Essen Crown

The Essen Crown is an Ottonian golden crown in the Essen Cathedral Treasury. It was claimed that it might have been the crown with which the three-year-old Otto III was crowned King of the Romans in 983, the source of its common name, the Childhood Crown of Otto III. However, this idea most derives from the wishful thinking of early twentieth century historians of Essen and it is now rejected; however it is the oldest surviving lily crown in the world. In its shape the crown recalls a Byzantine circlet; the band is 3.5 cm wide and its diameter is now 12.5 cm, having been adjusted to fit the head of the Golden Madonna. A regular border of precious stones runs along the whole circumference; the main circlet is made of gold, alloyed with silver. An iron reinforcing ring is visible on the outside; the upper and lower edges of the crown are decorated with pearls strung on a metal wire attached to the circlet by metal rings. Numerous pearls and gemstones decorate the main body of the crown and the lilies, with precious stones placed directly under the lilies.

Highlights include a Late Antique engraved gem depicting the head of Medusa and a sapphire in a triangular gold ring at the front of the crown. Comparable crowns are in the possession of the church treasuries of Hildesheim and Conques in France; the origin of the crown is unclear. For a long time it was claimed that the crown was made for the coronation of Otto III in 983 and had been gifted to Essen Abbey by him. Essen Abbey, under the leadership of Abbess Mathilde, a granddaughter of Otto I, had a close relationship to the Ottonian royal family, as demonstrated by significant donations by the kings and in the fact that the sister of Otto III was educated at Essen. At the beginning of February 993, Otto III made a visit to the Abbey of Essen for Candlemas, at which time local historians suggested that he made two major donations; the first of these was a sword of Damascus steel, made in 950 and shows signs of use on the blade. This sword was venerated on account of its former owner, an expensive golden sheath was made at Essen for the sword.

In times the sword was reputed to be the Sword of Saints Cosmas and Damian and was included in Essen's civic coat of arms. For modern scholarship, a better understanding of the relationship of Essen Abbey and the Ottonian family provided an answer to the question of who the original owner of the sword was. Otto III's second gift might have been the golden crown. Written evidence for this is lacking. Firstly, based on art historical comparisons, the crown was dated to the end of the tenth century; the existence of the iron reinforcing ring was taken as evidence that the crown had been reworked for the Golden Madonna's head and, had been designed for another purpose, which it was concluded could only have the coronation of a child, since it would still have been too small for an adult. The coronation of Otto III in 983 at Aachen Cathedral is the only coronation of a child which occurred within the right time period. Furthermore, the medieval practice of crowning a statue of Madonna on 2 February during Michaelmas is first attested at Essen.

Thus it was suggested that the practice commemorated the gift of the crown to the abbey during his visit to Essen at the beginning of February 993, which would have coincided with the feast day. Modern dating puts the modification of the crown in the middle of the eleventh century. At that time several of the artworks at Essen were modified: the Cross of Theophanu and the Theophanu reliquary of the Holy Nail were decorated enamels and the halo of the Golden Madonna which made it difficult to crown the statue was removed; this suggests that the crowning ritual originated only a little before this around 1040/50. In current scholarship it is thought that the crown itself dates to the beginning of the eleventh century on account of the decorative elements known as lilies and beehives, which are similar to artworks made at the time of Henry II; such artworks in the Essen Cathedral Treasury include the ends of the cross with the large enamels, believed to have been created under Abbess Sophia. In that case, the crown would have been made for the ritual coronation of the golden Madonna.

Furthermore, the regularity of the crown's decoration makes it unlikely that it was actually resized. Sometimes the crown is now dated to the latter half of the eleventh century. For centuries, nothing important happened to the crown. In 1988, it was depicted on a charity stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost as an outstanding example of Ottonian goldsmithery. Georg Humann. Die Kunstwerke der Münsterkirche zu Essen. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1904, pp. 261–266. Alfred Pothmann. "Der Essener Kirchenschatz aus der Frühzeit der Stiftsgeschichte." In: Herrschaft, Bildung und Gebet. Gründung und Anfänge des Frauenstifts Essen. Klartext, Essen 2000, ISBN 3-88474-907-2, pp. 135–153. Birgitta Falk. "Essener Krone" In Gold vor Schwarz. Der Essener Domschatz auf Zollverein, edited by Birgitta Falk, Exhibition Catalog 2008. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2008, ISBN 978-3-8375-0050-9, pp. 92–93. Essen Crown on the website of the Essen Cathedral Treasury

Soviet submarine S-13

S-13 was a Stalinets-class submarine of the Soviet Navy. Her keel was laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo in Gorky on 19 October 1938, she was launched on 25 April 1939 and commissioned on 31 July 1941 in the Baltic Fleet, under the command of Captain Pavel Malantyenko. The submarine is best known for the 1945 sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff, a German military transport ship. With a career total of 44,701 GRT sunk or damaged, she is the highest-scoring Soviet submarine in history. In the first half of September 1942, under Malantjenko's command, S-13 sank two Finnish ships and Jussi H. and a German ship Anna W, totaling 4,042 tons. On 15 October 1942, caught on the surface while charging her batteries, S-13 was attacked by the Finnish submarine chasers VMV-13 and VMV-15. During her crash dive, the submarine hit bottom damaging her rudder and destroying her steering gear; the following depth charge attack worsened the damage, but S-13 escaped and made it back to Kronstadt. During the next three years, Malantyenko was relieved by Alexander Marinesko and S-13 was repaired and returned to sea.

Under the command of Marinesko 32, on 30 January 1945, at Stolpe Bank off the Pomeranian coast, S-13 sank the 25,484-ton German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with civilians and military personnel, with three torpedoes. Recent calculations estimate more than 9,000 people were killed, the worst loss of life in maritime history. On 10 February 1945, S-13 sank another German military transport ship Steuben. 3,300 civilians and military personnel from the ship died, 300 survived. Marinesko was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union in 1990. S-13 was decommissioned on 7 September 1954 and stricken on 17 December 1956. S-13 damaged with gunfire the German fishing vessel Siegfried, but despite being damaged she escaped

Laurence S. Kuter

General Laurence Sherman Kuter was a Cold War-era U. S. Air Force general and former commander of the North American Air Defence Command. Kuter was born in Rockford in 1905, graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York on June 14, 1927. Second Lieutenant Kuter was first assigned to Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 76th Field Artillery, Presidio of Monterey, California, he was formally assigned all battery officer duties except command. In May 1929 he was accepted for flying training, graduating from flying schools at Brooks and Kelly Fields, Texas, as a bombardment pilot in June 1930, he was assigned as operations officer, 49th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, Langley Field, Virginia. One month Lieutenant Kuter was transferred to the U. S. Army Air Corps. During his assignment at Langley, Lieutenant Kuter placed second in the annual bombing competition of the Army Air Corps. In August 1933 Lieutenant Kuter moved up as operations officer, 2nd Bombardment Wing, assistant base operations officer at Langley.

During this period he flew alternate wing position with Captain Claire L. Chennault's acrobatic group, "The Men on the Flying Trapeze." This was the first recognized aerial acrobatic team in the military service. He was given a leading role in the operational development of the Boeing Y1B-9 twin engine bombers which pioneered high altitude bombing techniques and tactics in the U. S. Air Force. From February to June 1934, Lieutenant Kuter served as operations officer of the Eastern Zone Army Corps Mail operations, he was the last officer relieved from this duty being held over to write the final report and history. At the conclusion of this assignment he was selected for the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Alabama, he graduated at the top of his class in the spring of 1935 and was retained at the school as instructor in bombardment aviation and in the employment of air power. At this time the school was beginning to develop the role of strategic bombing in future warfare. Prior to this, planning had been directed to supporting roles.

The 10,000-plane Air Force envisioned in Captain Kuter's lectures taxed imaginations at that time. The ideas born and developed at the school were to play an important part in his next assignment in the Operations and Training Division, War Department General Staff, Washington, D. C. where he was ordered to duty on July 1, 1939. General George C. Marshall, who became the chief of the War Department General Staff on that day had called for the experimental assignment to the general staff of aviators and junior officers and officers who had not attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Captain Kuter's assignment represented all three phases of this experiment. Early in 1941 he was a principal factor in several augmentations of the Air Corps. In August 1941, Kuter was brought into the Air War Plans Division where he was one of the four principal authors of AWPD-1, the basic plan for employment of air power in World War II; this plan was used without change through the war, in the form of its incorporation into the Combined Bomber Offensive.

It has been said that there is no other case in military history where a detailed overall plan had been drawn up and adhered to so through the organizing, training and winning of any great war. In November 1941, Major Kuter was designated War Department General Staff. After participating as one of a committee of three in the reorganization of the War Department, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on January 5, 1942, at the recommendation of General George C. Marshall to brigadier general on February 2, 1942. Commanding General of the Army Air Forces Gen. Henry H. Arnold transferred him in March to Headquarters USAAF as the deputy chief of air staff. At this time there was extensive public interest expressed in the sudden promotion to temporary brigadier general of an officer, a temporary lieutenant colonel for less than 30 days. General Kuter has never served in the active rank of full colonel, his was the first "jump" promotion of an officer as young as 36 since William T. Sherman; the next youngest general officer at that time was 46.

General Kuter was assigned overseas in October 1942 in command of the First Bombardment Wing, Eighth Air Force, Brampton Grange, England. When General Kuter assumed command he found four understrength groups of B-17 Flying Fortresses operating separately, he succeeded in welding the individual groups into a coordinated fighting force. This was done on the assumption that the largest practicable combat unit over the target at one time would provide more mutual fire support, saving lives and planes, improve the probability of destroying the objective without having to repeat. In January 1943 Brigadier General Kuter was transferred to North Africa and the newly formed Northwest African Air Forces. General Kuter became the deputy commander for the newly established Northwest African Tactical Air Force, serving under Air Marshall Coningham. During the campaign in Tunisia, new tactical air concepts were generated and U. S. Army Air Forces' regulations revised accordingly; the basic changes reflected in them are still the principle doctrinal basis for the present tactical air power concept of the U.

S. Air Force. During the Tunisian campaign, General Henry H. Arnold, commanding general, Army Air Forces, directed that General Kuter be released from the Mediterranean theater and returned to Washington effective Axis forces surrendered in North Africa. So in May 1943 General Kuter returned to Headquarters Army Air Forces to become assistant chief of air staff for plans and combat operations. During this pe