SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Tower of London

The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.

The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.

This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.

Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.

The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.

The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was ab

Scharfenberg coupler

The Scharfenberg coupler is a used type of automatic railway coupling. Designed in 1903 by Karl Scharfenberg in Königsberg, the coupler has spread from transit trains to regular passenger service trains, although outside Europe its use is restricted to mass transit systems; the Schaku is superior in many ways to the AAR coupler because it automates electrical and pneumatic connections and disconnections. However, there is no standard for the placement of these electro-pneumatic connections; some rail operators have placed them on the sides while others have placed them above the mechanical portion of the coupler. The main disadvantage of the Scharfenberg coupler is the low maximum tonnage it can support, which makes it unsuitable for freight operations; the face of the Scharfenberg coupler has a matching cup. Inside the cone there is a rigid metal hoop connected to a revolving, spring-loaded metal disk with a notch on the opposite side; when ready to couple, the spring turns the disk. As the cars meet, the hoop enters the cup on the other coupler.

The hoops are pressed back into their own coupler, causing the disks to rotate until the notches align with the hoops. After the hoops have entered, the notches on the disks spring back into the hoop extended position, locking the coupling. In the coupled position, forces on the hoops and disk will balance out, which means that the Scharfenberg, unlike many other couplers, is not dependent on heavy latches to stay locked. Small air cylinders, acting on the rotating heads of the coupler, ensure the engagement of the components, making it unnecessary to use force to get a good coupling. Joining portions of a passenger train can be done at low speed, so that the passengers are not jolted. One problem with the coupler is that it is hard to connect it in a curve. Planned coupling is done on a straight flat track, while there has been trouble coupling a broken down train at an unplanned place. Rail equipment manufacturers such as Bombardier offer the Schaku as an option on their mass transit passenger cars and locomotives.

Presently, Scharfenberg couplers are in use on the following passenger transit systems: San Francisco Bay Area - BART Denver - RTD Bus & Rail Baltimore - Baltimore Light Rail New Jersey - New Jersey Transit Portland, Oregon - TMTC Minneapolis - METRO Montreal - Metro Vancouver - Skytrain Toronto - Scarborough RT Thalys TGV – All French high-speed trains are equipped with Scharfenberg type 10 couplers. ICE – All German high-speed trains are equipped with Scharfenberg type 10 couplers. SBB Cargo – In 2019, the swiss freight operator introducing cargo wagons with Voith CargoFlex, an extension of Scharfenberg type 10 couplers. Channel Tunnel - Eurotunnel Le Shuttle São Paulo - Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos São Paulo - Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo Mass Rapid Transit Additionally, the coupler is in use on some multiple unit trains in Australia. Type 10 2008/232/EC "a technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘rolling stock’ sub-system of the trans-European high-speed rail system" 4.2.2.2.2.1.: "Automatic centre buffer couplers shall be geometrically and functionally compatible with a'Type 10 latch system automatic centre buffer coupler'" used for high-speed rail ICE, TGV, AVE S-102, Frecciarossa Type 35 Type 330 Type 430 Unknown designation: The variant used for the Eurotunnel shuttles had to be particular strong: As one engine had to be capable of starting a shuttles in an emergency, the required maximum starting force to be handled is 400 kN.

Janney coupler Draft gear Railway coupling by country Media related to Scharfenberg coupler at Wikimedia Commons Scharfenberg coupler animation

Suiyuan campaign

The Suiyuan campaign was an attempt by the Inner Mongolian Army and Grand Han Righteous Army, two forces founded and supported by Imperial Japan, to take control of the Suiyuan province from the Republic of China. The attempted invasion occurred in 1936, shortly before the Second Sino-Japanese War; the Japanese government denied taking part in the operation, but the Inner Mongolians and the other collaborationist Chinese troops received air support from Japanese planes and were assisted by the Imperial Japanese Army. The entire operation was overseen by Japanese staff officers; the campaign was unsuccessful due to lack of training and low morale among the Mongolians and other collaborators. The defense of Suiyuan, one of the first major successes of China's National Revolutionary Army over Japanese-supported forces improved Chinese morale; the Empire of Japan had been pursuing its expansionist ambitions in China since the late 19th century, the situation began escalating in the early 1930s. In September 1931, the Mukden Incident resulted in the Japanese Kwantung Army occupying the three northeastern provinces of China and defeating the forces of the pro-Nationalist warlord who had ruled the region, the "Young Marshal" Zhang Xueliang.

The Kwantung Army took part in establishing the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932 under the rule of the last Qing emperor, Puyi. Shortly after that the three eastern Mongolian leagues–ancient regions of Inner Mongolia–were occupied and annexed into fledgling state of Manchukuo; the hostilities in the Manchuria region between the Republic of China and Japan ended in May 1933 with the signing of the Tanggu Truce. However, due to the lingering Japanese territorial ambitions and Chinese public opinion being against the harsh terms of the agreement, it was only a temporary respite; the idea of using the Inner Mongolia region as a buffer state against China and Russia had been considered by Japanese government circles since the early 20th century. Throughout the 1930s the Japanese Kwantung Army wanted to use the Mongols as a method of obstructing the Chinese government's control over northern China. In 1929, they made contact with Prince Demchugdongrub, an Inner Mongolian nobleman and nationalist leader who wanted more autonomy from the Kuomintang government in Nanjing.

The Japanese knew of his ambitions to create an independent Mongolian state and wanted to use him for their own purpose, while the Prince considered allying them in order to obtain weapons and training for his Mongolian Army. In 1933, the Kwantung Army made the project to win over the Mongolian nobility to their side a priority; the Japanese took advantage of the disputes for increased autonomy between the Mongolians and the Nanjing government to bring Prince De Wang to their side with promises of providing weapons and helping him take over Inner Mongolia. In 1934, they occupied several Mongolian leagues and armed the Mongol army of the warlord Li Shouxin as part of this plan. In October of the following year, Prince De Wang met with Japanese military commanders in Hsinking and came to an agreement regarding Japan–Mongolia cooperation; the Japanese promised him military and financial assistance to take over Inner Mongolia and create a Mongolian state. In February 1936 he proclaimed the creation of the Mongol Military Government during a grandiose ceremony.

The new government adopted the birthday of Genghis Khan as its calendar, Prince De swore "to recover the original land of the Mongols, to complete the great mission of national revival." The new state only controlled the northern Chahar province but plans were soon made to expand into the neighboring Suiyuan province. Japanese intelligence operatives had been working in Suiyuan for several months to lay the ground work for the coming invasion. Meanwhile, an Inner Mongolian Army was created out of the forces loyal to Prince Demchugdongrub and other Mongolian nobles that supported him, along with other Chinese collaborators; the main force of the Mongolian Army was about 10,000 strong, divided into eight divisions, though they were poorly armed. Li Shouxin's Mongol detachment from the Manchukuo Imperial Army, attached to Prince De's command, was well armed and decently trained. In addition, a warlord hired by the Kwantung Army named Wang Ying had formed his own collaborationist force called the Grand Han Righteous Army, consisting of about 6,000 men.

The latter was attached to the Mongolian Army for the operation but consisted of hastily recruited bandits who were of low quality. Disunity and the lack of training among this exotic force damaged their morale; the Japanese provided them with weapons and tried to prepare them somewhat for the Suiyuan operation to make up for their lack of adequate training. However, they sent groups of advisers embedded in each collaborator unit, along with artillery and armored cars to assist their Mongolian allies; the Chinese National Revolutionary Army garrison in the Suiyuan province was reinforced by troops sent from Nanjing by the Kuomintang government, including an elite anti-aircraft battalion. This resulted in four Japanese planes being shot down during raids prior to the beginning of the campaign; the Japanese-backed forces which entered the region included the Inner Mongolian Army of about 10,000 men and the Grand Han Righteous Army, about 6,000 strong. These troops were supported by an unknown number of Japanese "advisers" with small groups of them being embedded in each collaborationist unit.

They were opposed by the Chinese Nationalist 35th and 19th Army, as well as some local forces, which in total numbered about 45,000 men. The invasion began in October 1936, with the main force con