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In the Middle Ages, it became the seat of one of Europe's most important bishoprics. In the 17th century, during both the Thirty Years' War and again in 1695 during King William III's War (part of a wider conflict known as The Nine Years' War), Tournai was occupied by France. One historian referred to it as "the capital of Protestantism". Later on in history when Belgium was under German occupation in World Wars I and II, this status provided a motive for several major incidents: The Battle for Tournai between Belgian forces and those from Nazi Germany took place around its outskirts at Perwez on 13 May 1940; Tournai served as an assembly point for deportations to concentration camps from Belgium by rail after August 1942;    ; also see Holocaust trains ; also see Deportation from Belgium . On 1 September 1944 Allied forces liberated Tournai which had been heavily bombed by US aircraft due to its railway facilities being used extensively towards that end.