HMS Elizabeth Jonas (1559)

The Elizabeth Jonas of 1559 was the first large English galleon, built in Deptford from 1557 and launched in July 1559.

With a nominal burden of 800 tons, she was the largest ship built in England since Henry VIII’s prestige warship, the Henry Grace à Dieu. She was ordered under the reign of Queen Mary and initially named Edward, after her late brother, but was renamed when Elizabeth I came to the throne. She was a square-rigged galleon of four masts, including two lateen-rigged mizzenmasts. The Elizabeth Jonas served effectively under the command of Sir Robert Southwell during the battle of the Spanish Armada in 1588. In 1597-98 she was rebuilt as a razee galleon, but at the time of the Commission of Enquiry in 1618 she was condemned and broken up.

Naval Architecture

+
The Santísima Trinidad, 1769
+

The profession of designing craft for use on or in the water. The high art of ship design, known as naval architecture, emerged during the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. The growth of naval architecture marked a departure from the craft tradition of ship design. It resulted in applying abstract mathematics to ship design, drafting designs on paper, and, overall, taking a more rational approach to design.

From ancient times to the Renaissance, one tradition of ship design existed. In this folk art the master shipwright controlled most of the production process, from selecting the trees for ship timber to launching the completed vessel. Design formed only one of the facets of this craft. It required practical experience, a sense of aesthetics, and an eye for hydrodynamic lines. Some of the earliest ship designers modeled their vessels on seaworthy examples. At first they based their designs on natural forms, such as fish and the underwater lines of waterfowl. The phrase used to describe a ship with a bluff bow and fine stern, “cod’s head and mackerel’s tail,” stems from this design tradition.

As certain wooden ships became known for their seaworthiness, shipwrights copied their lines for new vessels. It is, therefore, not extraordinary that ships from various parts of medieval Europe could fall within general classifications, such as the cog. This craft-based form of ship design prevailed in some countries well into the nineteenth century.

Throughout its history, naval architecture has been closely tied to governmental shipbuilding programs because the development of new design methods and supporting institutions requires a significant financial investment. Venetian shipbuilders were the first to try to replace craft-based design methods with theoretical ones. By the early–fifteenth century, they had elevated galley design to its zenith. To help preserve their superior designs, the Venetians developed a formulaic method requiring only the dimensions of the keel, stem, stern, and midship section. Using this sesto e partixon system, they could extrapolate the rest of the hull lines from these few basic proportions. The Venetians became adept at drawing and preserved some of their designs on paper. They recorded their mathematical methods in the first treatises concerning shipbuilding. Beginning in the mid- to late–fifteenth century, Venetian shipbuilders wrote and reproduced by hand several of these treatises.

Shipbuilders in other seafaring countries began to develop sophisticated methods of their own. In the sixteenth century, Spanish shipbuilder Diego Garcia de Palacio published the book Instrucción náutica para navegar. Palacio’s treatise represents the first shipbuilding publication printed in large quantities.

This early European movement to develop theoretical ship design methods and preserve them in books departed from the craft tradition of design. Training new generations of master craftworkers had rested on the foundation of apprenticeship and hands-on experience, not book learning. The Venetians and Spaniards began a process that led to the separation of ship design from ship construction.

By the seventeenth century, France vied with Spain, England, and the Netherlands for control of the seas. King Louis XIV hungered for maritime commerce and naval power, and his finance minister and minister of the navy Jean Baptiste Colbert did his best to satisfy those desires. From 1661 until his death, in 1683, Colbert increased the size and number of French warships, improved training of naval officers, and ordered numerous charts prepared for better navigation. In 1666, he founded the Académie des Sciences, which became a forum for scientific matters, including navigation and ship design. In 1680 Colbert brought together prominent French shipbuilders to determine the best way to maximize speed, maneuverability, and gun positioning on board men-of-war. This group established standard dimensions for each class of warship and eliminated many of the rule-of-thumb methods practiced by private contractors.

During the 1700s Colbert’s campaign to promote navigation and shipbuilding bore fruit in the form of design research. French experimenters pioneered the use of model ship basins to test the performance of ship forms. In addition, the Académie awarded prizes for research on ship design subjects, such as the best method for diminishing the rolling and pitching of vessels or propelling a vessel without the use of sails.

French works on naval architecture became recognized as the world’s leading ship design treatises. Paul Hoste, a Jesuit professor at the Toulon Naval Academy, wrote Théorie de la construction des vaisseaux in 1697. His treatise laid the foundation for later works on naval architecture by employing the principles of statics and mechanics. In 1746 Pierre Bouguer completed his influential work, Traité du navire. Bouguer devised the trapezoidal rule for the mensuration of areas, which became the basis for many of the hydrostatic calculations that enter into modern naval architecture. In 1752, naval architect and instructor Duhamel du Monceau published Elémens de l’architecture navale. Monceau’s book became widely recognized as one of the eighteenth century’s best naval architecture treatises and was translated into Dutch, German, and English.

The French were the first to establish educational institutions to support the profession of naval architecture. During his administration, Colbert had founded schools of naval construction at the Brest and Rochefort navy yards. These schools began the process of separating ship designers from shipwrights and transforming naval architecture into a form of engineering. In 1765, the French continued this process by founding the École d’Application du Génie Maritime to train its naval constructors. This school was the first to educate its students in the science of ship design.

British interest in naval architecture lagged behind that of the French. The British always had a reputation as some of the best shipwrights in Europe, and a number of English master builders, such as Phineas Pett and Anthony Deane, distinguished themselves as warship designers. Britain’s movement to rationalize the craft of shipbuilding might not have begun, however, had it not been for that nation’s dependence on overseas commerce and the influence of the Royal Navy. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Great Britain had to control the ocean lifelines that provided for its economy and support a powerful navy to protect those vital supply lines.

The British began to adopt the methods and institutions of naval architecture during the Napoléonic Wars. Fearing that the superiority of French warship designs might tip the balance of power in favor of their naval rivals, British shipbuilders and naval personnel focused their attention on warship design. Some of Britain’s most accomplished mathematicians perfected naval architecture theory beyond the principles advanced by the French. In the 1790s Colonel Mark Beaufoy undertook a five-year study of the resistance of various wooden shapes to water. Beaufoy’s tests represented the first serious British attempt to understand the resistance of hydrodynamic forms to water. Beaufoy also took a leading role in forming the Society for the Improvement of Naval Architecture in 1796. It comprised civilians and naval personnel who supported the study of ship design and construction.

Royal dockyard officials Samuel Bentham and Robert Seppings made their greatest contributions to warship construction methods during this period. One of Bentham’s many initiatives led to the founding of dockyard schools for the Royal Navy’s shipwrights.

The End of IJN Sōryū

It is not known who scored the last hit. Indeed most early sources say that the Soryu only received two hits which certainly would have been enough to doom the ship. However later sources as well as Japanese sources say a third and last bomb did hit near the rear of the flight deck. All three divisions of VB3 attacked and it appears they attacked according to doctrine. The first to dive was the 1st division lead by Leslie. Holmberg, the second to dive right behind Leslie, scored the first hit. The next 2 divisions dived in order. This is backed up by Bottomly scoring the second hit. He was in the second part of the 2nd division. This left only three other pilots to actually dive on Soryu, that being Lane, Butler, and Shumway who was leading the 3rd division. The last four aircraft from the 3rd division dived on other targets as Soryu was a mass of flames by then. While I’m inclined to give the last hit to either Lane or Butler it is curious that Shumway dove on Soryu while the other aircraft in his division decided that Soryu was no longer a worthwhile target. So I cannot discount that Shumway quite possibly was the last to hit Soryu. In some way that makes sense. Shumway never claimed credit for the hit but he might never have seen it as the rear of Soryu’s flight deck was most likely obscured by smoke at that point. Only later when Japanese sources confirmed a 3rd hit was it positively known a third bomb hit her. Shumway also hit Hiryu later in the day confirming that he was a good dive bomber pilot which kind of plays into the theory as Best and Kleiss also had hits in each of their two attacks that day.

According to the conventional accounts of the action, it was just after 1020 hours – less than ten minutes before the carriers would supposedly start launching their planes for the attack on the American fleet – when the first of the Enterprise’s dive-bombers attacked Kaga. Parshall and Tully are scornful of the idea (often depicted as incontrovertible fact) that the Japanese were so close to flying off their carrier aircraft from the decks of the Kidō Butai. They claim it is a myth – castigating it as ‘A Fallacious Five Minutes’ – because the Japanese were simply in no practical position to do so at this time. After three misses, four large bombs struck home, the first of which exploded in an inferno amongst the ‘Kates’ on the starboard quarter of the deck, two more smashed into the deck near the carrier’s island wrecking the bridge and a fourth landed in the middle of the flight deck before carving its way like the other bombs before it through to the hangars below. Kaga became almost an instant blazing wreck. Akagi was not spared either. Two bombs exploded near to the flagship, but a solitary hit from Lieutenant Richard Best’s dive-bomber was sufficient to turn Nagumo’s flagship into yet another exploding furnace. His 1,000-pound bomb drove through the flight deck and exploded in a huge ball of flame in the upper hangar amongst the carrier bomber planes that were parked there. Although badly damaged, Akagi was far from dead in the water. In fact, she was making battle speed 3 at 1040 hours when she spotted a lone American plane off her starboard bow. In heeling the carrier over to starboard and opening up with her A.A. guns, the flagship survived this latest attack. In doing so, however, the steering failed – the rudder jamming at 30º to starboard.

Within a few minutes the situation was complicated still further by a fire breaking out on the flight deck which in turn spread to a Zero parked by the bridge. As a result of the acrid smoke that arose from the resulting inferno, the command centre became uninhabitable. Akagi’s days as the flagship of the First Mobile Striking Force (Kidō Butai) were at an end. While Kaga and Akagi were bearing the brunt of the Enterprise’s Dauntelesses, the dive-bombers from the Yorktown concentrated primarily on Sōryū and at 1026 hours the first of three bombs smashed into the starboard bow of the ship by the No.1 A.A. gun and obliterated the forward bulkhead and everything around it. A second bomb had carved its way through the middle of the flight deck and penetrated deep into the lower hangar before exploding venomously rupturing boiler steam pipes as it did so. A third struck the flight deck aft igniting in a ball of flame and thereafter engulfing everything from the command centre to the stern. By 1030 hours this whirlwind of destruction had signalled the active end of Sōryū’s existence. Like the other two carriers, she did not sink immediately but hung around as a smoking ruin for several more hours before sliding beneath the waves at 1913 hours taking 718 crew members with her as she did so.

HMS Victoria

H.M.S. Victoria was one of two Sans Pareil Class battleships built for the Royal Navy, named in honour of Queen Victoria. Laid down at Armstrong’s in 1885 and launched in 1887, her completion was delayed by problems with her main armament of two BL 16.25 inch Mk I naval guns, and she wasn’t commissioned until 1890. For the entirety of her active career she served as flagship on the Mediterranean Station, except a period in 1892 when she grounded off the coast of Greece and had to undergo major repairs. On 22 June, 1893 she collided with the battleship Camperdown near Tripoli, Lebanon during manœuvres and quickly sank, taking 358 crew with her, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. One of the survivors was her Commander, John Jellicoe, later Commander-in-Chief of the British Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

The Royal Navy finally again constructed mastless turret ironclads, and introduced breech-loading guns, steel construction, and armor in the Inflexible diminutives, Colossus and Edinburgh (completed in 1886 and 1887, respectively), the turrets were arranged again in the hull-straining echelon arrangement to give ahead-fire for ramming. When the Admiralty finally went over to Devastation-pattern fore-and-aft turrets with Hero and Conqueror (completed in 1886 and 1888, respectively), they were mounted on dwarf ironclads, still designed primarily for ramming and counterramming, as were the Victoria and Sans Pareil (completed in 1890 and 1891, respectively).

In the field of steam engines, the obvious successor to the single expansion trunk engine – the two-stage engine with high- and low-pressure cylinders – began to be fitted in the merchant fleet from 1855 onwards, but it was not till about 1870, after trials that had lasted half a decade, that it was decided to fit these compound engines in battleships. Similarly, the next stage of development, the triple-expansion engine whose principle lasted as long as reciprocating steam engines did, was introduced in the merchant navy around 1880, tried out in the torpedo gunboat Rattlesnake in 1885 and first fitted to battleships Victoria and Sans Pareil in 1889.

‘Akitzuki’ class ships

By far the largest destroyers built in series by the Japanese, the ‘Akitzuki’ class ships were conceived originally as AA escorts comparable with the British ‘Dido’ and US Atlanta’ cruiser classes and, by comparison, offered a cheaper solution to the problem. The choice of a 100-mm (3.94-in) gun was probably better than that of the 133.4- mm (5.25-in) and 127-mm (5-in) weapons of the Western ships, whose rate of fire was considerably lower, though the lively hull of a destroyer must have made them less effective than cruisers when firing at aircraft. They were the only eight-gun destroyers in the Japanese fleet, and it would seem that the quadruple torpedo tube mounting was something of a late addition. Though they had the basis of an effective design, the Japanese too had underestimated the devastating effect of a determined air attack and only four light automatic guns of the standard 25-mm calibre were originally shipped. War experience encouraged the addition of more at virtually any opportunity, so that, by the end of the war, those still afloat (six were sunk) could dispose of up to 50 such weapons, Launched between 1941 and 1944, the ships of the class were the Akitsuki, Fuyutsuki, Hanatsuki, Harutsuki, Hatsutsuki, Natsusuki, Niitsuki, Shimotsuki, Suzutsuki, Terutsuki, Wakatsuki and Yoitsuki.

The most distinctive feature of the class was the complex casing of the single stack; extensive trunking enabled the funnel to be sited far enough abaft the bridge both to cut the smoke problem and greatly improve visibility, while placing it sufficiently far forward to permit extra AA platforms to be installed where the after stack would normally have been. To increase its effectiveness, the new design was given a second fire- control position aft. A feature of preceding classes had been their extremely light masts, but the ‘Akitzukis’ were among the first to have their masts strengthened for the support of the considerable bulk of the Type 22 surveillance radar antenna. The size of the hull, combined with a comparatively light gun armament and few torpedoes, allowed more generous top weight margins than was customary with Japanese destroyers, one result being a large depth-charge capacity. Nearly 40 more hulls to two improved designs were planned but never completed.

The lead ship, Akitzuki, was started in July 1940 and completed m June 1942, but the last of the class was not completed until April 1945 (Hatsutsuki). The Hatsuki, Kiyotsuki and Ootsuki were never laid down and the Michitsuki was stopped in March 1945 and broken up to make way for suicide craft. Six were sunk in action or torpedoed, and the other six were surrendered, two of them badly damaged. The Fuyutsuki was taken over by the US Navy in 1947 and scrapped, the Harutsuki became the Soviet Pospechny, the Hatsutsuki went to Britain and the Yoitsuki became the Chinese Fen Yang.

The Muslim Fleet

Muslim Galley


For centuries, power in the Mediterranean had depended on naval might. At the end of the 6th century the Byzantine Empire dominated both the Mediterranean and the Black Seas with naval bases at Carthage, Alexandria, Acre and Constantinople. Yet the number of Byzantine warships remained few, because the Empire faced no serious maritime rivals until the Sassanian occupation of Egypt and Syria. Even more threatening were the subsequent Muslim conquests of these areas, as well as North Africa and, eventually, the Iberian Peninsula.
In the Islamic forces’ first major naval operation in the Mediterranean, they temporarily occupied the island of Cyprus after having driven off a Byzantine fleet near Alexandria in 652 – their first naval victory. Then, in 655, the Islamic fleet won a convincing victory over the Byzantine navy off the south-western coast of what is now Turkey. For nigh on a thousand years Greeks and then Romans had dominated the Mediterranean Sea. Now, in the first major Mediterranean sea battle for centuries, an Arab fleet had successfully challenged the Byzantines in their home waters.
Surprisingly, given the relative inexperience of the Muslim fleet, this battle saw the Byzantines defeated both at sea and in a skirmish on shore at the same time. This clash in 655 near Cape Chelidonia, off the Lycian coast, came to be known as the ‘Battle of the Masts’ because the Muslims had landed to cut tall trees for the masts and yards of their new fleets, based in Egypt and Syria. A lack of suitable large timber would in fact hamper Muslim naval development throughout the medieval period, though it did encourage technological innovation in Islamic naval architecture. During this encounter the Byzantine ships seem either to have been moored in close formation or to have been tied together. As a result the Muslims were able to win because of their superior boarding and close-combat tactics.
The possible importance of the Sassanian influence on naval developments in the Middle East has only recently been considered. During their brief occupation of much of the eastern Mediterranean littoral, they had extended as far as to occupy the Greek island of Rhodes, plus some Anatolian coastal towns, though they almost certainly used captured Syrian, Cilician, Egyptian or Greek ships to do so.
The subsequent Muslim conquest of many of the same regions brought the Arabs to the shores of the Mediterranean for the first time as a great military power and as the inheritors of Sassanian naval traditions. On the other hand the Arabian peoples had a far more active naval heritage than their initially cautious attitude to the Mediterranean might suggest. The pre-Islamic Yemenis and perhaps Omanis had, for example, been raiding Sassanian territory by sea since at least the 4th century AD while various other tribes from both the Gulf and Red Sea coastal regions of Arabia had similar maritime traditions. Here it is worth noting that, following the first wave of Islamic conquest, these same Yemeni and other coastal Arab tribes were often selected as garrison troops for strategic coastal bases including Alexandria.
In response to the challenge by new Arab-Islamic fleets, a more powerful Romano-Byzantine navy would emerge in the late 7th century. The ‘Battle of the Masts’ would not be the last naval encounter between these two rivals. Indeed, later Byzantine attempts to retake Egypt would convince Mu’awiya, the governor of Syria and subsequently the first Umayyad Caliph, of the need for a full Islamic navy in the Mediterranean.
The first such fleet was built in Egypt, where all qualified sailors were registered for naval service. Although many of these sailors were in fact Christians, the bulk were Yemeni in origin and Muslim in religion. The new fleet used Tyre and Acre as forward bases while Iranian and Iraqi shipwrights were brought from the Gulf to build and man the new or restored shipyards at Acre, Tyre and Beirut.
Other naval bases and fleets were established in newly conquered Tunisia and rather later in Libya; the resources of wood, iron and tar essential for medieval naval warfare all being available in North Africa. From the early 8th century onwards these new Islamic fleets undertook almost annual raids against Byzantine territory and islands in the western Mediterranean, mirroring the annual raids undertaken on land.
If there were any real differences between Byzantine and early Islamic warships, it would seem to have been in the increased height of the forecastle of the latter. This was soon being used to mount stone-throwing engines and to provide an advantage when boarding enemy vessels. The main fighting ship was a galley called a shini which, like the Byzantine galleys of the day, had between 140 and 180 oarsmen. It is also important to note that, with very few exceptions, the oarsmen in medieval galleys, be they Christian or Muslim, were paid volunteers not slaves.
By the mid-8th century such galleys defended themselves against the terrifying Byzantine incendiary weapon known as ‘Greek fire’ using various systems of water-soaked cotton, and would shortly use Greek fire themselves. However, the vessels of the rival naval powers remained remarkably similar, as there was an exchange of both technology and terminology between them.
The main difficulty facing any Islamic fleet continued to be a lack of timber. Indeed, this lack of resources may have stimulated the construction of larger ships, which were better able to defend themselves and were no longer regarded as expendable assets. Certainly, there was also a change from the hull- or skin-first method of construction to the more economical frame-first method, although this change would not be truly complete until the 11th century.
From Nicolle, The Great Islamic Conquests, p. 57:
Nicolle, p. 57: “The subsequent Muslim conquest of many of the same regions [Syria, Cilicia, Egypt] brought the Arabs to the shores of the Mediterranean for the first time as a great military power and as the inheritors of Sassanian naval traditions. On the other hand the Arabian peoples had a far more active naval heritage than their initially cautious attitude to the Mediterranean might suggest. The pre-Islamic Yemenis and perhaps Omanis had, for example, been raiding Sassanian territory by sea since at least the 4th century AD while various other tribes from both the Gulf and Red Sea coastal regions of Arabia had similar maritime traditions. Here it is worth noting that, following the first wave of Islamic conquest, these same Yemini and other coastal Arab tribes were often selected as garrison troops for strategic coastal bases including Alexandria.
“In response to the challenge by new Arab-Islamic fleets, a more powerful Romano-Byzantine navy would emerge in the late 7th century. The ‘Battle of the Masts’ would not be the last naval encounter between these two rivals. Indeed, later Byzantine attempts to retake Egypt would convince Mu’awiya, the governor of Syria and subsequently the first Umayyad Caliph, of the need for a full Islamic navy in the Mediterranean.
“The first such fleet was built in Egypt, where all qualified sailors were registered for naval service. Although many of these sailors were in fact Christians, the bulk were Yemeni in origin and Muslim in religion. The new fleet used Tyre and Acre as forward bases while Iranian and Iraqi shipwrights were brought from the Gulf to build and man the new or restored shipyards at Acre, Tyre and Beirut.
“Other naval bases and fleets were established in newly conquered Tunisia and later in Libya; the resources of wood, iron and tar essential for naval warfare all being available in North Africa. From the early 8th century onwards these new Islamic fleets undertook almost annual raids against Byzantine territory and islands in the western Mediterranean, mirroring the annual raids undertaken on land.
“If there were any real differences between Byzantine and early Islamic warships, it would seem to have been in the increased height of the forecastle of the latter. This was soon used to mount stone-throwing engines and to provide an advantage when boarding enemy vessels. The main fighting ship was a galley called a shini which, like the Byzantine galleys of the day, had between 140 and 180 oarsmen. It is also important to note that, with very few exceptions, the oarsmen in medieval galleys, be they Christian or Muslim, were paid volunteers not slaves.
“By the mid-8th century such galleys defended themselves against the terrifying Byzantine incendiary weapon known as ‘Greek fire’ using various systems of water-soaked cotton, and would shortly use Greek fire themselves. However, the vessels of the rival naval powers remained remarkably similar, as there was an exchange of both technology and terminology between them.
“The main difficulty facing any Islamic fleet continued to be a lack of timber. Indeed, this lack of resources may have stimulated the construction of larger ships, which were better able to defend themselves and were no longer regarded as expendable assets. Certainly, there was also a change from the hull- or skin-first method of construction to the more economical frame-first method, although this change would not be complete until the 11th century.”
A bit on winter voyaging during this period:
Lawrence I. Conrad, “The Conquest of Arwād: A Source-Critical Study in the Historiography of the Early Medieval Near East,” in Cameron et al., Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, Vol I, p. 367 fn: “Winter voyages on the Mediterranean were undertakings of great peril, not only because of the risk of ships being overwhelmed in a storm, but also because persistent overcast meant that navigators were deprived of the usual coastal and celestial sightings upon which they relied for knowledge of their precise location – in particular, how close they were to enemy territory and cruising lanes or to dangerous channels or shoals…. Udovitch remarks (532) that ‘I have not found a single example of a commercial voyage between Alexandria and North Africa in the eleventh century outside the normal months of the sailing season’, i.e. April to late September…. In the seventh and eighth centuries, this problem led Rhodes to impose a strict ban on winter sailings by commercial vessels…” [per Rhodian sea law]

ROA

Ranks Left to Right ROA.

·  Soldier
·  Corporal
·  Unteroffizier
·  Feldwebel
·  Second Lieutenant  
·  Senior lieutenant
·  Captain
·  Major
·  Lieutenant Colonel  
·  Colonel
·  Major General
·  General
The ROA did not officially exist until autumn of 1944, after Heinrich Himmler persuaded a very reluctant Hitler to permit the formation of 10 Russian Liberation Army divisions.
On 14 November in Prague, Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov, Commander of the ROA, read aloud the Prague Manifesto before the newly created Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. This document stated the purposes of the battle against Stalin, and spelled out 14 democratic points which the army was fighting for. German insistence that the document carry anti-Semitic rhetoric was successfully parried by Vlasov’s committee; however, they were obliged to include a statement criticising the Western Allies, labelling them “plutocracies” that were “allies of Stalin in his conquest of Europe”.
Prague Manifesto, which states:
1.      The equality of all peoples of Russia and a real right for national development, self determination, self rule, and governmental independence.
2.      The confirmation of a popular worker front, before which the interests of the government are subordinate to the goals of raising the well-being and development of the nation.
3.      The preservation of peace and the establishment of peaceful relations with all nations of the world, an all round development of international collaboration.
4.      Wide ranging government actions for the strengthening of the family and marriage. A true equality for women.
5.      The liquidation of forced labor and the granting to the laborers a real right to free labor which creates their material well-being, the confirmation of a wage for all types of labor in an amount that can support an appropriate standard of living.
6.      The liquidation of collective farms, the free return of land to the private ownership of farmers. The freedom to determine labor land usage. The freedom to use the products of one’s personal labor, the abolishment of forced requisitions, and the cancellation of all debts to the Soviet government.
7.      The establishment of protected private labor ownership. The reestablishment of trade, crafts, domestic industry, the granting of the right of private initiative and an opportunity for it to participate in the economic life of the nation.
8.      Granting the intelligencia the opportunity to freely create for the well-being of their people.
9.      Granting social justice and defense of laborers from any exploitation, regardless of their origin and former activities.
10.  The creation for all without exception the real right for free education, medical care, vacation, and senior welfare.
11.  The destruction of the regime of terror and force. Liquidation of forceful repopulations and mass exiles. The establishment of a true freedom of religion, conscience, speech, assembly, press. A guarantee of the protection of person, property, and home. The equality of all before the law, the independence and clarity of the court.
12.  The liberation of political opponents of Bolshevism and the return to the motherland from the jails and camps of all who were repressed for their battle against Bolshevism. No revenge and persecution for those who stop their battle for Stalin and Bolshevism, regardless of whether this was done by necessity or by conviction.
13.  The reestablishment of national property ruined during the war – cities, villages, factories, and plants at cost to the government
14.  Government support of invalids of the war and their families.
By February 1945, only one division, the 1st Infantry (600th German Infantry) was fully formed, under the command of General Sergei Bunyachenko. Formed at Münsingen, it fought briefly on the Oder Front before switching sides and helping the Czechs liberate Prague.
A second division, the 2d Infantry (650th German Infantry), was incomplete when it left Lager Heuberg but was put into action under the command of General Mikhail Meandrov. This division was joined in large numbers by eastern workers which caused it to nearly double in size as it headed on its march south. A third, the 3rd Infantry (700th German Infantry), only began formation.
There were about 113 battalions serving under Vlasov, 42 (Roughly 14,000 people) of these were later sent to  Poland, Italy, Belgium, Finland, the Balkans and most notably, France where a number of them fought against the allies on the battle of D-Day. On the Eastern Front, two divisions were already created those being the 600th German Infantry led by Sergei Bunyachenko and the 650th German Infantry led by Mikhail Meandrov.
An air force was also created during the RLA’s existence as a division of the Luftwaffe. The RLA air force was led by Aviation Colonel Viktor Ivanovich Maltsev, who personally selected pilots, radio specialists, mechanics, and navigators to be a part of the air division. In the beginning, the RLA’s air force was used for three purposes: delivery of newly-made planes from factories to airfields, repair (The engineer team consisted of about forty people.), and conducting tests with Soviet aircraft, but would later participate in hostile actions against the Soviets, mostly over Belarus.
This is when the air force was divided into the fighter, light bomber, and reconnaissance (Flak regiment, parachute battalion, and signal battalions, respectively.) Figures estimate 5,000 Vlasovites were involved in the air force. The technology the air force was given was mostly captured Soviet planes from an airfield in 1941 or whatever was claimed from the German invasion. This was beneficial in two ways: the first was it gave the Germans the ability to get to know the Soviet Union’s aerial technology and fighting qualities at a closer distance and the second reason being the volunteers were already familiar with the planes from their time prior to being captured.
The Luftwaffe had also donated several of their old planes which were more of a danger than the damaged Soviet ones, most were out-of-date models such as the Gotha Go-145 A (This was actually a wooden biplane used for training, it became obsolete even before the war had begun.), Heinkel Не-50, Heinkel He-46, or Fokker C.V. which is actually a Dutch model rarely used by the Luftwaffe themselves. Despite this, relations between the German Luftwaffe and the Russians were very warm, and they would often come together for what they called “beer meetings”.
Several other Russian units, such as the Russian Corps, XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps of General Helmuth von Pannwitz, the Cossack Camp of Ataman Domanov, and other primarily White émigré formations had agreed to become a part of Vlasov’s army. However, their membership remained de jure as the turn of events did not permit Vlasov to use these men in any operation (even reliable communications was often impossible).
The only active combat the Russian Liberation Army undertook against the Red Army was by the Oder on 11 April 1945, done largely at the insistence of Himmler as a test of the army’s reliability. The Russian Liberation Army only saw one major battle against the Soviets on the River Oder swamp where the first division was sent to attack a Soviet entrenchment covered by mortars and mounted guns. The battle ultimately ended in defeat After three days, the outnumbered first division had to retreat.
Vlasov then ordered the first division to march south to concentrate all Russian anticommunist forces loyal to him. As the army, he reasoned, they could all surrender to the Allies on “favorable” (no repatriation) terms. Vlasov sent several secret delegations to begin negotiating a surrender to the Allies, hoping they would sympathise with the goals of ROA and potentially use it in an inevitable future war with the USSR.
The now-combined armies of the ROA were caught in the Prague uprising where several Czech insurgent groups were fighting against the Nazi occupation. Bunyachenko, leading the army, requested Vlasov to give permission to fight the Occupation and change sides once again. A definite reason was not given as to why the RLA switched sides once again, it may have been the fact that Bunyachenko had heard of the cries for help from the Czech people or it may have been his dislike of the national socialist ideology.
For the next three days, The RLA fought its last battle with a total force of three T-34-72’s (2 1942 models, 1 1940 model, two of those were lost during the battle), two Panzer IV ausf. H’s, three Hetzers (One of these were lost), two Panzerjager model I’s (one of these were destroyed in battle as well), one StuG IV, one AMD 35 Panhard, four Sd.Kfz. 250’s, one Sd.Kfz.263,  two Sd.Kfz.232’s, one Sd.Kfz.234 Puma, two BA-20’s (One of which was destroyed), one BA-64, one BA-11, one Wespe, around ten loading trucks (A fifth of these were lost in the fighting) , and roughly the same number of light vehicles and jeeps at their disposal, a number of machine guns and artillery placements were also available. The battle later ended in victory for the Czech people and the Vlasov’s delegates returned without a definite answer. Not knowing this, Bunyachenko and his troops began leaving the city to escape to escape capture from the Communist partisans in the hope of being aided by the US Third Army.
Composition
The composition of the VS-KONR forces were as follows:
Infantry divisions
    600th Panzergrenadier Div.
    650th Panzergrenadier Div.
Air elements
    I. Ostfliegerstaffel (russische) (1st Eastern Squadron-Russian) (1943-1944)
    II. Störkampfstaffel (Night Harassment Squadron) 8 (1945)
    KONR Air Force
Two former Soviet Air Force ace pilots, Semyon Trofimovich Bychkov and Bronislav Romanovich Antilevsky, defected and became part of the ROA Air Force. The air force was later disbanded in the July of 1944.

"Gendarme of Europe"

Nicholas I (Nikolai I Pavlovich; 6 July [O.S. 25 June] 1796 – 2 March [O.S. 18 February] 1855) was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855.

He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He is best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent wars that culminated in Russia’s disastrous defeat in the Crimean War of 1853-56. His biographer Nicholas Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, and an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to very hard work. He saw himself as a soldier – a junior officer totally consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was highly nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail. His reign had an ideology called “Official Nationality” that was proclaimed officially in 1833. It was a reactionary policy based on orthodoxy in religion, autocracy in government, and Russian nationalism

Because of the success of revolutionary resistance, Franz Joseph had to ask for help from the “gendarme of Europe” Czar Nicholas I of Russia in March 1849. Russian armies, composed of about 8,000 soldiers, invaded Transylvania on 7 April 1848. But as they crossed the Southern Carpathian mountain passes (along the border of Transylvania and Wallachia), they were met by a large Hungarian revolutionary army led by Józef Bem, a Polish-born General.

Bem had been a participant in the Polish insurrection of 1830 – 1831, had been involved in the uprising in Vienna in 1848 and, finally, became one of the top army commanders for the Hungarian Republic from 1848 – 1849. When he encountered the Russians, Bem defeated them and forced them back out of the towns of Hermannstadt (now Sibiu, Romania) and Kronstadt (now Brașov) in Transylvania, back over the Southern Carpathian Mountains through the Roterturm Pass into Wallachia. Only 2,000 Russian soldiers made it out of Transylvania back into Wallachia, the other 6,000 troops being killed or captured by the Hungarian Army. After securing all of Transylvania, Bem moved his 30,000–40,000-man Hungarian army against Austrian forces in the northern Banat capturing the city of Temesvár (now Timişoara, Romania).

In June 1849 Russian and Austrian troops entered Hungary heavily outnumbering the Hungarian army. After all appeals to other European states failed, Kossuth abdicated on August 11, 1849 in favour of Artúr Görgey, who he thought was the only general who was capable of saving the nation. However, in May 1849, Czar Nicholas I pledged to redouble his efforts against the Hungarian Government. He and Emperor Franz Joseph started to regather and rearm an army to be commanded by Anton Vogl, the Austrian lieutenant-field-marshal who had actively participated in the suppression of the national liberation movement in Galacia in 1848. But even at this stage Vogl was occupied trying to stop another revolutionary uprising in Galacia. The Czar was also preparing to send 30,000 Russian soldiers back over the Eastern Carpathian Mountains from Poland. Austria held Galacia and moved into Hungary, independent of Vogl’s forces. On August 13, after several bitter defeats in a hopeless situation, Görgey signed a surrender at Világos (now Şiria, Romania) to the Russians, who handed the army over to the Austrians.