Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Premier. While presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism. Born to a poor family in Gori, Russian Empire, Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth, he edited the party's newspaper and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies and protection rackets. Arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo.
Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. During Stalin's rule, "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Under the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialization, creating a centralized command economy; this led to significant disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the state. Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported anti-fascist movements throughout Europe during the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland.
Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe; the Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as the two world superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U. S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through its post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the Doctors' plot. Stalin died in 1953. Considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of executions, famines which killed millions. Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori on 18 December 1878, he was the son of Besarion "Beso" Jughashvili and Ekaterine "Keke" Geladze, who had married in May 1872, had lost two sons in infancy prior to Stalin's birth. They were ethnically Georgian, Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian language. Gori was part of the Russian Empire, was home to a population of 20,000, the majority of whom were Georgian but with Armenian and Jewish minorities. Stalin was baptised on 29 December, he was nicknamed "Soso", a diminutive of "Ioseb". Besarion owned his own workshop; the family found themselves living in poverty, moving through nine different rented rooms in ten years.
Besarion became an alcoholic, drunkenly beat his wife and son. To escape the abusive relationship, Keke took Stalin and moved into the house of a family friend, Fr. Christopher Charkviani, she worked as launderer for local families sympathetic to her plight. Keke was determined to send her son to school, something that none of the family had achieved. In late 1888, aged 10 Stalin enrolled at the Gori Church School; this was reserved for the children of clergy, although Charkviani ensured that the boy received a place. Stalin excelled academically, displaying talent in painting and drama classes, writing his own poetry, singing as a choirboy, he got into many fights, a childhood friend noted that Stalin "was the best but the naughtiest pupil" in the class. Stalin faced several severe health problems. Aged 12, he was injured after being hit by a phaeton, the cause of a lifelong disability to his left arm. At his teachers' recommendation, Stalin proceeded to the Spiritual Seminary in Tiflis, he enrolled at the school in August 1894, enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study at a reduced rate.
Here he joined 600 trainee priests who boarded at the semina
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. By broader definitions, Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the coldest megacity on Earth.
It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers, resulting in Moscow becoming the largest city on the European continent by area. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it Europe's most populated inland city; the city is well known for its architecture its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful architectural style. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012; the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.
Moscow is a seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress, today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums and political institutions and theatres; the city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside Asia in terms of passenger numbers, the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Forty Soroks.
Moscow is one of the twelve Hero Cities. The demonym for a Moscow resident is "москвич" for male or "москвичка" for female, rendered in English as Muscovite; the name "Moscow" is abbreviated "MSK". The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river. Finno-Ugric Merya and Muroma people, who were among the several Early Eastern Slavic tribes which inhabited the area, called the river Mustajoki, it has been suggested. The most linguistically well grounded and accepted is from the Proto-Balto-Slavic root *mŭzg-/muzg- from the Proto-Indo-European *meu- "wet", so the name Moskva might signify a river at a wetland or a marsh, its cognates include Russian: музга, muzga "pool, puddle", Lithuanian: mazgoti and Latvian: mazgāt "to wash", Sanskrit: májjati "to drown", Latin: mergō "to dip, immerse". In many Slavic countries Moskov is a surname, most common in Bulgaria, Russia and North Macedonia. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa.
The original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. As with other nouns of that declension, it had been undergoing a morphological transformation at the early stage of the development of the language, as a result the first written mentions in the 12th century were Московь, Moskovĭ, Москви, Moskvi, Москвe/Москвѣ, Moskve/Moskvě. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, a result of morphological generalisation with the numerous Slavic ā-stem nouns. However, the form Moskovĭ has left some traces in many other languages, such as English: Moscow, German: Moskau, French: Moscou, Georgian: მოსკოვი, Latvian: Maskava, Ottoman Turkish: Moskov, Tatar: Мәскәү, Mäskäw, Kazakh: Мәскеу, Mäskew, Chuvash: Мускав, etc. In a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed it became a collo
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit consisting of 80–150 soldiers and commanded by a major or a captain. Most companies are formed of three to six platoons, although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, structure. Several companies are grouped as a battalion or regiment, the latter of, sometimes formed by several battalions. Independent or separate companies are organized for special purposes, such as the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company or the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company; these companies are not organic to a battalion or regiment, but rather report directly to a higher level organization such as a Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters. The modern military company became popularized during the reorganization of the Swedish Army in 1631 under King Gustav II Adolph. For administrative purposes, the infantry was divided into companies consisting of 150 men, grouped into regiments of eight companies. Tactically, the infantry companies were organized into battalions and grouped with cavalry troops and artillery batteries to form brigades.
From ancient times, some armies have used a base administrative and tactical unit of around 100 men. An organization based on the decimal number system might seem intuitive. To the Romans, for example, a unit of 100 men seemed sufficiently large to efficiently facilitate organizing a large body of men numbering into the several thousands, yet small enough that one man could reasonably expect to command it as a cohesive unit by using his voice and physical presence, supplemented by musical notes and visual cues. Furthermore, recent studies have indicated that humans are best able to maintain stable relationships in a cohesive group numbering between 100 and 250 members, with 150 members being the common number. Again, a military unit on the order of no more than 100 members, ideally fewer, would present the greatest efficiency as well as effectiveness of control, on a battlefield where the stress, fear, noise and the general condition known as the “fog of war” would present the greatest challenge to an officer to command a group of men engaged in mortal combat.
Until the latter half of the 19th century, when infantry troops still fought in close order and firing shoulder-to-shoulder in lines facing the enemy, the company remained at around 100, or fewer, men. The advent of accurate, long-range rifle fire, repeating rifles, machine guns necessitated dispersed combat formations. This, coupled with radio communication, permitted small numbers of men to have much greater firepower and combat effectiveness than possible. Companies, continue to remain within the general range of 100–250 members validating the premise that men fight best in organizations of around 150 members, more or less. While companies were grouped into battalions or regiments, there were certain sub-units raised as independent companies that did not belong to a specific battalion or regiment, such as Confederate States of America state local militia companies. However, upon activation and assimilation into the army, several of these independent companies would be grouped together to form either a battalion or a regiment, depending upon the number of companies involved.
More recent examples of separate companies would be the divisional support companies of a U. S. Army, Korean War-era infantry division and the divisional aviation company of a U. S. Army "Pentomic" infantry division; these companies were not organic to any intermediate headquarters, but rather reported directly to the division headquarters. Rifle companies consist of a company headquarters. Company-sized organisations in units with a horse-mounted heritage, such as the Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals, Army Air Corps, Special Air Service, Honourable Artillery Company and Royal Logistic Corps, use the term squadron instead of company, in the Royal Artillery they are called batteries; until after the Second World War, the Royal Engineers and Royal Signals had both squadrons and companies depending on whether the units were supporting mounted or foot formations. The British Army infantry identifies its rifle companies by letter within a battalion with the addition of a headquarters company and a support/heavy weapons company.
Some units name their companies after regimental battle honours. The foot guards regiments use traditional names for some of their companies, for example Queen's Company, Left Flank, Prince of Wales's Company etc. Royal Marines companies are designated by a letter, unique across the corps, not just within their command; the Intelligence Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Military Police and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers all have companies uniquely numbered across their corps. The defunct Royal Army Service Corps, Royal Pioneer Corps and Royal Army Ordnance Corps had companies.
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe, Southeast Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties; the battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres; the Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, the majority of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal belligerent powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid in the form of the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union; the joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front. In addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. Germany and the Soviet Union remained unsatisfied with the outcome of World War I. Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, where the Bolsheviks in Petrograd conceded to German demands and ceded control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and other areas, to the Central Powers.
Subsequently, when Germany in its turn surrendered to the Allies and these territories were liberated under the terms of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 at Versailles, Soviet Russia was in the midst of a civil war and the Allies did not recognize the Bolshevik government, so no Soviet Russian representation attended. Adolf Hitler had declared his intention to invade the Soviet Union on 11 August 1939 to Carl Jacob Burckhardt, League of Nations Commissioner, by saying: Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine as happened in the last war; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Finland, Estonia and Lithuania would return to the Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. The Eastern Front was made possible by the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in which the Soviet Union gave Germany the resources necessary to launch military operations in Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II. On 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, and, as a result, Poland was partitioned among Germany, the Soviet Union and Lithuania. Soon after that, the Soviet Union demanded significant territorial concessions from Finland, after Finland rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 in what became known as the Winter War – a bitter conflict that resulted in a peace treaty on 13 March 1940, with Finland maintaining its independence but losing its eastern parts in Karelia. In June 1940 the Soviet Union illegally annexed the three Baltic states; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact ostensibly provided security to the Soviets in the occupation both of the Baltics and of the north and northeastern regions of Romania, although Hitler, in announcing the invasion of the Soviet Union, cited the Soviet annexations of Baltic and Romanian territory as having violated Germany's understanding of the Pact.
Moscow partitioned the annexed Romanian territory between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum: acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, he envisaged settling Germans there, as according to Nazi ideology the Germanic people constituted the "master race", while exterminating or deporting most of the existing inhabitants to Siberia and using the remainder as slave labour. Hitler as early as 1917 had referred to the Russians as inferior, believing that the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, in Hitler's opinion, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters; the Nazi leadership, saw the war against the Soviet Union as a struggle between the ideologies of Nazism and Jewish Bolshevism, ensuring territorial expansion for the Germanic Übermensch, who according to Nazi ideology were the Aryan Herrenvolk, at the expense of
A non-commissioned officer is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, have more non-military training such as a university diploma. Commissioned officers earn their commissions without having risen through the enlisted ranks; the NCO corps includes all grades of corporal and sergeant. The naval equivalent includes all grades of petty officer. There are different classes of non-commissioned officer, including junior non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers; the non-commissioned officer corps is referred to as "the backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders responsible for executing a military organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions.
NCO training and education includes leadership and management as well as service-specific and combat training. Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel and the commissioned officers in a military organization, their advice and guidance are important for junior officers and in many cases to officers of all senior ranks, who begin their careers in a position of authority without practical knowledge and experience. In the Australian Army, lance corporals and corporals are classified as junior NCOs, while sergeants and warrant officers are classified as senior NCOs. In the New South Wales Police Force, NCOs perform supervisory and coordination roles; the ranks of probationary constable through to leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal. All officers within the Australian Defence Force Cadets are non-commissioned. ADFC officers are appointed by the Director-General of their respective branch.
In the Canadian Forces, the Queen's Regulations and Orders formally defined a non-commissioned officer as "A Canadian Forces member holding the rank of Sergeant or Corporal." In the 1990s, the term "non-commissioned member" was introduced to indicate all ranks in the Canadian Forces from recruit to chief warrant officer. By definition, with the unification of the CF into one service, the rank of sergeant included the naval rank of petty officer 2nd class, corporal includes the naval rank of leading seaman. NCOs are divided into two categories: junior non-commissioned officers, consisting of corporals/leading seamen and master corporals/master seamen. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the accepted definition of "NCO" reflects the international use of the term. Junior non-commissioned officers billet with privates and seamen. Conversely, senior non-commissioned officers billet with warrant officers; as a group, NCOs rank below warrant officers. The term "non-commissioned members" includes these ranks.
In the Finnish Defence Force, NCO's includes all ranks from corporal to sergeant major. Ranks of lance corporal and leading seaman are considered not to be NCO ranks; this ruling applies to all branches of service and to the troops of the Border Guard. In France and most former French colonies, the term sous-officier is a class of ranks between the rank-and-file and commissioned officers. Corporals belong to the rank-and-file. Sous-officiers include two subclasses: "subalternes" and "supérieurs". "Sous-officiers supérieurs" can perform various functions within a regiment or battalion, including commanding a platoon or section. In Germany and German-speaking countries like Austria, the term Unteroffizier describes a class of ranks between normal enlisted personnel and officers. In this group of ranks there are, in Germany, two other classes: Unteroffiziere mit Portepee and Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee, both containing several ranks, which in Austria would be Unteroffiziere and Höhere Unteroffiziere.
In the New Zealand Defence Force, a non-commissioned officer is defined as: " In relation to the Navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank.
A last stand is a military situation in which a body of troops holds a defensive position in the face of overwhelming odds. The defensive force takes heavy casualties or is destroyed. Troops may make a last stand due to a perceived duty. Last stands loom large in history, as the heroism and sacrifice of the defenders exert a large pull on the public's imagination; some last stands have become a celebrated part of a country's history. A "last stand" is a last resort tactic, is chosen because the defending force realizes or believes the benefits of fighting outweigh the benefits of retreat or surrender; this arises from strategic or moral considerations, such as staying and fighting to buy time for wounded soldiers or civilians to get to a safe place, leading defenders to conclude that their sacrifice is essential to the greater success of their campaign or cause, as happened at the end of the Battle of Saragarhi. The situation can arise in several ways. One situation is that retreat by the defending force would lead to immediate defeat due to the surrounding geography or shortage of supplies or support, as happened to the Royalist infantry on Wadborough Hill after the Battle of Naseby.
Some military thinkers have cautioned against putting an opposing force into a last stand situation, recognising that trapped men will fight harder. Sun Tzu wrote: "To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape", they have sometimes suggested deliberately putting their own forces in such a situation, for example by burning boats or bridges that could tempt them to retreat. The historian Bryan Perrett suggests that although the majority of last stands throughout history have seen the defending force overwhelmed, on rare occasions the outnumbered defenders succeed in their desperate endeavours and live to fight another day, he lists the Battle of Agincourt and the Battle of Rorke's Drift as such engagements. Troops may fight a last stand. In Custer's last stand, at the end of the battle, the extent of the soldiers' resistance to the Native Indian warriors indicated they had few doubts about their prospects for survival if they surrendered. In the end, the hilltop where George Armstrong Custer's remaining troops made their last stand made it impossible for Custer's men to secure a defensive position.
The soldiers put up their most dogged defence, died fighting. During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, by the end of 1942, the Jews trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto learned that the deportations were part of an extermination process, as the deportees were sent to death camps. Many of the remaining Jews decided to revolt; the first armed resistance in the ghetto occurred in January 1943. On 19 April 1943, Passover eve, the Germans entered the ghetto; the remaining Jews knew that the Germans would murder them all and they decided to resist the Germans to the last, rather than surrender. Another example of a famous last stand was during the First Battle of Mogadishu, where two US 1st SFOD-D snipers, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, protected the crash site of helicopter'Super 6-4' and injured pilot Mike Durant, whom they feared would be executed by a crowd of deadly rioters; the two snipers killed wounded dozens more before they ran out of ammunition and were killed. Their defense, allowed Mike Durant to survive long enough for one of the local warlords to take him prisoner.
The US was able to arrange for his release and he was returned home. For their actions, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. In some cases, troops will make a last stand to protect their leader; when Rome was attacked in 1527 by the army of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Charles V, over 20,000 troops stormed the city. The 189 Swiss Guards made a last stand against the massive army by forming a square around St. Peter's Basilica to give Pope Clement VII time to escape through secret tunnels, held the doors until Clement could escape. In the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Saxon King Harold II battled the Norman William the Conqueror, who invaded with 7,000 men. After most of the Saxons were killed in the battle, "Harold and his housecarl bodyguard...fought on until an arrow struck the king in the eye." After Harold died, the housecarl bodyguard made a last stand and "...fought to the death around the body of their dead king." At the 1795 battle of Krtsanisi, where the Persian army led by Agha Muhammad Khan defeated the Georgians, the Three Hundred Aragvians - a detachment of the highlanders from the Aragvi valley - loyally fought and died in order to enable the escape of king Heraclius II, for which they are remembered as national heroes and were canonized by the Georgian Church.
During the second Persian invasion of Greece the Greeks hoped to use the narrow pass of Thermopylae to prevent the vastly large army of the Persians from outflanking them. A Greek force of 7,000 men marched north to block the pass in the middle of 480 BC; the Persian army, ranging between about 100,000 and 150,000, arrived at the pass in late August or early September. During the Battle of Thermopylae, the vastly outnumbered Greeks held off the Persians for seven days before the rear-guard was annihilated in one of history's most famous last stands. During two full days of battle, the small force led by Leonidas blocked the only road by which the massive Persian army could pass; when Leonidas became aware that his force was being outflanked, he dismissed the bulk of the Greek army and remained to guard their retreat with 300 Sp