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Utah Beach

Utah known as Utah Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The westernmost of the five code-named landing beaches in Normandy, Utah is on the Cotentin Peninsula, west of the mouths of the Douve and Vire rivers. Amphibious landings at Utah were undertaken by United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, a naval bombardment force provided by the United States Navy and Coast Guard as well as elements from the British and other Allied navies; the objective at Utah was to secure a beachhead on the Cotentin Peninsula, the location of important port facilities at Cherbourg. The amphibious assault by the US 4th Infantry Division and 70th Tank Battalion, was supported by airborne landings of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division; the intention was to seal off the Cotentin Peninsula, prevent the Germans from reinforcing Cherbourg, capture the port as as possible.

Utah, along with Sword on the eastern flank, was added to the invasion plan in December 1943. These changes doubled the frontage of the invasion and necessitated a month-long delay so that additional landing craft and personnel could be assembled in England. Allied forces attacking Utah faced two battalions of the 919th Grenadier Regiment, part of the 709th Static Infantry Division. While improvements to fortifications had been undertaken under the leadership of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel beginning in October 1943, the troops assigned to defend the area were poorly equipped non-German conscripts. D-Day at Utah began at 01:30, when the first of the airborne units arrived, tasked with securing the key crossroads at Sainte-Mère-Église and controlling the causeways through the flooded farmland behind Utah so the infantry could advance inland. While some airborne objectives were met, many paratroopers landed far from their drop zones and were unable to fulfill their objectives on the first day. On the beach itself and tanks landed in four waves beginning at 06:30 and secured the immediate area with minimal casualties.

Meanwhile, engineers set to work clearing the area of obstacles and mines, additional waves of reinforcements continued to arrive. At the close of D-Day, Allied forces had only captured about half of the planned area and contingents of German defenders remained, but the beachhead was secure; the 4th Infantry Division landed 21,000 troops on Utah at the cost of only 197 casualties. Airborne troops arriving by parachute and glider numbered an additional 14,000 men, with 2,500 casualties. Around 700 men were lost in engineering units, 70th Tank Battalion, seaborne vessels sunk by the enemy. German losses are unknown. Cherbourg was captured on June 26, but by this time the Germans had destroyed the port facilities, which were not brought back into full operation until September; the decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion of continental Europe within the next year was taken at the Trident Conference, held in Washington in May 1943. The Allies planned to launch the invasion on May 1, 1944, a draft of the plan was accepted at the Quebec Conference in August 1943.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all of the land forces involved in the invasion. On December 31, 1943, Eisenhower and Montgomery first saw the plan, which proposed amphibious landings by three divisions and two-thirds of an airborne division; the two generals insisted that the scale of the initial invasion be expanded to five divisions, with airborne descents by three divisions, to allow operations on a wider front. The change doubled the frontage of the invasion from 25 miles to 50 miles; this would allow for quicker offloading of men and materiel, make it more difficult for the Germans to respond, speed up the capture of the port at Cherbourg. Eisenhower and Lieutenant General Omar Bradley selected for Utah the VII Corps. Major General J. Lawton Collins, who had experience with amphibious operations in the Pacific Theater of Operations, replaced Major General Roscoe Woodruff as commander of VII Corps.

The coastline of Normandy was divided into seventeen sectors, with codenames using a spelling alphabet—from Able, west of Omaha, to Roger on the east flank of Sword. Utah was designated "Yoke" and Omaha was "X-ray", from the phonetic alphabet; the two names were changed on 3 March 1944. "Omaha" and "Utah" were suggested by Bradley. Eight further sectors were added. Sectors were further subdivided into beaches identified by the colors Green and White. Utah, the westernmost of the five landing beaches, is on the Cotentin Peninsula, west of the mouths of the Douve and Vire rivers; the terrain between Utah and the neighboring Omaha was swampy and difficult to cross, which meant that the troops landing at Utah would be isolated. The Germans had flooded the farmland behind Utah, restricting travel off the beach to a few narrow causeways. To help secure the terrain inland of the landing zone seal off the Cotentin Peninsula, prevent the Germans from reinforcing the port at Cherbourg, two airborne divisions were assigned to airdrop into German territory in the early hours of the invasion.

The need to acquire or produce extra landing craft and troop carrier aircraft for the expanded operation meant that the invasion had to be delayed to June. Production of landing craft was ramped up in late 1943 and continued into early 1944, existing craft were relocated from other theaters. More than 600 Douglas C-47 Skytrai

2007 Bremen state election

The 2007 Bremen state election was held on 13 May 2007 to elect the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen, as well as the city councils of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The incumbent government of the Social Democratic Party and Christian Democratic Union retained its majority with losses. However, the SPD chose to form a new government with The Greens. Jens Böhrnsen was re-elected as Mayor; this was the first election contested by The Left after the merger of the PDS and WASG. The new party achieved 8.4% of the vote, up from 1.7% for PDS in 2003, marking its first major success in a western state. The table below lists parties represented in the previous Bürgerschaft of Bremen

Altdahn Castle

Altdahn Castle is a castle ruin in the Palatinate Forest, the German part of the Wasgau region, is located near the town of Dahn in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It stands 337 metres above sea level; the rock castle of Altdahn belongs to the group of castles at Dahn, which includes Grafendahn and Tanstein. Although the three castles are sited next to one another on a low, rocky ridge, they were not built at the same time. A similar type of castle arrangement is found e. g. in the nearby French Vosges in the upper Alsace where there is a cluster of three castles at Husseren-les-Châteaux. Other sights nearby include the natural rock formation of Jungfernsprung. Altdahn was built in the early 13th century. In 1236 the castle was being run by Frederick of Dahn as a vassal of the Bishop of Speyer who, at that time, was Conrad IV of Dahn and may well have been a relative; the subsequent history of the castle is characterized by many wars and frequent destruction, again, followed by rebuilding. Altdahn was first destroyed in 1363 in the course of a feud between the Dahns and the Fleckensteins.

In the end a squire carried out temporary repairs. In 1372 it was destroyed again and the squire driven out. In 1406 the castle was destroyed in the War of the Four Lords, which played out from 1405 to 1408 in the Bliesgau, 40 kilometres to the west. In 1426 and 1438 the castle caught fire without being caused by any military action. After two centuries of relative prosperity Altdahn suffered further damage during the Thirty Years' War, and right at the start of the War of the Palatine Succession the castle was destroyed in 1689 by French troops under General Mélac. On 11 May 1820 a rockfall occurred, that caused the majority of the remaining ruins to collapse. Mendelssohn, the composer and artist, visited the ruins on 5 August 1844; the originals are in Oxford, but copies may be seen in the museum, as can a medieval silver spoon engraved with the coat of arms of the lords of Dahn. On the ridge of the Dahn castle group, which run from east-northeast to west-southwest, Altdahn Castle occupies the two largest, easternmost rock outcrops, which have a total length of about 100 metres.

Its access is in the northeast, where the gateway and a small, water-filled neck ditch have survived. The lower ward is dominated on the north side by a horseshoe-shaped turret and, on the south side, by another tower of similar design. Other notable remains of the upper ward on the western rock outcrop that have survived, include the north wall of the palas and a watchtower that, from the remains of an oriel, indicate that it may well have been used as a garderobe tower; the southern part of the palas was destroyed in the rockslide of 1820. This opened the remains of a round cavern, in the rock in the shape of an inverted cone, identified as a cistern or dungeon. On the remains of the eastern side, rusticated ashlar stonework is visible; the isolated eastern castle rock is accessible over a narrow gangway. It used to support a small tower. In 1877 the first conservation work was carried out by the Dahn Conservation Society under the Bavarian government. In 1936, during the Nazi era, restoration work was restarted.

After an interruption caused by the Second World War they continued from 1960 to the present day. In 2007, cracks were confirmed on a 1,100 ton block of sandstone on the castle. If this were to break, a third of the castle would be destroyed. Geologists placed sensors against the rock. Using abutments on the ground, the rock was secured, but these measures were expensive and time-consuming; the all clear was given in June 2008, because the sensors did not pick up any further movement of the rock. The electronic sensors were removed and replaced with manually readable "rock spies"; the rock will be watched for a further two years. Marco Bollheimer, Felsenburgen im Burgenparadies Wasgau–Nordvogesen, Karlsruhe: Selbstverlag, pp. 64–65, ISBN 978-3-9814506-0-6 Stefan Grathoff: Die Dahner Burgen. Alt-Dahn – GrafendahnTanstein. Führungsheft 21. Edition Burgen, Schlösser, Altertümer Rheinland Pfalz. Schnell und Steiner, Regensburg, 2003, ISBN 3-7954-1461-X. Walter Herrmann: Auf rotem Fels. Ein Führer zu den schönsten Burgen der Pfalz und des elsässischen Wasgau.

DRW-Verlag Weinbrenner, Karlsruhe, 2004, ISBN 3-7650-8286-4. Elena Rey: Burgenführer Pfalz. Superior, Kaiserslautern 2003, ISBN 3-936216-15-0. Günter Stein: Burgen und Schlösser in der Pfalz. Ein Handbuch. Weidlich, Frankfurt 1976, ISBN 3-8035-8356-X. Alexander Thon, Peter Pohlit: Grafendahn. In: Jürgen Keddigkeit: Pfälzisches Burgenlexikon. Beiträge zur pfälzischen Geschichte Bd. 12/2, Institut für Pfälzische Geschichte und Volkskunde, Kaiserslautern, 2002, ISBN 3-927754-48-X, pp. 213–223. Alexander Thon:... wie eine unnahbare Zauberburg. Burgen in der Südpfalz. 2nd edition. Schnell und Steiner, Regensburg, 2005, ISBN 3-7954-1570-5, pp. 18–25. Dahner Felsenland: Altdahn–Grafendahn–Tanstein Entry on Burg Altdahn in EBIDAT, the databank of the European Castles Institute

Blessed (Fady Maalouf album)

Blessed is the debut album by Lebanese-German singer Fady Maalouf. It was released by Columbia Records and Sony BMG on 25 July 2008 in German-speaking Europe, following his participation in the fifth season of Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the German version of Pop Idol, where he had finished second. Maalouf worked with German producer Alex Christensen on the entire album, while musician such as Jörgen Elofsson, Andrew Love, Peer Astrom, Per Eklund, Lauren Evans, Mike Busbee, Maalouf himself received songwriting credits on Blessed; the album received mixed reviews from critics, with praising Maaloufs's vocals but criticizing the Christensen's production on the songs. A major commercial success, Blessed became one of the biggest-charting albums of any DSDS runner-up, debuting and peaking at number two on the German Albums Chart, while reaching number seven in Austria and Germany, its release was preceded by the same-titled lead single, which became a number two hit on the German Singles Chart.

A reissue of Blessed, containing several new recordings, was released in November 2008. Credits adapted from the liner notes of Blessed

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter released in Japan as Soratorobo -Sore Kara Kōda e- is an action role-playing video game developed by CyberConnect2 for the Nintendo DS. Released in Japan by Bandai Namco Games in October 2010, an English version was released by Nintendo for Europe in July 2011 and Australia the following November, with a North American release in September 2011 by Xseed Games, it is the spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto, like its predecessor, features artwork and character designs by manga artist Nobuteru Yūki and music by Chikayo Fukuda. The game includes animated cutscenes produced by Madhouse, as well as vocal themes performed by Tomoyo Mitani. Set in a steampunk fantasy world of floating sky islands populated by anthropomorphic dogs and cats dubbed "Caninu" and "Felineko" the game focuses on a canine freelance adventurer named Red Savarin who pilots a flying mecha. On a ordinary task to fetch a stolen file, he encounters a mysterious young Felineko named Elh, becomes involved in a series of events that reveal the hidden truth of the origin of his world and those who live in it.

Solatorobo is an action role-playing game where players control Red, an adventurer who pilots his own small mecha equipped with long arms that can grab and throw objects or enemies. Red can throw enemies into one another, as well as toss and re-throw the same enemy in a combo to deal extra damage; each time an enemy is defeated, Red gains experience points that allow him to gain levels, making him stronger and increasing his health. His mecha can be upgraded and customized by purchasing parts with currency called "rings", which consist of simple geometric shapes that fit into slots unlocked by finding "P. Crystals" throughout the game; as the story progresses, he gains new offensive abilities such as swinging an opponent around or firing projectiles. The player may allow Red to exit his machine at any time, giving him the ability to swim, climb ladders, activate panels or switches, immobilize enemies with his stun gun. Players advance the story by making it to the end of each new area solving puzzles and defeating enemies along the way.

In addition to the main narrative, players must complete a number of side quests to increase their "hunter rank", allowing them to gain access to new parts of the main storyline. A total of 83 quests exist in the game, which require the player to find items, perform tasks for townsfolk, or play minigames. While 12 of these quests were only available as downloadable content in the Japanese and PAL versions, the North American release contains all of them on the game card from the start; the game includes a multiplayer racing mode called Air Robo GP, which can be played over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Solatorobo takes place in the Shepherd Republic, a series of floating islands traversed by airships and small personal mechas, where French is the dominant language; the characters of the game consist of anthropomorphic dogs known as "Caninu" and anthropomorphic cats known as "Felineko". Players control the titular Red Savarin, a 17-year-old Caninu who makes his living as a Hunter, a type of mercenary.

Characterized as an "alpha dog", he suffers from amnesia and pilots the robotic Dahak throughout the game, which serves as his primary weapon and means of travel. He is accompanied by his adoptive sister Chocolat Gelato, a mechanically-minded Pomeranian Caninu who supports him over Dahak's communication system. Much of the story revolves around Red's relationship with Elh Melizée, a mysterious American Shorthair Felineko he encounters on an early mission, with her gender left ambiguous. In the second course, Red met Yurlungur, the last remaining Juno on Earth, aware of the actions of the Hybrids; the principle antagonists include members of the Kurvaz Guild, an organization that uses blackmail and intimidation to get what they want, plan to unleash an ancient evil force called Lares. Led by the German Shepherd Caninu Bruno Dondurma, his associates, known as the Kurvaz Special Operations Unit, include Opéra Kranz (Voiced by Ryōka Yuzuki, a Russian Blue Felineko who pilots the Robo known as Tiamat.

They are assisted by Bruno's secretary Merveille Million, a Collie Caninu, as well as Béluga Damiens, a lynx breed Felineko bounty hunter who flies the Salamander and becomes a rival of Red's. In the game's second course and the others encounter a new organization called Hybrids, composed of both Blanc, a male human hybrid who rides the Srvara and Nero, a female human hybrid who pilots the Zairita. Both of them take orders from Baion, the leader and pilot of the robo Berius, who awoken prematurely from his cold sleep to initiate Operation CODA; the story of Solatorobo is divided into two parts, with the first focusing on the conspiracy of the organization Kurvaz. Red Savarin is tasked with retrieving an important file, stolen. To retrieve it, he boards a massive airship called the Hindenburg, deep within which he finds a mysterious medallion. A gigantic creature called Lares rises up through the plasma sea beside the ship and damages the Hindenburg; as Red makes his escape from the burning Hindenburg he runs into a mysterious Felineko child, who has passed out.

At risk of his own life

Roger Rowley

Major General Roger Rowley, DSO, ED, CD, GCLJ, GOMLJ was a Canadian Army officer, awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his role in liberating Boulogne during September 1944, a Bar five weeks for the capture of Breskens on the Scheldt estuary. Rowley was born in Ottawa, Canada, on 12 June 1914, he was educated at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After graduation, Rowley became a bond trader, he joined the Canadian militia and was commissioned as an officer in the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in 1933. In the early years of the war, Captain Rowley served with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa when they deployed overseas with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division; this included the regiment's part in the raid on Iceland in 1940. Troops were sent to the northern island country to destroy facilities that might have been of use to German forces if they were to invade the island; the raid was a success. The Vickers machine gun was, along with 4.2-inch mortars, the primary weapon of the CH of O as it performed its duties as the Support Battalion to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Rowley commanded the Stormont and Glengarry Highlanders, during the Allied campaign in North West Europe during 1944. The SD&G formed part of 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, whose participation secured the liberation of the Channel ports of Boulogne and Calais; the Canadians launched their attack on Boulogne on 17 September 1944. The battle raged for six days. Rowley's DSO citation praised his speed and daring after the heavy bombing of the château outside the town, as well as his action under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire as the battalion attacked the citadel: "This officer's leadership, dash and unlimited energy were an inspiration to his officers and men, his action was one of the principal factors in the capture of Boulogne." On 22 October 1944, Rowley was ordered to capture the port of Breskens on the Scheldt estuary. The infantry assault was postponed due to heavy losses among the tank support. Less than two hours a signal, said to have been ordered by Winston Churchill, insisted there could be no delay.

Rowley's infantry assaulted by noon they held the harbour. Rowley's citation for his DSO Bar, signed by Montgomery, declared that despite the shortage of time: "Lt-Col Rowley planned and ordered the new attack with such brilliance and led it with such determination that the garrison was overcome and Breskens was captured." After the German surrender, Rowley was posted to the Far East to command an infantry training battalion. After the Japanese surrender, he attended the staff college at Camberley before joining the Canadian Army staff in Washington, DC, he served in Canada's NATO army until the late 1960s. After the war, Rowley served at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as Director of Military Training, he commanded the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group in Germany spent a year at the Imperial Defence College in London before becoming commandant at the staff college at Kingston. He was general officer-in-waiting at the Sovereign's Parade during 1976's Royal visit to Canada. Obituary - Daily Telegraph 10 March 2007 The Battle of the Scheldt - Juno Beach Center