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Location of Germany within Europe 

Germany is one of the world's most industrialised countries, located in central-western Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, to the west by France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic.

Germany is a democratic federal parliamentary republic, containing 16 federal states (Bundesländer), which in certain spheres act independently of the Federation or "Bund".

Germany is a developed country with a very high standard of living, and it maintains a comprehensive social security, a universal health care system and diverse environmental protection laws. It is a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors.

The Federal Republic of Germany is a member state of the United Nations, NATO, the G8 nations, and a founding member of the European Union. More...

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Tapestry detail by Judocus de Vos of the assault on Schellenberg

The Battle of Schellenberg, also known as the Battle of Donauwörth, was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession on 2 July 1704. The assault on the Schellenberg heights on the River Danube was part of the Duke of Marlborough’s campaign to rescue Vienna, the capital of Habsburg Austria, from King Louis XIV's forces ranged in southern Germany. Marlborough had commenced his march from Bedburg, near Cologne, on 19 May; within five weeks the Duke had reached the Danube where he sought to bring the Elector of Bavaria's forces to open battle. However, the Allied army’s lines of supply were established in Franconia and central Germany, too far north to be convenient once the line of the Danube had been crossed. It was therefore necessary not only to secure a bridge across the river, but also to obtain a new supply base. To achieve these objectives, the Allied commanders chose the walled town of Donauwörth, overlooked by the fortress on the Schellenberg Heights. Once the Franco-Bavarian commanders knew of the Allies’ objective, they dispatched Count d’Arco with 12,000 men to strengthen and hold the position. Marlborough’s co-commander, Louis of Baden, preferred a protracted siege; however, with news arriving that Marshal Tallard was approaching with French reinforcements, the Duke insisted on an immediate assault. Within two hours the Allies had secured their objective, but at considerable cost; the coup de main had cost the Allies some 5,000 casualties, and the defenders, 8,000. Nevertheless, with a supply base and river crossing firmly secured, the Duke of Marlborough – soon to be reinforced by Prince Eugene of Savoy – could now fight the battle he had desired. More...

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Alte Nationalgalerie

The Alte Nationalgalerie, a gallery on Museum Island, Berlin
Image credit: Manfred Brückels

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More Germany-related news in English can be found at Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau, and Der Spiegel.

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