Saturday, July 31, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 60th Anniversary of Enforcement of the Local Autonomy Law - Gifu Prefecture/
Le 60ème Anniversaire de Mise en vigueur de la Loi d'Autonomie Locale - la Préfecture de Gifu

Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県, Gifu-ken) is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu. Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō. During the Sengoku period, many people referred to Gifu by saying, "control Gifu and you control Japan."

The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honshū, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Temmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.

The land area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano. The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567.The first character used comes from Qishan (岐山), a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Qufu (曲阜), the birthplace of Confucius. Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind.

Historically, the prefecture served as the center of swordmaking in all of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. More recently, its strengths have been in fashion (primarily in the city of Gifu) and aerospace engineering (Kakamigahara).

On October 28, 1891, the present-day city of Motosu was the epicenter for the Mino-Owari Earthquake, the largest earthquake to ever hit Japan. The earthquake, estimated at 8.0 earthquake, left a huge cleft in the ground that can still be seen today.

Gifu (岐阜県, Gifuken) est une préfecture du Japon, située au centre de l'île de Honshu. Le nom Gifu tire son origine d'un mont chinois et a été choisi par Oda Nobunaga qui y construisit son château.

À l'époque féodale, le territoire actuel de la préfecture correspondait à la province de Mino (美濃) pour sa partie sud et celle de Hida pour sa partie nord.

Hida, province montagneuse, était « la principale des provinces à l'est », protégée également par Fuwa no seki (不破関) construit au mont Ibuki.

Sur le territoire de Mino se trouvait le plus élevé des châteaux à Iwamura, à plus de 700 mètres d'altitude. Il surplombait le brouillard qui règne sur les environs, mais est rasé au début de l'ère Meiji pour effacer les traces de l'ancien régime. La province de Mino est également connue pour sa production d'agar-agar (une gélatine fabriquée à partir d'algues).

Pendant la période Sengoku, Saito Dosan et Oda Nobunaga ont régné. Durant la période Edo, le shogun régnait directement.

En 1600 le combat de Sekigahara s'y déroula.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

Battle of Poltava/Bataille de Poltava

Battle of Poltava: The turning point in the Northern War (1700–21) between Sweden and Russia. When Hetman Ivan Mazepa learned that Tsar Peter I intended to abolish the autonomy of the Hetman state, he began secret negotiations with Charles XII of Sweden to ensure that Ukraine would not be annexed by Poland in the event of a Swedish victory. After the main Swedish army entered Ukraine, Mazepa openly sided with Charles against Peter. The entire matter was complicated by the fact that the Swedish force that was to have marched directly on Moscow had unexpectedly turned south toward Ukraine before reaching Smolensk. Mazepa was left in an awkward position, but tried to accommodate the Swedes as well as he could.

Because of the harsh winter of 1708–1709 and a series of military defeats the situation of the Swedish army in Ukraine became precarious. The assistance Charles XII expected from Turkey and the Crimean Khanate did not materialize, and the Polish army of King Stanislaus I Leszczyński and a Swedish corps were forced to remain in Poland to fight the supporters of Frederick Augustus II. Charles's only success at that time was enlisting the support of Otaman Kost Hordiienko and his army of 8,000 Zaporozhian Cossacks in April 1709. Semiencircled by the Russians, Charles chose not to retreat to Volhynia (as his generals counseled) but to advance to the Vorskla River and thence on to Moscow via Kharkiv and Kursk. Several fortified cities on the way encumbered Charles's advance. One such city was Poltava, situated at the intersection of important routes to Southern Ukraine, Right-Bank Ukraine, and Slobidska Ukraine and the Don region. It was defended by a garrison of 4,300 Russian soldiers and 2,600 Ukrainian volunteers commanded by Gen Aleksei Kelin.

In early May 1709, on Ivan Mazepa's advice, Charles XII decided to capture Poltava. Having failed to take it by storm, he besieged and bombarded the hungry city. Peter I arrived to relieve Poltava and decided his army of 42,500 soldiers and 102 cannons would attack the Swedes on 10 July. Cossack forces loyal to Peter under the command of Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky cut off possible Swedish retreat to the Dnieper River between Pereiaslav and Kremenchuk. Charles had 31,000 men but only 4 cannons; 6,000 of his soldiers were engaged in maintaining the siege or guarding the Vorskla River rear. Mazepa's small force was held in reserve to protect the Swedish western flank and ensure that Kelin would not attack from the fortress.

When Charles XII learned, during the night of 7 July, that a Kalmyk army of 40,000 would arrive to reinforce the Russians in two days, he decided to act first and destroy the Russian encampment in a lightning blow. At 5 AM on 8 July the Swedish infantry advanced on Russian positions but was repelled by cavalry. The Swedish cavalry successfully engaged its counterpart but was forced to retreat under heavy fire. The Swedish infantry attacked once more and captured two Russian redoubts, but failed to hold them. As the Swedes attempted to bypass the redoubts, Prince Aleksandr Menshikov's troops encircled them and inflicted heavy casualties. Fifty to seventy meters from Russian positions the Swedes met a hail of deadly artillery fire. Panic ensued in their ranks, but they managed to retreat into the nearby Budyshcha forest, where Charles was able, with considerable difficulty, to restore order.

At around 9 AM, having regrouped their forces, both Peter I and Charles XII ordered their troops to advance. Intense Russian artillery fire again created chaos in the Swedish ranks, their center buckled, and a disorderly retreat ensued to the Swedish encampment, which by then had been captured by Russian forces. By 11 AM the Swedes had been routed. Over 9,300 died, and nearly 2,900 were taken prisoner, including Field Marshal C.-G. Rehnskjold and the first minister, C. Piper. The Russian army suffered 1,345 dead and 3,290 wounded. Swedish units that were not captured were led by Gen A.L. Lewenhaupt along the Vorskla River to Perevolochna, whence Charles, Ivan Mazepa, and Kost Hordiienko and a contingent of 3,000 Swedes and Cossacks crossed the Dnieper River and fled into Turkish-occupied territory. A.L. Lewenhaupt's army of 16,000 was forced to capitulate and surrender to Menshikov. According to the fifth provision of the capitulation agreement Cossacks under Swedish command were handed over to the Russians. Most of them were executed on the spot, and the rest were exiled to Siberia.

The Battle of Poltava resulted in Russian military rule in the Hetman state and increasing curtailment of its autonomy. The Museum of the History of the Battle of Poltava, which very much lauded Peter’s triumph, was opened at the battle site in 1950.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

65th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War/
Le 65ème Anniversaire de Victoire dans la Grande guerre Patriote

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of war between the European Axis powers, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, Finland (not an Axis member) and the Soviet Union which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It was known by many different names depending on the nation, notably the Great Patriotic War (Russian: Великая Отечественная Война) in USSR, the Eastern Front (German: die Ostfront), the Eastern Campaign (German: der Ostfeldzug) or the Russian Campaign (German: der Rußlandfeldzug) in Germany.

The battles on the "Eastern Front" constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterised by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life variously due to combat, starvation, disease, and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Various figures average a total number of 70,000,000 dead because of World War II; with over 30 million dead, many of them civilians, the Eastern Front represents almost half of this total, and has been called a war of extermination. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany's defeat. It resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich, the partition of Germany and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower.

The two principal belligerent powers were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviet-Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. In addition, the joint German-Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish-Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are also considered part of the Eastern Front.

Le terme de Front de l’Est (aussi appelé le Front russe) désigne le théâtre d'opérations en Europe de l'Est pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. De juin 1941 à mai 1945, l'Allemagne nazie et l'Union soviétique, les deux principales nations belligérantes, se livrèrent à une guerre totale prenant place d'abord en Union soviétique, puis dans les pays occupés par les forces de l'Axe.

Il s'agit du plus grand théâtre d'opérations de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Le Front de l'Est fut le lieu de la guerre la plus féroce, d'énormes destructions et déportations de masse, et résulta en de gigantesques pertes militaires et civiles par suite de la guerre elle-même, de famine, de maladie, de conditions météorologiques extrêmes, et de massacres. Les pertes civiles et militaires sur le Front de l'Est sont estimées à environ 30 millions de personnes, soit environ la moitié des dégâts infligés tout au long de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Ce conflit fut sans doute le plus déterminant dans la chute du Troisième Reich. Il eut comme conséquences la destruction de l'Allemagne comme puissance militaire, l'accession de l'Union soviétique au rang de superpuissance, la constitution du bloc soviétique en Europe de l’Est (derrière le rideau de fer) et la division de l'Allemagne.

Les Soviétiques et maintenant les Russes appellent ce conflit la Grande Guerre patriotique, par allusion à la « Guerre patriotique » de 1812 contre Napoléon Ier. Les Allemands nomment le conflit "Ostfront", ce qui se traduit par "Front de l'Est". Les Finlandais, qui combattirent aux côtés des Allemands, nomment la partie des combats qui se déroula sur leur territoire entre 1941 et 1944 guerre de Continuation, car elle prolongeait la guerre d'Hiver de 1939-1940.

Le 9 mai, jour de la reddition allemande pour le fuseau horaire de Moscou, est une fête nationale en Russie et dans certaines des anciennes républiques soviétiques (День Победы, littéralement le jour de la victoire).

Le Front de l'Est fit sa jonction avec le Front de l'Ouest en Allemagne et en Tchécoslovaquie en 1945.

Friday, July 16, 2010

FDC from Bulgaria/FDC de la Bulgarie

EUROPA-Children's books/
EUROPA-Livres pour enfants

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

FDC from Bulgaria/FDC de la Bulgarie

2010 FIFA World Cup/
Coupe du monde de football de 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Issue:Lighthouses Postage Stamps (Issue of 2010)/Les nouveautés:Les Timbres de Phares (l'Édition de 2010)

Date of issue: July 28, 2010

Chunghwa Post first issued a set of stamps on lighthouses in 1989, and now it is following up with another set of four stamps on the topic, featuring the following lighthouses:

1. The Chilung Tao Lighthouse (NT$5): The lighthouse is located at the highest point on Chilung Tao, off Keelung Harbor. Built in 1980, this octagon-shaped concrete tower, with a black-and-white vertical-striped daymark, uses air batteries for electricity. In 1998, the lighthouse switched to solar power. In 2006, wind power was added as a secondary power source. The lighthouse has a nominal range of 13.8 nautical miles.

2. The Wenkan Tui Lighthouse (NT$5): Built in 1914, this skeletal steel frame light tower is located on Waisanding Sandbar off Kouhu Township, Yunlin County. In 1974, due to sandbar shift, the lighthouse was rebuilt and placed in a new location nearby. The new structure is a square tapered steel frame tower, using a fourth-order AC light. In 2006, because of sandbar shift, the lighthouse was moved once again to present location, and a radar beacon pole was added. The lighthouse has a nominal range of 13.1 nautical miles.

3. The Paisha Chia Lighthouse (NT$10): Built in 1901, this round brick light tower is located in Guanyin Township, Taoyuan County. In 1956, the lighthouse was equipped with a third-order revolving lens light, producing one flash every 20 seconds, alternating between white and red lights. The white and red lights have a luminous intensity of one million and 310,000 candlepower respectively. In 2002 the Taoyuan County Government designated the lighthouse as a county monument. The nominal range of the red light is 22.6 nautical miles, and the range of the white light is 25.7 nautical miles.

4. The Liuchiu Yu Lighthouse (NT$25): Built in 1929, this round light tower is located at the highest point on the south-east coast of Liuchiu Yu off Pingtung County. In 1952, the lighthouse was equipped with a fifth-order acetylene flashing light. In 1980, the light was replaced by an AC light, which has a luminous intensity of 10,000 candlepower. The lighthouse has a nominal range of 14.3 nautical miles.