The German destruction of Belgian towns and villages during August 1914 reached it’s conclusion at the city of Louvain. Although occupied by the Germans without much trouble, some of the locals had been taken hostage and an uneasy stand off between civilians and the German army existed.
On the 25th August, the Belgian army launched an attack that included a threat to the railway supply lines for the German troops. The Germans fell back before holding their line but as the soldiers retreated back through Louvain, they torched the city, including the ancient library. The city was brutally razed and the Germans were branded as barbaric and inhuman. The Allies were able to seize the higher moral ground as champions of freedom and civilization.