Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War. The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German and Italian aggression. At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany in invading Poland whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany; the United States provided war materiel and money all along, joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
China had been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, but joined the Allies in 1941. The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942. However, the name United Nations was used to describe the Allies during the war; the leaders of the "Big Three"—the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States—controlled Allied strategy. The Big Three together with China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations and as the "Four Policemen" of the United Nations. After the war ended, the Allied nations became the basis of the modern United Nations. Members The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I and cooperation of the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. Germany resented signing Treaty of Versailles; the new Weimar Republic's legitimacy became shaken. However, the 1920s were peaceful. With the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, political unrest in Europe soared including the rise in support of revanchist nationalists in Germany who blamed the severity of the economic crisis on the Treaty of Versailles.
By the early 1930s, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the immediate cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria, German-populated territories of Czechoslovakia; the likelihood of war was high, the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement. In Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933. After four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China; the League of Nations initiated sanctions on Japan. The United States, in particular, was sought to support China. In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia, violating the Munich Agreement signed six months before, demonstrating that the appeasement policy was a failure. Britain and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war.
On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in an effort to avert a German attack on the country. The French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921; the Soviet Union sought an alliance with the western powers, but Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine. On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. A Polish government-in-exile was set up and it continued to be one of the Allies, a model followed by other occupied countries. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and defeated Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Britain and its Empire stood alone against Mussolini. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
In December, Japan attacked the Britain. The main lines of World War II had formed. During December 1941, U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies and proposed it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations. At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the "Big Five", soon thereafter the establishment of those states as the permanent members of the UNSC. Great Britain and other members of the British Commonwealth, most known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately from 3 September 1939 with the UK first, all within one week of each other.
British West Africa and the British colonies in E
Nine Years' War
The Nine Years' War —often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg—was a conflict between Louis XIV of France and a European coalition of the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain and Savoy. It was fought in India, it is sometimes considered the first global war. The conflict encompassed the Williamite war in Ireland and Jacobite risings in Scotland, where William III and James II struggled for control of England and Ireland, a campaign in colonial North America between French and English settlers and their respective Indigenous allies, today called King William's War by Americans. Louis XIV of France had emerged from the Franco-Dutch War in 1678 as the most powerful monarch in Europe, an absolute ruler who had won numerous military victories. Using a combination of aggression and quasi-legal means, Louis XIV set about extending his gains to stabilize and strengthen France's frontiers, culminating in the brief War of the Reunions; the Truce of Ratisbon guaranteed France's new borders for twenty years, but Louis XIV's subsequent actions—notably his Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685— led to the deterioration of his military and political dominance.
Louis XIV's decision to cross the Rhine in September 1688 was designed to extend his influence and pressure the Holy Roman Empire into accepting his territorial and dynastic claims. Leopold I and the German princes resolved to resist, when the States General and William III brought the Dutch and the English into the war against France, the French king faced a powerful coalition aimed at curtailing his ambitions; the main fighting took place around France's borders in the Spanish Netherlands, the Rhineland, the Duchy of Savoy and Catalonia. The fighting favoured Louis XIV's armies, but by 1696 his country was in the grip of an economic crisis; the Maritime Powers were financially exhausted, when Savoy defected from the Alliance, all parties were keen to negotiate a settlement. By the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick Louis XIV retained the whole of Alsace but was forced to return Lorraine to its ruler and give up any gains on the right bank of the Rhine. Louis XIV accepted William III as the rightful King of England, while the Dutch acquired a Barrier fortress system in the Spanish Netherlands to help secure their borders.
With the ailing and childless Charles II of Spain approaching his end, a new conflict over the inheritance of the Spanish Empire embroiled Louis XIV and the Grand Alliance in the War of the Spanish Succession. In the years following the Franco-Dutch War Louis XIV of France – now at the height of his powers – sought to impose religious unity in France, to solidify and expand his frontiers. Louis XIV had won his personal glory by conquering new territory, but he was no longer willing to pursue an open-ended militarist policy of the kind he had undertaken in 1672, instead relied upon France's clear military superiority to achieve specific strategic objectives along his borders. Proclaimed the'Sun King', a more mature Louis – conscious he had failed to achieve decisive results against the Dutch – had turned from conquest to security, using threats rather than open war to intimidate his neighbours into submission. Louis XIV, along with his chief advisor Louvois, his foreign minister Colbert de Croissy, his technical expert, developed France's defensive strategy.
Vauban had advocated a system of impregnable fortresses along the frontier that would keep France's enemies out. To construct a proper system, the King needed to acquire more land from his neighbours to form a solid forward line; this rationalisation of the frontier would make it far more defensible while defining it more in a political sense, yet it created the paradox that while Louis's ultimate goals were defensive, he pursued them by hostile means. The King grabbed the necessary territory through what is known as the Réunions: a strategy that combined legalism and aggression; the Treaty of Nijmegen and the earlier Treaty of Westphalia provided Louis XIV with the justification for the Reunions. These treaties had awarded France territorial gains, but because of the vagaries of the language they were notoriously imprecise and self-contradictory, never specified exact boundary lines; this imprecision led to differing interpretations of the text resulting in long-standing disputes over the frontier zones – one gained a town or area and its'dependencies', but it was unclear what these dependencies were.
The machinery needed to determine these territorial ambiguities was in place through the medium of the Parlements at Metz, Besançon, a superior court at Breisach, dealing with Lorraine, Franche-Comté, Alsace. Unsurprisingly, these courts found in Louis XIV's favour. By 1680 the disputed County of Montbéliard had been separated from the Duchy of Württemberg, by August, Louis XIV had secured the whole of Alsace with the exception of Strasbourg; the Chamber of Reunion of Metz soon laid claims to land around the Three Bishoprics of Metz and Verdun, most of the Spanish Duchy of Luxembourg. The fortress of Luxembourg itself was subsequently blockaded with the intention of it becoming part of Louis XIV's defensible frontier. On 30 September 1681, French troops seized Strasbourg and its outpost, Kehl, on the right bank of the Rhine, a bridge which Holy Roman Empire troops had exploited during the latter stages of the Dutch War. B
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe; the designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the used term Reichswehr, was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler's most overt and audacious moves was to establish the Wehrmacht, a modern offensively-capable armed force, fulfilling the Nazi regime's long-term goals of regaining lost territory as well as gaining new territory and dominating its neighbors; this required the reinstatement of conscription, massive investment and defense spending on the arms industry. The Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany's politico-military power. In the early part of the Second World War, the Wehrmacht employed combined arms tactics to devastating effect in what became known as a Blitzkrieg, its campaigns in France, the Soviet Union, North Africa are regarded as acts of boldness.
At the same time, the far-flung advances strained the Wehrmacht's capacity to the breaking point, culminating in the first major defeat in the Battle of Moscow. The operational art was no match to the war-making abilities of the Allied coalition, making the Wehrmacht's weaknesses in strategy and logistics apparent. Cooperating with the SS and the Einsatzgruppen, the German armed forces committed numerous war crimes and atrocities, despite denials and promotion of the myth of the Clean Wehrmacht; the majority of the war crimes were committed in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy, as part of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, the Holocaust and Nazi security warfare. During the war about 18 million men served in the Wehrmacht. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, German forces had lost 11,300,000 men, about half of whom were missing or killed during the war. Only a few of the Wehrmacht's upper leadership were tried for war crimes, despite evidence suggesting that more were involved in illegal actions.
The majority of the three million Wehrmacht soldiers who invaded the USSR participated in committing war crimes. The German term "Wehrmacht" stems from the compound word of German: wehren, "to defend" and Macht, "power, force", it has been used to describes any nation's armed forces. The Frankfurt Constitution of 1849 designated all German military forces as the "German Wehrmacht", consisting of the Seemacht and the Landmacht. In 1919, the term Wehrmacht appears in Article 47 of the Weimar Constitution, establishing that: "The Reich's President holds supreme command of all armed forces of the Reich". From 1919, Germany's national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, a name, dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 21 May 1935. In January 1919, after World War I ended with the signing of the armistice of 11 November 1918, the armed forces were dubbed Friedensheer. In March 1919, the national assembly passed a law founding a 420,000-strong preliminary army, the Vorläufige Reichswehr; the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced in May, in June, Germany signed the treaty that, among other terms, imposed severe constraints on the size of Germany's armed forces.
The army was limited to one hundred thousand men with an additional fifteen thousand in the navy. The fleet was to consist of at most six battleships, six cruisers, twelve destroyers. Submarines and heavy artillery were forbidden and the air-force was dissolved. A new post-war military, the Reichswehr, was established on 23 March 1921. General conscription was abolished under another mandate of the Versailles treaty; the Reichswehr was limited to 115,000 men, thus the armed forces, under the leadership of Hans von Seeckt, retained only the most capable officers. The American historians Alan Millet and Williamson Murray wrote "In reducing the officers corps, Seeckt chose the new leadership from the best men of the general staff with ruthless disregard for other constituencies, such as war heroes and the nobility". Seeckt's determination that the Reichswehr be an elite cadre force that would serve as the nucleus of an expanded military when the chance for restoring conscription came led to the creation of a new army, based upon, but different from, the army that existed in World War I.
In the 1920s, Seeckt and his officers developed new doctrines that emphasized speed, combined arms and initiative on the part of lower officers to take advantage of momentary opportunities. Though Seeckt retired in 1926, the army that went to war in 1939 was his creation. Germany was forbidden to have an air force by the Versailles treaty; these officers saw the role of an air force as winning air superiority and strategic bombing and providing ground support. That the Luftwaffe did not develop a strategic bombing force in the 1930s was not due to a lack of interest, but because of economic limitations; the leadership of the Navy led by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, a close protégé of Alfred von Tirpitz, was dedicated to the idea of reviving Tirpitz's High Seas Fleet. Officers who believed in submarine warfare led by Admiral Karl Dönitz were in a minority before 1939. By 1922
The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium. The people of the south were Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons. Both peoples were traditionally Roman Catholic as contrasted with the Protestant people of the north. Many outspoken liberals regarded King William I's rule as despotic. There were high levels of unemployment and industrial unrest among the working classes. On 25 August 1830, riots erupted in Brussels and shops were looted. Theatregoers who had just watched the nationalistic opera La muette de Portici joined the mob. Uprisings followed elsewhere in the country. Factories were occupied and machinery destroyed. Order was restored after William committed troops to the Southern Provinces but rioting continued and leadership was taken up by radicals, who started talking of secession. Dutch units pulled out; the States-General in Brussels declared independence.
In the aftermath, a National Congress was assembled. King William appealed to the Great Powers; the resulting 1830 London Conference of major European powers recognized Belgian independence. Following the installation of Leopold I as "King of the Belgians" in 1831, King William made a belated attempt to reconquer Belgium and restore his position through a military campaign; this "Ten Days' Campaign" failed because of French military intervention. Not until 1839 did the Dutch accept the decision of the London conference and Belgian independence by signing the Treaty of London; the Dutch overthrew Napoleonic rule in 1813 and, after the British-Dutch Treaty of 1814, named their state the "United Provinces of the Netherlands" or the "United Netherlands". After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna created a kingdom for the House of Orange-Nassau, thus combining the United Provinces of the Netherlands with the former Austrian Netherlands in order to create a strong buffer state north of France.
Symptomatic of the tenor of diplomatic bargaining at Vienna was the early proposal to reward Prussia for its staunch fight against Napoleon with the former Habsburg territory. When the British insisted on retaining the former Dutch Ceylon and the Cape Colony the new kingdom of the Netherlands was compensated with these southern provinces; the union of these two areas reverted to the original cultural area of the Netherlands before the 16th century and were called the "United Kingdom of the Netherlands". The Belgian Revolution had many consequences. Catholic bishops in the south viewed the Protestant-majority north with suspicion, had forbidden working for the new government; this rule, originated in 1815 by Maurice-Jean de Broglie, the French nobleman, bishop of Ghent, caused an under-representation of Southerners in government apparatus and the army. The traditional economy of trade and an incipient Industrial Revolution were centred in the present day Netherlands in the large port of Amsterdam.
Furthermore, although 62% of the population lived in the South, they were assigned the same number of representatives in the States General. At the most basic level, the North was for free trade, while less-developed local industries in the South called for the protection of tariffs. Free trade lowered the price of bread, made from wheat imported through the reviving port of Antwerp; the more numerous Northern provinces represented a majority in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands' elected Lower Assembly, therefore the more populous Southerners felt under-represented. King William I was from the North, lived in the present day Netherlands, ignored the demands for greater autonomy, his more progressive and amiable representative living in Brussels, the twin capital, was the Crown-Prince William King William II, who had some popularity among the upper class but none among peasants and workers. A linguistic reform in 1823 was intended to make Dutch the official language in the Flemish provinces, since it was the language of most of the Flemish population.
This reform met with strong opposition from the upper and middle classes who at the time were French-speaking. On 4 June 1830, this reform was abolished. Religion was another cause of the Belgian Revolution. In the politics of the south Roman Catholicism was the important factor, its partisans fought against the freedom of religion proclaimed by William, at that time still supported by the liberal faction. Over time the liberal faction began to support the Catholics to accomplish its own goals: freedom of education and freedom of the press; the Belgian Revolution of 1830 crystallised this antagonism. The language policy of King William was abolished. Catholic partisans watched with excitement the unfolding of the July Revolution in France, details of which were swiftly reported in the newspapers. On 25 August 1830, at the Théâtre
John of Bohemia
John of Bohemia was the Count of Luxembourg from 1313 and King of Bohemia from 1310 and titular King of Poland. He was his wife Margaret of Brabant, he is well known for having died while fighting in the Battle of Crécy at age 50, after having been blind for a decade. Raised in Paris, John was French by education, but involved in the politics of Germany. In 1310 his father arranged the marriage of the 14-year-old to Elisabeth from the Přemyslid dynasty, sister of the deceased King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia; the wedding took place in Speyer, after which the newlyweds made their way to Prague accompanied by a group led by the experienced diplomat and expert on Czech issues, Peter of Aspelt, Archbishop of Mainz. Because Henry had imperial regiments accompany and protect the couple from Nuremberg to Prague the Czech forces were able to gain control of Prague and depose the reigning King Henry of Carinthia on 3 December 1310; the Castle at Prague was uninhabitable so John made residence in one of the houses on the Old Town Square and with the help of his advisors he stabilised affairs in the Czech state.
He thereby became one of the seven prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire and – in succession of Wenceslaus III – claimant to the Polish and Hungarian throne. His attempts to follow his father as King of the Romans failed with the election of Louis IV of Wittelsbach in 1314, he would support Louis in his rivalry with Frederick the Fair of Habsburg, culminating in the 1322 Battle of Mühldorf and in return he received the Egerland as a reward. Like his predecessor Henry, he was disliked by much of the Czech nobility. John was considered to be an "alien king" and gave up the administration of Bohemia after a while and embarked on a life of travel, he parted ways with his wife and left the Czech country to be ruled by the barons while spending time in Luxembourg and the French court. His travels took him to Silesia, Lithuania, Northern Italy and Papal Avignon. A rival of King Władysław I the Elbow-high to the Polish crown, John supported the Teutonic Knights in the Polish–Teutonic War from 1326 to 1332.
He made several Silesian dukes swear an oath of allegiance to him. In 1335 in Congress of Visegrád, Władysław's successor King Casimir III the Great of Poland paid a significant amount of money in exchange for John's giving up his claim to the Polish throne. John lost his eyesight at age 39 or 40 while crusading in Lithuania. A treatment by the famous physician Guy de Chauliac had no positive effects. At the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War in 1337 he allied with King Philip VI of France and was governor of Languedoc from 30 November 1338 to November 1340. At the Battle of Crécy in 1346 John controlled Phillip's advanced guard along with controlling the large contingents of Charles II of Alençon and Louis I, Count of Flanders. John was killed at age 50 while fighting against the English during the battle; the medieval chronicler Jean Froissart left the following account of John's last actions:...for all that he was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him:'Where is the lord Charles my son?'
His men said:'Sir, we cannot tell. He said:'Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far forward, that I may strike one stroke with my sword.' They said they would do his commandment, to the intent that they should not lose him in the press, they tied all their reins of their bridles each to other and set the king before to accomplish his desire, so they went on their enemies. The lord Charles of Bohemia his son, who wrote himself king of Almaine and bare the arms, he came in good order to the battle; the king his father was so far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword and more than four, fought valiantly and so did his company. There is a legend that, after the battle, a crest worn by John in the battle and his chivalric motto Ich dien were adopted by Edward, the Black Prince, since they have been part of the badge of the Prince of Wales and his coat of arms; the legend, which first appeared in 1614, has been proved to be false. John was succeeded as King of Bohemia by his eldest son Charles.
In Luxembourg, he was succeeded by his son by Wenceslaus. According to Frank Joseph Goes in his book The Eye in History, "the manner of death gave rise to the obsolescent idiom,'to fight like King John of Bohemia', meaning'to fight blindly'." One of John of Luxembourg's first steps as king was the re-establishment of authority and to secure peace within the country. In 1311 he was able to reach an agreement with the Bohemian and Moravian aristocracy, referred to as the "inaugural diplomas" with which John restricted the relations of both the ruler and aristocracy; the aristocracy was however allowed to hold the right to elect the king, to decide the matter of extraordinary taxation, the right to their property, the right to choose whether or not to offer military support to the king in foreign wars. Although the aristocracy was encouraged to raise armies when peace within the country was threatened. On the other hand, the king's right to appoint a foreign official to office was abolished. Jo
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges formed by the geological features of the Ardennes mountain range and the Moselle and Meuse River basins. Geologically, the range is a western extension of the Eifel, both were raised during the Givetian age of the Devonian as were several other named ranges of the same greater range. Located in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching as well into Germany and France, geologically into the Eifel—the eastern extension of the Ardennes Forest into Bitburg-Prüm, most of the Ardennes proper consists of southeastern Wallonia, the southern and more rural part of the Kingdom of Belgium; the eastern part of the Ardennes forms the northernmost third of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg called "Oesling", on the southeast the Eifel region continues into the German state of the Rhineland-Palatinate. The trees and rivers of the Ardennes provided the charcoal industry assets that enabled the great industrial period of Wallonia in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was arguably the second great industrial region of the world, after England.
The greater region maintained an industrial eminence into the 20th century, after coal replaced charcoal in metallurgy. Allied generals in World War II felt the region was impenetrable to massed vehicular traffic and armor, so the area was "all but undefended" during the war, leading to the German Army's twice using the region as an invasion route into Northern France and Southern Belgium, via Luxembourg in the Battle of France and the Battle of the Bulge. Much of the Ardennes is covered in dense forests, with the mountains averaging around 350–400 m in height but rising to over 694 m in the boggy moors of the Hautes Fagnes region of south-eastern Belgium; the region is typified by steep-sided valleys carved by swift-flowing rivers, the most prominent of, the Meuse. Its most populous cities are Verviers in Belgium and Charleville-Mézières in France, both exceeding 50,000 inhabitants; the Ardennes is otherwise sparsely populated, with few of the cities exceeding 10,000 inhabitants. The Eifel range in Germany adjoins the Ardennes and is part of the same geological formation, although they are conventionally regarded as being two distinct areas.
Signal de Botrange 694 m, highest peak in the High Fens, Province of Liège, Weißer Stein 692 m, Mürringen, Province of Liège, Baraque Michel 674 m, Province of Liège, Baraque de Fraiture 652 m, highest point of the Plateau des Tailles, Province of Luxembourg, Lieu-dit Galata 589 m, highest point on the Plateau de Saint-Hubert, Province of Luxembourg, Kneiff, 560 m, highest point of Luxembourg Buurgplaatz, 559 m, highest point in the Oesling section of the Ardennes, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Napoléonsgaard 547 m, near Rambrouch-Rammerech, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Croix-Scaille 504 m, hosting the Tour du Millénaire, Province of Namur, in Belgium on the border to France. N. B; the Belgian Province of Luxembourg in the above list is not to be confused with the country known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The Ardennes is an old mountain range formed during the Hercynian orogeny; the low interior of such old mountains contains coal, plus iron and other metals in the sub-soil. This geologic fact explains the greatest part of the geography of its history.
In the North and West of the Ardennes lie the valleys of the Sambre and Meuse rivers, forming an arc going across the most industrial provinces of Wallonia, for example Hainaut, along the river Haine. The region was uplifted by a mantle plume during the last few hundred thousand years, as measured from the present elevation of old river terraces; this geological region is important in the history of Wallonia because this old mountain is at the origin of the economy, the history, the geography of Wallonia. "Wallonia presents a wide range of rocks of various ages. Some geological stages internationally recognized were defined from rock sites located in Wallonia: e.g. Frasnian, Tournaisian, Visean and Namurian". Except for the Tournaisian, all these rocks are within the Ardennes geological area; the Ardennes includes the greatest part of the Belgian province of Luxembourg, the south of the province of Namur and the province of Liège plus a small part of the province of Hainaut, as well as the northernmost third of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, called Oesling and the main part of the French department called Ardennes.
Before the 19th century industrialization, the first furnaces in the four Walloon provinces and in the French Ardennes used charcoal for fuel, made from harvesting the Ardennes forest. This industry was in the extreme south of the present-day Belgian province of Luxembourg (which until 1839 was part of the Grand Duchy of Luxe
Luxembourgish, Letzeburgesch, or Luxembourgian is a West Germanic language, spoken in Luxembourg. About 390,000 people speak Luxembourgish worldwide. A variety of the Moselle Franconian dialect group, Luxembourgish has similarities with other varieties of High German and the wider group of West Germanic languages; the status of Luxembourgish as an official language in Luxembourg and the existence there of a regulatory body, has removed Luxembourgish, at least in part, from the domain of Standard German, its traditional Dachsprache. Luxembourgish belongs to the West Central German group of High German languages and is the primary example of a Moselle Franconian language. Luxembourgish is the national language of Luxembourg and one of three administrative languages, alongside French and German. In Luxembourg, 50.9% of citizens can speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourgish is spoken in the Arelerland region of Belgium and in small parts of Lorraine in France. In the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, similar local Moselle Franconian dialects of German are spoken.
The language is spoken by a few descendants of Luxembourg immigrants in the United States and Canada. Additionally, in the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, similar local Moselle Franconian dialects of German are spoken. Other Moselle Franconian dialects are spoken by ethnic Germans long settled in Transylvania, Romania. Moselle Franconian dialects outside the Luxembourg state border tend to have far fewer French loan words, these remain from the French Revolution. There are several distinct dialect forms of Luxembourgish including Areler, Kliärrwer, Stater, Veiner and Weelzer. Further small vocabulary differences may be seen between small villages. Increasing mobility of the population and the dissemination of the language through mass media such as radio and television are leading to a gradual standardisation towards a "Standard Luxembourgish" through the process of koineization. There is no distinct geographic boundary between the use of Luxembourgish and the use of other related High German dialects.
Spoken Luxembourgish is hard to understand for speakers of German who are not familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects. However, they can read the language to some degree. For those Germans familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, it is easy to understand and speak Luxembourgish as far as the everyday vocabulary is concerned. However, the large number of French loanwords in Luxembourgish may hamper communication about certain topics, or with certain speakers. There is no intelligibility between Luxembourgish and French or any of the Romance dialects spoken in the adjacent parts of Belgium and France. Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, President of the Christian Social People's Party of Luxembourg 1995–2003, was active in promoting the language beyond Luxembourg's borders. A number of proposals for standardising the orthography of Luxembourgish can be documented, going back to the middle of the 19th century. There was no recognised system, until the adoption of the "OLO" on 5 June 1946; this orthography provided a system for speakers of all varieties of Luxembourgish to transcribe words the way they pronounced them, rather than imposing a single, standard spelling for the words of the language.
The rules explicitly rejected certain elements of German orthography. New principles were adopted for the spelling of French loanwords. Fiireje, rééjelen, shwèzt, veinejer bültê, âprê, ssistém This proposed orthography, so different from existing "foreign" standards that people were familiar with, did not enjoy widespread approval. A more successful standard emerged from the work of the committee of specialists charged with the task of creating the Luxemburger Wörterbuch, published in 5 volumes between 1950 and 1977; the orthographic conventions adopted in this decades-long project, set out in Bruch, provided the basis of the standard orthography that became official on 10 October 1975. Modifications to this standard were proposed by the Conseil permanent de la langue luxembourgeoise and adopted in the spelling reform of 30 July 1999. A detailed explanation of current practice for Luxembourgish can be found in Lulling; the Luxembourgish alphabet consists of the 26 Latin letters plus three letters with diacritics: "é", "ä", "ë".
In loanwords from French and Standard German, other diacritics are preserved: French: Boîte, Enquête, Piqûre, etc. German: blöd, Bühn, etc. Like many other varieties of Western High German, Luxembourgish has a rule of final n-deletion in certain contexts; the effects of this rule are indicated in writing, therefore must be taken into account when spelling words and morphemes ending in ⟨n⟩ or ⟨nn⟩. For example: wann ech ginn "when I go", but wa mer ginn "when we go" fënnefandrësseg "thirty-five", but fënnefavéierzeg "forty-five"; the consonant inventory of Luxembourgish is quite similar to that of Standard German. /p͡f/ occurs only in loanwords from Standard German. Just as among many native German-speakers, it tends to be simplified to word-initia