June 22 – June 28 2020 /Week in History/
The beginning of the great Patriotic war, the beginning of the Napoleonic war against Russia, and An attempt on the life of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was made, which became the reason for the outbreak of the First World War. What else happened this week, read the new Week in History.
1941 – The Great Patriotic War
On June 22, 1941, fascist Germany attacked the Soviet Union without declaring war. The army and the country’s population were not ready for this. On the first day, 1,200 Soviet aircraft were destroyed. The Red Army was not motorized, because of the Stalinist repressions of the late 1930s, the command staff consisted mainly of inexperienced commanders.
Despite the heroism and self-sacrifice of Soviet soldiers and officers in the first weeks of the war, the enemy could not be stopped. The heroes of the Brest Fortress and Minsk, Kiev and Odessa, Leningrad and Stalingrad, Sevastopol and Novorossiysk, Kerch and Tula, Smolensk and Murmansk fought to the end.
However, already in 1941 the plan of “lightning war”, during which the German command planned to capture the entire Soviet Union in a few months, failed in the battle of Moscow. Soon, the Soviet army defeated the fascist troops near Stalingrad and Leningrad, in the Caucasus, on the Kursk Bulge, Right-Bank Ukraine and Belarus, during the Iasi-Kishinev, Vistula-Oder and Berlin operations.
The Great Patriotic War ended in victory for the USSR, but at what cost ?! At the cost of human suffering and enormous losses which endured the Soviet people.
On May 8, 1945, the Act of Unconditional Surrender of Germany was signed in Berlin, and the Victory Parade was held on June 24 in Moscow on Red Square.
1868 – Typewriter patented
A prototype of a typewriter was a machine for sequential numbering of book pages, invented by Christopher Scholes and his companion Carlos Gidden, who had experience in publishing.
Scholes’ typewriter, patented in the United States on June 23, 1868, was the size of a desk, typed only in capital letters, and the typist did not see the result of her work, because the paper was hidden inside. However, it was from this typewriter that the famous QWERTY layout went around the world – the first six keys in the top row of the keyboard. That is what the keys on Scholes keyboard looked like. True, there was no key with the number 1 on the typewriter – the inventors considered that typists could use the letter “I” instead, and Shift was added only 10 years later, but the layout remained the same.
Scholes did not have money to launch the novelty into production, and he sold the rights to it to Phil Remington, a famous designer-gunsmith. Its engineers improved the invention and launched it under the name “Remington No.1”. On March 1, 1873, Remington and Sons began manufacturing the first typewriter in New York.
After the Civil War in the USA (1861-1865), Remington, expanding its product range, began to produce sewing machines, in addition to weapons. This was reflected in the typewriter models: they were decorated with fun floral patterns and began to be mounted on the bed of a sewing machine in such a way that pressing the pedal caused the carriage to return.
Other companies soon released their typewriter models, including those that allowed you to immediately see typed text, as well as case-sensitive models that could be printed in lowercase and uppercase letters. The effectiveness of advanced models and the fact that they “do not smear and do not smear ink blots”, in the end, dispelled all the doubts of entrepreneurs, and the typewriter became a common tool.
1812 – Napoleon’s army invaded Russia – the Patriotic War of 1812 began
On June 24, 1812, the army of the French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Russia without declaring war – after midnight, the French army began the crossing of the boundary Neman river. At 6 a.m. on June 24, 1812, the vanguard of French troops entered the Russian fortress of Kovno.
The enemy was opposed by the Russian army under the command of generals M. Barclay de Tolly, P. Bagration and A. Tormasov.
The rapid advance of the French forced the Russian command to retreat inland. When retreating, the Russian troops fought rear-guard battles, inflicting significant losses on the enemy. During the battle of Smolensk in early August, Napoleon’s plan to defeat the main forces of the Russian troops was disrupted.
On August 20, Russian Emperor Alexander I signed a decree appointing M.I. Kutuzov, who led the Russian army during the general battle near Borodino. And then, despite the decision to leave Moscow to the French, he managed to create conditions for the Napoleonic army that the French, having received neither food nor rest, were forced to retreat towards Kaluga.
The Russian army under the command of Kutuzov launched a “small war” by the forces of army partisan detachments.
Napoleon’s attempts to enter into negotiations were rejected. And in the battle of Berezin on November 26-28, most of his army was destroyed. By the end of December, Napoleon was finally expelled from Russia.
1950 – The Korean War began, as a result of which a demilitarized zone was created between North and South Korea
In August 1945, Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule. In the northern part of the peninsula, into which the Red Army entered, a communist regime was established led by Kim Il Sung. In the South, where American troops landed, Lee Seung Man came to power – one of the leaders of the anti-communist nationalist movement.
So two Korean states were formed. However, North and South Korea did not abandon the idea of uniting the country. With the support of their main allies – the USSR and the USA – they were preparing for an armed conflict.
On June 25, 1950, a war broke out in Korea – North Korean troops, under cover of artillery, crossed the border with their southern neighbor. And the advance of the North Korean army was very successful – for almost two months almost all of South Korea was seized with the capital Seoul.
However, on September 16, American troops landed on the western shore of the Korean Peninsula. They quickly liberated the territory of South Korea and crossed the border of the DPRK. In November-December 1950, the troops of the People’s Republic of China (with the support of Soviet aviation) came to the aid of North Korea, which inflicted a major defeat on the American army.
The war lasted three years. In 1953, having suffered huge losses, the parties came to the conclusion that it was necessary to end the war. On July 27, 1953 in Panmunjom, the DPRK, the PRC, and the United States signed an agreement on behalf of the United Nations on the cessation of hostilities.
1954 – The world’s first nuclear power plant has been launched in Obninsk
In 1951, the government of the USSR instructed the outstanding Soviet physicist and scientist Igor Vasilievich Kurchatov to create the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, which would become an example of the peaceful use of atomic energy.
Three years later, on June 26, 1954, the Obninsk nuclear power plant with graphite-uranium reactor AM-1 (Atom Mirny) with a capacity of 5 megawatts worked – steam was supplied to the turbine, the generator capacity was 1,500 kW.
Soon Obninsk turned into the world’s first modern science city. Here, models of other, more powerful power plants were worked out.
After the successful launch of the “peace reactor”, nuclear scientists began the construction of the second Beloyarsk nuclear power plant in the USSR with a capacity of 300 megawatts, which was launched in 1964.
The operating experience of the Obninsk station was also taken into account during the design of small-capacity nuclear power plants to supply Taimyr and Chukotka with heat and electricity.
In Obninsk, a fast neutron reactor was developed, which is now used in some models of nuclear submarines.
In 2002, the reactor at the Obninsk NPP was shut down for economic reasons. Maintaining it in a safe state became more and more expensive every year, and further operation lost its scientific and technical expediency.
The building of the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk is an object of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia of regional significance, which is protected by the state and currently functions as a memorial complex.
1905 – The first mass revolutionary uprising in the Russian armed forces began on the battleship Potemkin
On June 27, 1905, in the midst of the First Russian Revolution, a revolt of sailors broke out on the battleship “Prince Potemkin of Tauride”. At this time, it was standing near Odessa, where there was a general strike of workers.
The reason for the rebellion was an attempt by the authorities to feed the sailors with rotten wormy meat. The rebels, led by Grigory Vakulenchuk and Athanasius Matyushenko, rushed at the officers and started throwing them overboard. In a shootout, Vakulenchuk died. His comrades brought the ship to the Odessa port and made a solemn farewell to the late comrade. For several days a red flag fluttered on an armadillo. His team wanted to raise an uprising in the entire Black Sea Fleet, but this did not work.
To suppress the rebellion, Emperor Nicholas II sent a squadron of other Black Sea military vessels against the Potemkin, but they refused to shoot at the Potemkin.
Lacking coal and food, the ship went to the shores of Romania and surrendered in Constanta to the local authorities. Soon, Romania returned the ship to Russia, and the sailors remained abroad. Some of them, including Matyushenko, tried to return to their homeland, where they were arrested and executed. At the end of September 1905, the tsarist government renamed the rebellious battleship “Panteleimon”.
After the February Revolution of 1917, the ship was returned to its original name, but was soon given the name Freedom Fighter. In May 1918, the former Potemkin was captured by German Kaiser forces. Later it passed into the hands of the White Guards-Denikins, and on the eve of the Red Army breakthrough in the Crimea, it was blown up by the Anglo-French interventionists leaving Sevastopol.
1914 – An attempt on the life of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was made, which became the reason for the outbreak of the First World War
On June 28, 1914, the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed in Sarajevo (Bosnia). The attempt on the life of Archduke was carried out by the conspiratorial group Young Bosnia (Mlada Bosna), led by Gavrila Princip and Danil Ilic. And this crime served as a direct reason for the outbreak of the First World War.
After the murder of Ferdinand, “Young Bosnia” was banned. Ilic and two other participants in the attempt were executed. Gavrila Princip was convicted as a minor and was sentenced for 20 years of hard labor. He died of tuberculosis in prison. Other members of the organization were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
On July 23, Austria-Hungary presented an ultimatum to Serbia, which contained demands that violated its sovereignty. It was going to send troops into Serbia to protect Austrian citizens who were there, also it demanded the admission of the investigators from Vienna to investigate the killing of Franz Ferdinand.
Serbia accepted the main points of the ultimatum, but on July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on it. Thus, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the occasion for the outbreak of the First World War, in which 38 independent states were involved. About 74 million people were mobilized, 10 million of them were killed and died of wounds.