Operation Halmazag (Dari for "lightning") was an offensive operation by ISAF German-led troops in close cooperation with the Afghan security forces in the province of Kunduz, from 31 October to 4 November 2010, with the aim of building a permanent outpost near the village of Quatliam in the Char Dara district, south-west of Kunduz. The operation was the first German military ground offensive since World War II.
Until 2009, German troops were only involved in a handful of firefights with Taliban militants. Between April and June, the number of direct contacts had already topped the total of the seven years before. A similar development struck Faryab province and the surrounding districts: Having already taken up actions to put the Taliban at rout, Norwegian forces saw themselves increasingly threatened by insurgent activities.
With casualties rising, the German leadership was prompted to revise the rules of engagement for its troops in early 2009. The German military began joint operations with Afghan security forces in accordance to the "Afghan-face" strategy of ISAF in April 2009 and continued to conduct own operations to improve the security as well as supporting other allies in their own struggle. By 2009, there were three major hotspots: the insurgency of the Taliban in Kunduz' Char Dara district, the presence of armed militants in Baghlan province and the militants' activities in Faryab province.
Frederick II (German: Friedrich II.; 24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) was a King in Prussia (1740–1772) and a King of Prussia (1772–1786) from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was Frederick IV (Friedrich IV.) of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel. He became known as Frederick the Great (Friedrich der Große) and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz").
Interested primarily in music and philosophy and not the arts of war during his youth, Frederick unsuccessfully attempted to flee from his authoritarian father, Frederick William I, with childhood friend, Hans Hermann von Katte, whose execution he was forced to watch after they had been captured. Upon ascending to the Prussian throne, he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. Near the end of his life, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by conquering Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland.
Frederick was a proponent of enlightened absolutism. For years he was a correspondent of Voltaire, with whom the king had an intimate, if turbulent, friendship. He modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and promoted religious tolerance throughout his realm. Frederick patronized the arts and philosophers, and wrote flute music. Frederick is buried at his favorite residence, Sanssouci in Potsdam. Because he died childless, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II of Prussia, son of his brother, Prince Augustus William of Prussia. (Read more)