The Fokker T. VIII was a Dutch twin-engined torpedo bomber and reconnaissance floatplane developed in the late 1930s, which served in the Dutch and German air forces; the aircraft was developed on request from the Dutch Naval Aviation Service for use in the home waters and in the Dutch East Indies. The T. VIII W/G was a mid-winged monoplane with a three-part fuselage of oval cross-section which consisted of a light alloy nose, a centre section of wood and a tail of steel frame with a fabric covering; the wing was clad in plywood. In the T. VIII W/M variant; the undercarriage consisted of two floats of rustproof duralumin with six waterproof compartments and an auxiliary fuel tank in each. The aircraft went into production after the first flight in 1938 and eleven entered Dutch service. At the time of the German invasion in 1940, nine aircraft relocated to bases in France, on 22 May 1940 escaped to the UK to form the nucleus of No. 320 Squadron RAF, Coastal Command, based at Pembroke Dock in South Wales.
Lack of spares meant that these aircraft were retired. Meanwhile, the Germans completed the T. VIIIs still under construction at the Fokker factory, after evaluation at Travemünde, operated them in the Black Sea in the reconnaissance, air-sea rescue and anti-submarine role. Early on 6 May 1941 four men – former Lieutenant Govert Steen and Corporal Evert Willem Boomsma, both of the Army Aviation Brigade, along with Fokker technician Wijbert Lindeman, former Dutch Army Lieutenant Jan Beelaerts van Blokland – swam out to the Fokker T. VIIw TD+CL moored on the Minervahaven on the IJ in Amsterdam. At dawn they managed to take off and flew to England, evading British anti-aircraft fire, landing at Broadstairs, Kent. Beelaerts van Blokland and Lindeman joined the Princess Irene Brigade, with Beelaerts van Blokland becoming its commander during operations in Normandy, while Steen joined No. 129 Squadron RAF, flying 79 sorties before being shot down and killed on 5 June 1942. T. VIII W/G Mixed metal construction.
19 built. T. VIII W/M All-metal construction. 12 built. T. VIII W/C Larger version with more powerful engines. Five were captured and used by the Luftwaffe. FinlandFinnish Air Force ordered 5 T. VIII W/C but none were delivered. GermanyLuftwaffe operated several captured aircraft. NetherlandsNetherlands Naval Aviation Service United KingdomRoyal Air Force Data from Encyclopedia of Military AircraftGeneral characteristics Crew: 3 Length: 13 m Wingspan: 18 m Height: 5 m Gross weight: 5,000 kg Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-975-E3 Whirlwind 9-cyl. Air-cooled radial piston engines, 336 kW eachPerformance Maximum speed: 285 km/h at 3,000 m Range: 2,750 km Service ceiling: 6,800 m Armament 2 × 7.92 machine guns 600 kg of bombs or torpedoes Aircraft of comparable role and era Bloch MB.480 Blohm & Voss Ha 140 Hall XPTBH SNCAC NC.4-10 Related lists List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force List of aircraft of World War II List of military aircraft of Germany List of seaplanes and amphibious aircraft Notes Bibliography
Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium, its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres, of which 1,140 square kilometres is water, it has a population of about 380,000. Large parts of Zeeland are below sea level; the last great flooding of the area was in 1953. Tourism is an important economic activity. In the summer, its beaches make it a popular destination for tourists German tourists. In some areas, the population can be two to four times higher during the high summer season; the coat of arms of Zeeland shows a lion half-emerged from water, the text luctor et emergo. The country of New Zealand was named after Zeeland after it was sighted by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Nehalennia is a mythological goddess of an ancient religion known around the province of Zeeland, her worship dates back at least to the 2nd century BC, flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
She was a regional god, either Celtic or pre-Germanic – but sources differ on the culture that first worshipped her. During the Roman era, her main function appeared to be the protection of travelers seagoing travelers crossing the North Sea. Most of what is known about her mythology comes from the remains of carved stone offerings which have been dredged up from the Oosterschelde since 1970. Two more Nehalennia offering stones have been found in Cologne, Germany. Zeeland was a contested area between the counts of Holland and Flanders until 1299, when the last count of Holland died, the Counts of Hainaut gained control of the countship of Zeeland, followed by the counts of Bavaria and Habsburg. After 1585 Zeeland followed, as one of the 7 independent provinces, the fate of the Northern part of The Netherlands. In 1432 it became part of the Low Countries possessions of Philip the Good of Burgundy, the Seventeen Provinces. Through marriage, the Seventeen Provinces became the property of the Habsburgs in 1477.
In the Eighty Years' War, Zeeland was on the side of the Union of Utrecht, became one of the United Provinces. The area now called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was not part of Zeeland, but a part of the county of Flanders, conquered by the United Provinces, hence called Staats-Vlaanderen. After the French occupation and the formation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, the present province Zeeland was formed. During World War II, Zeeland was occupied by Nazi Germany between June 1940 and November 1944. In 1944, Zeeland was devastated by the Battle of the Scheldt and the Walcheren Landings, which brought about the Inundation of Walcheren, between British and Canadian forces, the occupying Germans; the catastrophic North Sea flood of 1953, which killed over 1800 people in Zeeland, led to the construction of the protective Delta Works. The province of Zeeland is a large river delta situated at the mouth of several major rivers, namely Scheldt and Meuse. Most of the province was reclaimed from the sea by inhabitants over time.
What used to be a muddy landscape, flooding at high tide and reappearing at low tide, became a series of small man-made hills that stayed dry at all times. The people of the province would connect the hills by creating dikes, which led to a chain of dry land that grew into bigger islands and gave the province its current shape; the shape of the islands has changed over time at the hands of both nature. The North Sea flood of 1953 inundated vast amounts of land that were only reclaimed; the subsequent construction of the Delta Works changed the face of the province. The infrastructure, although distinct by the number of bridges and dams, has not shaped the geography of the province so much as the geography of the province has shaped its infrastructure; the dams and bridges that are a vital part of the province's road system were constructed over the span of decades and came to replace old ferry lines. The final touch to this process came in 2003, it was the first solid connection between both banks of the Western Scheldt and ended the era of water separating the islands and peninsulas of Zeeland.
Zeeland consists of several peninsulas. These are, from north to south, Schouwen-Duiveland, Noord-Beveland and Zuid-Beveland, it includes a strip of land bordering the Belgian region of Flanders, the Zeelandic Flanders. The province of Zeeland has 13 municipalities: The largest cities are: Middelburg: 41.000, Vlissingen: 34.000, Goes: 27.000 and Terneuzen: 25.000 inhabitants. As of 1 January 2014, Zeeland has a population of 380,621 and a population density of 210/km2, it is the 12th most populous or least populous province and the 2nd least densely populated province of the Netherlands. Zeeland is a Protestant region. There are adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. After being long part of the vast Franco-Flemish Roman Catholic Diocese of Cambrai, Zeeland got its own bishopric, the Diocese of Middelburg, on 5 December 1559, suppressed in 1603, its territory being merged into the Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia, only to be'restored' on March 22, 1803 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Breda, prom
Royal Air Force Leuchars or RAF Leuchars was a Royal Air Force station located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the station was home to fighter aircraft which policed northern UK airspace; the station ceased to be an RAF station at 12:00 hrs on 31 March 2015 when it became Leuchars Station and control of the site was transferred to the British Army. Aviation at Leuchars dates back to 1911 with a balloon squadron of the Royal Engineers setting up a training camp in Tentsmuir Forest, they were soon joined in the skies by the'string and sealing wax' aircraft of the embryonic Royal Flying Corps. Like so many RAF stations, the airfield itself owes its existence to the stimulus of war, work began on levelling the existing site on Reres Farm in 1916. From the beginning, Leuchars was intended as a training unit, being termed a'Temporary Mobilisation Station' taking aircrew from initial flying training through to fleet co-operation work. Building was still under way when the Armistice was signed in 1918.
Much was made of Leuchars' maritime location when it was designated a Naval Fleet Training School to undertake the training of'naval spotting' crews who acted as eyes for the Royal Navy's capital ships. The unit was formally named'Royal Air Force Leuchars' on 16 March 1920, but retained its strong naval links; as the Navy embraced the value of aviation, the aircraft carrier was added to its inventory. Many of the flights dedicated to Leuchars were detached to such vessels for months at a time, with light and dark blue uniforms mixing together. At St Andrews, the citizens were not unaware of the potential uses of aviation and attempts were made to use aircraft as a means of transport for golfing enthusiasts. More successful were the barn-storming displays of the flying circuses which were popular in the town. In 1935, Leuchars became home to No. 1 Flying Training School and ranges for practice bombing were established in Tentsmuir Forest. As the war clouds gathered, its maritime position ensured that Leuchars would come to play a more warlike role.
1 FTS moved to RAF Netheravon and the station came under the control of Coastal Command. With the arrival of No. 224 and No. 233 Squadrons in August 1938 the station had an operational, rather than training, role for the first time. On 4 September 1939, a Lockheed Hudson of No. 224 Squadron attacked a Dornier Do 18 over the North Sea with inconclusive results but became the first British aircraft to engage the enemy in the Second World War. Leuchars was not to secure the romantic image of a Battle of Britain station, but rather settled to the routine of hour upon hour of maritime patrol which played a crucial part in Britain's ultimate victory. In February 1940, another No. 224 Squadron Hudson located the German prison ship the Altmark which allowed for its interception by HMS Cossack and the liberation of over 200 British prisoners. On 2 December 1943, a pigeon called Winkie became one of the first birds or animals to be awarded the Dickin Medal for helping rescue the crew of a ditched bomber from the station.
During Second World War, British Overseas Airways Corporation formed in November 1939 from Imperial Airways, British Airways Ltd operated a wartime route from RAF Leuchars to Stockholm. From 1943 BOAC used civilian-registered Mosquito aircraft. Noted for the carrying of ball-bearings from Sweden to the UK, the route returned RAF aircrew who had diverted to or made crash-landings in Swedish airfields during operations over Europe. Other aircraft types were used. Leuchars remained an active station to the end of the war, concentrating on anti-submarine and anti-shipping strikes. With the contraction of the Air Force in peacetime, life at Leuchars returned to a more gentle pace, hosting a school for general reconnaissance and the St Andrews University Air Squadron complete with de Havilland Tiger Moth. In May 1950 Leuchars entered the jet age as it passed from Coastal to RAF Fighter Command and Gloster Meteor of No. 222 Squadron made the station their new home. 1950 saw No. 43 Squadron arrive at Leuchars from RAF Tangmere with their Meteors, the start of a long-lasting association between the base and the'Fighting Cocks'.
In 1954 the fixed-wing aircraft had been joined by a flight of Bristol Sycamore helicopters for search and rescue duties. From the beginning, the flight proved a valuable adjunct to the civilian mountain and maritime rescue services, a role which continues to this day. There were two rescue launches based in Tayport. In July 1954, No. 43 Squadron converted to the new Hawker Hunter F.1 becoming the first squadron in the entire Royal Air Force to operate the type. No. 43 Squadron upgraded to Hunter FGA.9s in 1960 and were shortly relocated away to Cyprus the following year. No. 23 Squadron arrived in March 1963, equipped with all-weather Javelin FAW.9s. Leuchars' air-sea rescue services upgraded to Westland Whirlwind helicopters in 1964; the University Air Squadron was equipped with the de Havilland Chipmunk. As the Cold War reached its frostiest depths in the 1960s, the development of long-range aircraft allowed the Soviets regular incursion into British air space; this was countered by the use of the English Electric Lightning, with No. 23 Squadron taking delivery of Lightning F.3s in 1964 to be used in the interceptor role.
This was shortly followed by No. 74 Squadron relocating to Leuchars from RAF Coltishall in the same year being equipped with Lightning F.3s. No. 11 Squadron became the next Lightning squadron to be based at Leuchars when it reformed in April 1967 and replaced No. 74 Squadron who moved to RAF Ten
The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and operated by the RAF thereafter. The Hudson was a military conversion of the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra airliner, was the first significant aircraft construction contract for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation—the initial RAF order for 200 Hudsons far surpassed any previous order the company had received; the Hudson served throughout the war with Coastal Command but in transport and training roles as well as delivering agents into occupied France. They were used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force's anti-submarine squadrons and by the Royal Australian Air Force. In late 1937 Lockheed sent a cutaway drawing of the Model 14 to various publications, showing the new aircraft as a civilian aircraft and converted to a light bomber; this attracted the interest of various air forces and in 1938, the British Purchasing Commission sought an American maritime patrol aircraft for the United Kingdom to support the Avro Anson.
The British Puchasing Commission ordered 200 aircraft for use by the Royal Air Force and the first aircraft started flight trials from Burbank on 10 December 1938. The flight trials showed no major issues and deliveries to the RAF began on 15 February 1939. Production was speeded up after the British indicated they would order another 50 aircraft if the original 200 could be delivered before the end of 1939. Lockheed sub-contracted some parts assembly to Rohr Aircraft of San Diego and increased its workforce, the company produced the 250th aircraft seven and a half weeks before the deadline. A total of 350 Mk I and 20 Mk II Hudsons were supplied; these had two fixed Browning machine guns in the nose and two more in the Boulton Paul dorsal turret. The Hudson Mk III added one ventral and two beam machine guns and replaced the 1,100 hp Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9-cylinder radials with 1,200 hp versions; the Hudson Mk V and Mk VI were powered by the 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder two-row radial.
The RAF obtained 380 Mk IIIA and 30 Mk IV Hudsons under the Lend-Lease programme. By February 1939, RAF Hudsons began to be delivered equipping No. 224 Squadron RAF at RAF Leuchars, Scotland in May 1939. By the start of the war in September, 78 Hudsons were in service. Due to the United States' neutrality at that time, early series aircraft were flown to the Canada–US border and towed on their wheels over the border into Canada by tractors or horse drawn teams, before being flown to Royal Canadian Air Force airfields where they were dismantled and "cocooned" for transport as deck cargo, by ship to Liverpool; the Hudsons were supplied without the Boulton Paul dorsal turret, installed on arrival in the United Kingdom. Although outclassed by larger bombers, the Hudson achieved some significant feats during the first half of the war. On 8 October 1939, over Jutland, a Hudson became the first Allied aircraft operating from the British Isles to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Hudsons provided top cover during the Battle of Dunkirk.
On 27 August 1941, a Hudson of No. 269 Squadron RAF, operating from Kaldadarnes, Iceland and damaged the German submarine U-570 causing the submarine's crew to display a white flag and surrender – the aircraft achieved the unusual distinction of capturing a naval vessel. The Germans were taken prisoner and the submarine taken under tow when Royal Navy ships subsequently arrived on the scene. A PBO-1 Hudson of the United States Navy squadron VP-82 became the first US aircraft to destroy a German submarine, when it sank U-656 southwest of Newfoundland on 1 March 1942. U-701 was destroyed on 7 July 1942 while running on the surface off Cape Hatteras by a Hudson of the 396th Bombardment Squadron, United States Army Air Forces. A Hudson of No. 113 Squadron RCAF became the first aircraft of the RCAF's Eastern Air Command to sink a submarine, when Hudson 625 sank U-754 on 31 July 1942. A Royal Australian Air Force Hudson was involved in the Canberra air disaster of 1940, in which three ministers of the Australian government were killed.
In 1941, the USAAF began operating the Hudson. The US Navy operated 20 A-29s, redesignated the PBO-1. A further 300 were built as aircrew trainers, designated the AT-18. Following Japanese attacks on Malaya, Hudsons from No. 1 Squadron RAAF became the first Allied aircraft to make an attack in the Pacific War, sinking a Japanese transport ship, the Awazisan Maru, off Kota Bharu at 0118h local time, an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Its opponents found; the highest-scoring Japanese ace of the war, Saburō Sakai, praised the skill and fighting abilities of an RAAF Hudson crew killed in action over New Guinea after being engaged by nine highly-manoeuvrable Mitsubishi A6M Zeroes on 22 July 1942. The crew, captained by P/O Warren Cowan, in Hudson Mk IIIA A16–201 of No. 32 Squadron RAAF, was intercepted over Buna by nine Zeroes of the Tainan Kaigun Kōkūtai led by Sakai. The Hudson crew accomplished many aggressive and unexpected turns, engaging the Japanese pilots in a dogfight for more than 10 minutes.
RAF Second Tactical Air Force
The RAF Second Tactical Air Force was one of three tactical air forces within the Royal Air Force during and after the Second World War. It was made up of squadrons and personnel from the RAF, the air forces of the British Commonwealth and exiles from German-occupied Europe. Renamed as British Air Forces of Occupation in 1945, 2TAF was recreated in 1951 and became Royal Air Force Germany in 1959. 2TAF was formed on 1 June 1943 as HQ Tactical Air Force from Army Co-operation Command, in connection with preparations in train to invade Europe a year later. It took units from both Fighter Command and Bomber Command in order to form a force capable of supporting the Army in the field. Bomber Command provided No. 2 Group with light bombers. In addition, No. 38 Group for towing assault gliders and No. 140 Squadron, providing strategic photo-reconnaissance, were part of the tactical air force at its inception. 2TAF's first commander was Air Marshal Sir John d'Albiac, who, on 21 January 1944, was succeeded by the man most associated with Second TAF, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham.
Coningham had great experience of the type of operations required for supporting fast moving ground warfare due to his command of the Desert Air Force in North Africa and Italy. He honed Second TAF into a command up to the challenges presented to it, incorporated many of the lessons from Italy, including the use of the "cab rank" system for aircraft for close air support, into the doctrine of Second TAF; the 34th Reconnaissance Wing, commanded by Royal Navy Commodore E. C. Thornton, served as the air spotting pool for naval gunfire support throughout Operation Overlord; the wing included No. 2 Squadron RAF, No. 26 Squadron RAF, No. 63 Squadron RAF, No. 268 Squadron RAF, No. 414 Squadron RCAF, 808 Naval Air Squadron, 885 Naval Air Squadron, 886 Naval Air Squadron, 897 Naval Air Squadron, United States Navy VOS-7. By this late stage in the war, the Luftwaffe was but a pale shadow of the organisation it had once been. Second TAF spent its time supporting the British and Canadian forces on the left flank of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force's command.
One notable exception was the last great attack of the Luftwaffe, Operation Bodenplatte, mounted on New Year's Day 1945, when the Second TAF suffered serious losses on the ground. On 20 January 1945, four Gloster Meteors jets from 616 Squadron were moved to Melsbroek in Belgium and attached to the Second Tactical Air Force. In February 1945 No. 87 Group RAF was established, a transport formation. It became part of 2nd TAF/BAFO, but was reduced to No. 87 Wing RAF on 15 July 1946. The Second TAF was renamed as the British Air Forces of Occupation on 15 July 1945, it began as a large force of four groups but No. 2 Group disbanded on 1 May 1947. On 1 April 1946, No. 41 Squadron was renumbered as No. 26 Squadron at Wunstorf and flew Spitfires and Hawker Tempests until April 1949, when it was re-equipped with de Havilland Vampires. By the end of 1947, 2TAF had shrunk to ten squadrons at three airfields, all directly under control of the Air Headquarters at Bad Eilsen. In 1951, the British Air Forces of Occupation reverted to their former name with the re-creation of the Second Tactical Air Force on 1 September 1951.
No. 2 Group was transferred again to Second Tactical Air Force on 1 September 1951, but was disbanded on 15 November 1958. No. 83 Group RAF controlled 2TAF's southern area from 1952 to 1958. On 1 July 1956, No. 2 Group appeared to encompass wings at Ahlhorn, RAF Fassberg, Jever, Laarbruch, RAF Oldenburg, RAF Wunstorf, while No. 83 Group directed wings at RAF Bruggen, Celle, RAF Geilenkichen, RAF Wahn, RAF Wildenrath. The Second Tactical Air Force was redesignated Royal Air Force Germany on 1 January 1959, at which point C.-in-C. RAF Germany became commander of the NATO Second Allied Tactical Air Force. In November 1953, now at RAF Oldenburg, No. 26 Squadron was converted to Sabres, converting again to Hunters in July 1955, remained a day-fighter unit until it was disbanded on 10 September 1957. It was reformed with Hawker Hunters at RAF Gutersloh on 7 June 1958 but was disbanded again on 30 December 1960. 1 June 1943 Air Marshal Sir John D'Albiac 21 January 1944 Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham 15 July 1945 Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas 1 February 1946 Air Marshal Sir Philip Wigglesworth 30 October 1948 Air Marshal Sir Thomas Williams 1 October 1951 Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Foster 3 December 1953 Air Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst 22 January 1956 Air Marshal The Earl of Bandon 1 June 1957 - Air Marshal Sir Humphrey Edwardes-Jones 1 January 1959 - Air Marshal Sir Humphrey Edwardes-Jones 7 January 1961 - Air Marshal Sir John Grandy 25 June 1963 - Air Marshal Sir Ronald Lees 6 December 1965 - Air Marshal Sir Denis Spotswood 16 July 1968 - Air Marshal Christopher Foxley-Norris 10 November 1970 - Air Marshal Harold Brownlow Martin 4 April 1973 - Air Marshal Nigel Maynard 19 January 1976 - Air Marshal Sir Michael Beetham 25 July 1977 - Air Marshal Sir John Stacey 30 April 1979 - Air Marshal Sir Peter Terry 2 February 1981 - Air Marshal Sir Thomas Kennedy 9 April 1983 - Air Marshal Sir Patrick Hine 1 July 1985 - Air Marshal Sir David Parry-Evans 13 April 1987 - Air Marshal Sir Anthony Skingsley 14 April 1989 - Air Marshal Sir Roger Palin 22 April 1991 - Air Marshal Sir Andrew Wilson RAF First Tactical Air Force RAF Third Tactical Air Force Air o
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen