Józef Unrug was a Prussian-born Pole and Polish admiral who helped reestablish Poland's navy after World War I. During the opening stages of World War II, he served; as a German POW, he refused all German offers to change sides and was incarcerated in several Oflags, including Colditz Castle. He stayed in exile after the war in the United Kingdom and France where he died and was buried. In September 2018 he was posthumously promoted in the rank of Admiral of the fleet by the President of Poland. After 45 years his remains, along with those of his wife, were exhumed from Montrésor and taken in October 2018 to his final resting place in Gdynia, Poland. Józef Michał Hubert Unrug was born in Brandenburg an der Havel into a Polish family of German descent, he was the son of a Generalmajor in the Prussian Army. After graduating from the gymnasium in Dresden, Unrug completed naval college in 1907 and began his service in the German Navy. During World War I he commanded a U-boat, was promoted to command the training-submarine half-flotilla.
In 1919, after Poland regained independence, Unrug left Germany and volunteered for the Polish Armed Forces. Soon afterwards, he was transferred to the nascent Polish Navy, where he served as chief of the Hydrographic Division and as commanding officer of a submarine flotilla. One of the most skilled officers in the Polish Navy, Unrug was promoted to Rear Admiral. Overcoming his limitations in the Polish language, he became Commander of the Fleet of the Polish Navy in 1925. During the 1939 invasion of Poland, Unrug executed his plan of strategically withdrawing the Polish Navy's major vessels to the United Kingdom. At the same time, he got all Polish submersibles to lay naval mines in the Bay of Gdańsk. Following that operation, these vessels either escaped to the United Kingdom or sought refuge in neutral countries. Despite having given up control of Poland's naval vessels, Unrug remained in command of multiple military units, which he tasked with protecting the Polish Corridor from German attacks.
On 1 October 1939, after both Warsaw and Modlin had capitulated, Admiral Unrug decided that further defence of the isolated Hel Peninsula was pointless, the following day all units under his command capitulated. Unrug spent the rest of World War II in various German POW camps, including Fort Srebrna Góra,Oflag II-C in Woldenberg, Oflag XVIII-C in Spittal, Stalag X-B in Sandbostel, Oflag IV-C, Oflag VII-A Murnau. In Oflag VII-A Murnau, Unrug was the highest-ranking officer and commander of the Polish soldiers interned there as prisoners of war; the Germans treated Unrug with great respect, on account of him having been a German officer, by bringing former Imperial German Navy friends to visit him with the intention of making him switch sides. Unrug responded by refusing to speak German, saying that he had forgotten that language in September 1939. To the irritation of the Germans, Unrug would always insist on having a translator present or communicating in French, when speaking with the Germans though he was a native German speaker.
Unrug's spirit and unbowed attitude proved to be an inspiration to his fellow prisoners. After Poland was taken over by the Soviet Union in 1945, Unrug went to the United Kingdom, where he served with the Polish Navy in the West and took part in its demobilisation. After the Allies withdrew support from the Polish government, Unrug remained in exile, in the United Kingdom, moved to France, he died there on 28 February 1973 in the Polish Veterans' care home in Lailly-en-Val near Beaugency, at the age of 88. On 5 March 1973, he was buried in Montrėsor cemetery. In 1976, a stone tablet. Unrug had specified in his will that he should not be buried on Polish soil until such time as all the remains of his fellow naval officers and men had been recovered from enemy control. On 24 September 2018 Admiral of the fleet Joseph Unrug and his wife, were exhumed and transferred with a guard of honour at the French port of Brest for reburial in the Polish port of Gdynia, after a delay of 45 years. A state funeral was held in Oksywie on 2 October 2018 in the presence of Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland among other members of the Polish government and leaders of the Polish Armed Forces.
The chief mourner was Christophe Unrug, the admiral's grandson and, by happenstance, the current mayor of Montrésor in France. In September 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda had posthumously promoted Rear admiral Joseph Unrug to Admiral of the fleet; the promotion citation was handed to Unrug's family during the funeral at the cemetery. Gold Cross of the Virtuti Militari Polonia Restituta, Commanders' Cross Gold Cross of Merits with Swords Gold Cross of Merit Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour Iron Cross and Second Classes Order of Dannebrog Order of the White Elephant Royal Order of the Sword Polish Navy Polish Defensive War Jerzy Świrski
Alexander von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian polymath, naturalist and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt's advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view, his description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. Humboldt was one of the first people to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined. Humboldt resurrected the use of the word cosmos from the ancient Greek and assigned it to his multivolume treatise, Kosmos, in which he sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture.
This important work motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels. Alexander von Humboldt was born in Berlin in Prussia on 14 September 1769, he was baptized with the Duke of Brunswick serving as godfather. Humboldt's father, Alexander Georg von Humboldt, belonged to a prominent Pomeranian family, although not one of the titled gentry, a major in the Prussian Army, who had served with the Duke of Brunswick. At age 42, Alexander Georg was rewarded for his services in the Seven Years' War with the post of royal chamberlain, he profited from the contract to lease state lotteries and tobacco sales. He first married the daughter of Prussian General Adjutant Schweder. In 1766, Alexander Georg married Maria Elisabeth Colomb, a well-educated woman and widow of Baron Hollwede, with whom she had a son. Alexander Georg and Maria Elisabeth had three children, a daughter, who died young, two sons and Alexander.
Her first-born son and Alexander's half-brother, was something of a ne'er do well, not mentioned in the family history. Alexander Georg died in 1779, leaving the brothers Humboldt in the care of their distant mother, she did have high ambitions for Alexander and his older brother Wilhelm, hiring excellent tutors, who were Enlightenment thinkers, including Kantian physician Marcus Herz and botanist Karl Ludwig Willdenow, who became one of the most important botanists in Germany. Humboldt's mother expected them to become civil servants of the Prussian state; the money Baron Holwede left to Alexander's mother became, after her death, instrumental in funding Alexander's explorations, contributing more than 70% of his private income. Due to his youthful penchant for collecting and labeling plants and insects, Alexander received the playful title of "the little apothecary". Marked for a political career, Alexander studied finance for six months in 1787 at the University of Frankfurt, which his mother might have chosen less for its academic excellence than its closeness to their home in Berlin.
On 25 April 1789, he matriculated at Göttingen known for the lectures of C. G. Heyne and anatomist J. F. Blumenbach, his brother Wilhelm was a student at Göttingen, but they did not interact much, since their intellectual interests were quite different. His vast and varied interests were by this time developed. At Gottingen, he met Georg Forster, a naturalist, with Captain James Cook on his second voyage. Humboldt traveled with Forster in Europe; the two traveled to England, Humboldt's first sea voyage, the Netherlands, France. In England, he met Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, who had traveled with Captain Cook; the scientific friendship between Banks and Humboldt lasted until Banks's death in 1820, the two shared botanical specimens for study. Banks mobilized his scientific contacts in years to aid Humboldt's work. Humboldt's scientific excursion up the Rhine resulted in his 1790 treatise Mineralogische Beobachtungen über einige Basalte am Rhein. Humboldt's passion for travel was of long standing.
Humboldt's talents were devoted to the purpose of preparing himself as a scientific explorer. With this emphasis, he studied commerce and foreign languages at Hamburg, geology at Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg in 1791 under A. G. Werner, leader of the Neptunist school of geology. C. Loder. X. von Zach and J. G. Köhler. At Freiberg, he met a number of men who were to prove important to him in his career, including Spaniard Manuel del Rio, who became director of the School of Mines the crown established in Mexico. During this period, his brother Wilhelm married. Humboldt graduated from the Freiberg School of Mines in 1792 and was appointed to a Prussian government position in the Department of Mines as an inspector in Bayreuth and the Fichtel mountains. Humboldt was excellent at his job, with production of gold ore in his first year outstripping the previous eight years. During his period as a mine inspector, Humbo
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique, without equal in his generation."Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon, he supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries. In 1835, Chopin obtained French citizenship.
After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health, he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39 of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis. All of Chopin's compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics, his piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument: his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of the instrumental ballade, his major piano works include mazurkas, nocturnes, polonaises, études, scherzos and sonatas, some published only posthumously.
Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach and Schubert, the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest, his innovations in style and musical form, his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period. Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era, his works remain popular, he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. Fryderyk Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, 46 kilometres west of Warsaw, in what was the Duchy of Warsaw, a Polish state established by Napoleon; the parish baptismal record gives his birthday as 22 February 1810, cites his given names in the Latin form Fridericus Franciscus. However, the composer and his family used the birthdate 1 March, now accepted as the correct date.
Fryderyk's father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen. Nicolas tutored children of the Polish aristocracy, in 1806 married Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska, a poor relative of the Skarbeks, one of the families for whom he worked. Fryderyk was baptized on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1810, in the same church where his parents had married, in Brochów, his eighteen-year-old godfather, for whom he was named, was Fryderyk Skarbek, a pupil of Nicolas Chopin. Fryderyk was only son. Nicolas was devoted to his adopted homeland, insisted on the use of the Polish language in the household. In October 1810, six months after Fryderyk's birth, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father acquired a post teaching French at the Warsaw Lyceum housed in the Saxon Palace. Fryderyk lived with his family in the Palace grounds; the father played the violin. Chopin was of slight build, in early childhood was prone to illnesses. Fryderyk may have had some piano instruction from his mother, but his first professional music tutor, from 1816 to 1821, was the Czech pianist Wojciech Żywny.
His elder sister Ludwika took lessons from Żywny, played duets with her brother. It became apparent that he was a child prodigy. By the age of seven Fryderyk had begun giving public concerts, in 1817 he composed two polonaises, in G minor and B-flat major, his next work, a polonaise in A-flat major of 1821, dedicated to Żywny, is his earliest surviving musical manuscript. In 1817 the Saxon Palace was requisitioned by Warsaw's Russian governor for military use, the Warsaw Lyceum was reestablished in the Kazimierz Palace. Fryderyk and his family moved to a building. During this period, Fryderyk was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of the ruler of Russian Poland, Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia. Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, in his dramatic eclogue, "Nasze Przebiegi", attested to "little Chopin's" popularity. From September 1823 to 1826, Chopin
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, was a British Army officer, writer and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Boy Scout Movement, founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work Scouting for Boys, an inspiration for the Scout Movement. Educated at Charterhouse in Surrey, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking. Several of his military books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were read by boys. In 1907, he held a demonstration camp, the Brownsea Island Scout camp, now seen as the beginning of Scouting. Based on his earlier books Aids to Scouting, he wrote Scouting for Boys, published in 1908 by Sir Arthur Pearson, for boy readership. In 1910 Baden-Powell formed The Boy Scouts Association.
The first Scout Rally was held at The Crystal Palace in 1909, at which appeared a number of girls in Scout uniform, who told Baden-Powell that they were the "Girl Scouts", following which, in 1910, Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes Baden-Powell started the Girl Guides Movement. In 1912 he married Olave St Clair Soames, he gave guidance to the Scouting and Girl Guiding Movements until retiring in 1937. Baden-Powell lived his last years in Nyeri, where he died and was buried in 1941, his grave is now a National Monument. Baden-Powell's father was the Reverend Professor Baden Powell, a prominent mathematician and theologian, whose family originated in Suffolk, his mother was Henrietta Grace, daughter of Admiral William Henry Smyth whose earliest known Smyth ancestor was a Royalist American colonist. Baden-Powell was born as Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell at 6 Stanhope Street, Paddington in London, on 22 February 1857, he was called Stephe by his family. He was named after his godfather, Robert Stephenson, the railway and civil engineer, his third name was his mother's maiden name.
Baden-Powell was the son of The Reverend Baden Powell, Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University and Church of England priest and his third wife, Henrietta Grace Smyth, eldest daughter of Admiral William Henry Smyth. After Powell died in 1860, to identify her children with her late husband's fame, to set her own children apart from their half-siblings and cousins, his mother styled the family name Baden-Powell; the name was legally changed by Royal Licence on 30 April 1902. Baden-Powell had four older half-siblings from the second of his father's two previous marriages, six full siblings Warington, the often-ill Augustus, Francis and Baden, as well as three others, who had all died young before he was born. Baden-Powell's father died. Subsequently, Baden-Powell was raised by his mother, a strong woman, determined that her children would succeed. In 1933 he said of her "The whole secret of my getting on, lay with my mother."Baden-Powell attended Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells. He was given a scholarship to a prestigious public school.
He played the piano and violin, was an ambidextrous artist, enjoyed acting. Holidays were spent on canoeing expeditions with his brothers, his first introduction to Scouting skills was through stalking and cooking game while avoiding teachers in the nearby woods, which were out-of-bounds. In 1876 Baden-Powell joined the 13th Hussars in India with the rank of lieutenant, he enhanced and honed his military scouting skills amidst the Zulu in the early 1880s in the Natal province of South Africa, where his regiment had been posted, where he was Mentioned in Despatches. During one of his travels, he came across a large string of wooden beads. Although Baden-Powell claimed the beads had been those of the Zulu king Dinizulu, one researcher learned from Baden-Powell's diary that he had taken beads from a dead woman's body around that time and indeed the bead form is more similar to dowry beads than to warrior beads; the beads were incorporated into the Wood Badge training programme he started after he founded the Scouting Movement.
Baden-Powell's skills impressed his superiors and in 1890 he was brevetted Major as Military Secretary and senior Aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Malta, his uncle General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth. He was posted to Malta for three years working as intelligence officer for the Mediterranean for the Director of Military Intelligence, he travelled disguised as a butterfly collector, incorporating plans of military installations into his drawings of butterfly wings. In 1884 he published Scouting. Baden-Powell returned to Africa in 1896, served in the Second Matabele War, in the expedition to relieve British South Africa Company personnel under siege in Bulawayo; this was a formative experience for him not only because he commanded reconnaissance missions into enemy territory in the Matopos Hills, but because many of his Boy Scout ideas took hold here. It was during this campaign that he first met and befriended the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, who introduced Baden-Powell to stories of the American O
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, he was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe was a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena, he contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace. In 1998 both these sites together with nine others were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name Classical Weimar. Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy.
In 1791, he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period, Goethe published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, his conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels written, while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, he was not involved in the city's official affairs. Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elizabeth Textor at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748, when he was 38 and she was 17. All their children, with the exception of Johann Wolfgang and his sister, Cornelia Friederica Christiana, born in 1750, died at early ages, his father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time languages. Goethe received lessons in dancing and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not. Although Goethe's great passion was drawing, he became interested in literature, he had a lively devotion to theater as well and was fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home. He took great pleasure in reading works on history and religion, he writes about this period: I had from childhood the singular habit of always learning by heart the beginnings of books, the divisions of a work, first of the five books of Moses, of the'Aeneid' and Ovid's'Metamorphoses'....
If an busy imagination, of which that tale may bear witness, led me hither and thither, if the medley of fable and history and religion, threatened to bewilder me, I fled to those oriental regions, plunged into the first books of Moses, there, amid the scattered shepherd tribes, found myself at once in the greatest solitude and the greatest society. Goethe became acquainted with Frankfurt actors. Among early literary attempts, he was infatuated with Gretchen, who would reappear in his Faust and the adventures with whom he would concisely describe in Dichtung und Wahrheit, he adored Caritas Meixner, a wealthy Worms trader's daughter and friend of his sister, who would marry the merchant G. F. Schuler. Goethe studied law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, he detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Anna Katharina Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre.
In 1770, he anonymously released his first collection of poems. His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Christoph Martin Wieland. At this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen; the restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Faust's 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the only real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. As his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768. Goethe became ill in Frankfurt. Durin
Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater; the open ocean has about 35 grams of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for life in general, saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, salting is an important method of food preservation; some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts. Salt was prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, across the Sahara on camel caravans; the scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt has other cultural and traditional significance.
Salt is processed from salt mines, by the evaporation of seawater and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic chlorine. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency; as well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods. Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults; such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods; the World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.
All through history, the availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. What is now thought to have been the first city in Europe is Solnitsata, in Bulgaria, a salt mine, providing the area now known as the Balkans with salt since 5400 BC; the name Solnitsata means "salt works". While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative for meat, for many thousands of years. A ancient salt-works operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamț County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC; the salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began. The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.
There is more salt in animal tissues, such as meat and milk, than in plant tissues. Nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds do not eat salt with their food, but agriculturalists, feeding on cereals and vegetable matter, need to supplement their diet with salt. With the spread of civilization, salt became one of the world's main trading commodities, it was of high value to the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement, the ancient Hebrews made a "covenant of salt" with God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him. An ancient practice in time of war was salting the earth: scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant growth; the Bible tells the story of King Abimelech, ordered by God to do this at Shechem, various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ploughed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after it was defeated in the Third Punic War.
Salt may have been used for barter in connection with the obsidian trade in Anatolia in the Neolithic Era. Salt was included among funeral offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds, salt fish. From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar and the dye Tyrian purple. Herodotus described salt trading routes across Libya back in the 5th century BC. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads were built for the transportation of salt from the salt imported at Ostia to the capital. In Africa, salt was used as currency south of the Sahara, slabs of rock salt were used as coins in Abyssinia. Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for weight for weight; the Tuareg have traditionally maintained routes across the Sahara for the transportation of salt by Azalai. The caravans
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo