Talk:Belgium in World War II

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Good article Belgium in World War II 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.
Good topic star Belgium in World War II is the main article in the Belgium in World War II series, a good topic. This is identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Introductory sentence[edit]

The first sentence of the article reads as follows: "This article refers to the history of Belgium during the period of World War II between 1939 and 1945, from early adoption of Nazism to German occupation and through to liberation." I'm slightly bemused about how Belgium "adopted" Nazism early - if this refers to Rexism &c, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding about Rexist ideals and about their popularity. Similarly, WWII did not end in 1944 at Liberation as some 100,000 Belgians would serve in the military between then and the armistice. Unless someone can come up with something really good to substantiate this, I'm culling it and substituting my own. --Brigade Piron (talk) 13:55, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

A few things[edit]

You asked how it looks. It looks like a good start, but it just doesn't have a feeling of completeness about it. One thing that makes this really noticeable is the one sentence paragraphs. For example: "Most Belgian men had been conscripted into the military in 1939 and were therefore prisoners of war. Many were kept in very poor conditions and 2,000 died before the end of the war." So there was mass conscription, but it's only mentioned here, and only incidentally, when mentioning (not explaining) the POW status and conditions. A fully complete article would go into more depth about each.

This should not give the impression that I think the article is badly done, quite on the contrary. It just isn't yet a complete treatment of the subject.

A few more specific things that I noticed:

"Most Belgian men had been conscripted into the military in 1939 and were therefore prisoners of war." There's no source for this; the one at the end of the sentence refers to 600,000 men, which doesn't sound like 'most' to me. This needs to be amended.

"After the war, many of those who had collaborated - including many of the guards at Fort Breendonk - were tried, imprisoned or shot." So far there has been no mention of Fort Breendonk, so it needs to be introduced or explained. Maybe '...of the guards at the Fort Breendonk concentration camp...' ?

I'll add more as I go. Cheers, Oreo Priest talk 18:24, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Oreo, thanks for your comments. I have tried to sort out several of the issues you raised. Please let me know any other points you find. Can you produce an overall rating for the project? --Brigade Piron (talk) 11:43, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok, so I finished going through it. Again, the main concern that remains is that it still doesn't feel complete. Not that it doesn't cover most topics, but it's clear that in many cases it merely touches on a topic that could be given a more complete treatment. I think it's worth a 'B' right now, but it's much, much more than a simple copyedit away from 'A' class.
Also, I remember hearing (perhaps it was at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History?) that the Nazis made an effort to divide the Belgians based on language; they would give the Flemish preferential treatment and encourage separatism. Is there any truth to this? I noticed it's not mentioned in the article. Should it be? Cheers, Oreo Priest talk 19:54, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Oreo! That's very possibly true. Unfortunately I do not have access to Flemish sources and history books so I cannot add the topic you suggested. In any case, I think it has probably been overplayed in WWII - the Flamenpolitik in WWI is more like it. In any case, thanks for your comments & I will gladly take you comments onboard!Brigade Piron (talk) 21:47, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: Retrolord (talk · contribs) 10:32, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi! I'll be reviewing this one. RetroLord 10:32, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately I feel this article has extensive problems relating to criteria 2B. Much of the article is unreferenced and it would be unsuitable to promote this article to GA status in the absence of these references. Please work on this area of the article further, as content-wise the article is quite good. I look forward to you renominating this article once these problems have been addressed, thanks! RetroLord 08:24, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

The lead section does not summarize the article, could you please expand it?


2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.

"On the declaration of war between Britain, France and Germany in September 1939, the Belgian government launched a crash re-armament programme, augmenting the national defenses by creating the KW-line linking the National Redoubt at Antwerp with the Fortified Position of Liège." Ref this please Yes check.svg Done

"The Invasion of Belgium by Nazi Germany started on May 10, 1940 under the operational plan Fall Gelb and formed part of the greater Battle of France together with invasions of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Belgian Albert Canal fortifications, some of the most modern defensive networks in Europe, proved near useless. At Eben-Emael, the fort held by 1,200 Belgians was taken when the Germans deployed 400 glider-borne Fallschirmjäger against them, opening the border for "Blitzkrieg"-style warfare. The German breakthrough at Sedan which had been thought impassable meant that the K-W Line was outflanked and its defenders had to withdraw." Ref this aswell please Yes check.svg Done

"The German breakthrough at Sedan which had been thought impassable meant that the K-W Line was outflanked and its defenders had to withdraw." Ref this please X mark.svg Not done

"Belgium was run by a Germany military government under General Alexander von Falkenhausen until July 1944, and then under Reichskommissar Josef Grohé until liberation." Ref this please X mark.svg Not done

Entire collaboration section is unreferenced, please fix this X mark.svg Not done

"Resistance against the German occupiers came from all levels and from all regions of Belgium and quarters of the political spectrum, but was highly fragmented. The Government in Exile dealt with resistance collectively under the name of Armée Secrète, however this was just an umberella organization among the many resistance organisations which existed with different agendas or political ideologies. Some organisations were very left-wing, like the Communist Partisans armés, but there was also a far-right resistance movement, the Légion Belge which comprised dissident Rexists. However, there were also other groups like Groupe G which had no obvious political affiliation." Ref this please X mark.svg Not done

"The holocaust is commemorated in Belgium by both memorials and museums. The Nazi prison at Fort Breendonk, for example, is preserved as a museum and open to the public. Since the passing of the Holocaust denial law in 1995, it is illegal to deny the holocaust." Ref this please X mark.svg Not done

"Nevertheless, Belgian civilians were often subject to retaliation by collaborationist and German forces for resistance activity. In August 1944, 20 civilians were killed in a single reprisal for an attack on a Rexist politician in the Courcelles Massacre." Ref this also please X mark.svg Not done

"After the defeat in 1940, significant numbers of Belgian soldiers and civilians managed to escape to Britain to join the Belgian force in exile. The Belgian government, under Hubert Pierlot had been evacuated to London where it remained until the liberation in 1944."Ref this please X mark.svg Not done

Entire Belgian Congo section is missing citations, please fix this X mark.svg Not done


2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment.

Alterations[edit]

Hello, have revised the lead and added cites as suggested.Brigade Piron (talk) 13:06, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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This review is transcluded from Talk:Belgium in World War II/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Retrolord (talk · contribs) 09:54, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Coming out of semi-retirement to review this after Brigade Piron asked, hope no one else objects. I'll do it as quickly as i can RetroLord 09:54, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

"The country was mostly liberated" I'm not sure this is completely appropriate, perhaps a bit too subjective to say "liberated"? Might need changing.

" theatres of war around the globe" The article mentions fighting in europe and africa, could we rephrase this to be a bit more precise?

  • On reflection, I don't think that paragraph adds much at all that is needed in the intro. I've removed it.Brigade Piron (talk) 11:58, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

While not a GA point, the lead could perhaps be re-formatted to remove those two stand alone paragraphs at the bottom.

" Fall of France" Not sure Fall should be capitalised, also, perhaps surrender? Fall seems a bit excesive.

"Belgium was run by a German military government under General Alexander von Falkenhausen until July 1944, and then under Reichskommissar Josef Grohé until liberation." Citations?

"After the war, many of those who had collaborated actively with the German occupiers – including the political leaders of fascist parties and the guards at Breendonk concentration camp – were tried, imprisoned or shot." References/citations?

"The resistance would aid the airmen by giving them false papers and guiding them to either neutral or Allied occupied territory." refs?

Preliminary review complete. Once we've addressed those i'll use a table and get everything else. Shouldn't be too hard. Good work on the article Brigade, RetroLord 05:12, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Retrolord, many thanks! I'll work on finding some of the citations you mention. "Fall of France" and "Liberation" are pretty standard terms in history writing on the subject, I hope they don't represent POV terms. Many thanks again for your work here! ---Brigade Piron (talk) 11:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

With

Conscription in 1939[edit]

Good article but I wonder if there could be clarification of the statement under "18 Day's Campaign of 1940" that:

Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, though still following a policy of neutrality, the Belgian government introduced conscription"

My understanding was that Belgium had employed universal military service along the same lines as France, since 1912 (replacing a 19th century system combining selective conscription with voluntary enlistment). Did this lapse between the two world wars or is "general mobilization" meant instead of "conscription"? Buistr (talk) 23:51, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I can't find anything to prove it (only a photograph of posters in 1939 with "Renforcement de l'armée/Legerversterking" which is pretty ambigious). I think you are probably right, and have changed it accordingly. ---Brigade Piron (talk) 07:17, 15 May 2013 (UTC)