World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and 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. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even 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 simultaneously and 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 forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
15th Panzergrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)
It was not long before it saw action again, this time in Sicily. As the Germans retreated from western Sicily, they halted and began setting up defences in the vicinity of the town of Troina along Highway 120 and this was to become a linchpin of the Etna Line. In pursuit was the US 1st Infantry Division, nicknamed The Big Red One, beginning on September 9,1943, the Allied invasion of mainland Italy, at Salerno and along the beaches to the southeast, found the 15th Panzergrenadiers among the principal defenders. On September 11, elements of the British 46th Infantry Division encountered stiff resistance from the 15th Panzergrenadier and Hermann Göring Divisions around Salerno itself, by mid-November 1943, the 15th Panzergrenadier Division had fallen back to help defend the Bernhardt Line in the vicinity of Mignano along Highway 6. The Battle of San Pietro Infine ensued, after ten days of intense attack and counter-attack, the Allies finally succeeded in gaining the high ground on both flanks.
On May 11,1944, the Allies launched Operation Diadem which finally resulted in the collapse of the Gustav Line, the 15th Panzergrenadiers fought the rest of the war on the Western Front. It fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where it participated in the Siege of Bastogne and in Operation Blockbuster and it surrendered to the British at wars end. Heer Flak Battalion Signal and Support Units Atkinson, The Day of Battle, The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
Infantry is the general branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot. As the troops who engage with the enemy in close-ranged combat, infantry units bear the largest brunt of warfare, Infantry can enter and maneuver in terrain that is inaccessible to military vehicles and employ crew-served infantry weapons that provide greater and more sustained firepower. In English, the 16th-century term Infantry describes soldiers who walk to the battlefield, and there engage, the term arose in Sixteenth-Century Spain, which boasted one of the first professional standing armies seen in Europe since the days of Rome. It was common to appoint royal princes to military commands, and the men under them became known as Infanteria. in the Canadian Army, the role of the infantry is to close with, and destroy the enemy. In the U. S. Army, the closes with the enemy, by means of fire and maneuver, in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault by fire, close combat. In the U. S. Marine Corps, the role of the infantry is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy fire and maneuver.
Beginning with the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, artillery has become a dominant force on the battlefield. Since World War I, combat aircraft and armoured vehicles have become dominant. In 20th and 21st century warfare, infantry functions most effectively as part of a combined arms team including artillery, Infantry relies on organized formations to be employed in battle. These have evolved over time, but remain a key element to effective infantry development and deployment, until the end of the 19th century, infantry units were for the most part employed in close formations up until contact with the enemy. This allowed commanders to control of the unit, especially while maneuvering. The development of guns and other weapons with increased firepower forced infantry units to disperse in order to make them less vulnerable to such weapons. This decentralization of command was made possible by improved communications equipment, among the various subtypes of infantry is Medium infantry.
This refers to infantry which are heavily armed and armored than heavy infantry. In the early period, medium infantry were largely eliminated due to discontinued use of body armour up until the 20th century. In the United States Army, Stryker Infantry is considered Medium Infantry, since they are heavier than light infantry, Infantry doctrine is the concise expression of how infantry forces contribute to campaigns, major operations and engagements. It is a guide to action, not a set of hard, doctrine provides a very common frame of reference across the military forces, allowing the infantry to function cooperatively in what are now called combined arms operations. Doctrine helps standardise operations, facilitating readiness by establishing common ways of accomplishing infantry tasks, doctrine links theory, history and practice
Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea, Ukraine, Serbia and it has an area of 238,391 square kilometres and a temperate-continental climate. With over 19 million inhabitants, the country is the member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth-largest city in the EU, the River Danube, Europes second-longest river, rises in Germany and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romanias Danube Delta. The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest are marked by one of their tallest peaks, modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877, at the end of World War I, Transylvania and Bessarabia united with the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. Romania lost several territories, of which Northern Transylvania was regained after the war, following the war, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact.
After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards democracy and it has been a member of NATO since 2004, and part of the European Union since 2007. A strong majority of the population identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are speakers of Romanian. The cultural history of Romania is often referred to when dealing with artists, inventors. For similar reasons, Romania has been the subject of notable tourist attractions, Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning citizen of Rome. The first known use of the appellation was attested in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, after the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân gradually fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a leader of the early 19th century. The use of the name Romania to refer to the homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been officially in use since 11 December 1861, in English, the name of the country was formerly spelt Rumania or Roumania.
Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975, Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. The Neolithic-Age Cucuteni area in northeastern Romania was the region of the earliest European civilization. Evidence from this and other sites indicates that the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture extracted salt from salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage
80th Division (United States)
The 80th Training Command is a formation of the United States Army Reserve. During World War I and World War II, the unit was designated the 80th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Blue Ridge Division, it was initially composed of draftees from the mid-atlantic states of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. From 1946 to 1952, the 80th Division was redesignated the 80th Airborne Division, in May 1952, it was designated reserve infantry division and a reserve training division in March 1959. In 1994, the division was granted the designation, 80th Division, on 1 October 2008 the Division underwent a major transformation and is now the 80th Training Command. Activated, September 1917 Overseas, June 1918 Major operations, Battle of the Somme, Meuse-Argonne, because of significant common heritage in the past, residents of Pennsylvania and West Virginia became the structure of the 80th Division. The 80th Division was organized in August 1917 at Camp Lee, the units were made up mostly of men from the above three states.
These units comprised the 159th Brigade, the insignia of the 318th was a square, the machine gun unit colored their square red and blue. The 319th Infantry included men from Allegheny County and from that area north to Erie, the 320th Infantry were mostly men from Pittsburgh, the 315th Machine Gun Battalion were men from Pittsburgh and Erie. These units combined to create the 160th Brigade, the 313th, 314th and 315th Field Artillery units were composed of men almost exclusively from the State of West Virginia, and were the 155th Field Artillery Brigade. The engineers were more often not sent out ahead. During the rest period from 14 October through the Armistice, they finally were outfitted with U. S. Springfield and they had two weeks to train before the third and final push began in the Meuse Argonne. It was during this period that a formation was reorganized to allow for more maneuverability. Altogether, the 155th served with five different divisions, during the Meuse Argonne campaign, the 80th Division was the only one that saw action during each phase of the offensive.
And they first earned their motto, The 80th Division Moves only Forward, the artillery of the division boasted more days of continuous combat firing than the batteries of any other American division. The 80th captured two Germans and one gun for every man wounded and one piece of artillery with gun crew for every 10 men wounded. Men of the 80th Division received 619 awards and decorations, previously announced, the distinctive symbols of the various units of the Division were declared official on April 30th 1918. For the four Infantry Regiments, in their order beginning with the 317th Infantry, they were a diamond, square and semi circle. The symbol of each units Headquarters Company was colored red and blue, that of the Supply Company red and white, the battalion symbols were colored in red, blue in numerical order
The Brandenburgers were members of the Brandenburg German Special forces unit during World War II. Originally the unit was formed by and operated as an extension of the militarys intelligence organ, members of this unit took part in seizing operationally important targets by way of sabotage and infiltration. Not unlike many of the military units within the Nazi war machine. Hippel proposed that small units, trained in sabotage and fluent in languages, could operate behind enemy lines and wreak havoc with the enemys command, communication. Canaris was at first against the proposal as he viewed such measures similar to what the Bolsheviks had done and was suspicious of Hippels motives. Still determined to form the unit, Hippel looked to his chief, Helmuth Groscurth, who supported the units formation. Just a few days subsequent their meeting, the Army General Staff put forth a directive authorizing the creation of a company of saboteurs for the West, as part of the Abwehrs 2nd Department, Hippel was tasked with creating the unit.
Brandenburg units were deployed as small commando outfits to penetrate enemy territory. Despite their demonstrated successes while incurring minimum casualties, many traditionally minded German officers still found their use abhorrent, dissimilar to the German Fallschirmjäger who used the element of surprise attacks and overwhelmed the enemy by force of arms, the Brandenburg troops relied on deception. Most of them were fluent in languages, which allowed them to penetrate into the Netherlands in 1940 disguised as Dutch barge crews. In 1941, they preceded the invasion of Yugoslavia undercover as Serbian workers, Department II of the Abwehr, under which the Brandenburgers were subsumed, had a distinct sub-component for army and air force operations. Many of the Brandenburgers were misfits who could hardly be characterized as conventional soldiers and they would mingle with enemy soldiers, secretly countermand orders, redirect military convoys, and disrupt communications—all the while collecting intelligence along the way.
The predecessor formation to the Brandenburg Division was the Battalion Ebbinghaus which originated even before the war against Poland in 1939, the first members of the K-Trupps were German nationals. Generally these men were civilians who had never served in the army but were trained by the Abwehr and were led by army officers. After the Polish campaign, this changed as these commandos soon became members of the Wehrmacht, despite their seeming lack of prior experience, the demands placed on these newly formed commandos were high. It was mandatory that they volunteered for duty for example. Eventually, the guiding principle which required members of the Division Brandenburg to be volunteers ended with their increasing use. Battalion Ebbinghaus engaged in atrocities against Polands population and captured PoWs, further massacres happened in Siemanowice on 8 September where 6 Poles were murdered by execution, on 1 October 1939, Battalion Ebbinghaus murdered 18 people in Nowy Bytom
Cross of Lorraine
The Cross of Lorraine was originally a heraldic cross. The two-barred cross consists of a vertical line crossed by two horizontal bars. In most renditions, the bars are graded with the upper bar being the shorter. The Lorraine name has come to signify several cross variations, including the cross with its bars near the top. The Cross of Lorraine consists of one vertical and two horizontal bars, the Cross of Lorraine came from the Kingdom of Hungary to the Duchy of Lorraine. In Hungary, Béla III was the first monarch to use the cross as the symbol of royal power in the late 12th century. He probably adopted it from the Byzantine Empire, according to historian Pál Engel, René II, Duke of Lorraine inherited the two-barred cross as a symbol from his ancestors from the House of Anjou. His grandfather, René the Good, who used it as his sigil, laid claim to four kingdoms. The cross was known as the cross of Anjou in the 16th century. René II placed the symbol on his flag before the Battle of Nancy in January 1477, in the battle, René defeated the army of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who had occupied the Duchy of Lorraine, and regained his duchy.
All coins struck for René bore the symbol thereafter, the Cross of Lorraine is an emblem of Lorraine in eastern France. Between 1871 and 1918, the quarter of Lorraine was annexed to Germany. During that period the Cross served as a point for French ambitions to recover its lost provinces. This historical significance lent it considerable weight as a symbol of French patriotism, during World War II, Capitaine de corvette Thierry dArgenlieu suggested the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French Forces led by Charles de Gaulle as an answer to the Nazi swastika. In France, the Cross of Lorraine was the symbol of Free France during World War II, the liberation of France from Nazi Germany, the Cross was displayed on the flags of Free French warships, and the fuselages of Free French aircraft. The medal of the Order of Liberation bears the Cross of Lorraine, de Gaulle himself is memorialised by a 43-metre high Cross of Lorraine in his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises. The Cross of Lorraine was adopted by Gaullist political groups such as the Rally for the Republic, French Jesuit missionaries and settlers to the New World carried the Cross of Lorraine c.
The symbol was said to have helped the missionaries to convert the peoples they encountered
A response to Frances experience in World War I, the Maginot Line was constructed in the run-up to World War II, after the Locarno Conference gave rise to a fanciful and optimistic Locarno spirit. Nevertheless, it proved ineffective during the Battle of France. Instead of attacking directly, the Germans invaded through the Low Countries, the French line was weak near the Ardennes forest, a region whose rough terrain they considered unlikely for the Germans to traverse. The German Army took advantage of this point to split the French–British defensive front. The Allied forces to the north were forced to evacuate at Dunkirk, having failed in its purpose, the line has since become a metaphor for expensive efforts that offer a false sense of security. The defences were first proposed by Marshal Joffre and he was opposed by modernists such as Paul Reynaud and Charles de Gaulle who favoured investment in armour and aircraft. Joffre had support from Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, and there were a number of reports and it was André Maginot who finally convinced the government to invest in the scheme.
Maginot was another veteran of World War I, he became the French Minister of Veteran Affairs, in January 1923 after Germany defaulted on reparations, the French Premier Raymond Poincaré had French troops march in and occupy the Ruhr region of Germany in response. The British—who openly championed the German position on reparations—applied intense economic pressure on France to change its policies towards Germany. The British diplomat Sir Eric Phipps who attended the conference commented afterwards that, from 1871 onwards, French elites had concluded that France had no hope of defeating Germany on its own, and France would need an alliance with another great power to defeat the Reich. A variant of the Foch plan had used by Poincaré in 1923 when he ordered the French occupation of the Ruhr. French plans for an offensive in the 1920s were realistic, as Versailles had forbidden Germany conscription, French military chiefs were dubious about their ability to win another war against Germany on its own, especially an offensive war.
France had an alliance with Belgium and with the states of the Cordon sanitaire, the French assumption was always that Germany would not go to war without conscription, which would allow the German Army to take advantage of the Reichs numerical superiority. Without the natural defensive barrier provided by the Rhine river, French generals argued that France needed a new defensive barrier made of concrete and steel to replace it. Part of the rationale for the Maginot Line stemmed from the severe French losses during the First World War, and their effect on the French population. The drop in the birth rate during and after the war, resulting in a shortage of young men. Static defensive positions were intended not only to buy time but to economise on men by defending an area with fewer. Germany had the largest economy in Europe but lacked many of the raw materials necessary for an industrial economy