World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Kaliningrad Oblast referred to as the Kaliningrad Region in English, or Kaliningrad, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. As an oblast, its constitutional status is equal to each of the other 84 federal subjects, its administrative center is the city of Kaliningrad known as Königsberg. It is the only Baltic port in the Russian Federation. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 941,873; the oblast is an exclave, bordered by Poland to the south and Lithuania to the east and north, so residents may only travel visa-free to the rest of Russia via sea or air. The territory was the northern part of East Prussia, with the southern part now being Poland's Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. With the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the territory was annexed by the Soviet Union. Following the post-war migration and Flight and expulsion of Germans, the territory was populated with citizens from the Soviet Union. Today no ethnic Germans remain. Early in the 21st century, the hitherto fledgling economy of Kaliningrad Oblast became one of the best performing economies in Russia.
This was helped by a low manufacturing tax rate related to its "Special Economic Zone" status. As of 2006, one in three televisions manufactured in Russia came from Kaliningrad; the territory's population was one of the few in Russia, expected to show strong growth after the collapse of the USSR. During the Middle Ages, the territory of what is now Kaliningrad Oblast was inhabited by tribes of Old Prussians in the western part and by Lithuanians in the eastern part; the tribes were divided by the rivers Alna. The Teutonic Knights established a monastic state. On the foundations of a destroyed Prussian settlement known as Tvanksta, the Order founded the city of Königsberg. Germans assimilated the indigenous Old Prussians; the Lithuanian-inhabited areas became known as Lithuania Minor. Speakers of the old Baltic languages became extinct around the 17th century, having been assimilated and Germanised. In 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg secularized the Prussian branch of the Teutonic Order and established himself as the sovereign of the Duchy of Prussia.
The duchy was nominally a fief of the Polish crown. It merged with the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Königsberg was the duchy's capital from 1525 until 1701; as the centre of Prussia moved westward, the position of the capital became too peripheral and Berlin became the new Prussian capital city. During the Seven Years' War it was occupied by the Russian Empire; the region was reorganized into the Province of East Prussia within the Kingdom of Prussia in 1773. The territory of the Kaliningrad Oblast lies in the northern part of East Prussia; the annexation of the territory, while on a temporary basis, was approved by the "Big Three" allied leaders of World War II in the Potsdam Agreement in 1945. Three years after the annexation by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the remaining two-thirds of East Prussia was annexed by Poland and is today organised into the Warmian-Masurian province. In 1824, shortly before its merger with West Prussia, the population of East Prussia was 1,080,000 people.
Of that number, according to Karl Andree, Germans were more than half, while 280,000 were ethnically Polish and 200,000 were ethnically Lithuanian. As of 1819 there were 20,000 strong ethnic Curonian and Latvian minorities as well as 2,400 Jews, according to Georg Hassel. Similar numbers are given with a breakdown by county. However, the majority of East Prussian Polish and Lithuanian inhabitants were Lutherans, not Roman Catholics like their ethnic kinsmen across the border in the Russian Empire. Only in Southern Warmia Catholic Poles - so called Warmiaks - comprised the majority of population, numbering 26,067 people in county Allenstein in 1837. Another minority in 19th century East Prussia, were ethnically Russian Old Believers known as Philipponnen - their main town was Eckersdorf. In year 1817, East Prussia had 796,204 Evangelical Christians, 120,123 Roman Catholics, 864 Mennonites and 2,389 Jews. East Prussia was an important centre of German culture. Many important figures, such as Immanuel Kant and E. T. A. Hoffmann, came from this region.
Despite being damaged during World War II and thereafter, the cities of the oblast still contain examples of German architecture. The Jugendstil style showcases cultural importance of the area. By the early 20th century, Lithuanians formed a majority only in rural parts of the north-eastern corner of East Prussia. A similar fate befell the Latvian-speaking Kursenieki who had settled the coast of East Prussia between Gdańsk and Klaipėda; the rest of the area, with the exception of the Slavic Masurians in southern Prussia, was overwhelmingly German-speaking. The Memel Territory part of north-eastern East Prussia as well as Lithuania Minor, was annexed by Lithuania in 1923. In 1938, Nazi Germany radically altered about a third of the place names of this area, replacing Old Prussian and Lithuanian names with newly invented German names. Slavic and Jewish populations under Nazi Germany were classified as subhuman and were the target of a campaign of genocide by the German state, with the eventual goal of their
Königsberg is the name for a former German city, now Kaliningrad, Russia. A Sambian or Old Prussian city, it belonged to the State of the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany until 1945. After being destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing and Soviet forces and annexed by the Soviet Union thereafter, the city was renamed Kaliningrad. Few traces of the former Königsberg remain today; the literal meaning of Königsberg is'King’s Mountain'. In the local Low German dialect, spoken by many of its German former inhabitants, the name was Kenigsbarg. Further names included Russian: Кёнигсберг, Королевец, tr. Kyonigsberg, Old Prussian: Kunnegsgarbs, Lithuanian: Karaliaučius, Polish: Królewiec and Yiddish: קעניגסבערג Kenigsberg. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement Twangste by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusades, was named in honour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. A Baltic port city, it successively became the capital of their monastic state, the Duchy of Prussia and East Prussia.
Königsberg remained the coronation city of the Prussian monarchy, though the capital was moved to Berlin in 1701. A university city, home of the Albertina University, Königsberg developed into an important German intellectual and cultural centre, being the residence of Simon Dach, Immanuel Kant, Käthe Kollwitz, E. T. A. Hoffmann, David Hilbert, Agnes Miegel, Hannah Arendt, Michael Wieck and others. Between the thirteenth and the twentieth centuries, the inhabitants spoke predominantly German, but the multicultural city had a profound influence on the Lithuanian and Polish cultures; the city was a publishing centre of Lutheran literature, including the first Polish translation of the New Testament, printed in the city in 1551, the first book in the Lithuanian language and the first Lutheran catechism, both printed in Königsberg in 1547. Königsberg was the easternmost large city in Germany until World War II; the city was damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 and during the Battle of Königsberg in 1945.
Its German population was expelled, the city was repopulated with Russians and others from the Soviet Union. Russified as Kyonigsberg, it was renamed "Kaliningrad" in 1946 in honour of Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin, it is now the capital of Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast, an exclave bordered in the north by Lithuania and in the south by Poland. There has been some discussion of the territory's current legal status, although this is academic; the Potsdam Agreement placed it provisionally under Soviet administration, but did not mention an explicit right of annexation. In the Final Settlement treaty of 1990, Germany renounced all claim to it, but without transferring its former title to any other party. Königsberg was preceded by a Sambian, or Old Prussian, fort known as Twangste, meaning Oak Forest, as well as several Old Prussian settlements, including the fishing village and port Lipnick, the farming villages Sakkeim and Trakkeim. During the conquest of the Prussian Sambians by the Teutonic Knights in 1255, Twangste was destroyed and replaced with a new fortress known as Conigsberg.
This name meant "King’s Hill", honoring King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who paid for the erection of the first fortress there during the Prussian Crusade. Northwest of this new Königsberg Castle arose an initial settlement known as Steindamm 4.5 miles from the Vistula Lagoon. The Teutonic Order used Königsberg to fortify their conquests in Samland and as a base for campaigns against pagan Lithuania. Under siege during the Prussian uprisings in 1262–63, Königsberg Castle was relieved by the Master of the Livonian Order; because the initial northwestern settlement was destroyed by the Prussians during the rebellion, rebuilding occurred in the southern valley between the castle hill and the Pregel River. This new settlement, received Culm rights in 1286. Löbenicht, a new town directly east of Altstadt between the Pregel and the Schlossteich, received its own rights in 1300. Medieval Königsberg's third town was Kneiphof, which received town rights in 1327 and was located on an island of the same name in the Pregel south of Altstadt.
Within the state of the Teutonic Order, Königsberg was the residence of the marshal, one of the chief administrators of the military order. The city was the seat of the Bishopric of Samland, one of the four dioceses into which Prussia had been divided in 1243 by the papal legate, William of Modena. Adalbert of Prague became the main patron saint of Königsberg Cathedral, a landmark of the city located in Kneiphof. Königsberg joined the Hanseatic League in 1340 and developed into an important port for the south-eastern Baltic region, trading goods throughout Prussia, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the chronicler Peter of Dusburg wrote his Chronicon terrae Prussiae in Königsberg from 1324–1330. After the Teutonic Order's victory over pagan Lithuanians in the 1348 Battle of Strawen, Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode established a Cistercian nunnery in the city. Aspiring students were educated in Königsberg before continuing on to higher education elsewhere, such as Prague or Leipzig.
Although the knights suffered a crippling defeat in the Battle of Grunwald, Königsberg remained under the control of the Teutonic Knights throughout the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War. Livonian knights replaced the Prussian branch's garrison at Königsberg, allow
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars, he won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history, he was born in Corsica to a modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789.
He rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt, he became First Consul of the Republic. Napoleon's ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July. Napoleon invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808; the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war; the French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted, it resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil; the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power.
Napoleon took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June; the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51. Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries and large parts of modern Italy and Germany, he implemented fundamental liberal policies throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, so on—were championed, consolidated and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica fr
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I was the Emperor of Russia between 1801 and 1825. He was Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Alexander was the first king of Congress Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland, reigning from 1809 to 1825. Born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich Emperor Paul I, he succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered, he ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. As prince and during the early years of his reign, Alexander used liberal rhetoric, but continued Russia's absolutist policies in practice. In the first years of his reign, he initiated some minor social reforms and major, liberal educational reforms, such as building more universities. Alexander appointed the son of a village priest, as one of his closest advisors; the Collegia was abolished and replaced by the State Council, created to improve legislation. Plans were made to set up a parliament and sign a constitution. In foreign policy, he changed Russia's position relative to France four times between 1804 and 1812 among neutrality and alliance.
In 1805 he joined Britain in the War of the Third Coalition against Napoleon, but after suffering massive defeats at the battles of Austerlitz and Friedland he switched sides and formed an alliance with Napoleon by the Treaty of Tilsit and joined Napoleon's Continental System. He fought a small-scale naval war against Britain between 1807 and 1812 as well as a short war against Sweden after Sweden's refusal to join the Continental System. Alexander and Napoleon hardly agreed regarding Poland, the alliance collapsed by 1810. Alexander's greatest triumph came in 1812 when Napoleon's invasion of Russia proved to be a catastrophic disaster for the French; as part of the winning coalition against Napoleon, he gained some spoils in Poland. He formed the Holy Alliance to suppress revolutionary movements in Europe that he saw as immoral threats to legitimate Christian monarchs, he helped Austria's Klemens von Metternich in suppressing all liberal movements. In the second half of his reign he was arbitrary and fearful of plots against him.
He purged schools of foreign teachers, as education became more religiously oriented as well as politically conservative. Speransky was replaced as advisor with the strict artillery inspector Aleksey Arakcheyev, who oversaw the creation of military settlements. Alexander died of typhus in December 1825 while on a trip to southern Russia, he left no children. Neither of his brothers wanted to become emperor. After a period of great confusion, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Nicholas I. Alexander was born on 23 December 1777 in Saint Petersburg, he and his younger brother Constantine were raised by their grandmother, Catherine; some sources allege. From the free-thinking atmosphere of the court of Catherine and his Swiss tutor, Frédéric-César de La Harpe, he imbibed the principles of Rousseau's gospel of humanity, but from his military governor, Nikolay Saltykov, he imbibed the traditions of Russian autocracy. Andrey Afanasyevich Samborsky, whom his grandmother chose for his religious instruction, was an atypical, unbearded Orthodox priest.
Samborsky had long lived in England and taught Alexander excellent English uncommon for potential Russian autocrats at the time. On 9 October 1793, when Alexander was still 15 years old, he married 14-year-old Princess Louise of Baden, who took the name Elizabeth Alexeievna, his grandmother was the one. Until his grandmother's death, he was walking the line of allegiance between his grandmother and his father, his steward Nikolai Saltykov helped him navigate the political landscape, engendering dislike for his grandmother and dread in dealing with his father. Catherine had the Alexander Palace built for the couple; this did nothing to help his relationship with her, as Catherine would go out of her way to amuse them with dancing and parties, which annoyed his wife. Living at the palace put pressure on him to perform as a husband, when he only had a brother's love for the Grand Duchess, he began to sympathize more with his father, as he saw visiting his father's fiefdom at Gatchina as a relief from the ostentatious court of the empress.
There, they wore simple Prussian military uniforms, instead of the gaudy clothing popular at the French court they had to wear when visiting Catherine. So, visiting the tsarevich did not come without a bit of travail. Paul liked to have his guests perform military drills, which he pushed upon his sons Alexander and Constantine, he was prone to fits of temper, he went into fits of rage when events did not go his way. Catherine's death in November 1796, before she could appoint Alexander as her successor, brought his father, Paul, to the throne. Alexander disliked him as tsar more than he did his grandmother, he wrote that Russia had become a "plaything for the insane" and that "absolute power disrupts everything". It is that seeing two previous rulers abuse their autocratic powers in such a way pushed him to be one of the more progressive Romanov tsars of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the rest of the country, Paul was unpopular, he accused his wife of conspiring to become another
Polessk, prior to 1946 known by its German name Labiau, is a town and the administrative center of Polessky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, located 49 kilometers northeast of Kaliningrad, the administrative center of the oblast, at the junction of a main road and a railroad at the Deyma River, shortly before it enters the Curonian Lagoon. Population: 7,581 ; the Polessk Canal begins in the town. It was founded in the 13th century; the town was named it Labiau. It was part of the State of the Teutonic Order and subsequently the Duchy of Prussia. In this town, on November 20, 1656, was signed the Treaty of Labiau. Before 1945 Labiau was part of East Prussia within the Kingdom of the German Empire. Labiau was a district seat in the administrative region of Königsberg. In 1885, Labiau had 4,744 inhabitants all of whom were Lutherans. Labiau was overrun by the Soviet Red Army in 1945 near the end of World War II; the northern rump of East Prussia was transferred from Germany to Russia by annexation and the following year the town was renamed Polessk.
The German inhabitants were evacuated via the coast, or were subsequently expelled or murdered and replaced with Soviet citizens. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Polessk serves as the administrative center of Polessky District; as an administrative division, it is, together with two rural localities, incorporated within Polessky District as the town of district significance of Polessk. As a municipal division, the town of district significance of Polessk is incorporated within Polessky Municipal District as Polesskoye Urban Settlement. Otto Brakat Wehrmacht soldier Правительство Калининградской области. Постановление №640 от 30 августа 2011 г. «Об утверждении реестра объектов административно-территориального деления Калининградской области», в ред. Постановления №877 от 21 ноября 2011 г «О внесении изменения в Постановление Правительства Калининградской области от 30 августа 2011 г. №640». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Калининградская правда", №170, 15 сентября 2011 г..
Калининградская областная Дума. Закон №260 от 30 июня 2008 г. «Об организации местного самоуправления на территории муниципального образования "Полесский городской округ"», в ред. Закона №370 от 1 июля 2009 г «О составе территорий муниципальных образований Калининградской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Калининградская правда", №124, 11 июля 2008 г