The Congo was also characterized by the extraordinary development of huge mining industries (particularly in the province of Katanga, well known for its copper, and in the Kasai region, famous for its industrial diamonds). From the 1920s on, heavy investments in the exploitation of the colony’s rich mineral resources transformed the Congo into a major actor in the world economy. During both world wars, the Belgian Congo played a great role as purveyor of raw materials for the Allies, while the Congolese troops also engaged in warfare against the German and Italian forces.
Believing the war lost and over, King Léopold refused to lead a Belgian government-in-exile. Instead, he stayed in-country while the Belgian government was trapped in Vichy. A rival government-in-exile formed in London in July that sharply criticized the king and continued to fight the German occupation with whatever personnel escaped and military resources were provided by ...read more