Talk:Bombardment of Cherbourg
Bombardment of Cherbourg was nominated as a good article in the Warfare category but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions on the review page for improving the article. Once these are addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Reviewed version: July 28, 2013
|A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the On this day... section on June 25, 2013.|
Comprise – four sources say aye, are there any nays?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, discussing "comprised" warned of incoming. ‘Comprise’ meaning constitute, made up of, has been in use since the 1700s, but it “is still attacked as wrong. Why … is not clear.” The Columbia Guide suggests related nuances in usage of comprise, constitute, compose, formulate, consist, and include. Here we followed the style practiced by members and former members of U.S. Navy fleet staff from the 1940s and 1950s in official publications and publications by the Government Printing Office. The usage is still in practice in operational publications and dictionaries in U.S. publications currently available online.
The immediate choice of the word here is taken from the Navy-based source documents. It conveys the tone and tenor of the contemporary writers, usually in the passive, formal style of the 1930s university trained officers who signed off on the documents, ‘The task force was comprised of nine ships.’ At The Naval Air Warfare Center for acquisitions, we have, “comprise” means to include or contain: “The whole comprises the parts.” Modern writers may have difficulty, but ‘comprise’ was used correctly by the generation of World War II writers. It is in the Wikipedia article.
Although it was not the convention of the time, to take the active voice, one may say, “Nine ships compose the task force.“ (See The Columbia guide to standard American English). If we chose to enumerate the individual components, it is more direct to make the collective noun the subject of the sentence, and use “comprised”, as in ‘Task Force One was comprised of Ship A, Ship B, … Ship I.’ To use the revision’s “composed”, proper usage according to Merriam-Webster, online 07/25/2011 requires a nine-item compound subject: ‘Ship A, Ship B, Ship C, Ship D, Ship E, Ship F, Ship G, Ship H, and Ship I composed Task Force One.’ Let’s not go there.
|Merriam-Webster Dictionary, notes that until comparatively recent times "comprise" was found chiefly in scientific or technical writing rather than belles lettres. Usage of comprised is “somewhat more frequent” in recent literary use. Navy ships use steam engines for power. At sea in a storm, you have to knife into the waves, or they will turn the ship sideways, drop you in a trough and flip the ship over. For over 150 years, Naval officers undertaking the engineering to keep the boilers on line with wood, coal, diesel or atoms, the service came by the term “comprised” honestly, just in the ordinary business of getting from here to there.The military usage is partly to convey contingency. Even though the “composition” is deranged on a plot board, it is not relative to other units underway, they can still proceed according to plan. The word conveys something of the contingency of war. (1930s officers wrote "under weigh", but that is confusing to modern readers, and I like the retro Dutch look.)
Composition as writing and logistics and administration is still seen for a military organization in the table of organization and the order of battle it is a staff function. Operationally, ‘comprised’ is who shows up, apart from the organization table ‘composed’ weeks and months before in the order-of-battle tables. Those tables are used for planning how many pallets of toilet paper are to be ordered in a 90-day supply for a command consisting of 40,000 men. The Columbia Guide uses ‘comprise’ referring to dish sets and cautions about its use. But like toilet paper or sets of dishes composed of four, eight , sixteen, or twenty-four, ‘Composed’ implies something set, certain, with an agent to intend and effect predictable outcomes. Claude Monet composed apples and grapes on a table for a still life, titled, viola, “Apples and Grapes” (1880), and it was so. An article about a military action where every ship receives damage, should be written with a style and vocabulary in something other than the phraseology of belles lettres a la Monet still-life tableaux.
In the heat of the campus anti-war sixties, 53% of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel found this usage of ‘comprised of’ unacceptable. In 1996, only 35% objected. Still, the edit has given me pause. I wonder if the readership of military articles online in 2011 with an international readership will find ‘comprised of’ off-putting impenetrable argot. The idea is to share information, not hide behind insider patois. Does anyone have an authoritative source beyond American Heritage, Merriam-Webster, the Columbia Guide to Standard American English and the Naval Aviation Computer Acquisition Guide to lead us away from ‘comprise’? Any discussion? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:57, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
"Bombardment of Cherbourg" 1940 vs.1944
At least by 1940, the British were conducting periodic naval, air and amphibious raids for testing defenses, mapping reconnaissance and prisoner capture all along the European coast, including Normandy. We will have to disambiguate the “Bombardment of Cherbourg” by the Royal Navy and RAF the night of 10-11 October 1940, and that of the Combined Task Force 129 on 25 June 1944.
A HMS Revenge (06) webpage reports a flare-lit night bombardment of Cherbourg, 10-11 October 1940, with cruisers, destroyers, torpedo boats with air support from heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force. After the bombardment, German heavy guns (13-15inch) to the east of the town opened fire. Their shells landed close to the ships for over 30 minutes and out to 36,000 yards. The fire was so accurate, some form of radar was believed in use. No casualties or damage were sustained by H.M. Ships. Another source HMS Revenge (1916), reports that the Royal Sovereign class battleship, is not listed as active unit in the December 1943 Navy List.
Destroyer names and numbers - disambiguation
In this operation, two destroyers had earlier ships with the same name. The official U.S. Navy ship history site designates the first named ship (I) and the second same-named ship (II).
- USS Barton (I) DD-599 (1942), Benson class destroyer. Lost in the Pacific 1942. Barton II DD-722 (1943), Sumner class destroyer, participated in the Bombardment of Cherbourg.
- USS Laffey (I), DD-459 (1942) Benson class destroyer was lost in the Pacific, 1942. Laffey II, DD-724 (1944) Sumner class destroyer, participated in the Bombardment of Cherbourg.
- Gherardi DD-637 is also identified in sources as DD-638. The Navy ship history for Gherardi shows DD-637. During the Normandy landings in June she used her guns to supress targets ashore in the vicinity of "Utah" Beach and later in the month took part in the bombardment of Cherbourg. Her ship's designations were DD-637, DMS-30, then DD-637. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:29, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Comprise: a ruling
In one of the more profitable exchanges I have had at Wikipedia, Bryan Henderson led me through his Essay on “comprised of” on his talk page.
I paraphrase a portion of his explication here. He distinguished the "comprises" ... connotation as rather different from 'is composed of' or 'consists of.' "Comprises" means 'includes,' but usually means exhaustive inclusion -- there aren't any other parts. When A comprises 1, 2, and 3, ... the phrase emphasizes that A brings them together. 1, 2 and 3 should have some independent existence, and not function merely as parts of this whole. ‘The diocese comprises Johnson and Davis Counties’ is good if there is no territory in the diocese other than Johnson and Davis Counties. The counties are much more than divisions of a diocese; the diocese merely gathers them together for church purposes. The most common things for which Giraffedata would use "comprises" are … consortia of businesses and such.
--Which I took to mean task forces of squadrons and such. Ships and the squadrons they come from are more than parts of a Task Force. The Task Force merely gathers them together for combat purposes. Counties are more than divisions of a diocese, they are elements of a state or a nation. Ships are more than parts of a Task Force, they are elements of a squadron or a class.
To which he replied, It's perfectly acceptable to say a task force comprises certain ships and squadrons. Articles that say a military unit "is comprised of" smaller units can be changed to "comprises" or "is composed of," depending on nuance ... So yes, I support "The task force once comprised the USS Laffey, Cory, Reuben James and Bainbridge." … "The division comprises destroyers" also works for me, as long as there is nothing in the division that isn't a destroyer. And later, Many times "is comprised of" simply turns into "is." "Comprise" is actually a relatively arcane word and the author who writes ‘A is comprised of B’ probably isn't really thinking of inclusion at all, but composition …
I am grateful for his explanation. I would restrict 'comprise' to naval combat forces afloat. Otherwise, if I want variation from 'compose' there is 'include', 'contain', 'embrace', 'constitute'. Similarly, I only use 'materiel' for Army and Air Force equipages when discussing logistics, because in any other context it is a foreign word affectation, poor usage. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 20:31, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
- This review is transcluded from Talk:Bombardment of Cherbourg/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
I will get to this in a moment.01:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
- It looks like the neutrality of the article is disputed as per the facts on my talk page and the constant removal of infantry related content, I will quick fail this review for the time being, once the dispute is solved please resubmit for a second GA assessment, or A-class review beforehand. I will start an RFC on the above comments for a solution to the issue. 15:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)