The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
The Axis powers known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not coordinate their activity; the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936. Benito Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term "Axis"; the simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty between Germany and Japan. Italy joined the Pact in 1937; the "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany and Japan. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied large parts of Europe, North Africa, East Asia.
There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, with more between Germany and Italy. The war ended in 1945 with the dissolution of their alliance; as in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, with some nations switching sides or changing their degree of military involvement over the course of the war. The term "axis" was first applied to the Italo-German relationship by the Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini in September 1923, when he wrote in the preface to Roberto Suster's Germania Repubblica that "there is no doubt that in this moment the axis of European history passes through Berlin". At the time, he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume; the term was used by Hungary's prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany and Italy in the early 1930s. Gömbös' efforts did affect the Italo-Hungarian Rome Protocols, but his sudden death in 1936 while negotiating with Germany in Munich and the arrival of Kálmán Darányi, his successor, ended Hungary's involvement in pursuing a trilateral axis.
Contentious negotiations between the Italian foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, the German ambassador, Ulrich von Hassell, resulted in a Nineteen-Point Protocol, signed by Ciano and his German counterpart, Konstantin von Neurath, in 1936. When Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued a strategic alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. Prior to becoming head of government in Italy as leader of the Italian Fascist movement, Mussolini had advocated alliance with defeated Germany after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 settled World War I, he believed. In early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1923, Mussolini offered German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann a "common policy": he sought German military support against potential French military intervention over Italy's diplomatic dispute with Yugoslavia over Fiume, should an Italian seizure of Fiume result in war between Italy and Yugoslavia.
The German ambassador to Italy in 1924 reported that Mussolini saw a nationalist Germany as an essential ally for Italy against France, hoped to tap into the desire within the German army and the German political right for a war of revenge against France. During the Weimar Republic, the German government did not respect the Treaty of Versailles that it had been pressured to sign, various government figures at the time rejected Germany's post-Versailles borders. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. Gustav Streseman as German foreign minister in 1925 declared that the reincorporation of territories lost to Poland and Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles was a major task of German foreign policy; the Reichswehr Ministry memorandum of 1926 declared its intention to seek the reincorporation of German territory lost to Poland as its first priority, to be followed by the return of the Saar territory, the annexation of Austria, remilitarization of the Rhineland.
Since the 1920s Italy had identified the year 1935 as a crucial date for preparing for a war against France, as 1935 was the year when Germany's obligations under the Treaty of Versailles were scheduled to expire. Meetings took place in Berlin in 1924 between Italian General Luigi Capello and prominent figures in the German military, such as von Seeckt and Erich Ludendorff, over military collaboration between Germany and Italy; the discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons and hoped that Italy could assist Germany. However at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany: that Italy "must... tow them, not be towed by them". Italian foreign minister Dino Grandi in the early 1930s stressed the importance of "decisive weight", involving Italy's relations between France and Germany, in which he recognized that Italy was not yet a major power, but perceived that Italy did have
Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior general rank of the air-officer which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence such as Zimbabwe, it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure; the name of the rank is always the full phrase and is never shortened to Commodore, a rank in various naval forces. Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior air officer rank, being senior to group captain and subordinate to air vice-marshal, it has a NATO ranking code of OF-6 and is equivalent to a commodore in the Royal Navy or a brigadier in the British Army or the Royal Marines. Unlike these two ranks, however, it has always been a substantive rank. Additionally, air commodores have always been considered to be air officers whilst Royal Navy commodores have not since the Napoleonic Wars been classified as officers of flag rank, British Army brigadiers have not been considered to be general officers since 1922 when they ceased to be titled as brigadier-generals.
In other NATO forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent one-star rank is brigadier general. The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service was "air commandant". In the present-day RAF, air commodores hold senior appointments within groups, acting directly in support of the air officer commanding. However, during the inter-war period, in the case of the contemporary No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group, the air officer commanding held or holds air commodore rank. In the Air Training Corps, an appointed air commodore holds ultimate authority over the cadet organisation as the Commandant Air Cadets. On 1 April 1918, the newly created RAF adopted its officer rank titles from the British Army, with officers at what is now air commodore holding the rank of brigadier-general. In response to the proposal that the RAF should use its own rank titles, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "air" inserted before the naval rank title.
Although the Admiralty objected to this simple modification of their rank titles, it was agreed that the RAF might base many of its officer rank titles on Navy officer ranks with differing pre-modifying terms. It was suggested that air-officer ranks could be based on the term "ardian", derived from a combination of the Gaelic words for "chief" and "bird", with the term "fourth ardian" or "flight ardian" being used for the equivalent to brigadier-general and commodore. However, the rank title based on the Navy rank was preferred and air commodore was adopted on 1 August 1919; the rank insignia is a light-blue band on a broad black band worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flying suit or the casual uniform. On the mess uniform, air commodores wear a broad gold ring on both lower sleeves; the command flag of an air commodore has one narrow red band running through the centre and is rectangular with a cut-away section giving it two tails. It is the only RAF command flag of this shape and it is similar in shape to that of a Royal Navy commodore's broad pennant.
The vehicle star plate for an air commodore depicts a single white star on an air force blue background. RAF air commodores are classed as air officers and as such have two rows of gold oak leaves on the peak of their service dress hats; the reigning monarch may appoint honorary air commodores for RAF flying stations. For example, Prince Charles is RAF Valley's honorary air commodore and Winston Churchill was 615 Squadron's honorary air commodore; as the title suggests, this is an honorary position bestowed by the reigning monarch and it does not grant the recipient command of a unit or formation. It is designed to strengthen the bond between the military unit and the individual and promote the role of the air force amongst the public. Serving officers, such as Prince Harry, may be granted an equivalent appointment to the honorary rank. In such cases the individual is made an honorary air commandant and they retain their regular rank. Larger air force organisations or formations may be honoured by having an air commodore-in-chief appointed in their name.
These appointments are rare and to date. Air commodore-in-chief is not a rank and such an appointment does not convey the rank of air commodore upon the recipient; the rank of air commodore is used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and Sri Lanka Air Force. The Royal Canadian Air Force used the rank until the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, when army-type rank titles were adopted. An air commodore became a brigadier-general. In official French Canadian usage, the rank title was commodore de l'air; the position of honorary air commodore still exists in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Air Commodore, a calque or near-literal translation is a rank in the Egyptian Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, the Royal Thai Air Force and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. In the Indonesian Air Force the rank of Komodor Udara, a calque of "air commodore" was used until 1973
Flight Lieutenant is a junior commissioned air force rank that originated in the Royal Naval Air Service and is still used in the Royal Air Force and many other countries in the Commonwealth. It is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in non-English-speaking countries those with an air force-specific rank structure. Flight lieutenant ranks below squadron leader; the name of the rank is the complete phrase. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-2, is equivalent to a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and a captain in the British Army and the Royal Marines; the equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service was flight officer. On 1 April 1918, the newly created RAF adopted its officer rank titles from the British Army, with Royal Naval Air Service lieutenants and Royal Flying Corps captains becoming captains in the RAF. In response to the proposal that the RAF should use its own rank titles, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "air" inserted before the naval rank title.
For example, the current rank of flight lieutenant would have been "air lieutenant". Although the Admiralty objected to this simple modification of their rank titles, it was agreed that the RAF might base many of its officer rank titles on navy officer ranks with differing pre-modifying terms, it was suggested that RAF captains might be entitled flight-leaders. However, the rank title flight lieutenant was chosen as flights were commanded by RAF captains and the term flight lieutenant had been used in the Royal Naval Air Service; the rank of flight lieutenant has been used continuously since 1 August 1919. Although in the early years of the RAF a flight lieutenant commanded an aircraft flight, with the increasing combat power of aircraft and therefore squadrons and control has shifted up the rank structure; the RAF's promotion system is automatic up until Flight Lieutenant. Every officer will attain the rank provided they complete their professional training and do not leave early. For Aircrew, Flight Lieutenant is reached 2.5 years after commissioning, BEng/MEng qualified engineers 2.5 and 1.5 years and for all ground branch officers, 3.5 years.
Aircrew are appointed to an Early Departure Payment Commission upon reaching their Operational Conversion Unit, a commission for 20 years or age 40, whichever is later. Promotion to Squadron Leader thereafter is upon merit. Resigning a commission is dependent on the needs of the Service, although an officer who has completed their Return of Service could leave after as little as four years. For aircrew, given the large expense required for training, this Return of Service is the length of their initial commission anyway, unless they re-role to a different branch having failed an element of flying training. Most aircrew reach their squadrons as Flight Lieutenants due to the length of training time required; the majority of squadron line pilots are flight lieutenants, with some squadron executives or Career Commission aircrew reaching Squadron Leader. Aside from aircrew, whose work does not require active leadership for units of airmen, ground branch officers can expect to operate units that can range in size from a few specialist non-commissioned personnel to 50 or more personnel for engineering or other manpower intensive roles.
The role of a Flight Lieutenant involves management of a team of specialists Non-Commissioned Officers and airmen, within their specific branch. In the RAF Regiment, a Flight Lieutenant has the same role and responsibility as a Captain in the British Army, in charge of a Regiment Flight of 30 men, could be second-in-command of a Squadron of up to 120 men. Flight Lieutenant is the most common rank in the RAF. In RAF informal usage, a flight lieutenant is sometimes referred to as a "flight lieuy". A Flight Lieutenant's starting salary is £39,236.40 as of 2015. In the Air Training Corps, a flight lieutenant is the officer commanding of a squadron. Retired flight lieutenants are the first rank that may continue to use their rank after they have left active service; the rank insignia consists of two narrow blue bands on wider black bands. This is worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flight suit or the casual uniform; the rank insignia on the mess uniform is similar to the naval pattern, being two band of gold running around each cuff but without the Royal Navy's loop.
Unlike senior RAF officers, flight lieutenants are not entitled to fly a command flag under any circumstances. The rank of flight lieutenant is used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force, it is used in the Egyptian Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Air Force of Oman, Royal Thai Air Force and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. The Royal Can
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War. The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German and Italian aggression. At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany in invading Poland whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany; the United States provided war materiel and money all along, joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
China had been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, but joined the Allies in 1941. The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942. However, the name United Nations was used to describe the Allies during the war; the leaders of the "Big Three"—the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States—controlled Allied strategy. The Big Three together with China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations and as the "Four Policemen" of the United Nations. After the war ended, the Allied nations became the basis of the modern United Nations. Members The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I and cooperation of the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. Germany resented signing Treaty of Versailles; the new Weimar Republic's legitimacy became shaken. However, the 1920s were peaceful. With the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, political unrest in Europe soared including the rise in support of revanchist nationalists in Germany who blamed the severity of the economic crisis on the Treaty of Versailles.
By the early 1930s, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the immediate cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria, German-populated territories of Czechoslovakia; the likelihood of war was high, the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement. In Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933. After four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China; the League of Nations initiated sanctions on Japan. The United States, in particular, was sought to support China. In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia, violating the Munich Agreement signed six months before, demonstrating that the appeasement policy was a failure. Britain and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war.
On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in an effort to avert a German attack on the country. The French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921; the Soviet Union sought an alliance with the western powers, but Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine. On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. A Polish government-in-exile was set up and it continued to be one of the Allies, a model followed by other occupied countries. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and defeated Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Britain and its Empire stood alone against Mussolini. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
In December, Japan attacked the Britain. The main lines of World War II had formed. During December 1941, U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies and proposed it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations. At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the "Big Five", soon thereafter the establishment of those states as the permanent members of the UNSC. Great Britain and other members of the British Commonwealth, most known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately from 3 September 1939 with the UK first, all within one week of each other.
British West Africa and the British colonies in E
Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force is the highest rank in the British Royal Air Force. In peacetime it was granted to RAF officers in the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff, to retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, who were promoted to it on their last day of service. While surviving marshals of the RAF retain the rank for life, the highest rank to which officers on active service are promoted is now air chief marshal. Although general promotions to Marshal of the Royal Air Force have been discontinued since the British defence cuts of the 1990s, further promotions to the rank may still be made in wartime, for members of the Royal Family and certain senior RAF air officers in peacetime at the discretion of the monarch. In 2012, Prince of Wales was promoted to the rank while in 2014 Lord Stirrup, who had served as Chief of the Air Staff and Chief of the Defence Staff for over seven years, was promoted. Marshal of the Royal Air Force is a five-star rank and unlike the air marshal ranks, can properly be considered a marshal rank.
MRAF has a NATO ranking code of OF-10, equivalent to an admiral of the fleet in the Royal Navy or a field marshal in the British Army. The rank was instituted in 1919 and the first officer to be promoted to MRAF was Sir Hugh Trenchard in 1927. Since that time, including Trenchard, there have been 27 men. Of those, 22 have been professional RAF officers and five have been senior members of the British Royal Family. King George V did not formally hold the rank of marshal of the RAF. In this capacity from time to time he wore RAF uniform with the rank insignia of a marshal of the RAF, he first publicly wore such uniform in the year before his death. Excluding monarchs and other members of the Royal Family, the only two RAF officers to have held the rank without serving as Chief of the Air Staff were Lord Douglas of Kirtleside and Sir Arthur Harris. Both held high command during the Second World War. Harris was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Bomber Command and Douglas was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Fighter Command, Middle East Command and Coastal Command.
Prior to the creation of the RAF's officer rank titles in 1919, it was proposed that by analogy with field marshal, the highest rank title should be air marshal. It was decided to use the rank of air marshal as an equivalent rank to lieutenant general and "marshal of the air" was put forward as the highest RAF rank; this new rank title was opposed by the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Henry Wilson, who considered that the title was "ridiculous". However, the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Hugh Trenchard was unmoved and the title was adopted. Though never held by a Royal Air Force officer, the rank title of marshal of the air lasted until April 1925, when it was changed to marshal of the Royal Air Force. Questioned in the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Air Sir Samuel Hoare stated that the reason for the change in title was that marshal of the air was "somewhat indefinite in character" and the new title was deemed more appropriate, it has been reported that King George V was not happy with the title of marshal of the air, feeling it might imply attributes which should properly be reserved for God.
The rank insignia consists of four narrow light blue bands above a light blue band on a broad black band. This insignia is derived from the sleeve lace of an admiral of the fleet and is worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flying suit or the service working dress uniform. Marshals of the Royal Air Force wear shoulder boards with their service dress at ceremonial events; these shoulder boards show the air officer's eagle surrounded by a wreath, two crossed marshal's batons and, since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the St Edward's Crown representing royal authority. Prior to 1953, the Tudor Crown was used; the command flag of a marshal of the Royal Air Force has a broad red horizontal band in the centre with a thinner red band on each side of it. The vehicle star plate for a marshal of the Royal Air Force depicts five white stars on an air force blue background; the rank insignia and flag exists in some other air forces for equivalent ranks. The rank title differs often being a variation on marshal of the air force with the name of the relevant air force in place of the words'Royal Air Force'.
A notable example of this practice is the rank of marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force. Unlike other MRAFs who only relinquished their appointments, Sir Peter Harding resigned from the RAF in 1994, his name is no longer to be found in the Air Force List. Comparative military ranks General of the air force List of Royal Air Force air chief marshals Marshal of the air force RAF officer ranks Media related to Marshals of the Royal Air Force at Wikimedia Commons
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an