Staffordshire

Staffordshire (abbreviated Staffs) is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Stafford. Part of the National Forest lies within its borders. It adjoins the ceremonial counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

The major city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent. Lichfield is also a city but is considerably smaller. Major towns include Burton-upon-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Tamworth and Stafford itself.

Staffordshire is divided into a number of districts. These are Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands and Tamworth. Stoke-on-Trent is administered as a separate unitary authority.

History

Main article History of Staffordshire.

The historic county of Staffordshire included Wolverhampton, Walsall, and West Bromwich, these were removed in 1974 to the new county of West Midlands. The resulting administrative area of Staffordshire has a narrow southwards protrusion that runs west of West Midlands to the border of Worcestershire. Further, Stoke-on-Trent was removed in the 1990s to form a unitary authority, but is still considered part of Staffordshire for ceremonial and geographical purposes.

Historically, Staffordshire was divided into the five hundreds of Cuttlestone, Offlow, Pirehill, Seisdon and Totmonslow.

Dogs

A type of bull terrier called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred for hunting purposes in this county. Later, a fighting dog was created called the Staffordshire pit bull. They are known affectionately as "Staffies".

Railways

Due to Wedgewood's pottery being moved increasingly by road transport, and both the decline in mining, qarrying and farming in general, several once-busy stations were shut down. Staffordshire's railways were reduced by the Beeching report in the 1960s, and several stations, like Uttoxeter and Norton Bridge, only narrowly missed closure. Both Stone, Barlaston and Titensor, Wedgewood and Norton Bridge all closed in 2003, but may re-open due to heavy local campaigning around the town of Stone. Eturia, Longport and Kidsgrove closed in 2005, but only services to Eturia had any popular support.

  • Coald meace works - Closed by 1900.
  • Alton (Alton towers) - Closed by 1970. It may be reopened by the Alton Towers amusment park.
  • Great Bridgeford, Whitmore and Standon moor - Both freight-only by 1955 and closed by 1970.
  • Littelton colliery and Hume end - Closed by 1946.
  • Madeley - Freight-only by 1955 and closed by 2000.
  • Oakmoor - Freight-only by 1970 and closed by 2000. It may be reopened by the preservationists that now run Consall and some nearby stations on that line.
  • Consall - Closed by 1970, but was saved by a local steam preservation movement.
  • Leek, Chedale, Trentham guardens and Brownhills - All went freight-only by 1970 and closed by 2000.
  • Caldon Lowe - Station closed by 1946. A quarry-worker's halt was opened by 1970, but – like the quarry itself – closed by 2000.
  • Trentham colliery - Closed by 2000.
  • Florence colliery - Opened by 1970 and closed by 2000.
  • Stafford common- The station had closed by 1946 and the goods department closed by 2000.
  • Kingsley and Frognal goods depot - Closed by 1970.

The collieries handle mostly freight along with a few workers trains. Stoke-on-Trent's goods yard had closed by 2000 due to increased competition from road haulage.

Note: at both Brownhills, Oakmoor, Chedale, Caldon Lowe and Whitmore the lines are over-grown and/or the stations neglected; but they may re-open for freight trains or for use by railway enthusiasts.

References

Ian alan books - British railways atlas 1947, Complete atlas of railway station names (U.K., 2002 edition), Rail Atlas 1970, British railway atlas 1955. A few recent newspaper articles.

Geography

In the north and in the south the county is hilly, with wild moorlands in the far north and Cannock Chase an area of natural beauty in the south. In the middle regions the surface is low and undulating. Throughout the entire county there are vast and important coal fields. In the southern part there are also rich iron ore deposits. The largest river is the Trent. The soil is chiefly clay and agriculture was not highly developed until the mechanisation of farms.

Towns and villages

See the list of places in Staffordshire and the List of civil parishes in Staffordshire

Places of interest

  • Alton Towers
  • Lichfield Cathedral [1]
  • Shugborough Hall [2]
  • Blithfield Hall
  • Dovecliff Hall
  • Festival Park
  • Ford Green Hall, Smallthorne
  • Madeley Old Hall
  • Moseley Old Hall, Featherstone,_Staffordshire
  • Sandon Hall
  • Whitmore Hall
  • Biddulph Grange
  • Eccleshall Castle
  • Mow Cop Castle
  • Stafford Castle
  • Tamworth Castle
  • Tutbury Castle
  • Croxden Abbey
  • Broad Eye Windmill, Stafford
  • Cheddleton Flint Mill, watermill
  • Watermill housing Brindley Water Museum, Leek
  • Izaak Walton Cottage Museum
  • Weston Park
  • Cannock Chase
  • Hazel Slade Reserve
  • RSPB Coombes Valley
  • National Memorial Arboretum [3]
  • Trentham Gardens
  • Rudyard Lake
  • Tittesworth Reservoir [4]
  • Chasewater [5]
  • River Trent
  • River Blythe
  • River Churnet
  • Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
  • Caldon Canal
  • Coventry Canal
  • Shropshire Union Canal
  • Trent and Mersey Canal, Harecastle Tunnel
  • Heritage railways: Chasewater Railway, Foxfield Steam Railway, Manifold Valley Railway
  • Churnet Valley Railway [6]
  • Long distance footpaths: Heart of England Way, Staffordshire Way

Local Groups

  • West Midland Bird Club
  • Lichfield Cricket Club
  • Tipton Harriers

This page about Staffordshire includes information from a Wikipedia article.
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See the list of places in Staffordshire and the List of civil parishes in Staffordshire. This may change, as military service has become less popular in the last few years - nowadays, a lot of people consider being an officer more of a liability than an asset. The soil is chiefly clay and agriculture was not highly developed until the mechanisation of farms. As a rule of thumb, a significant number of senior civil servants and business leaders in Switzerland are general staff officers. The largest river is the Trent. The ratio of professional versus militia officers is about 1:1. In the southern part there are also rich iron ore deposits. Being a general staff officer is a prerequisite for a range of important jobs on Brigade and higher level, such as G2 (chief of intelligence) or G3 (chief of operations).

Throughout the entire county there are vast and important coal fields. Only 30 new trainees are selected per year and even fewer complete the demanding training. In the middle regions the surface is low and undulating. Future general staff officers are selected from the best company commanders and undergo battalion commander training before starting general staff training. In the north and in the south the county is hilly, with wild moorlands in the far north and Cannock Chase an area of natural beauty in the south. To assure a generally high level of military leadership above the rank of first lieutenant, the Army maintains the HKA (Hoehere Kaderschule der Armee) which is responsible for an array of professionally run schools such as BUSA (Berufsunteroffiziersschule der Armee) which runs a program for professional non-commissioned officers, the MILAK (Militaerakademie) which runs a bachelor degree program for professional officers, programs for company and battalion commanders, a number of staff courses, and the General Staff and Command College (Gst S), an elite training program whose graduates leave their former branches and are inducted into the so-called General Staff Corps. A few recent newspaper articles. Consequently, the new system has already come under pressure and is under review.

Ian alan books - British railways atlas 1947, Complete atlas of railway station names (U.K., 2002 edition), Rail Atlas 1970, British railway atlas 1955. In the new system, officers-to-be are selected early on from the pool of boots (based on criteria such as leadership potential but also education) and sent to officer training fairly quickly, which reduces the time these "instant officers" take to be fully trained but also means that they neither have the advantage of having been NCOs nor having had time to slowly mature as leaders. Note: at both Brownhills, Oakmoor, Chedale, Caldon Lowe and Whitmore the lines are over-grown and/or the stations neglected; but they may re-open for freight trains or for use by railway enthusiasts. Unfortunately, this advantage (at least from a leadership point of view) was abolished with the Army XXI reform as a concession to the Swiss economy which was increasingly unhappy about having its future leaders away for two years at a time (the time it took to become an officer until 2004). Stoke-on-Trent's goods yard had closed by 2000 due to increased competition from road haulage. This system ensured that all officers knew what it was like to be a grunt. The collieries handle mostly freight along with a few workers trains. officers who also have a civilian job - and future professional officers), five months of intensive training that emphasised small-unit and platoon-sized unit tactics.

Eturia, Longport and Kidsgrove closed in 2005, but only services to Eturia had any popular support. Instead, until 2004 officers were traditionally selected from the pool of NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and then underwent OCS (officer candidate school, which was and is open to both militia - i.e. Both Stone, Barlaston and Titensor, Wedgewood and Norton Bridge all closed in 2003, but may re-open due to heavy local campaigning around the town of Stone. In contrast to most other comparable Armies, officer candidates are not necessarily career regulars. Staffordshire's railways were reduced by the Beeching report in the 1960s, and several stations, like Uttoxeter and Norton Bridge, only narrowly missed closure. Only recently have allegations been made that certain parts of the Swiss economy worked at the biddings of the Hitler regime (banks, mechanical industry, and transportation services), suggesting that not only the army, but also the economy, prevented an invasion of Switzerland. Due to Wedgewood's pottery being moved increasingly by road transport, and both the decline in mining, qarrying and farming in general, several once-busy stations were shut down. Those who actually served in the Swiss Army during the war never criticised this concept - even if it openly meant that the enemy could take the civilian population in the plains hostage.

They are known affectionately as "Staffies". Bernard passes, because Switzerland does not possess any significant natural resources. Later, a fighting dog was created called the Staffordshire pit bull. The Swiss government thought that the aim of an invasion of Switzerland would be to control the economically important transport routes through the Swiss Alps, namely the Gotthard, the Simplon and Great St. A type of bull terrier called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred for hunting purposes in this county. The army would barricade itself in the mountains witihin the fortresses, which would be very difficult to take. Historically, Staffordshire was divided into the five hundreds of Cuttlestone, Offlow, Pirehill, Seisdon and Totmonslow. It was intended that if the Axis Powers were to invade Switzerland, they would have to do so at a huge price.

Further, Stoke-on-Trent was removed in the 1990s to form a unitary authority, but is still considered part of Staffordshire for ceremonial and geographical purposes. The concept of underground fortifications in the Alps stems from the so-called "Reduit" concept of the World War II. The resulting administrative area of Staffordshire has a narrow southwards protrusion that runs west of West Midlands to the border of Worcestershire. They include underground air bases which are adjacent to normal runways; the aircraft, crew and supporting material are housed in the caverns. The historic county of Staffordshire included Wolverhampton, Walsall, and West Bromwich, these were removed in 1974 to the new county of West Midlands. Permanent fortifications are established in the Alps, as bases from which to retake the fertile valleys after a potential invasion. Main article History of Staffordshire.. Tunnels are also primed with demolition charges to be used against invading forces.

. Moreover, tunnels and key bridges are built with tank traps. Stoke-on-Trent is administered as a separate unitary authority. There are also hospitals and command centres in such shelters, aimed at keeping the country running in case of emergencies. These are Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands and Tamworth. There is a bed for every Swiss person in one of the many shelters. Staffordshire is divided into a number of districts. Swiss building codes require radiation and blast shelters to protect against bombing.

Major towns include Burton-upon-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Tamworth and Stafford itself. The abuse of military rifles is extremely rare, and when it does occur, it is usually in the form of suicide. Lichfield is also a city but is considerably smaller. The ammunition is stored in a tamper-evident sealed box that should never be opened unless ordered to do so. The major city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent. 50 rounds of ammunition are issued along with the rifle for use only in wartime. It adjoins the ceremonial counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and Shropshire. The Swiss people are advised to keep the ammunition and the rifle in separate places, both out of reach of unauthorised users.

Part of the National Forest lies within its borders. However, in January 2006, the defence authorities declared that it would take 8 years to rebuild the army to be ready for a full war against a large enemy. The county town is Stafford. In contrast, it can take several weeks to several months for a militarily-active country such as the United States to mobilise its military force. Staffordshire (abbreviated Staffs) is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. Switzerland claims to be able to mobilise the entire population for warfare within 12 hours. Tipton Harriers. Swiss military doctrines are arranged in peculiar ways to make this organisation effective.

Lichfield Cricket Club. Famously, members of the armed forces keep their rifles, ammunition, and uniforms in their homes for immediate mobilisation. West Midland Bird Club. In 1993, the Swiss government ordered 34 FA-18 fighter jets from the United States of America, which were subsequently re-built in Switzerland, notably for the electronics. Long distance footpaths: Heart of England Way, Staffordshire Way. For example, Switzerland uses only one rifle model, the FASS 90, and two types of ground-based anti-aircraft systems, including a Swiss-built and improved version of the Stinger (Swiss army knives are also issued, although they are neither red nor considered weapons). Churnet Valley Railway [6]. To reduce training and logistics costs, the Swiss military standardises on a few carefully selected types of weapons.

Heritage railways: Chasewater Railway, Foxfield Steam Railway, Manifold Valley Railway. In this case, the compensation is paid to the employer. Trent and Mersey Canal, Harecastle Tunnel. Most employers, however, continue to pay the full salary during military service. Shropshire Union Canal. During military service, the employee is paid a compensation of 70% of his regular salary by the state. Coventry Canal. In general, men interrupt their work during these weeks.

Caldon Canal. The successive training weeks can also be postponed, but there is limited scope. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. It is possible to postpone the initial training to finish university. River Churnet. However, the service period of non-commissioned officers and officers is significantly longer. River Blythe. Thereafter, men remain in the military until the age of 30 (or longer, if the military service is not yet completed), performing three weeks of training every year.

River Trent. Initial training (following regular boot camp) for members of the AAD, Switzerland's new SAS-type Special Forces unit, which is an all-volunteer professional unit with a rigorous selection process, is 18 months. Chasewater [5]. At the age of 20, about half the service is done during an initial training period of 21 or 18 weeks, depending on the service branch, with the exception of the Grenadiers, an elite infantry unit with a 25-week boot camp. Tittesworth Reservoir [4]. Conscription occurs at the age of 19 years. Rudyard Lake. As of January 2004, the income tax was raised to 3% by the Federal Council.

Trentham Gardens. Those who are found unable to serve the military pay an additional 2% income tax. National Memorial Arboretum [3]. This can be on either physical or mental grounds. RSPB Coombes Valley. A significant number of young men choose to avoid military service by visiting a doctor who attests to their incapability to do military service on medical grounds. Hazel Slade Reserve. Entry to the civilian service is based on moral grounds and subject to a successful application.

Cannock Chase. This option is only available to those found to be not physically fit enough to join the armed forces. Weston Park. Since 1996, Swiss citizens can apply for civilian service instead. Izaak Walton Cottage Museum. For women the service is voluntary. Watermill housing Brindley Water Museum, Leek. All able-bodied male Swiss citizens are conscripted to the armed forces.

Cheddleton Flint Mill, watermill. The organisation is still active in antimilitaristic work and also in the anti-war movement. Broad Eye Windmill, Stafford. The population decided to buy the jets, although 42.9% voted against the project. Croxden Abbey. In 1992, after the Swiss government decided to buy FA-18 jets, they collected about half a million signatures within one month for a referendum. Tutbury Castle. The second vote was in 1999, with 76.8% in favour.

Tamworth Castle. The first time was in 1989, when 64.4% of the voters voted in favour of maintaining the Swiss Army. Stafford Castle. The Swiss have voted twice on such a referendum. Mow Cop Castle. There is an organised movement in Switzerland (Gruppe Schweiz ohne Armee; GSoA / Groupe pour une Suisse sans Armée; GSsA - Group for a Switzerland without an Army, in English) aiming at the abolition of the military. Eccleshall Castle. References:.

Biddulph Grange. Since the responsibilities of the NNSC have been much reduced over the past few years, only 5 people are still part of the Swiss delegation, located near the Korean DMZ. Whitmore Hall. Switzerland is part of the Neutral Nation Supervisory Committee (NNSC) which was created to monitor the armistice between North and South Korea. Sandon Hall. The swiss soldiers were recognized among the other armies present on the field by their distinctive yellow beret. Moseley Old Hall, Featherstone,_Staffordshire. It is interresting to note that none of the active soldiers were armed during the duration of the mission.

Madeley Old Hall. The mission was named SHQSU standing for Swiss Headquarters Support Unit to BiH. Ford Green Hall, Smallthorne. It's mission, part of the Swiss Peacekeeping Missions, was to provide logistic and medical support to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE. Festival Park. From 1999 to 2001, The Swiss Army was present in Bosnia and Herzegovina with headquarters in Sarajevo. Dovecliff Hall. However, over the years, the Swiss army has been part of several peacekeeping missions around the world.

Blithfield Hall. Switzerland being a neutral country, its army does not take part in armed conflicts in other countries. Shugborough Hall [2]. The Swiss government did not officially confirm the existence of the report, but started a judiciary procedure for leakage of secret documents against the newspaper on 9 January 2006. Lichfield Cathedral [1]. The report described a fax sent by the Egyptian department of Foreign Affairs to the Egyptian Embassy in London, and described the existence of secret detention facilities run by the CIA in Eastern Europe. Alton Towers. On 8 January 2006, the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick (Sunday edition of the Blick newspaper) published a secret report produced by the Swiss government using data intercepted by Onyx.

Kingsley and Frognal goods depot - Closed by 1970. In a way similar to ECHELON, Onyx uses lists of keywords to filter the intercepted content for information of interest. Stafford common- The station had closed by 1946 and the goods department closed by 2000. It was completed in late 2005 and currently consists in three interception sites, all based in Switzerland. Florence colliery - Opened by 1970 and closed by 2000. The Onyx system was launched in 2000 in order to monitor both civil and military communications, such as telephone, fax or Internet traffic, carried by satellite. Trentham colliery - Closed by 2000. The Swiss military department maintains the Onyx intelligence gathering system, similar in concept to the American ECHELON system, but at a much smaller scale.

A quarry-worker's halt was opened by 1970, but – like the quarry itself – closed by 2000. For example, the head of the Swiss delegation at the NNSC in Korea (see below) had a rank of major general. Caldon Lowe - Station closed by 1946. However, when Swiss Officers are involved in peacekeeping missions abroad, they often receive temporary ranks that do not exist in the Swiss Army, to put them on an equal footing with foreign officers. Leek, Chedale, Trentham guardens and Brownhills - All went freight-only by 1970 and closed by 2000. The distinctive feature of their rank insignia are traditionally stylized edelweiss (image). Consall - Closed by 1970, but was saved by a local steam preservation movement. Officers which would have the title of general in other armies do not bear the title general (OF-8: Commandant de corps, OF-7 Divisionnaire and OF-6 Brigadier), as this title is strictly a wartime designation.

It may be reopened by the preservationists that now run Consall and some nearby stations on that line. There have been four Generals in Swiss history:. Oakmoor - Freight-only by 1970 and closed by 2000. In times of crisis or war, the Federal Assembly elects a General (OF-9) as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Oberbefehlshaber der Armee). Madeley - Freight-only by 1955 and closed by 2000. The current Chief of the Armed Forces is Korpskommandant Christophe Keckeis. Littelton colliery and Hume end - Closed by 1946. In peacetime, the armed forces are led by the Chief of the Armed Forces (Chef der Armee), who reports to the head of the Department of Defence and to the Federal Council as a whole.

Great Bridgeford, Whitmore and Standon moor - Both freight-only by 1955 and closed by 1970. Higher staff officers:. It may be reopened by the Alton Towers amusment park. Staff officers:. Alton (Alton towers) - Closed by 1970. Captain:. Coald meace works - Closed by 1900. Subaltern officers:.

Non-commissioned officers:. Enlisted:. Rank designations in German and French with abbreviations and corresponding NATO codes:. Member of the Federal Council heading the "Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports", (formerly "Federal Military Department"):.

Men who want to apply for service in the Swiss Guard need to have completed their basic military service in Switzerland. Since the reforms, women can take on any position within the armed forces. About 2,000 women already serve in the army but, until the reforms ‘’Army XXI’’, were not allowed to use weapons for purposes other than self-defence. Women may volunteer to serve in the armed forces and may now join all units, including combat troops.

The armed forces have a small nucleus of about 3,600 professional staff, half of whom are either instructors or staff officers. The rest continue to follow the traditional Swiss models of serving about three months at first and then doing three or four weeks per year until the required number of days or the age of 34 has been reached. Recruiting to the single-term conscripts is on a voluntary basis, but it should not exceed 20% of a year's draft. A new category of soldiers called "single-term conscripts" will discharge the total time of service of 300 days of active duty in one go.

For women, military service is voluntary. All able-bodied Swiss males aged between 20 and 30 (in some cases longer) must serve, but about one third of them are excluded for various reasons. The mandatory time of service for normal soldiers is curtailed from 300 to 260 days. The defence budget of currently SFr 4.3 billion ($3.1 billion) will be trimmed by SFr 300 million and some 2,000 jobs are expected to be shed between 2004 and 2011.

Starting in January 2004, the current 524,000-strong militia will be pared down to 220,000 conscripts, including 80,000 reservists. On May 18, 2003, Swiss voters approved the military reform project "Army XXI" that will drastically reduce the size of the Swiss Army. . It is equipped with mostly modern, sophisticated, and well-maintained weapons systems and equipment.

The Armed Forces of Switzerland is a unique institution somewhere between a militia and a regular army. Photographs by a member of the Swiss delegation. Swiss keep watch over fragile peace, on Swissinfo. Swiss participation to the mission NNSC in Korea.

Henri Guisan (1939-1945, WW II). Ulrich Wille (1914-1918, WW I). Hans Herzog (1871-1872, Franco-Prussian War). Henri Dufour (1847-1848, Sonderbundskrieg; and 1856-57, Neuchâtel Crisis).

OF-9 General / général. OF-8 Korpskommandant (KKdt) / commandant de corps. OF-7 Divisionär (Div) / divisionnaire. OF-6 Brigadier (Br) / brigadier.

OF-5 Oberst / colonel (col). OF-4 Oberstleutnant (Oberstlt) / lieutenant-colonel (lt col). OF-3 Major (Maj) / major (maj). OF-2 Hauptmann (Hptm) / capitaine (cap).

OF-1 Oberleutnant (Oblt) / premier-lieutenant (plt). OF-1 Leutnant (Lt) / lieutenant (lt). Chefadjutant (Chefadj) / adjudant-chef (adj chef). Hauptadjutant (Hptadj) / adjudant-major (adj maj).

Stabsadjutant (Stabsadj) / adjudant d’état-major (adj EM). Adjutant Unteroffizier (Adj Uof) / adjudant sous-officier (adj sof). Hauptfeldweibel (Hptfw) / sergent-major chef (sgtm chef). Feldweibel (Fw) / sergent-major (sgtm).

Fourier (Four) / fourrier (four). Oberwachtmeister (Obwm) / sergent-chef (sgt chef). Wachtmeister (Wm) / sergent (sgt). Korporal (Kpl) / caporal (cpl).

Obergefreiter (Obgfr) / appointé-chef (app chef). Gefreiter (Gfr) / appointé (app). Soldat (Sdt) / soldat (sdt). Rekrut (Rekr) / recrue (recr).

Swiss Navy. Swiss Air Force. Army.

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