Volgograd, formerly Tsaritsyn, 1589–1925, and Stalingrad, 1925–1961, is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is 80 kilometers long, north to south and is situated on the bank of the Volga River, after which the city was named. The city became famous for its resistance during the Battle of Stalingrad against the German Army in World War II and it is often regarded as the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Although the city may have originated in 1555, documented evidence of Tsaritsyn located at the confluence of the Tsaritsa, grigori Zasekin established the fortress Sary Su as part of the defences of the unstable southern border of the Tsardom of Russia. The structure stood slightly above the mouth of the Tsaritsa River on the right bank and it soon became the nucleus of a trading settlement. In 1607 the fortress garrison rebelled against the troops of Tsar Vasili Shuisky for six months, in 1608 the city acquired its first stone church, St.
John the Baptist. At the beginning of the 17th century, the garrison consisted of 350 to 400 people, in 1670 troops of Stepan Razin captured the fortress, they left after a month. In 1708 the insurgent Cossack Kondraty Bulavin held the fortress, in 1717 in the Kuban pogrom, raiders from the Kuban under the command of the Crimean Tatar Bakhti Gerai blockaded the town and enslaved thousands in the area. In August 1774 Yemelyan Pugachev unsuccessfully attempted to storm the city, in 1708 Tsaritsyn was assigned to the Kazan Governorate, in 1719 to the Astrakhan Governorate. According to the census in 1720, the city had a population of 408 people, in 1773 the city became the provincial and district town. From 1779 it belonged to the Saratov Viceroyalty, in 1780 the city came under the newly established Saratov Governorate. In the 19th century Tsaritsyn became an important river-port and commercial center, the population expanded rapidly, increasing from fewer than 3,000 people in 1807 to about 84,000 in 1900.
The first railroad reached the town in 1862, the first theatre opened in 1872, the first cinema in 1907. In 1913 Tsaritsyn got its first tram-line, and the citys first electric lights were installed in the city center, during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1923, Tsaritsyn came under Soviet control from November 1917. In 1918 White troops under the Ataman of the Don Cossack Host, Pyotr Krasnov, the Reds repulsed three assaults by the Whites. However, in June 1919 the White Armed Forces of South Russia under the command of General Denikin captured Tsaritsyn, the fighting from July 1918 to January 1920 became known as the Battle for Tsaritsyn. The city was renamed Stalingrad after Joseph Stalin on April 10,1925 and this was officially to recognize the citys and Stalins role in its defense against the Whites between 1918 and 1920. In 1931, the German settlement-colony Old Sarepta became a district of Stalingrad, renamed Krasnoarmeysky Rayon, it became the largest area of the city
Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its constituent 16 states. With a population of approximately 3.5 million, Berlin is the second most populous city proper, due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one-third of the area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world, following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all-Germany. Berlin is a city of culture, media. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations. Berlin serves as a hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination, significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics. Modern Berlin is home to world renowned universities, orchestras and its urban setting has made it a sought-after location for international film productions.
The city is known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts. Since 2000 Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene, the name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of todays Berlin, and may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. All German place names ending on -ow, -itz and -in, since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city. It is therefore a canting arm, the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century. Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920, the central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document,1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, and profited from the right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod.
In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, in 1415 Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. In 1443 Frederick II Irontooth started the construction of a new palace in the twin city Berlin-Cölln
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russias political future. In addition, rival militant socialists and nonideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites, eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the Allied Forces and the pro-German armies. The Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine, the remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920. Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two years, and minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. Armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934, there were an estimated 7,000, 000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen, many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war.
Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia, the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917, Political commissars were appointed to each unit of the army to maintain morale and ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it became apparent that an army composed solely of workers would be far too small. Former Tsarist officers were utilized as military specialists, sometimes their families were taken hostage in order to ensure their loyalty, at the start of the war three-quarters of the Red Army officer corps was composed of former Tsarist officers. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers, a Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno, some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers organizations in the cities.
The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917 and they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik government to be evacuated from the Eastern Front via the port of Vladivostok to France. The transport from the Eastern Front to Vladivostok slowed down in the chaos, under pressure from the Central Powers, Trotsky ordered the disarming and arrest of the legionaries, which created tensions with the Bolsheviks. The Western Allies armed and supported opponents of the Bolsheviks, many of these countries expressed their support for the Whites, including the provision of troops and supplies. Winston Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be strangled in its cradle, the British and French had supported Russia during World War I on a massive scale with war materials. After the treaty, it looked like much of material would fall into the hands of the Germans. Under this pretext began allied intervention in the Russian Civil War with the United Kingdom, there were violent clashes with troops loyal to the Bolsheviks
Order of the October Revolution
The Order of the October Revolution was instituted on October 31,1967, in time for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was conferred upon individuals or groups for services furthering communism or the state, or in enhancing the defenses of the Soviet Union, military and it is second highest Soviet order, after the Order of Lenin. Above it was a red flag bearing the words October Revolution in Russian, a Hammer and Sickle emblem was placed at the bottom. The badge was worn on the left chest with a red ribbon bearing five blue stripes at the centre, the Russian cruiser Aurora was itself awarded with the Order of the October Revolution, the only ship ever to have received the award. Military units and institutions receiving the award applied the name to their title upon its reception. Order of the October Revolution at the Directory of the orders, Order of the October Revolution Reference Page
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II, noted for his success as a leader of Panzer units in Poland and France and for partial success in the Soviet Union. Guderian had pioneered motorized tactics in the army, while keeping himself well informed about tank development in other armies. In particular, he promoted the use of communication between tank-crews, and devised shock-tactics that proved highly effective. In 1940, he led the Panzers that broke the French defences at Sedan, France, in 1941, his attack on Moscow was delayed by orders from Hitler with whom he disagreed sharply. After the German defeat at the Battle of Moscow he was transferred to the reserve and this marked the end of his ascendancy. He was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Army, from 1945-48, Guderian was held in U. S. custody, but released without charge. He advised on the re-establishment of military forces in West Germany, Guderian was born in Kulm, West Prussia, the son of Clara and Friedrich Guderian.
He entered the Army in 1907, on 1 October 1913 he married Margarete Goerne, with whom he had two sons, Heinz Günther and Kurt. At the outset of World War I Guderian served as a Signals Officer in the 5th Cavalry Division, on 28 February 1918 Guderian was appointed to the General Staff Corps. Like many Germans, he disagreed with Germany signing the armistice in 1918, early in 1919, Guderian was selected as one of the four thousand officers to continue on in military service for the reduced size German army, the Reichswehr. He was assigned to serve on the staff of the command of the Eastern Frontier Guard Service. In June 1919, Guderian joined the Iron Brigade as its second General Staff officer, the commanders of the regular German army had intended that this move would allow the army to reassert its control over the Iron Division, their hopes were disappointed. Rather than restrain the Freikorps, Guderians anti-communism caused him to empathize with the Iron Divisions efforts to defend Prussia against the Soviet threat, Guderian was assigned as a company commander for the 10th Jäger-Battalion.
Later he joined the Truppenamt, which was a form of the Armys General Staff which had been officially forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. In 1927 Guderian was promoted to major and transferred to the command of Army transport and this placed Guderian at the center of German development of armoured forces. Guderian, who was fluent in both English and French, studied the works of British maneuver warfare theorists J. F. C, in 1931, he was promoted to Oberstleutnant and became chief of staff to the Inspectorate of Motorized Troops under Oswald Lutz. In 1933 he was promoted to Oberst or Colonel, Guderian wrote many papers on mechanized warfare during this period. Some of these trial maneuveres were conducted in Soviet Russia, in October 1935 he was made commander of the newly created 2nd Panzer Division
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, abbreviated in English as CPSU, was the founding and ruling political party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, a group led by Vladimir Lenin which seized power in the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917. The party was dissolved on 29 August 1991 on Soviet territory soon after a failed coup détat and was abolished on 6 November 1991 on Russian territory. The highest body within the CPSU was the party Congress, which convened every five years, when the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body. Because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Orgburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently—but never all three at the same time. The CPSU, according to its party statute, adhered to Marxism–Leninism, a based on the writings of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx.
The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized, a number of causes contributed to CPSUs loss of control and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Some historians have written that Gorbachevs policy of glasnost was the root cause, Gorbachev maintained that perestroika without glasnost was doomed to failure anyway. Others have blamed the stagnation and subsequent loss of faith by the general populace in communist ideology. The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the worlds first constitutionally socialist state, was established by the Bolsheviks in the aftermath of the October Revolution. Immediately after the Revolution, the new, Lenin-led government implemented socialist reforms, including the transfer of estates, in this context, in 1918, RSDLP became Russian Communist Party and remained so until 1997. Lenin supported world revolution he sought peace with the Central Powers. The treaty was voided after the Allied victory in World War I, in 1921, Lenin proposed the New Economic Policy, a system of state capitalism that started the process of industrialization and recovery from the Civil War.
On 30 December 1922, the Russian SFSR joined former territories of the Russian Empire in the Soviet Union, on 9 March 1923, Lenin suffered a stroke, which incapacitated him and effectively ended his role in government. He died on 21 January 1924 and was succeeded by Joseph Stalin, after emerging victorious from a power struggle with Trotsky, Stalin obtained full control of the party and Stalinism was installed as the only ideology of the party. The partys official name was All-Union Communist Party in 1925, Stalins political purge greatly affected the partys configuration, as many party members were executed or sentenced for slave labour. Happening during the timespan of the Great Purge, fascism had ascened to power in Italy, seeing this as a potential threat, the Party actively sought to form collective security alliances with Anti-fascist western powers such as France and Britain
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. It is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, Daugavpils is located relatively close to Belarus and Lithuania, and some 120 km from the Latvian border with Russia. Daugavpils is a railway junction and industrial centre and lies approximately midway between Riga and Minsk. The city is surrounded by lakes and nature parks. It is known for its overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population, several names in various languages have identified Daugavpils. Some are still in use today, as of 1 January 2012, the city had a population of 101,057. In Daugavpils 85% of the supported the proposal to make Russian the second state language in the 2012 referendum. The towns history began in 1275 when the Livonian Order built Dünaburg castle 20 km up the Daugava river from where Daugavpils is now situated, in 1561 it became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, subsequently, of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569.
In 1621 Daugavpils became the capital of the newly formed Inflanty Voivodeship, in 1577 the Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible captured and destroyed Dünaburg castle. That same year, a new castle was built 20 km downriver, in 1582 Daugavpils was granted Magdeburg town rights. Russia returned the area to Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth following the Treaty of Andrusovo and it became part of the Russian Empire after First Partition of Poland in 1772. From 1784 onwards the city had a large and active Jewish population among them a number of prominent figures, according to the Russian census of 1897, out of a total population of 69,700, Jews numbered 32,400. As part of the Russian Empire the city was called Dvinsk from 1893 to 1920, the newly independent Latvian state renamed it Daugavpils in 1920. Latvians and Soviet troops fought the Battle of Daugavpils in the area from 1919 to 1920, Daugavpils and the whole of Latvia was under the Soviet Union rule between 1940–41 and 1944–1991, while Germany occupied it between 1941 and 1944.
The Nazis established the Daugavpils Ghetto where the towns Jews were forced to live, during the Cold War the Lociki air-base operated 12 km northeast of Daugavpils itself. On 16 April 2010 an assassin shot vice-mayor Grigorijs Ņemcovs in the center of the city and he died almost immediately and the crime remains unsolved. Daugavpils is an important cultural centre in eastern Latvia, there are 22 primary and secondary schools, four vocational schools, and the Saules College of Art. More than 1,000 teachers and engineers graduate from Daugavpils University, there is one Polish school, the only in the city, on Varšavas iela
Erich von Manstein
Fritz Erich Georg Eduard von Lewinski, known as Erich von Manstein, was a German commander of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germanys armed forces during the Second World War. He attained the rank of field marshal and he rose to the rank of captain by the end of the war and was active in the inter-war period helping Germany rebuild her armed forces. In September 1939, during the invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War, adolf Hitler chose Mansteins strategy for the invasion of France of May 1940, a plan refined by Franz Halder and other members of the OKH. Attaining the rank of general at the end of the campaign, he was active in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Siege of Sevastopol and he participated in the Siege of Leningrad. Germanys fortunes in the war began to take a turn in 1942, especially in the catastrophic Battle of Stalingrad. He was one of the commanders at the Battle of Kursk. His ongoing disagreements with Hitler over the conduct of the war led to his dismissal in March 1944 and he never obtained another command and was taken prisoner by the British in August 1945, several months after Germanys defeat.
His sentence of eighteen years in prison was reduced to twelve. As a military advisor to the West German government in the mid-1950s, Manstein died in Munich in 1973. Manstein was born Fritz Erich Georg Eduard von Lewinski in Berlin, the son of a Prussian aristocrat and artillery general, Eduard von Lewinski. His fathers family had Kashubian ancestry and was entitled to use the Brochwicz coat of arms, Hedwig von Sperling, Helenes younger sister, was married to Lieutenant General Georg von Manstein, the couple was unable to have children, so they adopted Erich. They had previously adopted Erichs cousin Martha, the daughter of Helenes, Mansteins biological and adoptive fathers were both Prussian generals, as were his mothers brother and both his grandfathers. Sixteen relatives on each side of his family were military officers, Paul von Hindenburg, the future Generalfeldmarschall and President of Germany, was his uncle, Hindenburgs wife, was the sister of Hedwig and Helene. Manstein attended the Imperial Lyzeum, a Catholic Gymnasium in Strasbourg, in March 1906, after six years in the cadet corps in Plön and Groß-Lichterfelde, he was commissioned into the Third Foot Guards Regiment as an ensign.
He was promoted to lieutenant in January 1907 and in October 1913 began the three-year officer training programme at the Prussian War Academy. However, Manstein only completed the first year of the programme and he never completed the remainder of his general staff officer training. During the First World War, Manstein served on both the German Western and Eastern Fronts, at the beginning of the war he was promoted to lieutenant and participated in the invasion of Belgium with the 2nd Guard Reserve Infantry Regiment. In August 1914 he took part in the capture of Namur, in September, Mansteins unit was one of two transferred to East Prussia and attached to the Eighth Army, commanded by Hindenburg
The RSDLP was a revolutionary socialist political party formed in 1898 in Minsk in Belarus to unite the various revolutionary organisations of the Russian Empire into one party. In the Second Party Congress vote, the Bolsheviks won on the majority of important issues and they ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks or Reds came to power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, with the Reds defeating the Whites, and others during the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922, the RSFSR became the chief constituent of the Soviet Union in December 1922. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism, in the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, held in Brussels and London during August 1903, Lenin and Julius Martov disagreed over the membership rules. Lenin wanted members who recognise the Party Programme and support it by material means, Julius Martov suggested by regular personal assistance under the direction of one of the partys organisations.
Lenin advocated limiting party membership to a core of active members. A main source of the factions could be attributed to Lenin’s steadfast opinion. It was obvious at early stages in Lenin’s revolutionary practices that he would not be willing to concede on any party policy that conflicted with his own predetermined ideas and it was the loyalty that he had to his own self-envisioned utopia that caused the party split. He was seen even by fellow party members as being so narrow minded that he believed there were only two types of people and enemy—those who followed him, and all the rest. Leon Trotsky, one of Lenins fellow revolutionaries, compared Lenin in 1904 to the French revolutionary Robespierre, Lenins view of politics as verbal and ideological warfare and his inability to accept criticism even if it came from his own dedicated followers was the reason behind this accusation. The root of the split was a book titled What is to be Done. that Lenin wrote while serving a sentence of exile, in Germany, the book was published in 1902, in Russia, strict censorship outlawed its publication and distribution.
One of the points of Lenin’s writing was that a revolution can only be achieved by the strong leadership of one person over the masses. After the proposed revolution had overthrown the government, this individual leader must release power. Lenin wrote that revolutionary leaders must dedicate their lives to the cause in order for it to be successful. Lenins view of a socialist intelligentsia showed that he was not a supporter of Marxist theory. For example, Lenin agreed with the Marxist idea of eliminating social classes, most party members considered unequal treatment of workers immoral, and were loyal to the idea of a completely classless society, so Lenin’s variations caused the party internal dissonance. Although the party split of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks would not become official until 1903, as discussed in What is to be Done. Lenin firmly believed that a political structure was needed to effectively initiate a formal revolution
From 1939 to 1945, following its forced division and partial incorporation into Nazi Germany, the state did not de facto exist but its government-in-exile continued to operate. From 1948 to 1990, Czechoslovakia was part of the Soviet bloc with a command economy and its economic status was formalized in membership of Comecon from 1949, and its defense status in the Warsaw Pact of May 1955. A period of liberalization in 1968, known as the Prague Spring, was forcibly ended when the Soviet Union, assisted by several other Warsaw Pact countries. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the two states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Form of state 1918–1938, A democratic republic, 1938–1939, After annexation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany in 1938, the region gradually turned into a state with loosened connections among the Czech and Ruthenian parts. A large strip of southern Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary, 1939–1945, The region was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic.
A government-in-exile continued to exist in London, supported by the United Kingdom, United States and its Allies, after the German invasion of Russia, Czechoslovakia adhered to the Declaration by United Nations and was a founding member of the United Nations. 1946–1948, The country was governed by a government with communist ministers, including the prime minister. Carpathian Ruthenia was ceded to the Soviet Union, 1948–1989, The country became a socialist state under Soviet domination with a centrally planned economy. In 1960, the country became a socialist republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. It was a state of the Soviet Union. 1989–1990, The federal republic consisted of the Czech Socialist Republic, 1990–1992, Following the Velvet Revolution, the state was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, consisting of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Neighbours Austria 1918–1938, 1945–1992 Germany Hungary Poland Romania 1918–1938 Soviet Union 1945–1991 Ukraine 1991–1992 Topography The country was of irregular terrain.
The western area was part of the north-central European uplands, the eastern region was composed of the northern reaches of the Carpathian Mountains and lands of the Danube River basin. Climate The weather is mild winters and mild summers, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean from the west, Baltic Sea from the north, and Mediterranean Sea from the south. The area was long a part of the Austro Hungarian Empire until the Empire collapsed at the end of World War I, the new state was founded by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who served as its first president from 14 November 1918 to 14 December 1935. He was succeeded by his ally, Edvard Beneš. The roots of Czech nationalism go back to the 19th century, nationalism became a mass movement in the last half of the 19th century
The T-26 tank was a Soviet light infantry tank used during many conflicts of the 1930s and in World War II. It was a development of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank and was one of the most successful designs of the 1930s until its light armour became vulnerable to newer anti-tank guns. It was produced in numbers than any other tank of the period. Twenty-three of these were series-produced, others were experimental models, the T-26 and BT were the main tanks of the Red Armys armoured forces during the interwar period. The T-26 was the most important tank of the Spanish Civil War and played a significant role during the Battle of Lake Khasan in 1938, as well as in the Winter War in 1939–40. Though nearly obsolete by the beginning of World War II, the T-26 was the most numerous tank in the Red Armys armoured force during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Soviet T-26 light tanks last saw use in August 1945, during the defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria, the T-26 was exported and used extensively by Spain and Turkey.
Captured T-26s were used by the Finnish, German and Hungarian armies, the tank was reliable and simple to maintain, and its design was continually modernised between 1931 and 1941. No new models of the T-26 were developed after 1940, the T-26 was a Soviet development of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank, which was designed by the Vickers-Armstrongs company in 1928–29. The simple and easy-to-maintain Vickers 6-Ton was intended for export to less technically advanced countries, the Soviet Union, Brazil, Japan, Thailand and many others. Vickers advertised the tank in military publications, and both the Soviet Union and Poland expressed interest in the Vickers design. In early 1930, the Soviet buying committee, under the direction of Semyon Ginzburg, arrived in Great Britain to select tanks, the Vickers 6-Ton was among four models of tanks selected by Soviet representatives during their visit to Vickers-Armstrongs. Several Soviet engineers participated in assembly of the tanks at the Vickers Factory in 1930, the first four Vickers 6-Ton tanks arrived in the USSR at the end of 1930.
The last tanks arrived in 1932, when production of the T-26 was already in progress. The British tanks were sent to Soviet factories for study in preparation for production and to military educational institutions. Later, some tanks were given to military depots and proving grounds. The Vickers-built 6-Ton tanks had the designator V-26 in the USSR, three British tanks were successfully tested for cross-country ability at the small proving ground near Moscow on Poklonnaya Hill in January 1931. Kliment Voroshilov ordered the creation of the Special Commission for the Red Army new tanks under the direction of S. Ginzburg to define the type suitable for the Red Army