A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, in some nations' air forces or marines. The term "general" is used in two ways: as the generic title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank, it originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, which rank was taken from Middle French capitaine général. The adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction. Today, the title of "General" is known in some countries as a four-star rank; however different countries use other insignia for senior ranks. It has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank in use in a number of armies, air forces and marine organizations; the various grades of general officer are at the top of the military rank structure. Lower-ranking officers in land-centric military forces are known as field officers or field-grade officers, below them are company-grade officers. There are two common systems of general ranks used worldwide.
In addition, there is a third system, the Arab system of ranks, used throughout the Middle East and North Africa but is not used elsewhere in the world. Variations of one form, the old European system, were once used throughout Europe, it is used in the United Kingdom, from which it spread to the Commonwealth and the United States of America. The general officer ranks are named by prefixing "general", as an adjective, with field officer ranks, although in some countries the highest general officers are titled field marshal, marshal, or captain general; the other is derived from the French Revolution, where generals' ranks are named according to the unit they command. The system used either a colonel general rank; the rank of field marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank, while in other countries it was used as a divisional or brigade rank. Many countries used two brigade command ranks, why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia. Mexico and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks.
In some nations, the equivalent to brigadier general is brigadier, not always considered by these armies to be a general officer rank, although it is always treated as equivalent to the rank of brigadier general for comparative purposes. As a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major; the serjeant major was the commander of the infantry, junior only to the captain general and lieutenant general. The distinction of serjeant major general only applied after serjeant majors were introduced as a rank of field officer. Serjeant was dropped from both rank titles, creating the modern rank titles. Serjeant major as a senior rank of non-commissioned officer was a creation; the armies of Arab countries use traditional Arabic titles. These were formalized in their current system to replace the Turkish system, in use in the Arab world and the Turco-Egyptian ranks in Egypt. Other nomenclatures for general officers include the titles and ranks: Adjutant general Commandant-general Inspector general General-in-chief General of the Army General of the Air Force General of the Armies of the United States, a title created for General John J. Pershing, subsequently granted posthumously to George Washington Generaladmiral Air general and aviation general Wing general and group general General-potpukovnik Director general Director general of national defence Controller general Prefect general Master-General of the Ordnance – senior British military position.
Police Director General. Commissioner Admiral In addition to militarily educated generals, there are generals in medicine and engineering; the rank of the most senior chaplain, is usually considered to be a general officer rank. In the old European system, a general, without prefix or suffix, is the most senior type of general, above lieutenant general and directly below field marshal as a four-star rank, it is the most senior peacetime rank, with more senior ranks being used only in wartime or as honorary titles. In some armies, the rank of captain general, general of the army, army general or colonel general occupied or occupies this position. Depending on circumstances and the army in question, these ranks may be considered to be equivalent to a "full" general or to a field marshal; the rank of general came about as a "captain-general", the captain of an army in general (i.e. th
Sri Lanka Air Force
The Sri Lanka Air Force is the air arm and the youngest of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces. It was founded in 1951 as the Royal Ceylon Air Force with the assistance of the Royal Air Force; the SLAF played a major role throughout the Sri Lankan Civil War. The SLAF operates more than 160 aircraft and has a projected trained strength of 27,400 airmen and 1,300 officers, who are from both regular and reserve service; the Sri Lanka Air Force has expanded to specialize in providing air-support to ground forces, troop landing, carrying out air strikes on rebel-held areas in the Northern and Eastern theaters, but is capable of high- and low-level air defence. The Commander of the Air Force is the professional head of the Sri Lanka Air Force; the mission statement of the Sri Lanka Air Force is To achieve professional excellence in rapid mobility and precision engagement by developing core capabilities based on technological superiority, to ensure operational readiness and success in exploiting the competent human resources and equipment of the Sri Lanka Air Force The Vision of the Sri Lanka Air Force is To be a well accomplished, resolute and an ingenious air power capable of fulfilling the aspirations of the nation and preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the island Although Ceylonese had served in the Royal Air Force and the government of Ceylon adopted the No. 102 Squadron RAF, no air units were formed as part of the Ceylon Defence Force.
The newly established Dominion of Ceylon, under its first Prime Minister, D. S. Senanayake began establishing its armed forces; the need for an air force was identified in its defence policy and the Air Force Act was passed in parliament in 1951 in order to establish an air force for the new nation. As such the Royal Ceylon Air Force was formed on 2 March 1951 with RAF officers and other personnel seconded to the RCyAF. Ceylonese were recruited to the new RCyAF and several Ceylonese who had served with the RAF during world war 2 were absorbed in the force. Initial objective was to train local pilots and ground crew, early administration and training was carried out by by RAF officers and other personnel on secondment; the first aircraft of the RCyAF were de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunks used as basic trainers to train the first batches of pilots locally while several cadets were sent to Royal Air Force College Cranwell. These were followed by Boulton Paul Balliol T. Mk.2s and Airspeed Oxford Mk.1s for advanced training of pilots and aircrew along with de Havilland Doves and de Havilland Herons for transport use, all provided by the British.
By 1955 the RCyAF was operating two flying squadrons based at RAF Negombo. The first helicopter type to be added to the service was the Westland Dragonfly. Following Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike's negotiated the closure of British air and naval bases in Ceylon in 1956, the RCyAF took over the former RAF stations; the RAF headquarters, Air HQ Ceylon, was disbanded on 1 November 1957. However RAF officers remained with the RCyAF till 1962. In 1959 de Havilland Vampire jet aircraft were acquired. However, the RCyAF did not put them into operational use and soon replaced them with five Hunting Jet Provosts obtained from the British, which were formed into the Jet Squadron; these were supplemented in the 1960s with various other aircraft, most notably American Bell JetRanger helicopters and a Hindustan HUL-26 Pushpak given by India. The force had grown during its early years, reaching a little over 1,000 officers and recruits in the 1960s. By 1970 the Provosts were in storage; the Royal Ceylon Air Force first went into combat in 1971 when the Marxist JVP launched an island-wide insurrection on April 5.
The Ceylon Armed Forces were caught off guard. Responding the RCyAF deployed its limited aircraft, at first to resupply besieged police stations and military outposts and patrol around major cities; the Jet Provosts were taken out of storage and put into service within three days, carrying out attacks on insurgents. During this insurgency the left-leaning Bandaranaike government turned to the Soviet Union for more sophisticated weaponry, received five Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F fighter bombers and a MiG-15 UTI trainer, as well as two Kamov Ka-26 helicopters meant for search and rescue and casualty evacuation; the RAF's heavy transports flew in six Bell 47G helicopters purchased from the United States, which were put into combat as soon as possible after only five days of pilot training. Air Force personnel joined in ground operations, when the insurgents surrendered after about a month's fighting the RCyAF was in charge of three of the many rehabilitation camps setup for insurgents. With Ceylon becoming a republic in 1972, the Royal Ceylon Air Force changed its name to the Sri Lanka Air Force long with all insignia.
Because of a shortage of funds for military expenditure in the wake of the 1971 insurrection, the No. 4 Helicopter Squadron began operating commercial transport services for foreign tourists under the name of Helitours. On March 31, 1976 the SLAF was awarded the President's Colour; that same year SLAF detachments, which became SLAF stations, were established at Wirawila and Minneriya. With the closure of Air Ceylon in 1978, its Hawker Siddeley HS 748 transport aircraft was taken over by the SLAF. By the early 1980s the Provosts and all of the Soviet aircraft had been taken out of active service and placed in long-term storage, leaving the
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the aerial warfare uniform service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces, tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan, with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport and logistics capability to Pakistan; as of 2017, per IISS, the PAF has 70,000 personnel. It operates 146+ aircraft, its primary mandate and mission is "to provide, in synergy with other inter-services, the most efficient and cost effective aerial Defence of Pakistan." Since its establishment in 1947, the PAF has been involved in various combat operations, providing aerial support to Inter–Services's operations and relief efforts. Under the Article 243, the Constitution of Pakistan appoints the President of Pakistan as the civilian Commander-in-Chief; the Chief of Air Staff, by statute a four-star air officer Air Chief Marshal, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The Pakistan Air Force is commanded by Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan. On 10 April 1959, on the occasion of the Islamic Eid ul-Fitr festival holiday in Pakistan, an Indian Air Force English Electric Canberra B58 of No. 106 Squadron entered Pakistani airspace on a photo reconnaissance mission. Two PAF F-86F Sabres of No. 15 Squadron on Air Defence Alert were scrambled from Sargodha Air Base to intercept the IAF aircraft. Butt attempted to bring down the Canberra by firing his Sabre's machine guns, but the Canberra was flying at an altitude of more than 50,000 feet – beyond the operational ceiling of the F-86F; when Yunis took over from his leader, the Canberra lost height while executing a turn over Rawalpindi. Yunis fired a burst that struck the Canberra at an altitude of 47,500 feet and brought it down over Rawat, near Rawalpindi, marking the first aerial victory of the PAF. Both crew members of the IAF Canberra and were captured by Pakistani authorities and were subsequently released after remaining in detention for some time.
The PAF fleet at the time consisted of 12 F-104 Starfighters, some 120 F-86 Sabres and around 20 B-57 Canberra bombers. The PAF claims to have had complete air superiority over the battle area from the second day of operations. While, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh of the Indian Air Force claimed, despite been qualitative inferior, IAF achieved air superiority in three days in the 1965 War. Many publications have credited the PAF's successes to U. S. equipment, claiming it to be superior to the aircraft operated by the IAF and giving the PAF a "qualitative advantage". However some Pakistanis refute this argument; as per them, the IAF's MiG-21, Hawker Hunter and Folland Gnat aircraft had better performance than the PAF's F-86 fighters. According to Air Cdre Sajad Haider, the F-86 Sabre was inferior in both power and speed to the IAF's Hawker Hunter. According to Air Commodore Sajjad Haider who flew with No. 19 squadron, the F-104 Starfighter did not deserve its reputation as "the pride of the PAF" because it "was unsuited to the tactical environment of the region.
It was a high-level interceptor designed to neutralize Soviet strategic bombers in altitudes above 40,000 feet." The IAF is believed to have feared the Starfighter although, it was not as effective as the IAF's Folland Gnat. According to Indian sources, the F-86F performed reasonably well against the IAF Hawker Hunters but not as well against the Folland Gnat, nicknamed Sabre Slayer by the IAF. According to Indian sources most aircraft losses of IAF were on ground while PAF lost most in aerial combat. Though the IAF flew a larger offensive air campaign by devoting 40% of its air effort to offensive air support alone, according to Indian sources the majority of its losses came from aircraft destroyed on the ground through PAF air strikes; the PAF had achieved far more in terms of enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground but without doubt, the IAF had achieved much more in the close support role. The two countries have made contradictory claims of combat losses during the war and few neutral sources have verified the claims of either country.
The PAF claimed it shot down 104 IAF planes and lost 19 of its own, while the IAF claimed it shot down 73 PAF planes and lost 59. According to the independent sources, the PAF lost some 20 aircraft while the Indians lost 60–75. Despite the intense fighting, the conflict was a stalemate. By late 1971, the intensification of the independence movement in erstwhile East Pakistan lead to the Bangladesh Liberation War between India and Pakistan. On 22 November 1971, 10 days before the start of a full-scale war, four PAF F-86 Sabre jets attacked Indian and Mukti Bahini positions at Garibpur, near the international border. Two of the four PAF Sabres were shot down and one damaged by the IAF's Folland Gnats. On 3 December, India formally declared war against Pakistan following massive preemptive strikes by the PAF against Indian Air Force installations in Srinagar, Sirsa and Jodhpur. However, the IAF did not suffer because the leadership had anticipated such a move and precautions were taken; the Indian Air Force was quick to respond to Pakistani air strikes, following which the PAF carried out defensive sorties.
Hostilities ended at 14:30 GMT on 17 December, after the fall of Dacca on 15 December. The PAF destroyed 45 IAF aircraft while Pakistan lost 75 aircraft. In 1979, the PAF's Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Anwar Shamim, was told by President, Chief o
St Edward's Crown
St Edward's Crown is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Named after Saint Edward the Confessor, it has been traditionally used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronations since the 13th century; the original crown was a holy relic kept at Westminster Abbey, Edward's burial place, until the regalia were either sold or melted down after Parliament abolished the monarchy in 1649, during the English Civil War. The present version of St Edward's Crown was made for Charles II in 1661, it is solid gold, 30 centimetres tall, weighs 2.23 kilograms, is decorated with 444 precious and semi-precious stones. The crown is similar in weight and overall appearance to the original. After 1689, it was not used to crown a monarch for over 200 years. In 1911, the tradition was revived by George V, all subsequent monarchs have been crowned using St Edward's Crown. A stylised image of this crown is used on coats of arms, badges and various other insignia in the Commonwealth realms to symbolise the royal authority of Queen Elizabeth II.
St Edward's Crown is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. St Edward's Crown is 22-karat gold, with a circumference of 66 cm, measures 30 cm tall, weighs 2.23 kg. It has four fleurs-de-lis and four crosses pattée, supporting two dipped arches topped by a monde and cross pattée, the arches and monde signifying an imperial crown, its purple velvet cap is trimmed with ermine. It is set with 444 precious and semi-precious stones, including 345 rose-cut aquamarines, 37 white topazes, 27 tourmalines, 12 rubies, 7 amethysts, 6 sapphires, 2 jargoons, 1 garnet, 1 spinel and 1 carbuncle. Although it is regarded as the official coronation crown, only six monarchs have been crowned with St Edward's Crown since the Restoration: Charles II, James II, William III, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II. Mary II and Anne were crowned with small diamond crowns of their own; when not used to crown the monarch, St Edward's Crown was placed on the altar during the coronation. Edward the Confessor wore his crown at Easter and Christmas.
In 1161, he was made a saint, objects connected with his reign became holy relics. The monks at his burial place of Westminster Abbey claimed that Edward had asked them to look after his regalia in perpetuity for the coronations of all future English kings. Although the claim is to have been an exercise in self-promotion on the abbey's part, some of the regalia had been taken from Edward's grave when he was reinterred there, it became accepted as fact, thereby establishing the first known set of hereditary coronation regalia in Europe. A crown referred to as St Edward's Crown is first recorded as having been used for the coronation of Henry III in 1220, it appears to be the same crown worn by Edward. An early description of the crown is "King Alfred's Crown of gold wire-work set with slight stones and two little bells", weighing 79.5 ounces and valued at £248 in total. It was sometimes called King Alfred's Crown because of an inscription on the lid of its box, translated from Latin, read: "This is the chief crown of the two, with which were crowned Kings Alfred and others".
However, there is no evidence to support the belief that it dated from Alfred's time, in the coronation order it always has been referred to as St Edward's Crown. St Edward's Crown left Westminster Abbey, but when Richard II was forced to abdicate in 1399, he had the crown brought to the Tower of London, where he symbolically handed it to Henry IV, saying "I present and give to you this crown with which I was crowned king of England and all the rights dependent on it", it was used in 1533 to crown the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn – unprecedented for a queen consort. In the Tudor period, three crowns were placed on the heads of monarchs at a coronation: St Edward's Crown, the state crown, a "rich crown" made specially for the king or queen. After the English Reformation, the new Church of England denounced the veneration of medieval relics, starting with the coronation of Edward VI in 1547, the significance of St Edward's Crown as a holy relic was played down in the ceremony. During the English Civil War, Parliament sold the medieval St Edward's Crown, regarded by Oliver Cromwell as symbolic of the "detestable rule of kings".
The British monarchy was restored in 1660, in preparation for the coronation of Charles II, living in exile abroad, a new St Edward's Crown was supplied by the Royal Goldsmith, Sir Robert Vyner. It was fashioned to resemble the medieval crown, with a heavy gold base and clusters of semi-precious stones, but the arches are decidedly Baroque. In the late 20th century, it was assumed to incorporate gold from the original St Edward's Crown, as they are identical in weight, no invoice was produced for the materials in 1661. A crown was displayed at the lying in state of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England from 1653 until 1658. On the weight of this evidence and historian Martin Holmes, in a 1959 paper for Archaeologia, concluded that in the time of the Interregnum St Edward's Crown was saved from the melting pot and that its gold was used to make a new crown at the Restoration, his theory became accepted wisdom, many books, including official guidebooks for the Cro
Air chief marshal
Air chief marshal is a four-star air officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force, where it is the most senior peacetime air force rank. The rank is used by the air forces of many countries that have historical British influence and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-British air force-specific rank structure. Air chief marshal is a four-star air officer rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-9. An air chief marshal is equivalent to an admiral in the Royal Navy or a general in the British Army or the Royal Marines. In other forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent four-star rank is general; the rank of air chief marshal is senior to the rank of air marshal but subordinate to marshal of the Royal Air Force. Air chief marshals are sometimes generically considered to be air marshals. Prior to the adoption of RAF-specific rank titles in 1919, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "air" inserted before the naval rank title.
For example, the rank that became air chief marshal would have been air admiral. The Admiralty objected to any use of their rank titles, including this modified form, so an alternative proposal was put forward: air-officer ranks would be based on the term "ardian", derived from a combination of the Gaelic words for "chief" and "bird", with the unmodified word "ardian" being used for the equivalent to full admiral and general. However, air chief marshal was preferred and was adopted on 1 August 1919; the rank was first used on 1 April 1922 with the promotion of Sir Hugh Trenchard. With Trenchard's promotion to marshal of the RAF on 1 January 1927, no officer held the rank until Sir John Salmond was promoted on 1 January 1929, it has been used continuously since. In the RAF, the rank of air chief marshal is held by the serving Chief of the Air Staff. Additionally, RAF officers appointed to four-star tri-service posts hold the rank of air chief marshal and Sir Stuart Peach, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, is the only RAF officer in such a post.
Throughout the history of the RAF, 139 RAF officers have held the rank and it has been awarded in an honorary capacity to senior members of the British Royal Family and allied foreign monarchs. Although no serving RAF officer has been promoted to marshal of the Royal Air Force since the British defence cuts of the 1990s, British air chief marshals are not the most senior officers in the RAF as several officers continue to retain the RAF's highest rank. Additionally, Lord Stirrup was granted an honorary promotion to marshal of the Royal Air Force in 2014; the marshals are still to be found on the RAF's active list though they have for all practical purposes retired. The rank insignia consists of three narrow light blue bands over a light blue band on a broad black band; this is worn on the lower sleeves of the service dress jacket or on the shoulders of the flying suit or working uniform. The command flag for an RAF air chief marshal is defined by the two broad red bands running through the centre of the flag.
The vehicle star plate for an RAF air chief marshal depicts four white stars on an air force blue background. The rank of air chief marshal is used in the air forces of many countries which were under British influence around the time their air force was founded; this includes many the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. Officers have served in the rank of air chief marshal in the Bangladesh Air Force, Indian Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Sri Lanka Air Force and the Air Force of Zimbabwe, it is instituted as a rank in the Ghana Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force as member of the Commonwealth of Nations, however not in practice. The rank of air chief marshal is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In such situations, it is sometimes the case that the non-English rank might be translated as "general". Nonetheless, it is found in English translations relating to officers in the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Indonesian Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force.
In the Royal Australian Air Force, this rank is only used when the Chief of the Defence Force is an Air Force officer. When this is not the case, the senior ranking Air Force officer is the Chief of Air Force, holding the rank of air marshal. With the establishment of the Australian Air Board on 9 November 1920, Australian Air Corps officers dropped their army ranks in favour of those based on the Royal Air Force. However, it was not until 1965 when Sir Frederick Scherger became Chairman of the Australian Chiefs of Staff Committee, was promoted to air chief marshal that an RAAF officer attained the rank. Throughout the history of the RAAF, only four of its officers have held the rank. Apart from Scherger, they are Angus Houston and Mark Binskin. McNamara and Binskin are former Australian Defence Force chiefs. Throughout the 20th century history of the Royal Canadian Air Force, only two officers held the rank of air chief marshal, they were: Frank Robert Miller. The rank existed on paper until the 1968 unification of the Canadian Forces, when Army-t
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They promote Britain's wider interests, support international peacekeeping efforts and provide humanitarian aid. Since the formation of a Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, the armed forces have seen action in a number of major wars involving the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the First World War, the Second World War. Emerging victorious from conflicts has allowed Britain to establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Today, the British Armed Forces consist of: the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a fleet of 75 commissioned ships, together with the Royal Marines, a specialised amphibious light infantry force; the British Armed Forces include standing forces, Regular Reserve, Volunteer Reserves and Sponsored Reserves.
Its Commander-in-chief is the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, to whom members of the forces swear allegiance. The UK Parliament approves the continued existence of the British Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years, as required by the Bill of Rights 1689; the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines among with all other forces do not require this act. The armed forces are managed by the Defence Council of the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence; the United Kingdom is one of five recognised nuclear powers, is a permanent member on the United Nations Security Council, is a founding and leading member of the NATO military alliance, is party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, British Indian Ocean Territory, Canada, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Qatar and the United States. With the Acts of Union 1707, the armed forces of England and Scotland were merged into the armed forces of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
During the half of the seventeenth century, in particular, throughout the eighteenth century, British foreign policy sought to contain the expansion of rival European powers through military and commercial means – of its chief competitors. This saw Britain engage in a number of intense conflicts over colonial possessions and world trade, including a long string of Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-Dutch wars, as well as a series of "world wars" with France, such as. During the Napoleonic wars, the Royal Navy victory at Trafalgar under the command of Horatio Nelson marked the culmination of British maritime supremacy, left the Navy in a position of uncontested hegemony at sea. By 1815 and the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain had risen to become the world's dominant great power and the British Empire subsequently presided over a period of relative peace, known as Pax Britannica. With Britain's old rivals no-longer a threat, the nineteenth century saw the emergence of a new rival, the Russian Empire, a strategic competition in what became known as The Great Game for supremacy in Central Asia.
Britain feared that Russian expansionism in the region would threaten the Empire in India. In response, Britain undertook a number of pre-emptive actions against perceived Russian ambitions, including the First Anglo-Afghan War, the Second Anglo-Afghan War and the British expedition to Tibet. During this period, Britain sought to maintain the balance of power in Europe against Russian expansionism, who at the expense of the waning Ottoman Empire had ambitions to "carve up the European part of Turkey"; this led to British involvement in the Crimean War against the Russian Empire. The beginning of the twentieth century served to reduce tensions between Britain and the Russian Empire due to the emergence of a unified German Empire; the era brought about an Anglo-German naval arms race which encouraged significant advancements in maritime technology, in 1906, Britain had determined that its only naval enemy was Germany. The accumulated tensions in European relations broke out into the hostilities of the First World War, in what is recognised today, as the most devastating war in British military history, with nearly 800,000 men killed and over 2 million wounded.
Allied victory resulted in the defeat of the Central Powers, the end of the German Empire, the Treaty of Versailles and the establishment of the League of Nations. Although Germany had been defeated during the First World War, by 1933 fascism had given rise to Nazi Germany, which under the leadership of Adolf Hitler re-militarised in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. Once again tensions accumulated in European relations, following Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Second World War began; the conflict was the most widespread in British history, with British Empire and Commonwealth troops fighting in campaigns from Europe and North Africa, to the Middle East and the Far East. 390,000 British Empire and Commonwealth troops lost their lives. Allied victory resulted in the defeat of the Axis powers and the