Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines, British-made anti-submarine warfare systems and a computerised flight control system; the Sea King was designed for performing anti-submarine warfare missions. A Sea King variant was adapted by Westland as troop transport known as the Commando. In British service, the Westland Sea King provided a wide range of services in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force; as well as wartime roles in the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the Balkans conflict, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, the Sea King is most well known in its capacity as a Royal Navy Search and Rescue and RAF Search and Rescue Force helicopter. The Sea King was adapted to meet the Royal Navy's requirement for a ship-based airborne early warning platform. On 26 September 2018, the last remaining Sea King variant in Royal Navy service was retired.
Most operators have replaced, or are planning to replace, the Sea King with more modern helicopters, such as the NHIndustries NH90 and the AgustaWestland AW101. HeliOperations continue to operate the Mk 5 Sea Kings, based at RNAS Portland, training Federal German Navy pilots Westland Helicopters, which had a long-standing licence agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft to allow it to build Sikorsky's helicopters, extended the agreement to cover the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King soon after the Sea King's first flight in 1959. Westland proceeded to independently develop the Sea King, integrating a significant proportion of components from British suppliers. On this matter, authors Jim Thorn and Gerald Frawley stated that: "Despite appearances, Westland's Sea King different aircraft from Sikorsky's". Many of the differences between the Westland-built Sea King and the original helicopter were as a result of differing operational doctrine. While the U. S. Navy Sea Kings were intended to be under tactical control of the carrier from which they operated, the Royal Navy intended its helicopters to be much more autonomous, capable of operating alone, or co-ordinating with other aircraft or surface vessels.
This resulted in a different crew arrangement, with operations being controlled by an observer rather than the pilot, as well as fitting a search radar. The Royal Navy selected the Sea King to meet a requirement for an anti-submarine warfare helicopter to replace the Westland Wessex, placing an order with Westland for 60 SH-3D Sea Kings in June 1966; the prototype and three pre-production aircraft were built by Sikorsky at Stratford and shipped to the United Kingdom to act as trials and pattern aircraft. The first of the SH-3Ds was fitted with General Electric T58s and, after being shipped from the United States, was flown in October 1966 from the dockside at Avonmouth to Yeovil airfield; the other three were delivered from the docks, by road to Yeovil, for completion with British systems and Rolls-Royce Gnome engines. The first Westland-built helicopter, designated Sea King HAS1, flew on 7 May 1969 at Yeovil; the first two helicopters were used for trials and evaluation by Westland and the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment.
By 1979, the Royal Navy had ordered 56 HAS1s and 21 HAS2s to meet the anti-submarine requirements, these were configured for the secondary anti-ship role. The Westland Sea King was updated and adapted for numerous roles, subsequent variants include the HAS2, HAS5 and HAS6. Changes from initial production aircraft included an expansion of upgraded engines. One of the most extensively modified variants was the Westland Commando, operated by the Royal Navy as the HC4; the Commando had capacity for up to 28 equipped troops and had been developed to meet an Egyptian Air Force requirement. Due to the deletion of the amphibious capability, not required in the Egyptian desert, the most noticeable change from the Sea King was the deletion of the side floats, the main undercarriage being carried on stub sponsons. An improved variant of the Egyptian Commando, with changes including the fitting of folding blades common to the ASW variants, was designated as the Sea King HC4 by the Royal Navy and all the aircraft were new build.
First flying on 26 September 1979, due to its operational range of up to 600 nautical miles without refuelling, the HC4'Commando' became an important asset for amphibious warfare and troop transport duties, in particular. Several Royal Naval Air Squadrons have operated the Commando variant, such as 845 Naval Air Squadron, 846 Naval Air Squadron and 848 Naval Air Squadron. In British service, the Sea King HC4 was deployed on operations in the Falklands, the Balkans, both Gulf Wars, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Towards the end of the Sea King's operational life, several HAS6s were repurposed by the removal of the ASW equipment, as troop transports. In 2010, the last of the UK's converted ASW Sea Kings to troop transports were retired. In the 1970s, Westland's experience with the Sea King led the company to conduct the British Experimental Rotor Program, in coordination with the Royal Aircraft Establishment, which applied innovations in composite materials and new design principles to the helicopter rotor.
Initial trials carried out with active Sea Kings found several advantages to the BERP rotor, including a longer fatigue life and improved aerodynamic char
Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway
Stockpiles of United States Marine Corps weapons, vehicles and other equipment have been located in Norway since 1981 as part of what is designated the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway. This material is stored in a network of climate-controlled caves and buildings near the city of Trondheim, is drawn upon as part of worldwide US military operations. Norway has met most of the costs of the MCPP-N since the 1990s, the sites are staffed by Norwegians; the US military began storing equipment in Norway during 1981 after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries that year. This initiative was designated the Norway Air-Landed Marine Expeditionary Brigade Program, aimed to allow NATO forces in the region to be more reinforced; the first storage cave commenced operations in 1982, all of the facilities were completed by 1988. Following the end of the Cold War, the US Government considered closing the stockpiles. However, they remained after the Norwegian Government agreed to meet the cost of maintaining them during the 1990s.
The facilities are used to support worldwide US military operations, most of the equipment stored in Norway was sent to the Middle East for use in the 2003 Iraq War. The stockpiles began to be rebuilt following 2005. A new memorandum of understanding setting out how the MCPP-N is administered was signed in 2005. Under this agreement, Norway provides physical infrastructure, transport assets, security personnel and maintains most of the equipment stored in the sites. US military personnel maintain some items due to security restrictions. In 2012 the equipment located in Norway began to be modernised to meet the standards of a contemporary Marine Air-Ground Task Force; the amount of equipment located in the country was increased from 2014 due to tensions with Russia. As of 2015, the MCPP-N equipment was stored at eight sites near Trondheim. Of these, three held ground vehicles, another three were used to store ammunition and two contained aviation-related equipment. At this time the program was managed by the Blount Island Command, which oversees the Marines' ship-based propositioning programs.
In 2016 it was reported that the facilities were staffed by American personnel. Reports of the amount of equipment stored in Norway differ. In 2015 DefenseNews reported that the US facilities in Norway had enough supplies to sustain a Marine Expeditionary Brigade in combat for 30 days. An unclassified United States Marine Corps handbook issued that year stated that the "primary focus" of the MCPP-N is to support a Marine Air-Ground Task Force "built around a command element, an infantry battalion task force, a composite aviation squadron, a logistics element"; the handbook stated that the facilities could support several forces with "sets" of equipment being available for different tasks, that the equipment could be used to "augment" that of a Marine Expeditionary Brigade. According to an unclassified United States Marine Corps handbook, the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway included the following facilities in 2015. At this time the two aviation reception sites were located in above-ground buildings, the other sites were in caves.
Works consulted Headquarters United States Marine Corps. "Prepositioning Programs Handbook". United States Marine Corps. "Memorandum of Understanding Governing Prestockage and Reinforcement of Norway". United States Department of State. 2005. United States General Accounting Office. "Status of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program in Norway". United States Government Accountability Office. United States Government Accountability Office. "Prepositioned Stocks: Marine Corps Needs to Improve Cost Estimate Reliability and Oversight of Inventory Systems for Equipment in Norway". United States Government Accountability Office
The ATR 42 is a twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner developed and manufactured in France and Italy by ATR, a joint venture formed by French aerospace company Aérospatiale and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia. The number "42" in its name is derived from the aircraft's standard seating configuration in a passenger-carrying configuration, which varies between 40 and 52 passengers. During the 1980s, French aerospace company Aérospatiale and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia merged their separate work upon a new generation of regional aircraft together. For this purpose, a new jointly owned company was established, ATR, for the purpose of developing and marketing their first airliner, designated as the ATR 42. On 16 August 1984, the first model of the series, designated as the ATR 42–300, performed the type's maiden flight. Type certification from French and Italian aviation authorities was granted during September 1985, the aircraft performed its first revenue-earning flight, operated by launch customer Air Littoral, during December of that year.
To date, all of the ATR series have been manufactured at the company's final assembly line in Toulouse, France. Improved models of the aircraft have been introduced, incorporating new avionics such as a glass cockpit, the adoption of newer engine versions for enhanced performance, such as increased efficiency and reliability along with reductions in operational costs; the aircraft serves as the basis for the larger ATR 72, developed during the late 1980s to complement its smaller sibling. The ATR 42 and ATR 72 have been produced side-by-side for decades. During the 1960s and 1970s, European aircraft manufacturers had, for the most part, undergone considerable corporate restructuring, including mergers and consolidations, as well as moved towards collaborative multi-national programmes, such as the newly launched Airbus A300. In line with this trend towards intra-European cooperation, French aerospace company Aérospatiale and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia commenced discussions on the topic of working together to develop an all-new regional airliner.
Prior to this, both companies had been independently conducting studies for their own aircraft concepts, the AS 35 design in the case of Aerospatiale and the AIT 230 for Aeritalia, to conform with demand within this sector of the market as early as 1978. On 4 November 1981, a formal Cooperation Agreement was signed by Aeritalia chairman Renato Bonifacio and Aerospatiale chairman Jacques Mitterrand in Paris, France; this agreement signaled not only the merger of their efforts but of their separate concept designs together into a single complete aircraft design for the purpose of pursuing its development and manufacture as a collaborative joint venture. This agreement served not only as the basis and origins of the ATR company, but as the effective launch point of what would become the fledgling firm's first aircraft, designated as the ATR 42. By 1983, ATR's customer services division has been set up, readying infrastructure worldwide to provide support for ATR's upcoming aircraft to any customer regardless of location.
On 16 August 1984, the first model of the type, known as the ATR 42–200, conducted its maiden flight from Toulouse Airport, France. During September 1985, both the French Directorate General for Civil Aviation and the Italian Italian Civil Aviation Authority awarded type certification for the type, clearing it to commence operational service. On 3 December 1985, the first production aircraft, designated as the ATR 42-300, was delivered to French launch customer Air Littoral. During January 1986 confident of the ATR 42's success and of the demand for an enlarged version of the aircraft, ATR announced that the launch of a programme to develop such an aircraft, designated as the ATR 72 to reflect its increased passenger capacity. By the end of 1986, the ATR 42 had accumulated a sizable backlog of orders, which in turn led to a ramping up of the type's rate of production. During August 1988, ATR's marketing efforts in the lucrative North American market resulted in the securing of a large order of 50 ATR-300s from US operator Texas Air Corporation.
On 1 July 1989, ATR opened their new global training centre for the type in Toulouse, which provided centralised and modern facilities for the training to airline staff and other personnel across the world. During June 1999, the ATR global training center became one of the first European institutions to be recognised as a Type Rating Training Organization, as defined by the Joint Aviation Authorities. During September 1989, it was announced that ATR had achieved its original target of 400 sales of the ATR; that same year, deliveries of the enlarged ATR 72 commenced. Since the smaller ATR 42 is assembled on the same production line as the ATR 72, along with sharing the majority of subsystems and manufacturing techniques, the two types support each other to remain in production; this factor may have been crucial as, by 2015, the ATR 42 was the only 50-seat regional aircraft, still being manufactured. In order to maintain a technological edge on the competitive market for regional airliners during the 1990s, several modifications and improved versions of the ATR 42 were progressively introduced.
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,600 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U. S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta; the Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system which helps to make it a nimble aircraft.
The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. The F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", but "Viper" is used by its pilots and crews, due to a perceived resemblance to a viper snake as well as the Colonial Viper starfighter on Battlestar Galactica which aired around when the F-16 entered service. In addition to active duty in the U. S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard units, the aircraft is used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds, as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy; the F-16 has been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations. As of 2015, it is the world's most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service. Experiences in the Vietnam War revealed the need for air superiority fighters and better air-to-air training for fighter pilots. Based on his experiences in the Korean War and as a fighter tactics instructor in the early 1960s, Colonel John Boyd with mathematician Thomas Christie developed the energy–maneuverability theory to model a fighter aircraft's performance in combat.
Boyd's work called for a small, lightweight aircraft that could maneuver with the minimum possible energy loss, which incorporated an increased thrust-to-weight ratio. In the late 1960s, Boyd gathered a group of like-minded innovators who became known as the Fighter Mafia, in 1969, they secured Department of Defense funding for General Dynamics and Northrop to study design concepts based on the theory. Air Force F-X proponents remained hostile to the concept because they perceived it as a threat to the F-15 program. However, the Air Force's leadership understood that its budget would not allow it to purchase enough F-15 aircraft to satisfy all of its missions; the Advanced Day Fighter concept, renamed F-XX, gained civilian political support under the reform-minded Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, who favored the idea of competitive prototyping. As a result, in May 1971, the Air Force Prototype Study Group was established, with Boyd a key member, two of its six proposals would be funded, one being the Lightweight Fighter.
The Request for Proposals issued on 6 January 1972 called for a 20,000-pound class air-to-air day fighter with a good turn rate and range, optimized for combat at speeds of Mach 0.6–1.6 and altitudes of 30,000–40,000 feet. This was the region; the anticipated average flyaway cost of a production version was $3 million. This production plan, was only notional, as the USAF had no firm plans to procure the winner. Five companies responded, in 1972, the Air Staff selected General Dynamics' Model 401 and Northrop's P-600 for the follow-on prototype development and testing phase. GD and Northrop were awarded contracts worth $37.9 million and $39.8 million to produce the YF-16 and YF-17 with first flights of both prototypes planned for early 1974. To overcome resistance in the Air Force hierarchy, the Fighter Mafia and other LWF proponents advocated the idea of complementary fighters in a high-cost/low-cost force mix; the "high/low mix" would allow the USAF to be able to afford sufficient fighters for its overall fighter force structure requirements.
The mix gained broad acceptance by the time of the prototypes' flyoff, defining the relationship of the LWF and the F-15. The YF-16 was developed by a team of General Dynamics engineers led by Robert H. Widmer; the first YF-16 was rolled out on 13 December 1973. Its 90-minute maiden flight was made at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California, on 2 February 1974, its actual first flight occurred accidentally during a high-speed taxi test on 20 January 1974. While gathering speed, a roll-control oscillation caused a fin of the port-side wingtip-mounted missile and the starboard stabilator to scrape the ground, the aircraft began to veer off the runway; the test pilot, Phil Oestricher, decided to lift off to avoid a potential crash, safely landing six minutes later. The slight damage was repaired and the official first flight occurred on time; the YF-16's first supersonic flight was accomplished on 5 February 1974, the second YF-16 prototype first flew on 9 May 1974. This was followed by the first flights of Northrop's YF-17 prototypes on 9 June and 21 August 1974, respectively.
During the flyoff, the YF-16s completed 330 sorties for a total of 417 flight hours. Increased interest turned the LWF into a serious acquisition program. North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway were seeking to replace their
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven American uniformed services. Formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U. S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, it is the youngest branch of the U. S. Armed Forces, the fourth in order of precedence; the USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control; the U. S. Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the Air Force, through the Department of the Air Force, is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation.
The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force components are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commands, neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the U. S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field; as of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty airmen, 140,169 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, 105,700 Air National Guard airmen. According to the National Security Act of 1947, which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned.
It shall be organized and equipped for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. §8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as: to preserve the peace and security, provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories and possessions, any areas occupied by the United States. The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly and win...in air and cyberspace". "The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance and Power for the nation".
The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, global power. Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force". Offensive Counterair is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, launch platforms, their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible". OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and enjoys the initiative.
OCA comprises attack operations, sweep and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. Defensive Counter air is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace". A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats; the DCA mission comprises both passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy", it includes both ballistic missile defense and air-breathing threat defense, encompasses point defense, area defense, high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative", it includes warning.
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
German occupation of Norway
The German occupation of Norway during World War II began on 9 April 1940 after German forces invaded the neutral Scandinavian country of Norway. Conventional armed resistance to the German invasion ended on 10 June 1940 and the Germans controlled Norway until the capitulation of German forces in Europe on 8/9 May 1945. Throughout this period, Norway was continuously occupied by the Wehrmacht. Civil rule was assumed by the Reichskommissariat Norwegen, which acted in collaboration with a pro-German puppet government, the Quisling regime, while the Norwegian King Haakon VII and the prewar government escaped to London, where they acted as a government in exile; this period of military occupation is in Norway referred to as the "war years" or "occupation period". Having maintained its neutrality during World War I, Norwegian foreign and military policy since 1933 was influenced by three factors: Fiscal austerity promoted by the conservative parties; these three factors met resistance as tensions grew in Europe in the 1930s from Norwegian military staff and right-wing political groups, but also from individuals within the mainstream political establishment and, it has since come to light, by the monarch, King Haakon VII, behind the scenes.
By the late 1930s, the Norwegian parliament Storting had accepted the need for a strengthened military and expanded the budget accordingly by assuming national debt. As it turned out, most of the plans enabled by the budgetary expansion were not completed in time. Although neutrality remained the highest priority, until the invasion was a fait accompli, it was known throughout the government that Norway, above all, did not want to be at war with Britain. On 28 April 1939, Nazi Germany offered Norway and several other Scandinavian countries non-aggression pacts; however to maintain neutrality, it was turned down along with Finland. By the autumn of 1939 there was an increasing sense of urgency because of its long western coastline facing access routes into the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean that Norway had to prepare, not only to protect its neutrality, but indeed to fight for its freedom and independence. Efforts to improve military readiness and capability, to sustain an extended blockade, were intensified between September 1939 and April 1940.
Several incidents in Norwegian maritime waters, notably the Altmark incident in Jøssingfjord, put great strains on Norway's ability to assert its neutrality. Norway managed to negotiate favourable trade treaties both with the United Kingdom and Germany under these conditions, but it became clear that both countries had a strategic interest in denying the other warring power access to Norway and its coastline; the government was increasingly pressured by Britain to direct larger parts of its massive merchant fleet to transport British goods at low rates, as well as to join the trade blockade against Germany. In March and April 1940, British plans for an invasion of Norway were prepared in order to reach and destroy the Swedish iron ore mines in Gällivare, it was hoped that this would divert German forces away from France, open a war front in south Sweden. It was agreed that mines would be laid in Norwegian waters and that the mining should be followed by the landing of troops at four Norwegian ports: Narvik, Trondheim and Stavanger.
Because of Anglo-French arguments, the date of the mining was postponed from 5 April to 8 April. The postponement was catastrophic. On 1 April, German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler had ordered the German invasion of Norway to begin on 9 April. On the pretext that Norway needed protection from British and French interference, Germany invaded Norway for several reasons: strategically, to secure ice-free harbors from which its naval forces could seek to control the North Atlantic. Through neglect both on the part of the Norwegian foreign minister Halvdan Koht and minister of defence Birger Ljungberg, Norway was unprepared for the German military invasion when it came on the night of 8–9 April 1940. A major storm on 7 April resulted in the British Navy failing to make material contact with the German shipping. Consistent with Blitzkrieg warfare, German forces attacked Norway by sea and air as Operation Weserübung was put into action; the first wave of German attackers counted only about 10,000 men. German ships came into the Oslofjord, but were stopped when the Krupp-built artillery and torpedoes of Oscarsborg Fortress sank the German flagship Blücher and sank or damaged the other ships in the German task force.
Blücher transported the forces that would ensure control of the political apparatus in Norway, the sinking and death of over 1,000 soldiers and crew delayed the Germans, so that the King and government had the chance to escape from Oslo. In the other cities that were attacked, the Germans faced no resistance; the surprise, the lack of preparedness of Norway for a large-scale invasion of this kind, gave the German forces their initial success. The major Norwegian ports from Oslo northward to Narvik were occupied by advance detachments of German troops, trans