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
Rowing at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Rowing at the 1928 Summer Olympics featured seven events, for men only. The competitions were held from 2 to 10 August. A total of 245 rowers from 19 nations competed at the Amsterdam Games: Only one rower and one coxswain competed in more than one event. Rowing at the Summer Olympics International Olympic Committee medal database
Rowing referred to as crew in the United States, is a sport whose origins reach back to Ancient Egyptian times. It involves propelling a boat on water using oars. By pushing against the water with an oar, a force is generated to move the boat; the sport can be either recreational for enjoyment or fitness, or competitive, when athletes race against each other in boats. There are a number of different boat classes in which athletes compete, ranging from an individual shell to an eight-person shell with a coxswain. Modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced to the early 10th century when races were held between professional watermen on the River Thames in London, United Kingdom. Prizes were offered by the London Guilds and Livery Companies. Amateur competition began towards the end of the 18th century with the arrival of "boat clubs" at the British public schools of Eton College, Shrewsbury School, Westminster School. Clubs were formed at the University of Oxford, with a race held between Brasenose College and Jesus College in 1815.
At the University of Cambridge the first recorded races were in 1827. Public rowing clubs were beginning at the same time. In 1843, the first American college rowing club was formed at Yale University; the International Rowing Federation, responsible for international governance of rowing, was founded in 1892 to provide regulation at a time when the sport was gaining popularity. Across six continents, 150 countries now have rowing federations. Rowing is one of the oldest Olympic sports. Though it was on the programme for the 1896 games, racing did not take place due to bad weather. Male rowers have competed since the 1900 Summer Olympics. Women's rowing was added to the Olympic programme in 1976. Today, there are fourteen boat classes which race at the Olympics: Each year the World Rowing Championships are staged by FISA with 22 boat classes that race. In Olympic years, only the non-Olympic boat classes are raced at the World Championships; the European Rowing Championships are held annually, along with three World Rowing Cups in which each event earns a number of points for a country towards the World Cup title.
Since 2008, rowing has been competed at the Paralympic Games. Major domestic competitions take place in dominant rowing nations and include The Boat Race and Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom, the Australian Rowing Championships in Australia, the Harvard–Yale Regatta and Head of the Charles Regatta in the United States, Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Canada. Many other competitions exist for racing between clubs and universities in each nation. While rowing, the athlete sits in the boat facing toward the stern, uses the oars which are held in place by the oarlocks to propel the boat forward; this may be done on a canal, lake, sea, or other large bodies of water. The sport requires strong core balance, physical strength and cardiovascular endurance. Whilst the action of rowing and equipment used remains consistent throughout the world, there are many different types of competition; these include endurance races, time trials, stake racing, bumps racing, the side-by-side format used in the Olympic games.
The many different formats are a result of the long history of the sport, its development in different regions of the world, specific local requirements and restrictions. There are two forms of rowing: In sweep or sweep-oar rowing, each rower has one oar, held with both hands; this is done in pairs and eights. In some regions of the world, each rower in a sweep boat is referred to either as port or starboard, depending on which side of the boat the rower's oar extends to. In other regions, the port side is referred to as stroke side, the starboard side as bow side. In sculling each rower has two oars, one in each hand. Sculling is done without a coxswain, in quads, doubles or singles; the oar in the sculler's right hand extends to port, the oar in the left hand extends to starboard. The rowing stroke may be characterized by two fundamental reference points; the catch, placement of the oar blade in the water, the extraction known as the finish or release, when the rower removes the oar blade from the water.
The action between catch and release is the first phase of the stroke. At the catch the rower places the blade in the water and applies pressure to the oar by pushing the seat toward the bow of the boat by extending the legs, thus pushing the boat through the water; the point of placement of the blade in the water is a fixed point about which the oar serves as a lever to propel the boat. As the rower's legs approach full extension, the rower pivots the torso toward the bow of the boat and finally pulls the arms towards his or her chest; the hands meet the chest right above the diaphragm. At the end of the stroke, with the blade still in the water, the hands drop to unload the oar so that spring energy stored in the bend of the oar gets transferred to the boat, which eases removing the oar from the water and minimizes energy wasted on lifting water above the surface; the recovery phase follows the drive. The recovery starts with the extraction and involves coordinating the body movements with the goal to move th
Ostend is a Belgian coastal city and municipality, located in the province of West Flanders. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke, Raversijde and Zandvoorde, the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast. In earlier times, Ostend was a small village built on the east-end of an island between the North Sea and a beach lake. Although small, the village rose to the status of "town" around 1265 when the inhabitants were allowed to hold a market and to build a market hall; the major source of income for the inhabitants was fishing. The North Sea coastline has always been rather unstable and in 1395 the inhabitants decided to build a new Ostend behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea; the strategic position on the North Sea coast had major advantages for Ostend as a harbour but proved to be a source of trouble. The town was taken, ravaged and destroyed by conquering armies; the Dutch rebels, the Gueuzen, took control of the town. The Siege of Ostend, 1601 to 1604, of which it was said that "the Spanish assailed the unassailable and the Dutch defended the indefensible", cost a combined total of more than 80,000 dead or wounded, making it the single bloodiest battle of the Eighty Years' War.
This shocking event set in motion negotiations. When the truce broke down, it became a Dunkirker base. After this era, Ostend was turned into a harbour of some importance. In 1722, the Dutch again closed off the entrance to the world's biggest harbour of Antwerp, the Westerschelde. Therefore, Ostend rose in importance; the Belgium Austriacum had become part of the Austrian Empire. The Austrian Emperor Charles VI granted the town the trade monopoly with the Far-East; the Oostendse Compagnie was allowed to found colonies overseas. However, in 1727 the Oostendse Compagnie was forced to stop its activities because of Dutch and British pressure; the Netherlands and Britain would not allow competitors on the international trade level. Both nations regarded international trade. On 19 September 1826 the local artillery magazine exploded. At least 20 people were killed and a further 200 injured; the affluent quarter of d'Hargras was levelled and scarcely a building in the city escaped damage. Disease followed the devastation leading to further deaths.
The harbour of Ostend continued to expand because the harbour dock, as well as the traffic connections with the hinterland, were improved. In 1838, a railway connection with Brussels was constructed. Ostend became a transit harbour to England in 1846. Important for the image of the town was the attention it started to receive from the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II. Both monarchs liked to spend their holidays in Ostend. Important monuments and villas were built to please the Royal Family, including the Hippodrome Wellington horse racing track and the Royal Galleries; the rest of aristocratic Belgium followed and soon Ostend became known as "the queen of the Belgian sea-side resorts". In 1866, Ostend was the venue for a crucial meeting of exile Spanish Liberals and Republicans which laid the framework for a major uprising in their country, culminating in Spain's Glorious Revolution two years later. Ostend was occupied by German forces and used as an access point to the sea for submarines and other light naval forces for much of the duration of World War I.
As a consequence the port was subjected to two naval assaults by the Royal Navy. The town hosted all of the sailing events for the 1920 Summer Olympics for Antwerp. Only the finals of the 12 foot dinghy were sailed in Amsterdam. Ostend hosted the polo events. World War II involved a second occupation of the town by Germany within a period of little more than twenty years. Both conflicts brought significant destruction to Ostend. In addition, other opulent buildings which had survived the wars were replaced with structures in the modernist architecture style. Ostend is known for its sea-side esplanade, including the Royal Galleries of Ostend and fine-sand beaches. Ostend is visited by many day-trippers heading to the beaches during July and August. Tourists from inland Belgium and foreigners arrive by train and head for the closest beach area, the Klein Strand, located next to the pier; the locals and other residents in Belgium occupy the larger beach. Near the beach is a well-preserved section of the fortified Atlantic Wall, open to the public as the Atlantic Wall Open Air Museum located in Raversijde.
One can walk through the streets around Het Vissersplein. At certain times, there are markets in the neighbourhood streets and in the summer the Vissersplein has music festivals; the Vissersplein is a car free zone with many brasseries where patrons can sit outside and have a drink. Towards the port side there are many little fish outlets, beyond that the ferries can be observed docking. Notable sites include: Fort Napoleon, Ostend. Oostende railway station; the Mercator, the ex training sailing ship for Belgian merchant navy officers, now open to the public to view. Hippodrome Wellington, horse racing venue. St Petrus and St Paulus Church, built in Neo Gothic style; the James Ensor museum can be visited in the house where the artist lived from 1917 until 1949. The Mu. Zee (merged from the Provinciaal Museum v
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona