Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. It is one of the major political powers of the European continent and a technological leader in many fields.
A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward and established successor kingdoms throughout much of Europe. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations, with the two factions clashing in the Thirty Years' War, marking the beginning of the Catholic–Protestant divide that has characterized German society ever since. Occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Pan-Germanism inside the German Confederation resulted in 1871 in the unification of most of the German states into the German Empire, which was Prussian dominated. After the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the subsequent military surrender in World War I, the Empire was replaced by the Weimar Republic in 1918, and partitioned in the Treaty of Versailles. Amidst the Great Depression, the Third Reich was proclaimed in 1933. The latter period was marked by Fascism and World War II. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990 the country was reunified.
Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and since 1999 a member of the euro area. Germany is a Great Power and member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011–2012 term.
It has the world's fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. Germany is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security. Germany has been the home of many influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors, and is known for its cultural and political history.
World War II
The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate East Asia and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and Britain. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany formed the Axis alliance with Italy, conquering or subduing much of continental Europe. Following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories between themselves of their European neighbours, including Poland. The United Kingdom and the other members of the British Commonwealth were the only major Allied forces continuing the fight against the Axis, with battles taking place in North Africa as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1941, the European Axis launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, giving a start to the largest land theatre of war in history, which tied down the major part of the Axis' military forces for the rest of the war. In December 1941, Japan joined the Axis, attacked the United States and European territories in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance was stopped in 1942, after Japan lost a series of naval battles and European Axis troops were defeated in North Africa and, decisively, at Stalingrad. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion of Italy, and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands.
The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on 6 August, and Nagasaki on 9 August. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, and the Soviet Union having declared war on Japan by invading Manchuria, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, ending the war in Asia and cementing the total victory of the Allies over the Axis.
Banshee was, once, one of the many generic legions of Seekers, assigned to Megatron as he pursued the ark - her perfect pitch and singing ability were the only defining feature that set her apart from the others; not important, in the grand scheme of things. Somehow, her stasis chamber was knocked loose and remained buried under Germany, until she woke up during the 1940. Unable to pick up any Decepticon signals, Banshee heard the call of war, and decided it was best to blend in and find out what was going on... at least for a while. Assuming the form of a Stuka to remain hidden, Banshee flew for the Luftwaffe, flown by a barely-competent pilot who thought himself gifted, while waiting to hear from others of her kind. After the False Reich was defeated, she powered herself down to hide, letting herself be transferred to a museum - to hide, as Cybertrons always have, in plain sight.
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- deutschland.de – Official Germany portal (non-profit)
- Deutsche Welle – Germany's international broadcaster
- Germany at UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Facts about Germany – by the German Federal Foreign Office
- Destatis.de – Federal Statistical Office Germany
- Key Development Forecasts for Germany from International Futures
- Official site of the Government
- Official site of the Federal Presidents
- Official site of German Chancellor