Talk:AHS Centaur

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early comment[edit]

I started this article in June 2005. This followed a visit I made to the site of the AHS Centaur memorial, during which I photographed the site in general and memorial plaques in particular. The article was begun by transferring some of these details to the article. - Peter Ellis - Talk 03:21, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Featured or Good Article Status[edit]

Why has this not been submitted for GA or FA status (or at least another peer review to get it there). It's very good and would be a good FA candidate in the near future. JRG 10:23, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Because A class beats GA, and it will be nominated for Featured Article as soon as it goes through the peer review wringer one or two more times. -- saberwyn 10:40, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Centaur in breach[edit]

One of the theories we discuss is that Centaur may have been in breach of the convention. If this were the case, would it still have been a war crime to attack it? If not, this sentence needs to be reworked.

Although Centaur's sinking was a war crime, Nakagawa was not tried for sinking a hospital ship as, despite a series of investigations between 1944 and 1948, the Allies were unable to establish beyond reasonable doubt which submarine had been responsible for the attack.[13]

Something like "Although Centaur's sinking may have been a..." is probably sufficient Nil Einne 14:30, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

As a hospital ship, the attack was a breach of the tenth section of the Hague Convention of 1907, and as such was a war crime

Above section would needed to be reworked as well if it's not definite it's a war crime Nil Einne 14:45, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

The texts I've read show that the "in breach" theory was entirely home-grown, and that the Japanese never said anythong related to the possibility of Centaur being a legitimate target, instead systematically denying that the event ever happened until the War History Series text was published. From the point of view of the Allied military and politicians, the vast majority of the general public, and those investigating the event between 44 and 48. The bulk of the possibilities for this theory were made/implied/created well after the war.

As far as my personal interpretation goes based on what I have read, attacking a hospital ship is a war crime until it can be conclusively be proven that the vessel was intentionally in breach of the Hague Convention. However, if you feel it needs to be reworked, feel free. -- saberwyn 22:08, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I note it's not clear to me from war crimes or common practice that something is regarded as a war crime unless it can be conclusively proven it wasn't. Other then the possibility the Centaur may have been in breach of conventions, our article also notes the possibility the Centaur may not have been properly identified by the attacker as a hospital ship. AFAIK this gets in to the tricky area of whether sufficient care was taken in to identifying the target etc. (To use a random example, July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike doesn't say a definite war crime occured. This seems to to concur with common practice where the perpetrator, even if they acknowledge most or all people killed shouldn't have been killed, don't always agree it was a war crime and may instead argue it was an extremely unfortunate part of war which even legal best practice couldn't avoid. Definitely the US does this and I'm pretty sure Australia does as well.) However I'm not going to change it without checking out the source which I can't be bothered to do. If multiple RS say it's a definite war crime, then it's not my place to dispute that. Nil Einne (talk) 21:59, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to remove date-autoformatting[edit]

Dear fellow contributors

MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether a date is autoformatted or not). MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.

There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:

Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. Does anyone object if I remove it from the main text in a few days’ time on a trial basis? The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. Tony (talk) 12:56, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Go ahead. If it doesn't work, we can always revert. -- saberwyn 20:07, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you indeed. Tony (talk) 11:56, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


The article lists a figure for displacement. Do the print sources say displacement, or gross tons? There is a difference. Kablammo (talk) 02:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Milligan & Foley says gross tonnes. Article fixed to comply. -- saberwyn 04:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Survivors spotted by crew of avro anson from 71 squadron[edit]

The article states that the survivors were spotted by the crew of the 71 squadron avro anson 'on the horizon'. While it may be a relatively trivial point this is most unlikely to be true and is actually contradicted by verbal reports from the actual crew. My father was a pilot in 71 squadron and has always been quite specific that the navigator of the Anson spotted the survivors while taking a drift sight for the putpose of navigation. This means that the survivors would have been almost directly beneath the Anson when they were spotted. As a pilot who spent many hours on coastal patrol and who, himself, located the survivors of the SS Fingal, my father is adamant that the crew of the Anson reported spotting the survivors as stated here. Furthermore he asserts that it would have been quite impossible to see survivors in the water at any distance making the 'on the horizon' spotting quite implausible. My father is still alive and would be quite happy to explain the events as he remembers them. My e-mail address is if you are interested. (talk) 06:51, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Surely you are right and it is nice of you to provide an email address, but unfortunately this constitutes "original research" and is therefore not allowable. If you think the phrase "on the horizon" is naccurate, then I suggest that you simply remove it yourself. I cannot see any reason for objections to the removal of that phrase, as it is somewhat immaterial to the gist of what happened. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newzild (talkcontribs)
There's a little bit of confusion here. The "on the horizon" section of that sentence refers to what and where the lookout aboard the destroyer Mugford saw. The Anson would not have seen the survivors on the horizon, being at altitude and likely ahead of the destroyer (although I'd have to doublecheck sources to verify the latter); the aircraft dove to (I assume) confirm their own sighting of the group at the same time as the ship lookout reported his sighting.. Any suggestions on how to make this clearer in the article? -- saberwyn 09:09, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Hospital ship refit[edit]

900 kilograms (2,000 lb) is nothing, thats 10 men in full battle dress. This weight will not alter the draft in any measureable way. --Eingangskontrolle (talk) 21:18, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up. I'll double-check the source within the next 24 hours. -- saberwyn 21:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay. Its a transcription error, the source reads 900 tons, which is a little more respectable. -- saberwyn 20:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

2010 post-discovery remembrance service[edit]

I've just removed a recently-added section describing the 2010 post-discovery remembrance service in Queensland. I think its a little too much detail for the article, adds very little to the understanding of the subject (being the ship's history and her loss), and that it was weakly sourced (a webpage on the Queensland Premier's website). Does anyone have any other thoughts on its inclusion or removal? -- saberwyn 08:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, section was too big. I have re-added the salient bit, putting it at the ed of the memorial section, since a service is a form of memorial. Springnuts (talk) 17:54, 15 July 2010 (UTC)


Just wondering why no primary source material has been cited for this article? Some, such as the transcripts of interviews with Centaur survivors and Sir William Webb's Report on War Crimes (1944) would add considerable weight to this article, clarify some of the disputed issues, and correct some inaccuracies. (talk) 07:40, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia's guideline on reliable sources and policy on preventing 'original research', published secondary sources are preferred, as they provide analysis and hindsight of the primary sources. -- saberwyn 05:13, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough. If policy allows, perhaps providing external reading links to digitalised primary source material available online via National Archives may be helpful to readers [Series: A 1608 Control: J61/2/7 "Loss of Hospital Ship Centaur"; Series: A 2684 Control: 1203 "Sinking of Hospital Ship Centaur; Series: A 4311 Control: 658 /3 "Australian War Crimes Commission Transcript of Evidence ... "] (talk) 23:49, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

If there is a webpage(s) that can be linked to, any such links should fit well in the "External links" section, but we'd probably be best with a few good ones as opposed to listing every single mention. -- saberwyn 00:22, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 22:53, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Centaur: Death of a Hospital Ship[edit]

I didn't know that the Sydney Morning Herald website had a television section, but it does, and it includes the hour-long documentary Centaur: Death of a Hospital Ship. Should this be added to the article as an external link? -- saberwyn 00:15, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


The infobox has measurements in metric units. As a British-built ship, it would have been built to Imperial measurements, which are given by Lloyd's Register. Shall I add these to the infobox and article? Mjroots (talk) 07:06, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

I would indeed think that appropriate. Davidships (talk) 23:47, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

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