Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland
The Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland was an élite German Army ceremonial and combat unit which saw action during World War II. Formed in 1921 it was known as the Wachregiment Berlin. Renamed Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland in 1939, the regiment served in the campaigns in France and the Low Countries, it served on the Eastern Front until the end of the war. It was destroyed near Pillau in May 1945. Großdeutschland is sometimes mistakenly perceived to be part of the Waffen-SS, whereas it was a unit of the regular German Army. In 1942 it was expanded into the Großdeutschland Division, the best-equipped division in the Wehrmacht, which received equipment before all other units, including some Waffen-SS units, it received its final name, Panzergrenadier-Regiment Großdeutschland, in 1943. After the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's ground forces, was limited to just 100,000 men; the Weimar Republic was far from secure. Veterans were forming private groups with their own political agendas. Communist and Fascist groups battled in the streets, the threat of political overthrow was to be taken seriously.
To offset the threat of revolution, the Wachregiment Berlin was founded in early 1921. Besides defending the fledgling republic, the Wachregiment was used for ceremonial and representative duties such as parades and guard duties in the capital; the Wachregiment was short-lived, was disbanded in June 1921. However, the unit was soon reformed as Kommando der Wachtruppe, a unit with the same duties as the Wachregiment; the Wachtruppe comprised seven companies, each drawn from one of the seven divisions permitted Germany by the treaty. Each company served for three months before returning to their parent division. In this way, the Wachtruppe represented the whole Reichswehr; the Kommando was based at Moabit Barracks, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, performed a changing of the guard ceremony for the public. This ceremony was quite modest, but on Sunday and Thursdays the entire Wachtruppe, accompanied by the regimental band, marched from the barracks through the Brandenburg Gate and to the War Memorial at the Neue Wache, similar to the changing of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace.
The Wachtruppe was left in place by the NSDAP leadership after Adolf Hitler's appointment as Chancellor in 1933. In 1934, the unit was renamed Wachtruppe Berlin and in 1936 the addition of a headquarters and administration company raised the unit size to eight companies. In June 1937, the unit was again renamed, this time to Wach Regiment Berlin; the recruitment system was reworked, with postings no longer on divisional lines, but instead individual soldiers were posted to the unit for 6-month tours of duty. A supply company was added to the Regiment's order of battle. In World War I, Germany had been more of a political concept than a nation, most divisions were still named for their region. Under the NSDAP, the country had been united as a true Deutschland, but this was only a part of the Party's plans for a Greater Germany, encompassing all Germanic peoples under one banner, with its capital in Berlin, to be renamed Germania it was to become a Großdeutschland; the Wach Regiment Berlin provided escorts and guards of honour for state visits and the Olympic Games.
Despite the fact that Hitler's personal security was in the hands of the SS Leibstandarte, on the outbreak of World War II a small detachment was drawn from the Wach Regiment to become Hitler's official state bodyguard. This unit was called the Führer Begleit battalion, was to be expanded to divisional size. In the months leading up to World War II, while the rest of the Wehrmacht Heer marched into The Saarland and Czechoslovakia, the men of Wach Regiment Berlin marched up and down Unter den Linden Strasse every Sunday; however they were not to stay out of the front lines for long. In the first week of 1939, Hitler ordered that the Wach Regiment be renamed Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland; the unit was now a permanent cadre, unlike other regiments of the German Army, the recruits of the Großdeutschland were to be drawn from across the nation. The unit was activated on 14 June 1939, the occasion was marked by a parade through the streets of the capital; the regiment was being reorganized in September 1939, did not take part in Fall Weiss, a fact that dented the pride of the regiment which bore the name of the nation on their sleeves.
However, in May 1940, the Regiment was attached to Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist's Panzergruppe Kleist and saw combat from the beginning of Fall Gelb, the invasion of the West, on 10 May 1940. On the first day of the invasion, the majority of the Großdeutschland regiment was attached to the 10th Panzer Division and engaged in fighting in Luxembourg in an attempt to outflank southern Belgian fortifications. Meanwhile, III. Battalion was involved in an airborne attack further north in Belgium; the regiment was involved in the crossing of the Meuse river. Near the town of Stonne, the regiment was involved in heavy fighting with French armoured forces, acquitted itself well; the regiment marched north towards Dunkirk, was involved in defeating the British counterattack at Arras. Großdeutschland was involved in holding the Dunkirk pocket, before being transferred south to join the attack across the Seine. During the rout of the French Ar
Soviet Census (1989)
The 1989 Soviet census, conducted between 12-19 January of that year, was the last one that took place in the former USSR. The census found the total population to be 286,730,819 inhabitants. In 1989, the Soviet Union ranked as the third most populous in the world, above the United States, although it was well behind China and India. In 1989, about half of the Soviet Union's total population lived in the Russian SFSR, one-sixth of them in Ukraine. Two-thirds of the population was urban, leaving the rural population with 34.3%. In this way, its gradual increase continued, as shown by the series represented by 47.9%, 56.3% and 62.3% of 1959, 1970 and 1979 respectively. The last two national censuses showed that the country had been experiencing an average annual increase of about 2.5 million people, although it was a slight decrease from a figure of around 3 million per year in the previous intercensal period, 1959-1970. This post-war increase had contributed to the USSR's partial demographic recovery from the significant population loss that the USSR had suffered during the Great Patriotic War, before it, during Stalin's Great Purge of 1936-1938.
The previous postwar censuses, conducted in 1959, 1970 and 1979, had enumerated 208,826,650, 241,720,134, 262,436,227 inhabitants respectively. In 1990, the Soviet Union was more populated than both the United States and Canada together, having some 40 million more inhabitants than the U. S. alone. However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991, the combined population of the 15 former Soviet republics stagnated at around 290 million inhabitants for the period 1995-2000; this significant slowdown may in part be due to the remarkable socio-economic changes that followed the disintegration of the USSR, that have tended to reduce more the decreasing birth rates. The next census was planned for 1999. Demographics of the Soviet Union Republics of the Soviet Union Soviet Census First All-Union Census of the Soviet Union Soviet Union Barbara A. Anderson and Brian D. Silver, "Growth and diversity of the population of the Soviet Union", The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 510, No.
1, 155-177, 1990. Ralph S. Clem, Ed. Research Guide to Russian and Soviet Censuses, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986. John C. Dewdney, "Population change in the Soviet Union, 1979-1989," Geography, Vol. 75, Pt. 3, No. 328, July 1990, 273-277. Subjects of Russia, on the www.statoids.com website
The Zusha River is a river in Tula and Oryol Oblast in Russia, a right tributary of the Oka River. The length of the river is 234 km; the area of its basin is 6,950 km². The Zusha stays icebound until late March; the Neruch River is its biggest tributary. The Zusha is navigable from Mtsensk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk in the Soviet Union, during July and August 1943. The battle began with the launch of the German offensive, Operation Citadel, on 5 July, which had the objective of pinching off the Kursk salient with attacks on the base of the salient from north and south simultaneously. After the German offensive stalled on the northern side of the salient, on 12 July the Soviets commenced their Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Kutuzov against the rear of the German forces in the northern side. On the southern side, the Soviets launched powerful counterattacks the same day, one of which led to a large armoured clash, the Battle of Prokhorovka. On 3 August, the Soviets began the second phase of the Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev against the German forces in the southern side of the Kursk salient; the battle was the final strategic offensive that the Germans were able to launch on the Eastern Front.
Because the Allied invasion of Sicily had begun, Adolf Hitler was forced to have troops training in France diverted to meet the Allied threat in the Mediterranean, rather than use them as a strategic reserve for the Eastern Front. Hitler canceled the offensive at Kursk in part to divert forces to Italy. Germany's extensive losses of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war; the Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off the forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The Kursk salient or bulge was 250 kilometres long from north to south and 160 kilometres from east to west; the plan envisioned an envelopment by a pair of pincers breaking through the northern and southern flanks of the salient. Hitler believed that a victory here would reassert German strength and improve his prestige with his allies, who were considering withdrawing from the war, it was hoped that large numbers of Soviet prisoners would be captured to be used as slave labour in the German armaments industry.
The Soviet government had foreknowledge of the German intentions, provided in part by the British intelligence service and Tunny intercepts. Aware months in advance that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient, the Soviets built a defence in depth designed to wear down the German armoured spearhead; the Germans delayed the offensive while they tried to build up their forces and waited for new weapons the new Panther tank but larger numbers of the Tiger heavy tank. This gave the Red Army time to construct a series of deep defensive belts; the defensive preparations included minefields, artillery fire zones and anti-tank strong points, which extended 300 km in depth. Soviet mobile formations were moved out of the salient and a large reserve force was formed for strategic counter-offensives; the Battle of Kursk was the first time in the Second World War that a German strategic offensive was halted before it could break through enemy defences and penetrate to its strategic depths.
The maximum depth of the German advance was 8–12 kilometres in the north and 35 kilometres in the south. Though the Red Army had succeeded in winter offensives their counter-offensives following the German attack at Kursk were their first successful strategic summer offensives of the war; as the Battle of Stalingrad ground to its conclusion, the Red Army moved to a general offensive in the south, in Operation Little Saturn. By January 1943, a 160 to 300 km wide gap had opened between Army Group B and Army Group Don, the advancing Soviet armies threatened to cut off all German forces south of the Don River, including Army Group A operating in the Caucasus. Army Group Center came under significant pressure as well. Kursk fell to the Soviets on 8 February 1943, Rostov fell on 14 February; the Soviet Bryansk and newly created Central Fronts prepared for an offensive which envisioned the encirclement of Army Group Center between Bryansk and Smolensk. By February 1943 the southern sector of the German front was in strategic crisis.
Since December 1942 Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had been requesting "unrestricted operational freedom" to allow him to use his forces in a fluid manner. On 6 February 1943, Manstein met with Hitler at the headquarters in Rastenburg to discuss the proposals he had sent, he received an approval from Hitler for a counteroffensive against the Soviet forces advancing in the Donbass region. On 12 February 1943, the remaining German forces were reorganised. To the south, Army Group Don was placed under Manstein's command. Directly to the north, Army Group B was dissolved, with its forces and areas of responsibility divided between Army Group South and Army Group Center. Manstein inherited responsibility for the massive breach in the German lines. On 18 February, Hitler arrived at Army Group South headquarters at Zaporizhia just hours before the Soviets liberated Kharkov, had to be hastily evacuated on the 19th. Once given freedom of action, Manstein intended to utilise his forces to make a series of counterstrokes into the flanks of the Soviet armoured formations, with the goal of destroying them while retaking Kharkov and Kursk.
The II SS Panzer Corps had arrived from France in January 1943, refitted and up to near full strength. Armoured units from the 1st Panzer Army of Army Group A had pulled out of the Caucasus and further strengthen
Mtsensky District is an administrative and municipal district, one of the twenty-four in Oryol Oblast, Russia. It is located in the north of the oblast; the area of the district is 1,665.8 square kilometers. Its administrative center is the town of Mtsensk. Population: 19,233. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Mtsensky District is one of the twenty-four in the oblast; the town of Mtsensk serves as its administrative center, despite being incorporated separately as a town of oblast significance—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the district is incorporated as Mtsensky Municipal District; the town of oblast significance of Mtsensk is incorporated separately from the district as Mtsensk Urban Okrug. Орловский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №522-ОЗ от 6 июля 2005 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Орловской области», в ред. Закона №1187-ОЗ от 1 апреля 2011 г «О внесении изменений в законодательные акты Орловской области».
Вступил в силу с момента официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Орловская правда", №116, 13 июля 2005 г.. Орловский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №434-ОЗ от 25 октября 2004 г. «О статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований на территории Мценского района Орловской области», в ред. Закона №1191-ОЗ от 1 апреля 2011 г. «О внесении изменений в некоторые законодательные акты Орловской области о статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Орловская правда", №196, 30 октября 2004 г.. Орловский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №435-ОЗ от 25 октября 2004 г. «О статусе и границе города Мценска как муниципального образования Орловской области», в ред. Закона №1077-ОЗ от 8 июня 2010 г «О внесении изменений в Закон Орловской области "О статусе и границе города Мценска как муниципального образования Орловской области"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Орловская правда", №196, 30 октября 2004 г
Oryol or Orel is a city and the administrative center of Oryol Oblast, located on the Oka River 360 kilometers south-southwest of Moscow. Population: 317,747 . While there are no historical records, archaeological evidence shows that a fortress settlement existed between the Oka and Orlik Rivers as early as the 12th century, when the land was a part of the Principality of Chernigov; the name of the fortress is unknown. In the 13th century the fortress became a part of the Zvenigorod district of the Karachev Principality. In the early 15th century, the territory was conquered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the city was soon abandoned by its population, after being sacked either by Lithuanians or the Golden Horde. The territory became a part of the Tsardom of Russia in the 16th century. Ivan the Terrible decreed that a new fortress be built on the spot in 1566, for the purpose of defending the southern borders of the country; the fortress was built speedily, work starting in the summer of 1566 and ending in the spring of 1567.
The location chosen was less than ideal strategically, as the fortress was located on a seasonally flooded low ground targeted from the neighboring high ground. False Dmitry I and his army passed through Oryol in 1605. Polish intervention sacked it in 1611 and 1615. Orlovsky Uyezd nonetheless continued to exist on paper. Oryol was rebuilt in 1636; the question of moving the fortress to the more advantageous high ground was in the air up until the 1670s, but the move was never made. The fortress was taken apart in the early 18th century. In the mid-18th century Oryol became one of the major centers of grain production, with the Oka River being the major trade route until the 1860s when it was replaced by a railroad. Oryol was granted town status in 1702. In 1708, Oryol was included as a part of Kiev Governorate; the Province was transferred to the newly created Belgorod Governorate in 1727. On March 11, 1778 Oryol Vice-Royalty was created from parts of Belgorod Governorates. In 1779, the city was entirely rebuilt based on a new plan.
After the October Revolution of 1917, the city was in Bolshevik hands, except for a brief period between October 13 and October 20, 1919, when it was controlled by Anton Denikin's White Army. Oryol was once again moved between different oblasts in the 1920s and 1930s becoming the administrative center of its own Oryol Oblast on September 27, 1937; the Oryol Prison was a notable place of incarceration for political prisoners and war prisoners of the Second World War. Christian Rakovsky, Maria Spiridonova, Olga Kameneva and 160 other prominent political prisoners were shot on September 11, 1941 on Joseph Stalin's orders in the Medvedev Forest massacre outside Oryol. During World War II, Oryol was occupied by the Wehrmacht on October 3, 1941, liberated on August 5, 1943, after the Battle of Kursk; the city was completely destroyed. In February 2012, the city duma abolished the direct election of mayor. In December 2013, a referendum was held, which 71% of the people supported the return of direct mayoral election.
Oryol is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Orlovsky District though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Oryol—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts; as a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Oryol is incorporated as Oryol Urban Okrug. The city is served by the Oryol Yuzhny Airport. Since 1868, there has been a railway connection between Moscow. Oryol is a major transport hub on the borders of the Central and Central Black Earth economic regions. Through the city converge 7 important highways of federal and republican values: M2, P92, R119, R120, A142, 5 railway lines: on Yelets, Kursk, Mikhailovsky mine; the city has an airport. The formation of the Oryol as an important transportation hub is due to the favorable geographical position of the city on the borders of economic regions.
The town has trolley and bus systems. These kinds of public transport cover the entire territory of the city; each bus and trolley is equipped with route indicators that inform about the route through the city, designated stops. There is a waterbus on the Oka River. In the city there are taxis and shuttles, rental cars. Intercity transport terminals: Oryol Station, Station Luzhki-Oryol, Oryol Bus Station, as well as federal highway M2, P92, R119, R120, A142. On November 3, 1898 Orel inaugurated an electric tram; the draft was prepared by the Belgian entrepreneur FF Gilon and firm «Compagnie mutuelle de tramways», which won the right to build not only a tram, but lighting in the city. Oryol has a humid continental climate. 1991–1997: Alexander Kislyakov 1997–2002: Yefim Velkovsky 2002–2006: Vasily Uvarov 2006–2009: Alexander Kasyanov 2009–2010: Vasily Eremin 2010–2012: Viktor Safianov 2012: Mikhail Bernikov 2012–2016: Sergey Stupin 2016–present: Vasily Novikov Oryol is twinned with: Brest, Belarus Ke
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. The state was founded by one of the polytheistic Baltic tribes from Aukštaitija; the Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine and Russia. At its greatest extent, in the 15th century, it was the largest state in Europe, it was a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, with great diversity in languages and cultural heritage. Consolidation of the Lithuanian lands began in the late 12th century. Mindaugas, the first ruler of the Grand Duchy, was crowned as Catholic King of Lithuania in 1253; the pagan state was targeted in the religious crusade by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas.
Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The reign of Vytautas the Great marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, it marked the rise of the Lithuanian nobility. After Vytautas's death, Lithuania's relationship with the Kingdom of Poland deteriorated. Lithuanian noblemen, including the Radvila family, attempted to break the personal union with Poland. However, unsuccessful wars with the Grand Duchy of Moscow forced the union to remain intact; the Union of Lublin of 1569 created a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the federation, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained its political distinctiveness and had separate government, laws and treasury; the federation was terminated by the passing of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, when there was supposed to be now a single country, the Commonwealth of Poland, under one monarch and one parliament.
Shortly afterward, the unitary character of the state was confirmed by adopting the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbours, with a truncated state remaining only nominally independent. After the Kościuszko Uprising, the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria in 1795; the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have the complete name of the state as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Samogitia. The title of "grand duchy" was applied to Lithuania from the 14th century onward. In other languages, the grand duchy is referred to as: Belarusian: Вялікае Княства Літоўскае German: Großfürstentum Litauen Estonian: Leedu Suurvürstiriik Latin: Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Latvian: Lieitija or Lietuvas Lielkņaziste Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė Old literary Lithuanian: Didi Kunigystė Lietuvos Polish: Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie Russian: Великое княжество Литовское Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское Ukrainian: Велике князiвство Литовське The first written reference to Lithuania is found in the Quedlinburg Chronicle, which dates from 1009.
In the 12th century, Slavic chronicles refer to Lithuania as one of the areas attacked by the Rus'. Pagan Lithuanians paid tribute to Polotsk, but they soon grew in strength and organized their own small-scale raids. At some point between 1180 and 1183 the situation began to change, the Lithuanians started to organize sustainable military raids on the Slavic provinces, raiding the Principality of Polotsk as well as Pskov, threatening Novgorod; the sudden spark of military raids marked consolidation of the Lithuanian lands in Aukštaitija. The Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights, crusading military orders, were established in Riga in 1202 and in Prussia in 1226; the Christian orders posed a significant threat to pagan Baltic tribes and further galvanized the formation of the state. The peace treaty with Galicia–Volhynia of 1219 provides evidence of cooperation between Lithuanians and Samogitians; this treaty lists 21 Lithuanian dukes, including five senior Lithuanian dukes from Aukštaitija and several dukes from Žemaitija.
Although they had battled in the past, the Lithuanians and the Žemaičiai now faced a common enemy. Živinbudas had the most authority and at least several dukes were from the same families. The formal acknowledgment of common interests and the establishment of a hierarchy among the signatories of the treaty foreshadowed the emergence of the state. Mindaugas, the duke of southern Lithuania, was among the five senior dukes mentioned in the treaty with Galicia–Volhynia; the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, reports that by the mid-1230s, Mindaugas had acquired supreme power in the whole of Lithuania. In 1236, the Samogitians, led by Vykintas, defeated the Livonian Order in the Battle of Saule; the Order was forced to become a branch of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, making Samogitia, a strip of land that separated Livonia from Prussia, the main target of both orders. The battle provided a break in the wars with the Knights, Lithuania exploited this situation, arranging attacks towards the Ruthenian provinces and annexing Navahrudak and Hrodna.
Belarusian historians consider that Mindаugas was invited to rule Navahrudak and that the union was peaceful. In 1248 a civil war broke out be