A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat, with heavy firepower, strong armour, tracks and a powerful engine providing good battlefield manoeuvrability. They are a key part of combined arms combat. Modern tanks are versatile mobile land weapon system platforms, mounting a large-calibre cannon in a rotating gun turret, supplemented by mounted machine guns or other weapons, such as ATGMs, or rockets, they combine this with heavy vehicle armour which provides protection for the crew, the vehicle's weapons, its propulsion systems, operational mobility, due to its use of tracks rather than wheels, which allows the tank to move over rugged terrain and adverse conditions such as mud, be positioned on the battlefield in advantageous locations. These features enable the tank to perform well in a variety of intense combat situations both offensively with fire from their powerful tank gun, defensively due to their near invulnerability to common firearms and good resistance to heavier weapons, all while maintaining the mobility needed to exploit changing tactical situations.
Integrating tanks into modern military forces spawned a new era of combat, armoured warfare. There are classes of tanks, some being larger and heavily armoured, with high calibre guns, while others smaller armoured, equipped with a smaller calibre, lighter gun; these smaller tanks move over terrain with speed and agility and can perform a reconnaissance role in addition to engaging enemy targets. The smaller faster tank would not engage in battle with a larger armoured tank, except during a surprise flanking manoeuvre; the modern tank is the result of a century of development from the first primitive armoured vehicles, due to improvements in technology such as the internal combustion engine, which allowed the rapid movement of heavy armoured vehicles. As a result of these advances, tanks underwent tremendous shifts in capability in the years since their first appearance. Tanks in World War I were developed separately and by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front.
The first British prototype, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co. in Lincoln, England in 1915, with leading roles played by Major Walter Gordon Wilson who designed the gearbox and hull, by William Tritton of William Foster and Co. who designed the track plates. This was a prototype of a new design that would become the British Army's Mark I tank, the first tank used in combat in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme; the name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose. While the British and French built thousands of tanks in World War I, Germany was unconvinced of the tank's potential, built only twenty. Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the much larger and more powerful designs of World War II. Important new concepts of armoured warfare were developed. Less than two weeks Germany began their large-scale armoured campaigns that would become known as blitzkrieg – massed concentrations of tanks combined with motorised and mechanised infantry and air power designed to break through the enemy front and collapse enemy resistance.
The widespread introduction of high-explosive anti-tank warheads during the second half of World War II led to lightweight infantry-carried anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerfaust, which could destroy some types of tanks. Tanks in the Cold War were designed with these weapons in mind, led to improved armour types during the 1960s composite armour. Improved engines and suspensions allowed tanks of this period to grow larger. Aspects of gun technology changed as well, with advances in shell design and aiming technology. During the Cold War, the main battle tank concept became a key component of modern armies. In the 21st century, with the increasing role of asymmetrical warfare and the end of the Cold War, that contributed to the increase of cost-effective anti-tank rocket propelled grenades worldwide and its successors, the ability of tanks to operate independently has declined. Modern tanks are more organized into combined arms units which involve the support of infantry, who may accompany the tanks in infantry fighting vehicles, supported by reconnaissance or ground-attack aircraft.
The tank is the 20th century realization of an ancient concept: that of providing troops with mobile protection and firepower. The internal combustion engine, armour plate, continuous track were key innovations leading to the invention of the modern tank. Many sources imply that Leonardo da Vinci and H. G. Wells in some way "invented" the tank. Leonardo's late 15th century drawings of what some describe as a "tank" show a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it; however the human crew would not have enough power to move it over larger distance, usage of animals was problematic in a space so confined. In the 15th century, Jan Žižka built armoured wagons containing cannons and used them in several battles; the continuous "caterpillar" track arose from attempts to improve the mobility of wheeled vehicles by spreading their weight, reducing ground pressure, increasing their traction. Experiments can be traced back as far as the 17th century, by the late nineteenth they existed in various recognizable and practical forms in several countries.
It is frequen
Order of the Red Star
The Order of the Red Star was a military decoration of the Soviet Union. It was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 6 April 1930 but its statute was only defined in decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 5 May 1930; that statute was amended by decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 7 May 1936, of 19 June 1943, of 26 February 1946, of 15 October 1947, of 16 December 1947 and by decree No 1803-X of 28 March 1980. The Order of the Red Star was awarded to soldiers of the Soviet Army, Navy and internal security forces, employees of the State Security Committee of the USSR, as well as NCOs and officers of the bodies of internal affairs; the Order of the Red Star is worn on the right side of the chest and when in the presence of other orders of the USSR, placed after the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class. If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence; the Order of the Red Star was used as a long service award from 1944 to 1958 to mark fifteen years of service in the military, state security, or police.
Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 14 September 1957 emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their intended criteria. This led to the joint 25 January 1958 decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs and of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal "For Impeccable Service" putting an end to the practice; the Order of the Red Star is a red enamelled 47mm to 50mm wide silver five pointed star. In the center of the obverse, an oxydised silver shield bearing the image of an erect soldier wearing an overcoat and carrying a rifle, along the shield's entire circumference, a narrow band bearing the Communist motto in relief, "Workers of the world, unite!", the band below the soldier bore the relief inscription "USSR". Below the shield, the hammer and sickle of oxydised silver; the otherwise plain reverse bore the award serial number. The Order was attached to clothing by a threaded screw attachment.
When the order wasn't worn, a ribbon could be worn in its stead on the ribbon bar on the left side of the chest. The ribbon of the Order of the red Star was a 24mm wide silk moiré dark red with a 5mm wide central silver stripe; the Order of the Red Star was awarded 6 times to 5 people, 5 times to more than 15 people, four times to more than 150 people, three times to more than 1,000 people. Below is a short partial list of such multiple recipients: Colonel Philip Petrovich Onoprienko Colonel Peter Petrovich Panchenko Lieutenant Colonel Vasily Vasilevich Silantyev Colonel Konstantin Ivanovich Malkhasyan Major General Ivan Nikiforovich Stepanenko Colonel Alexey Petrovich Yakimov Lieutenant General Galaktion Alpaidze Colonel General Georgy Baydukov Colonel General Alexander Ivanovich Babaev Colonel Valentin Gavrilov Lieutenant Colonel Naum Shusterman Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Lebed Army General Alexei Yepishev Army General Gennady Ivanovich Obaturov Captain Asaf Abdrakhmanov Lieutenant General Alexander Vasilyevich Belyakov Rear Admiral Aksel Berg Admiral Nikolai Sergeyev Aviator Olga Yamshchikova Major Marina Chechneva Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergey Akhromeyev Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Bulganin Major General Georgy Beregovoy Colonel General Igor Rodionov Sergey Ilyushin Semyon Nomokonov Colonel Ivan Kozhedub Colonel Dmitry Loza Marshal of Aviation Alexander Pokryshkin Marshal of the Soviet Union Boris Shaposhnikov Senior Sergeant Yakov Pavlov Admiral Arseniy Golovko Rear Admiral Vladimir Konovalov Admiral Gordey Levchenko Admiral Ivan Stepanovich Yumashev Army General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov Alexandrov Ensemble 89th Rifle Division 9th Infantry Division 80th Airmobile Regiment 8th Army Corps 7th Guards Airborne Division 10th Guards Motor Rifle DivisionIn 2015 the Order of the Red Star award awarded to Ukrainian army units were removed as part of a removal of Soviet awards and decorations from Ukrainian military units.
Legal Library of the USSR Soviet-Awards.com A non-commercial website Russian language, non-commercial website
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it was the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses; the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing; the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.
The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army make no attempt to break out. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food; the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted one week and three days. By the spring of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa to decisively defeat the Soviet Union in a single campaign, the Wehrmacht had captured vast expanses of territory, including Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Elsewhere, the war had been progressing well: the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been successful and Erwin Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a line running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not threatening. Hitler was confident that he could master the Red Army after the winter of 1942, because though Army Group Centre had suffered heavy losses west of Moscow the previous winter, 65% of its infantry had not been engaged and had been rested and re-equipped.
Neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again. With the initial operations being successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union; the initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the industrial capacity of the city and the deployment of forces to block the Volga River. The river was the Caspian Sea to central Russia, its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields; the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign expanding them to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. Both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city, based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union.
Hitler proclaimed that after Stalingrad's capture, its male citizens were to be killed and all women and children were to be deported because its population was "thoroughly communistic" and "especially dangerous". It was assumed that the fall of the city would firmly secure the northern and western flanks of the German armies as they advanced on Baku, with the aim of securing these strategic petroleum resources for Germany; the expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. The Soviets realized, they ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war. Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there; the planned summer offensive, code-named Fall Blau, was to include the German 6th, 17th, 4th Panzer and 1st Panzer Armies.
Army Group South had overrun the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1941. Poised in Eastern Ukraine, it was to spearhead the offensive. Hitler intervened, ordering the Army Group to split in two. Army Group South, under the command of Wilhelm List, was to continue advancing south towards the Caucasus as planned with the 17th Army and First Panzer Army. Army Group South, including Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army and Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, was to move east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. Army Group B was commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock and by General Maximilian von Weichs; the start of Case Blue had been planned for late May 1942. However, a number of German and Romanian units that were to take part in Blau were besieging Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Delays in ending the siege pushed back the start date for Blau several times, the city did not fall until early July. Operation Fridericus I by the Germans against the "Isium bulge", pinched off the Soviet
Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus, situated on the Svislač and the Nyamiha Rivers. As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region and Minsk District; the population in January 2018 was 1,982,444. Minsk is the administrative capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States and seat of its Executive Secretary; the earliest historical references to Minsk date to the 11th century, when it was noted as a provincial city within the Principality of Polotsk. The settlement developed on the rivers. In 1242, Minsk became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it received town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union.
Minsk will host the 2019 European Games. The Old East Slavic name of the town was Мѣньскъ; the direct continuation of this name in Belarusian is Miensk. The resulting form of the name, was taken over both in Russian and Polish, under the influence of Russian it became official in Belarusian. However, some Belarusian-speakers continue to use Miensk as their preferred name for the city; when Belarus was under Polish rule, the names Mińsk Litewski'Minsk of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania' and Mińsk Białoruski'Minsk in Belarus' were used to differentiate this place name from Mińsk Mazowiecki'Minsk in Masovia'. In modern Polish, Mińsk without an attribute refers to the city in Belarus, about 50 times bigger than Mińsk Mazowiecki; the area of today's Minsk was settled by the Early East Slavs by the 9th century AD. The Svislach River valley was the settlement boundary between two Early East Slav tribes – the Krivichs and Dregovichs. By 980, the area was incorporated into the early medieval Principality of Polotsk, one of the earliest East Slav principalities of Old Rus' state.
Minsk was first mentioned in the name form Měneskъ in the Primary Chronicle for the year 1067 in association with the Battle on the River Nemiga. 1067 is now accepted as the founding year of Minsk. City authorities consider the date of 3 March 1067, to be the exact founding date of the city, though the town had existed for some time by then; the origin of the name is unknown but there are several theories. In the early 12th century, the Principality of Polotsk disintegrated into smaller fiefs; the Principality of Minsk was established by one of the Polotsk dynasty princes. In 1129, the Principality of Minsk was annexed by the dominant principality of Kievan Rus. By 1150, Minsk rivaled Polotsk as the major city in the former Principality of Polotsk; the princes of Minsk and Polotsk were engaged in years of struggle trying to unite all lands under the rule of Polotsk. Minsk escaped the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1237–1239. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the expanding Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it joined peacefully and local elites enjoyed high rank in the society of the Grand Duchy.
In 1413, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland entered into a union. Minsk became the centre of Minsk Voivodship. In 1441, the Polish-Lithuanian prince and future king Casimir IV included Minsk in a list of cities enjoying certain privileges, in 1499, during the reign of his son, Alexander I Jagiellon, Minsk received town privileges under Magdeburg law. In 1569, after the Union of Lublin, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland merged into a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Afterwards, a Polish community including government clerks and craftsmen settled in Minsk. By the middle of the 16th century, Minsk was an important economic and cultural centre in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was an important centre for the Eastern Orthodox Church. Following the Union of Brest, both the Uniate church and the Roman Catholic Church increased in influence. In 1655, Minsk was conquered by troops of Tsar Alexei of Russia. Russians governed the city until 1660 when it was regained by King of Poland.
By the end of the Polish-Russian War, Minsk had just 300 houses. The second wave of devastation occurred during the Great Northern War, when Minsk was occupied in 1708 and 1709 by the army of Charles XII of Sweden and by the army of Peter the Great; the last decades of the Polish rule involved decline or slow development, since Minsk had become a small provincial town of little economic or military significance. Minsk was annexed by Russia in 1793 as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. In 1796, it became the centre of the Minsk Governorate. All of the initial street names were replaced by Russian names, though the spelling of the city's name remained unchanged, it was occupied by the Grande Armée during French invasion of Russia in 1812. Throughout the 19th century, the city continued to grow and improve. In the 1830s, major streets and squares of Minsk were paved. A first public library was opened in 1836, a fire brigade was put into operation in 1837. In 1838, the first
Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general; the disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant. In the Commonwealth and the United States, it is a division commander's rank subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general. In the Commonwealth, major general is equivalent to the navy rank of rear admiral, in air forces with a separate rank structure, it is equivalent to air vice-marshal. In some countries, including much of Eastern Europe, major general is the lowest of the general officer ranks, with no brigadier-grade rank. In the old Austro-Hungarian Army, the major general was called a Generalmajor. Today's Austrian Federal Army still uses the same term. General de Brigada is the lowest rank of general officers in the Brazilian Army. A General de Brigada wears two-stars as this is the entry level for general officers in the Brazilian Army.
See Military ranks of Brazil and Brigadier for more information. In the Canadian Armed Forces, the rank of major-general is both a Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force rank equivalent to the Royal Canadian Navy's rank of rear-admiral. A major-general is the equivalent of a naval flag officer; the major-general rank is senior to the ranks of brigadier-general and commodore, junior to lieutenant-general and vice-admiral. Prior to 1968, the Air Force used the rank of air vice-marshal, instead; the rank insignia for a major-general in the Royal Canadian Air Force is a wide braid under a single narrow braid on the cuff, as well as two silver maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown. In the Canadian Army, the rank insignia is a wide braid on the cuff, as well as two gold maple leaves beneath crossed sword and baton, all surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, it is worn on the shoulder straps of the service dress tunic, on slip-ons on other uniforms. On the visor of the service cap are two rows of gold oak leaves.
Major-generals are addressed as "general" and name, as are all general officers. Major-generals are entitled to staff cars. In the Estonian military, the major general rank is called kindralmajor; the Finnish military equivalent is kenraalimajuri in Finnish, generalmajor in Swedish and Danish. The French equivalent to the rank of major general is général de division. In the French military, major général is not a rank but an appointment conferred on some generals of général de corps d'armée rank, acting as head of staff of one of the armed forces; the major general assists the chief of staff of the French army with matters such as human resources and discipline, his role is analogous with the British Army position of Adjutant-General to the Forces. The position of major général can be considered the equivalent of a deputy chief of staff; the five major generals are: the Major General of the Armed Forces, head of the General Staff, the Major General of the Army, the Major General of the Navy, the Major General of the Gendarmerie, the Major General of the Air Force.
In the French Army, Major General is a position and the major general is of the rank of corps general. The French army had some sergent-majors généraux called sergents de bataille, whose task was to prepare the disposition of the army on the field before a battle; these sergents-majors généraux became a new rank, the maréchal de camp, the equivalent of the rank of major general. However, the term of major général was not forgotten and used to describe the appointment of armies chiefs of staff. One well-known French major général was Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier. In addition,maréchal de camp was renamed général de brigade in 1793; the rank was decided to correspond to brigadier general after WWⅡ. In Georgia, the rank major-general has one star as for security forces; the army, does not follow the traditional soviet model and uses the now more common two-star insignia. The German Army and Luftwaffe referred to the rank as Generalmajor until 1945. Prior to 1945, the rank of Generalleutnant was used to define a division commander, whereas Generalmajor was a brigade commander.
With the remilitarization of Germany in 1955 on West Germany's admission to NATO, the Heer adopted the rank structure of the U. S. with the authority of the three lower ranks being moved up one level, the rank of Brigadegeneral added below them. The rank of Generaloberst was no longer used; the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic continued the use Generalmajor, abbreviated as "GenMaj", as the lowest general officer rank until reunification in 1990. It was equivalent to Konteradmiral. In the Magyar Honvédség, the equivalent rank to major general is vezérőrnagy. In the Iranian army and air force, the ranks above colonel are sartip dovom, sarlashkar and arteshbod.
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 637,827 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the three Baltic states, home to one third of Latvia's population and one tenth of the three Baltic states' combined population; the city lies at the mouth of the Daugava river. Riga's territory lies 1 -- 10 m above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain. Riga is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture. Riga was the European Capital of Culture along with Umeå in Sweden. Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships and the 2013 World Women's Curling Championship, it is home to the European Union's office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. In 2016, Riga received over 1.4 million visitors. It is served by the largest and busiest airport in the Baltic states. Riga is a member of Eurocities, the Union of the Baltic Cities and Union of Capitals of the European Union.
One theory about the origin of the name Riga is that it is a corrupted borrowing from the Liv ringa meaning loop, referring to the ancient natural harbour formed by the tributary loop of the Daugava River. The other is that Riga owes its name to this already-established role in commerce between East and West, as a borrowing of the Latvian rija, for threshing barn, the "j" becoming a "g" in German — notably, Riga is called Rie by English geographer Richard Hakluyt, German historian Dionysius Fabricius confirms the origin of Riga from rija. Another theory could be that Riga was named after Riege, the German name for the River Rīdzene, a tributary of the Daugava. Another theory is that Riga's name is introduced by the bishop Albert, initiator of christening and conquest of Livonian and Baltic people, he introduced an explanation of city name as derived from Latin rigata that symbolizes an "irrigation of dry pagan souls by Christianity". The river Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium.
A sheltered natural harbour 15 km upriver from the mouth of the Daugava — the site of today's Riga — has been recorded, as Duna Urbs, as early as the 2nd century. It was settled by an ancient Finnic tribe. Riga began to develop as a centre of Viking trade during the early Middle Ages. Riga's inhabitants occupied themselves with fishing, animal husbandry, trading developing crafts; the Livonian Chronicle of Henry testifies to Riga having long been a trading centre by the 12th century, referring to it as portus antiquus, describes dwellings and warehouses used to store flax, hides. German traders began visiting Riga, establishing a nearby outpost in 1158. Along with German traders the monk Meinhard of Segeberg arrived to convert the Livonian pagans to Christianity. Catholic and Orthodox Christianity had arrived in Latvia more than a century earlier, many Latvians baptised. Meinhard settled among the Livs, building a castle and church at Ikšķile, upstream from Riga, established his bishopric there.
The Livs, continued to practice paganism and Meinhard died in Ikšķile in 1196, having failed in his mission. In 1198, the Bishop Berthold arrived with a contingent of crusaders and commenced a campaign of forced Christianization. Berthold died soon afterwards and his forces defeated; the Church mobilised to avenge the issuance of a bull by Pope Innocent III declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Bishop Albert was proclaimed Bishop of Livonia by his uncle Hartwig of Uthlede, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg in 1199. Albert landed in Riga in 1200 with 500 Westphalian crusaders. In 1201, he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from Ikšķile to Riga, extorting agreement to do this from the elders of Riga by force; the year 1201 marked the first arrival of German merchants in Novgorod, via the Dvina. To defend territory and trade, Albert established the Order of Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1202, open to nobles and merchants; the Christianization of the Livs continued. In 1207, Albert started to fortify the town.
Emperor Philip invested Albert with Livonia as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire. To promote a permanent military presence, territorial ownership was divided between the Church and the Order, with the Church taking Riga and two-thirds of all lands conquered and granting the Order a third; until it had been customary for crusaders to serve for a year and return home. Albert had ensured Riga's commercial future by obtaining papal bulls which decreed that all German merchants had to carry on their Baltic trade through Riga. In 1211, Riga minted its first coinage, Albert laid the cornerstone for the Riga Dom. Riga was not yet secure. In 1212, Albert led a campaign to compel Polotsk to grant German merchants free river passage. Polotsk conceded Kukenois and Jersika to Albert ending the Livs' tribute to Polotsk. Riga's merchant citizenry sought greater autonomy from the Church. In 1221, they acquired the right to independently self-administer Riga and adopted a city constitution; that same year Albert was compelled to recognise Danish rule over lands they had conquered in Estonia and Livonia.
Albert had sought the aid of King Valdemar of Denmark to protect Riga and Livonian lands against Liv insurrection when reinforcements could not