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Battle of Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close-quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it remains the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses; the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intense Luftwaffe bombing; the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.

The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army make no attempt to break out. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food; the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted one week and three days. By the spring of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa to decisively defeat the Soviet Union in a single campaign, the Wehrmacht had captured vast expanses of territory, including Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Elsewhere, the war had been progressing well: the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been successful and Erwin Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilised their front in a line running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not threatening. Hitler was confident that he could master the Red Army after the winter of 1942, because though Army Group Centre had suffered heavy losses west of Moscow the previous winter, 65% of its infantry had not been engaged and had been rested and re-equipped.

Neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again. With the initial operations being successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union; the initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the industrial capacity of the city and the deployment of forces to block the Volga River. The river was the Caspian Sea to central Russia, its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields; the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign expanding them to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. Both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city, based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union.

Hitler proclaimed that after Stalingrad's capture, its male citizens were to be killed and all women and children were to be deported because its population was "thoroughly communistic" and "especially dangerous". It was assumed that the fall of the city would firmly secure the northern and western flanks of the German armies as they advanced on Baku, with the aim of securing these strategic petroleum resources for Germany; the expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. The Soviets realised, they ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war. Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there; the planned summer offensive, code-named Fall Blau, was to include the German 6th, 17th, 4th Panzer and 1st Panzer Armies.

Army Group South had overrun the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1941. Poised in Eastern Ukraine, it was to spearhead the offensive. Hitler intervened, ordering the Army Group to split in two. Army Group South, under the command of Wilhelm List, was to continue advancing south towards the Caucasus as planned with the 17th Army and First Panzer Army. Army Group South, including Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army and Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, was to move east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. Army Group B was commanded by General Maximilian von Weichs; the start of Case Blue had been planned for late May 1942. However, a number of German and Romanian units that were to take part in Blau were besieging Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Delays in ending the siege pushed back the start date for Blau several times, the city did not fall until early July. Operation Fridericus I by the Germans against the "Isium bulge", pinched off the Soviet salient in the Second Battle of Kharkov, resul

Zoudenbalch

The Zoudenbalch family was one of the most prominent families of Utrecht throughout the Middle Ages to the age of the Dutch Revolt. They occupied all posts of importance in the city government, possessed various lordships in the vicinity and played a leading role in the history of the Sticht; the Zoudenbalchs were Lords of the island of Urk in the Zuiderzee for over a century, as such played a key role in the life of that community during troubled times in the 16th century. The Zoudenbalch family dominated the medieval history of Utrecht by the longevity of their influence in the temporal and spiritual life of the city; the evidence of their past glory is still evident in modern Utrecht. The ancient ancestral castle of the Zoudenbalchs still dominates the Oudegracht running through the city centre and the facade of their gothic palace continues to stand proudly in the Donkerstraat. Although their chapels in St. Marie and the Dom have been destroyed and the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis and Chapel which they founded no longer exists, eloquent testimony to their faith and influence still remains in less tangible form.

Since 1491, when Evert Zoudenbalch founded the first orphanage in the Netherlands, the Zoudenbalch coat of arms has continuously guarded over the orphanage complex on two locations in the city as a mute tribute to the fact that their charity has funded half a millennium of social work in Utrecht. The Zoudenbalchs are first mentioned in the city government of Utrecht in the early 13th century and continued to hold important posts there until the sixteenth; this was in stark contrast to the other great families of Utrecht, such as the Fresingers, the Lockhorsts and the Lichtenbergers, whose apogee was of far shorter duration. Utrecht was the principal metropolis of the northern Netherlands for the duration of the Middle Ages; the court of the Prince-Bishop, the wealth of Utrecht's many religious institutions and its location on the crossroads of various trade routes drew together the ancient blood nobility from the surrounding territories, aspiring ministerials in the service of the Prince-Bishop and all manner of free and unfree men seeking security and prosperity within the city walls.

Many noble families engaged in commerce in Utrecht whilst serving in the plutocratic civic government of Utrecht together with prominent commoners. The origins of the Zoudenbalchs within this dynamic environment has not been defined, they belonged to the honestiores cives, the urban elite, which exercised effective power within Utrecht. The family gathered its power and fortune during the course of the 12th century and rose to prominence from the beginning of the thirteenth. In all early genealogies of the family mention is made of marriages with damsels belonging to the Uten Goye Viscounts of Utrecht, the Lords of Langerak and the Van Damasche family – all of impeccable noble blood − yet the family's first appearances in recorded history suggests they were prominent citizens of Utrecht rather than members of the nobility. Amongst the first Zoudenbalchs cited in Utrecht are: Petrus Soldenbalch, cited 1227, Alderman of Utrecht 1230–31. Jacobus Soldenbalch, cited in 1230 as burgher of Utrecht, subsequently as Councillor and in 1245 as Alderman of Utrecht.

Jacobus die Soudenbalch, cited 1290. Frederick Soudenbalch, cited mentioned 28 August 1278 together with other noblemen of the Sticht who signed a treaty with the Count of Holland, he is considered to be the progenitor of the prominent Zoudenbalchs of date. During the course of the late 13th and 14th centuries members of the Zoudenbalch family held key offices in the civic government of Utrecht, serving as Sheriff, Mayors and Councillors. Younger sons and daughters procured important and lucrative offices and sinecures within the many powerful religious institutions situated in and around Utrecht. Despite their prominence the family does not appear to have played a key role in the party feuds which erupted in Utrecht, as they did elsewhere in the Netherlands and France, during the course of the 14th century; this changed radically in the 15th century when the Zoudenbalchs took a leading role in the various partisan struggles which continually rocked the political and religious life of Utrecht.

In 1423 a struggle arose within the Sticht between the anti-Burgundian parties. Following their usurpation of the comtal rights to Holland the Burgundian dynasty aimed to place a client Prince-Bishop in the see of Utrecht, with the intent of consolidating their territorial grasp on their Netherlandish domains; the Burgundian candidate, Zweder van Culemborg, failed to secure the support of the greater part of the nobility and clergy of the Sticht despite the support of the Pope. The Chapters of the Sticht elected Rudolf van Diepholt as their Prince-Bishop, civil war broke out; the Pope excommunicated all those who supported Rudolf, but the notables and population of the Sticht stood by their candidate who ruled as Prince-Bishop until peace was made and the Duke of Burgundy and the Pope recognised Rudolf as such. During this struggle, known as the Schism of Utrecht, Hubert Soudenbalch supported the pro-Burgundian party of Zweder van Culemborg. In May 1427 he participated in Zweder van Culemborg’s failed coup in Utrecht and as a result was banished from Utrecht with his family.

The Zoudenbalchs were obliged to remain in exile for 7 years and stayed (i

Z.Y. Fu

Z. Y. Fu known as Dze Yuen Fu in Shanghainese or Fu Zaiyuan in Mandarin was a Chinese-Japanese entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded Sansaio Trading Corporation of Japan; the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University is named after him in recognition of his donation of $26 million. Z. Y. Fu was raised in Shanghai, China to a family of 13 children. After graduating from St. John's University, he entered the Waseda University. In 1951, he founded the Sansaio Trading Corporation based in Tokyo. In 1990 he set up the Fu foundation to offer scholarships for Chinese students studying at Columbia University, he died in Hong Kong on August 26, 2011. His wife Joan Yun Chung Chu Fu was born in 1932 and passed away on 2017. Is estate with the subject of the Hong Kong civil litigation case Shochiro Satake v. Fu Chu, Yun Chung Joan with his wife being the Administratix of the Estate of Fu Dze Yuen, deceased and in her personal capacity. Through marriage he was an in-law of Jerrold Meinwald was an American chemist known for co-founding the field of chemical ecology.

Z. Y. Fu was enrolled in the Columbia University School of General Studies to improve his English; the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science was renamed "The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science" after Fu had donated $26 million to the institution in 1997. He was called "the mysterious businessman" for his low profile and the fact that he was not an alumnus of Columbia University. Mr. and Mrs. Fu endowed The Fu Foundation Chair in Applied Mathematics, held by Professor Chia-Kun Chu. Additionally, in 1993 the Fu Foundation established a scholarship program that supported 62 students from China who graduated between 1995 and 2007, with the awards divided between Columbia Engineering and Columbia College. In 2012 Several recipients of the Fu scholarships in return established, that they established the Fu Memorial Scholarship Fund, which supports five students from Columbia Engineering and Columbia College. Mr. Fu's brother-in-law, Prof. Chia-Kun Chu, said Mr. Fu first started giving to Columbia in 1989, when at age 70, he endowed a chair at the engineering school because he wanted to do a good thing