Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility for managing all business activities. In the United Kingdom, the term head office is most used for the HQs of large corporations; the term is used regarding military organizations. A headquarters is the entity at the top of a corporation that takes full responsibility for the overall success of the corporation, ensures corporate governance; the corporate headquarters is a key element of a corporate structure and covers different corporate functions such as strategic planning, corporate communications, legal, finance, human resources, information technology, procurement. This entity includes the chief executive officer as a key person and his or her support staff such as the CEO office and other CEO-related functions. Many companies have a registered office at a different address to their corporate office.
A headquarters includes the leader of business unit and his or her staff as well as all functions to manage the business unit and operational activities. The head of the business unit is responsible for overall result of the business unit. A headquarters sometimes functions at the top of regional unit, including all activities of the various business units, taking full responsibility for overall profitability and success of this regional unit. Military headquarters take many forms depending on the size and nature of the unit or formation they command, they are split into the forward and rear components, both within NATO nations, those following the organization and doctrine of the former Soviet Union. The forward or tactical HQs is a small group of staff and communicators. Mobile, they exist to allow the commander to go forward in an operation, command the key parts of it from a position where they can see the ground and influence their immediate subordinates; the main HQs is involved in both the planning and execution of operations.
There are a number of staff assembled here from various staff branches to advise the commander, to control the various aspects of planning and the conduct of discrete operations. A main HQ for a large formation will have a chief of staff; the rear or logistic HQs is some distance from the front line in conventional operations. Its function is to ensure the logistical support to front line troops, which it does by organizing the delivery of combat supplies and equipment to where they are needed, by organizing services such as combat medicine, equipment recovery, repair; the headquarters of the Catholic Church is Vatican City. The World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses is relocated in Warwick, New York, from its former location, New York; the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church is in Moscow. The World Council of Churches, including Orthodox Churches, has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; the headquarters of Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is located in Turkey. The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Anglican Communion Office is in London. In Japanese budō martial arts such as karate, aikido, etc. There is a headquarters for each organization or region; the Japanese word honbu is used for that outside Japan. Sometimes they refer to this headquarters as honbu dojo in which dojo is a facility provided for practicing discipline, the training ground. Sometimes honbu is written as hombu, the way it is pronounced, but according to the Hepburn transcription, the correct spelling should be honbu in which the'n' is a syllabic n. Isby, David C. Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army Jane's, London: 516 pp. Wanner, Herbert Global and regional corporate headquarters in: Kählin, Christian, H.: Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook. Wanner, Herbert.
Bulgaria the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and North Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, the Black Sea to the east; the capital and largest city is Sofia. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians and ancient Macedonians; the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script; this state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II.
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc; the ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy. Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political and economic centralisation; the population of seven million lives in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces, the country has suffered significant demographic decline since the late 1980s.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; the name Bulgaria is derived from a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD, but it is derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha and its derivative bulgak; the meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers". Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.
The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture. The Copper Age Varna culture is credited with inventing gold metallurgy; the associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years. The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies; the Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless; the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC. The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.
It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45. By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century; the Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381. The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476; the Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia; the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy. The Slavs assimilated the Hellenized and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas. Not l
An army or land force is a fighting force that fights on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state, it may include aviation assets by possessing an army aviation component. In certain states, the term army refers to the entire armed forces. Within a national military force, the word army may mean a field army. In several countries, the army is called the Land Army to differentiate it from an air force called the Air Army, notably France. In such countries, the word "army" on its own retains its connotation of a land force in common usage; the current largest army in the world, by number of active troops, is the People's Liberation Army Ground Force of China with 1,600,000 active troops and 510,000 reserve personnel followed by the Indian Army with 1,129,000 active troops and 960,000 reserve personnel. By convention, irregular military is understood in contrast to regular armies which grew from personal bodyguards or elite militia.
Regular in this case refers to standardized doctrines, organizations, etc. Regular military can refer to full-time status, versus reserve or part-time personnel. Other distinctions may separate statutory forces, from de facto "non-statutory" forces such as some guerrilla and revolutionary armies. Armies may be expeditionary or fencible India's armies were among the first in the world; the first recorded battle, the Battle of the Ten Kings, happened when an Hindu Aryan king named Sudas defeated an alliance of ten kings and their supportive chieftains. During the Iron Age, the Maurya and Nanda Empires had the largest armies in the world, the peak being over 600,000 Infantry, 30,000 Cavalry, 8,000 War-Chariots and 9,000 War Elephants not including tributary state allies. In the Gupta age, large armies of longbowmen were recruited to fight off invading horse archer armies. Elephants and cavalry were other featured troops. In Rajput times, the main piece of equipment was iron or chain-mail armour, a round shield, either a curved blade or a straight-sword, a chakra disc and a katar dagger.
The states of China raised armies for at least 1000 years before the Autumn Annals. By the Warring States period, the crossbow had been perfected enough to become a military secret, with bronze bolts which could pierce any armor, thus any political power of a state rested on their organization. China underwent political consolidation of the states of Han, Chu, Zhao and Qi, until by 221 BCE, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, attained absolute power; this first emperor of China could command the creation of a Terracotta Army to guard his tomb in the city of Xi'an, as well as a realignment of the Great Wall of China to strengthen his empire against insurrection and incursion. Sun Tzu's The Art of War remains one of China's Seven Military Classics though it is two thousand years old. Since no political figure could exist without an army, measures were taken to ensure only the most capable leaders could control the armies. Civil bureaucracies arose to control the productive power of the states, their military power.
The Spartan Army was one of the earliest known professional armies. Boys were sent to a barracks at the age of eight to train for becoming a soldier. At the age of thirty they were allowed to marry and have a family. After that, men devoted their lives to war until their retirement at the age of 60. Unlike other civilizations, whose armies had to disband during the planting and harvest seasons, the Spartan serfs or helots, did the manual labor; this allowed the Spartans to field a full-time army with a campaign season. The Spartan Army was composed of hoplites, equipped with arms and armor nearly identical to each other; each hoplite bore a scarlet uniform. The main pieces of this armor were a spear and a helmet; the Roman Army had its origins in the citizen army of the Republic, staffed by citizens serving mandatory duty for Rome. Reforms turned the army into a professional organization, still filled by citizens, but these citizens served continuously for 25 years before being discharged; the Romans were noted for making use of auxiliary troops, non-Romans who served with the legions and filled roles that the traditional Roman military could not fill such as light skirmish troops and heavy cavalry.
After their service in the army they were made citizens of Rome and their children were citizens also. They were given land and money to settle in Rome. In the Late Roman Empire, these auxiliary troops, along with foreign mercenaries, became the core of the Roman Army. In the earliest Middle Ages it was the obligation of every aristocrat to respond to the call to battle with his own equipment and infantry; this decentralized system was necessary due to the social order of the time, but could lead to motley forces with variable training and abilities. The more resources the noble had access to, the better his troops would be; the words "knight" and "noble" were used interchangeably as there was not a distinction between them. While the nobility did fight upon horseback, they were supported by lower class citizens –
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Helicopter Wing 64
Helicopter Wing 64 is a wing of the German Air Force. It is subordinate to Air Force Forces Command. Formed in 2010, its headquarters was based at Holzdorf Air Base in Saxony-Anhalt, but relocated to Laupheim Air Base on 1 January 2013, it is the only wing within the German Air Force whose weapon systems consist of helicopters. Helicopter Wing 64 consists of three groups and has a total of 60 helicopters of the type CH-53G at its disposal, 48 of which are stationed at Laupheim Air Base, whereas the remaining 12 are based at Holzdorf Air Base; the origins of Helicopter Wing 64 lie in the airforce's Helicopter Transport Wing 64 founded in 1966. When the wing was disbanded in April 1994 personnel and equipment were absorbed by the other air transport wings of the German Air Force; some personnel and material was transferred to Holzdorf Air Base and incorporated into the command structure of Air Transport Wing 62. Helicopter Wing 64 was created on 1 October 2010 when the helicopters assigned to Air Transport Wing 62 formed a new unit.
Until 1 January 2013 the wing flew predominantly Bell UH-1D which were to be replaced by helicopters of the type NH90. The first helicopter of the type NH90 was handed over to Helicopter Wing 64 on 21 October 2010, three weeks after the formation of the new unit. Three NH90's were being tested at the air base with another five having been delivered by October 2012. Whereas helicopter units of the German Army Aviation Corps have been deployed in a variety of military missions abroad as part of KFOR in Kosovo and ISAF in Afghanistan, Helicopter Wing 64 had not been brought into action outside Germany until 2013. However, only weeks after having been established, the wing provided disaster relief when the river Black Elster burst its banks, resulting in dam failures, which caused widespread flooding in Bad Liebenwerda, Löben and the surrounding areas in September and early October 2010. Helicopter Wing 64 clocked a total of 171 flying hours during this operation. In October 2011 the German Federal Ministry of Defence announced a reorganisation/reduction of the German Armed Forces.
As a consequence, all helicopters of the type CH-53G were to be transferred to the Air Force. German Army Aviation Corps Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment 25 flying CH-53G, based at Laupheim Air Base, was disbanded on 31 December 2012 and re-established as new Helicopter Wing 64 on 1 January 2013; the other unit within the German Army flying CH-53G, Aviation Corps Medium Transport Regiment 15 based at Rheine Air Base, will be disbanded, a number of its helicopters relocating to either Laupheim Air Base or Holzdorf Air Base. The remainder will be decommissioned; the wing's helicopters of the type Bell UH-1D and NH90 were transferred to the German Army. The tasks carried out by helicopters of Helicopter Wing 64, most national SAR service and CSAR, were transferred to the German Army; the restructured wing has a strength of 1800 personnel, 1200 of which are stationed at Laupheim Air Base, the remaining 600 at Holzdorf Air Base. During the 2013 European floods helicopters from the wing provided logistic support.
Seven helicopters of the wing were employed to stabilise dikes, give aid fixing gaps after dike breaches, evacuate humans at risk of being submerged by the flood. Holzdorf Air Base was utilised as hub for all aerial rescue and support operations at the rivers Elbe, Mulde, Black Elster and White Elster as well as near Bitterfeld and in Fischbeck; when wildfires broke out in Northern Germany during the 2018 European heat wave helicopters from Helicopter Wing 64 were called in to assist the local fire brigades south-east of Berlin. Being the only helicopter wing in the German Air Force, Helicopter Wing 64 has the following tasks: Providing air transport for all military branches of national as well as multinational forces Planning and supervising of personal recovery missions Support of special forces Medical evacuation and military evacuation operations Advanced pilot training Operating two airbases: Laupheim Air Base and Holzdorf Air Base Helicopter Wing 64 is subordinate to Air Force Forces Command but, unlike the other air force's transport wings, is not integrated into the command structure of European Air Transport Command.
The wing's main force, the Flying Group and the Technical Group, is stationed at Laupheim Air Base whereas a third group, the Air Transport Group, is based at Holzdorf Air Base. Wing Headquarters Flight Group No. 1 Squadron - CH-53GA/GE/GS No. 2 Squadron - CH-53GA/GE/GS No. 4 Squadron - H.145M Flight Support Service Squadron Technical Group Aircraft and Weapons Maintenance Squadron Aircraft and Electronics Repair Squadron Supply and Transport Squadron Air Transport Group No. 3 Squadron - 20 x CH-53GA Technical Squadron Supply Squadron Airfield Maintenance Squadron Detached Aircraft Repair Squadron The following helicopters were in service with Helicopter Wing 64: NHIndustries NH90 Bell UH-1DThe following helicopters are in serv
Croatia the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy, its capital, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Croats arrived in the area in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognized as an independent state on 7 June 879 during the reign of duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom, which retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102.
In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, in the final days of World War I, the State of Slovenes and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, in December 1918 it was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into the Nazi-backed client-state which led to the development of a resistance movement and the creation of the Federal State of Croatia which after the war become a founding member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year; the Croatian War of Independence was fought for four years following the declaration. The sovereign state of Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a high standard of living.
It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Croatia's economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world; the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides a social security, universal health care system, a tuition-free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.
The name of Croatia derives from Medieval Latin Croātia. Itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xrovat-, by liquid metathesis from Common Slavic period *Xorvat, from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xъrvátъ which comes from Old Persian *xaraxwat-; the word is attested by the Old Iranian toponym Harahvait-, the native name of Arachosia. The origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe; the oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, attested in the Baška tablet in style zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ. The first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852; the original is lost, just a 1568 copy is preserved, leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim. The oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription found near Benkovac, where Duke Branimir is styled Dux Cruatorvm; the inscription is not believed to be dated but is to be from during the period of 879–892, during Branimir's rule.
The area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period. Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia, with the most famous and the best presented site in Krapina. Remnants of several Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures were found in all regions of the country; the largest proportion of the sites is in the river valleys of northern Croatia, the most significant cultures whose presence was discovered include Baden, Starčevo, Vučedol cultures. The Iron Age left traces of the Celtic La Tène culture. Much the region was settled by Illyrians and Liburnians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Hvar, Korčula, Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian had a large palace built in Split to which he retired after his abdication in AD 305. During the 5th century, the last de jure Western emperor last Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos ruled his small realm from the palace after fleeing Italy to go into exile in 475.
The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast and mountains; the city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum. The ethnogenesis of Croats is uncertain an