Talk:List of German divisions in World War II

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Old talk[edit]

Could we reorganize this list by series rather than by superficial type? It would make things more comprehensible in several ways, but especially for cases where divisions evolved through a series of types and are shown here multiple times. — B.Bryant 18:50, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Done for the Luftwaffe divisions; check it out before I get too carried away... — B.Bryant 01:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In case it isn't clear to onlookers, what I'm trying to do is show the unit "aliases", e.g. the 16 mot., 16 PzG, and 116 Pz are in some sense "the same division", and should eventually be described in a single article. (See e.g. Hermann Göring Division.) However, people may want to look them up by any of the various names, and it will be useful to show the associations here. (We may need REDIRECT pages as well... if we ever get any actual articles.) OTOH, I'm not trying to cover unit histories here, other than explaining the aliases. — B.Bryant 14:46, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
OK, I have this done for the set {German 13th Motorized Infantry Division, German 13th Panzer Division, German Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2}. All the REDIRECTs point to the same (stub) article, which covers them all, and lists them prominently at the top so readers will immediately see why they have been redirected to an article about a unit with possibly a very different name. I was originally going to use the "most famous" version of the unit for the actual article name, but it is not always obvious which variant is the most well known. Also, since some of the units fork into "trees" of descendents (e.g. 16th ID), I thought it best to use the version at the base of the tree as the name of the article. For consistency I'm doing that even when the "tree" doesn't actually fork. — B.Bryant 06:50, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I would like to remove the FLAK divisions, since (as I understand it) there were just headquarters controlling the assets in an area rather than divisions as commonly conceived. If we do include them, are we going to include searchlight divisions, etc? OTOH there's still going to be a question as to where to draw the line, e.g. the named fortress divisions were somewhat ad hoc as well. I favor including the fortress divisions, but excluding the FLAK. Is there a principled rule we can follow on this? — B.Bryant 01:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there is any harm in having them in, and many of them did have the same subordinated regiments for a long time. Elisson 09:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Two notes though,

  • I don't know where you got the litteral meaning of Lehr from, but according to what I know and all dictionaries I've looked in, Lehr simply translates as learning-, teaching-, as used in for example Lehrer, teacher.
From the dictionary. It's all the same word. I went with "Demonstration" and the indicated literal meanings to emphasize that they weren't ordinary training units. — B.Bryant 00:05, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure we understand each other here. I agree that Lehr units should be explained as demonstrational units, but your literal meanings ("literally 'pattern' or 'model'") make no sense at all. Lehr does not mean pattern or model, and isn't anywhere near the meaning of these two words. That's what I'm wondering about. "Pattern" or "model" is usually translated to "Munster", "model" is also translated to "Ausführung" when talking equipment. Elisson 02:05, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I got it from Cassell's German-English/English-German Dictionary, which gives it as "pattern, model, guage. See Lehre." I certainly don't mind if someone changes it; since my skills with German are very minimal, I didn't want to give a translation that I couldn't support from a dictionary. — B.Bryant 02:52, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Motorized infantry and panzergrenadier was the same thing, the latter only a morale-boosting name change. There were often no real organizational changes when units changed name.
Yeah, a lot of this stuff does not appear to be correct in detail. I visualize several passes over the list, something like:
  • integrate all the variant listings for a division into a single entry (i.e., what I've been doing)
  • verify the resulting data
    • perhaps best done when writing individual articles
  • add missing divisions
  • decide which of a unit's names should be the actual articles
    • or maybe just unlink everything that doesn't have an article, since most will probably never be written
  • add articles with the details, and redirects for the unit's variant names

Otherwise, great job! Elisson 09:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks! — B.Bryant 00:05, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Any reason for removing the original unit names? I added them as reference and also to make searching for units easier. Someone searching for the German unit name will at least find one page if they are included here, but there is no article about the unit. Elisson 13:36, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I did it partly because they were very redundant and Wiki-p was starting to complain about the article being too big, but mostly just to reduce the amount of data I have to handle while trying to consolidate the lists and identify aliases. I am aware that we need something, but if I'm going to finish what I've been doing it's going to have to be postponed until later. Here are some thoughts, which necessarily feather into other topics:
  • I don't think it's going to be possible to fully support search by name, since sources don't give the name consistently. For instance, Google shows that if someone is reading military history on the Web they might come across any of:
    • 1. Gebirgsdivision
    • 1.Gebirgsdivision
    • 1st Gebirgsdivision
    • 1. Gebirgs-Division
    • 1.Gebirgs-Division
    • 1st Gebirgs-Division
    • 1. Gebirgs Division
    • 1.Gebirgs Division
    • 1st Gebirgs Division
    • 1.Gebirgsjäger-Division
    • 1. Gebirgsjager Division
    • 1 Gebirgsjager Div
    • 1st Gebirgsjager Division
    • 1st Gebirgsjäger Division
    • 1st 1st Gebirgsjäger-Division
    • 1. Gebirgs-Jäger-Division
...and presumably others I didn't spot. Clearly we can't give all those forms, and clearly giving only the correct form isn't going to cover all, or even a majority of searches. So I think what we need to do is translate the relevant terms once so that readers can figure out that a Gebirgs division is something to do with Mountain units, and then rely on them to apply a bit of intelligence to find the unit they're looking for inside this page.
  • I've also been wondering which unit types we should leave untranslated in our "English" list. I doubt that anyone would expect us to use anything other than Panzer when talking about the armored divisions, but how far should we go from there? I'm trying to apply a rule "use the form they would most likely encounter in an English-language publication", but what that form is is hardly obvious. I took the liberty of using Volksgrenadier, since that's the only way I have ever seen it in English, and I'm very tempted to use Flieger and Fallschirmjäger as well, but I don't know whether that's the right thing to do. IMO it would certainly solve some terminological problems. That's the way I run across them, but my reading habits may not be typical.
    • On that line I have tentatively concluded that we shouldn't translate proper nouns that are used in units' names, such as 30 Januar, Wiking, and all the place names... though now that I write this I notice that I wasn't consistent with "Africa", so I probably need to untranslate that if this what I describe in this bullet is the way we want to do things.
  • Further afield, I understand that the "German_" prefix is pretty much necessary in article titles in order to avoid clashes with similarly named units from other armies (e.g., "1st Infantry Division"), but there are already some articles on named divisions that don't use it, and it's pretty redundant for names starting with "SS", so I was wondering whether we should use German_ everywhere for consistency, or vary from it when there's no chance of confusion.
    • Also, I wonder whether anyone doing this kind of stuff has thought about making distictions between wars. Should the German_1st_Infantry_Division article cover units by that name throughout German history, or should we us names that disambiguate era as well as nationality?
Fortunately we don't have to decide all this right away, since there doesn't seem to be any big rush to write articles, but it would be good to start working out some guidelines. I wish a few more people would participate, so that our eventual concensus will seem more like a concensus than a caucus. Perhaps we should discuss these things with people who are working on other nations' armies as well, to get some more general guidelines. — B.Bryant 23:27, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (military units)[edit]

Please have a look at the new draft Wikipedia:Naming conventions (military units), and drop some comments if you are interested in that sort of thing. — B.Bryant 00:15, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Waffen SS Formations[edit]

Bob,

Many of the naming conventions you have used are totally inaccurate. i.e. there was never a formation called SS Division Wallonien, SS Division Landstorm Netherland or the 20th SS Division.

Also, the disambiguation between SS divisions and Divisions of the ss (Division der SS) should be made. This was a major issue to the Waffen-SS.--Ansbachdragoner 23:50, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Prefix[edit]

Should german units of 1934 to 1945 be refered to as Heer not German or as well as German. That would go someway to distinushing between German (WWII) and eg West German. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 210.211.86.83 (talk • contribs) 08:53, 19 August 2005 (UTC).

No, I prefer not to. There is not much need to distinguish between the periods, and when needed, use standard notation i.e. the year or time period in parantheses after the name. Also, Heer is still used as the name for the present day German Army. So for example a separate article on the current day 1. Panzer Division, I'd name it 1. Panzer Division (Bundeswehr) or similar. -- Elisson Talk 10:32, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Edelweiss[edit]

What is Division Edelweiss? mikka (t) 00:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

30th SS discrepancy[edit]

This list has a redlink for 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian). There is an article on the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Belarussian), and the list of divisions at the end there gives both an entry for the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Belarussian) and a redlink to 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian).

Are these actually references to the same unit, and if so which was the name it formally had? Shimgray | talk | 16:33, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Luftvafe divisions[edit]

Does anybody know where I can find some information about Luftvafe anti-aircraft and field Luftvafe field divisions. Please reply on my discussion page vojvoda —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 91.150.84.52 (talk) 08:16, 2 May 2007 (UTC).