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Battle of Jemappes

The Battle of Jemappes took place near the town of Jemappes in Hainaut, Austrian Netherlands, near Mons during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. One of the first major offensive battles of the war, it was a victory for the armies of the infant French Republic, saw the French Armée du Nord, which included many inexperienced volunteers, defeat a smaller regular Austrian army. General Charles François Dumouriez, in command of an army of French Revolutionary volunteers, faced the Imperial army of Field Marshal Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen and his second-in-command François de Croix, Count of Clerfayt; the French, who outnumbered their opponents by about three-to-one, launched a series of enthusiastic but uncoordinated attacks against the Austrian position on a ridge. At length, the French seized a portion of the ridge and the Austrians were unable to drive them away. Saxe-Teschen conceded defeat by ordering a withdrawal. Jemappes was won by effective charges against the Austrians' prepared position.

Dumouriez overran the Austrian Netherlands within a month, but lost it at the Battle of Neerwinden in March. The French would not reconquer the Austrian Netherlands until the summer of 1794. In the summer of 1792 Charles Dumouriez, the French foreign minister and commander of the Armée du Nord, had believed that the best way to prevent an Austrian and Prussian invasion of France was to invade the Austrian Netherlands, but the Allies had launched their invasion before Dumouriez was ready to move, he had been forced to move south; the Allied invasion had been at Valmy on 20 September where the French army stood up to an artillery bombardment, proved that it would not flee at the first sign of opposition The Allied commander, the Duke of Brunswick, was not willing to risk a full-scale assault on the French line, withdrew after it. This left Dumouriez free to move north, to first raise the siege to Lille in late September and into early October, to launch his long-planned invasion of the Austrian Netherlands.

His original plan for a three-pronged invasion had to be changed, as the promised resources to achieve it proved unavailable, instead, at the end of October, he concentrated most of his men in front of Valenciennes and marched towards Mons, the way to Brussels. The Austrian army was commanded by Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, the governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Although he had more than 20,000 troops available, they were scattered in a long defensive line, so at Jemappes he fought with only 11,600 infantry, 2,170 cavalry and 56 guns. With this power, he tried to defend the 5-mile long Cuesmes ridge which ran from Mons in the Austrian left to Jemappes on the right side; the Austrian right was commanded by Franz Freiherr von Lilien, the center by Franz Sebastian de Croix, Count of Clerfayt and the left by Johann Peter Freiherr von Beaulieu. Lilien had seven companies and four infantry battalions and three squadrons of cavalry on their left while Clerfayt had three infantry battalions and four squadrons around the village of Cuesmes and Beaulieu had three battalions of infantry on the hills south of Bertaimont with five companies of infantry and a squadron of cavalry guarding his left.

Two other companies were further to the left around Mont Palisel and an infantry battalion was at Mons. The Austrian army positioned themselves on the marshes around the Trouille groves and rivers, with two dams to their rear; the only other way for a retreat was via Mons. Dumouriez had twice as many men as the Austrians, his own Armée du Nord contained 32,000 infantry, 3,800 cavalry and 100 guns and was supported in Jemappes by a further 4,000 men and 15 guns under General François Harville. Dumouriez's infantry battalions contained thirteen volunteers from 1792. Harville's men were volunteers, but most of the older commanders were either experienced soldiers or aristocrats; the most obvious example was the commander of the French center, the Duke of Chartres, who had assumed the name of General Egalite, would become King Louis-Philippe of France. The right wing was commanded by General Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville and the left by General Louis Marie de la Caussade Ferrand who carried the name Jean Henri Becays Ferrand.

Harville was to reinforce the right. Dumouriez planned to use his army's numbers to overtake the Austrian position; the plan was for Harville and Beurnonville to attack first, surround the weak Austrian left. Ferrand would capture Quaregnon before Jemappes. Beurnonville would attack the Austrian center while Harville moved to Mont Palisel to cut off the Austrian retreat. See Jemappes 1792 Order of Battle for details of the Austrian and French organizations. Saxe-Teschen entrenched his 11,628 infantry, 2,168 cavalry and 56 guns along the Cuesmes Ridge just a few kilometers west of Mons; the Austrian artillery included fourteen 12-lb cannon, thirty-six 6-lb and 3-lb cannon and six 7-lb howitzers. The north end of the position, defended by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Freiherr von Lilien, was anchored on the village of Jemappes. Feldzeugmeister Count Clerfayt commanded the center and Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann Peter Beaulieu led the left wing; the Austrian right wing faced to the west, while the center and the left wings faced toward the southwest.

The village of Cuesmes lay behind the Austrian left. One flaw in the position was that an Austrian retreat could only be made across a single bridge over the Hain River. Dumouriez had 3,800 cavalry and 100 artillery pieces, he expected to be joined by an additional 4,000 troops on the right under General Louis Auguste Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville. Dumouriez planned to turn both Austrian flan

Whittling

Whittling may refer either to the art of carving shapes out of raw wood using a knife or a time-occupying, non-artistic process of shaving slivers from a piece of wood. It is used as a way to make artistic creations. Casual whittling is performed with a light, small-bladed knife a pocket knife. Specialized whittling knives, with fixed single blades, are preferred for sculpting artistic work, they have thick handles which are easier to grip for long periods and have better leverage, allowing more precise control and pressure. The terms "whittling" and "carving" are used interchangeably, but they are different arts. Carving employs the use of chisels, with or without a mallet, while whittling involves only the use of a knife. Carving involves powered equipment such as lathes. In industrialized areas of the world, whittling is a hobby and not an occupational activity as it was before powered wood working equipment enabled modern production. "Splash whittling" is a historical, decorative technique in Norway using an ax to create a herringbone pattern.

It's a good idea to protect your thumb with a leather thimble, your holding hand with a cut-resistant glove. While any type of wood can be used for whittling, there are woods which are easier to work with and whittle better than others. Soft woods with a small grain, such as basswood, are easier to whittle and are inexpensive. Hardwoods are more difficult to whittle. Wood carving

SU-152

The SU-152 is a Soviet self-propelled heavy howitzer used during World War II. It mounted a 152 mm gun-howitzer on the chassis of a KV-1S heavy tank. Production used an IS tank chassis and was re-designated ISU-152; because of its adopted role as an impromptu heavy tank destroyer, capable of knocking out the heaviest German armoured vehicles—Tiger and Panther tanks, Elefant tank destroyers—it was nicknamed Zveroboy. The Stalingrad counteroffensive, Operation Uranus, exposed the Red Army's urgent need for mobile heavy guns. Primary targets for these guns were German fortifications around Stalingrad. At the time Soviet front-line ground units did not possess sufficient firepower to deal with pillboxes and other fortifications. Close support of artillery and combat engineers was an important factor in the success of Operation Uranus. However, with rare exceptions, all Soviet guns and howitzers at this time were towed rather than self-propelled; this lack of mobility proved to be exacerbated by the absence of roads, the presence of deep snow cover and a scarcity of artillery tractors.

Towed guns were highly vulnerable to counterattack while on the move since they were hauled by horses or their own crews. The 152 mm heavy howitzers were difficult to maneuver; this situation did not satisfy the state authorities. In November 1942 the State Defense Committee ordered the development of a heavy self-propelled gun armed with the 152.4mm ML-20 howitzer. The Red Army had possessed dedicated anti-fortification vehicles in the pre-war period, such as the KV-2 heavy tank armed with the 152.4 mm M-10 howitzer. Mass production of KV-2s ceased in October 1941, when the Kirov Works had to be evacuated from Leningrad to Chelyabinsk; some made it to 1942 but their actual number remains unknown. When the necessity for a new heavy breakthrough vehicle became apparent in the Soviet offensives, a new anti-fortification vehicle was designed with the same purpose in mind, but with higher mobility, heavier armor, reduced production cost, the more powerful and accurate ML-20 152mm gun. Mounting the ML-20 in a turret was impossible due to its length and recoil, it was decided that the new vehicle should have a non-rotating gun mounted in a fixed casemate-style superstructure.

Prior to the issue of the State Defense Committee order there were several other anti-fortification vehicle projects, all of which were halted. In the war these projects were restarted. In December 1942 three different designs of "pillbox killer" vehicles were introduced by various engineer groups from the major Soviet artillery and tank factories. All of these designs used the ML-20 gun with the KV-1S heavy tank chassis. After some discussion, the project of Josef Kotin was chosen for further mass production; this design combined the ML-20 and KV-1S chassis with minimal expense. The entire project was designated "KV-14" and assembly of the first prototype began on December 31, 1942, it was completed after 25 days. Plant trials of "Object 236" began on January 25, 1943. After a number of successful plant tests the more stringent state tests began. "Object 236" succeeded again. On February 14, 1943 the State Defense Committee accepted it for Red Army service and launched it into mass production at the Chelyabinskiy Kirovskiy Zavod.

The designation of the series of self-propelled guns was changed from KV-14 to SU-152. The ML-20 gun was modified for mounting in the SU-152 — some handles were moved for improved gunner comfort; this variant had the designation ML-20S. The muzzle velocity and external ballistics were identical to the original towed ML-20 gun. Although designed with no consideration for the anti-tank role, the SU-152 proved to have good anti-tank capabilities due to the ML-20S's heavy HE projectiles. Standard doctrine for purpose-built AT guns of the period universally relied on small, dense solid projectiles propelled to high velocities, optimized for punching through armor. Since the SU-152, like all SU-series self-propelled guns was not designed with tank killing in mind, no AP projectiles were issued to crews and no initial tests against armor were conducted. However, tests performed on captured Tiger tanks in early 1943 showed that the SU-152 was able to destroy them at any range with a fair degree of reliability by blowing the turret off the vehicle through sheer blast effect.

This fortuitous discovery spurred massive SU-152 production and the formation of self-propelled artillery units, which functioned as ersatz heavy tank destroyer battalions. After the launch of SU-152 mass production the design was modified to improve reliability; the SU-152 lacked a machine gun, recognized as a severe weakness in urban warfare and other close combat. To solve this problem the DShK 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun installation was developed in the summer of 1943. Some SU-152s received it after repair; the SU-152 was the last member of the KV family of tanks in mass production, was replaced by the ISU-152 on the ChKZ production lines in December 1943. The exact number of SU-152s produced differs in Russian sources, with the most common figures being 670 or 704; the SU-152s that survived World War II were withdrawn from Soviet Army service in 1954. The SU-152 followed the same enclosed casemated design as most other Soviet self-propelled guns; the armoured hull was divided into two