 6:13 pm UTC 

Many thanks, David, a great link.

I'd never heard of Hathitrust before but the General clearly lived in interesting times.

Your efforts are much appreciated.

Bryan

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 7 Apr 2010 18:20 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 6:20 pm UTC 

Hathi is one of my new, favorite search tools, especially for history.

 

probo 

Customer

 7 Apr 2010 18:21 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 6:21 pm UTC 

Thanks, David, I'll now bookmark it!

 

fp 

User

 7 Apr 2010 20:47 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 8:47 pm UTC 

Watching a football match during WWI:
http://www.demosite-1.be/fr/?ID=587&CatId=19

 

fp 

User

 7 Apr 2010 21:23 UTCWed 7 Apr 2010 - 9:23 pm UTC 

 

probo 

Customer

 8 Apr 2010 05:14 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 5:14 am UTC 

Wow, Freddy, Many Thanks.

You've left me speechless!

But if a picture is worth 10 thousand words, here's 100,000 for you:

★★★★★ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

fp 

User

 8 Apr 2010 11:13 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 11:13 am UTC 

Thank you, Bryan!

Was "Association Generale de Credit" the local branch of a bank with offices elsewhere in Belgium? Or was AGC a Linkebeek only bank?

What would be the bank's name in Flemish (the language predominantly spoken in Linkebeek)? Or was AGC a bank mainly for the French speaking population?

 

probo 

Customer

 8 Apr 2010 12:22 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 12:22 pm UTC 

Interesting thought, Freddy

I suspect that it was a Linkebeek only bank and the one and only reference that I have seen gives the French name.

However, in Dutch, my guess is that it would be:

Vereniging van Credit Generale

I don't know any Flemish but my understanding is that it's very similar to Dutch.

Bryan

 

myoarin 

User

 8 Apr 2010 12:42 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 12:42 pm UTC 

I didn't have any luck searching with    generaal krediet linkebeek
Nor with   associatie krediet
Nor with   algemene krediet

A better set of search terms, eliminating the most frequent compound words with "generaal", might get a better short list.
Anything about AGC would probably be way down Google's list of hits.

It seems unusual that the business would have been *based* in Linkebeek, which has now only a few thousand inhabitants, especially since it is so close to Brussels.

In the mid 1930s in Belgium, smaller banks were taken over by larger ones.

 

probo 

Customer

 8 Apr 2010 13:26 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 1:26 pm UTC 

Good points, Myo

Many thanks for your contribution!

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 8 Apr 2010 15:04 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 3:04 pm UTC 

This page suggests that there's biographical information on the good general in reference #402:

http://www.aassdn.org/nindMaa-Mao.html


Reference 402, in turn, is this (intriguing?) document:

http://www.aassdn.org/xmca33000.htm#FORCADE1
LA RÉPUBLIQUE SECRETE Histoire des services spéciaux français de 1918 à 1939

Why does it always come down to spies with you...?

 

probo 

Customer

 8 Apr 2010 15:45 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 3:45 pm UTC 

Very many thanks, David, interesting finds!

However, before I answer the question you have posed to me, would you kindly post a new Question marked 'Private'?

(Entre nous, I would not like Monsieur Rameur to see my answer.) 

A Price of $400 would be appropriate because, as you may know, a higher price usually will get you a better and more involved answer.

Looking forward!

Bryo

 

myoarin 

User

 8 Apr 2010 20:16 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 8:16 pm UTC 

"Why does it always come down to spies with you...?"

Did we expect anything else?

At least one site says Maglinse's quiting in 1926 wasn't voluntary.

One wonders what kind of "enterprises" were "promoted" by AGC.

 

probo 

Customer

 8 Apr 2010 21:31 UTCThu 8 Apr 2010 - 9:31 pm UTC 

Many thanks, Myo, I do know of one further company in which Maglinse was a director and, provided you promise not to let this go any further, I can now disclose to you (and to you only) that this was decidedly dodgy.

And even you would be amazed if I were to reveal the name of one of his co-directors.

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 9 Apr 2010 03:18 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 3:18 am UTC 

 

myoarin 

User

 9 Apr 2010 04:10 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 4:10 am UTC 

"Dodgy"?

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=1938-05-26a.1374.3

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1938/apr/07/british-glycerine-manufacturers-limited

British Gazette of 13. Feb. 1944 reported that under the Companies Act 1929 ... British Glycerine Manufacturers, Ltd., will be struck from the register and the company dissolved unless cause is shown to the contrary.

 

probo 

Customer

 9 Apr 2010 04:40 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 4:40 am UTC 

Wow SCARY!

However, Myo, you have broken your word by sharing 'our secret' with David and, as we all know, he's like a terrier with a bone. Never lets go.

I now worry about poor Leli who will probably do her nut when she uncovers the man who used to wear a pink kilt. I kid you not!

I am prepared to bet that even Pinkfreud has never worn a pink kilt - although she might as soon as she learns that there are such things.

Probably something to do with the Jacobites who, I suspect, are folks who eat Jacob's Cream Crackers?

Bryan
Suitably Amazed (again)

 

myoarin 

User

 9 Apr 2010 05:37 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 5:37 am UTC 

Not this chap:  http://www.pinkkilt.com/

Leli had already identified those two firms.

Knowing the type of characters you chase, I am beginning to wonder if the General got caught up in the wrong crowd in the late thirties and maybe didn't deserve an obituary, became a "nonperson" by the end of the war.

It suddenly occurs to me that the Ruston in Ireland (Rosetown House) may be related to this question.  No?

 

probo 

Customer

 9 Apr 2010 06:10 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 6:10 am UTC 

No comment, Myo, because I never expected you being up so early or so indiscreet.

However, I am sure that Pinkfreud will appreciate the image.

Just you wait!

However, you never picked up on my earlier allusion to Monsieur Rameur - a real polyglot.

Cin cin

Bryan

 

myoarin 

User

 9 Apr 2010 07:19 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 7:19 am UTC 

Monsieur Rameur?

I know whom you usually say you don't want see your answer, so I assumed R was the same person, also with a wild guess at what his name means (now confirmed).


(That *was* the most discreet photo of a pink kilt.)

Cheers,  Myo

 

Leli Crawford 

Researcher

 9 Apr 2010 12:02 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 12:02 pm UTC 

Maglinse resigned in 1926 because he wouldn't accept a reduction in the length of military service. This reason for his resignation is generally accepted, though there are suggestions he was up against people who disliked his francophilia.

He was considered pro-French, and not only by Flemish separatists. His wife was French. He got on well with his French counterparts and worked with Marshal Foch on a controversial French-Belgian military accord in 1920. He was against a proposal to separate the army into separate units for Walloons and Flemings. In 1921 he drew up a "plan Maglinse" for defence of Belgium's eastern and northern borders.

With all this, I'd have bet on him being unsympathetic to German interests for some of his life. But we don't know much about his later years - and I don't know much about Belgian history! I'll be interested to see where the business clues lead.

Most of this is in "Le gâchis des années 30: 1933-1937, Volume 1"
by Jean Vanwelkenhuyzen (Google Books)

 

fp 

User

 9 Apr 2010 12:31 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 12:31 pm UTC 

No article on Maglinse in "Biographie Nationale" or "la Nouvelle Biographie Nationale":
http://www.academieroyale.be/cgi?pag=904

Also:
http://www.academieroyale.be/cgi?pag=658

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 9 Apr 2010 15:07 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 3:07 pm UTC 

The National Library in Belgium was kind enough to provide the following snippets, mostly from Le Soir in Brussels:

=========================

Henri-Hector Maglinse
(quelques extraits des archives du journal Le Soir)
recherche : Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, 2010, April 9


Novembre 1896 : Maglinse, officier élève de la 24e division de l’École de guerre, est nommé adjoint d’état-major. (Moniteur du 15 novembre ; Le Soir, 17 novembre 1896, p. 2)

Juin 1899 : le lieutenant Maglinse est nommé capitaine en second de 2e classe, dans le Génie. (Moniteur du 25 juin ; Le Soir, 26 juin 1899, p. 2)

Décembre 1900 : Le capitaine en second adjoint d’état-major Maglinse a été nommé capitaine en second dans le corps d’état-major. II prendra rang d’ancienneté à la date du présent arrêté. (Moniteur du 25 décembre ; Le Soir, 26 décembre 1900, p. 2)

1919 : Distinction
« Le Roi a remis hier des décorations de nos ordres nationaux à plusieurs généraux américains, de passage en Belgique. D’autre part, le général Lewis remit la “Distinguidhed Cross” américaine aux généraux Jungbluth, Bernheim, Drubbel, Michel, De Ceuninck, Delobbe, Maglinse, Merchie, Arnould et Greindl, et aux colonels Tilkens et Cumont » (Le Soir, 4 mai 1919, p. 1).

1924 : Le Soir, 16 mars 1924, p. 1 « MORT DU MAJOR MAGLINSE. Le chef de l’état-major général de l’armée, le général Maglinse, vient d’être frappé dans ses plus chères affections par la mort de son père, le major Maglinse, décédé à Tournai, dans sa 84e année. »

1924 : Proposition Maglinse concernant la durée du temps de service (in Le Soir, 4 septembre 1924, p. 1-2, avec une « photo » de Maglinse)

1926
Suite au départ du général Kestens, ministre de la Défense nationale, et du général Maglinse, chef de l’état-major, article et échos des questions dans la presse (voir Le Soir, 24 janvier 1926, p. 1).

1931
Le Soir, 3 avril 1931, p. 1 : « Le lieutenant-général H. Maglinse quitte les cadres actifs » (avec « photo »).

1945
Le Soir, vendredi 15 juin 1945, p. 2 : « Mort du général Maglinse - Le général Maglinse, ancien chef de l’Etat-Major général de l’armée, est mort hier à l’âge de 76 ans. »

Le Soir, 29-30 juillet 1945, p. 2 : « REMERCIEMENTS. […] Mme MAGLINSE, M. et Mme Paul Robyns de Schneidauer, Mlle Louise Maglinse remercient vivement tous ceux qui leur ont donné des témoignages de sympathie à l’occasion de la mort du lieutenant général Maglinse. »



1960 : Le Soir, 1er décembre 1960, p. 2. Extrait de la Chronique militaire « Organisation de nos forces armées entre les deux guerres » (signé par le Lieutenant général e.r. Albert Nyssens) :

« Deux officiers d’état-major de grande valeur, le lieutenant général Maglinse et le lieutenant général Galet parcoururent des carrières sensiblement parallèles pendant la guerre 1914-1918 et entre les deux guerres. Mais leurs conceptions relatives à l’organisation de nos forces armées étaient très différentes.
Officier du Génie, passé dans le corps d’état-major, le major Maglinse remplissait pendant la Première Guerre mondiale, les fonctions de chef de la section des opérations. Il excellait par la manière avec laquelle les décisions prises par le roi Albert, commandant en chef, étaient traduites en ordres concis et expédiées, sans délai, aux grandes unités de l’armée. Devenu après la guerre sous-chef, puis chef de l’état-major général, il chercha à orienter l’organisation de notre armée en vue du caractère que prendrait, le cas échéant, une nouvelle guerre.
Officier d’artillerie passé dans le corps d’état-major, le commandant Galet était pendant la guerre 1914-1918, le conseiller militaire du roi Albert […]
Dans le domaine de l’organisation de notre armée, le général Maglinse fit constituer après la guerre 1914-1918, un embryon de forces blindées (à Gand), armé de chars légers français, et un embryon de marine de guerre (à Bruges), comprenant un navire-école et des vedettes.
Le ministère ayant décidé de réduire le nombre de divisions du pied de paix, de 8 à 6, malgré les protestations du général Maglinse, celui-ci donna sa démission avec éclat et demanda son admission à la retraite.
Si l’on avait donné suite à ses projets, la Belgique aurait pu mettre sur pied en 1940, une force terrestre comprenant seize divisions d’infanterie (huit divisions actives et huit de réserve), une force blindée (pour appuyer les contre-attaques), les deux divisions de cavalerie motorisées et les deux divisions de chasseurs ardennais, au total, vingt divisions. Une marine de guerre aurait pu coopérer avec les Alliés. Enfin, dans le domaine de l’instruction, s’inspirant des « Cislas » (Centre d’instruction de sous-lieutenants auxiliaires) créé à l’arrière pendant la guerre 1914-1018, il fit organiser des écoles de sous-lieutenants de réserve (une par arme), qui donnèrent d’excellents résultats.
Quand le général Galet succéda au général Maglinse, dans les fonctions de chef d’état-major général, il fit supprimer d’un trait de plume l’embryon de corps blindé et l’embryon de marine de guerre. « Les engins blindés, a écrit le professeur Bernard, étaient considérés comme des éléments nettement offensifs et jugés d’organe secondaire dans une armée dont le rôle initial était purement défensif et dont la doctrine envisageait même la contre-attaque avec une certaine méfiance ».
Lo nombre de divisions du pied do paix ayant été réduit à six, on décida de détripler ces divisions à la mobilisation au lieu de les dédoubler comme l’aurait voulu le général Maglinse et comme on l’avait fait en 1914. Naturellement, ce que l’on gagna en quantité, on le perdit en qualité. Dans un ouvrage intitulé « Ombres et clartés de la campagne belge de 1940 », le général Wanty a écrit : « Le problème de la défense des fronts étendus avec un nombre restreint de divisions fut résolu sans grand effort d’imagination par un retour à la tactique linéaire au détriment de la profondeur. L’assimilation des divisions de première réserve (de sept à douze) aux divisions actives (de une à six) et la mise sur pied des divisions de deuxième réserve (de treize à dix-huit), augmentait sensiblement les effectifs disponibles. Mais pour les nouvelles divisions (treize à dix-huit), on puisa dans les vieux stocks, on utilisa les F.M. 1915 améliorés en 1927 et les Mi-Colt 1917-1918 ».
En fait, en donnant une telle organisation à notre armée de campagne qui combattit en 1840, on créa une organisation aux capacités exclusivement défensives, correspondant à la notion périmée du front défensif continu et inviolable de 1914-1918. Si l’on avait adopté les idées du général Maglinse, l’armée mobilisée n’aurait compris que huit divisions d’infanterie actives et huit divisions de réserve bien encadrées, sans compter les deux divisions de cavalerie motorisées et les deux divisions de chasseurs ardennais.
A l’encontre de celle de 1940, cette armée aurait été apte à exécuter des contre-attaques, grâce au soutien d’unités blindées. Dans le domaine de l’instruction, le général Galet, se basant sur l’idée erronée de la « cohésion » supprima d’un trait de plume les écoles de sous-lieutenants de réserve et les remplaça par des unités-écoles à raison d’une par régiment. […] »

 

probo 

Customer

 9 Apr 2010 17:32 UTCFri 9 Apr 2010 - 5:32 pm UTC 

Many thanks to one and all.

I think that this has now gone as far as possible and I even have an image of the General!

Accordingly, I now invite Leli to post an Answer.

Please shed no tears for David dspite his excellent finds as I shall shortly reward him with his very own question.

All the Best

Bryan

 

Leli Crawford 

Answer

 10 Apr 2010 08:58 UTCSat 10 Apr 2010 - 8:58 am UTC 

Thank you for inviting me to answer. Apart from the info I posted as comments, there's not much more I can say about the years after Maglinse resigned as Chief of Staff. The info David got from the National Library in Belgium shows he retired altogether in 1931.

The 1960 article by Nyssens seems to confirm that Maglinse was committed to an uncompromising defence of Belgium's border regions, and didn't support a purely "defensive" policy with no military capacity for counter-attack.

This paper (in English) suggests that plans Maglinse promoted in the aftermath of the first world war were rejected as Belgian foreign policy developed in the 1930s.
http://www.flwi.ugent.be/btng-rbhc/archive/1972-0304/pp%20241-269.html

Good luck with your ongoing research and putting the puzzle together - Leli

 

probo 

Customer

 10 Apr 2010 09:05 UTCSat 10 Apr 2010 - 9:05 am UTC 

Very many thanks, Leli, your further link was also very interesting.

All the Best

Bryan

 

Leli Crawford 

Researcher

 10 Apr 2010 21:06 UTCSat 10 Apr 2010 - 9:06 pm UTC 

Thank you, Bryan!

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 19 Apr 2010 12:31 UTCMon 19 Apr 2010 - 12:31 pm UTC 

Bryan...hope you see this comment.  Here is a comprehensive-looking bio on Maglinse, courtesy of the Belgian Military Library:

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B1sXZG13-t3BNGEzZjQ5Y2UtYWJjZS00Y2Y5LWE5NjUtYTUyOWRiM2Y4YmUw&hl=en

 

probo 

Customer

 19 Apr 2010 12:56 UTCMon 19 Apr 2010 - 12:56 pm UTC 

Many thanks, David, that is a truly wonderful find!

Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.

Bryan

 

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