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Yuri Andropov

Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was the sixth paramount leader of the Soviet Union and the third General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Following the 18-year rule of Leonid Brezhnev, Andropov served in the post from November 1982 until his death in February 1984. Earlier in his career, Andropov served as the Soviet ambassador to Hungary from 1954 to 1957, during which time he was involved in the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, he was named Chairman of the KGB on 10 May 1967. In this position, he oversaw a massive crackdown on dissent, carried out via mass arrests and the wholesale application of involuntary psychiatric commitment of people deemed "socially undesirable"; as Brezhnev's health declined during the latter years of his leadership, Andropov formed a troika alongside Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov that came to dominate Soviet policy. Upon Brezhnev's death on 12 November 1982, Yuri Andropov succeeded him as General Secretary and leader of the Soviet Union.

During his short tenure, Andropov sought to eliminate corruption and inefficiency within the Soviet system by investigating longtime officials for violations of party discipline and criminalizing truancy in the workplace. The Cold War intensified, he was at a loss for how to handle the growing crisis in the Soviet economy, his major long-term impact was bringing to the fore a new generation of young reformers, as energetic as himself, including Yegor Ligachyov, Nikolai Ryzhkov, most important, Mikhail Gorbachev. However, upon suffering kidney failure in February 1983, Andropov's health began to deteriorate rapidly. On 9 February 1984, he died after leading the country for only 15 months. There has been much contention over his family background. According to the official biography, Andropov was born in Stanitsa Nagutskaya on 15 June 1914, his father, Vladimir Konstantinovich Andropov, was a railway worker of Don Cossack descent who died from typhus in 1919. His mother, Yevgenia Karlovna Fleckenstein, was a school teacher who died in 1931.

She was born in the Ryazan Governorate into a family of town dwellers and was abandoned on the doorstep of a Finnish citizen, a Jewish watchmaker, Karl Franzevich Fleckenstein, who lived in Moscow. Research has shown that many details about Andropov's biography were falsified during his lifetime which has contributed to the confusion connected to his family history, his earliest documented name was Grigory Vladimirovich Andropov-Fyodorov. While his original birth certificate disappeared, it was established that Andropov was in fact born in Moscow where his mother had been working in a women's gymnasium from 1913 until 1917. To make things more complicated, he named different dates of her death at various occasions: 1927, 1929, 1930 and 1931; the story of her adoption was highly a mystification. In 1937 Andropov went through a check when he applied for Communist Party membership, it turned out that "the sister of his native maternal grandmother", living with him and who supported the legend of his Ryazan peasant origins was in fact his nurse, working at Fleckenstein's long before he was born.

It was reported that his mother belonged to merchantry. In fact Karl Fleckenstein was a rich jewel merchant, owner of a jewellers, so was his wife who took over her husband's business after his accidental death in 1915; the whole family could've turned into lishentsy and stripped of basic rights if she hadn't abandoned the store after another pogrom in 1917, invented a proletarian background, left Moscow for the Stavropol Governorate along with Andropov's mother. He gave different versions of his father's fate: in one case he divorced his mother soon after his birth, in another he died of illness; the "father" he referred to, Vladimir Andropov, was in fact his stepfather who lived and worked at Nagutskaya and died from typhus in 1919. The Fyodorov surname belonged to his second stepfather Viktor Fyodorov, a machinist's assistant turned school teacher, his real father remains unknown. During the 1937 check it was reported that his father served as an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. Andropov was interviewed four times, yet he was so convincing that he managed to have all charges dropped.

He joined the Communist Party in 1939. Andropov was educated at the Rybinsk Water Transport Technical College and graduated in 1936; as a teenager he worked as a loader, a telegraph clerk, a sailor for the Volga steamship line. At 16, Yuri Andropov a member of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, was a worker in the town of Mozdok in the North Ossetian ASSR, he became full-time Secretary of the YCL organization of the Water Transport Technical School in Rybinsk in the Yaroslavl Region and was soon promoted to the post of organizer of the YCL Central Committee at the Volodarsky Shipyards in Rybinsk. In 1938, he was elected First Secretary of the Yaroslavl Regional Committee of the YCL, was First Secretary of the Central Committee of Komsomol in the Soviet Karelo-Finnish Republic from 1940 to 1944. According to the official biography, during World War II Andropov took part in partisan

338th Engineer General Service Regiment

During World War II, the 338th Engineer General Service Regiment rebuilt the vital port of Livorno, in Northern Italy, in advance of the Fifth United States Army's assault on the German positions in the Po Valley. The 338th was activated 4 September 1942 at Camp Atterbury and moved to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, on 15 November 1942; the regiment departed New York on 28 April 1943 and arrived at Oran, Algeria, on 12 May 1943. The 338th landed in Italy on 8 February 1944. Livorno, 300 miles north of Naples on the western coast of Italy, was needed as a supply base for the North Apennines campaign, but the port was the most demolished one in the Mediterranean; the Germans had erected barricades, blown bridges, laid mines, sunk twenty ships to seal off the harbor entrances. The Allies contributed to the destruction. Elements of the 34th Infantry Division captured Livorno on 19 July 1944; the 338th, working on hospitals in Rome, had no experience in port repair, but drew the assignment anyway. Twelve men from the 338th Engineers arrived in the city a few hours to clear mines from predetermined routes into the port area.

Leghorn was mined, for the first few days little other than mine clearing could be accomplished. As the mine-clearing teams made room, more elements of the 338th arrived, set up quarters, began preparing a berth for the LST and the LCT carrying construction equipment. By 26 July, both craft had unloaded. In the meantime, engineers repaired electrical lines and started to restore the municipal water system; the primary task for the 338th engineers was to reconstruct berths for ships. The 338th received planning aid from several specialists of the 1051st Engineer Port and Repair Group, representatives of the British Navy charged with clearing the waters of Leghorn harbor, shipowners and contractors who knew the port. Within a month, berths for six Liberty ships had been completed giving Leghorn a capacity of 5,000 tons per day; the goal of 12,000 tons per day was reached by the end of September. As the berths were completed, the 338th turned its attention to rebuilding roads, hospitals and camps.

Every task required extensive minesweeping. Working together with Italian soldiers and civilians, the engineers were able to amass and distribute the large volume of supplies required. Assured of a strong supply base in the rear, Fifth Army moved forward into the Po River valley. For its accomplishments, the 338th was awarded the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque per General Orders No. 66, Peninsular Base Section, 24 February 1945. The citation was as follows: "The 338th Engineer General Service Regiment, Peninsular Base Section, for superior performance of duty in the accomplishment of an exceptionally difficult mission in Italy from 17 July 1944 to 30 September 1944; this regiment entered the Port of Leghorn under artillery fire and through extensive mine fields, moved equipment over bombed out roads and bridges, cleared streets and dock areas that were blocked by debris from demolished buildings and other structures. The 338th Engineer General Service Regiment by careful planning and proper organi- zation, vigorous prosecution of the work over long hours and exceptional ingenuity and engineering skill placed the Port of Leghorn in operating conditions within six weeks after its capture.

The accomplishments of the 338th Engineer General Service Regiment during this period are in the highest traditions of the military service". The 338th returned to the U. S. at Boston on the Liberty Ship SS Zebulon Pike 8 November 1945 after 2 years, 6 months, 10 days overseas. The 338th was inactivated at Camp Myles Standish, Mass. on 9 November 1945. This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "Historical Vignette 067 - Army Engineers Reopened a Key Italian Port in Support of the Allied Advance During World War II, US Army Corps of Engineers"; this article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "United States Army in World War 2, Technical Services, the Corps of Engineers: The War Against German "

Gouda, South Holland

Gouda is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the province of South Holland. Gouda has a population of 72,338 and is famous for its Gouda cheese, many grachten, smoking pipes, its 15th-century city hall, its array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a popular day trip destination. In the Middle Ages, a settlement was founded at the location of the current city by the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family and the city took its name; the area marshland, developed over the course of two centuries. By 1225, a canal was linked to the Gouwe and its estuary was transformed into a harbour. City rights were granted in 1272. Around the year 1100, the area where Gouda now is located was swampy and covered with a peat forest, crossed by small creeks such as the Gouwe. Along the shores of this stream near the current market and city hall, peat harvesting began in the 11th and 12th centuries.

In 1139, the name Gouda is first mentioned in a statement from the Bishop of Utrecht. In the 13th century, the Gouwe was connected to the Oude Rijn by means of a canal and its mouth at the Hollandse IJssel was developed into a harbour. Castle Gouda was built to protect this harbour; this shipping route was used for trade between Flanders and France with Holland and the Baltic Sea. In 1272, Floris V, Count of Holland, granted city rights to Gouda, which by had become an important location. City-canals or grachten were dug and served as transport ways through the town. Great fires in 1361 and 1438 destroyed the city. In 1572, the city was occupied by Les Gueux who committed arson and destruction. In 1577 the demolition of Castle Gouda began. In 1551 was founded the oldest still-functioning inn De Zalm, located on Markt 34, near the historic Waag building. In 1574, 1625, 1636, 1673, Gouda suffered from deadly plague epidemics, of which the last one was the most severe: 2995 persons died, constituting 20% of its population.

In the last quarter of the 16th century, Gouda had serious economic problems. It recovered in the first half of the 17th century and prospered between 1665 and 1672, but its economy collapsed again when war broke out in 1672 and the plague decimated the city in 1673 affecting the pipe industry. After 1700, Gouda enjoyed a period of progress and prosperity until 1730. Another recession followed, resulting in a long period of decline that lasted well into the 19th century. Gouda was one of the poorest cities in the country during that period: the terms "Goudaner" and "beggar" were considered synonymous. Starting in 1830, demolition of the city walls began; the last city gate was torn down in 1854. Only from the second half of the 19th century onward did Gouda start to profit from an improved economic condition. New companies, such as Stearine Kaarsenfabriek and Machinale Garenspinnerij, acted as the impetus to its economy. In 1855, the railway Gouda-Utrecht began to operate. In the beginning of the 20th century, large-scale development began, extending the city beyond its moats.

First the new neighbourhoods Korte Akkeren, Kort Haarlem and Kadebuurt were built, followed by Oosterwei, Bloemendaal and Westergouwe after World War II. From 1940 on, back-filling of the city moats and city-canals, the grachten, began: the Nieuwe Haven, Raam and Achter de Vismarkt, but because of protests from city dwellers and revised policies of city planners, Gouda did not continue back-filling moats and city-canals, now considered valuable. In 1944, the railway station was damaged during an Allied bombardment, killing 8 and wounding 10 persons; this bombardment was intended to destroy the railroad connecting The Hague and Rotterdam to Utrecht. After the war, the city started to expand and nearly tripled in size. New neighbourhoods, such as Gouda-Oost and Goverwelle were built. Over the last years there has been a shift from expanding the city towards urban renewal and gentrification. Gouda is world-famous for its Gouda cheese, still traded on its cheese market, held each Thursday. Gouda is known for the fabrication of candles, smoking pipes, stroopwafels.

Gouda used to have a considerable linen industry and a number of beer breweries. The world-famous Gouda cheese is not made in the city itself but in the surrounding region, it derives its name from being traded in Gouda where the city council imposes stringent quality controls. The economy of the city centre is based on tourism and retail, while offices are located at the outskirts of the city. There are over 32,000 jobs in the city in commercial and healthcare services. Old City Hall at the Markt square - built between 1448 and 1450, one of the oldest Gothic city halls in the Netherlands, it now is a national monument. It hosts a small cheese museum. In the 17th century, it was a tourist attraction.


Metalloproteinase inhibitor 3 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the TIMP3 gene. This gene belongs to the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases gene family; the proteins encoded by this gene family are inhibitors of the matrix metalloproteinases, a group of peptidases involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix. Expression of this gene is induced in response to mitogenic stimulation and this netrin domain-containing protein is localized to the ECM. Mutations in this gene have been associated with the autosomal dominant disorder Sorsby's fundus dystrophy. TIMP1, TIMP2, TIMP4 The MEROPS online database for peptidases and their inhibitors: I35.003

German searchlights of World War II

German searchlights of the Second World War were used to detect and track enemy aircraft at night. They were used in 60, 150 and 200 centimetres. After the end of the First World War, German development of searchlights was stopped by the Treaty of Versailles, it resumed in 1927. At the outset of the war, searchlights were combined with acoustic direction-finders, with the direction-finders guiding the searchlights to the right part of the sky, where they swept until they found the target. In the war, the searchlights were radar-directed; the searchlights used high-powered Carbon Arc lamps. These were developed in the late 1930s, with a 60 centimetres diameter parabolic glass reflector and was powered by an 8 kilowatt generator; the lamp output was rated at 135 million candelas, it had a detection range of about 5 kilometres for targets travelling at an altitude of 1,500 metres. With the beam dispersed, this reduced to about 3.2 kilometres. It required a crew of three and could be transported using a single axle Special trailer 51.

One of the crew operated the searchlight, another operated the generator, the third was the section commander. Naval versions of the searchlight included a shutter; the searchlight was controlled in altitude by two, hand-operated cranks. The searchlight operator had a foot-switch that operated a lamp on the generator, he could use this to send simple Morse signals to the generator operator, for example, more or less power. The searchlight included a sophisticated system to control the carbon arc lamp, extending the carbon electrodes to keep a constant arc distance as the ends of the electrodes burned away; the 8 kilowatt, direct current generator that powered the searchlight was driven by a six-cylinder, BMW engine, of a type used in pre-war cars. Typical tactics were to sweep the search light in an S-shaped pattern along the targets' expected course with the beam dispersed, once the target was detected, it was tracked using the focused beam; the 60 cm searchlights were not powerful enough to reach the allied bomber streams in the war, so were employed organically with 20 mm and 37 mm low-level flak guns.

Developed in the late 1930s, the Flakscheinwerfer 34 and 37 used 150-centimetre diameter parabolic glass reflectors with an output of 990 million candelas. The system was powered by a 24-kilowatt generator, based around a 51-horsepower 8-cylinder engine, giving a current of 200 amperes at 110 volts; the searchlight was attached to the generator by a 200-metre cable. The system had a detection range of about 8 kilometres for targets at an altitude of between 4,000 and 5,000 metres; the system could be made mobile using two sets of Special Trailer 104 units, one for the searchlight and one for the generator. It required a crew of seven to operate it; the searchlight could be traversed 360 degrees and elevated from -12 degrees through the vertical to -12 degrees on the other side. Early war tactics for the searchlight deployment had the searchlights forward of the Flak guns in a "zone of preparation", laid out in a grid with 5 kilometers between each light. Sound locators deployed with the searchlights helped them find targets these were replaced with radar systems.

Sixty-one special fixed quadruple 150-centimetre mounts were produced in an effort to extend the range of the 150 centimetre searchlights, however these proved unsuccessful. In order to reach bombers now flying at higher altitudes, more powerful searchlights were needed. In 1943, the first 200-centimetre Scheinwerfer-43 searchlights, with 2.7 billion Hefner candlepower were delivered to troops. Powered by a 120-kilowatt generator, these searchlights could detect targets at distances of up to 13 kilometres. One 200 cm searchlight was employed with three 150 cm searchlights; the 200 cm searchlight was deployed at the center of a triangle formed by the 150 cm searchlights. The smaller searchlights deployed at a distance of about 2.5 kilometres from the larger central "master" searchlight. The master searchlight would find the target, the 150 cm lights would cone the target, providing solid triangulation. A few obsolete 110 centimetre searchlights and captured French 200 cm and 240 cm searchlights were used.

In September 1940, excluding units emplaced at naval facilities, Germany had 2,540 searchlights. During the war, this number grew — by February 1944, the Quartermaster General of the Luftwaffe General Staff reported that stocks of floodlights were as follows: Citations BibliographyAnti-aircraft artillery, Ian V Hogg, ISBN 1-86126-502-6 TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces, 15 March 1945, US War Department

Lectionary 43

Lectionary 43, designated by siglum ℓ 43. It is a Greek manuscript of the New Testament, on parchment leaves. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 13th-century; the codex contains lessons from the Gospels of John, Luke lectionary, on 313 parchment leaves, with lacuna at the beginning. The leaves are arranged in quarto; the text is written in two columns per 25 lines per page. In Greek uncial letters. According to Scrivener it is written in large cursive letters; the manuscript was examined by Emmanuel Miller. The manuscript is not cited in the critical editions of the Greek New Testament; the codex is located in the Escorial in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. List of New Testament lectionaries Biblical manuscript Textual criticism