World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and 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. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even 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 simultaneously and 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 forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Christianity is a Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion. It is the worlds largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles Creed and his incarnation, earthly ministry and resurrection are often referred to as the gospel, meaning good news. The term gospel refers to accounts of Jesuss life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Luke. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion that began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century, following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization, throughout its history, Christianity has weathered schisms and theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct churches and denominations.
Worldwide, the three largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the denominations of Protestantism. There are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible, concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds. They began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith, even agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. The Baptists have been non-creedal in that they have not sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one another. Also rejecting creeds are groups with roots in the Restoration Movement, such as the Christian Church, the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada, the Apostles Creed is the most widely accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists and this particular creed was developed between the 2nd and 9th centuries.
Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator, each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Most Christians accept the use of creeds, and subscribe to at least one of the mentioned above. The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God, Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The Christian concept of the Messiah differs significantly from the contemporary Jewish concept, having become fully human, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, but did not sin
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. Historically part of Warwickshire, Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and it is the second largest city in the West Midlands region, after Birmingham, with a population of 345,385 in 2015. Coventry is 95 miles northwest of central London,19 miles east-south-east of Birmingham,24 miles southwest of Leicester and 11 miles north of Warwick. Coventry Cathedral was built after the destruction of the 14th century cathedral church of Saint Michael by the German Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of 14 November 1940, Coventry motor companies have contributed significantly to the British motor industry. The city has two universities, Coventry University in the city centre and the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts. The Romans founded a settlement in Baginton, next to the River Sowe, and another formed around a Saxon nunnery, founded c. AD700 by St Osburga, that was left in ruins by King Canutes invading Danish army in 1016.
Earl Leofric of Mercia and his wife Lady Godiva built on the remains of the nunnery, in time, a market was established at the abbey gates and the settlement expanded. By the 14th century, Coventry was an important centre of the cloth trade, the bishops of Lichfield were often referred to as bishops of Coventry and Lichfield, or Lichfield and Coventry. Coventry claimed the status of a city by ancient prescriptive usage, was granted a charter of incorporation in 1345, the plays that William Shakespeare witnessed in Coventry during his boyhood or teens may have influenced how his plays, such as Hamlet, came about. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Coventry became one of the three main British centres of watch and clock manufacture and ranked alongside Prescot, in Lancashire, in the late 19th century, Coventry became a major centre of bicycle manufacture. The industry energised by the invention by James Starley and his nephew John Kemp Starley of the Rover safety bicycle, by the early 20th century, bicycle manufacture had evolved into motor manufacture, and Coventry became a major centre of the British motor industry.
Jaguar is owned by the Indian company, Tata Motors, with many of the citys older properties becoming increasingly unfit for habitation, the first council houses were let to their tenants in 1917. With Coventrys industrial base continuing to soar after the end of the Great War a year later, numerous private and council housing developments took place across the city in the 1920s and 1930s. The development of a southern by-pass around the city, starting in the 1930s and being completed in 1940, Coventry suffered severe bomb damage during the Second World War. There was a massive Luftwaffe air raid, part of the Coventry Blitz, firebombing on this date led to severe damage to large areas of the city centre and to Coventrys historic cathedral, leaving only a shell and the spire. More than 4,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with three quarters of the citys industrial plants. More than 800 people were killed, with injured and homeless. Aside from London and Plymouth, Coventry suffered more damage than any other British city during the Luftwaffe attacks, following the raids, the majority of Coventrys historic buildings could not be saved as they were in ruinous states or were deemed unsafe for any future use
Karl Carstens was a German politician. He served as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1979 to 1984, Carstens was born in the City of Bremen, the son of a commercial school teacher, who had been killed at the Western Front of World War I shortly before his birth. In 1949 he received a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School, from 1939 to 1945, during the Second World War, Carstens was a member of an anti-aircraft artillery unit in the Wehrmacht, reaching the rank of Leutnant by the wars end. In 1940 he joined the Nazi Party, reportedly, he had applied for admission in 1937 to avoid detrimental treatment when he worked as a law clerk and he had, joined the Nazi SA paramilitary organisation already in 1934. In 1944 Carstens married the medical student Veronica Prior in Berlin, after the war he became a lawyer in his hometown Bremen, and from 1949 acted as a councillor of the citys Senate. From 1950 he worked as lecturer at the University of Cologne, in 1954 he joined the diplomatic service of the German Foreign Office, serving as West German representative at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
In 1955 he joined the Christian Democratic Union under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, in July 1960 Carstens reached the position of secretary of state at the Foreign Office and in the same year was appointed as professor for public and international law at Cologne University. In 1972 Carstens was first elected into the Bundestag, of which he was a member until 1979, from May 1973 until October 1976 he was chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, succeeding Rainer Barzel. He famously denounced the author and Nobel laureate Heinrich Böll as a supporter of left-wing terrorism for his 1974 novel The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum. After the 1976 federal elections, which made the CDU/CSU the largest group in parliament, on 23 May 1979, Carstens was elected as the fifth President of the Federal Republic of Germany, prevailing against the SPD candidate Annemarie Renger in the first ballot. During his term of office, Carstens was well known for hiking Germany in order to decrease the gulf between politics and the people.
Though already former Chancellor Willy Brandt had similarly proceeded in 1972, on 7 January 1983, President Carstens nonetheless dissolved the Bundestag and called for new elections. In February 1983 his decision was approved by the Federal Constitutional Court so that 1983 general elections could take place on 6 March, in 1984 Carstens decided not to seek a second term on account of his age and left office on 30 June 1984. He was succeeded by Richard von Weizsäcker, Carstens was a member of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Wahlperiode, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-7892-8201-0 Interview with Karl Carstens at Historical Archives of the EU in Florence
The Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc and powers in the Western Bloc. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but a common timeframe is the period between 1947, the year the Truman Doctrine was announced, and 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed. The term cold is used there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were major regional wars, known as proxy wars, supported by the two sides. The Cold War split the temporary alliance against Nazi Germany, leaving the Soviet Union. The USSR was a Marxist–Leninist state ruled by its Communist Party and secret police, the Party controlled the press, the military, the economy and all organizations. In opposition stood the West, dominantly democratic and capitalist with a free press, a small neutral bloc arose with the Non-Aligned Movement, it sought good relations with both sides. The two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat, but they were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
The first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the USSR and USA competed for influence in Latin America, and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was stopped by the Soviets, the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. The early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, the United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was already suffering from economic stagnation.
In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the reforms of perestroika and glasnost. Pressures for national independence grew stronger in Eastern Europe, especially Poland, Gorbachev meanwhile refused to use Soviet troops to bolster the faltering Warsaw Pact regimes as had occurred in the past. The result in 1989 was a wave of revolutions that peacefully overthrew all of the communist regimes of Central, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union itself lost control and was banned following an abortive coup attempt in August 1991. This in turn led to the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. The United States remained as the only superpower. The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy and it is often referred to in popular culture, especially in media featuring themes of espionage and the threat of nuclear warfare
The operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced in September 1942, and was developed simultaneously with plans to envelop and destroy German Army Group Center and these Axis armies lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. The situation was exacerbated by the German decision to relocate several mechanized divisions from the Soviet Union to Western Europe, units in the area were depleted after months of fighting, especially those which took part in the fighting in Stalingrad. In comparison, the Red Army deployed over one million personnel for the purpose of beginning the offensive in, Soviet troop movements were not without problems, due to the difficulties of concealing their build-up, and to Soviet units commonly arriving late due to logistical issues. Operation Uranus was first postponed from 8 to 17 November, to 19 November, at 07,20 Moscow time on 19 November, Soviet forces on the northern flank of the Axis forces at Stalingrad began their offensive, forces in the south began on 20 November.
By late 22 November Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, instead of attempting to break out of the encirclement, German dictator Adolf Hitler decided to keep Axis forces in Stalingrad and resupply them by air. In the meantime and German commanders began to plan their next movements, on 28 June 1942, the Wehrmacht began its offensive against Soviet forces opposite of Army Group South, codenamed Case Blue. After breaking through Red Army forces by 13 July, German forces encircled and captured the city of Rostov. The responsibility to take Stalingrad was given to the Sixth Army, the following day, the Battle of Stalingrad began when vanguards of the Sixth Army penetrated the suburbs of the city. By November the Sixth Army had occupied most of Stalingrad, pushing the defending Red Army to the banks of the Volga River, the German command was intent upon finalizing its capture of Stalingrad. Ultimately, command of Soviet efforts to relieve Stalingrad was put under the leadership of General Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Operation Uranus involved the use of large Soviet mechanized and infantry forces to encircle German and other Axis forces directly around Stalingrad.
For example, in early July the Sixth Army was defending a 160-kilometer line, Army Group B had the 48th Panzer Corps, which had the strength of a weakened panzer division, and a single infantry division as reserves. For the most part the German flanks were held by arriving non-German Axis armies, while German forces were used to spearhead continued operations in Stalingrad, their 37-millimeter PaK anti-tank guns were antiquated and they were largely short of ammunition. Only after repeated requests did the Germans send the Romanian units 75-millimeter PaK guns, the Italians and Hungarians were positioned at the Don west of the Third Romanian Army, but the German commanders did not hold in high regard the capability of those units to fight. The Sixth Army had suffered casualties during the fighting in the city of Stalingrad proper. In some cases, such as that of the 22nd Panzer Division, German formations were overextended along large stretches of front, the XI Army Corps, for example, had to defend a front around 100 kilometers long.
The Red Army allocated an estimated 1,100,000 personnel,804 tanks,13,400 artillery pieces and over 1,000 aircraft for the upcoming offensive. Across the Third Romanian Army, the Soviets placed the redeployed 5th Tank Army, as well as the 21st and 65th Armies, in order to penetrate, in total, the Soviets had amassed 11 armies and various independent tank brigades and corps
Berlin Cathedral is the short name for the Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin, Germany. It is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough, the current building was finished in 1905 and is a main work of Historicist architecture of the Kaiserzeit. The Berlin Cathedral has never been a cathedral in the sense of that term since it has never been the seat of a bishop. The bishop of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg is based at St. Marys Church, Berlin Cathedral has a long history starting as a Roman Catholic place of worship in the 15th century. The history of todays Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church and its community dates back to 1451, in 1454 Frederick Irontooth, after having returned – via Rome – from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, elevated the chapel to become a parish church, richly endowing it with relics and altars. Pope Nicholas V ordered Stephan Bodecker, Prince-Bishop of Brandenburg, a collegiate church is a church endowed with revenues and earning estates, in order to provide a number of canons, called in canon law a College, with prebends.
In this respect a collegiate church is similar to a cathedral, so the college of St. Erasmus chapel, called Domstift in German, bestowed the pertaining church its colloquial naming, Domkirche. Frederick Irontooth provided the College with estates, sufficient to supply eight canon prebendaries, on 20 January 1469, Dietrich IV, Prince-Bishop of Brandenburg, invested eight clergymen, chosen by Frederick Irontooth, as collegiate canons with the prebends. Pauls Church, built ca. in 1345, on 28 May 1536 most of the Black Friars moved to a Dominican monastery in Brandenburg upon Havel. Joachim II Hector assigned the thus void, three-nave church building to the Collegiate Church of Our Lady, the Holy Cross, Paul and Nicholas and enlarged the College to 12 prebendaries, bestowing two of them to canons taken on from the Dominican convent. From 1545 on the family of Hohenzollern used the church building as their burial place. In 1538, a new western façade with two towers was attached to the church, which – due to its prior status as a church of a mendicant order – had no tower before.
In the next year Joachim II Hector converted from Catholicism to Lutheranism, the collegiate church thus became Lutheran too, like most of the electoral subjects and all the churches in the Electorate. However, Joachim II Hectors ideas of Reformation were different from the modern ones, after his conversion he enriched the collegiate church with luxuriant furnishings, such as paraments, relics, chasubles and antependia. In 1613, John Sigismund publicly confessed his Calvinist faith, so he and his family, except of his steadfastly Lutheran wife Anna, while most of his subjects remained Lutherans. Being now a Calvinist church the patronage of the Holy Trinity was increasingly skipped, in 1667 the dilapidated double-tower façade was torn down and in 1717 Martin Böhme erected a new baroque façade with two towers. With effect of 1 January 1710 Cölln was united with Berlin under the latter name, in 1747 the Supreme Parish Church was completely demolished to clear space for the baroque extension of the Berlin Palace.
On 6 September 1750 the new baroque Calvinist Supreme Parish Church was inaugurated, the electoral tombs were transferred to the new building
The Axis powers, known as the Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis, were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allied Powers. The Axis agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity, the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936, Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term Axis. The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, Italy joined the Pact in 1937. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied parts of Europe, North Africa. There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, the war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of their alliance. As in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, at the time he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume.
The term was used by Hungarys prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany, when Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued an alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. He believed that Italy could expand its influence in Europe by allying with Germany against France, in early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. The discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons, however at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany, that Italy must.
Tow them, not be towed by them, the French government warned Italy that it had to choose whether to be on the side of the pro-Versailles powers or that of the anti-Versailles revanchists. Grandi responded that Italy would be willing to offer France support against Germany if France gave Italy its mandate over Cameroon, France refused Italys proposed exchange for support, as it believed Italys demands were unacceptable and the threat from Germany was not yet immediate. In 1932, Gyula Gömbös and the Party of National Unity rose to power in Hungary, Gömbös sought to alter Hungarys post–Treaty of Trianon borders by forming an alliance with Austria and Italy, knowing that Hungary alone was not capable of challenging the Little Entente powers. At the meeting between Gömbös and Mussolini in Rome on 10 November 1932, the question came up of the sovereignty of Austria in relation to the rise to power in Germany of the Nazi Party. Mussolini was worried about Nazi ambitions towards Austria, and indicated that at least in the term he was committed to maintaining Austria as a sovereign state.
Italy had concerns over a Germany which included Austria laying land claims to German-populated territories of the South Tyrol within Italy, Mussolini said he hoped the Anschluss could be postponed as long as possible until the breakout of a European war that he estimated would begin in 1938
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the prisoner of war dates to 1660. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite, typically, little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more likely to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture women, a known as raptio. Typically women had no rights, and were legally as chattel. For this he was eventually canonized, during Childerics siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. Later, Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so, many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat, in Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable.
Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades, the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed, their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the status of the captive. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, in Termez, on the Oxus, all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, they were all slain. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims routinely captured large number of prisoners, aside from those who converted, most were ransomed or enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom.
The freeing of prisoners was highly recommended as a charitable act, there evolved the right of parole, French for discourse, in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain better accommodations, if he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Early historical narratives of captured colonial Europeans, including perspectives of literate women captured by the peoples of North America. The writings of Mary Rowlandson, captured in the fighting of King Philips War, are an example
Operation Little Saturn
The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000 -300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations. Later Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed Operation Little Saturn. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov, by 6 July, General Hermann Hoths Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Armys resistance. The rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, the operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as September 1942 and these Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor.
Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Armys attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in, German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front, while General Rodion Malinovskys Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December. This operation consisted of a movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians aid, of the 130,000 encircled troops, to the south the advance of General Gerasimenkos 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanovs 51st Army attacked the relief column directly.
In a daring raid, by 24 December tanks of the 24th Tank Corps had reached Tatskinskaya, the Soviet tanks drove through snowstorms onto the airfield and roamed about for hours, destroying the German transport planes at their leisure. With the relief column under threat of encirclement, Manstein had no choice but to back to Kotelnikovo on 29 December. Of the 200,000 -250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner, only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The Soviets attacked and pushed back the remaining units of the German 24th Army Corps on the Alpini left flank and contemporarily attacked the Alpini themselves. The Alpini held the front, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 kilometers to the left and right of the Alpini, who were encircled and forced to try to escape a siege. Although the Alpini corps was ordered to hold the front at all costs, on the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat, which was fully carried out on January 19