Talk:Battle in Berlin

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Map of the participation of Polish troops in the Battle in Berlin[edit]

Polish participation in the battle

I do not think that this map should be included because:

  1. it is unreadable for an English monoglot
  2. the colour scheme and the size of the arrows overemphasise Polish contributions
  3. The advance through the Tiergarten represents an advance along a road already under the control of the Soviets, and the sources I quoted in Talk:Battle of Berlin/Archive 7#Polish forces April 2011 state it occurred on the morning of the 2 May (after the capitulation). -- PBS (talk) 20:31, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
It should be removed, undue weight and unreadable, as well. Kierzek (talk) 21:09, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
We commonly use foreign language maps if no English language version exists. If you disagree, cite the policy that supports removal of foreign language maps.
The map is about Polish troops participation, so it obviously is going to focus on, well, Polish troops. It's not a map of the battle in Berlin, it's a map of certain troops participation in it. The legend clearly states that only selected Russian advances are shown (we could add this to the caption if you think it is not clear enough).
The map is referenced; sources can vary. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 19:40, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, looks like we have to use what we have and not what we don't... It is true that this map isn't perfect, but, unfortunately, it looks like it is one of only two really different maps of this battle stored in Commons... If the other map (File:Battle for Reichstag 1945 map-eng.png) gave an overview of the whole battle, as opposed to a small (though important) fragment of it, perhaps removing the "Polish" map would be a good idea. But we do not have an overview map, and the "Polish" map is the only one showing that specific part of battle (the other map covers just a small part of the territory covered by the "Polish" map)...
Still, maybe the problems with undue weight could be diminished if we added some additional maps? File:Battle for Reichstag 1945 map-eng.png and File:Battle of Berlin 1945-b.png do not really show the battle in Berlin, but maybe it could be argued that they would put the fights in context (for example, German attempts to relieve Berlin might have had some influence)...
Also, the current caption ("Participation of Polish troops in the Battle in Berlin" - [1]) might be changed to something like "A map of the battle emphasising [showing? dedicated to showing? illustrating?] the Polish contribution")...
Finally, concerning "[...] the sources I quoted in Talk:Battle of Berlin/Archive 7#Polish forces April 2011 state it occurred on the morning of the 2 May (after the capitulation)." - for what it's worth, the map does give this same date to this advance... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:12, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
For the record, I could easily translate the legend and map abbreviations, if somebody would like to list the map in the Graphic Lab Map Workshop. We did this for the maps of the Battle of Bautzen (1945). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 22:20, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Race for the Reichstag: the 1945 Battle for Berlin by Tony Le Tissier page 195

In their brief appearance within the city the 1st Polish Infantry Division and the accompanying 1st Polish Field Artillery Regiment lost 88 killed and 441 wounded

The Soviet casualties in Berlin were 20,000 total casualties for the Poles was about 500 or about 2.5% of the causalities. It is reasonable to assume that the Poles suffered about the same percentage casualties as other soviet lead forces in which case this map shows the advance of about 2.5% of the forces assaulting Berlin. It also emphasises an advance made after (or close to the time of) the the general capitulation of the city. This is misleading as the map implies that Polish forces were involved in the capture of Reichstag and the Brandenburg gate. If this map belongs anywhere it is in the article on the First Polish Army. -- PBS (talk) 22:59, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry Apples and oranges it is 20,000 dead not 20,000 casualties so the ratio was < 0.5% not 2.5% -- PBS (talk) 08:46, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Don't try to beat the dead horse, Philip. You tried to erase any mentions of the Polish troops from this article in the past, and the consensus was against it. There is no reason that the paragraph dedicated mostly to discussion of operations carried out by Polish units should not be illustrated with a useful map. There is certainly space in the article for more images and/or maps. And the map does not focuses on the Reichstag advance; instead it focuses, correctly, on the advance and capture of the Technische Hoschshule, and advance towards Tiergarten. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 23:06, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I really don't believe the map should be included for reasons I stated above. IF consensus goes the other way in the end, I believe it should be made bigger and stated clearly this map: "illustrating the Polish units advances on 2 May 1945, the day of capitulation. Kierzek (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with either. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 00:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I guess it is clear that Polish contribution wasn't vital - if all those forces were sent away without any replacements, the battle wouldn't have ended with German victory. And it is highly probable that Polish historiography gives far more attention to actions of Polish forces, than to actions of Soviet units of equivalent size. It might not be fair, but it sure is natural. Still, it is not the Wikipedia's job to make the things more fair, and if the Polish sources give more emphasis for the Polish contribution, and are not "counterbalanced" by sufficient numbers of other sources giving them "too little" emphasis, looks like we will have to give somewhat more emphasis to Polish contribution as well...
And if there are sources, saying that in some cases the arrows in the map correspond to advances through territory that had already been captured by other units, maybe we should say so in the caption? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 00:22, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
If my opinion were asked, I would not include such a map in the article; unduely weights Polish involvement. Buckshot06 (talk) 05:43, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
As well as unduly weighting Polish involvement, the map is of low quality, especially in regards to its use on En-Wiki. I have no idea what those Polish-language abbreviations mean and it took a bit of work to figure out what the difference between the dark blue and aqua blue arrows is. The implication of the map seems to be that it was the Poles who captured central Berlin, which is of course not true. The geographic details on the map also contain some errors (most obviously, Hitler's bunker wasn't in a park). Nick-D (talk) 07:05, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Comment from Chumchum7: Coming out of semi-reitrement to add my view, for what it's worth, as I was involved in this article in the past. First, this is not a map of participation of Polish troops in the Battle in Berlin, this is a map of both Soviet and Polish troop movements during the Battle in Berlin and it should be re-captioned and restored as such. That would appear to be a fair solution to this discussion, especially given the map is very helpful for orientation, especially if it can be translated. Second, this issue of Polish participation might be resolved by going back and looking at previous discussion in the 'Battle of Berlin' Talk archive, where consensus appears to have agreed on adding a relatively small section on Polish participation in the Battle of Berlin, (dwarfed by Soviet troops, but bigger than the combined American/British/Canadian deployment at D-Day, and one of the biggest Polish Army battle deployments of WWII). I recall we found several Soviet cinema clips featuring their Polish allies at the battle (e.g. at Berlin Zoo), plus a compelling though possibly irrelevant anecdote about a Jewish Polish Army soldier who had fought all the way into Berlin. None of us got ever got round to doing that section, but we should do it now. In it or near it, this map would also be helpful; and given that the Battle of Berlin article is getting pretty good, we would ideally have an an English-language version of the map. As an aside, I'm one of many editors who finds the split of two articles Battle of Berlin / Battle in Berlin confusing (perhaps a product of original research in its strictest sense?), and would argue for them to be merged, but that is a separate matter. Best wishes, -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:10, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
See WP:SUMMARY STYLE (this article is 70k in size) and it only briefly summarises the battle outside Berlin. The battle of Berlin article is 68K in size, it is a summary style article that is still short on the later stages of the battle outside Berlin and it already includes 3 other daughter articles. It is not original research to structure articles into summary style.
This is not a map of of both Soviet and Polish troop movements during the Battle in Berlin it is a map of Polish movements a few Polish regiments (detached from the First Polish Army that remained outside the city) and attached to the 2nd Soviet Tank Army) with arrows a large as those given to a few of the Soviet armies that fought their way into Berlin. The Polish map show that the 8th Guard Army attacking from the south and the 3rd Shock Army attacking from the North but not showing that they had already captured the eastern end of the Tiergarten up to the Strasse des 17 Juni then known as Charlottenburger Chaussee that was the demarcation line between the two armies before the Poles advanced along the Strasse des 17 Juni
The Polish map, both through the size, colour and positioning of the arrows and the time line it represents, gives undue weight to Polish involvement. To put this in perspective see these maps copied from Ziemke 1969, Battle For Berlin: End Of The Third Reich
-- PBS (talk) 10:34, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify, my mention of WP:OR wasn't a suggestion that summary style is original research, rather that the distinction between the 'B in B' and the 'B of B' appears to have been constructed by Wikipedia editors, not a majority of verifiable sources. I may be wrong. Like I say it is a separate subject, but I add my voice to those who think a merge is merited. -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:04, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
In the absence of better map, this one should stay. Foreign language maps are used commonly on Wiki.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 11:34, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
On the reliability of sources, Wikipedia policy does not state we should throw out authors when they write about the history of the country they come from. Moreover, if there were such a tendency it could quickly degenerate into prejudicial behaviour, which is banned, e.g. alleging an Irish authors has no right to be quoted in a Wikipedia article on the history of the IRA because he is bound to be irrationally biased, etc. Where there are serious grounds for questioning reliability, then raise them; but nationality of the author alone is not reason enough.
On the merits of the sources themselves, Ziemke's 43-year-old map inaccurately refers to 'Russian' rather than 'Soviet' troops; he has also entirely omitted Polish Army troops, which is another inaccuracy. Its not a perfect map. On further observation, I see the author of the proposed map in question, using a 3-year-old source, has disclosed that it omits some Soviet troops movements; so it isn't perfect either for a general overview, and is indeed better for any section that deals with the Polish contribution to the battle. For an overview map in this 'B in B' article, a map editor needs to carefully take from both sourced maps, and others; none offered so far is better or worse than any other. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:49, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I still don't see a problem. Things can be explained in the description, with a caption that Kierzek proposed above. There is room in this article for more pictures and maps, this map seems useful (in addition to showing Polish troops, the map is also the only map showing a given part of Berlin, so it's usefulness extends beyond just the Polish actions). And with regards to undue weight, we have already agreed in the past to mention Polish participation, there was consensus such a mention was not undue. There is an entire para dedicated to that, a para that has room for a picture. The article would simply benefit from a map enriching this paragraph. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 16:34, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Russian is a standard term in English to mean citizens/soldiers of the Soviet Union, just as the term British is the standard term for citizens/soldiers of the United Kingdom. It is more common in British English than it is in American English to use Russian (probably because Americans vie the world as "isms" while the English view the world as tribal nation). See for example the Singleton report of 1942 "If Russia can hold Germany on land I doubt whether Germany will stand 12 or 18 months’ continuous, intensified and increased bombing" (dehousing memo) and many other sources. So its use on those maps is not inaccurate. I wrote the initial version of this article using Soviet because is is less ambiguous to some American readers and many international readers who do not realise that Russian can mean Soviet. Further if we were to be completely accurate we shoudl use Red Army rather than Soviet Army
I am not suggesting that the maps to which I provided a link are included in the article (it would be a copyright violation). I provided them to indicate that this is a much bigger operation than is indicated by the Polish map and that the Polish map is misleading because of the colour of the arrows, the size of the arrows and that the map indicates a Polish advance through the Tiergarten without any distinction that unlike the other arrows it is not displaying a movement during hostilities.
Also the paragraph about the Polish contribution to the battle is not very good as it does not name let alone describe the contribution of the Soviet Army (2nd Guards Tank Army?) to which the Polish forces were attached for the battle in Berlin. As such the Polish contribution is lacking context, to understand that one has to know what were the objectives Soviet army to which the Polish units were attached and what the sub units such as divisions of that army to which the Polish regiments were attached were tasked to do. -- PBS (talk) 09:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
The paragraph is not focused on the army level, but on the division and smaller level. It mentions that Poles were sent as reinforcements, and to which Soviet units they were attached. Anyway, I am going to restore the map with an updated wording, hopefully it will avoid any undue weight confusion. I strongly suggest we keep it, if for no other reason than as a map of the Berlin where much of the fighting took place that we are currently missing). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 19:18, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
If you are justifying the map only because it shows the western end of the Tiergarten then you presumably will not object if another map is substituted that shows the same area without the Polish advances on it. -- PBS (talk) 08:40, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Piotrus, you're right. Agreed. -Chumchum7 (talk) 16:38, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Better to have no map than one that gives undue weight to the Polish contribution to the overall battle. I have ordered Race for the Reichstag: the 1945 Battle for Berlin by Tony Le Tissier, which has some detailed battle maps in it, when it arrives (in the next few days) I'll use the information in it coupled with some other maps to create a map of the centre with a mode balanced perspective. At the moment I do not see that there is a consensus on this talk page to include the recently added map so I have removed it. -- PBS (talk) 20:31, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


With this edit [2] PBS removed Poland as a victor after the Soviet Union. His edit summary explains: "At a 2% contribution this was not a Polish victory." This prompts several questions. (1) The '2%' appears to be based on Polish casualties as a proportion of Soviet casualties. Did the source specify that the number of Polish Army casualties were a total for all Polish Army casualties in the battle, or were they a sub-total of casualties from certain units? Is the 2% synthetic, or verifiable? (2) Where in Wikipedia are we advised to calculate military 'contribution' based on casualties, rather than say tactical value? (3) What would then be the XX% casualty threshold for inclusion, and where has Wikipedia established that there is such a threshold? (4) What are the implications of excluding a belligerent from victor status based on proportion of casualties, given that US and British casualties in WWII were about 400,000 each, versus Soviet casualties of about 27,000,000? The British and Americans both had about 1.5% of the casualties of the Soviet Union in WWII, which was a lower proportion of casualties than the Polish Army's casualties as a proportion of Soviet casualties at the Battle in Berlin. Surely, it is impossible to universally apply this rationale of XX% casualties as a threshold for inclusion in joint-victor status? (5) If we have two states listed as belligerents, is it logical to have only one of them listed as a victor? (6) Is it verifiable whether or not the Polish flag was raised alongside the Soviet flag at the end of the battle? (7) Was the Polish Army's 1st Infantry invited by the Soviet Union to the Moscow Victory Parade for its combat in Berlin, or elsewhere? -Chumchum7 (talk) 16:02, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
In the meantime I looked up the Polish flag raising. Apparently, official Flag Day in the country of Poland is May 2, because... it was the day in 1945 in which the Polish Army raised the flag at the Siegessaule, also known as the Victory Column, in central Berlin. There are better refs offline (I was at the library today), but here's a couple of open source indicative/unreliable refs: [3] [4] In which case, I modify my question #(6) to: Why on May 2 each year does the country of Poland officially commemorate the Polish flag being raised at the end of the Battle in Berlin in 1945, if Poland was not one of the victors? -Chumchum7 (talk) 21:16, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

No one is disputing that some Polish forces fought in Berlin, but the vast bulk of the Polish forces were in two armies which took part in the battle outside Berlin. If there had been a couple of American liaison officer attached to headquarters who had flown the Starts and Stripes over the Reich Chancellery on the 2nd of May 1945, would that justify the inclusion of the Americans in the battle box? Or the RAF bombed Berlin every night for over a month until the night of 20/21 April so should the Union Jack be in the battle box? British histories credit the victory over the French at the battle of Waterloo to British contributions to the battle while underplaying the contribution by their allies. Such exaggerations are common in the historiography of nations. Just because a nation commemorate a flag raising it does not necessarily make that event a significant event in other historiographies. -- PBS (talk) 15:21, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand this "inferiority" of 2%. 2% is still 2%, which seems enough to justify inclusion in the battle box per our practices. Warsaw Uprising lists the contribution of USA, UK, USSR and even SAAF, even if all they did was supporting air drops. If we were to count casualties as rations, we get (military), 30,000:100, so 0.3%. And that is combining the UK, USA and SAAF into one group, btw. As there is no policy, AFAIK, that specifies what % of combat participation (or losses) has to be to merit inclusion in the box, but since this is the argument Philip made, fine, I will point out to the established precedent of the WU that 0.3% is enough. More realistically speaking, as long as there is a reliable source about any notable contribution to a battle (as is the case here), than such participation has merit. Now, let's take a look at WWII page. Let's take one of the belligerents listed on the main list: South Africa. Their military casualties? 9,000. Total allied military casualties? 16,000,000. So, SA part of that is 0.05%; yet it was still enough for inclusion in the widely disputed WWII list of participants. Numbers for some other countries are similar (New Zealand dead are about 12,000), so it's not like SA is an exceptionally weird case. So no, Philip, you cannot use a 2% casualties to make a case this is against any established customs we have. Based on our practices, however, I am now making the argument that 2% is way more than enough to merit inclusion, so thank you, Philip, for making it clear that Poland most certainly does deserve a place in the battlebox here. PS. Oh, and the last time I checked, WWII was an Allied victory, and not USA/USSR/China victory, or such, meaning that the names of all participants are used. So it only makes sense to call this a Soviet and Polish victory. PPS. This would also bring this in line with Battle of Berlin, which is clearly labeled as "Soviet and Polish victory".--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 04:43, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
The inclusion of SAAF in the battle box of the Warsaw Uprising is a very good example of the problem of the "me too" inclusions that discredit battle boxes. Indeed I personally would remove the RAF and the USAAF from that battle box as well. A bad decision somewhere else does not justify the inclusion in another article. -- PBS (talk) 15:21, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
The nations that took place in a war need to be listed somewhere, but it is different from listing nations in a war article and listing combatants in a specific battle, where they either did not take part of played an insignificant role.
See the previous section "Sorry apples and oranges it is 20,000 dead not 20,000 casualties so the ratio was < 0.5% not 2.5% -- PBS (talk) 08:46, 17 March 2012 (UTC)" The ratio of dead is easy to work out from the 20,000 Soviet dead and the 88 dead given in the Tony Le Tissier quote above. So assuming that the number of dead is roughly in line with the Polish forces engaged, then Polish forces committed to the battle in Berlin was a very small proportion to the total. Further they were not under independent operation command even at divisional level but assigned and temporarily integrated into a Soviet division(s?). Putting the Polish into the battle box is a distortion because the battle box does not allow the reader to tell scale the contributions were. For the Battle of Berlin were the two Polish armies were committed to the campaign and made up about 10% of the total forces committed, I do not think that it justifies the inclusion in the battle box as victors of the Battle of Berlin article for reasons I have already given (an the edit that recently included Poland in the battle box (15 February 2012‎) was not clearly labelled as such in the edit history). But even if one thinks that the Poland should be included in the Battle of Berlin battle box article as participants, that is very different from this part of the battle were the Polish contribution less than half of one percent. If the Poles had been engaged in fighting in the main line of attack to the city centre and were involved in capturing some key defensive points that made their contribution significant because of an action rather than nationality (eg like that of the Soviet 150th and 171st Rifle divisions), then perhaps that would be notable enough to mention their contribution in the battle box. But they were assigned to a Soviet army that was tasked with clearing western suburbs and was not engaged in the main advance on the centre. There were dozens of such engagements through Berlin, and to date the only reason given by any editor for including them is that the fighting involved Polish soldiers rather than just Soviet ones. While I would not be able to make a hard and fast rule on this, I do not see how one can argue that a participation of under half a percent of the forces engaged against against secondary objectives can be classed as significant enough to be listed in the battle box. -- PBS (talk) 15:21, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
First, Baluk (1990) p.129 states Polish Army units taking part in the "direct storming of Berlin" include: 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Howitzer Brigade, 6th Pontoon Brigade Battalion and a Mortar Brigade. Afaik a division is anything from 10,000 to 20,000 troops, brigade about 4000 and battalion about 800. So can we double-check that the calculations above are not speculative or original research, please? Second, on PBS's "If the Poles had been engaged in fighting in the main line of attack to the city centre and were involved in capturing some key defensive points" Baluk states that the Polish 1st Infantry Div. in Berlin captured "56 blocks, 7 industrial compounds, 4 subway stations and the Technical University Compound." The Polish 1st Infantry Div. also took 2500 German POWs, Baluk states. Third, on PBS's issue with what made the Polish Army's "contribution significant because of an action rather than nationality..." to make it "notable enough": It is generally agreed that Soviet tanks in central Berlin got stuck and were unable to advance without infantry support, it is widely documented (and even depicted in the Mosfilm re-enactment Liberation (film series)) that the Polish 1st Infantry Div. were called in to support them for the final push - an integral tactical involvement. PBS appears to suggest here that the significance I and Piotr see in the Polish Army has been based on its nationality, rather than a sound rationale in keeping with Wikipedia policy and guidelines; I think that was PBS' good faith, mistaken assumption. Fourth, several of my queries remain unanswered, including the Polish victory flag being raised on the battlefield, as commemorated each May 2 by the country of Poland on its Flag Day. I'd still wholeheartedly welcome answers to those queries. Fifth, let's see where we can identify a difference in principle: it appears that Piotr and myself concur that any participation in a battle by an identifiable state military qualifies that state for participation in victory or defeat of said battle (by this token the US is a joint victor at the Liberation of Paris where American fatalities are unknown, because they were possibly zero), the same principle is equally applied to wars (including at WWII where most Allied powers had less than 2% fatalities of the USSR); it appears that PBS feels that under a certain X% proportional fatality share, a participant in the battle does not qualify for participation in victory or defeat, however this is not applied to wars where one power has say 1.5% casualties of another it can still participate in joint victor or vanquished status. This difference of principle could be taken to MILHIST or some other council for resolution, to see how either principle can and should be universally applied - or indeed whether some other threshold, such as e.g. verifiability, should take precedence. -Chumchum7 (talk) 21:51, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Additionally, on PBS' "Putting the Polish into the battle box is a distortion because the battle box does not allow the reader to tell scale the contributions were" - Plenty if not most of Wikipedia's battle boxes don't show the reader what the scale the contributions were and there are no major problems about that; if there is a problem in this specific case it can be solved by adding a Polish Army unit list, per Baluk, under Soviet strength. There's no nationalistic distortion going on here and per lessons learned at WP:ARBEE, etc., let's not jump the gun, please. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Berean. Just so we're on the same page, this discussion is not about whether or not to pontificate about the Polish Army's contribution in the article, it's just about the 'Result' line in the infobox. Your idea about dealing with the Polish Army's contribution in an earmarked place concurs exactly with what appears to have been consensus on adding such a section to the Battle of Berlin article. That's yet to be done. Thanks again, -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:19, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Right. Probably best left as Soviet victory and not over stress undue relevance.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 17:37, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
So how would you describe the Liberation of Paris: French victory, American victory, French and American Victory, or Allied victory? And the Battle for Caen, a British victory? And was the Prague Offensive not an Allied victory, but Soviet? And the Vienna Offensive, not a joint victory with Bulgaria? -Chumchum7 (talk) 20:49, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
It depends on the size of the contribution of a national component, the command structure of the forces involved, and the notability of the a nations actions in an engagement. For example the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade played a notable role in Operation Market Garden, but troops from other nations who may have had as many troops in the action but involved in none pivotal roles do not get a mention in general histories. This article is a general history and the Polish contribution to the battle of Berlin is not mentioned in most English language histories histories of the battle and when it is mentioned seems to be usual a line and perhaps a paragraph. This article is far from a book. With the exception of the attack on the Reichstag and a couple of other all the rest of the article is at army level what is it other than the fact that they were Polish that makes the contribution of these units notable? -- PBS (talk) 20:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Similarly, I am confused at Normandy landings, which lists numerous belligerents, but is an Allied victory, and most of the parties mentioned are not touched upon in the article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 20:08, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
That you find it confusing is a good reason for moving a lot of the minnows out of the battle box. However a fundamental difference between the command structures on the Eastern Front and the Western Front is that the Western Allies had a formal system of a shared Combined Chiefs of Staff nothing like it existed on the Eastern Front. The Soviets did not share the higher command structure with their allies. So at a campaign level such as that on the Western Front are called Allied victories it is because the higher echelons of command and control of the armed forces were integrated, and was the model on which NATO was founded. The breakout from Normandy is a classic example of all the advantages and disadvantages of this system. Uncle Joe would never have accepted such an arrangement in the east. Countries like Australian could choose to withdraw from one area of the conflict and redeploy in another, but they could not and did not decide strategy (Eg Germany first). That was decided by Britain and America with the America gradually coming to dominate as the war progressed and they were able to mobilise their economic and manpower resources. Nevertheless in cases like Ruhr Pocket which only involved one Allied combatant, I think it should be described as a US victory rather than an Allied victory, as the latter implies a significant contribution by Commonwealth or French troops which is not true.-- PBS (talk) 20:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
"I also can't seem glean the Polish contributions in the Order of battle for the battle in Berlin article which needs quite a bit of attention in other ways." - look for "1st Polish Infantry Division" and "2nd Polish Howitzer Artillery Brigade". They are listed ([5]). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 01:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
PBS, I've been waiting for your response to the explanations and rationale above for two days, as per the normal consensus-building process. Please participate in helping me work toward consensus. As a good faith gesture, to address your concern about proportionality, I'm adding a verifiable Polish Army unit list to the infobox (per Wikipedia precedent), which will show it was a small fraction of the Soviet total. Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:53, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have been looking at the 2nd Guards Tank Army's contribution in the battle as mentioned by Beevor, so that the Polish contribution can be placed in to the general narrative. Here are some notes that I have drawn up:

The problem here is that although initially tasked with spearheading the attack on Berlin the 2nd Guard Tank Army got bogged down in the north west suburbs and their task became a secondary one. Previously Chumchum7 (Talk:Battle of Berlin/Archive 7#Polish forces April 2011), you quoted this:

I suspect that the mention of the Brandenburg Gate is a mistake and it should be the Charlottenburg Gate which is in the vicinity of the TU and between the TU and the Tiergarten underground station and would tie in with your comment in the archive "The Poles were tasked with securing the Charlottenburger bridge and taking the Tiergarten S-Baun which they did at daybreak the following morning of 2 May." The Charlottenburg Bridge is next to the Charlottenburg Gate and the Gate is only about 150m from the Tiergarten S-Bahn (see this google map).

This is a post to the talk page of the Battle of Berlin by Kierzek 15:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC):

Hamilton makes special note of the Poles as of 30 April, 1 May and 2 May on pp: 312 and 313. At the end of April, the 1st Polish ID. advanced in the Schonhauser Alle U-Baun where the Russians were stalled. On 1 May, they helped clear the Kaiser Friedrichstraße and then took the Trinity Church. The 2nd Polish ID fought in the Landwehr Canal area and the Poles took the Technical High School with its own artillery support (after their Soviet tank support was withdrawn to another section). The 3rd Polish I. Reg. came to the aid of the 66th Guards Tank Brig. north of the Landwehr Canal. The Poles were tasked with securing the Charlottenburger bridge and taking the Tiergarten S-Baun which they did at daybreak the following morning of 2 May.

So the Polish infantry ended up at the time of the ceasefire within a few hundred meters around the Technical University. It seems to me that the Baluk p.127-9 is a hagiography, for example what where the Poles who had been fighting west of the Charlottenburg Bridge on the first, and our article claims "and thus the Polish 1st Infantry Regiment assigned to support [the Soviet] had to, in effect, take over their tasks". If so why is there no mention of fighting and failing to stop thousands of Germans who crossed the Charlottenburg Bridge during the breakout in the early hours of the 1/2 of May? The comment by Baluk about what the Polish 1st Infantry Division captured implies that they were fighting as a cohesive unit, yet they were mixed in with Soviet units and so it is probably true that the captured infrastructure were dual captures, and without a corresponding comparison with what was captured by other similar units it is impossible to tell if this was extraordinary or par for the course. For example Baluk says 2,500 captured soldiers, yet the total numbers captured were well in excess of 100,000 because any German man in a uniform was arrested. Further as one of the major breakouts routes went straight through the Polish positions around the TU, one would have expected them to take disproportionate number of prisoners.

I still do not think that the current map is appropriate for all the reason I have given, and I still do not see why we have have the Polish contribution to the battle in the article in such detail as regiment level when no other Allied units that took part in the are discussed below divisional level (With the exception of the combat to take key installations on the advance into the centre). Take for example the second paragraph "Starting from 16:00 on April 30" given that the 2nd Guards Tank Army was not involved in the assault on the centre of the city but as secondary role of cleaning up a western suburb why is the barricade on "Pestalozzistrasse a major obstacle" in the way to the capitulation of the German garrison? Because I am familiar with the battle in more detail than this overview allows I know what the paragraph means and can put it into context. But for a reader of the article who has know knowledge of the battle other than what they read here, and don't know the geography of Berlin, this emphasis on Polish actions is distorting the article by spending paragraphs discussing sub divisional units movements for AFAICT for no other reason than that they are Polish and not Soviet. I agree with Berean Hunter and this type of detailed information should be placed into a sub article probably not one called Polish military actions in the Battle in Berlin but one on the parent army such as assault on Berlin by the 2nd Guards Tank Army. Over time we could have articles on each Army's contribution to the battle. -- PBS (talk) 20:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

I see no reason to assume Baluk is unreliable, unless you show me an academic review that says so. If the sources vary, the article should make a note on that. Btw, here are some comments from The Economist, in the context of Polish flag in Berlin on May 2: "...they did make a tactically instrumental contribution to the fight: the Polish 1st Infantry Division bailed out a halted Soviet tank advance on the Reichstag". --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 22:48, 18 May 2012 (UTC)


According to MOS:BOLDTITLE the first usage of the article in the lead should be in bold; it is not a "neologism". A neologism is completely different. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 01:33, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Because of popularity of Wikipedia articles, and special early raking of Wikipedia articles in Google searches using a bold title for a descriptive name helps to creates a neologism. MOS:BOLDTITLE states "If an article's title is a formal or widely accepted name for the subject, display it in bold as early as possible in the first sentence". This is neither a formal or a widely accepted name for the subject. but instead it is a descriptive title take from the section heading in the article Battle of Berlin (which is an accepted name). The article Battle of Berlin summarises the fuller treatment of this major subtopic which has been placed here in a separate article of its own. -- PBS (talk) 13:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)


Perhaps I am being oversensitive, but there does seem to be some real bias issues in this article - ironically pro-German ones. While the actions of individual German units and people are picked out in minute detail, the Russians are dealt with as an amorphous mass. I understand that this is mostly due to the western historiography, but this should be considered by subsequent editors here.—Brigade Piron (talk) 09:56, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

No it is not it is to do with the fact that the Soviets had an overwhelming force and the German defenders were relatively few. The result is that typically one understrength German division within Berlin was up against a one or more Soviet armies. See for example this map copied from Ziemke 1969,Battle For Berlin: End Of The Third Reich p. 93.
So to keep a balance in the fighting it is inevitable that a German division will be mentioned in the same paragraph as a Soviet army. In specific last engagements such as the final taking of the area around the Reichstage and the taking of the Reich Chancellery then Soviet forces are mentioned in more detail, down to individuals who made a notable contribution.
Some Polish contributors have put in more emphasise on the Polish contribution than I think the article needs and if we were to do the same for the regiments in the Red Army then this article would be the length of a book. But Wikipedia articles are written as a collaborative effort and so the information is here.
Something I have been thinking of doing is writing a detailed articles on the different Red Army armies assaults on Berlin starting with the 2 Guards Tank Army, so that the Polish contribution could be put into the correct perspective. The 2 Guards Tank Army does not get much of a mention in this article (apart from the Polish units) because although it was initially given a lead role in the attack into Berlin, it got bogged down in the suburbs and did not enter the citadel until the very end of the battle. For similar reasons the 47th Army only gets two sentences although of course they too were involved in heavy fighting on the north western approaches to Spandau.
I have not done it because I have been involved in other projects such as the Waterloo Campaign, but if none else does so one day... -- PBS (talk) 14:06, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with PBS. I have, in the past, put in additions as to Polish units contributions but it could use more; and there could be some more added as to specific Soviet units but concision also plays a factor; this is an overview article and certainly other sub-article can be done and with links to here, as needed. Kierzek (talk) 16:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)