Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993. From 1939 to 1945, following its forced division and partial incorporation into Nazi Germany, the state did not de facto exist but its government-in-exile continued to operate. From 1948 to 1990, Czechoslovakia was part of the Eastern Bloc with a command economy, its economic status was formalized in membership of Comecon from 1949 and its defense status in the Warsaw Pact of May 1955. A period of political liberalization in 1968, known as the Prague Spring, was forcibly ended when the Soviet Union, assisted by several other Warsaw Pact countries, invaded. In 1989, as Marxist–Leninist governments and communism were ending all over Europe, Czechoslovaks peacefully deposed their government in the Velvet Revolution. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the two sovereign states of Slovakia.
Form of state1918 – 1938: A democratic republic championed by Tomáš Masaryk. 1938 – 1939: After annexation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany in 1938, the region turned into a state with loosened connections among the Czech and Ruthenian parts. A large strip of southern Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary, the Zaolzie region was annexed by Poland. 1939 – 1945: The region was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic. A government-in-exile continued to exist in London, supported by the United Kingdom, United States and their Allies. Czechoslovakia adhered to the Declaration by United Nations and was a founding member of the United Nations. 1946 – 1948: The country was governed by a coalition government with communist ministers, including the prime minister and the minister of interior. Carpathian Ruthenia was ceded to the Soviet Union. 1948 – 1989: The country became a socialist state under Soviet domination with a centrally planned economy. In 1960, the country became a socialist republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
It was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. 1969 – 1990: The federal republic consisted of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. 1990 – 1992: Following the Velvet Revolution, the state was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, consisting of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, reverted to a democratic republic. NeighboursAustria 1918 – 1938, 1945 – 1992 Germany Hungary Poland Romania 1918 – 1938 Soviet Union 1945 – 1991 Ukraine 1991 – 1992 TopographyThe country was of irregular terrain; the western area was part of the north-central European uplands. The eastern region was composed of the northern reaches of the Carpathian Mountains and lands of the Danube River basin. ClimateThe weather is mild summers. Influenced by the Atlantic Ocean from the west, Baltic Sea from the north, Mediterranean Sea from the south. There is no continental weather. 1918–1920: Republic of Czechoslovakia /Czecho-Slovak State, or Czecho-Slovakia/Czechoslovakia 1920–1938: Czechoslovak Republic, or Czechoslovakia 1938–1939: Czecho-Slovak Republic, or Czecho-Slovakia 1945–1960: Czechoslovak Republic, or Czechoslovakia 1960–1990: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, or Czechoslovakia April 1990: Czechoslovak Federative Republic and Czecho-Slovak Federative Republic The country subsequently became the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, or Československo and Česko-Slovensko.
The area was long a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the empire collapsed at the end of World War I. The new state was founded by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who served as its first president from 14 November 1918 to 14 December 1935, he was succeeded by his close ally, Edvard Beneš. The roots of Czech nationalism go back to the 19th century, when philologists and educators, influenced by Romanticism, promoted the Czech language and pride in the Czech people. Nationalism became a mass movement in the second half of the 19th century. Taking advantage of the limited opportunities for participation in political life under Austrian rule, Czech leaders such as historian František Palacký founded many patriotic, self-help organizations which provided a chance for many of their compatriots to participate in communal life prior to independence. Palacký supported Austro-Slavism and worked for a reorganized and federal Austrian Empire, which would protect the Slavic speaking peoples of Central Europe against Russian and German threats.
An advocate of democratic reform and Czech autonomy within Austria-Hungary, Masaryk was elected twice to the Reichsrat, first from 1891 to 1893 for the Young Czech Party, again from 1907 to 1914 for the Czech Realist Party, which he had founded in 1889 with Karel Kramář and Josef Kaizl. During World War I small numbers of Czechs, the Czechoslovak Legions, fought with the Allies in France and Italy, while large numbers deserted to Russia in exchange for its support for the independence of Czechoslovakia from the Austrian Empire. With the outbreak of World War I, Masaryk began working for Czech independence in a union with Slovakia. With Edvard Beneš and Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Masaryk visited several Western countries and won support from influential publicists. Bohemia and Moravi
Luckenwalde is the capital of the Teltow-Fläming district in the German state of Brandenburg. It is situated on the Nuthe river north of the Fläming Heath, at the eastern rim of the Nuthe-Nieplitz Nature Park, about 50 km south of Berlin; the town area includes the villages of Kolzenburg. The former Slavic settlement of Lugkin was conquered by Margrave Conrad Wettin of Meissen in the course of the 1147 Wendish Crusade. Lukenwalde Castle was first mentioned in a 1216 deed as a burgward of the Bishopric of Brandenburg, it was acquired by Zinna Abbey in 1285. Together with Zinna it remained under the rule of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg and its successor, the Prussian Duchy of Magdeburg until it was attached to the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1773. Originating in the 17th century, Luckenwalde's cloth and wool factories did not spring up till the reign of King Frederick II of Prussia and soon were among the most extensive in Germany. Other traditional industries were cotton printing and a dye works and the making of metal and bronze goods.
In 1808 Luckenwalde received town privileges. By the turn of the 20th Century Luckenwalde became renowned as a key manufacturer of hats. In 1921 the two biggest hat ateliers and Steinberg, merged and set up their factory on an industrial estate in Luckenwalde; the factory was designed by German architect Erich Mendelsohn in 1923, the factory is considered a milestone of Expressionist architecture. The hat factory fell into disrepair during and after the war period and was restored in 2001, but as of 2013 the building remains empty. During World War II, there was a Stalag for prisoners of war. There was a work camp for civilians; the Nazis forced people to work for their war effort or else the families of people who worked there would perish. Lack of food and hard work killed thousands. Among them were Poles, Italians and many more. There were several places in surrounding areas where they worked. Luckenwalde was taken by the Red Army on 22 April 1945. Seats in the municipal assembly as of 2014 elections: The Left: 10 Social Democratic Party of Germany: 9 Christian Democratic Union: 6 Bauernverband: 1 Free Democratic Party: 1 National Democratic Party of Germany: 1 Luckenwalde station is located on the Berlin–Halle railway.
Hans Freudenthal, mathematician Bernhard Kadenbach, biochemist Katherina Reiche, Ilka Bessin, Rudi Dutschke, spokesman of the German 1968 student movement, was raised in Luckenwalde Luckenwalde is twinned with: Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France Bad Salzuflen, Germany This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Luckenwalde". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17. Cambridge University Press. P. 106. Media related to Luckenwalde at Wikimedia Commons Notgeld depicting the industries Luckenwalde was known for in the early 20th century. Http://webgerman.com/Notgeld/Directory/L/Luckenwalde.htm
15th Tank Corps
The 15th Tank Corps was a tank corps of the Soviet Union's Red Army. It formed in 1938 from a mechanized corps and fought in the Soviet invasion of Poland, during which it participated in the capture of the Grodno and Augustów Forest from Poland; the corps was disbanded in January 1940 at Soleczniki. The corps was re-formed in 1942 under the command of Major General Vasily Koptsov and became part of the 3rd Tank Army, it first saw combat in the unsuccessful Kozelsk Offensive of late August and early September, a small operation to encircle a German salient, which resulted in the corps taking heavy losses in proportion to the territory gained. After spending the rest of the year in reserve, receiving new supplies and equipment, the corps was transferred to the southern front in southwestern Russia to fight in the Ostrogozhsk–Rossosh Offensive during January 1943, in which it played a major role by forming part of the forces that encircled thousands of Axis troops on the middle reaches of the Don River.
In February 1943, the unit fought in Operation Star, achieving its objective of capturing the key city of Kharkov in eastern Ukraine. As the Soviet advance outran its supply lines, the corps was worn down and was destroyed after being surrounded by a German counteroffensive in the Third Battle of Kharkov during late February and early March. Koptsov was among those killed in the fighting; the corps was rebuilt in the following months and became part of the newly created 3rd Guards Tank Army, fighting in Operation Kutuzov, the Soviet counteroffensive after the Battle of Kursk, in late July. For its actions in the offensive, the corps was converted into the 7th Guards Tank Corps; the 15th Tank Corps formed in 1938 from the 5th Mechanized Corps at Naro-Fominsk in the Moscow Military District, inheriting the honorific "named for Kalinovsky", a Soviet military theorist. Commanded by Komdiv Mikhail Petrovich Petrov, the corps included the 2nd Light Tank Brigade, the 27th Light Tank Brigade, the 20th Motor Rifle and Machine Gun Brigade, the 401st Separate Communications Battalion, a support unit.
Soon after its formation, the corps was transferred to the Belorussian Special Military District, its headquarters located in Borisov. The 2nd and 27th Light Tank Brigades were based in Borisov, the 20th Motor Rifle and Machine Gun Brigade was based in Mogilev; the 89th Separate Air Liaison Flight formed as part of the corps at Borisov on 4 August, operating Polikarpov R-5 and U-2 biplanes. The corps fought in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, as part of Ivan Boldin's Dzerzhinsky Cavalry-Mechanized Group; the invasion was conducted under the terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which divided Poland between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and guaranteed that neither country would attack the other. At the beginning of the campaign, the 2nd Brigade had 234 BT-7 light tanks and 30 BA armored cars, the 27th Brigade had 223 BT-7s and 31 BAs, the 20th Brigade had 61 BAs. On 17 September, at 05:00, the corps, advancing on the KMG's southern flank, crossed the state border, overran the Polish border guards, began a rapid advance without resistance.
By 12:00, the 27th Brigade had reached Mir and Ajucavičy, overrunning the undefended Nowosiółki–Kajszówki sector of the Baranovichi Fortified Region. By the end of the day, the 27th Brigade had crossed the Servach River in the Lubanichi area, the 2nd Brigade had crossed the Usza River, the 20th Brigade had advanced to the border at Losha. During the day, the corps suffered casualties of two wounded. On 18 September, the 27th Brigade advanced from the line of Rudašy and Zaberdowo, but was bogged down for several hours while moving through the area near Golewicze; as a result, it did not reach the Jarniewo area, 2 kilometers west of Slonim, until the morning of 19 September. After the retreating Polish garrison burned one of the two bridges over the Shchara River, the 2nd Brigade entered Slonim and disarmed 80 policemen. On 19 September, the brigade reached Vawkavysk, the corps was ordered to take Grodno and Sokółka by the end of the day, in conjunction with the motorcycle units of the 4th and 13th Rifle Divisions.
At the same time the 27th Brigade captured Dvorets, disarming 400 people and capturing 300 rifles, but fuel shortages kept the corps stretched out along the Slonim–Vawkavysk road awaiting refueling. The 20th Brigade approached Slonim from the east, further clogging the roads and delaying the arrival of supply units. After receiving fuel from 07:00 on 20 September, the units of the corps began to advance on Grodno in multiple waves. At 13:00, 50 tanks from the 27th Brigade reached the southern outskirts of the city, beginning the Battle of Grodno. By 14:00, the 2nd Brigade had taken Sokółka, its advance units had reached Dąbrowa. At the end of the day, motorcycle units of the 4th Rifle Division and battalions of the 20th Motor Rifle and Machine Gun Brigade, which had all been delayed by fuel shortages, had reached the city. Grodno was defended by an understrength force of up to 3,000 Polish officers and volunteers who had burned the bridges across the Neman; the 27th Brigade's reconnaissance battalion launched the first attack with 12 tanks and an armored car, was joined by two tank battalions with a total of 36 tanks.
By 19:00, two battalions of the 13th Rifle Division's 119th Rifle Regiment had arrived at Grodno, on the morning of 21 September they were reinfo
Lübben is a town of 14,000 people, capital of the Dahme-Spreewald district in the Lower Lusatia region of Brandenburg, Germany. Districts of the town are: Lübben Stadt Hartmannsdorf Lubolz Groß Lubolz Klein Lubolz Neuendorf Radensdorf Steinkirchen Treppendorf The castle of Lubin in the March of Lusatia was first mentioned in an 1150 register of Nienburg Abbey and had received town privileges according to Magdeburg law by 1220. From 1301 the town in the centre of the Spreewald floodplain was in the possession of the monks of Dobrilugk Abbey, who sold it to Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg in 1329. After several conflicts with the Wittelsbach margraves of Brandenburg the March of Lusatia was acquired by Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg in 1367 who incorporated Lübben into the Kingdom of Bohemia. In the 15th century Lübben became the seat of the Bohemian Vogt administrator and the provincial diet of Lower Lusatia. In 1526 the House of Habsburg inherited the Bohemian kingdom including Lusatia, which in 1623 Ferdinand II of Habsburg had to give in pawn to Elector John George I of Saxony.
The Saxon Electorate acquired Lübben by signing the 1635 Peace of Prague. After the Napoleonic Wars it again fell to the Prussian province of Brandenburg by the final act of the 1815 Congress of Vienna. During World War II, Lübben was taken by Soviet troops of the 3rd Guards Army on 27 April 1945. Seats in the municipal assembly as of 2008 elections: Christian Democratic Union: 7 Social Democratic Party of Germany: 5 The Left: 5 PRO Lübben: 4 Free Democratic Party: 1Lübben is twinned with Wolsztyn in Poland and Neunkirchen, Saarland in Germany. Spreewald biosphere reserve Lübben Castle, on medieval foundations, rebuilt in the 17th century under the rule of Duke Christian I of Saxe-Merseburg Neuhaus Manor in Steinkirchen, built in 1801, former residence of author Christoph Ernst von Houwald from 1822 on Romanesque St Pancras fieldstone church in Steinkirchen built in the early 13th century, one of the oldest preserved churches in Lower Lusatia Paul Gerhardt Church from the 16th century, where Paul Gerhardt preached from 1669 on Roman Catholic Trinity Church, built in 1862 Hans Peter Bull, German constitutional lawyer and jurist Karin Büttner-Janz, German Olympic medal winner in artistic gymnastics and habilitated doctor Henry Eugene Fritz, American painter Hans Walter Gruhle, German psychiatrist Louis Klopsch, American author and editor of the Christian Herald Sylvio Kroll, German Olympic medal winner in artistic gymnastics Kornelia Kunisch, German handball player, 1980 olympic bronze medal with the East German team Christian Lillinger, German musician and composer Otto Theodor von Manteuffel, German politician, Minister-President of Prussia Rudolf Marloth, South African botanist and analytical chemist Richard Constantin Noschke, diary of his World War I Alexandra Palace internment sufferings in Imperial War Museum, London.
Carl Siegemund Schönebeck, German composer and cellist Lavinia Schulz, German dancer and actress Ingo Spelly, East German-German sprint canoer, Olympic champion Paul Gerhardt, German hymn writer, 1668 till his death archdeacon of Lübben Christoph Ernst von Houwald, German dramatist and author Götz von Houwald, German diplomat and ethnographer, completed his secondary education in Lübben Jens Riewa, German television presenter and broadcast news analyst for the Tagesschau, grew up in Lübben Immanuel Johann Gerhard Scheller, German classical philologist and lexicographer Daniel Ziebig, German footballer, used to live in Lübben We Butter the Bread with Butter, German deathcore band formed in 2007 Lübben - official website Old postcards of Lübben
Moscow Military District
The Moscow Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Leningrad Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District. In the beginning of the second half of the 19th century Russian officials realized the need for re-organization of the Imperial Russian Army to meet new circumstances. During May 1862, the War Ministry, headed by Army General Dmitry Milyutin, introduced to Tsar Alexander II of Russia proposals for the reorganization of the army, which included the formation of fifteen military districts. A tsarist edict of 6 August 1864, announced in a Defence Minister’s order on 10 August of the same year, established ten military districts, including Moscow; the District’s territory comprised 12 provinces: Vladimir, Kaluga, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Smolensk, Tver and Yaroslavl. The District was intended as a reinforcement source for troops and equipment, being some distance from the frontier, rather than an operational area.
The District dispatched five infantry and a cavalry division south to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–8, as well as sending another division to the Caucasus area. This force totaled around 20,000 horses. Over 80,000 men were called into reserve units; the District housed 21,000 Turkish prisoners of war. During the First World War over a million men were stationed in the district. Much of the garrison was involved in the October Revolution of 1917, consequent establishment of a Soviet regime in the cities of Bryansk, Voronezh, Nizhniy Novgorod, Tver, Yaroslavl. By a resolution of the Moscow military revolutionary committee on 17 November 1917, Corps Commander N. I. Muralov was assigned as the new commander of the district. In the period of the Russian Civil War and military intervention in Russia 1917 - 22 the District prepared military personnel for all the fronts and supplied the Red Army with different forms of armament and allowances. From June to the middle of September 1919 the District conducted 33 callups totalling more than 500,000 people.
In Moscow the 1 Moscow Rifle Division, Warsaw revolutionary infantry regiment, 2nd revolutionary infantry regiment were formed, Latvian forces were brought to the Latvian Rifles Division. In Voronezh two cavalry divisions were formed, two rifle divisions and two rifle regiments in Nizhniy Novgorod, the 16th Rifle Division in Tambov. Artillery units too were being raised in the capital area. After the end of Civil War in the troops of region were demobilized, as a result of which their number was reduced from 580,000 to 85,000 in January 1923, the District was reorganised on a peacetime basis. In the 1920s the District had 10 rifle divisions: the 1st Moscow Proletariat Red Banner Rifle Division, the 6th Оrlovskaya. Autumn maneuvers began to be conducted yearly here in the district; the 2nd Rifle Corps was stationed in the district from 1922 to 1936. In the beginning of the 1930 tanks started to be introduced, including the MS or T-18, T-26, T-27, BT, T-28, the heavy T-35. In 1930 the first mechanized infantry brigade in the Soviet Army was formed in the district.
The Russian Ground Forces' official site notes that the first tactical parachute landing took place in the District on 2 August 1930. In World War II the District formed three fronts, 23 armies, 128 divisions of all arms, 197 brigades of all arms, an approximate total of 4.5 million men. In 1944–5 alone the District sent to the front 1,200,000 soldiers. From summer 1945 to summer 1946, in order to supervise the demobilisation process, the District was subdivided into four: the Moscow, Voronezh and Smolensk Military Districts. General Kirill Moskalenko took command of the District in 1953 and would be a Marshal of the Soviet Union after leaving his post; the Voronezh Military District was reactivated in 1949 and was active until 1960. In 1955 the district's forces comprised the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, the 13th Guards Rifle Corps, the 3rd Guards Rifle Division, the 15th, the 31st Guards, the 38th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, the 23rd Guards, 65th, 66th Guards Mechanised Divisions, the 71st Mechanised Division, the 38th Guards Airborne Corps.
On 22 February 1968, for the large contribution to the cause of strengthening the defense of the state, for its successes in combat and political training, in view of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Army plus its important role in the 2nd World War, the District was awarded with the Order of Lenin. In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the HQ address as being A-252, Chapayevskiy Per. Dom 14; the District's dispositions at the end of the 1980s were: 13th Guards Army Corps, Gorkiy. In 1990 this corps was under the command of General Fyodor Reut. 60th Tank Division, Dzerzhinsk 206th Motor Rifle Division, Tambov District Troops 2nd Guards'Taman' Motor Rifle Division, Kalinnets 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, Naro-Fominsk 26th Guards Tank Training Division, Vladimir 32nd Guards Motor Rifle Divisio
58th Combined Arms Army
The 58th Army is an army of the Russian Ground Forces, headquartered at Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania, within Russia's Southern Military District. It was formed in 1941 as part of the Soviet Union's Red Army and has been part of the Russian Army since 1995, it was first formed in the Siberian Military District in November 1941, including the 362nd, 364th, 368th, 370th, 380th, 384th Rifle Divisions and the 77th Cavalry Division and moved to the Arkhangelsk Military District, but the Army was redesignated the 3rd Tank Army in May 1942. It was reestablished within the Kalinin Front in June 1942, in July included the 16th and 27th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 215th and 375th Rifle Divisions, the 35th and 81st Tank Brigades, other support units, it was reformed in the Transcaucasian Front from the 24th Army on 28 August 1942, under General Khomenko of the NKVD. Much of its senior cadre came from the NKVD, among its missions was to keep order in the Caucasus in the Groznyi and Makhachkala regions.
This was because of a Chechen uprising that had gone on since 1941. 58th Army joined the North Caucasus Front. On 1 November 1942 it consisted of the 271st and 416th Rifle Division, the Makhachkala Division of the NKVD. Prior to the North Caucasus Front putting its main effort into the Kerch-Eltigen Operation the Army HQ was reorganised as Headquarters Volga Military District in October 1943; the headquarters was reformed in 1995 in the North Caucasus Military District from the 42nd Army Corps at Vladikavkaz. During the Second Chechen War, the Army was commanded by General Vladimir Shamanov. On 3 August 2008, five battalions of the Russian 58th Army were moved to the vicinity of Roki Tunnel that links Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia with Russia's North Ossetia. On 8 August 2008 the 58th Army crossed the border into Georgia and engaged in combat against Georgian forces, most notably in the city of Tskhinvali, its then-commander, General Anatoly Khrulyov was wounded in action. In June 2014 Ukrainian troops captured a damaged BM-21 Grad launcher, which the Ukrainians identified as equipment of the 58th Army of the Russian Federation.
Major general Sergey Kuzovlev became commander of the army on 18 August 2016. In late 2016 the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division had been reformed from the 8th Guards Mountain Motor Rifle Brigade, the 17th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, the 18th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. In January 2017, 20th Guards Army commander Major general Yevgeny Nikiforov replaced Kuzovlev; the Army operates in a close coordination with the 4th Air Force and Air Defence Army of the district, includes: 42nd Motor Rifle Division – Khankala and Kalinovskaya in the Chechnya 19th Motor Rifle Division – Vladikavkaz 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade – Budenovsk 136th Guards Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade – Buynaksk, Dagestan 135th Separate Motorized Rifle Regiment – Prochladny, Kabardino-Balkaria 291st Separate Artillery Brigade – Maikop – 943rd Multiple Rocket Launcher Regiment – Krasnooktabrsky 1128th Anti-Tank Regiment – Maikop 67th Separate Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade – Volgograd area 487th Separate Helicopter Regiment – Budenovsk 11th Separate Engineer Regiment – Kavkazskay 234th Separate Signals Regiment – Vladikavkaz 22nd Separate Regiment of Electronic Warfare- Vladikavkaz 8th Guards Mountain Motor Rifle Brigade – Borzoy 17th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade – Shali 18th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade – Khankala and Kalinovskaya, Chechnya 19th Motor Rifle Brigade – Vladikavkaz 20th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade – Volgograd 136th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade – Buynaksk 291st Artillery Brigade – Troitskaya 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division 19th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade 136th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade 4th Guards Military Base 12th Rocket Brigade 291st Artillery Brigade 67th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade 100th Reconnaissance Brigade 34th Headquarters Brigade 40th NBC Protection Regiment 31st Engineer Sapper Regiment 78th Logistic Support Brigade 14th Separate Electronic Warfare Battalion Murphy, Paul J.
The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror, Brassey's, 2004
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo