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
See the 1911 Paris to Madrid air race. The Paris–Madrid race of May 1903 was an early experiment in auto racing, organized by the Automobile Club de France and the Spanish Automobile Club, Automóvil Club Español. At the time in France there was a great interest in international car races. In 1894 the Paris–Rouen was the first car race in the world, followed by races from Paris to Bordeaux, Dieppe, Amsterdam and Vienna; the French government was against the idea of races being held on public streets. After the Paris–Berlin race of 1901, the minister of internal affairs M. Waldeck-Rousseau stated that no other races would be authorized; the Paris–Madrid was supported by King Alphonse XIII of Spain, French media suggested that France could not withdraw from the competition, being the country with the most advanced technology in car manufacturing. Baron de Zuylen, president of the ACF, managed to overcome the opposition of Prime Minister Émile Combes by stating that the roads were indeed public, the public wanted the races, many local administrators were eager to have a race pass through their towns.
Many French car manufacturers supported the request, employing of over 25 thousand workers and producing 16 million Francs per year of export alone. Since races were necessary to promote the brands, they interceded with the government who agreed with the race; the Council of Ministries and the President gave their support to the race on February 17, 1903, while the ACF had been accepting applications since January 15. In just 40 days over 300 drivers enrolled, many more than expected; the net worth of the cars involved in the race surpassed 7 million Francs. The race was to span over 1307 kilometers, in three legs: Versailles – Bordeaux, Bordeaux – Vitoria and Vitoria – Madrid; the rules were published in the three biggest motor sport magazines of France: France Automobile, La Locomotion, La Vie Automobile. The rules called for four weight categories: less than 250 kg, 250 to 400 kg, 400 to 650 kg and 650 to 1000 kg; the weight was intended as dry weight, excluding the driver, batteries, spare parts, tools and water, driver's luggage and lights harnesses and eventual external starter.
The subscription cost ranged depending on weight. The two heaviest classes were supposed to have a driver and a mechanic, while the two lighter ones required only a driver; the starting order was drawn at random between the cars enrolled in the first thirty days, in progression for the drivers enrolled after February 15. The race start was established for the 3.30 AM of Sunday May 24, from Versailles Gardens, les Jardins de Versailles. As in many races before, the cars were to leave one with a two-minute delay; the "Absolutely Closed Parks" rule was introduced: at the end each race leg, the cars were to be taken by a commissioner to closed pens, where no repairs or maintenance were allowed. Any refueling or repairs had to be done during the race time. While in transit to the pens, the cars had to cross the towns in parade, accompanied by a race officer on a bicycle, supposed to record the exact time of the crossing, deducted from the overall driver's time; the time records were written on time kept in sealed metal boxes on every car.
While Versailles – Bordeaux was a mainstay of road races, the Bordeaux – Vitoria leg presented more uncertainty: it was full of sharp turns, narrow bridges, rail crossings, stone roads and long, paved stretches where high speeds would be possible. 315 racers enrolled, but only 224 were present on the start line, subdivided as follows: 88 cars in the heaviest class 49 cars between 400 and 650 kg 33 voiturettes under 400 kg 54 motorcyclesMany famous racers and brands joined the race. René de Knyff and Maurice Farman, Pierre de Crawhez, Charles S. Rolls were racing with Panhard-Levassor, mighty 4-cylinders cars capable of 70 hp and 130 km/h Henri Fournier, William K. Vanderbilt, Fernand Gabriel and Baron de Forest enrolled for the Mors brand, who presented a daring new wind-splitting radiator on the classic bateau frames; the car was powerful, with 90 hp and a maximum speed of 140 km/h Mercedes deployed 11 cars, ranging from 60 to 90 hp. De Dietrich and many other French brands such as Gobron Billiè, Napier and Charron Girardot shunned the lightest classes and raced only with their most powerful and heavy models.
The smallest cars from those brands were still present in the hands of private racers. Other French brands included Darracq, De Dion-Bouton, Clément-Bayard, Décauville. Renault joined the race with two cars driven by Marcel Renault and Louis Renault, two founders of the brand and experienced drivers. Italian manufacturer Fiat presented only two cars, but could count on two of the best drivers of the time, Vincenzo Lancia and Luigi Storero. French newspapers were covered the race with great enthusiasm; the race was presented as the biggest race since the invention of the car, over 100,000 people managed to reach Versailles at 2 am for the race start. The first hundred of kilometers of the race track were crowded with spectators, rail stations were swarmed with people trying to reach Versailles; the crowd and the darkness convinced the organisers to delay the race start by half an hour, to reduce the delay between cars to just one minute. The day was expected to be hot, the officials wanted to avoid the heat of the late morning.
The starting point was in front of the Eau des Suisses at the gardens of Versailles. In the early morning of May 24, 1903, participants started at one minute inte
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Louis Renault (industrialist)
Louis Renault was a French industrialist, one of the founders of Renault and a pioneer of the automobile industry. Renault built one of France's largest automobile manufacturing concerns, which bears his name to this day. During World War I his factories contributed massively to the war effort notably so by the creation and manufacture of the first effective tank: the Renault FT tank. Accused of collaborating with the Germans during World War II, he died while awaiting trial in liberated France toward the end of 1944 under uncertain circumstances, his company was seized and nationalized by the provisional government of France although he died before he could be tried. His factories were the only ones permanently expropriated by the French government. In 1956, Time Magazine described Renault as "rich and famous, brilliant brutal, the little Napoleon of an automaking empire — vulgar, domineering, impatient, he was a terror to associates, a friend to none," adding that to the French working man, Renault became known as "the ogre of Billancourt."
The fourth of six children born into the bourgeois Parisian family of Alfred and Berthe Renault, Louis Renault attended Lycée Condorcet. He was fascinated by engineering and mechanics from an early age and spent hours in the Serpollet steam car workshop or tinkering with old Panhard engines in the tool shed of the family's second home in Billancourt, he built his first car in 1898, hiring a pair of workmen to modify a used 3⁄4 hp De Dion-Bouton cycle which featured a revolutionary universally jointed driveshaft and a three-speed gearbox with reverse, with the third gear in direct drive. Renault called his car the Voiturette. On 24 December 1898, he won a bet with his friends that his invention with an innovative crankshaft could beat a car with a bicycle-like chain drive up the slope of Rue Lepic in Montmartre; as well as winning the bet, Renault received 13 definite orders for the vehicle. Seeing the commercial potential, he teamed up with his two older brothers and Fernand, who had business experience from working in their father's button and textiles firm.
They formed the Renault Frères company on 25 February 1899. Business and administration was handled by the elder brothers, with Louis dedicating himself to design and manufacturing. Marcel was killed in the 1903 Paris-Madrid motor race, in 1908, Louis Renault took overall control of the company after Fernand retired for health reasons. Fernand subsequently died in 1909. On 26 September 1918 Renault aged 40, married the 21-year-old Christiane Boullaire, sister of French painter Jacques Boullaire, they had Jean-Louis. They kept homes at 90 Avenue Foch in Paris and a country estate near Saint-Pierre-du-Vauvray, Rouen, in the department of Eure, called the Chateau de la Batellerie à Herqueville or Chateau Herqueville; the Chateau fronted on more than 3 km of the Seine. At Renault's request and expense, the small town hall of Herqueville was moved. Renault's personnel entered the residence via an underground tunnel. Locations of Chateau Herqueville: 49°14′31.66″N 1°15′24.55″E See: Chateau Herqueville See: Chateau Herqueville See: Chateau Herqueville At the start of the First World War, in August 1914, in response to the acute shortage of artillery ammunition Renault suggested that car factories such as Renault could manufacture 75mm shells using hydraulic presses rather than with the usual longer and costlier lathe operations.
Identical methods were used by Andre Citroen in his own factory. The resulting shells helped overcome the shortages, but as they had to be manufactured in two pieces they were inherently weak at the base thus sometimes letting hot gases detonate the melinite inside the shell. Over 600 French 75mm guns were destroyed by premature explosions in 1915, their crews killed or injured. Louis Renault was decorated with the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur after the war for the major contribution of his factories to the war effort, his factories' mass production in 1918 of the revolutionary and effective Renault FT tank, which he had designed with Rodolphe Ernst-Metzmaier, was Renault's most significant contribution during that period. During the interwar period his right-wing opinions became well known, leading to various cases of labour unrest with proletarian avant-garde workers at the Boulogne Billancourt plant, he pleaded for a necessary union between European nations. Louis Renault competed fiercely with André Citroën, whom he called "le petit Juif", growing paranoid and reclusive at the same time, concerned about the rising power of Communism and labor unions retreating to his country estate, a castle on the river Seine near Rouen.
Renault remained in complete control of his company until 1942, dealing with its rapid expansion while designing several new inventions, most of which are still in use today, such as hydraulic shock absorbers, the modern drum brake and compressed gas ignition. In 1938, Renault visited Adolf Hitler, by 1939 he had become an important supplier for the French army. At the time Hitler's Wehrmacht invaded France in 1940, Louis Renault was in the US, sent by his government to ask for tanks, he returned to find the Franco-German armistice in place. Renault was faced with the choice of cooperating with the Germans and forestalling them from moving his factory and equipment to Germany, which would lead to an accusation of collaboration with the enemy, he put his factories at the service of Vichy France, which meant that he was assisting
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
Find a Grave
Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com. It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave posts the photo on its website; the site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton to support his hobby of visiting the burial sites of famous celebrities. He added an online forum. Find A Grave was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a trade name and incorporated in 2000; the site expanded to include graves of non-celebrities, in order to allow online visitors to pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends. In 2013, Tipton sold Find A Grave to Ancestry.com, saying that the genealogy company had "been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history." In a September 30, 2013, press release, Ancestry.com officials said they would "launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, other site improvements."As of October 2017, Find A Grave contained over 165 million burial records and 75 million photos.
In March 2017, a beta website for a redesigned Find A Grave was launched at gravestage.com. Public feedback was mixed. Sometime between May 29 and July 10 of that year, the beta website was migrated to new.findagrave.com, a new front end for it was deployed at beta.findagrave.com. In November 2017, the new site became the old site was deprecated. On August 20, 2018, the original Find; the website contains listings of graves from around the world. American cemeteries are organized by state and county, many cemetery records contain Google Maps and photographs of the cemeteries and gravesites. Individual grave records may contain dates and places of birth and death, biographical information and plot information and contributor information. Interment listings are added by individuals, genealogical societies, other institutions such as the International Wargraves Photography Project. Contributors must register as members to submit listings, called memorials, on the site; the submitter may transfer management.
Only the current manager of a listing may edit it, although any member may use the site's features to send correction requests to the listing's manager. Managers may add links to other listings of deceased spouses and siblings for genealogical purposes. Any member may add photographs and notations to individual listings. Members may post requests for photos of a specific grave. Although it does not ask permission from immediate family members before uploading the photos, it will remove and take down photos or a URL for a deceased loved one at the request of an immediate family member. Find A Grave maintains lists of memorials of famous persons by their "claim to fame", such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, educators. Find A Grave exercises editorial control over these listings. Canadian Headstones Interment.net United States National Cemetery System's nationwide gravesite locator Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Tombstone tourist Official website