Italian Navy

The Italian Navy is the Navy of the Italian Republic. It is one of the four branches of Italian Armed Forces and was formed in 1946 from what remained of the Regia Marina after World War II; as of August 2014, the Italian Navy had a strength of 30,923 active personnel with 184 vessels in service, including minor auxiliary vessels. It is considered a blue-water navy; the Regia Marina was formed on March 1861, after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. The Italian Navy assumed its present name after the Italian monarchy was abolished following a popular referendum held on June 2, 1946. At the end of its five years involvement in World War II, Italy was a devastated nation. After the end of hostilities the Regia Marina, which at the beginning of the war was the fourth largest navy in the world with a mix of modernised and new battleships, started a long and complex rebuilding process; the important combat contributions of the Italian naval forces after the signing of the armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943, the subsequent cooperation agreement on September 23, 1943, left the Regia Marina in a poor condition, with much of its infrastructure and bases unusable and its ports mined and blocked by sunken ships.

However, a large number of its naval units had survived the war, albeit in a low efficiency state, due to the conflict and the age of many vessels. The vessels that remained were: 5 battleships 10 cruisers 10 destroyers 20 frigates 20 corvettes 50 fast coastal patrol units 50 minesweepers 19 amphibious operations vessels 5 school ships 1 support ship and plane transport The peace treaty signed on February 10, 1947 in Paris was onerous for Regia Marina. Apart from territorial and material losses the following restrictions were imposed: A ban on owning, building or experimenting with atomic weapons, self-propulsion projectiles or relative launchers, etc. A ban on owning battleships, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault units. A ban on operating military installations on the islands of Pantelleria, Pianosa and on the archipelago of Pelagie Islands; the treaty ordered Italy to put the following ships at the disposals of the victorious nations United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, Greece and Albania as war compensation: 3 Battleships: Giulio Cesare, Vittorio Veneto.

Great changes in the international political situation, which were developing into the Cold War, convinced the United Kingdom and United States to discontinue the transfer of Italy's capital ships as war reparations. Some had been dismantled in La Spezia between 1948 and 1955, including the aircraft carrier Aquila. However, the Soviet Union demanded the surrender of the battleship Giulio Cesare and other naval units designated for transfer; the cruisers Attilio Regolo and Scipione Africano became the French Chateaurenault and Guichen, while Eugenio di Savoia became the Greek Elli. After break up and/or transfers, only a small part of the fleet remained to be recommissioned into the Marina; as Western attention turned to the Soviets and the Mediterranean Sea, Italian seas became one of the main sites of confrontation between the two superpowers, contributing to the re-emergence of Italy's naval importance thanks to her strategic geographical position. With the new elections in 1946, the Kingdom of Italy became a Republic, the Regia Marina took the name of Marina Militare.

As the Marshall Plan began to rebuild Italy and Europe was being divided into two geopolitically antagonistic blocs, Italy began talks with the United States to guarantee adequate security considerations. The US government in Washington wished to keep its own installations on the Italian Peninsula and relaxed the Treaty restrictions by including Italy in the Mutual Defense Assistance Programme. On April 4, 1949, Italy joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and, in order for the navy to contribute in the organization, the Treaty restrictions were definitively repealed by the end of 1951, with the consent of all of Western nations. Within NATO, the Italian Navy was assigned combat control of the Adriatic Sea and Strait of Otranto, as well as the defence of the naval routes through the Tyrrhenian Sea. To ensure these tasks a "Studio sul potenziamento della Marina italiana in relazione al Patto Atlantico" was undertaken, which researched the structures and the methods for the development of the navy.

The ensign of the Italian Navy is the Italian tricolour defaced with the coat of arms of the Marina Militare. The quarters refer to the four Medieval Italian Thalassocracies, or "Maritime Republics": 1st quarter: on red, a golden winged lion wielding a sword; the shield has a golden crown, that distinguishes military vessels from merchant: the crown, "corona rostrata", was proposed in 1939 by Admiral Domenico Cavagnari to the Government, as an acknowledgement of the Italian Navy's origin in Roman times. In the proposal, Adm. Cavagnari wrote that "in order to recall the common origin from the Roman sailorship, the Insignia will be surm

Earl of Berkshire

Earl of Berkshire is a title, created twice in the Peerage of England. It was created for the first time in 1621 for 1st Earl of Berkshire. For more information on this creation, see the Earl of Abingdon and the Earl of Lindsey; the second creation came in 1626 in favour of 1st Viscount Andover. He was the second son of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, second son of the second marriage of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, his mother was daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton in Wiltshire. Howard had been created Baron Howard of Charlton, in the County of Wiltshire, Viscount Andover, in the County of Southampton, in 1622; these titles are in the Peerage of England. Lord Berkshire succeeded to the Charlton estate through his mother in 1638, he was succeeded by the second Earl. He had in 1640 been summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Howard of Charlton, he had no sons and on his death in 1679 the titles passed to his younger brother, the third Earl.

He represented Wallingford in the House of Commons. He died without male issue and was succeeded by his great-nephew, the fourth Earl, he was the grandson of fourth son of the first Earl. In 1745 he succeeded his third cousin as eleventh Earl of Suffolk. For further history of the titles, see the Earl of Suffolk. See the Earl of Abingdon and the Earl of Lindsey Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Berkshire Henry Bowes Howard, 4th Earl of Berkshire see Earl of Suffolk for further succession Kidd, Williamson, David. Debrett's Baronetage. New York: St Martin's Press, 1990

Warcraft: The Board Game

Warcraft: The Board Game is a board game adaptation of the Warcraft series of computer games, created by Kevin Wilson and released in 2003 by Fantasy Flight Games. It takes elements from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, but incorporates elements from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Up to four players may play this game, with each player taking on one of the four playable factions from Warcraft III: The Humans, Night Elves, Undead. Team play is possible, with the Human and Night Elf players forming the Alliance while the Orc and Undead players forming the Horde. Though the game uses a standard setup, scenario-based gameplay is possible, sample scenarios and parts required for them are provided with the game; the game board is a modular board, allowing players to design the shape and size of the game board. Depicted on each piece is a collection of hexes; some hexes contain gold mines, some lumber, some mountains, some are strategic locations that are worth victory points. Each map contains a hex containing a player's town hall.

At the town hall hex, each player begins with a small supply of workers, military units, some gold and lumber. Gold and lumber are the two main resources of Warcraft: The Board Game, as with Warcraft III. Workers are used to harvest resources, which are used to build units and buildings, which are used to raise an army and defeat opposing forces; each player begins the game with an Experience Card deck, unique to each player. The game proceeds in turns, with each turn divided into four phases: In the Move phase, players move the units on the board: flying units and workers may move up to two hexes while other units may only move one. Hexes with mountains, are impassible to all except flying units. Units must stop. Up to three workers and three military units may occupy one hex at any time. In the Harvest phase, workers present at a gold mine or lumber site produce lumber; when harvesting, players must roll a special resource die for each worker to determine how many resources are produced. If a worker produces more than two of a resource the resource is depleted.

Workers need not harvest resources when at a resource-producing site, as workers may be saved for building construction, which occurs in the turn. In the Deploy phase, players may place any units built in the previous turn on the board. Players complete any buildings that began construction in a previous turn. Players are not obligated to complete any of their buildings. Units are placed at either the player's town hex, or at an outpost, which are built by workers in the field. In the Spend phase, players contribute resources for the production of units and outposts. Outposts allow units to be deployed at a forward position, may be built by any worker at its present location. Buildings allow the training of a greater quantity of units, are built by workers present in the town hex. In both cases, the workers are considered "occupied" until a Deploy phase, when they are freed. Units may be upgraded to a more powerful unit during the Spend phase, which improves their effectiveness in combat. There are three different types of military units in Warcraft: The Board Game: melee units, ranged units, flying units.

Workers and military units are all built during the spend phase, are put on the board at a Deploy phase. At the start of the game, each player has one building allowing the building of one worker per turn, as well as another building allowing the building of one melee unit per turn; when built, units occupy the building, as such the building cannot produce additional units until the unit occupying the building is deployed onto the game board. To produce additional units, additional buildings must be built; each military unit has a specific strength statistic. If, during the Move phase, units of opposing factions occupy the same hex, battle occurs. All units in the hex, any neighboring hexes, are considered to be involved in the battle. At the start of a battle, all parties involve draw one card from their Experience Card deck. Battle consists of three phases: ranged units attack first, followed by flying units, melee units. At the end of each phase, casualties inflicted by the particular type of unit are removed from the board before the next phase begins.

In addition, flying units cannot be made casualties during the melee battle phase. To determine whether a unit inflicts casualties, one die. Combat continues until the contested hex is empty or controlled by one side. Any workers or outposts belonging to the defeated side that remain in the contested hex are removed from the board. A player is considered eliminated if opposing forces occupy their own town hex for two consecutive turns (players may continue to build the first turn after their own town hex is occupied by enemy forces, but they enter a combat situation when deployed and cannot be moved