Military Merit Cross (Mecklenburg-Schwerin)
The Military Merit Cross was established by Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on August 5,1848. Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a duchy located in northern Germany, was a member of the German Confederation. In several respects, Mecklenburg-Schwerins Military Merit Cross was patterned after the Prussian Iron Cross, there were more versions of the Mecklenburg cross than of the Prussian cross. The first versions were dated 1848 and 1849, and awarded for merit in the First War of Schleswig, in 1859, some Mecklenburg observers and Austrian officers were decorated for merit during the Second Italian War of Independence. The next version was dated 1864, and recognized merit in the Second War of Schleswig, Mecklenburg-Schwerins participation on the side of Prussia and other north German states in the Austro-Prussian War led to the next version, dated 1866. An 1870 version was created for the Franco-Prussian War, where Mecklenburg troops fought as part of the 17, in this war, a number of officers and soldiers received both the Iron Cross and the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Military Merit Cross.
The next version was dated 1877 and this was not awarded to Mecklenburgers, but to Russians and Romanians in the Russo-Turkish War. Certain German states, especially Mecklenburg-Schwerin, were sympathetic to the Russian and Romanian cause, the Romanian royal family was a branch of the Hohenzollerns, the ruling house of Prussia and the newly created German Empire. A version dated 1900 was struck for Mecklenburgers who had distinguished themselves in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900-01, an undated version was created, which was awarded for merit in various colonial conflicts of the first decade of the 20th century, including the Herero Wars. Germany entered World War I in the first days of August 1914, on February 28,1915, Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, reauthorized the Military Merit Cross. The new version was dated 1914 and awards were made retroactively to the beginning of the war, Both classes of the Military Merit Cross continued to be awarded throughout the war, both to Mecklenburgers and to soldiers of other German states and German allies.
Upon Friedrich Franz IVs abdication on November 14,1918, the Military Merit Cross became obsolete and it continued to be permitted for wear by those who had received it through the Weimar era, the Third Reich and in West Germany. In all its versions, the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Military Merit Cross was a gilt cross pattée ins design, similar to the Iron Cross. The obverse bore a crown on the arm, the initials of Friedrich Franz in the center. The reverse of the 2nd Class bore the legend Für Auszeichnung im Kriege, the reverse of the 1st Class, a pinback cross, was blank. The ribbon was blue with narrow edge stripes of yellow. For awards to non-combatants, the cross was worn, but the ribbon was changed to red with light blue. Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg - German field marshal in World War I, fedor von Bock - received the Pour le Mérite, a field marshal in World War II
Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austrias primary city, with a population of about 1.8 million, and its cultural, economic and it is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin, Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region, along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be The City of Dreams because it was home to the worlds first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud. The citys roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city and it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century.
The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the worlds most liveable cities, between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne, Australia. Monocles 2015 Quality of Life Survey ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world to make a base within, the UN-Habitat has classified Vienna as being the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the worlds number-one destination for international congresses and it attracts over 3.7 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the name or the French Vienne. The etymology of the name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning forest stream, which produced the Old High German Uuenia.
A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Slovak names of the city, the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different, probably Slavonic origin, and originally referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, evidence has been found of continuous habitation since 500 BC, when the site of Vienna on the Danube River was settled by the Celts. In 15 BC, the Romans fortified the city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north
Gmunden is a town in Upper Austria, Austria in the district of Gmunden. It is much frequented as a health and summer resort, and has a variety of lake, brine and pine-cone baths and it is an important centre of the salt industry in Salzkammergut. Gmunden covers an area of 63.49 square kilometres and has an elevation of 425 metres. It is situated next to the lake Traunsee on the Traun River and is surrounded by mountains, including the Traunstein, the Erlakogel, the Wilder Kogel. Gmunden is divided into the boroughs, Gmunden-Ort, Traundorf. As of 2001, Gmunden had a population of 13,336, of that,88. 4% were Austrian in nationality,1. 5% are from other European Union states, and 10. 2% are other foreigners. Citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia placed the strongest foreigner portion, followed by Turks, the majority confess themselves to the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals are next, which 7. 3% of the associate with. 5. 9% are Muslims and 3. 3% are Orthodox, a settlement was in existence already in the fifth century AC.
By 1186 Gmunden was a place surrounded by walls, although it did not receive a church until about 1300. In 1278 Gmunden became a town, on November 14,1626 an army of rebellious peasants was completely defeated at Gmunden by General Pappenheim, who had been ordered by Maximilian I to suppress the peasant rebellion in Upper Austria. The dead peasant insurgents were buried in nearby Pinsdorf, where an obelisk styled memorial known as the Bauernhügel in their honour can still be seen, Gmunden supplied battleships to Austria during the 17th century and helped wounded soldiers in hospitals in World War I. During World War II, an SS maternity home was located here, the local council consists of 37 members. He became the mayor of Gmunden since 2014 replacing Heinz Köppl, the city council which includes of the mayor, consists of nine members,5 from ÖVP,2 from SPÖ, and 1 each from FPÖ and the Greens. The town hall is a popular tourist destination, in Gmunden there are four kindergartens, four elementary schools and three Hauptschulen.
The three high schools are BG/BRG Gmunden, BRG Schloss Traunsee, and Gymnasium Ort, media related to Gmunden at Wikimedia Commons Gmundens official homepage Schloss Ort Gmunden Pictures of Gmunden
Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known as the Stuttgart Cauldron an hour from the Swabian Jura. Stuttgarts urban area has a population of 623,738, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area. Since the 6th millennium BC, the Stuttgart area has been an important agricultural area and has been host to a number of cultures seeking to utilize the rich soil of the Neckar valley. The Roman Empire conquered the area in 83 AD and built a massive Castrum near Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgarts roots were truly laid in the 10th century with its founding by Liudolf, Duke of Swabia as a stud farm for his warhorses. Overshadowed by nearby Cannstatt, the town grew steadily and was granted a charter in 1320, the fortunes of Stuttgart turned with those of the House of Württemberg, and they made it the capital of their County and Kingdom from the 15th Century to 1918.
Stuttgart prospered despite setbacks in the forms of the Thirty Years War and devastating air raids by the Allies on the city, however, by 1952, the city had bounced back and became the major economic, industrial and publishing center it is today. Stuttgart is an important transport junction, and possesses the sixth largest airport in Germany. Such companies as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, Stuttgart is unusual in the scheme of German cities. It is spread across a variety of hills and parks and this is often a source of surprise to visitors who associate the city with its reputation as the Cradle of the Automobile. The citys tourism slogan is Stuttgart offers more, under current plans to improve transport links to the international infrastructure, the city unveiled a new logo and slogan in March 2008 describing itself as Das neue Herz Europas. For business, it describes itself as Where business meets the future, in July 2010, Stuttgart unveiled a new city logo, designed to entice more business people to stay in the city and enjoy breaks in the area.
Stuttgart is a city of mostly immigrants, according to Dorling Kindersley Publishings Eyewitness Travel Guide to Germany, In the city of Stuttgart, every third inhabitant is a foreigner. 40% of Stuttgarts residents, and 64% of the population below the age of five are of immigrant background, the reason for this being that the city was founded in 950 AD by Duke Liudolf of Swabia to breed warhorses. Originally, the most important location in the Neckar river valley as the rim of the Stuttgart basin at what is today Bad Cannstatt. As with many military installations, a settlement sprang up nearby, when they did, the town was left in the capable hands of a local brickworks that produced sophisticated architectural ceramics and pottery. When the Romans were driven back past the Rhine and Danube rivers in the 3rd Century by the Alamanni, in 700, Duke Gotfrid mentions a Chan Stada in a document regarding property
Second Battle of Ypres
It was the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front. For the first time, a colonial force defeated a European power on European soil. The eastern part of the salient was defended by one Canadian, the II Corps and V Corps of the Second Army comprised the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Divisions and the 4th, 27th, 28th, Lahore and 1st Canadian Divisions. Although poison gas had been used before, at the Battle of Bolimów three months earlier, the gas had liquified in the cold and become inert, German troops carried 5,730 gas cylinders, weighing 90 pounds each, to the front by hand. The cylinders, opened by hand, relied on the wind to carry the gas towards enemy lines. Because of this method of dispersal, a number of German soldiers were injured or killed while carrying out the attack. The French troops in the path of the gas cloud sustained about 6,000 casualties, many died within ten minutes, and many more were blinded. Chlorine gas forms hypochlorous acid when combined with water, destroying moist tissue such as the lungs, the chlorine gas, denser than air, quickly filled the trenches and forced the troops out into heavy enemy fire.
Although many French troops ran for their lives, others stood their ground, the German High Command had not foreseen the effectiveness of the new weapon and all available troops had been transferred to Russia, leaving few reserves in the west. General von Falkenhayn, Chief of the German General Staff, had ordered the attack as an effort by the German 4th Army. German troops advanced at 5,00 p. m. but dusk, apprehension about the effect of the gas, Canadian troops defended the flank of the break-in by urinating into cloth and holding them to their faces to counter the effects of the gas. At Kitcheners Wood, the 10th Battalion of the 2nd Canadian Brigade was ordered to counter-attack in the gap created by the gas attack. They formed up after 11,00 p. m. on 22 April, both battalions attacked with over 800 men, in waves of two companies each, at 11,46 p. m. Without reconnaissance, the battalions ran into obstacles halfway to their objective, engaged in fire from the wood. The attack cleared the former oak plantation of Germans at a 75-percent casualty rate, the village of St.
Julien was in the rear of the 1st Canadian Division until the poison-gas attack of 22 April, when it became the front line. Julien into the rear of the Canadian front line and he was killed the following day. On the morning of 24 April, the Germans released another gas cloud towards the re-formed Canadian line just west of St. Julien, word was passed to the troops to urinate on their handkerchiefs and place them over their nose and mouth. The countermeasures were insufficient, and German troops took the village, the next day the York and Durham Brigade units of the Northumberland Division counter-attacked, failing to secure their objectives but establishing a new line closer to the village
Military Order of Max Joseph
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the order came in three classes, Grand Cross Commanders Cross Knights Cross. Individuals who received the order and were not already members of the nobility were ennobled, a Bavarian title of nobility obtained through the Military Order of Max Joseph was valid for the recipients life only. The order became obsolete in 1918 with the collapse of the Bavarian monarchy on Germanys defeat in World War I, the orders chancery continued to process outstanding award recommendations to at least 1922. The badge of the order was a white-enameled gold Maltese cross with balls at each cross point. The center medallion, in blue enamel and edged in gold, featured the monogram of Max Joseph on the obverse, above the cross was a gold crown. The badge of the Knights Cross was much smaller than that of other military orders. It measured 28-mm in width, compared to Bavarias Military Merit Order and it was worn from a ribbon on the officers medal bar ahead of other decorations or, separately worn through the buttonhole.
In 1951, wear of the Knights Cross around the neck, the badge of a Commanders Cross was somewhat larger than the Knights Cross, measuring 38-mm by 55-mm. It was worn from a ribbon around the neck, the Grand Cross was still larger, and had golden rays between the arms of the cross. The star of the order, which came with the Grand Cross, was a silver eight-pointed star. The center of the featured a badge of the order. The ribbon of the order was black moiré with inner white, for recipients of the order who were not already members of the nobility, receipt of the order conferred a patent of nobility. This patent was not inheritable, similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom, when a recipient was ennobled, his surname name was changed by the addition of the title Ritter von. Thus for example the Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was born Wilhelm Leeb, such a patent of nobility only applied to Bavarian subjects, non-Bavarians could receive the Military Order of Max Joseph but not use a title because of this.
Thus for example General Erich Ludendorff remained plain Ludendorff, although he was decorated with the Grand Cross of the order in 1916, note that not all Bavarian Ritter von were knights of the Military Order of Max Joseph. The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown, a high civil honor conferred a patent of nobility. For example, the 1920s-era Minister President of Bavaria Gustav Ritter von Kahr was a recipient of the Merit Order of the Bavarian Crown rather than the Military Order of Max Joseph
Wilhelm, German Crown Prince
German Crown Prince Wilhelm, full name Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst, was the last Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. He was born on 6 May 1882 in the Marmorpalais in Potsdam, during World War I, he commanded the 5th Army from 1914 to 1916 and was commander of Army Group German Crown Prince for the remainder of the war. Crown Prince Wilhelm became Head of the House of Hohenzollern on 4 June 1941 following the death of his father, Wilhelm was born on 6 May 1882 in the Marmorpalais of Potsdam in the Province of Brandenburg. He was the eldest son of Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor and his first wife, Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. When he was born, his great-grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I, was the emperor and his grandfather, Crown Prince Frederick, was heir to the throne. He was the eldest of the Kaisers seven children, and his birth sparked an argument between his parents and grandmother. Before Wilhelm was born, his grandmother had expected to be asked to find a nurse, but since her son did everything he could to snub her.
His mother was hurt and his grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was the younger Wilhelms great grandmother, when his great-grandfather and grandfather both died in 1888, six-year-old Wilhelm became the heir-apparent to the German and Prussian thrones. The German club BFC Preussen was originally named BFC Friedrich Wilhelm in his honour, Kaiser Wilhelm II regarded his eldest son with contempt, mainly because of his many affairs with women. In 1901, during a visit to Blenheim Palace in England, Crown Prince Wilhelm, on the other hand, became noted for his public criticism of the politics of his father. In response, his father found Wilhelm a wife, Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, after initial interest in his wife, the Prince returned to his previous interest in other women. During his stay in Danzig he used to play tennis in Sopot. That afforded him a chance to many beautiful women, many of them coming from Warsaw to stay at the spa. In 1914, the Kaiser ordered the construction of Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam for Prince Wilhelm, completed in 1917, it became the main residence for the Crown Prince for a time.
Wilhelm had been active in pushing German expansion, and sought a role on the outbreak of war. As Emperor, Wilhelms father instructed the Crown Prince to defer to the advice of his experienced Chief of Staff Konstantin Schmidt von Knobelsdorf. In October 1914 Wilhelm gave his first interview to a foreign correspondent and he blandly denied promoting military solutions to diplomatic problems, and said this in English, Undoubtedly this is the most stupid and unnecessary war of modern times. From August 1915 onwards, Wilhelm was given the role as commander of Army Group German Crown Prince
Battle of the Yser
The front line was held by a large Belgian force which halted the German advance in a costly defensive battle. The Allied victory at the Yser stopped the German advance into the last corner of unoccupied Belgium, the German army invaded Belgium on the morning of 4 August. German cavalry appeared at Visé early on 4 August, to find the bridge down and Belgian troops on the west bank, the Germans crossed at a ford and forced the Belgians to retire towards Liège. By evening, it was clear to the Belgian High Command that the Third Division, at an engagement between the First Division and the German IX Corps near Tienen, the Belgians had 1,630 casualties. The Belgian government of Charles de Broqueville left Brussels for Antwerp, the German Siege of Namur ended with a Belgian capitulation on 24 August, as the field army made a sortie from Antwerp towards Brussels. The Germans detached the III Reserve Corps from the 1st Army to mask the city, on 1 October, General Hans Hartwig von Beseler ordered an attack on the Antwerp forts Sint-Katelijne-Waver and the Bosbeek and Dorpveld redoubts by the 5th Reserve and Marine divisions.
A counter-attack failed and the Fourth Division was reduced to 4,800 infantry, proclamations warning the inhabitants that King Albert I and the government would leave Antwerp were put up during the day. Early on 9 October, German troops found some forts of the inner ring empty, Beseler ended the bombardment and summoned the governor, General Victor Deguise. About 30,000 men of the Antwerp garrison surrendered and the city was occupied by German troops, about 33,000 soldiers of the garrison fled north to the Netherlands, where they were interned for the duration. The race ended on the North Sea coast of Belgium, when the last open area from Dixmude to the North Sea was occupied by Belgian troops from Antwerp and French forces in Belgium covered the retirement of the Belgians and British from Antwerp. The First and Fourth divisions reached Ostend, the Fifth and Sixth divisions arrived at Torhout and Diksmuide, the Germans 4th Ersatz Division and Landwehr troops at Lokeren and Moerbeke turned east towards Ghent before the withdrawal was discovered.
On 11 October, German troops were detected advancing on Ghent, a withdrawal from Ghent from 3, 00–10,00 p. m. began, after which German troops entered the city. Several bridges were demolished during the retirement, although crowds of civilians on the main road, part of northern France and the north Belgium from the Pas-de-Calais to the Scheldt estuary had been known as Flanders since the eleventh century. By 1914, the plain was bounded by canals linking Douai, Béthune, Saint-Omer, to the south-east, canals run between Lens, Lille and Courtrai, the Lys river from Courtrai to Ghent and to the north-west lies the sea. The plain is almost flat, apart from a line of low hills from Cassel, east to Mont des Cats, Mont Noir, Mont Rouge, Scherpenberg, a coastal strip about 10 miles wide, is near sea level and fringed by sand dunes. Inland the ground is mainly meadow, cut by canals, drainage ditches, the ground surface quickly turns to a consistency of cream cheese and on the coast troop movements were confined to roads, except during frosts.
The rest of the Flanders Plain is woods and small fields, divided by hedgerows planted with trees and cultivated from small villages, south of La Bassée Canal around Lens and Béthune was a coal-mining district full of slag heaps, pit-heads and miners houses. Intervening areas are agricultural, with roads on shallow foundations, unpaved mud tracks in France and narrow pavé roads along the frontier
World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany