Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea
Polish Legions in World War I
The Polish Legions was a name of the Polish military force established in August 1914 in Galicia soon after World War I erupted between the opposing alliances of the Triple Entente on one side. The Legions became "a founding myth for the creation of modern Poland" in spite of their short existence. General Haller escaped to France to form the Polish army in the West against the anti-Polish German-Bolshevik treaty; the Legions took part in many battles against the forces of the Imperial Russia, both in Galicia and in the Carpathian Mountains. They suffered, they captured Kielce, in 1915 took part in the offensive on Warsaw. In June 1916 the unit had 25,000 soldiers. Both the number of troops and the composition of units changed rapidly. After the Battle of Kostiuchnówka where 2,000 Polish soldiers died delaying a Russian offensive Józef Piłsudski demanded that the Central Powers issue a guarantee of independence for Poland and succeeded; the Polish Legions became the Polish Auxiliary Corps. After the Act of 5th November of 1916 which pronounced the creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland of 1916–18, the Polish Legions were transferred under German command.
However, most of the members refused to swear allegiance to the German Kaiser and were interned in Beniaminów and Szczypiorno. 3,000 of them were drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army and the failed German Polnische Wehrmacht, while 7,500 stayed in the Austrian Polish Auxiliary Corps. They were sent to the Italian Front; the formation of the Legions was declared by Józef Piłsudski in his order of August 22, 1914. The Austrian government, having jurisdiction over the area agreed to the formation August 27, 1914; the unit became an independent formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army thanks to the efforts of the KSSN and the Polish members of the Austrian parliament. Personnel came from former members of various scouting organisations, including Drużyny Strzeleckie and Związek Strzelecki, as well from as volunteers from all around the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the Polish Legions were composed of two legions: the Eastern and the Western Legion, both formed on August 27. After a Russian victory in the Battle of Galicia the Eastern Polish legion refused to fight on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian side against Russia and was disbanded on September 21.
On December 19, the Western legion was transformed into three brigades: the I Brigade of the Polish Legions under Józef Piłsudski, formed in mid-December. All brigades had the following: Artillery Battalions with served with I, II, III Brigade Cavalry Regiments: 1st served in I Brigade. After the war ended the officers of the Polish Legions became the backbone of the Polish Army. Below is a list of prominent Polish battles against the Imperial Russian Army in 1914–16, leading to victories in most cases, with notable exceptions during the Brusilov Offensive of 1916. Battle of Nowy Korczyn Battle of Anielin-Laski Battle of Mołotkowo Battle of Krzywopłoty Battle of Marcinkowice Battle of Łowczówek Battle of Pustki Battle of Konary Battle of Rafajłowa Kirlibaba Rarańcza Battle of Rokitna Battle of Jastków Battle of Kostiuchnówka Battle of Rarańcza Following the foundation of the Second Polish Republic, many served in the Polish Army, held political as well as elected offices. Polish Legions Stanisław Skarżyński Czesław Zbierański Association of the Polish Youth "Zet" Blue Army First Cadre Company Greater Poland Uprising Kingdom of Poland List of Polish divisions in World War I My Pierwsza Brygada Polish Army Veterans' Association in America Polish Auxiliary Corps Polish I Corps in Russia Polish II Corps in Russia Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division Polish Military Organisation Polish Rifle Squads Polska Siła Zbrojna Riflemen's Association Union of Active Struggle The Seven Lancers of Belina Centek, Jarosław: Polish Legions, in: 1914-1918-online.
International Encyclopedia of the First World War. Brudek, Paweł: Polish Legionaries Union, in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War
The Central Powers, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria—hence known as the Quadruple Alliance —was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I. It was defeated by the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente; the Powers' origin was the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1879. Despite having nominally joined the Triple Alliance before, Italy did not take part in World War I on the side of the Central Powers; the Central Powers consisted of the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the beginning of the war. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in 1914. In 1915, the Kingdom of Bulgaria joined the alliance; the name "Central Powers" is derived from the location of these countries. Finland and Lithuania joined them in 1918 before the war ended and after the Russian Empire collapsed The Central Powers were composed of the following nations: In early July 1914, in the aftermath of the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the immediate likelihood of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German government informed the Austro-Hungarian government that Germany would uphold its alliance with Austria-Hungary and defend it from possible Russian intervention if a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia took place.
When Russia enacted a general mobilization, Germany viewed the act as provocative. The Russian government promised Germany that its general mobilization did not mean preparation for war with Germany but was a reaction to the events between Austria-Hungary and Serbia; the German government regarded the Russian promise of no war with Germany to be nonsense in light of its general mobilization, Germany, in turn, mobilized for war. On 1 August, Germany sent an ultimatum to Russia stating that since both Germany and Russia were in a state of military mobilization, an effective state of war existed between the two countries; that day, France, an ally of Russia, declared a state of general mobilization. In August 1914, Germany waged war on Russia, the German government justified military action against Russia as necessary because of Russian aggression as demonstrated by the mobilization of the Russian army that had resulted in Germany mobilizing in response. After Germany declared war on Russia, France with its alliance with Russia prepared a general mobilization in expectation of war.
On 3 August 1914, Germany responded to this action by declaring war on France. Germany, facing a two-front war, enacted what was known as the Schlieffen Plan, that involved German armed forces needing to move through Belgium and swing south into France and towards the French capital of Paris; this plan was hoped to gain victory against the French and allow German forces to concentrate on the Eastern Front. Belgium would not accept German forces crossing its territory. Germany invaded the country to launch an offensive towards Paris; this caused Great Britain to declare war against the German Empire, as the action violated the Treaty of London that both nations signed in 1839 guaranteeing Belgian neutrality and defense of the kingdom if a nation reneged. Subsequently, several states declared war on Germany in late August 1914, with Italy declaring war on Austria-Hungary in 1915 and Germany on 27 August 1916, the United States declaring war on Germany on 6 April 1917 and Greece declaring war on Germany in July 1917.
EuropeUpon its founding in 1871, the German Empire controlled Alsace-Lorraine as an "imperial territory" incorporated from France after the Franco-Prussian War. It was held as part of Germany's sovereign territory. AfricaGermany held multiple African colonies at the time of World War I. All of Germany's African colonies occupied by Allied forces during the war. Cameroon, German East Africa, German Southwest Africa were German colonies in Africa. Togoland was a German protectorate in Africa. AsiaThe Kiautschou Bay concession was a German dependency in East Asia leased from China in 1898, it was occupied by Japanese forces following the Siege of Tsingtao. PacificGerman New Guinea was a German protectorate in the Pacific, it was occupied by Australian forces in 1914. German Samoa was a German protectorate following the Tripartite Convention, it was occupied by the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1914. Austria-Hungary regarded the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as being orchestrated with the assistance of Serbia.
The country viewed the assassination as setting a dangerous precedent of encouraging the country's South Slav population to rebel and threaten to tear apart the multinational country. Austria-Hungary formally sent an ultimatum to Serbia demanding a full-scale investigation of Serbian government complicity in the assassination, complete compliance by Serbia in agreeing to the terms demanded by Austria-Hungary. Serbia submitted to accept most of the demands, however Austria-Hungary viewed this as insufficient and used this lack of full compliance to justify military intervention; these demands have been viewed as a diplomatic cover for what was going to be an inevitable Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia. Austria-Hungary had
Polish Army oaths
The following is a list of the Polish military oaths, both historical and contemporary. This oath is in current use in the Polish Armed Forces. Last line is optional. In 1788, the State Defence Commission of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania issued this following military oath to all military personnel of the Commonwealth armed services; this is the oath spoken in Polish. Ja N. N. przysięgam Panu Bogu wszechmogącemu w Trójcy Świętej jedynemu, jako Najjaśniejszemu Stanisławowi Augustowi królowi polskiemu i Wielkiemu Księciu Litewskiemu, tudzież stanom skonfederowanym Rzeczypospolitej pod aktem siódmego października tysiąc siedemset osiemdziesiątego ósmego roku w Warszawie pod laskami Wgo Stanisława Małachowskiego koronnego i Wgo Kazimierza księcia Sapiechy Lit. marszałków konfederacyją związanym wiernym a Komisyi Wojskowej Obojga Narodów posłusznym będę: tak mi Boże dopomóż! I N. N. I swear to the Lord Almighty in the Holy Trinity alone, as the Most Solemn Stanisław August, the Polish King and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, the confederate States of the Commonwealth under the Act of the seventh October one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight in Warsaw under the gowns of Wego Stanisław Małachowski crown and Prince Kazimierz, Prince Sapiecha Lit.
I will be obedient to the confederates bound by the faithful and the Military Commission of the Two Nations: "God help me so!" The Oath of Tadeusz Kościuszko, sworn in the old town market of Kraków on 24 March 1794, at the outbreak of the Kościuszko Uprising. Ja, Tadeusz Kościuszko, przysięgam w obliczu Boga całemu Narodowi Polskiemu, iż powierzonej mi władzy na niczyj prywatny ucisk nie użyję, lecz jedynie jej dla obrony całości granic, odzyskania samowładności Narodu i ugruntowania powszechnej wolności używać będę. Tak mi Panie Boże dopomóż i niewinna męka Syna Jego. I, Tadeusz Kościuszko, hereby swear in the face of God to the whole Polish Nation, that I shall not use the power entrusted to me for anyone's personal oppression, but only for the defence of the integrity of the borders, for retaking the sovereignty of the Nation, for strengthening the universal freedom. So help me God and the innocent Passion of His Son! The oath was prepared by the German authorities and on July 3, 1917 presented to Gen. Hans Beseler the German governor of Warsaw and the highest authority of the planned Polnische Wehrmacht military formation.
He was swearing the loyalty of the Polish Legions with it, thus putting them under direct German command. However, the Polish Legions were enraged with the German and Austro-Hungarian plans of limiting plans for Polish independence and the Austro-Hungarian dismissal of Józef Piłsudski, the Legions' leader; as such, most of the soldiers of the Legions declined to swear allegiance to a non-existing king of Poland and foreign government, thus leading to the so-called Oath Crisis. Przysięgam Panu Bogu Wszechmogącemu, że Ojczyźnie mojej, Polskiemu Królestwu, i memu przyszłemu Królowi na lądzie i wodzie i na każdym miejscu wiernie i uczciwie służyć będę. Tak mi, Boże, dopomóż! I hereby swear to the God Almighty, that I shall loyally serve my Fatherland, Kingdom of Poland and my future King, both on water and on land, in any circumstances. So help me God! Oath written by General Józef Haller and the Polish National Committee in 1918, it was used by the units of the Blue Army, the Polish Army formed in France at the end of the First World War.
Przysięgam przed Panem Bogiem Wszechmogącym, w Trójcy Świętej Jedynym, na wierność Ojczyźnie mojej, jednej i niepodzielnej. Przysięgam, iż gotów jestem życie oddać za świętą sprawę jej zjednoczenia i wyzwolenia, bronić sztandaru mego do ostatniej kropli krwi, dochować karności i posłuszeństwa mojej zwierzchności wojskowej, a w całym postępowaniu moim strzec honoru żołnierza polskiego. Tak mi, Panie Boże, dopomóż. I swear in face of God Almighty, One in the Holy Trinity, my faithful allegiance to my Fatherland, Poland and indivisible. I swear that I'm ready to give my life for the sacred cause of her unification and liberation, I swear to defend my banner to the last drop of my blood, to remain loyal and obedient to my commanders, that by all my deeds I will guard the honour of the Polish soldier. So help me God! To avoid an open conflict with Germany, formally the forces fighting in the Greater Poland Uprising formed a separate state and the armed forces were separate from the Polish Army. Hence the oath of the armed forces of Greater Poland was different from that used by other Polish units elsewhere.
W obliczu Boga Wszechmogącego w Trójcy Świętej Jedynego ślubuję, że Polsce, Ojczyźnie mojej i sprawie całego Narodu Polskiego zawsze i wszędzie służyć będę, że kraju Ojczystego i dobra narodowego do ostatniej kropli krwi bronić będę, że Komisarzowi Naczelnej Rady Ludowej w Poznaniu i dowódcom, i przełożonym swoim mianowanym przez tenże Komisariat, zawsze i wszędzie posłuszny będę, że w ogóle tak zachowywać się będę, jak przystoi na mężnego i prawego żołnierza-Polaka, że po zjednoczeniu Polski złożę przysięgę żołnierską, ustanowioną przez polską zwierzchność państwową. In the face of God Almighty, One in the Holy Trinity, I hereby swear my everlasting allegiance to Poland, my Fatherland and to the whole Polish Nation. I swear to defend the Fatherland an
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world, it holds letters patent as the Queen's Printer. The press mission is "to further the University's mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education and research at the highest international levels of excellence". Cambridge University Press is a department of the University of Cambridge and is both an academic and educational publisher. With a global sales presence, publishing hubs, offices in more than 40 countries, it publishes over 50,000 titles by authors from over 100 countries, its publishing includes academic journals, reference works and English language teaching and learning publications. Cambridge University Press is a charitable enterprise that transfers part of its annual surplus back to the university. Cambridge University Press is both the oldest publishing house in the world and the oldest university press.
It originated from letters patent granted to the University of Cambridge by Henry VIII in 1534, has been producing books continuously since the first University Press book was printed. Cambridge is one of the two privileged presses. Authors published by Cambridge have included John Milton, William Harvey, Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawking. University printing began in Cambridge when the first practising University Printer, Thomas Thomas, set up a printing house on the site of what became the Senate House lawn – a few yards from where the press's bookshop now stands. In those days, the Stationers' Company in London jealously guarded its monopoly of printing, which explains the delay between the date of the university's letters patent and the printing of the first book. In 1591, Thomas's successor, John Legate, printed the first Cambridge Bible, an octavo edition of the popular Geneva Bible; the London Stationers objected strenuously. The university's response was to point out the provision in its charter to print "all manner of books".
Thus began the press's tradition of publishing the Bible, a tradition that has endured for over four centuries, beginning with the Geneva Bible, continuing with the Authorized Version, the Revised Version, the New English Bible and the Revised English Bible. The restrictions and compromises forced upon Cambridge by the dispute with the London Stationers did not come to an end until the scholar Richard Bentley was given the power to set up a'new-style press' in 1696. In July 1697 the Duke of Somerset made a loan of £200 to the university "towards the printing house and presse" and James Halman, Registrary of the University, lent £100 for the same purpose, it was in Bentley's time, in 1698, that a body of senior scholars was appointed to be responsible to the university for the press's affairs. The Press Syndicate's publishing committee still meets and its role still includes the review and approval of the press's planned output. John Baskerville became University Printer in the mid-eighteenth century.
Baskerville's concern was the production of the finest possible books using his own type-design and printing techniques. Baskerville wrote, "The importance of the work demands all my attention. Caxton would have found nothing to surprise him if he had walked into the press's printing house in the eighteenth century: all the type was still being set by hand. A technological breakthrough was badly needed, it came when Lord Stanhope perfected the making of stereotype plates; this involved making a mould of the whole surface of a page of type and casting plates from that mould. The press was the first to use this technique, in 1805 produced the technically successful and much-reprinted Cambridge Stereotype Bible. By the 1850s the press was using steam-powered machine presses, employing two to three hundred people, occupying several buildings in the Silver Street and Mill Lane area, including the one that the press still occupies, the Pitt Building, built for the press and in honour of William Pitt the Younger.
Under the stewardship of C. J. Clay, University Printer from 1854 to 1882, the press increased the size and scale of its academic and educational publishing operation. An important factor in this increase was the inauguration of its list of schoolbooks. During Clay's administration, the press undertook a sizeable co-publishing venture with Oxford: the Revised Version of the Bible, begun in 1870 and completed in 1885, it was in this period as well that the Syndics of the press turned down what became the Oxford English Dictionary—a proposal for, brought to Cambridge by James Murray before he turned to Oxford. The appointment of R. T. Wright as Secretary of the Press Syndicate in 1892 marked the beginning of the press's development as a modern publishing business with a defined editorial policy and administrative structure, it was Wright who devised the plan for one of the most distinctive Cambridge contributions to publishing—the Cambridge Histories. The Cambridge Modern History was published
Italian Front (World War I)
The Italian Front or Alpine Front was a series of battles at the border between Austria-Hungary and Italy, fought between 1915 and 1918 in World War I. Following the secret promises made by the Allies in the Treaty of London, Italy entered the war in order to annex the Austrian Littoral and northern Dalmatia, the territories of present-day Trentino and South Tyrol. Although Italy had hoped to gain the territories with a surprise offensive, the front soon bogged down into trench warfare, similar to the Western Front fought in France, but at high altitudes and with cold winters. Fighting along the front displaced much of the civilian population, of which several thousand died from malnutrition and illness in Italian and Austrian refugee camps; the Allied victory at Vittorio Veneto, the disintegration of Austria-Hungary and the Italian capture of Trento and Trieste ended the military operations. While being a member of the Triple Alliance which consisted of Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany, Italy did not declare war in August 1914, arguing that the Triple Alliance was defensive in nature and therefore Austria-Hungary's aggression did not obligate Italy to take part.
Moreover, Austria-Hungary omitted to consult Italy before sending the ultimatum to Serbia and refused to discuss compensation due according to the art. 7 of the Triple Alliance. Italy had a longstanding rivalry with Austria-Hungary, dating back to the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, which granted several regions on the Italian peninsula to the Austrian Empire. More a radical nationalist political movement, called Unredeemed Italy, founded in the 1880s, started claiming the Italian-inhabited territories of Austria-Hungary in the Austrian Littoral and in the County of Tyrol. By the 1910s, the expansionist ideas of this movement were taken up by a significant part of the Italian political elite; the annexation of those Austrian territories that were inhabited by Italians became the main Italian war goal, assuming a similar function to the issue of Alsace-Lorraine for the French. However, of around 1.5 million people living in those areas, 45% were Italian speakers, while the rest were Slovenes and Croats.
In northern Dalmatia, among the Italian war aims, the Italian-speaking population was only around 5%. In the early stages of the war, Allied diplomats secretly courted Italy, attempting to secure Italian participation on the Allied side. Set up between the British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, the Italian Foreign Minister Sidney Sonnino and the French Foreign Minister Jules Cambon, Italy's entry was engineered by the Treaty of London of 26 April 1915, in which Italy renounced her obligations to the Triple Alliance. On February 16, 1915, despite concurrent negotiations with Austria, a courier was dispatched in great secrecy to London with the suggestion that Italy was open to a good offer from the Entente; the final choice was aided by the arrival of news in March of Russian victories in the Carpathians. Salandra began to think that victory for the Entente was in sight, was so anxious not to arrive too late for a share in the profits that he instructed his envoy in London to drop some demands and reach agreement quickly.
The Treaty of London was concluded on April 26 binding Italy to fight within one month. Not until May 4 did Salandra denounce the Triple Alliance in a private note to its signatories. On 23 May, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary. During the Italo-Turkish War in Libya, the Italian military suffered equipment and munition shortages not yet repaired before Italian entry into the Great War. At the opening of the campaign, Austro-Hungarian troops occupied and fortified high ground of the Julian Alps and Karst Plateau, but the Italians outnumbered their opponents three-to-one. An Italian offensive aimed to capture cross the Soča river, take the fortress town of Gorizia, enter the Karst Plateau; this offensive opened the first Battles of the Isonzo. At the beginning of the First Battle of the Isonzo on 23 June 1915, Italian forces outnumbered the Austrians three-to-one but failed to penetrate the strong Austro-Hungarian defensive lines in the highlands of northwestern Gorizia and Gradisca; because the Austrian forces occupied higher ground, Italians conducted difficult offensives while climbing.
The Italian forces therefore failed to drive much beyond the river, the battle ended on 7 July 1915. Despite a professional officer corps under-equipped Italian units lacked morale. Many troops disliked the newly appointed Italian commander, general Luigi Cadorna. Moreover, preexisting equipment and munition shortages slowed progress and frustrated all expectations for a "Napoleonic style" breakout. Like most contemporaneous militaries, the Italian army used horses for transport but struggled and sometimes failed to supply the troops sufficiently in the tough terrain. Two weeks on 18 July 1915, the Italians attempted another frontal assault against the Austro-Hungarian trench lines with more artillery in Second Battle of the Isonzo, despite initial success, the forces of Austria-Hungary beat back this bloody offensive, which concluded in stalemate and exhaustion of weaponry on 3 August 1915; the Italians recuperated, rearmed with 1200 heavy guns, on 18 October 1915 launched Third Battle of the Isonzo, another attack.
Forces of Austria-Hungary again repulsed this Italian offensive, which concluded on 4 November without resulting gains. The Italians again launched another offensive on the Fourth Battle of the Isonzo. Both sides suffered more casualties, but the Austro-Hungarian forces repulsed this Italian offensiv
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur