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Warring States period

The Warring States period was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period and concluded with the Qin wars of conquest that saw the annexation of all other contender states, which led to the Qin state's victory in 221 BC as the first unified Chinese empire, known as the Qin dynasty. Although different scholars point toward different dates ranging from 481 BC to 403 BC as the true beginning of the Warring States, Sima Qian's choice of 475 BC is the most cited; the Warring States era overlaps with the second half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty, though the Chinese sovereign, known as the king of Zhou, ruled as a figurehead and served as a backdrop against the machinations of the warring states. The "Warring States Period" derives its name from the Record of the Warring States, a work compiled early in the Han dynasty; the political geography of the era was dominated by the Seven Warring States, namely: Qin located in the far west, with its core in the Wei River Valley and Guanzhong.

This geographical position offered protection from the other states but limited its initial influence. The Three Jins Located in the center on the Shanxi plateau were the three successor states of Jin; these were: Han south, along the Yellow River, controlling the approaches to Qin. Wei located in the middle today's eastern Henan Province. Zhao the northernmost of the three today's southern Hebei Province as well as northern Shanxi Province. Qi east, centred on the Shandong Peninsula Chu south, with its core territory around the valleys of the Han River and the Yangtze River. Yan northeast, centred on modern-day Beijing. Late in the period it pushed northeast and began to occupy the Liaodong PeninsulaBesides these seven major states other smaller states survived into the period, they include: Royal territory of the Zhou king was near Luoyi in the Han area on the Yellow River. Yue On the southeast coast near Shanghai was the State of Yue, active in the late Spring and Autumn era but was annexed by Chu.

Zhongshan Between the states of Zhao and Yan was the state of Zhongshan, annexed by Zhao in 296 BC. Sichuan states: In the far southwest were the non-Zhou states of Ba and Shu; these ancient kingdoms were conquered by Qin in the period. Other minor states: There were many minor states which were satellites of the larger ones until they were absorbed. Many were in Qi and Chu to the south; some of the more important ones were Song, Lu, Wey and Zou. The eastward flight of the Zhou court in 771 BC marks the start of the Autumn period. No one single incident or starting point inaugurated the Warring States era; the political situation of the period represented a culmination of historical trends of conquest and annexation which characterised the Spring and Autumn period. Proposed starting points include: 481 BC Proposed by Song-era historian Lü Zuqian known as Lü Bogong, since this year marks the end of the Spring and Autumn Annals. 476–475 BC The author, Sima Qian, of Records of the Grand Historian, chose this date as the inaugural year of King Yuan of Zhou.

453 BC The Partition of Jin saw the dissolution/destruction of that key state of the earlier period and the formation of three of the seven warring states: Han and Wei. 441 BC The inaugural year of Zhou Kings starting with King Ai of Zhou. 403 BC The year when the Zhou court recognised Han and Wei as states. Author Sima Guang of Zizhi Tongjian advocates this symbol of eroded Zhou authority as the start of the Warring States era; the Eastern Zhou Dynasty began to fall around 5th century BC. They had to rely on other armies in other allied states because their military rule no longer followed. Over 100 smaller states were made into seven major states which included: Chu, Qin, Yan, Qi and Zhao. However, there was a shift in alliances because each state's ruler wanted to be independent in power; this caused hundreds of wars between the periods of 535-286 BCE. The victorious state would have overall control in China; the system of feudal states created by the Western Zhou dynasty underwent enormous changes after 771 BC with the flight of the Zhou court to modern-day Luoyang and the diminution of its relevance and power.

The Spring and Autumn period led to a few states gaining power at the expense of many others, the latter no longer able to depend on central authority for legitimacy or protection. During the Warring States period, many rulers claimed the Mandate of Heaven to justify their conquest of other states and spread their influence; the struggle for hegemony created a state system dominated by several large states, such as Jin, Qin, Yan and Qi, while the smaller states of the Central Plains tended to be their satellites and tributaries. Other major states existed, such as Wu and Yue in the southeast; the last decades of the Spring and Autumn era were marked by increased stability, as the result of peace negotiations between Jin and Chu which established their respective spheres of influence. This situation ended with the partition of Jin, whereby the state was divided between the houses of Han and Wei, thus enabled the creation of the seven major warring states; the rulers of Jin had lost political powers since the middle of the 6th century BC to their nominally subordinate nobles and military commanders, a situation arising from the traditions of the Jin which forbade the e

Bar Lev Line

The Bar Lev Line was a chain of fortifications built by Israel along the eastern bank of the Suez Canal after it occupied the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War. It was a symbol of Israeli military perfection, it was overrun in 1973 by the Egyptian military during Operation Badr. The Bar Lev Line evolved from a group of rudimentary fortifications placed along the canal line. In response to Egyptian artillery bombardments during the War of Attrition, Israel developed the fortifications into an elaborate defense system spanning 150 km along Suez Canal, with the exception of the Great Bitter Lake; the Bar Lev Line was designed to defend against any major Egyptian assault across the canal, was expected to function as a "graveyard for Egyptian troops". The line, costing around $300 million in 1973, was named after Israeli Chief of Staff Haim Bar-Lev; the line was built at the Suez Canal, a unique water barrier that Moshe Dayan described as "one of the best anti-tank ditches in the world."

The line incorporated a massive, continuous sand wall lining the entire canal, was supported by a concrete wall. The sand wall, which varied in height from 20–25 metres, was inclined at an angle of 45–65 degrees; the sand wall and its concrete support prevented any armored or amphibious units from landing on the east bank of the Suez Canal without prior engineering preparations. Israeli planners estimated it would take at least 24 hours a full 48 hours for the Egyptians to breach the sand wall and establish a bridge across the canal. Behind this sand wall was the front line of Israeli fortifications. After the War of Attrition, there were 22 forts; the forts were designed to be manned by a platoon. The strongpoints, which were built several stories into the sand, were on average situated less than 5 km from each other, but at crossing points they were less than 900 metres apart; the strongpoints incorporated trenches, barbed wire and a sand embankment. Major strongpoints had up to 26 bunkers with medium and heavy machineguns, 24 troop shelters, six mortar positions, four bunkers housing anti-aircraft weapons, three firing positions for tanks.

The strongpoints were surrounded by nearly fifteen circles of barbed wire and minefields to a depth of 200 metres. A strongpoint's perimeter averaged 200–350 metres; the bunkers and shelters provided protection against anything less than a 500 kg bomb, offered luxuries to the defenders such as air conditioning. Between 500–1,000 metres behind the canal, there were prepared firing positions designed to be occupied by tanks assigned to the support of the strongpoints; some of the names of the strongpoints were Tasa, Milano, Chizayon, Orcal, Nisan, Chashiva. In addition, there were eleven strongholds located 5–8 km behind the canal, which were built along sandy hills; each stronghold was designed to hold a company of troops. To take advantage of the water obstacle, the Israelis installed an underwater pipe system to pump flammable crude oil into the Suez Canal, thereby creating a sheet of flame; some Israeli sources claim the system was unreliable and only a few of the taps were operational. The Egyptians took this threat and, on the eve of the war, during the late evening of 5 October, teams of Egyptian frogmen blocked the underwater openings with concrete.

To support the Bar Lev Line, Israel built a elaborate system of roads. Three main roads ran north–south; the first was the Lexicon Road, running along the canal, which allowed the Israelis to move between the fortifications and conduct patrols. The second was around 10 -- 12 km from the canal, its name came from the twenty artillery and air defense positions located on it: it linked armored concentration areas and logistical bases. The Lateral Road, 30 km from the canal, was meant to allow the concentration of Israeli operational reserves which, in case of an Egyptian offensive, would counterattack the main Egyptian assault. A number of other roads running east to west, Quantara Road, Hemingway Road, Jerusalem Road, were designed to facilitate the movement of Israeli troops towards the canal; the defense of the Sinai depended upon two plans and Rock. In both plans, the Israeli General Staff expected the Bar-Lev Line to serve as a "stop line" or kav atzira—a defensive line that had to be held at all cost.

As noted by an Israeli colonel shortly after the War of Attrition, "The line was created to provide military answers to two basic needs: first, to prevent the possibility of a major Egyptian assault on Sinai with the consequent creation of a bridgehead which could lead to all-out war. During these 48 hours, the Israeli Air Force would assault enemy air defense systems, while Israeli forces deployed as planned; the Israelis expected an Egyptian attack would be defeated by armored brigades supported by the superior Israeli Air Force. Dovecote tasked a regular armored division to the defense of the Sinai; the division was supported by an additional tank battalion, twelve infantry companies and seventeen artillery batteries. This gave a total of over 300 tanks, 70 artillery guns, 18,000 troops; these forces, which represented the Sinai garrison

Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse

Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse is a children's book written by George Selden and illustrated by Garth Williams. It is the prequel to The Cricket in Times Square. Dell Publishing published the book in 1986; the book tells the story of the young mouse who becomes Tucker, the kitten who becomes Harry, the two friends of Chester Cricket in The Cricket in Times Square. Tucker, we learn, was born in a box of Kleenexes and other odds and ends on Tenth Avenue, fled his nest at a young age to avoid sanitation workers, he takes his name from "a bakery on Tenth Avenue. He meets Harry Kitten. One said "Harry-you're a character!" and the kitten decided he too wanted to be a character. The two search New York City for a home of their own, their wanderings take them to the basement of the Empire State Building and to Gramercy Park, among other places. They settle down in a disused drain pipe in the Times Square subway station. Kirkus Reviews found that "The generously ample, well-designed format makes an appropriate backdrop for Williams' vigorously comic re-creations of these new antics of old favorites."

While Publishers Weekly saw that "the characters of these quintessential New Yorkers are as vibrant and joyful as they were,"