March 23 – March 29 2020 /Week in History/
Argentina declared war on Germany, the bombing of Yugoslavia, the capture of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima by the American army and the Terracotta army was found! What else interesting happened this week? Read the new Week in History.
A new article, “A Week in History,” is published every Sunday at exactly 19:00 London time
1876 – Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov patented a light bulb
March 23, 1876 Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov got a patent for his invention, which he himself called the “electric candle.” The new lighting device was the world’s first light bulb. Humanity has entered an era of electric light.
The so-called “electric candle” Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov invented back in 1875. The revolutionary lighting device consisted of two carbon plates separated by a porcelain insert. These plates served as a conductor of electricity, heating the arc. The invention was made back in Russia, in the Moscow laboratory, which the inventor created at his own expense. But as it often happened in the history of our fatherland, a brilliant invention found neither support nor application in the homeland.
Soon, Yablochkov was in Paris, where he completed the development of the design of an electric candle. The “electric candle” was the first electric light source. March 23, 1876 Russian electrical engineer got a French patent No. 112 024 for his invention, containing a brief description of the candles in its original forms and the image of these forms.
1999 – The start of NATO bombing of military and civilian targets in the cities of Yugoslavia, including the capital, Belgrade
NATO began military operations in Yugoslavia. On the evening of this day, the first missile strikes were delivered. The decision to start the operation was made by the then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. It was he who gave the order to the commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Wesley Clark from the United States.
A number of cities were hit, including Belgrade, Pristina, Uzice, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Pancevo and Podgorica. Among the objects that came under fire were large industrial facilities, a military airfield, as well as radar installations on the Montenegrin coast of the Adriatic Sea. On the same day, martial law was declared in major cities of Serbia and Montenegro.
1949 – The mass deportation of several tens of thousands of residents of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to Siberia began
Mass March deportation (Operation “Coastal Surf”) – the deportation of part of the civilian population of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Siberia and remote regions of the North, organized by the USSR authorities in March 1949, during which 94,779 people were deported.
What for? In early 1949, Stalin, who was not content with too slow collectivization in the Baltic states, decided to organise a mass deportation.
The operation, called “Coastal Surf”, had three objectives: to expedite collectivization through intimidation of the rural population; “to cleanse” the region from collaborators, kulaks and nationalists (“socially hostile elements”); to reduce resistance by the deportation of “sympathizers”, which included families of opponents of the Soviet regime (that is, women, children and the elderly people).
1945 – The capture of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima by the American army
The battle between the forces of the Japanese Empire and the United States over the island of Ioto (Iwo Jima) in the Pacific Ocean lasted from February 16 to March 26, 1945. This was the first military operation of American forces in Japan.
The imperial army built a powerful line of defense on the island, thanks to which it was possible to repel enemy attacks for a month. This battle was the only land operation of the Japanese forces in which they suffered fewer casualties than the United States, although there were more deaths from the Japanese side.
As a result of the battle, the US military broke the resistance and took the island.
1945 – Argentina declared war on Germany and Japan, though it did not take a real part in the war
On January 26, 1944, the Argentine government, under strong international pressure, was forced to sever relations with the Axis countries. The official reason for the breakup was the discovery in the country of an extensive German intelligence network. The discovery was facilitated not only by the actions of the Argentine police, but also by the intelligence services of the United States and Britain. In 1944-45 The United States, Britain, and almost all Latin American states recalled their ambassadors from Buenos Aires.
Being in the conditions of international isolation, at the very end of the war the government in Casa Rosada was forced to change its views and on March 27, 1945 the country declared war on Germany and Japan. Despite this, Argentina did not send a single soldier to the front, although it sent its cruisers Almirante Brown and Veintisinko de Mayo and other ships in the spring and summer of 1945 to search for German submarines that remained in the South Atlantic after the surrender of Berlin.
After the defeat of the Third Reich, two Kriegsmarine submarines arrived and were interned in Argentina – U-530 on July 10, and U-977 on August 17.
1942 – The British Air Force launched the bombing of the city of Lubeck
A raid on Lubeck is considered to be the “response” of Britain to Germany’s bombing of English cities. From the point of view of the British command, it was then considered a major success of British bomber aircraft in German cities during World War II. The raid on Lubeck was followed by raids on Hamburg, Bremen and other German cities, right up to the raid on Dresden.
Lubeck, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, was easy to find by the crews of the aircraft due to the fact that there was a good visibility on a full moon and the waters of the rivers reflected the moonlight. On the night of March 28 and in the early hours of March 29 (Palm Sunday) 1942, 234 Vickers Wellington and Short Stirling bombers dropped about 400 tons of bombs, including 25 thousand of incendiary devices. The Royal Air Force lost 12 aircraft.
1974 – In China, around city of Xi’an, local residents accidentally discovered the “Terracotta Army”, buried more than 2 thousand years ago
A simple Chinese peasant, Yan Ji Wang, decided to drill an artesian well at his site, on the east of Lishan Mountain. He did not find water, but he found something else. At a depth of five meters, Yan Ji Wan stumbled upon a clay statue of a warrior in full growth, with a spear in his hand. Archaeologists were shocked by the find of the farmer. An ancient hairstyle (in the form of a knot on the crown) of the found warrior and the bronze tip of his spear made it possible to attribute the figure to antiquity. The burial was discovered on March 29, 1974.
The first stage of large-scale excavations took place from 1978 to 1984. In addition to clay statues in 1980, two bronze chariots were discovered 20 meters from the tomb of the emperor, each of which consists of more than 300 parts. The chariots are harnessed by four horses, the harness of which contains gold and silver elements. Exploration of the mound is still ongoing; the emperor’s burial site is still awaiting autopsy.
The second – from 1985 to 1986. In the early 2000s, statues of musicians, acrobats and officials were also discovered. On June 13, 2009, the third stage of excavation began. To date, more than 8000 terracotta statues of warriors, 100 horse figures and 18 chariots have been extracted from the crypt.