Sieradz Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in the years 1975–1998, superseded by Łódź Voivodeship. Capital city: Sieradz Major cities and towns:: Zduńska Wola. See also: Voivodeships of Poland Sieradz Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland from 14th century to the partitions of Poland in 1772–1795, it was a part of Greater Poland province
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Polish People's Republic
The Polish People's Republic was a state in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989, the predecessor of the modern democratic Republic of Poland. With a population of 37.9 million inhabitants near the end of its existence, it was the most populous state of the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union. Having a unitary Marxist–Leninist communist government, it was one of the main signatories of the Warsaw Pact; the official capital since 1947 and largest city was Warsaw, followed by industrial Łódź and cultural Kraków. The former country covers the history of contemporary Poland between 1952 and 1989 under the Soviet-backed communist government established after the Red Army's release of its territory from German occupation in World War II; the name People's Republic was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952, based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution. The state's name was the Republic of Poland between 1947 and 1952 in accordance with the temporary Constitution of 1947. From 1952, the Sejm exercised no real power, Poland was regarded as a puppet entity set up and controlled by the Soviet Union.
With time, Poland developed into a satellite state in the Soviet sphere of influence. The Polish People's Republic was a one-party state characterized by constant internal struggles for democracy and better living conditions; the Polish United Workers' Party became the dominant political faction making Poland a socialist country, but with more liberal policies than other states of the Eastern Bloc. Throughout its existence, economic hardships and social unrest were common in every decade; the nation was split between those who supported the party, those who were opposed to it and those who refused to engage in political activity. Despite this, some groundbreaking achievements have been established during the People's Republic such as rapid industrialization, urbanization of smaller or larger cities and access to free healthcare and education was made available; the birth rate was high and the population doubled between 1947 and 1989. The party's most successful accomplishment, was the rebuilding of ruined Warsaw after World War II and the complete riddance of illiteracy, which stood at 30% in 1931 and at 2% in 1988.
The Soviet Union, an exemplar state, had some influence over both internal and external affairs, the Red Army was stationed in Poland as in all other Warsaw Pact countries. The Polish People's Army was the main branch of the Armed Forces; the official police organization, responsible for supposed peacekeeping and violent throttling of protests, was renamed Citizens' Militia. Under the command of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland "UB", the Militia committed serious crimes to maintain the Communists in power, including the harsh treatment of protesters, arrest of opposition leaders and in extreme cases murder, with at least 22,000 people killed by the regime during its rule; as a result, Poland had a high-imprisonment rate but one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This was fictitiously glorified by the ruling Polish Worker's Party, which described Poland as a safe and educated near-Utopian society. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his western allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland.
His armed forces were in occupation of the country, his agents, the communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland which it had invaded and occupied between 1939 and 1941. In compensation, the USSR gave Poland former German populated territories in Pomerania and Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia; these awards were confirmed at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, otherwise known as the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. Stalin was determined that Poland's new government would become his tool towards making Poland a Soviet puppet state controlled by the communists, he had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The communists held a majority of key posts in this new government, with Soviet support they soon gained total control of the country, rigging all elections.
In June 1946 the "Three Times Yes" referendum was held on a number of issues—abolition of the Senate of Poland, land reform, making the Oder–Neisse line Poland's western border. The communist-controlled Interior Ministry issued results showing that all three questions passed overwhelmingly. Years however, evidence was uncovered showing that the referendum had been tainted by massive fraud, only the third question passed. Władysław Gomułka took advantage of a split in the Polish Socialist Party. One faction, which included Prime Minister Edward Osóbka-Morawski, wanted to join forces with the Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, Stanisław Mikołajczyk would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists; the Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister.
Between the referendum and the January 1947 general elections, the opposition was subjected to persecution. Only the candidates of the pro-government "Democratic Bloc" were allowed to campaign completel
Greater Poland known by its Polish name Wielkopolska, is a historical region of west-central Poland. Its chief city is Poznań; the boundaries of Greater Poland have varied somewhat throughout history. Since the Middle Ages, the proper or exact/strict Wielkopolska included the Poznań and Kalisz voivodeships. In the wider sense, it encompassed Sieradz, Łęczyca, Brześć Kujawski and Inowrocław voivodeships. One another meaning included Mazovia and Royal Prussia. After the Partitions of Poland, Greater Poland was identified with the Grand Duchy of Posen; the region in the proper sense coincides with the present-day Greater Poland Voivodeship. Because Greater Poland was the settlement area of the Polans and the core of the early Polish state, the region was at times called "Poland"; the more specific name is first recorded in the Latin form Polonia Maior in 1257, in Polish in 1449. Its original meaning was the Older Poland, as opposed to Lesser Poland, a region in south-eastern Poland with its capital at Kraków which became the main center of the state later.
Greater Poland comprises much of the area drained by the Warta River and its tributaries, including the Noteć River. The region is distinguished from Lesser Poland with the lowland landscape, from both Lesser Poland and Mazovia with its numerous lakes. In the strict meaning, it covers an area of about 33,000 square kilometres, has a population of 3.5 million. In the wider sense, it has 60,000 square kilometres, 7 million inhabitants; the region's main metropolis is Poznań, on the Warta. Other cities are Kalisz to the south-east, Konin to the east, Piła to the north, Ostrów Wielkopolski to the south-east, Gniezno to the north-east, Leszno to the south-west. An area of 75.84 square kilometres of forest and lakeland south of Poznań is designated the Wielkopolska National Park, established in 1957. The region contains part of Drawa National Park, several designated Landscape Parks. For example, the Rogalin Landscape Park is famous for about 2000 monumental oak trees growing on the flood plain of the river Warta, among numerous ox-bow lakes.
Greater Poland formed the heart of the 10th-century early Polish state, sometimes being called the "cradle of Poland". Poznań and Gniezno were early centres of royal power, but following devastation of the region by pagan rebellion in the 1030s, the invasion of Bretislaus I of Bohemia in 1038, the capital was moved by Casimir I the Restorer from Gniezno to Kraków. In the Testament of Bolesław III Wrymouth, which initiated the period of fragmentation of Poland, the western part of Greater Poland was granted to Mieszko III the Old; the eastern part, with Gniezno and Kalisz, was part of the Duchy of Kraków, granted to Władysław II. However, for most of the period the two parts were under a single ruler, were known as the Duchy of Greater Poland; the region came under the control of Władysław I the Elbow-high in 1314, thus became part of the reunited Poland of which Władyslaw was crowned king in 1320. In the reunited kingdom, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the country came to be divided into administrative units called voivodeships.
In the case of the Greater Poland region these were Kalisz Voivodeship. The Commonwealth had larger subdivisions known as prowincja, one of, named Greater Poland. However, this prowincja covered a larger area than the Greater Poland region itself taking in Masovia and Royal Prussia. In 1768 a new Gniezno Voivodeship was formed out of the northern part of Kalisz Voivodeship; however more far-reaching changes would come with the Partitions of Poland. In the first partition, northern parts of Greater Poland along the Noteć were taken over by Prussia, becoming the Netze District. In the second partition the whole of Greater Poland was absorbed by Prussia, becoming part of the province of South Prussia, it remained so in spite of the first Greater Poland uprising, part of the unsuccessful Kościuszko Uprising directed chiefly against Russia. More successful was the Greater Poland Uprising of 1806, which led to the region's becoming part of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw. However, following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Greater Poland was again partitioned, with the western part going to Prussia.
The eastern part joined the Russian-controlled Kingdom of Poland, where it formed the Kalisz Voivodeship until 1837 the Kalisz Governorate. Within the Prussian empire, western Greater Poland became the Grand Duchy of Posen, which theoretically held some autonomy. Following an unrealized uprising in 1846, the more substantial but still unsuccessful uprising of 1848, the Grand Duchy was replaced by the Province of Pos
Władysław III of Poland
Władysław III known as Władysław of Varna, was King of Poland from 1434, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1440, until his death at the Battle of Varna. Władysław III of Varna is known in Hungarian as I. Ulászló. Jagelović. Latin: Wladislaus Dei gracia Polonie, Dalmacie, Rascia etc. rex necnon terrarum Cracouie, Syradie, Cuyauie, Lithuanie princeps supremus, Russieque dominus et heres etc. English: Vladislaus by God's grace king of Poland, Dalmatia, Croatia and lands of Kraków, Sieradz, Łęczyca, Supreme Prince of Lithuania and heir of Pomerania and Ruthenia Władysław was the first-born son of Władysław II Jagiełło and Sophia of Halshany, he ascended the throne at the age of ten and was surrounded by a group of advisors headed by Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, who wanted to continue to enjoy his high status at court. In spite of that, the young ruler and his ambitious mother were aware that there was opposition to them. Despite the agreements signed between Władysław II and the Polish magnates to ensure the succession for his sons, the opposition wanted another candidate for the Polish throne: Frederick of Brandenburg, betrothed to Hedwig, Jagiełło's daughter by his second wife.
However, the conspiracy was resolved by the death of the princess, rumoured to have been poisoned by Queen Sophia. The young king's reign was difficult from the outset, his coronation was interrupted by Spytko of Melsztyn. On the next day, the customary homage of the townsfolk of Kraków did not take place due to a dispute between the temporal and spiritual lords of Mazovia over their place in the retinue. Neither did Władysław have much to say about matters of state, which were run by the powerful cleric and chancellor Oleśnicki; the situation did not change after the Sejm had gathered in Piotrków in 1438, declared the fourteen-year-old king to have attained his majority. This situation continued until 1440. However, accepting it would have led to numerous problems. Hungary was under a growing threat from the Ottoman Empire, some Polish magnates did not want to agree to the king of Poland being the monarch of Hungary, while Elisabeth, widow of the deceased King of Hungary, Albert II of Germany, attempted to keep the crown for her yet unborn child.
Such inconveniences aside, Władysław took the Hungarian throne, having engaged in a two-year civil war against Elisabeth. He had received significant support from Pope Eugene IV, in exchange for his help in organising an anti-Turkish crusade; the eighteen-year-old king, although thus far a king by title, became involved in the war against the Turks, having been brought up in the standard of a pious Christian monarch and ideal Christian knight, paid no heed to the interests of Poland and of the Jagiellonian dynasty. The "bulwark of Christianity" and other slogans put forward by the papal envoy Giuliano Cesarini, together with much more reasonable but only verbal promises of Venetian and papal fleets blockading the Dardanelles Straits, along with an enticing vision of a promise of victory in this glorious crusade carried for the glory of God and against the Turks, persuaded Władysław to engage his freshly victorious forces for another season of war, thus breaching the ten-year truce with the aggressive and still powerful Ottoman Empire.
Despite their alleged forthcoming help, the Venetian fleet carried the Turkish army from Asia into Europe but failed to sail to Varna, a surprising move that Władysław and his most senior military commander John Hunyadi failed to anticipate. The Venetian treachery placed the huge Turkish army under sultan Murad II in close proximity to the unsuspecting crusaders; as a result, when the Battle of Varna began on 10 November 1444, the Polish king and his multi-ethnic subjects did not sense that this would be for many of them their final fight. Facing the desperate circumstance the king, seeing the experienced Hunyadi fight and break the Sipahi cavalry, decided to gamble and directly attack the sultan, protected by the guard cavalry and formidable Janissary infantry; the young king was killed while leading his own 500-strong royal Polish heavy cavalry company, his charge losing impetus and coming to a standstill amongst the unyielding Janissaries protecting the sultan. The Janissaries killed the king's beheaded Władysław, displaying his head on a pole.
Disheartened by the death of their king, the Hungarian army fled the battlefield. Neither the king's body nor his armor were found. Władysław III did not marry; the chronicler Jan Długosz, known for his antipathy towards the king and his father, alleged that there was something unusual about Władysław's sexuality, though Długosz did not specify what: "too subject to his carnal desires he did not abandon his lewd and despicable habits". Władysław was succeeded in the Kingdom of Poland by his younger brother, Duke Casimir IV of Lithuania, in 1447, after a three-year interregnum. In Hungary he was succeeded by his former rival, the child-king Ladislaus the Posthumous. According to a Portuguese legend Władysław survived the Battle of Varna and journeyed in secrecy to the Holy Land, he beca
Invasion of Poland
The Invasion of Poland, known in Poland as the September Campaign or the 1939 Defensive War, in Germany as the Poland Campaign, was an invasion of Poland by Germany that marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union; the Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September following the Molotov–Tōgō agreement that terminated the Soviet and Japanese Battles of Khalkhin Gol in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty. German forces invaded Poland from the north and west the morning after the Gleiwitz incident. Slovak military forces advanced alongside the Germans in northern Slovakia; as the Wehrmacht advanced, Polish forces withdrew from their forward bases of operation close to the Polish–German border to more established defense lines to the east.
After the mid-September Polish defeat in the Battle of the Bzura, the Germans gained an undisputed advantage. Polish forces withdrew to the southeast where they prepared for a long defence of the Romanian Bridgehead and awaited expected support and relief from France and the United Kingdom. While those two countries had pacts with Poland and had declared war on Germany on 3 September, in the end their aid to Poland was limited. On 17 September, the Soviet Red Army invaded Eastern Poland, the territory that fell into the Soviet "sphere of influence" according to the secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered an emergency evacuation of all troops to neutral Romania. On 6 October, following the Polish defeat at the Battle of Kock and Soviet forces gained full control over Poland; the success of the invasion marked the end of the Second Polish Republic, though Poland never formally surrendered.
On 8 October, after an initial period of military administration, Germany directly annexed western Poland and the former Free City of Danzig and placed the remaining block of territory under the administration of the newly established General Government. The Soviet Union incorporated its newly acquired areas into its constituent Belarusian and Ukrainian republics, started a campaign of Sovietization. In the aftermath of the invasion, a collective of underground resistance organizations formed the Polish Underground State within the territory of the former Polish state. Many of the military exiles that managed to escape Poland subsequently joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West, an armed force loyal to the Polish government-in-exile. On 30 January 1933, the National Socialist German Workers' Party, under its leader Adolf Hitler, came to power in Germany. While the Weimar Republic had long sought to annex territories belonging to Poland, it was Hitler's own idea and not a realization of Weimar plans to invade and partition Poland, annex Bohemia and Austria, create satellite or puppet states economically subordinate to Germany.
As part of this long-term policy, Hitler at first pursued a policy of rapprochement with Poland, trying to improve opinion in Germany, culminating in the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. Earlier, Hitler's foreign policy worked to weaken ties between Poland and France, attempted to manoeuvre Poland into the Anti-Comintern Pact, forming a cooperative front against the Soviet Union. Poland would be granted territory to its northeast in Ukraine and Belarus if it agreed to wage war against the Soviet Union, but the concessions the Poles were expected to make meant that their homeland would become dependent on Germany, functioning as little more than a client state; the Poles feared that their independence would be threatened altogether. How can they demand the rights of independent states?"The population of the Free City of Danzig was in favour of annexation by Germany, as were many of the ethnic German inhabitants of the Polish territory that separated the German exclave of East Prussia from the rest of the Reich.
The so-called Polish Corridor constituted land long disputed by Poland and Germany, inhabited by a Polish majority. The Corridor had become a part of Poland after the Treaty of Versailles. Many Germans wanted the urban port city of Danzig and its environs to be reincorporated into Germany. Danzig city had a German majority, had been separated from Germany after Versailles and made into the nominally independent Free City. Hitler sought to use this as casus belli, a reason for war, reverse the post-1918 territorial losses, on many occasions had appealed to German nationalism, promising to "liberate" the German minority still in the Corridor, as well as Danzig; the invasion was referred to by Germany as the 1939 Defensive War since Hitler proclaimed that Poland had attacked Germany and that "Germans in Poland are persecuted with a bloody terror and are driven from their homes. The series of border violations, which are unbearable to a great power, prove that the Poles no longer are willing to respect the German frontier."Poland participated with Germany in the partition of Czechoslovakia that followed the Munich Agreement, although they were not part of the agreement.
It coerced Czechoslovakia to surrender the region of Český Těšín by issuing an ultimatum to that effect
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe; the designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the used term Reichswehr, was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler's most overt and audacious moves was to establish the Wehrmacht, a modern offensively-capable armed force, fulfilling the Nazi regime's long-term goals of regaining lost territory as well as gaining new territory and dominating its neighbors; this required the reinstatement of conscription, massive investment and defense spending on the arms industry. The Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany's politico-military power. In the early part of the Second World War, the Wehrmacht employed combined arms tactics to devastating effect in what became known as a Blitzkrieg, its campaigns in France, the Soviet Union, North Africa are regarded as acts of boldness.
At the same time, the far-flung advances strained the Wehrmacht's capacity to the breaking point, culminating in the first major defeat in the Battle of Moscow. The operational art was no match to the war-making abilities of the Allied coalition, making the Wehrmacht's weaknesses in strategy and logistics apparent. Cooperating with the SS and the Einsatzgruppen, the German armed forces committed numerous war crimes and atrocities, despite denials and promotion of the myth of the Clean Wehrmacht; the majority of the war crimes were committed in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy, as part of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, the Holocaust and Nazi security warfare. During the war about 18 million men served in the Wehrmacht. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, German forces had lost 11,300,000 men, about half of whom were missing or killed during the war. Only a few of the Wehrmacht's upper leadership were tried for war crimes, despite evidence suggesting that more were involved in illegal actions.
The majority of the three million Wehrmacht soldiers who invaded the USSR participated in committing war crimes. The German term "Wehrmacht" stems from the compound word of German: wehren, "to defend" and Macht, "power, force", it has been used to describes any nation's armed forces. The Frankfurt Constitution of 1849 designated all German military forces as the "German Wehrmacht", consisting of the Seemacht and the Landmacht. In 1919, the term Wehrmacht appears in Article 47 of the Weimar Constitution, establishing that: "The Reich's President holds supreme command of all armed forces of the Reich". From 1919, Germany's national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, a name, dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 21 May 1935. In January 1919, after World War I ended with the signing of the armistice of 11 November 1918, the armed forces were dubbed Friedensheer. In March 1919, the national assembly passed a law founding a 420,000-strong preliminary army, the Vorläufige Reichswehr; the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced in May, in June, Germany signed the treaty that, among other terms, imposed severe constraints on the size of Germany's armed forces.
The army was limited to one hundred thousand men with an additional fifteen thousand in the navy. The fleet was to consist of at most six battleships, six cruisers, twelve destroyers. Submarines and heavy artillery were forbidden and the air-force was dissolved. A new post-war military, the Reichswehr, was established on 23 March 1921. General conscription was abolished under another mandate of the Versailles treaty; the Reichswehr was limited to 115,000 men, thus the armed forces, under the leadership of Hans von Seeckt, retained only the most capable officers. The American historians Alan Millet and Williamson Murray wrote "In reducing the officers corps, Seeckt chose the new leadership from the best men of the general staff with ruthless disregard for other constituencies, such as war heroes and the nobility". Seeckt's determination that the Reichswehr be an elite cadre force that would serve as the nucleus of an expanded military when the chance for restoring conscription came led to the creation of a new army, based upon, but different from, the army that existed in World War I.
In the 1920s, Seeckt and his officers developed new doctrines that emphasized speed, combined arms and initiative on the part of lower officers to take advantage of momentary opportunities. Though Seeckt retired in 1926, the army that went to war in 1939 was his creation. Germany was forbidden to have an air force by the Versailles treaty; these officers saw the role of an air force as winning air superiority and strategic bombing and providing ground support. That the Luftwaffe did not develop a strategic bombing force in the 1930s was not due to a lack of interest, but because of economic limitations; the leadership of the Navy led by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, a close protégé of Alfred von Tirpitz, was dedicated to the idea of reviving Tirpitz's High Seas Fleet. Officers who believed in submarine warfare led by Admiral Karl Dönitz were in a minority before 1939. By 1922