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TAPEZ LES MOTS-CLES: homme nature ou homme nature société
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Daluege, Kurt

Daluege, Kurt (1897–1946) Nazi official who perpetrated the Lidice massacre Daluege, among the earliest members of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), established the first Sturmabteilung (SA) unit in Berlin in 1926, then two years later transferred to the Schutzstaffel (SS) and became a senior officer. He served as a member of the Nazi delegation in the Prussian legislature in 1932 and the following year became a member...

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Daladier, Édouard

Daladier, Édouard (1884–1970) French premier who reluctantly signed the Munich Pact with Hitler With British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, French premier Édouard Daladier signed the Munich Pact of September 30, 1938, giving Adolf Hitler the Czech Sudetenland. Born in Carpentras, France, Daladier was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1919 as a member of the Radical Party. A vigorous politician, he served from 1924 to 1933...

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Dachau concentration camp

Established in March 1933, Dachau was among the first of the Nazi concentration camps. It was located 12 miles north of Munich and was originally intended as a "correctional" facility for those who spoke out against the regime of Adolf Hitler or who were for other reasons regarded as socially undesirable. Between its opening in 1933 and the end of the war in May 1945,...

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Cunningham, Andrew

(1883–1963) British First Sea Lord and a principal naval planner of the D-day landings Cunningham was Britain's First Sea Lord from October 1943 and was a member of the British Chiefs of Staff as well as the Allies' Combined Chiefs of Staff. Distinguished in his contributions to the Allied war effort, his most valuable service may well have been as one of the principal architects of Operation...

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Cunningham, Alan

Cunningham, Alan (1887–1983) British general defeated by Erwin Rommel in North Africa Far less well known than his older brother, Adm. Sir Andrew Cunningham, Lt. Gen. Sir Alan Cunningham started the war as commander of British forces in Kenya beginning in November 1940. He preformed very effectively in East Africa in 1941, which earned him promotion to overall command of the Eighth British Army, which had been...

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World War II saw an explosion in the development of cryptology, the science and technology of creating and breaking codes such as those used by diplomats as well as military personnel. All the major combatant nations employed specialists in encryption and decryption, personnel who worked in what the military calls signals intelligence. The British and the Americans were particularly far advanced in signals intelligence, intercepting and breaking...

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Coral Sea, Battle of the

On May 4, 1942, a Japanese invasion force commanded by Adm. Shigeyoshi Inouye left Rabaul, New Britain, bound for Port Moresby, New Guinea. Simultaneously, another Japanese force, led by the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, sailed into the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia. The object of these coordinated movements was an assault on Australia preparatory to an invasion of the country. Recognizing the imminent threat, and in...

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“Commissar Order”

Commissars were officers of the political departments that were established within the Soviet Red Army. The function of the commissar was to indoctrinate troops politically and, even more important, to ensure that the Communist Party exercised direct control over and through the military command structure. On June 6, 1941, about two weeks before the invasion of the Soviet Union commenced, the Wehrmacht high command (OKW) issued the Kommissarbefehl,...

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Colmar Pocket

During the Allied advance through France following the Normandy landings (D-day) and Operation Cobra, which followed, elements of the German Nineteenth Army continued stubbornly to hold a bridgehead at Colmar, west of the Rhine and south of Strasbourg. By the end of 1944, this 30-square-mile so-called Colmar Pocket posed a threat to Dwight D. Eisenhower's broad-front strategy of bringing all advancing units to the Rhine before launching...

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Christison, Sir Alexander Frank Philip

Christison, Sir Alexander Frank Philip (1893–1993) Britain's excellent senior commander in Rangoon and Southeast Asia During World War II, Christison commanded the British forces at Rangoon, where he proved highly effective against the Japanese. By the end of the war, he was the highest-ranking British officer in Southeast Asia, and the honor of accepting the surrender of all Japanese forces in the theater fell to him on September...

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During World War II, Chile presented something of a paradox among South American nations. Although it was the most liberal of those states and was, in spirit, strongly pro-Allied, Chile, while endorsing the anti-Axis resolutions of the Rio Conference, initially refused to sever diplomatic relations with the Axis countries. As a result, Lend- Lease Act agreements were never concluded between the United States and Chile, and...

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Cassino, Battles of

Cassino is a town a mile west of Monte Cassino, a rocky hill about 80 miles south of Rome, atop which was a Benedictine monastery. During World War II, the Germans fortified both the town and the commanding hill. It was, in fact, an obvious strategic choice; the town and its hill provided a formidable defensive position and...

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Cape Matapan, Battle of

On the night of March 28, 1941, British and Italian ships fought at Cape Matapan (now Cape Taínaron), in the Mediterranean, off southern Greece. The battle was the fruit of British intelligence, which, as early as September 1940, had broken the Italian naval code. Ultra intelligence, derived from this decryption, enabled Allied code breakers to decipher a message on March 25, 1941, revealing that Italian warships...

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Cape Esperance, Battle of

The Battle of Cape Esperance was one of many naval battles spawned by the Guadalcanal Campaign. On the night of October 11–12, 1942, a U.S. Navy task force commanded by R. Adm. Norman Scott fought a Japanese force under R. Adm. Goto Aritomo. Its mission was to pin down U.S. Marines onshore with suppressing fire while two Japanese seaplane carriers landed reinforcements. Thanks to advances in...

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Buna, Battle of

Gen. Douglas MacArthur's plan to defend Australia against impending Japanese invasion was not to hunker down in Australia itself, but to take the battle to New Guinea, which he correctly saw as the necessary staging area for any assault on Australia. Thus, the New Guinea Campaign was a defense by means of offensive, and the Battle of Buna, a village on the northeastern coast of...

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Bulganin, Nikolay

Bulganin, Nikolay (1895–1975) deputy premier of the Soviet Union Bulganin was among the coterie of Soviet leaders whose World War II experience elevated them to major roles in the postwar Soviet Union. Born in Nizhny Novgorod, Bulganin was an early member of the Bolsheviks and entered the Cheka (secret police) as an officer in 1918. He was later detailed to manage a state-run electrical equipment factory in...

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Browning automatic rifle (BAR)

One of the most important infantry weapons of World War II, the BAR was introduced in World War I and modified, as the M1918A2, in 1940. It was this version that was used in World War II combat. The new model could be fired only in two automatic modes, slow (300 to 450 rounds per minute) or fast (500 to 650 rounds per minute). Because...

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Brooke, Alan

Brooke, Alan, first viscount Alanbrooke (1883–1963) Chief of the British Imperial Staff Born at Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France, Brooke was educated in French schools and then at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. He was an officer in the Royal Artillery during World War I and, in the interwar years, rose rapidly as a staff officer and as director of military training in the War Office during 1936–37. His...

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Bougainville Campaign

Bougainville is the largest of the Solomon Islands and is located near the northern end of the Solomons chain in the southwestern Pacific. With the island of Buka and the Kilinailau, Tauu, Nukumanu, Nuguria, and Nissan Island groups, Bougainville is now a province of Papua New Guinea. The island is 75 miles long and varies in width from 40 to 60 miles. Its topography is...

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Bofors gun

The Bofors gun was a generic name for any 75- mm lightweight, highly transportable howitzer that resembled the Bofors 75-mm Model 1934 weapon manufactured by AB Bofors, a Swedish arms maker. Indeed, many nations purchased the original Bofors weapon prior to and during World War II. (Sweden, a neutral in the war, was free to deal with all belligerents.) The original Bofors was a beautifully crafted,...

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To a degree unprecedented in history, combat in World War II was directed against civilian populations, and this was especially the case with air raids, such as the Blitz. Advances in avionics (aircraft instrumentation), radar, and radio-guided direction finding made nighttime air raids not only feasible but common. Brightly lit cities made excellent targets. Even in rural areas, lights were readily spotted from the air. To...

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Bismarck Sea, Battle of the

Thanks to U.S. Navy Ultra decrypts, Allied forces learned well in advance of the movement on February 28, 1943, of 7,000 Japanese reinforcements to Lae and Salmaua on New Guinea's northeastern coast. Fully alerted, the Americans moved large numbers of aircraft into forward positions, and, on March 2, fighters and bombers of the Fifth U.S. Air Force attacked the Japanese troop convoy. One Japanese transport was...

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Bidault, Georges

Bidault, Georges (1899–1983) French resistance leader With Jean Moulin, Georges Bidault was the central leader of the French resistance and underground movements following the fall of France. In postwar France, he served two terms as prime minister and three as minister of foreign affairs. Born in Moulins, Bidault received his early formal education at an Italian Jesuit school. He served in the French Army just after World...

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Biak Island, Battle of

During the New Guinea Campaign, elements of the 41st U.S. Division under Maj. Gen. Horace Fuller landed on Biak (an island off the northern coast of Dutch New Guinea) on May 27, 1944. Their objective was to take this important Japanese air base and seize it for basing U.S. aircraft to support the campaign to retake the Philippines. The Japanese garrison of 11,400 made a...

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Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

Officially, the Germans listed this facility, near Hanover, as a Krankenlager, a sick camp or medical camp. It was, in fact, created as an internment camp in April 1943, but by July was a fully developed concentration camp. It differed from other such camps, however, in that it was divided into two sections. One was used for the incarceration of political prisoners and Jews of...

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