Talk:Battle of Mughar Ridge

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Good article Battle of Mughar Ridge has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Suggestions[edit]

Good work so far with this. This article looks like it has signficant potential (GA or even A depending upon the amount of time you have for it). If you are keen to take it higher, I have the following suggestions:

  • OCLC and ISBN numbers could be found for the sources World Cat can be off assistance here, as is Google Books;
  • in the External links section there is an internal link to the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars - this shouldn't be there. Either it should be in a "See also" section, or it should be linked in the prose, if possible;
  • Some of the sentences are a little long due to the large amount of information being conveyed. I suggest getting the article copy edited by a member of the Guild of Copy Editors (requests can be made here). This will help tighten the prose, find inconsistencies, typos, etc.
  • A peer review might help with providing more ideas (although obviously the last request didn't draw much attention, so I can understand if you don't bother);
  • where possible, more wikilinks should be added. Currently there are large section without links. Of course, caution is required not to overlink, however, so the rule of thumb is stil: once in the lead, once on first mention in the prose, and once in the infobox if necessary;
  • if possible, commanders for the British, Australian and New Zealand forces should be added to the infobox;
  • if possible, you might consider adding an "iconic" image to the infobox;
  • for GA, the lead will probably need to be expanded to at least two paragraphs (it can be up to four);
  • if the War Diaries are available on line, I suggest adding a link to them for verification purposes using the {{cite web}} template;
  • some of the citations use slightly different format (e.g. "Bruce pp. 148–9" is different to "Falls 1930 pp. 151–2"). For the higher ratings, small things like this will need to be sorted, but at the moment its not really important. AustralianRupert (talk) 06:53, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot - most of the above has now been sorted except I can't find the isbn for Wavell's 1968 edition - 1965, yes - just not 1968! :) --Rskp (talk) 05:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Have just requested a copy edit. :) --Rskp (talk) 05:38, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Pol430 talk to me 12:57, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
The copy edit has been very worthwhile uncovering numerous issues and problems, most of which have now been addressed. --Rskp (talk) 06:38, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Copyedit notes[edit]

My usual form is to go through the article section by section. I'll post comments, questions etc below. EyeSerenetalk 10:07, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Lead[edit]

  • On a first read through, there seems to be information in the lead that could be moved to the background section (which starts with the assumption that the reader already has certain information). The rule of thumb for leads on Wikipedia is that they are more like an abstract - a mini article in their own right. If the rest of the article were deleted, the reader should still be able to get the gist of it from the lead. Alternatively, if the lead were deleted the rest of the article should still tell the full story.
  • Related to the above, there are a number of citations in the lead. I haven't got as far as checking whether or not these are all duplicated in the article body, but there's a school of thought that prefers not to see citations in the lead. Ideally - because the lead merely summarises the article - everything in the lead should be expanded upon and cited in the article proper. Generally the only exception is for controversial information about living people which should be cited wherever it appears including in the lead, which doesn't apply here. I'll leave this up to you though as it's not really a rule, more a style guideline (see WP:LEADCITE) :)
Thanks for that. I've just had a go at rehashing the lead as you suggest and incorporated the information from the old lead into the body of the article. :) --Rskp (talk) 02:03, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I think that's a definite improvement. Would it also be possible to include a (very) brief campaign summary at the start of the background section - just to put the battle into context? EyeSerenetalk 11:31, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
During your copyedit, please do not drop 1st and 2nd LH "Brigades" as within the 1st LHB there were the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Regiments and some confusion could develop. --Rskp (talk) 00:56, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out - I'll retain the full unit name in future. EyeSerenetalk 15:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Background[edit]

  • Dates for retirement of rearguard: I've assumed that the two different dates come from the two different sources and indicated that in the position of the citations. If this is incorrect please forgive my assumption!
Yes the dates are from different sources.
  • I'm slightly confused by the second paragraph - is "45,000 rifles, 1,500 sabres and 300 guns" the combined strength of the 7th and 8th Armies or only of the 7th? The text implies the former but from the rest of the paragraph I suspect it may be the latter.
Not sure why the confusion its pretty clear that these figures are for both armies. While there are specific figures for the 8th Army given at the end of the paragraph, there are no such figures for the 7th Army. --Rskp (talk) 00:03, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Have you checked Grainger and Preston regarding your splitting of these references describing the rearguard garrisons? --Rskp (talk) 00:59, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I think that was what confused me (no figures for 7th Army but figures supplied for 8th Army). No worries though! I don't have your access to the sources, so I can't check myself unfortunately. EyeSerenetalk 15:53, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
If you don't have access to the sources then I suggest you don't change any citations or references. --Rskp (talk) 04:15, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Citation order at the end of a sentence should normally reflect the order of the assertions made in that sentence, but where there's possible ambiguity it's good practice to more directly link the citations to the statements they support. Hence my splitting of the citations; we had two possible dates and should really be explicitly told which date comes from which source. As I initially posted in this section, I made the assumption that the two dates were from the two sources in order that they appeared. The purpose of my note was to alert you to the alteration in case my assumption was incorrect. This is why copyediting on Wikipedia has to be a collaborative endeavour; as long as at least one party has access to the sources the other parties shouldn't need it.
I see you've now removed one of the two dates. Where there's disagreement between sources, the usual form is to give the reader all reliably sourced information (with, if necessary, appropriate weight). As mere content contributors we aren't permitted to make editorial decisions about which source is correct. If, based on the preponderance of other evidence, one source is less likely than the other we might relegate that one to a footnote, but it shouldn't be removed entirely. EyeSerenetalk 08:47, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Prelude[edit]

Mounted troop movements on 9 November[edit]

  • "After passing the ancient town of Ascalon a message was received from the Desert Mounted Corps notifying them..." Is them referring to the 1st Light Horse from the previous sentence or the division?
That would be the division - the next sentence clarifies this.

Re Battle of Mughar Ridge copyedit[edit]

Hi RoslynSKP. Regarding the copyedit, I'm sensing some reluctance (perhaps even annoyance) on your part based on some of your responses on the talk page. Am I mistaken? If things aren't working out I have no problem with us abandoning it and moving on. I don't wish to subject you to something you aren't finding to be an enjoyable, useful and collaborative experience. Best, EyeSerenetalk 08:58, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you are mistaken. Sorry if my replies have been blunt but I'm a bit pressed for time here. When you moved the citation I assumed you had access to the sources so I was a bit surprised to find you did not. The second quote was cut because it was a mistake. I appreciate that you are looking at the content which is a nice change from all the technical edits, but it must be very difficult for you if you are not familiar with the sources. I will understand if you don't want to continue. :) --Rskp (talk) 23:36, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying :) I'd love to continue - it's a fascinating article - and you're right that I'm mainly concerned with prose, though this also encompasses 'house style' to some extent and may sometimes involve carefully moving references about with the accompanying text. Apologies for the late reply, I'm rather busy myself. I'd hoped to put in a few hours today but I don't think that's going to happen now. I'll try to get back to it over the weekend (or Monday at the latest). Best, EyeSerenetalk 13:00, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
No probs. re the refs - On another article another editor has been going through and switching them into date order. So relying on the order of refs to reflect where it stands in the sentence could be a problem - generally. All the best. :) --Rskp (talk) 03:49, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Just a quick update - I've suddenly become horrifically busy, but I haven't forgotten about the c/e and will be back on the job as soon as my workload eases up! EyeSerenetalk 12:56, 24 February 2011 (UTC)


Original Research[edit]

This article uses several unpublished war diaries, and using them for references is original research. Jim Sweeney (talk) 13:34, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Jim, could you ID which ones haven't been published? The description in the wiki guidance defines publication as being "made available to the public in some form", and the current biblio all look available in either hard or soft copy. Hchc2009 (talk) 13:47, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
As I read it they have just been made available on the web as original documents. The first part of that description is - Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. The obvious problem is war diaries are written by persons involved in the events and could well believe what they have written is true, but have not had time for fact checking or accuracy and could even be trying to hide something to avoid embarrassment. General Smith could write we held out for some time against a much larger force. While General von Schmidt on the other side writes, we were surprised at how quickly they gave in when opposed by a force of equal size. Both believe what they have said is true, that's why it need historians to go through both sides and piece the jigsaw together. Long post but hope that explains my reasoning. Jim Sweeney (talk) 14:03, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing that they're primary sources, but they are published primary sources, and there's no outright prohibition on them. I think that the OR requirement we need to judge them against is that "interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors". I'm not a great fan of this part of our policy, I'll admit, but in terms of making an OR claim, we'll need to point to where there is such interpretation, analysis or synthetic claim, rather than just noting that its a primary source. Many of them are also cited alongside secondary sources in this article to support particular points - I think rather than a general tag, it might be useful to ID which points of use are of particular concern. Hchc2009 (talk) 14:20, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes those alongside other sources, can presumably be removed as the secondary source covers the points. But some paragraphs use only the war diary for referencing. I thought it better to discuss first rather that several [original research?] tags.Jim Sweeney (talk) 14:27, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Agree, always better to discuss. The policies don't seem to prohibit just using a published primary source to support a point though - the guidance is listed here. Could you give an example of where you think a primary source is being used in the article against that guidance? Hchc2009 (talk) 15:57, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
it says Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided. There are one or two paragraphs based only on primary sources, while the material there may not be controversial and possibly can be removed from the article without any damage, they should be backed up with a secondary source if possible. Jim Sweeney (talk) 16:15, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
In fact looking again it seems all the material, with only a primary source reference can be deleted without causing any damage and that may be the best way to solve this? Jim Sweeney (talk) 16:20, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
How about highlighting which ones you propose removing here, and then if there's consensus, removing them in a day or so? Hchc2009 (talk) 16:21, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok what about removing those supported by other refs and then highlighting which others can be removed without damaging the article then seeing what's left? Jim Sweeney (talk) 16:23, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Seems sensible to me, although I'd note my role in this article has been limited to reviewing. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:29, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok the text for note six could be removed without any great damage, Ref 81b and Ref 97. The rest are used as the only source for large blocks of text and should be easily replaced by secondary sources. Jim Sweeney (talk) 17:13, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Please do not cut "large blocks of text" out of this article, which has been awarded GA status. There is no need to replace with secondary sources as the published war diary sources were assessed during the GA process as ok.--Rskp (talk) 02:51, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
    • I see Jim Sweeney has gone ahead and placed original research tags in this article. Could he please remove these as its clear that there is no original research in this article - see GA review and comments by Hchc2009 above, if in doubt. --Rskp (talk) 02:58, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
There are large sections of this article that only have primary sources for references, these need reliable secondary sources added. Jim Sweeney (talk) 08:56, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Per RS noticeboard - consider them reliable for individual experiences, but not for most factual information. Also some have been accepted at FAC, so caution in use required. Jim Sweeney (talk) 10:55, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I have reinstated the war diary citations. Please do not cut these citations as they acknowledge sources used in the editing of this article. --Rskp (talk) 00:09, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Splitting article[edit]

This article is very big and well above recommended size. It the Action of Ayun Kara, 14 November section was spilt off it would reduce it by 13,000 bytes. Its in the aftermath section and not really part of this battle. There are plenty of reliable sources to support a separate article. [1] [2] Jim Sweeney (talk) 20:03, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. Its only you, who thinks all of a sudden, this article is too big. It has not grown since being awarded GA apart from changing the names of the units involved, and at the time of the GA award, it was not thought to be too big nor that the scope of the article was too broad for the topic. Remember the Battle of Jaffa did not end the Sinai and Palestine campaign. This mistake was corrected here [3] --Rskp (talk) 23:37, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Article spilt off Battle of Ayun Kara. There is still concerns in connection with the article size, see Wikipedia:Summary style for more information. Jim Sweeney (talk) 13:47, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Jim Sweeney has split this article without consultation. How does Jim Sweeney's action affect its GA status? --Rskp (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
See WP:OWN I did not have to consult you. Also see WP:BOLD, and the above discussion started 11 months ago. If you believe this no longer meets the GA requirements then you can submit it for a GA review. However articles are not static and constantly change. Jim Sweeney (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Did you acknowledge where you got the information from? (Personal attack removed)--Rskp (talk) 01:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes Jim Sweeney (talk) 02:25, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Background and Prelude sections are too long[edit]

Why do the events leading up to the battle get covered in much more detail than the battle itself? I didn't do a word count but it looks like the Background and Prelude takes up more than 50% of the entire article (possibly even more). This seems altogether too long. 175.35.63.121 (talk) 00:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

HAC[edit]

You need to self revert this edit [4] The HAC were not mountain artillery - the image is of the Honk Kong and Singapore battery.Jim Sweeney (talk) 01:20, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. It was my understanding that they were armed with mountain guns, but I'll double check the source. --Rskp (talk) 03:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
HAC Batteries were horse artillery of the Territorial Force (TF was formed with 14 yeomanry brigades each with a battery, 12 provided by RHA, two by HAC) initially armed with Ordnance QF 15-pounders, later re-equipped with Ordnance QF 18-pounders then Ordnance QF 13-pounders. See XIX Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.) where I provide the references. Hamish59 (talk) 10:33, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
As mountain artillery was not mentioned in the source cited it must have been added later. Some editors are in the habit of adding un-sourced information, they think is correct. It can be a trap, if not picked up at the time. --Rskp (talk) 23:11, 22 December 2013 (UTC)