U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot, a shortening of Unterseeboot "underseaboat." While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one refers to military submarines operated by Germany in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most used in an economic warfare role and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping; the primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, from the United States to the United Kingdom and to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on the Axis powers in 1944. Austro-Hungarian Navy submarines were known as U-boats; the first submarine built in Germany, the three-man Brandtaucher, sank to the bottom of Kiel harbor on 1 February 1851 during a test dive.
The inventor and engineer Wilhelm Bauer had designed this vessel in 1850, Schweffel & Howaldt constructed it in Kiel. Dredging operations in 1887 rediscovered Brandtaucher. There followed in 1890 the boats WW2, built to a Nordenfelt design. In 1903 the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft dockyard in Kiel completed the first functional German-built submarine, which Krupp sold to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War in April 1904; the SM U-1 was a redesigned Karp-class submarine and only one was built. The Imperial German Navy commissioned it on 14 December 1906, it had a double hull, a Körting kerosene engine, a single torpedo tube. The 50%-larger SM U-2 had two torpedo tubes; the U-19 class of 1912–13 saw the first diesel engine installed in a German navy boat. At the start of World War I in 1914, Germany had 48 submarines of 13 classes in service or under construction. During that war the Imperial German Navy used SM U-1 for training. Retired in 1919, it remains on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
On 5 September 1914, HMS Pathfinder was sunk by SM U-21, the first ship to have been sunk by a submarine using a self-propelled torpedo. On 22 September, U-9 under the command of Otto Weddigen sank the obsolete British warships HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue in a single hour. In the Gallipoli Campaign in early 1915 in the eastern Mediterranean, German U-boats, notably the U-21, prevented close support of allied troops by 18 pre-Dreadnought battleships by sinking two of them. For the first few months of the war, U-boat anticommerce actions observed the "prize rules" of the time, which governed the treatment of enemy civilian ships and their occupants. On 20 October 1914, SM U-17 sank the SS Glitra, off Norway. Surface commerce raiders were proving to be ineffective, on 4 February 1915, the Kaiser assented to the declaration of a war zone in the waters around the British Isles; this was cited as a retaliation for British minefields and shipping blockades. Under the instructions given to U-boat captains, they could sink merchant ships potentially neutral ones, without warning.
In February 1915, a submarine U-6 was rammed and both periscopes were destroyed off Beachy Head by the collier SS Thordis commanded by Captain John Bell RNR after firing a torpedo. On 7 May 1915, SM U-20 sank the liner RMS Lusitania; the sinking claimed 1,198 lives, 128 of them American civilians, the attack of this unarmed civilian ship shocked the Allies. According to the ship's manifest, Lusitania was carrying military cargo, though none of this information was relayed to the citizens of Britain and the United States who thought that the ship contained no ammunition or military weaponry whatsoever and it was an act of brutal murder. Munitions that it carried were thousands of crates full of ammunition for rifles, 3-inch artillery shells, various other standard ammunition used by infantry; the sinking of the Lusitania was used as propaganda against the German Empire and caused greater support for the war effort. A widespread reaction in the U. S was not seen until the sinking of the ferry SS Sussex.
The sinking occurred in 1915 and the United States entered the war in 1917. The initial U. S. response was to threaten to sever diplomatic ties, which persuaded the Germans to issue the Sussex pledge that reimposed restrictions on U-boat activity. The U. S. reiterated its objections to German submarine warfare whenever U. S. civilians died as a result of German attacks, which prompted the Germans to reapply prize rules. This, removed the effectiveness of the U-boat fleet, the Germans sought a decisive surface action, a strategy that culminated in the Battle of Jutland. Although the Germans claimed victory at Jutland, the British Grand Fleet remained in control at sea, it was necessary to return to effective anticommerce warfare by U-boats. Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, Commander in Chief of the High Seas Fleet, pressed for all-out U-boat war, convinced that a high rate of shipping losses would force Britain to seek an early peace before the United States could react effectively; the renewed German campaign was effective, sinking 1.4 million tons of shipping between October 1916 and January 1917.
Despite this, the political situation demanded greater pressure, on 31 January 1917, Germany announced that its U-boats would engage in unrestricted submarine warfare beginning 1 February. On 17 March, German submarines sank three American merchant vessels, the U. S. declared wa
German military administration in occupied France during World War II
The Military Administration in France was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II to administer the occupied zone in areas of northern and western France. This so-called zone occupée was renamed zone nord in November 1942, when the unoccupied zone in the south known as zone libre was occupied and renamed zone sud, its role in France was governed by the conditions set by the Second Armistice at Compiègne after the blitzkrieg success of the Wehrmacht leading to the Fall of France. For instance, France agreed that its soldiers would remain prisoners of war until the cessation of all hostilities. Replacing the French Third Republic that had dissolved during France's defeat was the "French State", with its sovereignty and authority limited to the free zone; as Paris was located in the occupied zone, its government was seated in the spa town of Vichy in Auvergne, therefore it was more known as Vichy France. While the Vichy government was nominally in charge of all of France, the military administration in the occupied zone was a de facto Nazi dictatorship.
Its rule was extended to the free zone when it was invaded by Germany and Italy during Case Anton on 11 November 1942 in response to Operation Torch, the Allied landings in French North Africa on 8 November 1942. The Vichy government remained in existence though its authority was now curtailed; the military administration in France ended with the Liberation of France after the Normandy and Provence landings. It formally existed from May 1940 to December 1944, though most of its territory had been liberated by the Allies by the end of summer 1944. Alsace-Lorraine, annexed after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871 by the German Empire and returned to France after the First World War, was re-annexed by the Third Reich The departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais were attached to the military administration in Belgium and Northern France, responsible for civilian affairs in the 20-kilometre wide zone interdite along the Atlantic coast. Another "forbidden zone" were areas in north-eastern France, corresponding to Lorraine and about half each of Franche-Comté, Champagne and Picardie.
War refugees were prohibited from returning to their homes, it was intended for German settlers and annexation in the coming Nazi New Order. The occupied zone consisted of the rest of northern and western France, including the two forbidden zones; the southern part of France, except for the western half of Aquitaine along the Atlantic coast, became the zone libre, where the Vichy regime remained sovereign as an independent state, though under heavy German influence due to the restrictions of the Armistice and economical dependency on Germany. It constituted a land area of 246,618 square kilometres 45 percent of France, included 33 percent of the total French labor force; the demarcation line between the free zone and the occupied zone was a de facto border, necessitating special authorisation and a laissez-passer from the German authorities to cross. These restrictions remained in place after Vichy was occupied and the zone renamed zone sud, placed under military administration in November 1942.
The Italian occupation zone consisted of small areas along the Alps border, a 50-kilometre demilitarised zone along the same. It was expanded to all territory on the left bank of the Rhône river after its invasion together with Germany of Vichy France on 11 November 1942, except for areas around Lyon and Marseille, which were added to Germany's zone sud, Corsica; the Italian occupation zone was occupied by Germany and added to the zone sud after Italy's surrender in September 1943, except for Corsica, liberated by the landings of Free French forces and local Italian troops that had switched sides to the Allies. After Germany and France agreed on an armistice following the defeats of May and June, Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and General Charles Huntzinger, representatives of the Third Reich and of the French government of Marshal Philippe Pétain signed it on 22 June 1940 at the Rethondes clearing in Compiègne Forest; as it was done at the same place and in the same railroad carriage where the armistice ending the First World War when Germany surrendered, it is known as the Second Compiègne armistice.
France was divided into an occupied northern zone and an unoccupied southern zone, according to the armistice convention "in order to protect the interests of the German Reich". The French colonial empire remained under the authority of Marshall Pétain's Vichy regime. French sovereignty was to be exercised over the whole of French territory, including the occupied zone and Moselle, but the third article of the armistice stipulated that French authorities in the occupied zone would have to obey the military administration and that Germany would exercise rights of an occupying power within it: In the occupied region of France, the German Reich exercises all of the rights of an occupying power; the French government undertakes to facilitate in every way possible the implementation of these rights, to provide the assistance of the French administrative services to that end. The French government will direct all off
1st San Marco Regiment
The 1st San Marco Regiment, located in Brindisi, is an amphibious formation of the Italian Navy. They are the Italian marines; until the middle of the 1990s the unit was known as the San Marco Battalion, until it was expanded beyond battalion size because of the new geopolitical situation after the end of the Cold War and an increasing number of international missions, after as the San Marco Regiment. In 2013 it became part of the San Marco Marine Brigade as 1st San Marco Regiment. Marines of Italy was created as Fanti da Mar in 1550 in the Republic of Venice; the San Marco Regiment traces its history back to the La Marina Regiment, formed in 1713. During the Wars of Italian Independence the Italian Marines were known as the Fanteria Real Marina, units of specially selected sailors who were skilled marksmen; the regiment played an important role in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion and in the Italo-Turkish War. With the beginning of the Italian campaign during World War I, the unit was named the Brigata Marina, included two regiments, one infantry and one artillery.
The brigade's infantry battalions were drawn from various Army and customs units, in addition to sailors from the torpedoed Italian navy cruiser Amalfi who were hastily equipped as infantry. Following the Battle of Caporetto in October–November 1917, the Italian front had collapsed and the Marina Brigade fought in the defence of Venice during the Battle of the Piave River. After the war, the grateful city presented a flag with the Lion of Saint Mark, from Venice's coat of arms, to the marines of the Naval Brigade; the Naval Brigade was renamed the San Marco Brigade because of the connection with Venice, the Italian ship of the same name, sunk in World War I. Between the two world wars only a “San Marco Battalion” existed. A special unit of the battalion was sent to garrison the Italian concession in Tianjin, China in 1924 and stayed there until it was interned by the Japanese in 1943, when Italy declared war on the Axis. In the confusion, one post resisted, holding out against Japanese attacks for 24 hours before surrendering.
The interned Italians were given the choice to represent the collaborationist fascist government, or become prisoners of war. The San Marco Battalion served during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. At the beginning of the Second World War it became a two battalion regiment and increased in size, prepared for amphibious landings at Cape Martin in France which never happened; when Italy attacked Yugoslavia in April 1941, the San Marco Marines carried out successful landings on several islands in the Adriatic and seized ports against minimal resistance. The regiment expanded to seven battalions before the final desert battles in 1943, including the Battaglione Nuotatori who were trained as parachutists in 1941; the 3rd Battalion of the'San Marco' Regiment, which became known as the Tobruk battalion, repelled landings by British Commandos at Tobruk during the night of 13/14 September 1942, in the course of the botched Operation Agreement. As a result, 200 British Commandos were taken prisoner; the regiment fought at Tobruk and Tunisia, where it defended the Mareth line during April and May 1943.
The Tobruk Battalion was destroyed on the night of 5 April 1943 while defending the Oidane-el-Hachana line against an attack on Wadi Akarit by the British 69th Infantry Brigade and Gurkha units from the Indian Army 4th Infantry Division."When we were about ten yards away we had reached the top of the slit trench and we killed any of the survivors," recalled British infantryman Bill Cheall, who had just seen his section leader shot down by a San Marco Marine. "It was no time for pussy footing, we were intoxicated with rage and had to kill them to pay for our fallen pal." The Italian Marines, well dug and plentifully supplied with automatic weapons and grenades, fought well, casualties among the 6th Green Howards had been severe. German General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim said of the San Marco Marines fighting abilities in Tunisia in 1943, that they were "the best soldiers I commanded". Following the Italian surrender in 1943, many San Marco marines fought for the Allies against the Germans, however the 4th Battalion fought for the Axis until the end of the war.
The San Marco Marine Regiment was deactivated in 1956 but was reformed on 1 January 1965 to battalion strength in Venice with 750 personnel. During the Italian-Yugoslav tensions of Trieste and Istria, the Yugoslav head of state Tito requested the Italian government move the unit from Venice, because he believed it represented a possible aggression against Yugoslavia, that it was not necessary for the defense of Italy according to the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty; the battalion was shifted to Brindisi Naval Base in Southern Italy and integrated into the Italian Navy. In Venice, the Italian Army reconstituted its Lagunari amphibious infantry. From 1982 to 1984 the San Marco battalion took part in international UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon. Today the San Marco Marine Regiment consists of the Amphibious Battalion Grado and the Support Battalion Golametto with 1,500 marines. Combined with the Logistics and Training Regiment “Carlotto”, landing boats and helicopters, the San Marco Regiment can conduct amphibious assaults and landings.
If necessary, the San Marco Regiment can be reinforced by the Army's Lagunari. The naval command is connected by a unified operations staff and is associated with the Spanish Marines through the SILF joint landing force; the San Marco Regiment has been active in international peace-keeping operations. Since th
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department; the city is connected to the Île de Ré by a 2.9-kilometre bridge completed on 19 May 1988. Its harbour opens into the Pertuis d'Antioche; the area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity by the Gallic tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes. The Romans subsequently occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast as well as wine production, re-exported throughout the Empire. Roman villas have been found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes, as well as salt evaporation ponds dating from the same period. La Rochelle became an important harbour in the 12th century; the establishment of La Rochelle as a harbour was a consequence of the victory of Duke Guillaume X of Aquitaine over Isambert de Châtelaillon in 1130 and the subsequent destruction of his harbour of Châtelaillon.
In 1137, Guillaume X to all intents and purposes made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to establish itself as a commune. Fifty years Eleanor of Aquitaine upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father, for the first time in France, a city mayor was appointed for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, 75 notables who had jurisdiction over the inhabitants. Under the communal charter, the city obtained many privileges, such as the right to mint its own coins, to operate some businesses free of royal taxes, factors which would favour the development of the entrepreneurial middle-class. Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet in 1152, who became king of England as Henry II in 1154, thus putting La Rochelle under Plantagenet rule, until Louis VIII captured it in the 1224 Siege of La Rochelle. During the Plantagenet control of the city in 1185, Henry II had the Vauclair castle built, remains of which are still visible in the Place de Verdun.
The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, wealthy bourgeois Alexandre Auffredi sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa seeking wealth, he went bankrupt awaiting the return of his ships. The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who exempted them from duties and gave them mills in her 1139 Charter. La Rochelle was for the Templars their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, where they stationed their main fleet. From La Rochelle, they were able to act as intermediaries in trade between England and the Mediterranean. A popular thread of conspiracy theory originating with Holy Blood, Holy Grail has it that the Templars used a fleet of 18 ships which had brought Jacques de Molay from Cyprus to La Rochelle to escape arrest in France; the fleet left laden with knights and treasures just before the issue of the warrant for the arrest of the Order in October 1307.
During the Hundred Years' War in 1360, following the Treaty of Bretigny La Rochelle again came under the rule of the English monarch. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle, between Castilian-French and English fleets; the French and Spanish decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel for the first time since the Battle of Sluys in 1340. The naval battle of La Rochelle was one of the first cases of the use of handguns on warships, which were deployed by the French and Spanish against the English. Having recovered freedom, La Rochelle refused entry to Du Guesclin, until Charles V recognized the privileges of the city in November 1372. In 1402, the French adventurer Jean de Béthencourt left La Rochelle and sailed along the coast of Morocco to conquer the Canary islands; until the 15th century, La Rochelle was to be the largest French harbour on the Atlantic coast, dealing in wine and cheese. During the Renaissance, La Rochelle adopted Protestant ideas.
Calvinism started to be propagated in the region of La Rochelle, resulting in its suppression through the establishment of Cours présidiaux tribunals by Henry II. An early result of this was the burning at the stake of two "heretics" in La Rochelle in 1552. Conversions to Calvinism however continued, due to a change of religious beliefs, but to a desire for political independence on the part of the local elite, a popular opposition to royal expenses and requisitions in the building projects to fortify the coast against England. On the initiative of Gaspard de Coligny, the Calvinists attempted to colonize the New World to find a new home for their religion, with the likes of Pierre Richier and Jean de Léry. After the short-lived attempt of France Antarctique, they failed to establish a colony in Brazil, resolved to make a stand in La Rochelle itself. Pierre Richier became "Ministre de l'église de la Rochelle" when he returned from Brazil in 1558, was able to increase the Huguenot presence in La Rochelle, from a small base of about 50 souls, secretly educated in the Lutheran faith by Charles de Clermont the previous year.
He has been described, by Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière, as "le père de l'église de La Rochelle". La Rochelle was the first French city, with Rouen, to experience iconoclastic riots in 1560, at the time of the suppression of the Amboise conspiracy, before the riots spread to many other cities. Further cases of Reformation iconoclasm were recorded in L
The Azores the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km west of continental Portugal, about 1,643 km west of Lisbon, in continental Portugal, about 1,507 km northwest of Morocco, about 1,925 km southeast of Newfoundland, Canada, its main industries are agriculture, dairy farming, livestock and tourism, becoming the major service activity in the region. In addition, the government of the Azores employs a large percentage of the population directly or indirectly in the service and tertiary sectors; the main capital of the Azores is Ponta Delgada. There are an islet cluster, in three main groups; these are Corvo, to the west. They lie in a northwest-southeast direction. All the islands have volcanic origins, although some, such as Santa Maria, have had no recorded activity since the islands were settled. Mount Pico, on the island of Pico, is the highest point in Portugal, at 2,351 m.
If measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean to their peaks, which thrust high above the surface of the Atlantic, the Azores are some of the tallest mountains on the planet. The climate of the Azores is mild for such a northerly location, being influenced by its distance from the continents and by the passing Gulf Stream. Due to the marine influence, temperatures remain mild year-round. Daytime temperatures fluctuate between 16 °C and 25 °C depending on season. Temperatures above 30 °C or below 3 °C are unknown in the major population centres, it is generally wet and cloudy. The culture, dialect and traditions of the Azorean islands vary because these once-uninhabited and remote islands were settled sporadically over a span of two centuries. A small number of alleged hypogea, earthen structures carved into rocks that were used for burials, have been identified on the islands of Corvo, Santa Maria and Terceira by Portuguese archaeologist Nuno Ribeiro, who speculated that they might date back 2000 years, implying a human presence on the island before the Portuguese.
These kinds of structures have been used in the Azores to store cereals and suggestions by Ribeiro that they might be burial sites are unconfirmed. Detailed examination and dating to authenticate the validity of these speculations is lacking, it is unclear whether these structures are natural or man-made and whether they predate the 15th-century Portuguese colonization of the Azores. Therefore, clear confirmation of a pre-Portuguese human presence in the archipelago has not yet been published; the islands were known in the fourteenth century, parts of them appear in the Catalan Atlas. In 1427, a captain sailing for Prince Henry the Navigator Gonçalo Velho, may have rediscovered the Azores, but this is not certain. In Thomas Ashe's 1813 work, A History of the Azores, the author identified a Fleming, Joshua Vander Berg of Bruges, who made landfall in the archipelago during a storm on his way to Lisbon, he stated that the Portuguese claimed it for Portugal. Other stories note the discovery of the first islands by sailors in the service of Henry the Navigator, although there are few documents to support the claims.
Although it is said that the archipelago received its name from the goshawk, a common bird at the time of discovery, it is unlikely that the bird nested or hunted in the islands. There were no large animals on Santa Maria, so after its discovery and before settlement began, sheep were let loose on the island to supply future settlers with food. Settlement did not take place however. There was not much interest among the Portuguese people to live in an isolated archipelago so far from civilization. Gonçalo Velho Cabral patiently gathered resources and settlers for the next three years and sailed to establish colonies first on Santa Maria and on São Miguel. Settlers cleared bush and rocks to plant crops—grain, grape vines, sugar cane, other plants suitable for local use and of commercial value, they brought domesticated animals, such as chickens, cattle, sheep and pigs and built houses and established villages. The archipelago was settled from mainland Portugal. Portuguese settlers came from the provinces of Algarve, Minho and Ribatejo as well as Madeira.
São Miguel was first settled in 1449, the settlers – from the Estremadura, Alto Alentejo and Algarve areas of mainland Portugal, under the command of Gonçalo Velho Cabral – landed at the site of modern-day Povoação. Many early settlers were Portuguese Sephardic Jews who fled the pressures of inquisition in mainland Portugal. In 1522, Vila Franca do Campo the capital of the island, was devastated by an earthquake and landslide that killed about 5,000 people, the capital was moved to Ponta Delgada; the town of Vila Franca do Campo was rebuilt on the original site and today is a thriving fishing and yachting port. Ponta Delgada received its city status in 1546. From the first settlement, the pioneers applied themselves to agriculture and by the 15th century Graciosa exported wheat, barley and brandy; the goods were sent to Terceira because of the proximity of the island. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Gra
The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canary Islands, which are known informally as the Canaries, are among the outermost regions of the European Union proper, it is one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government. The Canary Islands belong to the African Plate like the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the two on the African mainland; the seven main islands are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The archipelago includes much smaller islands and islets: La Graciosa, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Oeste and Roque del Este, it includes a series of adjacent roques. In ancient times, the island chain was referred to as "the Fortunate Isles"; the Canary Islands are the most southerly region of Spain and the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region.
The Canary Islands have been considered a bridge between four continents: Africa, North America, South America and Europe. The archipelago's beaches and important natural attractions Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide in Tenerife, make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote; the islands have a subtropical climate, with moderately warm winters. The precipitation levels and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. Green areas as well as desert exist on the archipelago. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands. In 1927, the Province of Canary Islands was split into two provinces; the autonomous community of the Canary Islands was established in 1982.
Its capital is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered; the third largest city of the Canary Islands is San Cristóbal de La Laguna on Tenerife. This city is home to the Consejo Consultivo de Canarias, the supreme consultative body of the Canary Islands. During the time of the Spanish Empire, the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to the Americas, which came south to catch the prevailing northeasterly trade winds; the name Islas Canarias is derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Islands of the Dogs", a name, applied only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained "vast multitudes of dogs of large size".
Alternatively, it is said that the original inhabitants of the island, used to worship dogs, mummified them and treated dogs as holy animals. The ancient Greeks knew about a people, living far to the west, who are the "dog-headed ones", who worshipped dogs on an island; some hypothesize that the Canary Islands dog-worship and the ancient Egyptian cult of the dog-headed god, Anubis are connected but there is no explanation given as to which one was first. Other theories speculate that the name comes from the Nukkari Berber tribe living in the Moroccan Atlas, named in Roman sources as Canarii, though Pliny again mentions the relation of this term with dogs; the connection to dogs is retained in their depiction on the islands' coat-of-arms. It is considered that the aborigines of Gran Canaria called themselves "Canarios", it is possible that after being conquered, this name was used in plural in Spanish, i.e. as to refer to all of the islands as the Canarii-as. What is certain is that the name of the islands does not derive from the canary bird.
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the archipelago. Gran Canaria, with 865,070 inhabitants, is both the Canary Islands' second most populous island, the third most populous one in Spain after Majorca; the island of Fuerteventura is the second largest in the archipelago and located 100 km from the African coast. The islands form the Macaronesia ecoregion with the Azores, Cape Verde and the Savage Isles; the Canary Islands is the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region. The archipelago consists of seven large and several smaller islands, all of which are volcanic in origin. According to the position of the islands with respect to the north-east trade winds, the climate can be mild and wet or dry. Several native species form laurisilva forests; as a consequence, the individual islands in the Canary archipelago tend to have distinct microclimates. Those islands such as El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera lying to the west of the archipelago have a climate, influenced by the m
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona