Talk:Battle of Red Cliffs

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Featured article Battle of Red Cliffs is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on January 4, 2009.


What's with the lack of inline citations? I've noticed that there are some occasions when other methods of referencing is used, but there are paragraphs, which have neither inline citations or the other method. Shouldn't this stuff be checked before it goes on the Main Page? Jolly Ω Janner 00:11, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

What are you talking about? Citing information is not a mindless, mechanical process. There's no rule about every paragraph having a cite. if you think there is, you've been hanging out with folks who don't know what they're talking about. Second, can you point to those paragraphs? How many do you see? I see three: one is simply a transitional device with a general summary of well-cited info that comes after, and two are noncontroversial/common knowledge. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 00:54, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Cao Cao's men could not gain an advantage in the small skirmish which ensued, so Cao Cao retreated to Wulin (north of the Yangtze River) and the allies pulled back to the south.
  • reply This is.. an extremely basic piece of info. It is in every account. It is in every commentary. It is, in fact, in the cite which appears in the same sentence. Are you insisting that cites must always an everywhere appear after all relevant info?
  • Liu Bei also occupied the Jing province that Cao Cao had recently lost—a strategic and naturally fortified area on the Yangtze River that Wu claimed for itself. The control of Jing provided Liu Bei with virtually unlimited access to the passage into Shu and important waterways into Wu, as well as dominion of the southern Yangtze River.
  • then the hill in Huangzhou would have been downstream from the point of departure, a possibility which cannot be reconciled with historical sources.
  • later works do not regard Wuchang as a possible site.
  • reply Right there in the same sentence. of course. In fact, feel free to read the note that informs the reader that the entire section (except as otherwise noted) is drawn from Zhang.
Fictionalised account
  • Both are depicted as being inferior to Zhuge Liang in every respect.
  • The romances added wholly fictional and fantastical elements to the historical accounts and these were repeated in popular plays and operas. Examples from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms include Zhuge Liang using magic to call forth favourable winds for the fire ship attack, his strategy of "using straw boats to borrow arrows", and Guan Yu capturing and releasing Cao Cao at Huarong Trail. The fictionalised accounts also name Zhuge Liang as a military commander in the combined forces, which is not historically accurate.
  • 'Reply this is the most common of common knowledge. It is basic. But I cited it for you.
In Modern and cultural impact
  • In 1983, a statue of prominent Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi, was erected at the Huangzhou site of 'Su Dongpo's Red Cliffs' in tribute to his writings regarding Red Cliff.
  • Popular video games based around the Three Kingdoms era (such as the Dynasty Warriors series, Sangokushi Koumeiden, Destiny of an Emperor and Kessen II) have scenarios that include the battle. Other games utilise the Battle of Red Cliffs as their central focus. These include titles popular in Asia, such as the original Japanese version of Warriors of Fate and Dragon Throne: Battle of Red Cliffs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jolly Janner (talkcontribs) 01:34, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi JJ,
I see you've been around since November 2008. I sincerely appreciate your zeal. It is, however, a little misplaced. Most of the things you have listed here are covered by cites within the vicinity of the extracted text. Most of them are also noncontroversial/common knowledge. Where did you learn how to cite? What Wikipedia process have you been involved with? I think I see one item in your list that might need a cite. I'll go over them one by one. Thanks again for your zeal. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 05:22, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the same as an academic work (and yes, I'm familiar with both, if you're going to imply I'm not qualified to comment). We have strict rules against original research, and we aim to cite both opinions and quotes and facts. This is fairly standard in tertiary texts, and Wikipedia takes the idea very much to an extreme. It should be crystal clear where each statement came from, and, to be properly considered a featured article, the cites should be formatted in some kind of recognised, standardised manner ("See" isn't quite what I'm getting at...) and the information should be cited to a variety of sources. I appreciate that the authors may well have read the articles and books cited in the references section, but if nothing in particular is cited to them, they're not helping the reader trust any particular statement. The need for the apparent "over referencing" is due in part to our open editing policy- if you published this article in a journal, then we could trust you had read those books and everything in the article came from them or your own superior knowledge. On Wikipedia, your own superior knowledge counts for nothing, and anyone could easily slip in and add a few more notes. These extra notes would stick out like a sore thumb as unsourced in most featured articles. Here, they blend right in. I suspect that this article would not be promoted in this current state today. J Milburn (talk) 11:30, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I find it hard to frame a reply. You seem to be telling me about Wikipedia, and about Featured Articles. You also seem to be insisting that the article is poorly referenced. Thank you for your concern, as well as for your insights and opinions. However, your concerns are misplaced. This article is extremely well referenced, and would certainly pass FA today, if it were examined by experienced reviewers. I also believe I am fairly familiar with Wikipedia, featured articles, and the featured article process. Moreover, I am not speaking from a position of familiar knowledge of the content of this article. That is, I may or may not in fact have superior knowledge, but that knowledge is not relevant... what "extra notes" are you talking about, by the way? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 11:49, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
There may be "extra notes", there may not be, that's the point- I don't know, so I have no idea what I can or cannot trust in the article without reading the other books myself. I maintain that the article is poorly referenced- you cite only a few books/articles, which, though they may be enough (I don't know how well documented this battle is) are not cited inline which, as I explained above, reduces their usefulness significantly in the context of Wikipedia. The reason I tried to cite my on-Wiki credentials was because you used the above user's lack of experience on Wikipedia against them. Perhaps, if you are fairly sure that this article is still of featured quality, a FAR once this is off the main page would be beneficial? J Milburn (talk) 12:09, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
You're reaching here. As Ling stated, there are references regarding said points within the vicinity of these descriptions. Have you read the references or simply assumed that because there isn't a cite tag pinned to every last sentence in the article that it's all make believe and original research? And to flippantly state that this article doesn't deserve to be here after God knows how many exhaustive hours of research and effort have been put into it's creation is, frankly, insulting. This article has been reviewed and approved by many of our peers, and you discredit both us and them when you accuse people of having poorer editing standards than yourself. I also see a number of listed sentences and extracts, but I see no obvious reason why you or anybody should believe the information to be false, misleading, pointed or otherwise entirely without merit. The point you've made regarding anybody simply slipping in and adding more information is, fortunately for us, not as simple as you seem to believe. The article is monitored strictly, as are most Featured articles, and information added following an FA classification, in my experience, is scrutinised severely by Wikipedia's permanent editors and administrators. If you care to check, I'm sure you'll find that this article is no exception. The Cake is a Lie T / C 12:16, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Inline cites? The durn thing is full of them. Are you using the term "inline cites" to mean "footnote style"? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 12:21, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

You're looking at this in completely the wrong way. In reply to "Have you read the references or simply assumed that because there isn't a cite tag pinned to every last sentence in the article that it's all make believe and original research?"- I have not accused anyone of original research. The point I am making is that I shouldn't have to have read them- it should be easy for me to see where the information is coming from, due to inline citations (and no, the article is not full of them- there are some lengthy paragraphs that lack them entirely- take a look at some recently passed FAs to see some articles that are full of them- the first three from the most recent Signpost are Primate (129 inline cites, not counting duplicates) Tanks in the Spanish Army (199 ditto) and 13th Airborne Division (United States) (29 ditto). It's perhaps worth noting that the latter two are actually a similar genre of article to this one. In response to "I see no obvious reason why you or anybody should believe the information to be false, misleading, pointed or otherwise entirely without merit". Again, that's not the point- it's certainly not obvious information (I'd never heard of this battle, knowing little about far eastern history) but who's telling me about it? Wikipedia? It seems so, as it's not particularly obvious from the citation where the notes are coming from. Regarding the fact that the article is strictly monitored- how does the casual reader know that? Are they going to check? No. Do I want to check? No. Should I have to check? No. J Milburn (talk) 12:51, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm still puzzled: "there are some lengthy paragraphs that lack [inline cites] entirely." Would you mind defining "some" and defining "long"? I see three short paragraphs without cites. I may have missed one...? As I explained above, one of the three is merely a transitional device; the other two are common knowledge. "Common knowledge" does 'not mean "everyone knows it"; it means "everyone who has even a passing familiarity with the topic knows it". Please be more specific. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 13:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Then it should be cited. Wikipedia is not aimed at experts- we should be able to tell where information has come from. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether there are uncited paragraphs or whatever, the point is that the infomation appears to be taken from a rather limited number of sources, and it's not that clear where a lot of the infomation came from anyway. J Milburn (talk) 13:28, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Limited number of sources? Rafe de Crespigny is the acknowledged (English language) expert. other sources are also cited, extensively. Please show where it is unclear where info came from. Moreover, you may wish to read Wikipedia:When to cite. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 13:50, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

This section seems to have become overheated. I would like to say that this is a fantastic article and is well referenced. It sure makes a change from reading about people, whom I've never heard of. Although I would still challenge the following statement in the section on battle "Cao Cao's men could not gain an advantage in the small skirmish which ensued, so Cao Cao retreated to Wulin (north of the Yangtze River) and the allies pulled back to the south." It is at the end of a paragraph and there in no inline citation. The following inline citation (number two) is in the next paragraph. I'm not sure whether number two relates to the statement or whether there is not inline citation. Therefore, I do not have any proof that this happened and I wouldn't regard it as common knowledge. Jolly Ω Janner 14:33, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind words. I cited the passage for you, although it is among the most basic facts of the entire story, and is indeed common knowledge in the sense discussed in -->Wikipedia:When to cite<-- . Enjoy. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 15:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much :) Jolly Ω Janner 15:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Date of battle[edit]

When did this battle take place? The article informs us that it took place in the "the northern winter of 208 CE". There are two problems with this:

1. The phrase "northern winter" is not very widely known. In contrast, most people know that China is in the northern hemisphere so there would be less confusion if the phase "winter" was used.
2. In the northern hemisphere, winter marks the transition from one year to the next. Therefore the term "the winter of 208 CE" could refer to either of two different periods - the end of 208 or the beginning.

I suggest that "the northern winter of 208 CE" be replaced by either "the winter of 207/208 CE" or "the winter of 208/209 CE". Alternatively, it may be known which side of the Gregorian new year the battle took place, in which case it might be preferable to refer to "the winter of early 208 CE" or "the winter of late 208 CE". Yaris678 (talk) 20:36, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Excellent points; obviously somebody got hung up on the notion of the need for disambiguation a "northern winter" and a "southern winter" even if there is no good reason for it (it was winter in the location where it took place, obviously, not somebody else's winter), and not being able to see the forest for the trees, didn't see the ambiguity in "winter of x year" when you are talking about northern-hemisphere winters. Gene Nygaard (talk) 21:21, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I think "Northern Winter" means Winter in the North - ie, winter. In the south it would be summer, amirite mate? Mwahcysl (talk) 21:41, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
That part isn't going to be immediately recognized, and since the main reason for pointing out that it was winter is that winter can lead to problems in sheltering and moving troops and supplies, it doesn't really matter all that much which part of the calendar year that winter falls under. That ambiguity isn't one we need to worry much about, unlike the second ambiguity—which winter of 208 AD is intended? The one at the end of that year, or the one at the beginning of that year? Gene Nygaard (talk) 22:07, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

How about Dec 208 — Feb 209? Jolly Ω Janner 22:24, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes to the problem and No to the answer. Specifically, some... person... came along and gave us trouble a few months back, insisting that the text be changed around the fact that winter occurs at different times in the northern versus southern hemispheres. This is what happens when folks who have little information but a large number of opinions insist that they are knowledgeable, and absolutely insist that others change the text in order to suit their.... opinions. Just "late in the year 208 in the winter" is OK. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 22:51, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Excellent. Do you know this for sure? Can you give a citation? Admitedly that is quite a strong test, given the current date information has no citation.
Is the date known any more acuratley than this? eg. do we know the Chinese month in which it occured? If it was the the month of the pig it is defintely late 208 but the rat and the ox could raise other issues. Yaris678 (talk) 13:12, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Done. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 13:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Good citation. However, this citation doesn't rule out the battle being in early 209. It says "about the end of Western 208". I have changed the text to say "winter of 208/9". This also has the advantage that we don't have to state that it was the end of 208 and not the begining. I have also changed the information box (this still had the phrase "Northern winter"). Yaris678 (talk) 13:32, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Diffs for the AD/CE thing[edit]

  • one for IP [1]
  • another, same IP [2]
  • same IP address, different vandalism [3]
  • IP address [4]
  • again [5]
  • Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 04:17, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Is the external link real?[edit]

Is the external link "Looking Back On Red Cliffs" real? I tried it and activated a PIF file, which apparently re-wrote parts of my operating system. PIF files can be vectors for viruses; did someone slip a "mickey" into this article? (talk) 04:13, 14 January 2009 (UTC)WBiazzo

List of participants[edit]

Does anyone think it's alright to add in a list of participants? Meaning, include a list of generals, advisors and basically all the notable Three Kingdoms people who participated in the battle. Lonelydarksky (talk) 14:32, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

A full-fledged list of the order of battle would be more valuable if such information is available. A list by itself does not add much to the existing prose. _dk (talk) 19:32, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I did find a list of the order of battle here [6] in Chinese. It's quite detailed. What do you people think about it? Lonelydarksky (talk) 09:48, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah...thanks for bringing this site to my attention, because I've been wondering how some Chinese battle articles (like this one) can start off being so detailed when they reference only old military books from China. Seems like they are just translated into English from said books, as now I can see the content of said books on this site. The problem I have with with this site (and by extension, the source 中国战争通鉴) is that it does not state how it reached its conclusions as they don't reference the traditional histories at all. I have no way of checking if these facts are accurate if I can't find supporting evidence from Records of the Three Kingdoms and such! _dk (talk) 12:25, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Some of these parts contain original research. What i basically do when i edit such articles is that i cross-refer with the Chinese versions. Also, some Chinese terms do not have formal translated English terms so most of them are translated by users. They are rather humourous sometimes, especially when directly translated. I've encountered such problems personally when I did translation for some articles, as some Chinese terms are rather hard to translate. Take for example, how do you translate 鎮北將軍? Some people translate as "Zhenbei General", some "North-Guarding General", some "North-Subduing General" etc ... How do you translate 祭酒 (a Three Kingdoms official post created by Cao Cao)? Literally, it's "offering wine". So in summary, the main problems are original research, lack of credible sources and translation. Lonelydarksky (talk) 14:38, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I have compiled a list here at my user page that deals with most official rank title translations. They are from Rafe de Crespigny's biographical dictionary. Unfortunately he didn't list the translations for all the general ranks.... However, the translations of ranks are not consistent even in academia, so this list is only for reference. _dk (talk) 00:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Please take a look at this and see if it can be included as order of battle for Battle of Red Cliffs. I translated it from the Chinese website myself while referring to Rafe de Crespigny's translations for the ranks which you have on your page. Some of the ranks are my personal translation but I attempted to make them sound as correctly as possible. Thanks. Lonelydarksky (talk) 11:10, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
The referencing issue I mentioned above still stands. I'd like to be strict about this since this article is a featured article after all. I've looked around and found out that most battle articles keep their orders of battle in a separate article, would that be a good idea in this case? _dk (talk) 11:31, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Alright. I share the same sentiments. That's why I chose to consult experts like you before I do anything to a featured article like this. Thanks. Lonelydarksky (talk) 12:12, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Harvrefcol -> Citation[edit]

This article uses a very unusual citation templates, {{harvrefcol}}, which produces an output which is (usually) identical to {{Citation}}. (The only difference is the way that the journal volume, issue and number appear).

{{Harvrefcol}} appears in only five articles. Obscure templates such as {{harvrefcol}} tend to be poorly maintained and often have incomplete functionality. {{Citation}}, on the other hand is used in more than 56,000 articles, and is uses the same core as the {{cite *}} family of templates, which are used several million articles. This family of templates is very well maintained and well documented.

Any objections to converting {{harvrefcol}} to {{citation}}? ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 19:10, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

 Done Mark Hurd (talk) 16:19, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Army strength[edit]

Cao Cao was the commander-in-chief of the invading force. His declaration of his own army's size is clearly the official figure of his own army's strength. This is the same definition used in all other military conflicts of the world. This does not mean that we have to believe the official figure released. But that does not change the fact that his figure IS the official figure.

I'd changed it yesterday to reflect that. But someone has undone my change with no explanations given. If there is no objections, I will reinstate the change. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 05:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I object. In your free time, please read WP:OR. • Ling.Nut (talk) 07:21, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I am not supplying new information, so it is not a case of original research. The article already specifies that Cao Cao (being the commander-in-chief of the invading force) has declared the size of his army as 800,000. I am just raising the point that in all the other Wikipaedia articles, Wikipaedia does not specify the army strength as "(the commander-in-chief) claims ..." Marcopolo112233 (talk) 08:42, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
To me, this is just a matter of definition....It doesn't matter if we call it "Cao Cao's claim" or "official number", since they are the same thing when it is stated as such in Cao Cao's biography. However, the word "official" can be ambiguous, since some readers could confuse it as officially sanctioned by the academic circle or whatever. _dk (talk) 08:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Good point. Perhaps I should change it to "Official figure released by the invading force" Marcopolo112233 (talk) 09:03, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't "released". And who's to say it wasn't propaganda? Stick to the facts. If it was announced via proclamation, say so. If Cao Cao mentioned it somewhere or other, say so. Don't use the word "official" when the word "official" is not in the original texts. That is indeed WP:OR. Stick to the texts. I Oppose any change based on your personal logic; I Support any wording that reflects the intent of the original text. • Ling.Nut (talk) 10:12, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not my logic. As I said before, this is indeed how army strengths are normally specified. That is, it doesn't say "(the commander-in-chief) claims ...".
Your arguments can also be applied to just about any ancient battles described in Wikipaedia. I can give you a whole list of Wikipaedia articles that you can throw those same arguments at. That is, no "official" figures were "released"; figures quoted could be "propaganda"; etc.
Try these for a start :
You can find more here :
NONE of these articles have adopted your stance in describing army strength.
Please state if you would insist these articles be changed to say "(the commander-in-chief) claims ..." instead of just stating the figures as they do now? Are please tell me if you are so sure the figures given in those articles are not "propaganda" by the respective war commanders.
We must insist on keeping to one single standard for all the articles in Wikipaedia. I hope you agree. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 13:29, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for this excellent example of WP:OTHERSTUFF. Now I repeat: we adhere as closely as possible to the original source. We do not fill in the cracks with whatever conjecture suits our fancy. Thanks again. • Ling.Nut (talk) 23:15, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
No, I totally disagree. We must keep to ONE SINGLE standard for all Wikipaedia articles.
It is NOT ok to create a "Ling.Nut" standard for one article, and another for all other Wikipaedia articles.
By the way, what "cracks" are you referring to? As I said, I am not adding new information. It is just a case of whether we should keep to one single standard for all articles or not. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 05:44, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
This isn't something we should argue over. When we have limited space and general aesthetics to consider, the explanation for the figures should be as short as possible. If "official" is less than ideal, we go for the next most concise one, in this case "Cao Cao's claim". _dk (talk) 00:37, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I take your point, but please understand I am not aruing for the sake of arguing. There is something more than just this article.
"official" by itself is less than ideal, but so is "Cao Cao's claim". When all other articles in Wikipaedia do not say "(the commander-in-chief) claims ...", it would imply personal judgement on the part of the author(s) if we were to single out one article for different treatment. In this case, it would imply the other figures given by the other war commanders of other battles are somehow more believable.
It is important to stick to one standard regardless of whether that standard is ideal. It is that I am debating about. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 05:44, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
In this case, the scholarly consensus (not ours) is that Cao Cao certainly did not have 800,000 men, and Zhou Yu's estimate is indeed "more believable". Cao Cao deliberately inflated his numbers in his letter to intimidate his enemies to surrender (which is where the number 800,000 comes from), and is by no means an official record of order of battle. Also, as an aside, Wikipedia's style guide does not require its articles to be consistent throughout Wikipedia. _dk (talk) 07:31, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know where you've got the impression that the scholarly concensus is Zhou Yu's claim is more believable. He wasn't even there in Cao Cao's camp! Not to mention he clearly has more reasons to deflate the number than Cao Cao to overstate. The concensus amongst Chinese scholars certainly doesn't seem to favour Zhou Yu's claim.
But in any case, it is not for us to pass these kinds of judgement when writing the article. When there is a dispute, and neither term is appropriate, it is better to stick to the same convention used throughout Wikipaedia if only to minimize confusion.
(No, I wasn't saying Wikipaedia forces us to follow the same convention. But in this case, not doing so does present a misleading perception that somehow we are suggesting this figure is less believable than those given by the other war commanders of other battles. That may be the conclusion of some. But it has no place in this document) Marcopolo112233 (talk) 09:27, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Western scholars, most prominently Rafe de Crespigny, take the position that Zhou Yu's estimates are more realistic. Surely Zhou Yu wouldn't even try to convince Sun Quan to fight if it was actually 800,000 - he himself would have nothing to lose if Sun Quan surrendered. Yes, it is true we should not pass our own judgement, but it is more true that we are supposed to reflect the academic consensus. Now that you've brought up the issue, I note that the article doesn't have a modern academic discussion on the actual numbers on both sides. This will need to be addressed. _dk (talk) 10:16, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I am surprised that there "is" a "Western concensus" of Zhou Yu's claim being more believable. Cao and his most trusted few alone could have known that number.
As I said, Zhou Yu was not even there in the other camp. He was NOT in a position to give that estimate. It is one thing to doubt Cao's declaration, but quite another to give an estimate that is a massive 75% reduction of Cao's number! I find it unimaginable that you would find that number believable.
"Western concensus" alone, if there is one, should not be taken as consensus amongst all academia. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 14:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
The argument is more complicated than determining who is in a position to know what the exact number was. Sure Cao Cao's side should have an idea how many people were involved in that campaign, it was not in their interest to release the actual number to their enemies and to the scribe who is going to write that defeat in the histories. Moreover, there is a problem with the Chinese habit to use an arbitrary big number to denote an uncountable number of people. With the census records that were available at the time and taking into account the limitations of logistics, eight hundred thousand at the site of Wulin is indeed an unreasonable number. It is more probable, as EkmanLi says below, that the number actually represents the number of men he has in all his territories. _dk (talk) 00:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
That's an opinion, not a concensus amongst the academia (which was your earlier argument). And therefore does not change our arguments above.
I also doubt Cao's declaration. But unlike yourself, I also doubt strength declarations by ALL other war commanders of other ancient battles. I don't see any reason for singling this one out in particular to be treated differently.
In any case, our own opinions do not change the fact that Wikipaedia (and as far as I know, all other encyclopaedias) does NOT list the army strength as "(the commander-in-chief) claims ...".Marcopolo112233 (talk) 17:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The article currently takes no sides. If we stick your favored language into it, then suddenly it does. Please. Why are you so keen on changing what is already in the best possible shape? • Ling.Nut (talk) 10:02, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
People who visit Wikipaedia seldom read only one article, and not come back. This article as it stands now is clearly biased when placed side-by-side with other war related articles in Wikipaedia. The best thing to do is simply to adopt the same standard as the others to avoid confusion.Marcopolo112233 (talk) 14:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
What we have now is "Cao Cao's claim" and "Zhou Yu's claim" in the infobox. I don't see how this current wording is biased, and the other battle articles, like Battle of Issus you presented, also put multiple numbers in the infobox without claiming one is "official". Your argument seems to be that this article "looks" biased when compared with other articles and hence this article should be consistent with the other ancient battles. This I don't agree, because we shouldn't write articles about China like they are Rome's -- the historiography traditions are different -- and certainly we should write articles on a case by case basis, bound by the realities of the subject and should not be restrained by concerns unrelated to the current content (other articles) _dk (talk) 00:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course this is biased. Try finding one decent encyclopaedia that lists the army strength of a battle as "(the commander-in-chief) claims ...".
And no. That's clearly a wrong example. The Battle of Issus article you mentioned lists the different estimates by the different authors. In other words, these are OPINIONS by a 3RD PARTY, *NOT* the number declared by the commander-in-chief of the actual battle!
As I said, encyclopaedias do NOT normally list army strength as "(the commander-in-chief) claims ...".Marcopolo112233 (talk) 17:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I am the person who doubts Zhou's estimation in the first place (and put 800,000 into the article). The reason I addressed Cao Cao's claim of his army strength was explained by the notes I gave out. But I do believe Cao Cao's claim represents the whole possible strength he could muster in terms of the territories he controlled, rather than the actual number of troops he put into the Battle of Red Cliff. ----EkmanLi (talk) 20:38, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion is to give out both numbers, and mind the readers about the intentions of Cao and Zhou, who had an interest on maximizing or minimizing Cao Cao's army strength. As to give a note to the readers, maybe you guys can edit my previous notes?----EkmanLi (talk) 20:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

We are already giving out both numbers. To write something about why Cao Cao and Zhou Yu claimed the numbers as they did requires sources, since we can't conjure possible reasons by ourselves. Therefore, instead of formulating our own views on which one seems more believable, we should look for sources that actually talk about the numbers. So far, Marcopolo112233 has not provided anything more than his own conjectures. _dk (talk) 00:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
As I said before, None of us are supplying new information, so it is not a case of original research. And therefore no other material needed to be "provided". I don't know why you are raising the same point again. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 17:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Forgive me, I perhaps got sidetracked by all the discussion about which figure is more believable (an interesting, but ultimately meaningless discussion, since our views don't change what appears on the article). However, my request for sources should not be ignored, since if we have third-party sources for these numbers we can circumvent the issue entirely and follow what the Battle of Issus infobox does, which is infinitely more productive than arguing about wording. Speaking of which, shall we agree to disagree on the issue of wording? I don't share your views about the biasness of the current wording (since you're obviously concerned about other articles and other encyclopedias, while I prefer a case-by-case treatment), and I find us repeating ourselves. If you want to establish consensus for your preferred wording, consider filing an WP:RFC. _dk (talk) 20:05, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Ok, no problems.
As for the RFC, I am not sure if it would resolve the issue, but it would still be interesting to see what others have to say. I will create one in a couple of days time. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 17:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Is this thread still alive? Are you actually still talking about this trivial WP:OR? Please... go do some research. Do research before adding text. Research before adding text. Research before adding text. Not conjecture. Did i mention research? What about scholarly sources? research? You are providing new information. It is new information to refer to that source as "official". Find me a good scholarly reference (or three) that refers to that quote as an "official" figure, and I will agree. Did I mention research? Did I mention scholarly sources? Or research? Add researched material somewhere – that would involve doing research first – rather than adding your conjectures and then dragging the entire community into a discussion to protect those conjectures. And even if your opinion did prevail in an RFC, in the absence of valid research that consensus would only constitute one very strong argument for the fact that Wikipedia is not WP:RS. Research, or the lack thereof, trumps the consensus gained in an RfC, or at least, so it should, if Wikipedia were WP:RS (which it is not). Did I mention research?  – Ling.Nut 00:21, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Citations throughout article?[edit]

For some reason someone has stuck academic citations within the text (de Crespigny 2004:257). I don't know of any other page that does this, TBH this is not an academic paper but a WP article. I think they should be converted to references as they distracting and pointless as they all cite the same source: de Crespigny. Which makes me think that this is a violation of self published material due to the amount of cites to this single work.

  • Thank you for your contributions. Wikipedia does not have a standardized citation format. While I appreciate the implied compliment of saying that this article rises to academic standards, I am mildly let down by the accompanying implication (a corollary, if you will) that Wikipedia does not. Again, thanks for your contributions. Ling.Nut3 (talk) 23:24, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, I think you (anonymous IP) have confused what self-published sources are. Over-reliance on a single author, perhaps - this reflects more on the state of Western scholarship on the Three Kingdoms period than the quality of the article - but by no means is de Crespigny a self-published author. Welcome back, Ling. Couldn't resist, eh? :) _dk (talk) 04:58, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
They weren't comparing it to an academic paper you pompous oaf, they were saying the opposite. It's the fact these DIY article are not, (emphasis on NOT) academic papers that they use a very clear citation system. Personally, it smacks of high-minded arrogance in light of the rules in WP:CITATION that this article is not using "[1]". Or is it hoped that the average reader just go figure out the citation style for every article? I guess not. (talk) 19:02, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your concern with this issue that has been brought up 2 years ago. Since you have mentioned WP:CITATION, I should note that the guideline makes no specific requirements that inline citations must be used. In fact, it has a whole subpage on Wikipedia:Parenthetical referencing, which this page is using. The only requirement is that an article should be internally consistent in that it uses the same citation style throughout, which this page is doing. While I am not against switching to the more common <ref></ref> form, we are not required to do so. (The use of this citation style has been implicitly approved by the Featured Article status that this article enjoys.) Good day. _dk (talk) 01:55, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • yes. What Underbar dk said is correct. Thanks for your concern. • ServiceableVillain 07:57, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

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