Western Front (World War I)
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium gaining military control of important industrial regions in France; the tide of the advance was turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918. Between 1915 and 1917 there were several offensives along this front; the attacks employed massive artillery massed infantry advances. Entrenchments, machine gun emplacements, barbed wire and artillery inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks and no significant advances were made. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, with a combined 700,000 casualties, the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with more than a million casualties, the Battle of Passchendaele, in 1917, with 487,000 casualties.
To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried new military technology, including poison gas and tanks. The adoption of better tactics and the cumulative weakening of the armies in the west led to the return of mobility in 1918; the German Spring Offensive of 1918 was made possible by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended the war of the Central Powers against Russia and Romania on the Eastern Front. Using short, intense "hurricane" bombardments and infiltration tactics, the German armies moved nearly 100 kilometres to the west, the deepest advance by either side since 1914, but the result was indecisive; the inexorable advance of the Allied armies during the second half of 1918 caused a sudden collapse of the German armies and persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable. The German government surrendered in the Armistice of 11 November 1918, the terms of peace were settled by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. At the outbreak of the First World War, the German Army, with seven field armies in the west and one in the east, executed a modified version of the Schlieffen Plan, moving through neutral Belgium to attack France, turning southwards to encircle the French Army and trap it on the German border.
The Western Front was the place where the most powerful military forces in Europe, the German and French armies and where the war was decided. Belgian neutrality had been guaranteed by Britain under the Treaty of London, 1839. Armies under German generals Alexander von Kluck and Karl von Bülow attacked Belgium on 4 August 1914. Luxembourg had been occupied without opposition on 2 August; the first battle in Belgium was the Siege of Liège. Liège was well surprised the German Army under Bülow with its level of resistance. German heavy artillery was able to demolish the main forts within a few days. Following the fall of Liège, most of the Belgian field army retreated to Antwerp, leaving the garrison of Namur isolated, with the Belgian capital, falling to the Germans on 20 August. Although the German army bypassed Antwerp, it remained a threat to their flank. Another siege followed at Namur; the French deployed five armies on the frontier. The French Plan XVII was intended to bring about the capture of Alsace-Lorraine.
On 7 August, the VII Corps attacked Alsace to capture Colmar. The main offensive was launched on 14 August with the First and Second Armies attacking toward Sarrebourg-Morhange in Lorraine. In keeping with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans withdrew while inflicting severe losses upon the French; the French Third and Fourth Armies advanced toward the Saar River and attempted to capture Saarburg, attacking Briey and Neufchateau but were repulsed. The French VII Corps captured Mulhouse after a brief engagement on 7 August but German reserve forces engaged them in the Battle of Mulhouse and forced a French retreat; the German Army swept through Belgium, razing villages. The application of "collective responsibility" against a civilian population further galvanised the allies. Newspapers condemned the German invasion, violence against civilians and destruction of property, which became known as the "Rape of Belgium". After marching through Belgium and the Ardennes, the Germans advanced into northern France in late August, where they met the French Army, under Joseph Joffre, the divisions of the British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French.
A series of engagements known as the Battle of the Frontiers ensued, which included the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Mons. In the former battle the French Fifth Army was destroyed by the German 2nd and 3rd Armies and the latter delayed the German advance by a day. A general Allied retreat followed, resulting in more clashes at the Battle of Le Cateau, the Siege of Maubeuge and the Battle of St. Quentin; the German Army came within 70 km of Paris but at the First Battle of the Marne and British troops were able to force a German retreat by exploiting a gap which appeared between the 1st and 2nd Armies, ending the German advance into France. The German Army retreated north of the Aisne River and dug in there, establishing the beginnings of a static western front, to last for the next three years. Following this German retirement, the opposing forces made reciprocal outflanking manoeuvres, known as the Race for the S
No. 207 Squadron RAF
No. 207 Squadron Royal Air Force is an historic bomber squadron and, latterly, a communications and flying training squadron of the Royal Air Force, most based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire, operating Short Tucano T.1 trainer aircraft. It was announced on 5 July 2017 that 207 Squadron will again reform to become the Operational Conversion Unit for the UK F-35B Lightning Force and will return to RAF Marham in Norfolk where it was last based in 1965; the Squadron will reform on 1 July 2019. The main contingent of No. 7 Squadron RNAS was formed from "B" Squadron of No. 4 Wing RNAS on 31 December 1916 at Petite-Synthe, France. However, it is noteworthy that an earlier contingent of the Squadron had formed in Kondoa Irangi, Tanganyika, in May 1916, flying Voisins and BE.2cs for seven months on reconnaissance and bombing duties until disbanding there in January 1917, thus leaving the component in France to endure thereafter. Formed as a specialist night bomber squadron in France in December 1916, No. 7 RNAS flew its first missions on 3 February 1917, with four Short Bombers setting out against the Brugge docks.
In April of that year it re-equipped with Handley Page O/100s, using them for night raids, including attacks against rail targets and ammunition dumps during the Second Battle of Ypres. The squadron split into two in July 1917, with eight O/100s forming the initial equipment of 7A Squadron - becoming 14 Squadron RNAS - while 7 Squadron continued with 10 O/100s. On the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 it became No. 207 Squadron, RAF, moving back to Netheravon in England for re-equipping with the more advanced version of the O/100, the Handley Page O/400, returning to France in July as part of 54 Wing and continuing to fly night raids against railway targets. It moved to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation in January 1919, serving there until August, when it handed its aircraft to No. 100 Squadron RAF and returned to England where it disbanded on 20 January 1920 at RAF Uxbridge. The squadron re-formed on 1 February 1920 at RAF Bircham Newton, its Airco DH.9As saw service in Turkey in 1922, when it was deployed to Constantinople under the command of Arthur Tedder as part of the British intervention in the Greco-Turkish War.
It re-equipped with Fairey IIIFs in December 1927, with the radial engined development of the IIIF, the Fairey Gordon in August 1932. In 1935, as a response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, it was sent to Sudan; the Gordon's Armstrong Siddeley Panther engine proved unreliable in desert conditions and they were replaced with Vickers Vincents. The following year, the squadron, again re-equipped with Gordons, returned home to RAF Worthy Down, joining RAF Bomber Command, it re-equipped with Vickers Wellesleys in 1937, only for them to be replaced with Fairey Battles early the following year. Based at RAF Cottesmore, the squadron took the role of an Operational Training Unit. In April 1939 the squadron was "adopted" by the City of Leicester. On 19 April 1940 the squadron's training role was assumed by No. 12 Operational Training Unit, allowing 207 Squadron to re-form on 1 November of that year as part of Bomber Command's No. 5 Group. At RAF Waddington, the squadrons's crews were assigned the task of introducing the ill-fated Avro Manchester into service.
Moving to RAF Bottesford, the Manchesters were replaced by the much improved Avro Lancaster in March 1942. The squadron relocated to RAF Langar on 21 September, owing to the Bottesford runway surface breaking up and needing urgent repairs. In October 1943, 207 Squadron became the first occupant of the newly opened RAF Spilsby bomber station; the squadron was scheduled to form part of the Tiger Force against Imperial Japan. With the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Tiger Force plans were dropped and in November 1945, No. 207 Squadron relocated to RAF Methwold in Norfolk. After moving to RAF Mildenhall in 1949 and replacing the Lancaster with the Avro Lincoln, the Squadron was disbanded on 1 March 1950. Re-formed on 4 June 1951 at RAF Marham, 207 flew the Boeing Washington until March 1954, when it was replaced by the English Electric Canberra, which remained in service with the squadron until it disbanded on 27 March 1956. On 1 April 1956 the squadron re-formed again at RAF Marham and was now equipped with the Vickers Valiant.
That year no. 207 took part in the Suez Campaign. On 1 May 1965 the squadron disbanded with the grounding of the Valiant fleet. 207 Squadron was re-formed on 3 February 1969 at RAF Northolt by redesignating the Strike Command Communications Squadron, till 1 January 1969 the Southern Communications Squadron based at RAF Bovingdon. It was equipped with Devon C.2s, Basset CC.1s and Pembroke C.1s, with the squadron first retiring the Bassets in 1974, its last Pembroke being transferred to No. 60 Squadron in Germany in November 1975, leaving 207 with 14 Devons. Detachments of the squadron were located at RAF Turnhouse. 207 Squadron was once more disbanded on retirement of the remaining Devons on 30 June 1984, VP952 ending up at the RAF Museum St Athan. On 12 July 2002 one of the Flying Training Squadrons operating Shorts Tucanos at No. 1 Flying Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse was renumbered as No. 207 Squadron. The squadron was disbanded on 13 January 2012 as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
In the Summer of 2019, 207 Squadron will reform as the Operational conversion unit for the newly acquired Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, based at RAF Marham. List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons Notes Bibliography RAF Spilsby history 207 Squadron RAF Association website Squadron history on RAF website Histories -and m
Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
The Middle Eastern theatre of World War I saw action between 29 October 1914 and 30 October 1918. The combatants were, on one side, the Ottoman Empire, with some assistance from the other Central Powers. There were five main campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign, the Gallipoli Campaign. There were several minor campaigns: the Senussi Campaign, Arab Campaign, South Arabia Campaign. Both sides used local asymmetrical forces in the region. On the Allied side were Arabs who participated in the Arab Revolt and the Armenian militia who participated in the Armenian Resistance during the Armenian Genocide. In addition, the Assyrians joined the Allies following the Assyrian genocide, instigating the Assyrian war of independence; the Turkish Ottomans had the support of Kurds, Circassians, Chechens and a number of Iranian and Berber groups. The theatre covered the largest territory of all theatres in the war. Russian participation in the theatre ended as a result of the Armistice of Erzincan, after which the revolutionary Russian government withdrew from the war under the terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
The Armenians attended the Trabzon Peace Conference which resulted in the Treaty of Batum on 4 June 1918. The Ottomans accepted the Armistice of Mudros with the Allies on 30 October 1918, signed the Treaty of Sèvres on 10 August 1920 and the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923; the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers through the secret Ottoman-German Alliance, signed on 2 August 1914. The main objective of the Ottoman Empire in the Caucasus was the recovery of its territories, lost during the Russo-Turkish War, in particular Artvin, Ardahan and the port of Batum. Success in this region would force the Russians to divert troops from the Polish and Galician fronts. German advisors with the Ottoman armies supported the campaign for this reason. From an economic perspective, the Ottoman, or rather German, strategic goal was to cut off Russian access to the hydrocarbon resources around the Caspian Sea. Germany established an Intelligence Bureau for the East on the eve of World War I; the bureau was involved in intelligence-gathering and subversive missions to Persia and Egypt, to Afghanistan, to dismantle the Anglo-Russian Entente.
Ottoman War Minister Enver Pasha claimed that if the Russians could be beaten in the key cities of Persia, it could open the way to Azerbaijan, as well as the rest of the Middle East and the Caucasus. If these nations were to be removed from Western influence, Enver envisioned a cooperation between these newly established Turkic states. Enver's project conflicted with European interests which played out as struggles between several key imperial powers; the Ottomans threatened Britain's communications with India and the East via the Suez Canal. The Germans hoped to seize the Canal for the Central Powers, or at least to deny the Allies use of the vital shipping route; the British feared that the Ottomans might capture the Middle East oil fields. The British Royal Navy depended upon oil from the petroleum deposits in southern Persia, to which the British-controlled Anglo-Persian Oil Company had exclusive access. Oxford historian J. A. R. Marriott summarizes the British debates on strategy for the Near East and Balkan theatre: The War in that theatre presents many problems and suggests many questions.
Whether by a timely display of force the Turk could have been kept true to his ancient connexion with Great Britain and France. The Russians viewed the Caucasus Front as secondary to the Eastern Front, they feared a campaign into the Caucasus aimed at retaking Kars, taken from the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War, the port of Batum. In March 1915, when the Russian foreign minister Sergey Sazonov met with British ambassador George Buchanan and French ambassador Maurice Paléologue, he stated that a lasting postwar settlement demanded full Russian possession of the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, the straits of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, southern Thrace up to the Enos-Midia line as well as parts of the Black Sea coast of Anatolia between the Bosphorus, the Sakarya River and an undetermined point near the Bay of Izmit; the Russian Imperial government planned to replace the Muslim population of Northern Anatolia and Istanbul with more reliable Cossack settlers.
The Armenian national liberation movement sought to establish an Armenian state within the Armenian Highlands. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation achieved this goal in the war, with the establishment of the internationally recognized First Republic of Armenia in May 1918; as early as 1915, the Administration for Western Armenia and Republic of Mountainous Armenia were Armenian-controlled entities, while the Centrocaspian Dictatorship was est
Croydon is a large town in south London, England, 9.5 miles south of Charing Cross. The principal settlement in the London Borough of Croydon, it is one of the largest commercial districts outside Central London, with an extensive shopping district and night-time economy. Part of the hundred of Wallington in the county of Surrey, at the time of the Norman conquest of England Croydon had a church, a mill, around 365 inhabitants, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Croydon expanded in the Middle Ages as a market town and a centre for charcoal production, leather tanning and brewing; the Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Wandsworth opened in 1803 and was the world's first public railway. Nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London. By the early 20th century, Croydon was an important industrial area, known for car manufacture, metal working and Croydon Airport. In the mid 20th century these sectors were replaced by retailing and the service economy, brought about by massive redevelopment which saw the rise of office blocks and the Whitgift Centre, the largest shopping centre in Greater London until 2008.
Croydon was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965. Croydon lies on a transport corridor between central London and the south coast of England, to the north of two high gaps in the North Downs, one taken by the A23 Brighton Road through Purley and Merstham and the main railway line and the other by the A22 from Purley to the M25 Godstone interchange. Road traffic is diverted away from a pedestrianised town centre consisting of North End. East Croydon is a major hub of the national railway transport system, with frequent fast services to central London and the south coast; the town is unique in Greater London for its Tramlink light rail transport system. As the vast majority of place names in the area are of Anglo-Saxon origin, the theory accepted by most philologists is that the name Croydon derives from the Anglo-Saxon croh, meaning "crocus", denu, "valley", indicating that, like Saffron Walden in Essex, it was a centre for the cultivation of saffron, it has been argued that this cultivation is to have taken place in the Roman period, when the saffron crocus would have been grown to supply the London market, most for medicinal purposes, for the treatment of granulation of the eyelids.
There is a plausible Brittonic origin for Croydon in the form "Crai-din" meaning "settlement near fresh water", the name Crai being found in Kent at various places as late as the Domesday Book. Alternative, although less probable, theories of the name's origin have been proposed. According to John Corbet Anderson, "The earliest mention of Croydon is in the joint will of Beorhtric and Aelfswth, dated about the year 962. In this Anglo-Saxon document the name is spelt Crogdaene. Crog was, still is, the Norse or Danish word for crooked, expressed in Anglo-Saxon by crumb, a different word. From the Danish came our crook and crooked; this term describes the locality. Anderson challenged a claim made by Andrew Coltee Ducarel, that the name came from the Old French for "chalk hill", because it was in use at least a century before the French language would have been used following the Norman conquest. However, there was no long-term Danish occupation in Surrey, part of Wessex, Danish-derived nomenclature is highly unlikely.
More David Bird has speculated that the name might derive from a personal name, Crocus: he suggests a family connection with the documented Chrocus, king of the Alemanni, who played a part in the proclamation of Constantine as emperor at York in AD 306. The town lies on the line of the Roman road from London to Portslade, there is some archaeological evidence for small-scale Roman settlement in the area: there may have been a mansio here. In the 5th to 7th centuries, a large pagan Saxon cemetery was situated on what is now Park Lane, although the extent of any associated settlement is unknown. By the late Saxon period Croydon was the hub of an estate belonging to the Archbishops of Canterbury; the church and the archbishops' manor house occupied the area still known as "Old Town". The archbishops used the manor house as an occasional place of residence: as lords of the manor they dominated the life of the town well into the early modern period, as local patrons they continue to have an influence.
Croydon appears in Domesday Book as Croindene, held by Archbishop Lanfranc. Its Domesday assets were: 1 virgate, it rendered £37 10s 0d. The church had been established in the middle Saxon period, was a minster church, a base for a group of clergy living a communal life. A charter issued by King Coenwulf of Mercia refers to a council that had taken place close to the monasterium of Croydon. An Anglo-Saxon will made in about 960 is witnessed by priest of Croydon; the will of John de Croydon, dated 6 December 1347, includes a bequest to "the church of S John de Croydon", the earliest clear record of its dedication. The church still bears the arms of Archbishop Courtenay and Archbishop Chichele, believed to have been its benefactors. In 1276 Archbishop Robert Kilwardby acquired a charter for a weekly market, this marks the foundation of Croydon as an urban centre
Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies", it is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language, noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, the establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals and engineering. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns; the wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; the origin of the name'Glasgow' is disputed. It is common to derive the toponym from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green basin or green valley.
The settlement had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures. It is recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern, procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, making many converts. A large community became known as Glasgu; the area around Glasgow has hosted communities for millennia, with the River Clyde providing a natural location for fishing. The Romans built outposts in the area and, to keep Roman Britannia separate from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia, constructed the Antonine Wall. Items from the wall like altars from Roman forts like Balmuildy can be found at the Hunterian Museum today. Glasgow itself was reputed to have been founded by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo in the 6th century, he established a church on the Molendinar Burn, where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands, in the following years Glasgow became a religious centre.
Glasgow grew over the following centuries. The Glasgow Fair began in the year 1190; the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the town's religious and educational status and landed wealth, its early trade was in agriculture and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean. Following the European Protestant Reformation and with the encouragement of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the 14 incorporated trade crafts federated as the Trades House in 1605 to match the power and influence in the town council of the earlier Merchants' Guilds who established their Merchants House in the same year. Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. Glasgow's substantial fortunes came from international trade and invention, starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, cotton and linen, products of the Atlantic triangular slave trade.
Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was "the cleanest and beautifullest, best built city in Britain, London excepted". At that time the city's population was about 12,000, the city was yet to undergo the massive expansionary changes to its economy and urban fabric, brought about by the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, Glasgow became p
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers. It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, initiated the Italian Campaign. Husky began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, ended on 17 August. Strategically, Husky achieved; the Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy. The German leader, Adolf Hitler, "canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy", resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front; the collapse of Italy necessitated German troops replacing the Italians in Italy and to a lesser extent the Balkans, resulting in one fifth of the entire German army being diverted from the east to southern Europe, a proportion that would remain until near the end of the war. The plan for Operation Husky called for the amphibious assault of Sicily by two Allied armies, one landing on the south-eastern and one on the central southern coast.
The amphibious assaults were to be supported by naval gunfire, as well as tactical bombing and close air support by the combined air forces. As such, the operation required a complex command structure, incorporating land and air forces; the overall commander was American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, as Commander-in-Chief of all the Allied forces in North Africa. British General Sir Harold Alexander acted as his second-in-command and as the 15th Army Group commander; the American Major General Walter Bedell Smith was appointed as Eisenhower's Chief of Staff. The overall Naval Force Commander was the British Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham; the Allied land forces were from the American and Canadian armies, were structured as two task forces. The Eastern Task Force was led by General Sir Bernard Montgomery and consisted of the British Eighth Army; the Western Task Force was commanded by Lieutenant General George S. Patton and consisted of the American Seventh Army; the two task force commanders reported to Alexander as commander of the 15th Army Group.
The U. S. Seventh Army consisted of three infantry divisions, organized under II Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley; the 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions, commanded by Major Generals Terry Allen and Lucian Truscott sailed from ports in Tunisia, while the 45th Infantry Division, under Major General Troy H. Middleton, sailed from the United States via Oran in Algeria; the 2nd Armored Division, under Major General Hugh Joseph Gaffey sailing from Oran, was to be a floating reserve and be fed into combat as required. On 15 July, Patton reorganized his command into two corps by creating a new Provisional Corps headquarters, commanded by his deputy army commander, Major General Geoffrey Keyes; the British Eighth Army had four infantry divisions and an independent infantry brigade organized under XIII Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey, XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese. The two divisions of XIII Corps, the 5th and 50th Infantry Divisions, commanded by Major-Generals Horatio Berney-Ficklin and Sidney Kirkman, sailed from Suez in Egypt.
The formations of XXX Corps sailed from more diverse ports: the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, under Major-General Guy Simonds, sailed from the United Kingdom, the 51st Infantry Division, under Major-General Douglas Wimberley, from Tunisia and Malta, the 231st Independent Infantry Brigade Group from Suez. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division was included in Operation Husky at the insistence of the Canadian Prime Minister, William Mackenzie King, the Canadian Military Headquarters in the United Kingdom; this request was granted by the British, displacing the veteran British 3rd Infantry Division. The change was not finalized until 27 April 1943, when Lieutenant-General Andrew McNaughton commanding the Canadian First Army in the United Kingdom, deemed Operation Husky to be a viable military undertaking and agreed to the detachment of both the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade; the "Red Patch Division" was added to Leese's XXX Corps to become part of the British Eighth Army.
In addition to the amphibious landings, airborne troops were to be flown in to support both the Western and Eastern Task Forces. To the east, the British 1st Airborne Division, commanded by Major-General George F. Hopkinson, was to seize vital bridges and high ground in support of the British Eighth Army; the initial plan dictated that the U. S. 82nd Airborne Division, commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgway, was to be held as a tactical reserve in Tunisia. Allied naval forces were grouped into two task forces to transport and support the invading armies; the Eastern Naval Task Force was formed from the British Mediterranean Fleet and was commanded by Admiral Bertram Ramsay. The Western Naval Task Force was formed around the U. S. Eighth Fleet, commanded by Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt; the two naval task force commanders reported to Admiral Cunningham as overall Naval Forces Commander. Two sloops of the Royal Indian Navy - HMIS Sutlej and HMIS Jumna - participated. At the time of Operation Husky, the Allied air forces in North Africa and the Mediterranean were organized into the Mediterranean Air Command under Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder.
The major sub
Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is one of the home counties; the county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, Greater London to the northeast. Inhabited by about 1.2 million people, Surrey is the twelfth most populous English county, both the third most populous home county and the third most populous county in the South East. Guildford is considered to be the county town; however despite the town's designation, Surrey County Council has never been based there, being instead seated throughout its history in London. Since the borders of Surrey were altered in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 which created Greater London, none of these places are now in Surrey, marking an example of a de facto capital, located outside of its administrative area. Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Elmbridge and Ewell, Mole Valley and Banstead, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge and Woking.
Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth and death registration, social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and small parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until 1889. Since the 1965 reform the bordering boroughs of the capital have been those taken from it in 1965 plus Bromley and Hounslow; the form of Surrey which remains since 1965 is a wealthy county due to economic, aesthetic and logistical factors. It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county, some of the highest property values outside Inner London and the highest cost of living in the UK outside of the capital. Surrey has the highest proportion of woodland in England, having been rural since it was shorn in 1965 of the urbanised swathes of South London which had hitherto been part of the county, it has large protected green spaces. It has four racecourses in horse racing, the most of any Home County and as at 2013 contained 141 golf courses including international competition venue Wentworth.
Surrey has proximity to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, along with access to major arterial road routes including the M25, M3 and M23 and frequent rail services into Central London. Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downs; the ridge is pierced by the rivers Wey and Mole, tributaries of the Thames, which formed the northern border of the county before modern redrawing of county boundaries, which has left part of its north bank within the county. To the north of the Downs the land is flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames; the geology of this area is dominated by London Clay in the east, Bagshot Sands in the west and alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low Weald, rising in the extreme southeast to the edge of the hills of the High Weald; the Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of Wealden Clay, Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.
Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature woodland. Among its many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill, Frensham Ponds, Newlands Corner and Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons. Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8% and as such is one of the few counties not to recommend new woodlands in the subordinate planning authorities' plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey contains England's principal concentration of lowland heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county. Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Way, a scenic long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms; the highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking.
It is 294 m above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after Walbury Hill in West Berkshire, 297 m. Surrey has a population of 1.1 million people. Its largest town is Guildford, with a population of 77,057, they are followed by Ewell with 39,994 people and Camberley with 30,155. Towns of between 25,000 and 30,000 inhabitants are Ashford, Farnham and Redhill. Guildford is the historic county town, although the county administration was moved to Newington in 1791 and to Kingston upon Thames in 1893; the county counc