Operation Torch was an Anglo–American invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. It was aimed at reducing pressure on Allied forces in Egypt, enabling an invasion of Southern Europe, it provided the ‘second front’ which the Soviet Union had been requesting since it was invaded by the Germans in 1941. The region was dominated by the Vichy French in collaboration with Germany, but with mixed loyalties, reports indicated that they might support the Allied initiative; the American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding the operation, planned a three-pronged attack, aimed at Casablanca and Algiers, in advance of a rapid move on Tunis; the Western Task Force encountered unexpected resistance, as well as bad weather, but Casablanca, the principal French Atlantic naval base, was captured after a short siege. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its fleet, trying to land in shallow water, but the enemy ships were sunk or driven off, Oran surrendered after heavy fire from British battleships.
The Eastern Task Force met less opposition because the French Resistance had staged a coup in Algiers, the Allies were able to push inland and compel surrender on the first day. The success of Torch caused the commander of French forces in the region, Admiral Darlan, to order full co-operation with the Allies, in return for being retained as High Commissioner, with many Vichy officials keeping their jobs, but Darlan was assassinated soon after, De Gaulle’s Free French came to dominate the government. Operation Torch was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, saw the first major airborne assault carried out anywhere by the United States; the Allies planned an Anglo-American invasion of north-western Africa/Maghreb—Morocco and Tunisia, territory nominally in the hands of the Vichy French government. With British forces advancing from Egypt, this would allow the Allies to carry out a pincer operation against Axis forces in North Africa; the Vichy French had around 125,000 soldiers in the territories as well as coastal artillery, 210 operational but out-of-date tanks and about 500 aircraft, half of which were Dewoitine D.520 fighters—equal to many British and U.
S. fighters. These forces included 60,000 troops in Morocco, 15,000 in Tunisia, 50,000 in Algeria, with coastal artillery, a small number of tanks and aircraft. In addition, there were 11 submarines at Casablanca; the Allies believed that the Vichy French forces would not fight because of information supplied by American Consul Robert Daniel Murphy in Algiers. The French were former members of the Allies and the American troops were instructed not to fire unless they were fired upon. However, they harbored suspicions that the Vichy French navy would bear a grudge over the British attack on Mers-el-Kebir in 1940. An assessment of the sympathies of the French forces in North Africa was essential, plans were made to secure their cooperation, rather than resistance. German support for the Vichy French came in the shape of air support. Several Luftwaffe bomber wings undertook anti-shipping strikes against Allied ports in Algiers and along the North African coast. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was given command of the operation, he set up his headquarters in Gibraltar.
The Allied Naval Commander of the Expeditionary Force would be Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham. Senior US commanders remained opposed to the landings and after the western Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff met in Washington on 30 July, General George Marshall and Admiral Ernest King declined to approve the plan. U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a direct order that Torch was to have precedence over other operations and was to take place at the earliest possible date, one of only two direct orders he gave to military commanders during the war. Planners identified Oran and Casablanca as key targets. Ideally there would be a landing at Tunis to secure Tunisia and facilitate the rapid interdiction of supplies travelling via Tripoli to Rommel's forces in Libya. However, Tunis was much too close to the Axis airfields in Sicily and Sardinia for any hope of success. A compromise would be to land at Bône in eastern Algeria, some 300 miles closer to Tunis than Algiers. Limited resources dictated that the Allies could only make three landings and Eisenhower — who believed that any plan must include landings at Oran and Algiers — had two main options: either the western option, to land at Casablanca and Algiers and make as rapid a move as possible to Tunis some 500 miles east of Algiers once the Vichy opposition was suppressed.
He favoured the eastern option because of the advantages it gave to an early capture of Tunis and because the Atlantic swells off Casablanca presented greater risks to an amphibious landing there than would be encountered in the Mediterranean. The Combined Chiefs of Staff, were concerned that should Operation Torch precipitate Spain to abandon neutrality and join the Axis, the Straits of Gibraltar could be closed cutting the entire Allied force's lines of communication, they therefore chose the Casablanca option as the less risky since the forces in Algeria and Tunisia could be supplied overland from Casablanca in the event of closure of the straits. Marshall’s opposition to Torch delayed the landings by a month, his opposition to landings in Algeria led British military leaders to quest
Oran is a major coastal city located in the north-west of Algeria. It is considered the second most important city of Algeria after the capital Algiers, due to its commercial and cultural importance, it is 432 km from Algiers. The total population of the city was 759,645 in 2008, while the metropolitan area has a population of 1,500,000 making it the second largest city in Algeria. A legend says; the last two lions were hunted on a mountain near Oran and are elsewhere referred to as "mountain lions". The word derives from the Berber root hr; the name is attested for instance as uharu and ahra. A locally popular legend tells that in the period around AD 900, there were sightings of lions in the area; the two last lions were killed on a mountain near Oran, it became known as La montagne des lions. Two giant lion statues stand in front of Oran's city hall. See also: Timeline of Oran and History of Oran During the Roman empire, a small settlement called Unica Colonia existed in the area of current Oran, but this settlement disappeared after the Arab conquest of the Maghreb.
Present-day Oran was founded in 903 by Moorish Andalusi traders. It was captured by the Castilians under Cardinal Cisneros in 1509, Spanish sovereignty lasted until 1708, when the city was conquered by the Ottomans. Spain recaptured the city in 1732. However, its value as a trading post had decreased so King Charles IV sold the city to the Turks in 1792. Ottoman rule lasted until 1831. Under French rule during the 19th and 20th centuries, Oran was the capital of a département of the same name. In July 1940, the British navy shelled French warships in the port after they refused a British ultimatum to surrender; the action increased the hatred of the Vichy regime for Britain but convinced the world that the British would fight on alone against Nazi Germany and its allies. The Vichy government held Oran during World War II until its capture by the Allies in late 1942, during Operation Torch. During French rule, Jews were encouraged to modernize and take on jobs they had not before including agriculture.
Jews In the city were allowed to join the French Army starting October 24, 1870 when Algerian Jews were granted citizenship. French Jews would soon be targeted after not choosing to side with the Algerian Muslims who fought for independence against France. Before the Algerian War, 1954–1962, Oran had one of the highest proportions of Europeans of any city in North Africa. In July 1962, after a ceasefire and accords with France, the FLN entered Oran and were shot at by a European. A mob massacred thousands of Europeans in Oran; this triggered a larger exodus of Europeans to France, underway. Shortly after the end of the war, most of the Europeans and Algerian Jews living in Oran fled to France. In less than three months, Oran lost about half its population; this population lost is similar to the Jews as many fled after siding with France in the Algerian War for Independence. As the war progressed, those who supported independence in Algeria threatened those who sided with Europe causing these people to flee.
With its location as the closest port to Spain and its prominence on the Mediterranean, Jewish refugees first immigrated to Oran to flee persecution and conversion to Christianity in Spain in 1391. This refuge brought other religious refugees that included both Jews again and Muslims in both 1492 and 1502. On October 24, 1870, with the French dominance, Algerian Jews were given French citizenship with the Cremieux Decree. Despite a World War II sentiment that favored acceptance, Oran still had a history marked by intolerance. There was a decrease in the Jewish population as Muslims were the only group granted citizenship protection in 1963, one year after Algerian independence. Before the Spaniards, the Portuguese launched a failed expedition to capture the city in July 1501. Four years the Spanish took Mers-el-Kébir, located just four miles to the west of the Oran, thus began the first organized incursions against the city which, at the time, numbered 25,000 inhabitants and counted 6,000 fueros.
Count Pedro Navarro, on the orders of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros captured the city on May 17, 1509. The occupying forces set fire to the archives of the town. By 1554, the Turks had reached Algiers; the governor of Oran, Count Alcaudete, allied himself with Moroccan Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh against them. Nine years in 1563, Álvaro de Bazán, Marquis de Santa Cruz, built the fort of Santa-Cruz, strategically placed at the top of a mountain, l'Aïdour, more than 1,000 ft above the sea, directly to the west of the city. Pedro Garcerán de Borja, Grand Master of the Order of Montesa, was captain of Oran when, on July 14, 1568, John of Austria, led a flotilla of 33 galleys against the Algerians. In April 1669 the Spanish governor, the Marquis of Los Vélez, expelled all the Jews who lived in Oran and Mers El Kébir sending them to be resettled in either Nice, or Livorno; the Spanish rebuilt Santa Cruz Fort to accommodate their city governors. "The fortifications of the place were composed of thick and continuous walls of over two and a half km in circumference, surmounted by strong towers spaced between them," with a central castle or kasbah where the Spanish
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers. It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, initiated the Italian Campaign. Husky began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, ended on 17 August. Strategically, Husky achieved; the Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy. The German leader, Adolf Hitler, "canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy", resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front; the collapse of Italy necessitated German troops replacing the Italians in Italy and to a lesser extent the Balkans, resulting in one fifth of the entire German army being diverted from the east to southern Europe, a proportion that would remain until near the end of the war. The plan for Operation Husky called for the amphibious assault of Sicily by two Allied armies, one landing on the south-eastern and one on the central southern coast.
The amphibious assaults were to be supported by naval gunfire, as well as tactical bombing and close air support by the combined air forces. As such, the operation required a complex command structure, incorporating land and air forces; the overall commander was American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, as Commander-in-Chief of all the Allied forces in North Africa. British General Sir Harold Alexander acted as his second-in-command and as the 15th Army Group commander; the American Major General Walter Bedell Smith was appointed as Eisenhower's Chief of Staff. The overall Naval Force Commander was the British Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham; the Allied land forces were from the American and Canadian armies, were structured as two task forces. The Eastern Task Force was led by General Sir Bernard Montgomery and consisted of the British Eighth Army; the Western Task Force was commanded by Lieutenant General George S. Patton and consisted of the American Seventh Army; the two task force commanders reported to Alexander as commander of the 15th Army Group.
The U. S. Seventh Army consisted of three infantry divisions, organized under II Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley; the 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions, commanded by Major Generals Terry Allen and Lucian Truscott sailed from ports in Tunisia, while the 45th Infantry Division, under Major General Troy H. Middleton, sailed from the United States via Oran in Algeria; the 2nd Armored Division, under Major General Hugh Joseph Gaffey sailing from Oran, was to be a floating reserve and be fed into combat as required. On 15 July, Patton reorganized his command into two corps by creating a new Provisional Corps headquarters, commanded by his deputy army commander, Major General Geoffrey Keyes; the British Eighth Army had four infantry divisions and an independent infantry brigade organized under XIII Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey, XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese. The two divisions of XIII Corps, the 5th and 50th Infantry Divisions, commanded by Major-Generals Horatio Berney-Ficklin and Sidney Kirkman, sailed from Suez in Egypt.
The formations of XXX Corps sailed from more diverse ports: the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, under Major-General Guy Simonds, sailed from the United Kingdom, the 51st Infantry Division, under Major-General Douglas Wimberley, from Tunisia and Malta, the 231st Independent Infantry Brigade Group from Suez. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division was included in Operation Husky at the insistence of the Canadian Prime Minister, William Mackenzie King, the Canadian Military Headquarters in the United Kingdom; this request was granted by the British, displacing the veteran British 3rd Infantry Division. The change was not finalized until 27 April 1943, when Lieutenant-General Andrew McNaughton commanding the Canadian First Army in the United Kingdom, deemed Operation Husky to be a viable military undertaking and agreed to the detachment of both the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade; the "Red Patch Division" was added to Leese's XXX Corps to become part of the British Eighth Army.
In addition to the amphibious landings, airborne troops were to be flown in to support both the Western and Eastern Task Forces. To the east, the British 1st Airborne Division, commanded by Major-General George F. Hopkinson, was to seize vital bridges and high ground in support of the British Eighth Army; the initial plan dictated that the U. S. 82nd Airborne Division, commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgway, was to be held as a tactical reserve in Tunisia. Allied naval forces were grouped into two task forces to transport and support the invading armies; the Eastern Naval Task Force was formed from the British Mediterranean Fleet and was commanded by Admiral Bertram Ramsay. The Western Naval Task Force was formed around the U. S. Eighth Fleet, commanded by Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt; the two naval task force commanders reported to Admiral Cunningham as overall Naval Forces Commander. Two sloops of the Royal Indian Navy - HMIS Sutlej and HMIS Jumna - participated. At the time of Operation Husky, the Allied air forces in North Africa and the Mediterranean were organized into the Mediterranean Air Command under Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder.
The major sub
Biak is a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua, an Indonesian province, is just northwest of New Guinea. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago, has many atolls and corals; the largest population centre is at Kota Biak on the south coast. The rest of the island is thinly populated with small villages. Biak is part of the Biak Islands. Biak was first reported as sighted by Europeans by the Portuguese navigator Jorge de Menezes in 1526. In his voyage from Malacca to Maluku via northern Borneo, Jorge de Menezes landed at Biak Islands, at the entrance of the Gulf, where he was forced to winter; the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Saavedra sighted the island on 24 June 1528, when trying to return from Tidore to New Spain. Another sighting was reported in 1545 by Spanish navigator Íñigo Ortiz de Retes on board of galleon San Juan when attempting the return to New SpainThe archipelago was first mapped in the Portuguese charts of Gaspar Viegas, an anonymous map of 1540, on the maps of João de Lisboa and of Bartolomeu Velho, by other Portuguese and Dutch maps.
In World War II, a strategic airfield of the Imperial Japanese Army was located there, serving as a base for operations in the Pacific theatre. American forces captured the island during the Battle of Biak; the captured airfield was renamed Mokmer Airfield and transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force. It was transferred from Dutch rule, along with half of New Guinea, in the 1960s. On 1 July 1998, the anniversary of the unsuccessful 1971 Papuan declaration of independence, Biak was the scene of what is known as the'Biak Massacre' or'Bloody Biak'. Native Papuan people and members of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka, raised their traditional flag,'The Morning Star', at Kota Biak water tower and camped there for the next six days. At 05:30 on 6 July 1998 the demonstration was fired upon by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia. Many were shot while attempting to flee. Survivors were rounded up and forced to the docks where they were kept for the several days while further demonstrators were caught. About 200 of the original demonstrators were forcibly loaded onto two Indonesian naval vessels and taken to two different locations to be thrown into the ocean.
In the following days, bodies were snarled in fishing nets. The TNI explained that the bodies turning up belonged to victims of the Aitape tsunami which occurred 1,000 kilometres away in Papua New Guinea; the people of Biak are predominantly Melanesians and the main religion is Christianity. The official language is Indonesian and the main local language is Biak. Other languages such as Dutch and English are used, but limited. Administratively there are 12 kecamatan, covering only the island itself, having 112,873 people in the 2010 census. Biak features a tropical rainforest climate with nearly identical temperatures throughout the course of the year; the average annual temperature in the city is 26 °C, generally the average temperature of each day in Biak. The city sees a good amount of precipitation in every month throughout the course of the year, averaging 2,816 millimetres of precipitation per year, its driest months November, average a little under 200 millimetres of rain per month. Biak is serviced by Frans Kaisiepo Airport.
Space satellite launch services had been planned, As of 2006, for the new Biak Spaceport. The equatorial location offers efficient launches to equatorial and near-equatorial orbits; the Biak Numfor culture revolves around their ancient animist religion, although today they are Christian as well. Their beliefs revolve around a ritual ceremony called Wor, where they will be plagued by all kinds of bad luck and sickness; the Wor is in all aspect of their life and some of their traditional ceremonies are still being held now. They include the growing up ceremony and the Wedding ceremony. All of these ceremonies are accompanied by singing and offering to ancestral spirits; the Biak Numfor have a friendship dance called "Yosim Pancar". It's small to mid-size dance group formations. Several "Yosim Pancar" moves that are popular till this day are: Pancar Gas, Gale-Gale, Pacul Tiga and Poco-poco adaptation; the rhythm and song of Yosim Pancar dance are now being modernized with special effect sounds and pop dance beat.
The rhythm is to summon ancestal spirits and let them join the group. The traditional musical instrument of this dance is a selfmade stringbass from coconut tree and roots, similar to the guitar or ukulele; the rain forest-covered Biak Islands have been designated the Biak-Numfoor rain forests as they have the largest number of endemic bird species of any single area in the New Guinea region. There are numerous reptile and amphibian species found here. Among the many snake species catalogued by Tom Mendelson during his herpetological survey of Biak in the 1990s, the green tree python and the amethystine python were quite common. There are numerous types of flora in the tropical rain forest of the island, including a variety of trees and other commercially important species plus the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps. 1996 Biak earthquake
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
USS Savannah (CL-42)
USS Savannah was a light cruiser of the Brooklyn-class that served in World War II in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres of operation. Savannah conducted Neutrality Patrols and wartime patrols in the Atlantic and Caribbean, supported the invasion of French North Africa in Operation Torch, she sought German-supporting blockade runners off the east coast of South America, supported the Allied landings on Sicily and at Salerno. Off Salerno on 11 September 1943, a German radio-controlled Fritz X glide-bomb caused extensive casualties aboard and serious damage to Savannah, requiring emergency repairs in Malta and permanent repairs at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. After repairs and upgrades, she served in the task force that carried President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference in early 1945. Savannah was laid down on 31 May 1934 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey. Russell, Jr. of Georgia. Following a shakedown cruise to Cuba and Haiti in the spring, Savannah returned to Philadelphia on 3 June for alterations followed by final trials off Rockland, Maine.
This cruiser, prepared to protect American nationals should war break out in Europe, steamed out from Philadelphia bound for England on 26 September, she reached Portsmouth on 4 October. However, the Munich agreement had postponed the war, so Savannah returned to Norfolk on 18 October. Following winter maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea, Savannah visited her namesake city, Georgia, from 12 to 20 April 1939, she got underway from Norfolk on 26 May. Her homeport was soon shifted to California. Savannah arrived at Pearl Harbor on 21 May 1940, she conducted battle readiness and training operations in Hawaiian waters until 8 November. On 8 August Andrew C. Bennett was given command of the ship. Savannah returned to Long Beach on 14 November, soon thereafter, she was overhauled at the Mare Island Navy Yard in San Francisco Bay. Savannah steamed back into Pearl Harbor on 27 January 1941 and remained there on the U. S. Navy's Hawaiian Sea Frontier until 19 May, when she set course back to the Panama Canal and voyaged to Boston via Cuba, arriving on 17 June 1941.
As the flagship of Cruiser Division 8, Savannah conducted Neutrality Patrols in waters ranging south to Cuba and back up the seaboard to the Virginia Capes. On 25 August 1941, she got underway from Norfolk to patrol in the South Atlantic as far as Trindade and Martim Vaz in the screen of the aircraft carrier Wasp; the task group swept north from Bermuda to NS Argentia, where Savannah arrived on 23 September. During the next eight weeks, the cruiser helped cover British merchantmen and Allied convoys to within a few hundred miles of the British Isles, replenishing at Casco Bay, Maine, or at New York City. Savannah was in New York Harbor when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, she steamed that same day toward Casco Bay and from there she steamed via Bermuda to Brazil, arriving at Recife on 12 January 1942. She joined the screen of the aircraft carrier Ranger, in patrolling the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda; this island became the cruiser's temporary base while she watched over Vichy French warships based at Martinique and Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.
Savannah departed from Shelly Bay, Bermuda, on 7 June, entered the Boston Navy Yard two days for an overhaul. This was completed by 15 August. Savannah received Leon S. Fiske, on 12 June. Savannah next steamed to readiness exercises in Chesapeake Bay that would prepare her for the invasion of North Africa. Savannah became a unit of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's Western Naval Task Force which would land some 35,000 Army troops and 250 tanks at three different points on the Atlantic coast of French Morocco; as part of the Northern Attack Group, commanded by Rear Admiral Monroe Kelly, Savannah departed from Norfolk on 24 October 1942, rendezvoused with the Western Naval Task Force four days at a point about 450 mi south southeast of Cape Race. The Task Force, including the outer screen, covered an area 20-30 mi, making it the greatest warship fleet to be sent out by the United States up to that time. Shortly before midnight on the night of 7 – 8 November 1942, three separate task groups closed in on three different points on the Moroccan coast to begin Operation Torch.
Savannah's Northern Attack Group was to land Brigadier General Lucian K. Truscott's 9,099 officers and men, including 65 light tanks, on five separated beaches on either side of Mehedia, their objectives were the Port Lyautey city and its all-weather airfield, the Wadi Sebou, the Salé airfield. On the morning of 8 November 1942, Savannah commenced firing against Vichy guns near the Kasbah, firing on the Army troop's landing boats, she temporarily silenced a battery which had opened up on the destroyer Roe, enabling her to avoid a disaster. By the next morning, Savannah's 6 in guns had scored a direct hit on one of the two 5.4 in artillery guns in the fortress of Kasbah and had silenced the other. During that same day, Savannah's scout planes started a new phase of warfare by bombing some tank columns with their depth charges, whose fuses had been set to detonate on impact; the scout planes, maintaining about eight hours of flight time daily, struck at other shore targets, they kept up antisubmarine patrols.
Savannah's warplanes located an enemy battery, firing on the