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Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France; the battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the war's Western Front. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history; the French and British had committed themselves to an offensive on the Somme during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. Initial plans called for the French army to undertake the main part of the Somme offensive, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force.

When the Imperial German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, French commanders diverted many of the divisions intended for the Somme and the "supporting" attack by the British became the principal effort. The British troops on the Somme comprised a mixture of the remains of the pre-war regular army; the first day on the Somme saw a serious defeat for the German Second Army, forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank, by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. This first day was, in terms of casualties the worst day in the history of the British Army, which suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 killed in action; these occurred on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. The battle became notable for the importance of air power, the first use of the tank in September.

Tanks were still being were prone to breaking down. At the end of the battle and French forces had penetrated 10 km into German-occupied territory; this was their largest territorial gain since the Battle of the Marne in 1914. However, key objectives of the Anglo-French armies were unfulfilled, as they failed to capture Péronne and halted 5 km from Bapaume, where the German armies maintained their positions over the winter. British attacks in the Ancre valley resumed in January 1917 and forced the Germans into local withdrawals to reserve lines in February, into the scheduled retirement by about 25 mi in Operation Alberich to the Siegfriedstellung in March 1917. Debate continues over the necessity and effect of the battle. Allied war strategy for 1916 was decided at the Chantilly Conference from 6–8 December 1915. Simultaneous offensives on the Eastern Front by the Russian army, on the Italian Front by the Italian army, on the Western Front by the Franco-British armies, were to be carried out to deny time for the Central Powers to move troops between fronts during lulls.

In December 1915, General Sir Douglas Haig replaced Field Marshal Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF. Haig favoured a British offensive in Flanders close to BEF supply routes, to drive the Germans from the Belgian coast and end the U-boat threat from Belgian waters. Haig was not formally subordinate to Marshal Joseph Joffre but the British played a lesser role on the Western Front and complied with French strategy. In January 1916, Joffre had agreed to the BEF making its main effort in Flanders, but in February 1916 it was decided to mount a combined offensive where the French and British armies met, astride the Somme River in Picardy before the British offensive in Flanders. A week the Germans began an offensive against the French at Verdun; the costly defence of Verdun forced the French army to commit divisions intended for the Somme offensive reducing the French contribution to 13 divisions in the Sixth Army, against 20 British divisions. By 31 May, the ambitious Franco-British plan for a decisive victory, had been reduced to a limited offensive to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun with a battle of attrition on the Somme.

The Chief of the German General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, intended to end the war by splitting the Anglo-French Entente in 1916, before its material superiority became unbeatable. Falkenhayn planned to defeat the large amount of reserves which the Entente could move into the path of a breakthrough, by threatening a sensitive point close to the existing front line and provoking the French into counter-attacking German positions. Falkenhayn chose to attack towards Verdun to make Verdun untenable; the French would have to conduct a counter-offensive on ground dominated by the German army and ringed with masses of heavy artillery, leading to huge losses and bring the French army close to collapse. The British would have to begin a hasty relief offensive and would suffer huge losses. Falkenhayn expected the relief offensive to fall south of Arras against the Sixth Army and be destroyed. (Despite the certainty by mid-June of an Anglo-French attack on the Somme against the Second Army, Falkenhayn sent only four divisions, keeping eight in the western strategic reserve.

No divisions were moved from the Sixth Army, despite it holding a shorter line with ​17 1⁄2 divisions and three of the reserve divisions in the Sixth Army area. The maintenance of the strength of the Sixth Army, at the expense of the Second Army on the

Al-Qifti

‘Alī ibn Yūsuf al-Qifṭī, he was Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Shaybānī. His biographical dictionary Kitāb Ikhbār al-‘Ulamā’ bi Akhbār al-Ḥukamā, tr.'History of Learned Men'. Much of his vast literary output is lost, including his histories of the Seljuks and the Maghreb, biographical dictionaries of philosophers and philologists. See below. ‘Alī al-Qifṭī, known as Ibn al-Qifṭī, was a native of Qift, Upper Egypt, the son of al-Qāḍī al-Ashraf, Yūsuf al-Qifṭī, the grandson of Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd al-Wāḥid, al-Qāḍī al-Awḥad in the Ayyūbid court. Alī succeeded his father and grandfather into court administration but displayed scholarly inclinations; when the family left Qift in 1177, following the rising of a Fāṭimid Pretender, his father, Yūsuf, took up official posts in Upper Egypt and ‘Alī completed his early education in Cairo. In 583/1187 Yūsuf al-Qifṭī was appointed deputy to al-Qāḍī al-Fāḍil, chancellor and adviser to Ṣalāh al-Dīn at Jerusalem, patron and benefactor of Maimonides, Al-Qifṭī spent many years studying and collecting material for his works.

When Ṣalāh al-Dīn died in 598/1201 and his brother, Malik al-‘Ādil, usurped his nephew’s position to occupy Jerusalem, Ibn al-Qifṭī’s father fled to Ḥarran into the service of Ṣalāh al-Dīn’s son Ashraf. Ibn al-Qifṭī sought patronage in Aleppo as secretary to the former governor of Jerusalem and Nablus, Fāris al-Din Maimūn al Qaṣrī, the vizier to the Ayyubid emir Ṣalāh al-Dīn’s third son, Malik aẓ-Ẓāhir Ghāzi, he was recognised as an effective administrator of the fiefs and when the vizier died in 610/1214 aẓ-Ẓāhir appointed him ‘’khāzin’’, or Dīwān of Finance, despite his own preference for study. On aẓ-Ẓāhir’s death in 613/1216 al-Qifti retired but was re-appointed in 633/1236 by aẓ-Ẓāhir’s successor, he remained in office until 628/1231. According to his protégé and biographer, Yaqūt, writing before 624/1227 al-Qifti held the honorific title "al-Qāḍī'l-Akram al-Wazir". After a five year sabbatical al-Qifṭī again resumed the office and held it up to his death in 646/1248. Throughout his life al-Qifṭī advocated scholarship and sought to pursue a literary career despite heavy constraints of high office.

When Yaqūt had fled Mongol invasion to Aleppo, he had received shelter from al-Qifti, who had assisted him in the compilation of his great geographical and biographical encyclopedia, known as Irshad. Yaqut lists al-Qifṭī's pre-620 works. Al-Ṣafadī copied this list in his Wāfī fi ‘l-Wafayāt and Al-Kutubī's Fawāt al-Wafayat borrowed from it, but his copy is corrupted by many errors. Al-Qifṭī wrote historical works and of 26 recorded titles just two survive: Kitāb Ikhbār al-‘Ulamā’ bi Akhbār al-Ḥukamā. Ta'rikh al-Ḥukama,'The biographies and the books of the great philosophers'. Inbā ar-Rawat ‘alā'Anbā an-Nuhat. Precious Pearls of the Account of the Master Report of the Muhammad Poets,. Sübüktigin and His Sons' History of the Seljuks, from the Beginning to the End of the Dynasty Apostles of Poets. Account of the Writers and their Writings History of the Yemen Egypt. Biographies of Ibn Rashiq, Abu Sa'id al-Sirafi Muslim historiography Citations Bibliography

List of companies of New Zealand

This is a list of notable companies based in New Zealand, a country in Oceania. For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in New Zealand". New Zealand is a wealthy country, with a high GDP per capita and a low rate of poverty. Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, regulated economy to a more industrialised, free market economy that can compete globally. Since 1984, government subsidies including for agriculture have been eliminated; the restructuring and sale of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s reduced government's role in the economy. Many of the largest companies lost new enterprises were established. New Zealand companies are dependent on international trade with Australia, the European Union, the United States, South Korea and Canada; the major capital market is the New Zealand Exchange, known as the NZX. New Zealand does not have many large firms. 95 % of the companies in New Zealand are classed as medium-sized enterprises.

The Financial Reporting Act 1993 defines a large company as one that satisfied at least one of two criteria: Total assets of the entity and its subsidiaries exceed NZ$60 million Total revenue of the entity and its subsidiaries exceeds NZ$30 million. Several of the largest firms are listed below: This list includes notable companies with primary headquarters located in the country; the industry and sector follow the Industry Classification Benchmark taxonomy. Organizations which have ceased operations are noted as defunct. For convenience, the word "Limited", which every company registered or re-registered under the Companies Act 1993 must have at the end of its name, is reduced to the common and universally recognized term "Ltd", a permitted abbreviation under the Act. In the New Zealand registration system, unlike those of some other countries, the term "Incorporated" is restricted to societies under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. List of companies listed on the New Zealand Exchange List of South Island companies New Zealand Companies Office NZX 50 Index – the main stock market index in New Zealand State-owned enterprises of New Zealand Motor Vehicle Traders Register at Ministry of Business and Employment Companies Office Registry