Northwestern Europe  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

North-West Europe is a term that refers to a northern area of Western Europe, although the exact area or countries it comprises varies.



Geographic definition

Geographically, it is almost always used to include the United Kingdom and Ireland; the northern and western parts of France and Germany; the Benelux countries; and the nordic countries (though possibly not Finland). It would normally exclude the Iberian peninsula, Italy; Switzerland, southern and eastern parts of France and Germany and Austria. This usage is helpful when discussing issues of climate or biology. Broadly speaking, it represents the area whose climate and biogeography is significantly modified by the Gulf Stream.

Linguistic definition

Linguistically, "North-West Europe" consists of Celtic Europe and Germanic Europe, sharing some cultural traits (for example, a history of Protestantism and Germanic languages) that differentiate them from their Mediterranean Latin or Eastern European Slavic fellow-Europeans. This leads to much the same definition as the geographical one above, but would more definitely exclude France and southern Belgium. It would therefore be closer to the area normally defined as Northern Europe, excluding the Baltic and Finland.


In British and Canadian military history, North-West Europe has been used to refer to the land campaigns in that approximate area during World War II. Two separate battle honours were awarded to regiments who took part in these campaigns "North-West Europe Campaign of 1940" and "North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945". The North-West Europe Campaign of 1940, during the Battle of France, was restricted to Belgium and the French Channel ports. The North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945 started with the landings in Normandy and ended with Field Marshal Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark on L√ľneburg Heath in Northwest Germany was fought by the British 21st Army Group. In the First campaign the French Army was responsible for the rest of the Western Front from Luxembourg to Switzerland, as were the American 12th Army and 6th Army Groups during the second campaign.

Units of the First Canadian Army fought in five major campaigns in North-West Europe, including the Battle of Normandy, the battles for the Channel Ports, the Battle of the Scheldt, the Rhineland fighting in February and March 1945, and the final operations east of the River Rhine. A period of static warfare existed from 1 November 1944 to 8 February 1945 during which time the First Canadian Army manned positions in the Nijmegen Salient.

Between the major Protestant strains, there is a regional distinction; Northern Evangelical/Lutheran Baltic Sea and Western Reformed/Calvinist Irish Sea, typically divided by the North Sea.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Northwestern Europe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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