The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar; the official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself; the Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was known as Germany. Germany became a de facto republic on 9 November 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated the German and Prussian thrones with no agreement made on a succession by his son Crown Prince Wilhelm, became a de jure republic in February 1919 when the position of President of Germany was created. A national assembly was convened in Weimar, where a new constitution for Germany was written and adopted on 11 August 1919. In its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism as well as contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War.
Resentment in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles was strong on the political right where there was great anger towards those who had signed the Treaty and submitted to fulfill the terms of it. The Weimar Republic fulfilled most of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles although it never met its disarmament requirements and paid only a small portion of the war reparations. Under the Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the western borders of the country by abandoning irredentist claims on France and Belgium, but continued to dispute the eastern borders and sought to persuade German-speaking Austria to join Germany as one of Germany's states. From 1930 onwards President Hindenburg used emergency powers to back Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen and General Kurt von Schleicher; the Great Depression, exacerbated by Brüning's policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment. In 1933, Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the Nazi Party being part of a coalition government.
The Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the "éminence grise" who would keep Hitler under control, using his close personal connection to Hindenburg. Within months, the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency: it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitler's seizure of power was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation; these events brought the republic to an end – as democracy collapsed, the founding of a single-party state began the dictatorship of the Nazi era. The Weimar Republic is so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar, from 6 February 1919 to 11 August 1919, but this name only became mainstream after 1933. Between 1919 and 1933 there was no single name for the new state that gained widespread acceptance, why the old name Deutsches Reich remained though hardly anyone used it during the Weimar period.
To the right of the spectrum the politically engaged rejected the new democratic model and cringed to see the honour of the traditional word Reich associated with it. The Catholic Centre party, Zentrum favoured the term Deutscher Volksstaat while on the moderate left the Chancellor's SPD preferred Deutsche Republik. By 1925, Deutsche Republik was used by most Germans, but for the anti-democratic right the word Republik was, along with the relocation of the seat of power to Weimar, a painful reminder of a government structure, imposed by foreign statesmen, along with the expulsion of Kaiser Wilhelm in the wake of massive national humiliation; the first recorded mention of the term Republik von Weimar came during a speech delivered by Adolf Hitler at a National Socialist German Worker's Party rally in Munich on 24 February 1929—it was a few weeks that the term Weimarer Republik was first used in a newspaper article. Only during the 1930s did the term become mainstream, both within and outside Germany.
According to historian Richard J. Evans: The continued use of the term'German Empire', Deutsches Reich, by the Weimar Republic....conjured up an image among educated Germans that resonated far beyond the institutional structures Bismarck created: the successor to the Roman Empire. After the introduction of the republic, the flag and coat of arms of Germany were altered to reflect the political changes; the Weimar Republic without the symbols of the former Monarchy. This left the black eagle with one head, facing to the right, with open wings but closed feathers, with a red beak and claws and white highlighting. By reason of a decision of the Reich's Government I hereby announce, that the Imperial coat of arms on a gold-yellow shield shows the one headed black eagle, the head turned to the right, the wings open but with closed feathering, beak and claws in red color. If the Reich's Eagle is shown without a frame, the same charg
National People's Army
The National People's Army was the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic from 1956 to 1990. The NVA was organized into four branches: the Landstreitkräfte, the Volksmarine, the Luftstreitkräfte, the Grenztruppen; the NVA belonged to the Ministry of National Defence and commanded by the National Defense Council of East Germany, headquartered in Strausberg 30 kilometers east of East Berlin. From 1962, conscription was mandatory for all GDR males aged between 18 and 60 requiring an 18-month service, was the only Warsaw Pact military to offer non-combat roles to conscientious objectors, known as "construction soldiers"; the NVA reached 175,300 personnel at its peak in 1987. The NVA was formed on 1 March 1956 to succeed the Kasernierte Volkspolizei and influenced by the Soviet Army, becoming one of the Warsaw Pact militaries opposing NATO during the Cold War; the majority of NATO officers rated the NVA the best military in the Warsaw Pact based on discipline, thoroughness of training, the quality of officer leadership.
The NVA did not see significant combat but participated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, deployed military advisors to communist governments in other countries, manned the Berlin Wall where they were responsible for numerous deaths. The NVA was dissolved on 2 October 1990 with the GDR before German reunification; the German Democratic Republic established the National People's Army on 1 March 1956 from the Kasernierte Volkspolizei. This formation culminated years of preparation during which former Wehrmacht officers and communist veterans of the Spanish Civil War helped organize and train paramilitary units of the People's Police. Though the NVA featured a German appearance – including uniforms and ceremonies patterned after older German military traditions – its doctrine and structure showed the strong influence of the Soviet Armed Forces. During its first year, about 27 percent of the NVA's officer corps had served in the Wehrmacht. Of the 82 highest command positions, ex-Wehrmacht officers held 61.
The military knowledge and combat experience of these veterans were indispensable in the NVA's early years, although by the 1960s most of these World War II veterans had retired. In its first six years the NVA operated as an all-volunteer force; the GDR introduced conscription in 1962. According to the Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security: the NVA was incorporated in the Warsaw Pact and consisted of army, air force/air defense, the People’s Navy. At its peak in 1987, the three NVA services had about 156,000 men under arms altogether. Between 1956 and 1990, about 2.5 million male GDR citizens performed army duty. Like the ruling communist parties of other Soviet satellites, the East German Socialist Unity Party of Germany assured control by appointing loyal party members to top positions and by organizing intensive political education for all ranks; the proportion of SED members in the officer corps rose after the early 1960s reaching 95 percent. The NVA saw itself as the "instrument of power of the working class".
According to its doctrine, the NVA protected peace and secured the achievements of socialism by maintaining a convincing deterrent to imperialist aggression. The NVA's motto, inscribed on its flag, read: "For the Protection of the Workers and Farmers' Power"; the NVA never took part in full-scale combat, although it participated in a support role in the suppression of the Prague Spring of 1968, NVA officers served as combat advisers in Africa. Some of the first NVA advisors went to the Republic of the Congo in 1973. During the 1980s at various times the NVA had advisors in Algeria, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mozambique, South Yemen, Syria; when the Soviet Union prepared to occupy Czechoslovakia in 1968, the GDR government committed the 7th Panzer Division and the 11th Motorised Infantry Division to support the intervention, becoming the first deployment of German troops outside Germany for the first time since the Second World War. But the East German participation raised Czech ire, the two divisions were "kept out of sight in the Bohemian forests" and allowed to travel only at night.
In a few days they were withdrawn. In the early 1970s the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany high command assigned to the NVA the wartime mission of capturing West Berlin; the NVA plan for the operation, designated "Operation Centre", called for some 32,000 troops in two divisions, accompanied by the GSFG's Soviet 6th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. The plan was updated until 1988, when a less ambitious plan that aimed at containing Berlin was substituted. In the autumn of 1981 the NVA stood ready to intervene in Poland in support of a possible Soviet invasion, but the declaration of martial law in Poland averted the crisis; the NVA went into a state of heightened combat readiness on several occasions, including the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, for the last time, in late 1989 as protests swept through the GDR. The NVA operated as a professional
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
Psychological warfare, or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations, have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, "Hearts and Minds", propaganda. The term is used "to denote any action, practiced by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people". Various techniques are used, are aimed at influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, motives, reasoning, or behavior, it is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states. Target audiences can be governments, organizations and individuals, is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can be targeted by technology and media so as to cause an effect in the government of their country.
In Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, Jacques Ellul discusses psychological warfare as a common peace policy practice between nations as a form of indirect aggression. This type of propaganda drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion; this form of aggression is hard to defend against because no international court of justice is capable of protecting against psychological aggression since it cannot be adjudicated. "Here the propagandists is dealing with a foreign adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his beliefs and actions." Since prehistoric times and chiefs have recognised the importance of weakening morale of opponents. In the Battle of Pelusium between the Persian Empire and ancient Egypt, the Persian forces used cats and other animals as a psychological tactic against the Egyptians, who avoided harming cats due to religious belief and spells. Currying favour with supporters was the other side of psychological warfare, an early practitioner of such this was Alexander the Great, who conquered large parts of Europe and the Middle East and held on to his territorial gains by co-opting local elites into the Greek administration and culture.
Alexander left some of his men behind in each conquered city to introduce Greek culture and oppress dissident views. His soldiers were paid dowries to marry locals in an effort to encourage assimilation. Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th century AD employed less subtle techniques. Defeating the will of the enemy before having to attack and reaching a consented settlement was preferable to facing his wrath; the Mongol generals demanded submission to the Khan, threatened the captured villages with complete destruction if they refused to surrender. If they had to fight to take the settlement, the Mongol generals fulfilled their threats and massacred the survivors. Tales of the encroaching horde spread to the next villages and created an aura of insecurity that undermined the possibility of future resistance; the Khan employed tactics that made his numbers seem greater than they were. During night operations he ordered each soldier to light three torches at dusk to give the illusion of an overwhelming army and deceive and intimidate enemy scouts.
He sometimes had objects tied to the tails of his horses, so that riding on open and dry fields raised a cloud of dust that gave the enemy the impression of great numbers. His soldiers used arrows specially notched to whistle as they flew through the air, creating a terrifying noise. Another tactic favoured by the Mongols was catapulting severed human heads over city walls to frighten the inhabitants and spread disease in the besieged city's closed confines; this was used by the Turko-Mongol chieftain. The Muslim caliph Omar, in his battles against the Byzantine Empire, sent small reinforcements in the form of a continuous stream, giving the impression that a large force would accumulate if not swiftly dealt with. During the early Qin dynasty and late Eastern Zhou dynasty in 1st Century AD China, the Empty Fort Strategy was used to trick the enemy into believing that an empty location is an ambush, in order to prevent them from attacking it using reverse psychology; this tactic relied on luck should the enemy believe that the location is a threat to them.
In the 6th century BCE Greek Bias of Priene resisted the Lydian king Alyattes by fattening up a pair of mules and driving them out of the besieged city. When Alyattes' envoy was sent to Priene, Bias had piles of sand covered with corn to give the impression of plentiful resources; this ruse appears to have been well known in medieval Europe: defenders in castles or towns under siege would throw food from the walls to show besiegers that provisions were plentiful. A famous example occurs in the 8th-century legend of Lady Carcas, who persuaded the Franks to abandon a five-year siege by this means and gave her name to Carcassonne as a result; the start of modern psychological operations in war is dated to the World War I. By that point, Western societies were educated and urbanized, mass media was available in the form of large circulation newspapers and posters, it was possible to transmit propaganda to the enemy via the use of airborne leaflets or through explosive delivery systems like modified artillery or mortar rounds.
At the start of the war, the belligerents the British and Germans, began distributing propaganda, both domestically and on the Western front. The British had several advantages that allowed them to succeed in the battle for wor
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe; the designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the used term Reichswehr, was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler's most overt and audacious moves was to establish the Wehrmacht, a modern offensively-capable armed force, fulfilling the Nazi regime's long-term goals of regaining lost territory as well as gaining new territory and dominating its neighbors; this required the reinstatement of conscription, massive investment and defense spending on the arms industry. The Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany's politico-military power. In the early part of the Second World War, the Wehrmacht employed combined arms tactics to devastating effect in what became known as a Blitzkrieg, its campaigns in France, the Soviet Union, North Africa are regarded as acts of boldness.
At the same time, the far-flung advances strained the Wehrmacht's capacity to the breaking point, culminating in the first major defeat in the Battle of Moscow. The operational art was no match to the war-making abilities of the Allied coalition, making the Wehrmacht's weaknesses in strategy and logistics apparent. Cooperating with the SS and the Einsatzgruppen, the German armed forces committed numerous war crimes and atrocities, despite denials and promotion of the myth of the Clean Wehrmacht; the majority of the war crimes were committed in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy, as part of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, the Holocaust and Nazi security warfare. During the war about 18 million men served in the Wehrmacht. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, German forces had lost 11,300,000 men, about half of whom were missing or killed during the war. Only a few of the Wehrmacht's upper leadership were tried for war crimes, despite evidence suggesting that more were involved in illegal actions.
The majority of the three million Wehrmacht soldiers who invaded the USSR participated in committing war crimes. The German term "Wehrmacht" stems from the compound word of German: wehren, "to defend" and Macht, "power, force", it has been used to describes any nation's armed forces. The Frankfurt Constitution of 1849 designated all German military forces as the "German Wehrmacht", consisting of the Seemacht and the Landmacht. In 1919, the term Wehrmacht appears in Article 47 of the Weimar Constitution, establishing that: "The Reich's President holds supreme command of all armed forces of the Reich". From 1919, Germany's national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, a name, dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 21 May 1935. In January 1919, after World War I ended with the signing of the armistice of 11 November 1918, the armed forces were dubbed Friedensheer. In March 1919, the national assembly passed a law founding a 420,000-strong preliminary army, the Vorläufige Reichswehr; the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced in May, in June, Germany signed the treaty that, among other terms, imposed severe constraints on the size of Germany's armed forces.
The army was limited to one hundred thousand men with an additional fifteen thousand in the navy. The fleet was to consist of at most six battleships, six cruisers, twelve destroyers. Submarines and heavy artillery were forbidden and the air-force was dissolved. A new post-war military, the Reichswehr, was established on 23 March 1921. General conscription was abolished under another mandate of the Versailles treaty; the Reichswehr was limited to 115,000 men, thus the armed forces, under the leadership of Hans von Seeckt, retained only the most capable officers. The American historians Alan Millet and Williamson Murray wrote "In reducing the officers corps, Seeckt chose the new leadership from the best men of the general staff with ruthless disregard for other constituencies, such as war heroes and the nobility". Seeckt's determination that the Reichswehr be an elite cadre force that would serve as the nucleus of an expanded military when the chance for restoring conscription came led to the creation of a new army, based upon, but different from, the army that existed in World War I.
In the 1920s, Seeckt and his officers developed new doctrines that emphasized speed, combined arms and initiative on the part of lower officers to take advantage of momentary opportunities. Though Seeckt retired in 1926, the army that went to war in 1939 was his creation. Germany was forbidden to have an air force by the Versailles treaty; these officers saw the role of an air force as winning air superiority and strategic bombing and providing ground support. That the Luftwaffe did not develop a strategic bombing force in the 1930s was not due to a lack of interest, but because of economic limitations; the leadership of the Navy led by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, a close protégé of Alfred von Tirpitz, was dedicated to the idea of reviving Tirpitz's High Seas Fleet. Officers who believed in submarine warfare led by Admiral Karl Dönitz were in a minority before 1939. By 1922
Flag of Germany
The flag of Germany or German flag is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black and gold. The flag was first adopted as the national flag of modern Germany in 1919, during the Weimar Republic, until 1933. Since the 19th century, Germany has two competing traditions of national colours, black-red-gold and black-white-red. Black-red-gold were the colours of the 1848 Revolutions, the Weimar Republic of 1919-1933 and the Federal Republic, they were adopted by the German Democratic Republic, since 1959, with an additional coat of arms. The colours black-white-red appeared for the first time only in 1867, in the constitution of the North German Confederation; this nation state for Prussia and other north and central German states was expanded to the south German states in 1870/1871, under the name German Empire. It kept these colours until the revolution of 1918/1919. Thereafter, black-white-red became a symbol of the political right the radical right.
The national socialists in 1933 re-established these colours along with the party's own swastika flag. After World War II, black-white-red was still used by some conservative groups or by groups of the far right - as it is not forbidden, unlike proper national socialist symbols. Black-red-gold is the official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany; as an official symbol of the constitutional order, it is protected against defamation. According to §90 of the German penal code, the consequences are a fine or imprisonment up to five years; the German association with the colours black and gold surfaced in the radical 1840s, when the black-red-gold flag was used to symbolize the movement against the Conservative European Order, established after Napoleon's defeat. There are many theories in circulation regarding the origins of the colour scheme used in the 1848 flag, it has been proposed that the colours were those of the Jena Students' League, one of the radically minded Burschenschaften banned by Metternich in the Carlsbad Decrees.
Another claim goes back to the uniforms of the Lützow Free Corps, comprising university students and formed during the struggle against the occupying forces of Napoleon. Whatever the true explanation, these colours soon came to be regarded as the national colours of Germany during this brief period, after their reintroduction during the Weimar period, they have become synonymous with liberalism in general; the colours appear in the medieval Reichsadler. The German national flag or Bundesflagge, containing only the black-red-gold tricolour, was introduced as part of the German constitution in 1949. Following the creation of separate government and military flags in years, the plain tricolour is now used as the German civil flag and civil ensign; this flag is used by non-federal authorities to show their connection to the federal government, e.g. the authorities of the German states use the German national flag together with their own flag. The government flag of Germany is known as the Dienstflagge der Bundesbehörden or Bundesdienstflagge for short.
Introduced in 1950, the government flag is the civil flag defaced with the Bundesschild, which overlaps with up to one fifth of the black and gold bands. The Bundesschild is a variant of the coat of arms of Germany, whose main differences are the illustration of the eagle and the shape of the shield: the Bundesschild is rounded at the base, whereas the standard coat of arms is pointed; the government flag may only be used by federal government authorities and its use by others is an offence, punishable with a fine. However, public use of flags similar to the Bundesdienstflagge is tolerated, such flags are sometimes seen at international sporting events. In addition to the normal horizontal format, many public buildings in Germany use vertical flags. Most town halls fly their town flag together with the national flag in this way; the proportions of these vertical flags are not specified. In 1996, a layout for the vertical version of the government flag was established, that co-incidentally matched the pattern of the "conventional" black-red-gold flag of the Principality of Reuss-Gera from 1806–1918: the Bundesschild is displayed in the centre of the flag, overlapping with up to one fifth of the black and gold bands.
When hung like a banner or draped, the black band should be on the left. When flown from a vertical flagpole, the black band must face the staff. Since the German armed forces are a federal authority, the Bundesdienstflagge is used as the German war flag on land. In 1956, the Dienstflagge der Seestreitkräfte der Bundeswehr was introduced: the government flag ending in swallowtail; this naval flag is used as a navy jack. Article 22 of the German constitution, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, states: The federal flag shall be black and gold. Following specifications set by the German government in 1950, the flag displays three bars of equal width and has a width–length ratio of 3:5. At the t
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin; the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a great power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, which became a military power under Frederick William, known as "The Great Elector". Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great, the third son of Frederick William I. Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War, holding his own against Austria, Russia and Sweden and establishing Prussia's role in the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power.
After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a major power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles, many wars; because of its power, Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule, although whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain was an ongoing question. After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of more unifying the many German states caused revolution throughout the German states, with each wanting their own constitution. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful member states and Austria; the North German Confederation, which lasted from 1867 to 1871, created a closer union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent. The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were used in the German Empire.
The German Empire lasted from 1871 to 1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony, this was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those, against unification. In 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the unified German Reich and as such a direct ancestor of today's Federal Republic of Germany; the formal abolition of Prussia, carried out on 25 February 1947 by the fiat of the Allied Control Council referred to an alleged tradition of the kingdom as a bearer of militarism and reaction, made way for the current setup of the German states. However, the Free State of Prussia, which followed the abolition of the Kingdom of Prussia in the aftermath of World War I, was a major democratic force in Weimar Germany until the nationalist coup of 1932 known as the Preußenschlag.
The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which has become one of the largest cultural organisations in the world. In 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. After the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states, including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia; the towns were poverty stricken, with the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade. Poverty in these towns was caused by Prussia's neighbours, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns could not compete; these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these towns gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west, allowed the urban middle class of Brandenburg to prosper.
It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, as it faced two dangers that the other German territories did not, partition from within and the threat of invasion by its neighbours. It prevented partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea, which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories; the second issue was resolved through expansion. Brandenburg was surrounded on every side by neighbours whose boundaries were political. Any neighbour could consume Brandenburg at any moment; the only way to defend herself was to absorb her neighbours. Through negotiations and marriages Brandenburg but expanded her borders, absorbing neighbours and eliminating the threat of attack; the Hohenzollerns were made rulers of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1518. In 1529 the Hohenzollerns secured the reversion of the Duchy of Pomerania after a series of conflicts, acquired its eastern part following the Peace of Westphalia. In 1618 the Hohenzollerns inherited the Duchy of Prussia, since 1511 ruled by Hohenzollern Albrecht of Brandenburg Prussia, who in 1525 converted the Teutonic Order ruled state to a Protestant Duchy by accepting fiefdom of the crown of Poland.
It was ruled in a personal union with Brandenburg