China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force intended for warfare known collectively as armed forces. It is officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform, it may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Air Force and in certain countries and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards. A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, utilities, hospitals, legal services, food production and banking services.
In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces; the profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders; the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers; the Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.
Issue: Possibly cognate with Thousand, cf. Latin and Romance language root word "mil-")The first recorded use of the word military in English, spelled militarie, was in 1582, it comes from the Latin militaris through French, but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from *mil-it- – going in a body or mass. The word is now identified as denoting someone, skilled in use of weapons, or engaged in military service, or in warfare; as a noun, the military refers to a country's armed forces, or sometimes, more to the senior officers who command them. In general, it refers to the physicality of armed forces, their personnel and the physical area which they occupy; as an adjective, military referred only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general, anything to do with their profession. The names of both the Royal Military Academy and United States Military Academy reflect this. However, at about the time of the Napoleonic Wars,'military' began to be used in reference to armed forces as a whole, in the 21st century expressions like'military service','military intelligence', and'military history' encompass naval and air force aspects.
As such, it now connotes any activity performed by armed force personnel. Military history is considered to be the history of all conflicts, not just the history of the state militaries, it differs somewhat from the history of war, with military history focusing on the people and institutions of war-making, while the history of war focuses on the evolution of war itself in the face of changing technology and geography. Military history has a number of facets. One main facet is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes, so as to more wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of military tradition, used to create cohesive military forces. Still, another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is based on both recorded and oral history of military conflicts, their participating armies and navies and, more air forces. There are two types of military history, although all texts have elements of both: descriptive history, that serves to chronicle conflicts without offering any statements about the causes, nature of conduct, the ending, effects of a conflict.
Despite the growing importance of military technology, military activity depends above all on people. For example, in 2000 the British Army declared: "Man is still the first weapon of war." The military organization is characterized by a strict hierarchy divided by military rank, with ranks grouped as officers, non-commissioned officers, personnel at the lowest rank. While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide. In addition to their rank, personnel occupy one of many trade roles, which are grouped according to
A railway gun called a railroad gun, is a large artillery piece surplus naval artillery, mounted on, transported by, fired from a specially designed railway wagon. Many countries have built railway guns, but the best-known are the large Krupp-built pieces used by Germany in World War I and World War II. Smaller guns were part of an armoured train. Only able to be moved where there were good tracks, which could be destroyed by artillery bombardment or airstrike, railway guns were phased out after World War II; the design of a railway gun has three firing issues over and above those of an ordinary artillery piece to consider. Namely how the gun is going to be traversed – i.e. moved from side to side to aim. The first method of traverse is to rely on movement along a curved section of track or on a turntable with no provision to traverse the gun on its mount; the second is to traverse the rail car body on its trucks, known as a car-traversing mount. This is limited to a few degrees of traverse to either side unless an elaborate foundation is built with a centre pivot and traversing rollers.
The design of the foundation is the only limit to the amount of traverse allowed in this latter case. The third choice is to allow the separate gun mount to rotate with respect to the rail car body, known as a top-carriage traversing mount; this requires the gun to be mounted on a central pivot which, in turn, is mounted on the car body. With few exceptions these types of mounts require some number of outriggers, stabilisers, or earth anchors to keep them in place against the recoil forces and are more suitable for smaller guns; the American post–World War I assessment of railway artillery considered that the utility of a small amount of traverse for fine adjustments was high enough that either of the two latter traversing methods is preferable to a fixed mount. There are four primary methods to absorb the recoil force for railway guns: cradle recoil, top-carriage recoil, sliding recoil and rolling recoil. Cradle recoil means that the gun recoils backward in its cradle and stopped by hydraulic buffers.
It is returned to battery, or the firing position, by either helical springs or by air in a pneumatic recuperator cylinder, compressed by the force of recoil. This is the most common method used for lighter railroad guns and for all field artillery designed after the French introduced their Canon de 75 modèle 1897. Top-carriage recoil is the situation in which the gun is mounted in an upper carriage that moves on wheels on fixed rails mounted on the lower; the gun and upper carriage recoil together. Return to battery is effected either by gravity, through the use of inclined rails, which the gun and carriage have run up, by springs, or by rubber bands, on some improvised mounts, it is not well-suited to firing at high elevations because it cannot absorb much of the vertical component of the recoil force. Sliding recoil has the car body sitting on a set of wooden crossbeams or "sleepers" placed underneath it which have been jacked down on to a special set of girders incorporated into the track so that about half the weight of the mount has been transferred to them from the trucks.
The gun, car body and trucks all recoil together with the friction generated by the crossbeams sliding on the girders absorbing the recoil force after moving only about 1 to 2 metres to the rear. The sleepers must be jacked up again to allow the gun to roll forward to its firing position; this was done by handwheels driving gear trains attached to the wheels, or by electric motors on more modern mounts. All of these type of mounts were of the non-traversing type and had to be fired from a curved section of track or turntable; the American post–World War I assessment of railway artillery praised its ruggedness, ease of manufacture and convenience in service, but acknowledged its unsuitability for smaller guns, due to excessive time of operation and lack of traverse, that it was not suitable for the largest howitzers firing at high angles because of the enormous trunnion forces. With rolling recoil the entire gun and carriage rolls backward between 30 to 50 feet, restrained only by the brakes.
The mount was winched back into firing position by cables fastened to the track. This system was combined with cradle recoil because the springs of the trucks cannot withstand the vertical component of the recoil force alone; this type of mount was fitted with car-traverse. It was unsuitable for smaller guns due to the lack of traverse; the great advantage of this method is that it requires minimal preparation and can fire from any suitable section of curved track. The methods were used in combination with each other. Examples include the French 520 mm railway howitzer; the Americans' 14"/50 caliber railway gun Mark II used cradle-rolling recoil as did the 14 and 12 inch railway guns from Great Britain. Only the oldest weapons used a combination of sliding recoil. One example being the earliest mounts for the British designed BL 9.2 inch Railway Gun. The combination of rolling and cradle-recoil methods absorbed both the horizontal and vertical components of the recoil force and needed no special preparations, but all other types required some method to transmit the vertical force to the ground.
One way is to build a platform on either the ties or the ground with girders, pads or floats. The horizontal component would be alleviated by either sliding recoil or rail clamps, guys or struts to secure the m
Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases. Naval aviation is projected to a position nearer the target by way of an aircraft carrier. Carrier-based aircraft must be sturdy enough to withstand demanding carrier operations, they must be able to launch in a short distance and be sturdy and flexible enough to come to a sudden stop on a pitching flight deck. These aircraft are designed for many purposes, including air-to-air combat, surface attack, submarine attack and rescue, matériel transport, weather observation and wide area command and control duties. Early experiments on the use of kites for naval reconnaissance took place in 1903 at Woolwich Common for the Admiralty. Samuel Franklin Cody demonstrated the capabilities of his 8 foot long black kite and it was proposed for use as either a mechanism to hold up wires for wireless communications or as a manned reconnaissance device that would give the viewer the advantage of considerable height.
In 1908 Prime Minister H. H. Asquith approved the formation of an "Aerial Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence" to investigate the potential for naval aviation. In 1909 this body accepted the proposal of Captain Reginald Bacon made to the First Sea Lord Sir John Fisher that rigid airships should be constructed for the Royal Navy to be used for reconnaissance; this resulted in the construction of Mayfly in 1909, the first air component of the navy to become operational, the genesis of modern naval aviation. The first pilots for the Royal Navy were transferred from the Royal Aero Club in June 1910 along with two aircraft with which to train new pilots, an airfield at Eastchurch became the Naval Flying School, the first such facility in the world. Two hundred applications were received, four were accepted: Lieutenant C R Samson, Lieutenant A M Longmore, Lieutenant A Gregory and Captain E L Gerrard, RMLI; the French established a naval aviation capability in 1910 with the establishment of the Service Aeronautique and the first flight training schools.
U. S. naval aviation began with pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss who contracted with the United States Navy to demonstrate that airplanes could take off from and land aboard ships at sea. One of his pilots, Eugene Ely, took off from the cruiser USS Birmingham anchored off the Virginia coast in November 1910. Two months Ely landed aboard another cruiser, USS Pennsylvania, in San Francisco Bay, proving the concept of shipboard operations. However, the platforms erected on; the U. S. Navy and Glenn Curtiss experienced two firsts during January 1911. On 27 January, Curtiss flew the first seaplane from the water at San Diego Bay and the next day U. S. Navy Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, a student at the nearby Curtiss School, took off in a Curtiss "grass cutter" plane to become the first naval aviator. $25,000 was appropriated for the Bureau of Navigation to purchase three airplanes and in the spring of 1911 four additional officers were trained as pilots by the Wright brothers and Curtiss. A camp with a primitive landing field was established on the Severn River at Greenbury Point, near Annapolis, Maryland.
The group expanded with the addition of six aviators in 1912 and five in 1913, from both the Navy and Marine Corps, conducted maneuvers with the Fleet from the battleship USS Mississippi, designated as the Navy's aviation ship. Meanwhile, Captain Henry C. Mustin tested the concept of the catapult launch in August 1912, in 1915 made the first catapult launching from a ship underway; the first permanent naval air station was established at Pensacola, Florida, in January 1914 with Mustin as its commanding officer. On April 24 of that year, for a period of 45 days afterward, five floatplanes and flying boats flown by ten aviators operated from Mississippi and the cruiser Birmingham off Veracruz and Tampico, Mexico conducting reconnaissance for troops ashore in the wake of the Tampico Affair. In January 1912, the British battleship HMS Africa took part in aircraft experiments at Sheerness, she was fitted for flying off aircraft with a 100-foot downward-sloping runway, installed on her foredeck, running over her forward 12-inch gun turret from her forebridge to her bow and equipped with rails to guide the aircraft.
The Gnome-engined Short Improved S.27 "S.38", pusher seaplane piloted by Lieutenant Charles Samson become the first British aircraft to take-off from a ship while at anchor in the River Medway, on 10 January 1912. Africa transferred her flight equipment to her sister ship Hibernia. In May 1912, with Commander Samson again flying the "S.38", the first instance of an aircraft to take off from a ship, under way occurred. Hibernia steamed at 10.5 knots at the Royal Fleet Review in England. Hibernia transferred her aviation equipment to battleship London. Based on these experiments, the Royal Navy concluded that aircraft were useful aboard ship for spotting and other purposes, but that interference with the firing of guns caused by the runway built over the foredeck and the danger and impracticality of recovering seaplanes that alighted in the water in anything but calm weather more than offset the desirability of having airplanes aboard. In 1912, the nascent naval air detachment in the United Kingdom was amalgamated to form the Royal Flying Corps and in 1913 a seaplane base on the Isle of Grain, an airship base at Kingsnorth and eight new airfields were approved for construction.
The first aircraft participation in naval manoeu
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
A bastion fort or trace italienne, is a fortification in a style that evolved during the early modern period of gunpowder when the cannon came to dominate the battlefield. It was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy; some types when combined with ravelins and other outworks, resembled the related star fort of the same era. The design of the fort is a pentagon or hexagon with bastions at the corners of the walls; these outcroppings eliminated protected blind spots, called "dead zones", allowed fire along the curtain from positions protected from direct fire. Many bastion forts feature cavaliers, which are raised secondary structures based inside the primary structure, their predecessors, medieval fortresses, were placed on high hills. From there, arrows were shot at the enemies, the higher the fortress was, the further the arrows flew; the enemies' hope was to either ram the gate or climb over the wall with ladders and overcome the defenders. For the invading force, these fortifications proved quite difficult to overcome, accordingly, fortresses occupied a key position in warfare.
Passive ring-shaped fortifications of the Medieval era proved vulnerable to damage or destruction by cannon fire, when it could be directed from outside against a perpendicular masonry wall. In addition, an attacking force that could get close to the wall was able to conduct undermining operations in relative safety, as the defenders could not shoot at them from nearby walls. In contrast, the bastion fortress was a flat structure composed of many triangular bastions designed to cover each other, a ditch. In order to counteract the cannonballs, defensive walls were made thicker. To counteract the fact that lower walls were easier to climb, the ditch was widened so that attacking infantry were still exposed to fire from a higher elevation, including enfilading fire from the bastions; the outer side of the ditch was provided with a glacis to deflect cannonballs aimed at the lower part of the main wall. Further structures, such as ravelins, hornworks or crownworks, detached forts could be added to create complex outer works to further protect the main wall from artillery, sometimes provide additional defensive positions.
They were built of many materials earth and brick, as brick does not shatter on impact from a cannonball as stone does. Bastion fortifications were further developed in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries in response to the French invasion of the Italian peninsula; the French army was equipped with new cannon and bombards that were able to destroy traditional fortifications built in the Middle Ages. Star forts were employed by Michelangelo in the defensive earthworks of Florence, refined in the sixteenth century by Baldassare Peruzzi and Vincenzo Scamozzi; the design spread out of Italy in the 1540s. It was employed throughout Europe for the following three centuries. Italian engineers were in demand throughout Europe to help build the new fortifications; the late-seventeenth-century architects Menno van Coehoorn and Vauban, Louis XIV's military engineer, are considered to have taken the form to its logical extreme. "Fortresses... acquired ravelins and redoubts and lunettes, tenailles and tenaillons and crownworks and hornworks and curvettes and fausse brayes and scarps and cordons and banquettes and counterscarps..."The star-shaped fortification had a formative influence on the patterning of the Renaissance ideal city: "The Renaissance was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and a half—from Filarete to Scamozzi—was impressed upon all utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city."
In the 19th century, the development of the explosive shell changed the nature of defensive fortifications. Elvas, in Portugal is considered by some to be the best surviving example of the Dutch school of fortifications; when the newly-effective maneuverable siege cannon came into military strategy in the fifteenth century, the response from military engineers was to arrange for the walls to be embedded into ditches fronted by earthen slopes so that they could not be attacked by destructive direct fire and to have the walls topped by earthen banks that absorbed and dissipated the energy of plunging fire. Where conditions allowed, as in Fort Manoel in Malta, the ditches were cut into the native rock, the wall at the inside of the ditch was unquarried native rock; as the walls became lower, they became more vulnerable to assault. The rounded shape, dominant for the design of turrets created "dead space", or "dead" zones, which were sheltered from defending fire, because direct fire from other parts of the walls could not be directed around the curved wall.
To prevent this, what had been round or square turrets were extended into diamond-shaped points to give storming infantry no shelter. The ditches and walls channeled attacking troops into constructed killing grounds where defensive cannon could wreak havoc on troops attempting to storm the walls, with emplacements set so that the attacking troops had no place to shelter from the defensive fire. A further and more subtle change was to move from a passive model of defence to an active one; the lower walls were more vulnerable to being stormed, the protection that the earthen banking provided against direct fire failed if the attackers could occupy the slope on the outside of the ditch and mount an attacking cannon there. Therefore, the shape was designed to make maximum use of enfilade fire against any attackers who should reach t