World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
A town is a human settlement. Towns are larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary between different parts of the world; the word town shares an origin with the German word Zaun, the Dutch word tuin, the Old Norse tun. The German word Zaun comes closest to the original meaning of the word: a fence of any material. An early borrowing from Celtic *dunom. In English and Dutch, the meaning of the word took on the sense of the space which these fences enclosed. In England, a town was a small community that could not afford or was not allowed to build walls or other larger fortifications, built a palisade or stockade instead. In the Netherlands, this space was a garden, more those of the wealthy, which had a high fence or a wall around them. In Old Norse tun means a place between farmhouses, the word is still used in a similar meaning in modern Norwegian. In Old English and Early and Middle Scots, the words ton, etc. could refer to diverse kinds of settlements from agricultural estates and holdings picking up the Norse sense at one end of the scale, to fortified municipalities.
If there was any distinction between toun and burgh as claimed by some, it did not last in practice as burghs and touns developed. For example, "Edina Burgh" or "Edinburgh" was built around a fort and came to have a defensive wall. In some cases, "town" is an alternative name for "city" or "village". Sometimes, the word "town" is short for "township". In general, today towns can be differentiated from townships, villages, or hamlets on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry and public services rather than primary industry such as agriculture or related activities. A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, e.g. in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town. In the United Kingdom, there are historical cities; the modern phenomenon of extensive suburban growth, satellite urban development, migration of city dwellers to villages has further complicated the definition of towns, creating communities urban in their economic and cultural characteristics but lacking other characteristics of urban localities.
Some forms of non-rural settlement, such as temporary mining locations, may be non-rural, but have at best a questionable claim to be called a town. Towns exist as distinct governmental units, with defined borders and some or all of the appurtenances of local government. In the United States these are referred to as "incorporated towns". In other cases the town lacks its own governance and is said to be "unincorporated". Note that the existence of an unincorporated town may be set out by other means, e.g. zoning districts. In the case of some planned communities, the town exists in the form of covenants on the properties within the town; the United States Census identifies many census-designated places by the names of unincorporated towns which lie within them. The distinction between a town and a city depends on the approach: a city may be an administrative entity, granted that designation by law, but in informal usage, the term is used to denote an urban locality of a particular size or importance: whereas a medieval city may have possessed as few as 10,000 inhabitants, today some consider an urban place of fewer than 100,000 as a town though there are many designated cities that are much smaller than that.
Australian geographer Thomas Griffith Taylor proposed a classification of towns based on their age and pattern of land use. He identified five types of town: Infantile towns, with no clear zoning Juvenile towns, which have developed an area of shops Adolescent towns, where factories have started to appear Early mature towns, with a separate area of high-class housing Mature towns, with defined industrial and various types of residential area In Afghanistan and cities are known as shār; as the country is an rural society with few larger settlements, with major cities never holding more than a few hundred thousand inhabitants before the 2000s, the lingual tradition of the country does not discriminate between towns and cities. In Albania "qytezë" means town, similar with the word for city. Although there is no official use of the term for any settlement. In Albanian "qytezë" means "small city" or "new city", while in ancient times "small residential center within the walls of a castle"; the center is a population group, larger than a village, smaller than a city.
Though the village is bigger than a hamlet In Australia, towns or "urban centre localities" are understood to be those centers of population not formally declared to be cities and having a population in excess of about 200 people. Centers too small to be called towns are understood to be a township. In addition, some local government entities are styled as towns in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, before the statewide amalgamations of th
The gmina is the principal unit of the administrative division of Poland, similar to a municipality. As of 2010 there were 2,478 gminy throughout the country; the word gmina derives from the German word Gemeinde, meaning "community". The gmina has been the basic unit of territorial division in Poland since 1974, when it replaced the smaller gromada. There are three types of gminy: urban gmina consisting of just one city or town, mixed urban-rural gmina consisting of a town and surrounding villages and countryside; some rural gminy have their seat in a town, outside the gmina's division. For example, the rural Gmina Augustów is administered from the town of Augustów, but does not include the town, as Augustów is an urban type gmina in its own right; the legislative and controlling body of each gmina is the elected municipal council, or in a town: rada miasta. Executive power is held by the directly elected mayor of the municipality, called wójt in rural gminy, burmistrz in most urban and urban-rural gminy, or prezydent in towns with more than 400,000 inhabitants and some others which traditionally use the title.
A gmina may create auxiliary units. In rural areas these are called sołectwa, in towns they may be dzielnice or osiedla and in an urban-rural gmina, the town itself may be designated as an auxiliary unit. For a complete listing of all the gminy in Poland, see List of Polish gminas; each gmina carries out two types of tasks: commissioned ones. Own tasks are public tasks exercised by self-government, which serve to satisfy the needs of the community; the tasks can be twofold: compulsory – where the municipality cannot decline to carry out the tasks, must set up a budget to carry them out in order to provide the inhabitants with the basic public benefits optional – where the municipality can carry them out in accordance with available budgetary means, set out only to specific local needs. Own high objectives include matters such as spatial harmony, real estate management, environmental protection and nature conservation, water management, country roads, public streets, bridges and traffic systems, water supply systems and source, the sewage system, removal of urban waste, water treatment, maintenance of cleanliness and order, sanitary facilities and council waste, supply of electric and thermal energy and gas, public transport, health care, care homes, subsidised housing, public education, cultural facilities including public libraries and other cultural institutions, historic monuments conservation and protection, the sports facilities and tourism including recreational grounds and devices and covered markets, green spaces and public parks, communal graveyards, public order and safety and flood protection with equipment maintenance and storage, maintaining objects and devices of the public utility and administrative buildings, pro-family policy including social support for pregnant women and legal care and popularising the self-government initiatives and cooperation within the commune including with non-governmental organizations, interaction with regional communities from other countries, etc.
Commissioned tasks cover the remaining public tasks resulting from legitimate needs of the state, commissioned by central government for the units of local government to implement. The tasks are handed over on the basis of statutory by-laws and regulations, or by way of agreements between the self-government units and central-government administration. Abbreviations used for voivodeships:LS: Lower Silesian Voivodeship, KP: Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, LBL: Lublin Voivodeship, LBS: Lubusz Voivodeship, ŁD: Łódź Voivodeship, LP: Lesser Poland Voivodeship, MS: Masovian Voivodeship, OP: Opole Voivodeship, SK: Subcarpathian Voivodeship, PD: Podlaskie Voivodeship, PM: Pomeranian Voivodeship, SL: Silesian Voivodeship, ŚWK: Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, WM: Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, GP: Greater Poland Voivodeship, WP: West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Official report from the Central Statistical Office of Poland dated January 1, 2006
Bay of Puck
The Bay of Puck or Puck Bay, is a shallow western branch of the Bay of Gdańsk in the southern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Gdańsk Pomerania, Poland. It is separated from the open sea by the Hel Peninsula; the bay has an average depth of 2 m to 6 m. There is a shallow sand-bank from Rewa to Kuźnica in the middle of Hel Peninsula; the bay also known as the Bay of Putzig, is available only for small fishing boats and yachts, which have to stick to the strict deeper routes. There are deposits of potassium salt below the Bay of Puck; the main ports are Puck and Hel. Location along Baltic Sea coast Bays of Poland Special Protection Areas in Poland Natura 2000 in Poland
Poland's Wedding to the Sea
Poland's Wedding to the Sea was a ceremony meant to symbolize restored Polish access to the Baltic Sea, lost in 1793 by the Partitions of Poland. It was first performed on February 1920, by General Józef Haller at Puck. In the early spring of 1945, following the Polish-Soviet advance into Pomerania, a number of such ceremonies took place in several locations; the most famous 1945 Weddings to the Sea were performed by the soldiers of the Polish Army on March 17, 1945 in Mrzeżyno, on March 18 in newly captured port of Kołobrzeg. As Venice so symbolized its marriage with the Adriatic so we Poles symbolize our marriage with our dear Baltic Sea. In October 1920, General Jozef Haller was named commandant of the Pomeranian Front of the Polish Army, a unit created to peacefully recover former German Empire's province of Pomerelia, granted to the Second Polish Republic by the Versailles Treaty. On 18 January 1920, units of the 16th Infantry Division entered Torun, in the following days, Polish soldiers moved northwards reaching the Baltic Sea coast on February 10.
Their progress was slow but steady, with a few incidents of sabotage, carried out by the retreating Germans. Early in the morning of February 10, General Haller and his staff, on the way from Torun to Puck, met at Danzig Hbf. rail station with members of Polish community of the Free City of Danzig. Haller, fearing a German provocation, stayed in the train, entered by Dr. Jozef Wybicki, grandson of Jozef Wybicki, who handed to him two platinum rings, funded by Polish families of Danzig. One of the rings was thrown into the sea in Puck. After the meeting, the train with Haller and other Polish officials headed for Puck, where it was welcomed by crowds of Kashubians. At the Puck Rail Station the General mounted a horse; the symbolic event was witnessed, among others, by Wincenty Witos, Stanislaw Wojciechowski, Maciej Rataj, Pomeranian Voivode Stefan Laszewski, Polish envoy to Free City of Danzig Maciej Biesiadecki, General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Dr Jozef Wybicki, the "King of the Kashubians, Antoni Abraham".
Main point of the ceremony was marked by a Roman Catholic service, with a sermon told by Reverend Jozef Wrycza. Flag of the Polish Navy was blessed, to the salvo of 21 guns, it was raised on a mast by sailors Eugeniusz Pławski and Florian Napierala; this symbolically meant that from on, Polish seacoast was guarded by the Navy. General Haller in his memoirs wrote that on that day, the Bay of Puck was frozen, so local fishermen cut an ice hole, into which Haller threw the ring. Before it fell into the water, the ring rolled on the ice: "Several fishermen ran after the ring, but none of them managed to catch it, it fell into the icy water; when I asked why they did not catch it, the fishermen prophetically answered they would catch it in Szczecin". After throwing the ring into the water, Haller said the following words: "In the name of the Holy Republic of Poland, I, General Jozef Haller, am taking control of this ancient Slavic Baltic Sea shore". Wojciech Kossak, inspired by these events, painted in 1931 "Polish Wedding to the Sea".
The 1920 wedding to the sea took place north of the Port of Puck, in the area which belonged to the Naval Airforce. A commemorative post was erected there, with a Polish eagle and the date; the post was destroyed during the 1939 German Invasion of Poland. Its replica now stands in the Port of Puck, next to the bust of General Haller. On February 11, 1920, a day after the symbolic wedding, Kashubian fishermen invited Haller to Wielka Wies, to carry out another ceremony, this time in the open waters of Baltic Sea. Haller accepted the invitation, entered a cutter "Gwiazda Morza"; this made the General a popular person among the locals. Haller himself purchased a plot of land near Wielka Wies, founding a district called Hallerowo; the town of Władysławowo was created after a merger of Wielka Hallerowo. In the early spring of 1945, a number of symbolic Weddings to the Sea took place along the Baltic Sea coast; the most well-known such ceremonies were on March 17, 1945, at the town of Mrzeżyno, on March 18 at Kołobrzeg.
This is what Polish historian Hieronim Kroczynski wrote in his book "Polskie tradycje morskie 967-1945": "In early 1945, the First Polish Army, formed in the Soviet Union, subordinated to the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front, reached Pomerania, the ancient land of the Piasts, to become Polish again. During the Pomeranian Operation, as our units approached the sea, Polish soldiers remembered the historic 1920 Wedding to the Sea; the 1945 ceremony took place in war situation, as until the end of the war, the 10-kilometer wide strip of coast was regarded as frontline. The headquarters of the First Army decided; these ceremonies took place from March 15 to April 6, along the Baltic Sea coast from Dziwnow to Gdynia. In the spirit of the 1920 tradition, rings were thrown into the water, oaths of allegiance to the sea were sworn by the participants. Furthermore, in several cases flags of military units were dipped in water. On March 17, 1945, First Warsaw Cavalry Brigade had its own ceremony at Mrzeżyno, on March 18, main ceremony of both First and Second Army took place at Kołobrzeg".
Polish historian Hieronim Kroczynski from Kolobrzeg, investigating Polish weddings to the sea says that the first ceremony of this kind in 1945 took place on March 8, near the village of Grzybow, west of Kolobrzeg. On that day, a patrol of the 16th Infantry Regiment reached the shore
Second Peace of Thorn (1466)
The Peace of Thorn of 1466 was a peace treaty signed in the Hanseatic city of Thorn on 19 October 1466 between the Polish king Casimir IV Jagiellon on one side, the Teutonic Knights on the other. The treaty concluded the Thirteen Years' War which had begun in February 1454 with the revolt of the Prussian Confederation, led by the cities of Danzig, Elbing and Thorn, the Prussian gentry against the rule of the Teutonic Knights in the Monastic State. Both sides agreed to seek confirmation from Pope Paul II and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, but the Polish side stressed that this confirmation would not be needed for validation of the treaty. In the treaty, the Teutonic Order ceded the territories of Pomerelia with Danzig, Kulmerland with Kulm and Thorn, the mouth of the Vistula with Elbing and Marienburg, the Bishopric of Warmia with Allenstein; the Order acknowledged the rights of the Polish Crown for Prussia's western half, subsequently known as Polish or Royal Prussia. Eastern Prussia called Duchy of Prussia remained with the Teutonic Order until 1525, as a Polish fief.
The treaty stated that Royal Prussia became the exclusive property of the Polish king and Polish kingdom. Some disagreements arose concerning certain prerogatives that Royal Prussia and the cities held, like Danzig's privileges; the region possessed certain privileges such as the minting of its own coins, its own Diet meetings, its own military, its own administrative usage of the German language. A conflict over the right to name and approve Bishops in Warmia, resulted in the War of the Priests. Royal Prussia became integrated into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but retained some distinctive features until the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century. In 1525, the Order was ousted from East Prussian territory by its own Grand Master when Albert, Duke of Prussia adopted Lutheranism and assumed the title of duke as hereditary ruler under the overlordship of Poland in the Prussian Homage; the area became known as the Duchy of Prussia. Peace of Thorn List of treaties Photocopy of the treaty Latin text: In nomine domini amen.
Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. Cum inter humane voluntatis desideria, que in aliquid citra Deum finem atque rerum omnium opificem
A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term "powiat" is most translated into English as "county" or "district". A powiat is part of the voivodeship or province. A powiat is subdivided into gminas. Major towns and cities, function as separate counties in their own right, without subdivision into gminas, they are termed "city counties" and have the same status as former county boroughs in the UK. The other type of powiats are termed "land counties"; as of 2018, there were 380 powiat-level entities: 314 land counties, 66 city counties. For a complete alphabetical listing, see "List of Polish counties". For tables of counties by voivodeship, see the articles on the individual voivodeships; the history of Polish powiats goes back to the second half of the 14th century. They remained the basic unit of territorial organization in Poland in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, until the latter's partitioning in 1795.
In the 19th century, the powiats continued to function in the part of Poland, incorporated into the Russian Empire —the equivalent of the Russian "uyezd" and the Ukrainian "povit"—and, in the German-governed Grand Duchy of Poznań, as the Polish equivalent of the German "Kreis". After Poland regained independence in 1918, the powiats were again the second-level territorial units. Powiats were abolished in 1975 in favor of a larger number of voivodeships, but were reintroduced on 1 January 1999; this reform created 16 larger voivodeships. Legislative power within a powiat is vested in an elected council, while local executive power is vested in an executive board headed by the starosta, elected by the council; the administrative offices headed by the starosta are called the starostwo. However, in city counties these institutions do not exist separately – their powers and functions are exercised by the city council, the directly elected mayor, the city offices. In some cases a powiat has its seat outside its own territory.
For example, Poznań County has its offices in Poznań, although Poznań is itself a city county, is therefore not part of Poznań County. Powiats have limited powers, since many local and regional matters are dealt with either at gmina or voivodeship level; some of the main areas in which the powiat authorities have decision-making powers and competences include: education at high-school level healthcare public transport maintenance of certain designated roads land surveying issuing of work permits to foreigners vehicle registration. The Polish the name of a county, in the administrative sense, consists of the word powiat followed by a masculine-gender adjective. In most cases, this is the adjective formed from the name of the town or city where the county has its seat, thus the county with its seat at the town of Kutno is named powiat kutnowski. If the name of the seat comprises a noun followed by an adjective, as in Maków Mazowiecki, the adjective will be formed from the noun only. There are a few counties whose names are derived from the names of two towns, from the name of a city and a geographical adjective, or a mountain range.
There is more than one way to render such names into English. A common method is to translate the names as "", as in the examples above, thus in most cases the English name for a powiat consists of the name of the city or town, its seat, followed by the word County. Note that different counties sometimes have the same name in Polish, since the names of different towns may have the same derived adjective. For example, the counties with their seats at Grodzisk Wielkopolski and Grodzisk Mazowiecki are both called powiat grodziski, those with seats at Brzeg and Brzesko are both called powiat brzeski. In English this ambiguity either does not occur or can be avoided by using the complete name of the seat. Bankauskaite, V. et al. Patterns of decentralization across European health systems, in R. B. Saltman, V. Bankauskaite and K. Vrangbæk, "Decentralization in health care", London: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. County. Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Uyezd