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American Revolutionary War

The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was fought between the Kingdom of Great Britain and her Thirteen Colonies in America. After 1765, growing constitutional and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its American colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat and a British defeat on April 19, 1775.

Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had dramatic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.

The British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war against France continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war. French involvement had proven decisive. Spain made some territorial gains but failed in two of its key objectives, regaining Gibraltar and an invasion of Britain.

The Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies. From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread.

Enforcing the acts proved difficult. The seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party". Parliament passed punitive legislation, it closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council.

Additionally, the royal governor was granted powers to undermine local democracy. Further measures a

Battle of Piotrków Trybunalski

The Battle of Piotrków Trybunalski was a battle in the Invasion of Poland from the 5 to 6 September 1939, which involved Polish and German tank formations. The core of the Polish force consisted of most of "Prusy" Army's Northern Group; the army, created as the main operational reserve of Polish commander in chief Marshall Edward Rydz-Śmigły was the last to be mobilised in the summer of 1939. Intended as a reserve of Łódź Army and Kraków Army, the Prusy Army was to support its neighbours and relieve them once the main German attacks are slowed down. However, the Battle of the Border did not gain the Poles enough time to mobilise the reserves. While most of Polish Army had been mobilised prior to 1 September 1939, on that date many sub-units of Prusy Army were still being formed or transported. By 4 September 1939, when the German forces broke through the overstretched Polish defences, the Prusy army was far from battle-ready, its Northern Group at that date consisted of 29th Infantry Division and Wileńska Cavalry Brigade, with 19th Infantry Division still being formed in the forests to the north-east of Piotrków Trybunalski while the 13th Infantry Division was still waiting for some of its sub-units near the railway hub of Koluszki and did not become available until 6 September.

The army was strengthened by a mobile reserve formed by the 1st Light Tank Battalion stationed between Opoczno and Końskie, the 81st Motorised Sappers Battalion. Apart from units of the Prusy Army, the Polish side included a number of smaller units from Łódź Army. In the city of Piotrków Trybunalski itself the 146th Infantry Regiment was being mobilised for the 44th Reserve Infantry Division and was dispatched to the front as part of an improvised battle group under Col. Ludwik Czyżewski. In addition, elements of the Wołyńska Cavalry Brigade and the 2nd Legions' Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Legions Infantry Division took part in the battle as part of Col. Czyżewski's group; the German force fighting in the battle consisted of the entire XVI Panzer Corps. The unit, part of German 10th Army, was the strongest Panzer corps in the Wehrmacht and on 1 September 1939 included between 616 and 650 tanks of all types; the XVI Corps included the 1st and 4th Panzer Divisions as well as the 14th and 31st Infantry Divisions.

As the Germans advanced through Silesia, the 4th and 1st Panzer Divisions headed towards Piotrkow. The Polish 19th Infantry Division tried to counter-attack on 5 September, but there were many gaps in their lines. However, the Polish 2nd Tank Battalion entered the defense of the city and their 7TP tanks were successful in destroying 17 Panzers, 2 self-propelled guns and 14 armoured cars, with the loss of only 2 tanks. However, there were too few Polish tanks and could not prevent the Germans from breaking through the gap between Army Lodz and Army Kraków with help from Army Prusy; that evening, Marshal Rydz-Smigly ordered the Polish forces to withdraw to the east bank of the Vistula

Orphium

Orphium is a plant genus in the Gentian family, endemic to South Africa. The name derives from the legendary Greek musician Orpheus; the genus contains a single accepted species, Orphium frutescens known as the sea rose. Orphium arenarium C. Presl has been proposed as another species, but data suggest that it is synonymous with Chironia arenaria E. Mey. ORPHIUM E. Mey. Comm. Pl. 181. 4, 1: 1095. The leaves are opposite and rather crowded, they are thick leathery and bluntly linear to narrowly cuneate Some of the flowers may be solitary, while some are borne in inflorescences in the form of lax cymes, borne terminally or in the axils of upper leaves. The calyx has five lobes fitting loosely round the base of the corolla; the tube is campanulate, with an annular, crenulate disk inside at the base. The calyx lobes mucronate, without a dorsal keel; the corolla is a vibrant candy pink, or white, setting off the vivid yellow anthers. The corolla tube is as long as the calyx or longer; the petals are oblong to nearly circular longer than tube.

The stamens are inserted below mouth of tube. The anthers are erect, with a slight spiral twist; the ovary has a single locule with parallel placentation. The stigma is peltate; the fruit is a capsule. Orphium frutescens grows in the western coastal regions of South Africa, it is found on the coast where it tolerates sandy and saline soil. It tolerates clay as well however, it does best in temperatures from 7 °C to 24 °C. It has been under cultivation at the Kew Gardens in London since the late 18th century; the flowers do not release pollen unless they sense the vibrations of carpenter bees native to South Africa and so the plant will not produce seed without manual intervention when it is grown as an exotic. The common name of Orphium frutescens in Afrikaans is teringbos; this means "tuberculosis bush", suggesting that it has been used in folk medicine, but there is no mention of any such application in the major reference. The sea rose. Plantzafrica.com Strange Wonderful Things Bee is key to flower power The Gardeners' Chronicle, January to June, 1892