Third Italian War of Independence
The Third Italian War of Independence was a war between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire fought between June and August 1866. The conflict paralleled the Austro-Prussian War and, like that war, ended in an Austrian defeat, with Austria conceding the region of Venetia to Italy. Italy's acquisition of this wealthy and populous territory represented a major step in the process of Italian unification. Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy had been crowned King of Italy on 17 March 1861 but did not control Venetia or the much reduced Papal States; the situation of the Irredente was an unceasing source of tension in the domestic politics of the newly created Kingdom, as well as being a cornerstone of its foreign policy. The first attempt to seize Rome was orchestrated by Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1862. Confident in the King's neutrality, he set sail from Genoa to Palermo. Collecting 1,200 volunteers, he sailed from Catania and landed at Melito, in Calabria, on 24 August to reach Mount Aspromonte, with the intention to travel northwards up the peninsula to Rome.
The Piedmontese General Enrico Cialdini, sent a division under Colonel Pallavicino to stop the volunteer army. Garibaldi himself was wounded in the ensuing battle, taken prisoner along with his men; the increasing discord between Austria and Prussia over the German Question turned into open war in 1866, offering Italy an occasion to capture Venetia. On 8 April 1866 the Italian government signed a military alliance with Prussia, through the mediation of Emperor Napoleon III of France. Italian armies, led by General Alfonso Ferrero La Marmora, were to engage the Austrians on the southern front. Taking advantage of their perceived naval superiority, the Italians planned to threaten the Dalmatian coast and seize Trieste. Upon the outbreak of the war, the Italian military was hampered by the following factors: The problematic amalgamation of the armies of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the two largest components of the new Kingdom of Italy. There were disputes among the chain of command as former enemies were now serving alongside one another.
Added to this was the resentment and bitter resistance in Southern Italy that followed the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by Italy. Prussia opened hostilities on 16 June 1866 by attacking. Three days Italy declared war on Austria, starting military operations on 23 June; the Italian forces were divided into two armies: the first, under La Marmora himself, was deployed in Lombardy, west of the Mincio River, aiming toward the powerful Quadrilatero fortress of the Austrians. La Marmora moved first through Mantua and Peschiera del Garda, but was defeated at the Battle of Custoza on 24 June and retreated in disorder back across the Mincio river. Cialdini, on the other hand, did not act offensively for the first part of the war, conducting only several shows of force and failed to besiege the Austrian fortress of Borgoforte, south of the Po. Following the defeat at Custoza, the Italians reorganized in preparation for a presumed Austrian counter-offensive; the Austrians took this opportunity to raid Val Camonica.
The course of the war, was to turn in Italy's favour thanks to Prussian victories in Bohemia the decisive Battle of Königgrätz on 3 July 1866. The Austrians were compelled to redeploy one of their three army corps from Italy to Vienna; the remaining Austrian forces in the theatre concentrated their defenses around Isonzo. On 5 July 1866, the Italian government received news of a mediation effort by Napoleon III for a settlement of the situation, which would allow Austria to receive favourable conditions from Prussia, and, in particular, to maintain Venice; the situation was embarrassing for Italy, as its forces had been beaten back in the only battle to date. As the Austrians were redeploying more and more troops to Vienna to defend it against the Prussians, La Marmora was urged to take advantage of his force's numerical superiority, score a victory, thus improve the situation for Italy at the bargaining table. On 14 July, during a council of war held in Ferrara, the new Italian war plans were decided, according to the following points: Cialdini was to lead the main army of 150,000 troops through the Venetia, while La Marmora, with 70,000 men, would tie down Austrian forces in the Quadrilatero.
Garibaldi's volunteers, reinforced by a division of regular infantry, were to advance into Trentino, with the eventual objective of capturing the province's capital, Trento. Cialdini crossed the Po on 8 July, advancing to Udine on 22 July without encountering the Austrian army. In the meantime, Garibaldi's volunteers had advanced from Brescia in the direction of Trento in the Invasion of Trentino, winning the battle of Bezzecca on 21 July. Cialdini's and Garibaldi's advances were overshadowed, however, by the unexpected defeat of the Italian Navy at the Battle of Lissa on 20 July. On 26 July, a mixed Italian force of bersaglieri and cavalry crefeated an Austrian force guarding the crossing of the Torre river and reached present-day Romans d'Isonzo in the Battle of Versia; this marked the maximum Italian advance into Friuli. However, with the cessation of Austro-Prussian hostilities, the Austrians
Bad Langensalza is a spa town of 17,500 inhabitants in the district of Unstrut-Hainich, Germany. The former municipality Klettstedt was merged into Artern in January 2019, it was first mentioned in historical records ca. 932, as a village named "Salzaha". The town's name was changed to Langensalza ca. 1578, "Bad" or "Bath" was added to the name in 1956. In 1075, Langensalza was the site of a battle, in which Emperor Henry IV won over the rebelling Saxons and Thuringians; the town was damaged by fires during the Thirty Years' War. Fires again destroyed large parts of the town in 1711, including complete destruction of the town hall, rebuilt between 1742-1752. War again affected the town during the Seven Years' War. In 1815 Langensalza became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony. In 1866 it was again the site of a battle between Prussia and Hanover during the Austro-Prussian War. American troops occupied the town in 1945; the elections in May 2014 showed the following results: Langensalza is something of a tourist spot, with picturesque ruins of a medieval castle, sulphur baths nearby.
The sulphur baths were discovered in 1811, opened to the public as a curative bath in 1812. A new version of the public sulphur bath was opened in 1928. Salt and mineral water springs were discovered in 1996, which prompted the opening of many new curative facilities. Bad Langensalza contains a botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten in Bad Langensalza which opened in 2002, borders National Park Hanich, founded in 1999. Bad Langensalza is twinned with: Oostkamp, Belgium Bad Nauheim, Germany Hermann von Salza, 4th Master of the Teutonic Order Georg Neumark and poet Johann Christian Wiegleb and pharmacist Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, founder of macrobiotics Hermann Bonitz and educator Ulrich Kleemann, general of tank troops in Second World War Rudolf Batz, Sturmbannführer, leader of Einsatzkommando 2, responsible for the mass murder of Jews in the Baltics Dieter Fromm, middle-distance runner Uwe Barth, politician Radost Bokel, actress Claudia Schramm, bobsledder Enrico Kühn, bobsledder Marco Engelhardt, football player Silvio Heinevetter, handball goalkeeper Matthias Rahn, footballer Media related to Bad Langensalza at Wikimedia Commons Official website
The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, northeast Germany, Poland and the North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53 ° N from 10 ° E to 30 ° E longitude. A mediterranean sea of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two bodies, the Baltic Sea drains through the Danish islands into the Kattegat by way of the straits of Øresund, the Great Belt, the Little Belt, it includes the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bay of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Riga, the Bay of Gdańsk. The Baltic Proper is bordered on its northern edge, at the latitude 60°N, by the Åland islands and the Gulf of Bothnia, on its northeastern edge by the Gulf of Finland, on its eastern edge by the Gulf of Riga, in the west by the Swedish part of the southern Scandinavian Peninsula; the Baltic Sea is connected by artificial waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea Canal and to the German Bight of the North Sea via the Kiel Canal. Administration The Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area includes the Baltic Sea and the Kattegat, without calling Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea, "For the purposes of this Convention the'Baltic Sea Area' shall be the Baltic Sea and the Entrance to the Baltic Sea, bounded by the parallel of the Skaw in the Skagerrak at 57°44.43'N."Traffic history Historically, the Kingdom of Denmark collected Sound Dues from ships at the border between the ocean and the land-locked Baltic Sea, in tandem: in the Øresund at Kronborg castle near Helsingør.
The narrowest part of Little Belt is the "Middelfart Sund" near Middelfart. Oceanography Geographers agree that the preferred physical border of the Baltic is a line drawn through the southern Danish islands, Drogden-Sill and Langeland; the Drogden Sill is situated north of Køge Bugt and connects Dragør in the south of Copenhagen to Malmö. By this definition, the Danish Straits are part of the entrance, but the Bay of Mecklenburg and the Bay of Kiel are parts of the Baltic Sea. Another usual border is the line between Falsterbo and Stevns Klint, Denmark, as this is the southern border of Øresund. It's the border between the shallow southern Øresund and notably deeper water. Hydrography and biology Drogden Sill sets a limit to Øresund and Darss Sill, a limit to the Belt Sea; the shallow sills are obstacles to the flow of heavy salt water from the Kattegat into the basins around Bornholm and Gotland. The Kattegat and the southwestern Baltic Sea have a rich biology; the remainder of the Sea is poor in oxygen and in species.
Thus, the more of the entrance, included in its definition, the healthier the Baltic appears. Tacitus called it Mare Suebicum after the Germanic people of the Suebi, Ptolemy Sarmatian Ocean after the Sarmatians, but the first to name it the Baltic Sea was the eleventh-century German chronicler Adam of Bremen; the origin of the latter name is speculative and it was adopted into Slavic and Finnic languages spoken around the sea likely due to the role of Medieval Latin in cartography. It might be connected to the Germanic word belt, a name used for two of the Danish straits, the Belts, while others claim it to be directly derived from the source of the Germanic word, Latin balteus "belt". Adam of Bremen himself compared the sea with a belt, stating that it is so named because it stretches through the land as a belt, he might have been influenced by the name of a legendary island mentioned in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder. Pliny mentions an island named Baltia with reference to accounts of Xenophon.
It is possible. Baltia might be derived from belt and mean "near belt of sea, strait." Meanwhile, others have suggested that the name of the island originates from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel meaning "white, fair". This root and its basic meaning were retained in both Latvian. On this basis, a related hypothesis holds that the name originated from this Indo-European root via a Baltic language such as Lithuanian. Another explanation is that, while derived from the aforementioned root, the name of the sea is related to names for various forms of water and related substances in several European languages, that might have been associated with colors found in swamps, yet another explanation is that the name meant "enclosed sea, bay" as opposed to open sea. Some Swedish historians believe. In the Middle Ages the sea was known by a variety of names; the name Baltic Sea became dominant only after 1600. Usage of Baltic and similar terms to denote the region east of the sea started only in 19th century.
The Baltic Sea was known in ancient Latin language sources as Mare Suebicum or Mare Germanicum. Older native names in languages that used to be spoken on the shores of the sea or near it indicate the geographical location of the sea, or its size in relation to smaller gulfs, or tribes associated with it. In modern lang
The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War was a war fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, with each being aided by various allies within the German Confederation. Prussia had allied with the Kingdom of Italy, linking this conflict to the Third Independence War of Italian unification; the Austro-Prussian War was part of the wider rivalry between Austria and Prussia, resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states. The major result of the war was a shift in power among the German states away from Austrian and towards Prussian hegemony, impetus towards the unification of all of the northern German states in a Kleindeutsches Reich that excluded the German Austria, it saw the abolition of the German Confederation and its partial replacement by a North German Confederation that excluded Austria and the other South German states. The war resulted in the Italian annexation of the Austrian province of Venetia. For several centuries, Central Europe was split into a few large- or medium-sized states and hundreds of tiny entities, which while ostensibly being within the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor, operated in a independent fashion.
When an existing Emperor died seven secular and ecclesiastical princes would elect a new Emperor. Over time the Empire became smaller and by 1789 came to consist of German peoples. Aside from five years, the Habsburg family, whose personal territory was Austria, controlled the Emperorship from 1440 to 1806, although it became ceremonial only as Austria found itself at war at certain times with other states within the Empire, such as Prussia, which in fact defeated Austria during the War of Austrian Succession to seize the state of Silesia in 1742. While Austria was traditionally considered the leader of the German states, Prussia became powerful and by the late 18th century was ranked as one of the great powers of Europe. Francis II's abolition of the office of Holy Roman Emperor in 1806 deprived him of his imperial authority over most of German-speaking Europe, though little true authority remained by that time. After 1815, the German states were once again reorganized into a loose confederation: the German Confederation, under Austrian leadership.
The pretext for the conflict was found in the dispute between Prussia and Austria over the administration of Schleswig-Holstein, which the two of them had conquered from Denmark and agreed to jointly occupy at the end of the Second Schleswig War in 1864. When Austria brought the dispute before the German Diet and decided to convene the Diet of Holstein, Prussia declared that the Gastein Convention had thereby been nullified and invaded Holstein; when the German Diet responded by voting for a partial mobilization against Prussia, Bismarck claimed that the German Confederation was ended. Crown Prince Frederick "was the only member of the Prussian Crown Council to uphold the rights of the Duke of Augustenburg and oppose the idea of a war with Austria which he described as fratricide". Although he supported unification and the restoration of the medieval empire, "Fritz could not accept that war was the right way to unite Germany." In reaction to the triumphant French nationalism of Napoleon I and as an organic feeling of commonality glorified during the Romantic era, German nationalism became a potent force during this period.
The ultimate aim of most German nationalists was the gathering of all Germans under one state, although most accepted that the German portions of Switzerland would remain in Switzerland. Two ideas of national unity came to the fore – one including and one excluding Austria; the New York Times summarized its views of German nationalism shortly after the outbreak of the war: There is, in political geography, no Germany proper to speak of. There are Kingdoms and Grand Duchies, Duchies and Principalities, inhabited by Germans, each separately ruled by an independent sovereign with all the machinery of State, yet there is a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans into one great nation, ruled by one common head as a national unit. There are many interpretations of Otto von Bismarck's behaviour before the Austrian-Prussian war, which concentrate on whether he had a master plan that resulted in this war, the North German Confederation and the unification of Germany.
Bismarck maintained that he orchestrated the conflict in order to bring about the North German Confederation, the Franco-Prussian War and the eventual unification of Germany. However, historians such as A. J. P. Taylor dispute his interpretation and believe that Bismarck did not have a master plan, but rather was an opportunist who took advantage of the favourable situations that presented themselves. Taylor thinks Bismarck manipulated events into the most beneficial solution possible for Prussia. On 22 February 1866, Count Karolyi, Austrian ambassador in Berlin, sent a dispatch to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Alexander Mensdorff-Pouilly, he explained to him that Prussian public opinion had become sensitive about the Duchies issue and that he had no doubt that "this artificial exaggeration of the danger by public opinion formed an essential part of the calculations and actions of Count Bismarck the annexation of the Duchies... a matter of life and death for his political existence to make it appear such for Prussia too
George V of Hanover
George V was the last king of Hanover, the only child and successor of King Ernest Augustus. George V's reign was ended during the Unification of Germany. Prince George of Cumberland was born on 27 May 1819 in Berlin, the only son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland — the fifth son of George III — and his wife, Princess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, he was baptized on 8 July 1819 at a hotel in Berlin where his parents were staying, by the Rev. Henry Thomas Austen, his godparents were the Prince Regent, the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Russia, the Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince William of Prussia, Prince Frederick Louis of Prussia, Prince Henry of Prussia, the Prince William of Prussia, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg, the Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Princess Augusta Sophia, the Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Homburg, the Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Princess Sophia, Princess Alexandrine of Prussia, the Electoral Princess of Hesse-Kassel, the Duchess of Anhalt-Dessau, Princess William of Prussia, Princess Ferdinand of Prussia, Princess Louisa of Prussia and Princess Radziwill.
George spent his childhood in Great Britain. He lost the sight of one eye following a childhood illness in 1828, in the other eye following an accident in 1833, his father had hoped that the young prince might marry his cousin Victoria, older by three days, thus keeping the British and Hanoverian thrones united, but nothing came of the plan. Upon the death of King William IV and the accession of Queen Victoria to the British throne, the 123-year personal union of the British and Hanoverian thrones ended due to the operation of Salic Law in the German states; the Duke of Cumberland succeeded to the Hanoverian throne as Ernst August, Prince George became the Crown Prince of Hanover. As a legitimate male-line descendant of George III, he remained a member of the British Royal Family, second in line to the British throne, until the birth of Queen Victoria's first child, Princess Royal, in 1840. Since he was blind, there were doubts as to whether the Crown Prince was qualified to succeed as king of Hanover.
George married, on 18 February 1843, at Hanover, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, the eldest daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, by his wife, Duchess Amelia of Württemberg. The Crown Prince succeeded his father as the King of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg as well as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Armagh, in the Peerage of Ireland, on 18 November 1851, assuming the style George V. From his father and from his maternal uncle, Prince Charles Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, one of the most influential men at the Prussian court, George had learned to take a high and autocratic view of royal authority. During his 15-year reign, he engaged in frequent disputes with the Hanoverian parliament. George was supportive of Austria in the Diet of the German Confederation; as the Austro-Prussian War started, the Prussian government sent a dispatch on 15 June 1866 demanding that Hanoverian troops submit to their authority or face war. Despite having concluded that Hanover could not win an armed confrontation with Prussia, George remained protective of his throne and refused the ultimatum.
Contrary to the wishes of the parliament, Hanover joined the Austrian camp in the war. As a result, the Prussian army occupied Hanover and the Hanoverian army surrendered on 29 June 1866 following the Battle of Langensalza, the King and royal family having fled to Austria; the Prussian government formally annexed Hanover on 20 September 1866, despite the King of Prussia, William I, being a first cousin of King George V of Hanover. The deposed King never acknowledged Prussia's actions. From exile in Gmunden, Austria, he appealed in vain for the European great powers to intervene on behalf of Hanover. From 1866 to 1870, George V maintained the Guelphic Legion at his own expense. While in exile from his throne, he was appointed an honorary full general in the British army in 1876. George V died at his residence in the Rue de Presbourg, Paris, on 12 June 1878. After a funeral service in the Lutheran Church at the Rue Chaucat, his body was removed to England and buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The king supported industrial development. In 1856 the "Georgs-Marien-Bergwerks- und Hüttenverein" was founded, named after him and his wife; the company erected an steel works which gave the city Georgsmarienhütte its name. 27 May 1819 – 20 June 1837: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cumberland, Prince of Hanover 20 June 1837 – 18 November 1851: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Hanover, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland 18 November 1851 – 12 June 1878: His Majesty The King of Hanover By grant dated 15 August 1835, George's arms in right of the United Kingdom were those of his father, the whole differenced by a label gules bearing a horse courant argent. United Kingdom: Knight of the Garter, 15 August 1835 Kingdom of Hanover: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, 1825. Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Royal Order of Leopold, 1853 Denmark: Knight of the Elephant, 23 November 1851
Nordhausen is a city in Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the Nordhausen district and the urban centre of northern Thuringia and the southern Harz region. Nordhausen is located 60 km north of Erfurt, 80 km west of Halle, 85 km south of Braunschweig and 60 km east of Göttingen. Nordhausen was first mentioned in records in the year 927 and became one of the most important cities in central Germany during the Middle Ages; the city is situated on the Zorge river, a tributary of the Helme within the fertile region of Goldene Aue at the southern edge of the Harz mountains. In the early 13th century, it became a free imperial city, so that it was an independent and republican self-ruled member of the Holy Roman Empire. Due to its long-distance trade, Nordhausen was prosperous and influential, with a population of 8,000 around 1500, it was the third-largest city in Thuringia after Erfurt, today's capital, Mühlhausen, the other free imperial city in the land. Nordhausen was once known for its tobacco industry and is still known for its distilled spirit, Nordhäuser Doppelkorn.
Industrialization accompanied railway construction that linked the cities to major markets in the mid-19th century. In the late 19th century, narrow-gauge railways were constructed in this region through the Harz mountains. In December 1898 the Nordhausen-Wernigerode Railway Company or NWE added a line, with the full network operating by 1899; the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways are maintained today by local authorities and frequented by tourists. In the early 20th century, this became a centre of the engineering and arms industries. During World War II, the Nazi German government established and operated the nearby KZ Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, where 60,000 forced labourers had to work in the arms industry, they were prisoners of war and persons from occupied territories. Some 20,000 persons died because of the bad conditions. In April 1945, most of the city was destroyed by Royal Air Force bombings, resulting in 8,800 casualties. Most of the historic buildings in the city were destroyed. A week the United States troops occupied the city, followed weeks by the Soviet Red Army.
The city was within the Soviet zone of occupation, the territory was known as East Germany. Hundreds of German scientists and their families from Nordhausen were among thousands deported to the Soviet Union after the war to work on advanced rocket and other arms engineering projects. Nordhausen is the birthplace of the famous mathematician Oswald Teichmüller, known for his groundbreaking work on the Teichmüller spaces – which were named after him, it is the site of the Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, founded in 1997 after the reunification of Germany. The university has 2,500 students; the Franks colonized the area around Nordhausen about 800, many place names here have a Frankish origin, discernible by the suffix -hausen. Nordhausen itself is first mentioned in a 13 May 927 document of King Henry the Fowler, he built a castle here, traceable between 910 and 1277 and became a centre of the empire during the 10th century. Gerberga of Saxony, Henry's daughter is supposed to have been born there, as was Henry I, Duke of Bavaria.
The first market was established in the 10th century. During the 12th century, the old town was semi-planned and established around the new market place and St. Nicholas' Church. Nordhausen was Reichsgut from the beginning, but in 1158, Frederick Barbarossa donated it to the local chapter of nuns, converted to a cathedral chapter by Frederick II in 1220, whereby the city came back to the empire and became an Imperial Free City. Nordhausen was granted the privileges of a town around 1200, in 1198 it was first mentioned as a villa and in 1206, there was a mayor, a Vogt and citizens; the municipal law of Nordhausen was similar to that of Mühlhausen, hence the Mühlhausen Book of Law was adopted in the mid-13th century. Today's city wall was established between 1290 and 1330 and cut the old town off from Altendorf in the north-west, the new town in the west and Altnordhausen in the south; the new town was incorporated in 1365. Besides the parish churches, many monasteries were founded during the late Middle Ages in Nordhausen.
As distinct from Mühlhausen and many other free imperial cities, Nordhausen did not own any territories or villages in the surrounding area. The city's independence was endangered by the ambitions of regional counts by those of Hohnstein County, who extorted funds from Nordhausen during the 14th century. On the other hand, the debts of the Hohnstein Counts were gigantic: they owed 86 citizens of Nordhausen 5744 Mark silver in 1370. In 1306, Nordhausen allied with the two other major Thuringian cities Erfurt and Mühlhausen against the Wettins and the local counts and joined the Hanseatic League together with them in 1430. Further alliances were concluded with Goslar, Halberstadt and Aschersleben to represent urban interests against the landlords. In 1349, during a plague ep
First Geneva Convention
The First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, held on 22 August 1864, is the first of four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It defines "the basis on which rest the rules of international law for the protection of the victims of armed conflicts." After the first treaty was adopted in 1864, it was revised and replaced in 1906, 1929, 1949. It is inextricably linked to the International Committee of the Red Cross, both the instigator for the inception and enforcer of the articles in these conventions; the 1864 Geneva Convention was instituted at a critical period in European political and military history. Elsewhere, the American Civil War had been raging since 1861, would claim between 750,000–900,000 lives. Between the fall of the first Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the rise of his nephew in the Italian campaign of 1859, the powers had maintained peace in western Europe. Yet, with the 1853–1856 conflict in the Crimea, war had returned to Europe, while those troubles were "in a distant and inaccessible region" northern Italy was "so accessible from all parts of western Europe that it filled with curious observers.
Despite its intent of ameliorating the ravages of war, the inception of the 1864 Geneva Convention inaugurated "a renewal of military activity on a large scale, to which the people of western Europe…had not been accustomed since the first Napoleon had been eliminated."The movement for an international set of laws governing the treatment and care for the wounded and prisoners of war began when relief activist Henry Dunant witnessed the Battle of Solferino in 1859, fought between French-Piedmontese and Austrian armies in Northern Italy. The subsequent suffering of 40,000 wounded soldiers left on the field due to lack of facilities and truces to give them medical aid moved Dunant into action. Upon return to Geneva, Dunant published his account Un Souvenir de Solferino and, through his membership in the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, he urged the calling together of an international conference and soon helped found the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863; the International Committee of the Red Cross, while recognising that it is "primarily the duty and responsibility of a nation to safeguard the health and physical well-being of its own people", knew there would always in times of war, be a "need for voluntary agencies to supplement…the official agencies charged with these responsibilities in every country."
To ensure that its mission was accepted, it required a body of rules to govern its own activities and those of the involved belligerent parties. Only one year the Swiss government invited the governments of all European countries, as well as the United States and Mexico, to attend an official diplomatic conference. Sixteen countries sent a total of twenty-six delegates to Geneva. On 22 August 1864, the conference adopted the first Geneva Convention "for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field". Representatives of 12 states and kingdoms signed the convention: United Kingdom of Norway and Sweden signed in December, it "derived its obligatory force from the implied consent of the states which accepted and applied them in the conduct of their military operations." Despite its basic mandates, listed below, it was successful in effecting significant and rapid reforms. This first effort provided only for: the immunity from capture and destruction of all establishments for the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers, the impartial reception and treatment of all combatants, the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded, the recognition of the Red Cross symbol as a means of identifying persons and equipment covered by the agreement.
Due to significant ambiguities in the articles with certain terms and concepts and more so to the developing nature of war and military technology, the original articles had to be revised and expanded at the Second Geneva Conference in 1906 and Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which extended the articles to maritime warfare. The 1906 version was updated and replaced by the 1929 version when minor modifications were made to it, it was again updated and replaced by the 1949 version, better known as the Final Act of Geneva Conference, 1949. However, as Jean S. Pictet, Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, noted in 1951, "the law, always lags behind charity; the original ten articles of the 1864 treaty have been expanded to the current 64 articles. This lengthy treaty protects soldiers that are hors de combat, as well as medical and religious personnel, civilians in the zone of battle. Among its principal provisions: Article 12 mandates that wounded and sick soldiers who are out of the battle should be humanely treated, in particular should not be killed, tortured, or subjected to biological experimentation.
This article is the keystone of the treaty, defines the principles from which most of the treaty is derived, including the obligation to respect medical units and establishments, the personnel entrusted with the care of the wounded and material, medical transports, the protective sign