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@ EyeTruth ?Keith-264 (talk) 15:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry that my response of undoing much of your copyedit came off as a bit too heavy handed. It was just that trying to correct the issues at that moment looked like a lot of work. One of the major issues is that some of the new statements are not quite correct. It's not just "some historians" that consider Blitzkrieg not to be a formal doctrine or concept of the Wehrmacht; but to put it more correctly, anyone will have a very hard time finding any works authored by a reputable historian within the past two or three decades that claims otherwise. Also there were some orphaned wiki-markups and long chains of square brackets that rather interfered with the read. In deed, all of these could have been fixed without the need for an undo, but it would have required a copyedit that is at least half as intense as the one you did. EyeTruth (talk) 04:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Dispute the details by all means but most of the changes were of grammar and punctuation. Let's go through them and separate the ones you didn't agree with from the ones that you did, that way the improvements won't be lost. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 06:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
True. Your copyedit made the lead cleaner. I admit fault for acting lazily. I'll restore it and then fix any issues. EyeTruth (talk) 06:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I only saw one citation with red on (I have a few add ons User:Keith-264/common.js) but sometimes they don't show up straight away and I'm useless at harvnb notations. It's a rather good article and it won't take much to reach B class, perhaps we could do that? Keith-264 (talk) 07:25, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Ahem! It's already B class.... (sheepish grin).Keith-264 (talk) 07:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Does anyone know who Taylor 1974 is?Keith-264 (talk) 07:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I've altered a few citations which had red on them but found 17 which I fear I created inadvertently and don't know why they're showing up at the bottom of the page. Does anyone else? RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 00:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Fixed. EyeTruth (talk) 06:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks babe, has there been a discussion here about agreeing a common system of citation? There are <> <abbreviated> harvnb and sfn at the moment and I'm only really sure about sfn, which may have bearing on me causing more problems than I've solved.Keith-264 (talk) 07:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
CE the Operations section, which seems to be a cross between a narrative and a case study of Blitzkrieg without any criteria. It seems to me that this is an inherent problem when combining a concept and a description of events in an article, particularly when the concept is vague and has changed since the term was coined. Tooze called Barbarossa the only Blitzkrieg of the war if it is understood to be a "synthesis of campaign plan, military technology and industrial armaments programme all premised on the assumption of lightning battlefield success. No such grand synthesis had been conceivable prior to the campaign in France...." p. 430 Tooze Wages of Destruction (2006)Keith-264 (talk) 09:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I missed this response, and didn't notice it until now. Different authors hold different views on what the nuts and bolts of blitzkrieg entails, and within their own premises they are almost all correct, because blitzkrieg was never official nor did it ever have a formal structure. Some authors argue that by their own definition of blitzkrieg, it began in Poland in 1939. Others will insist it only began in 1940 (France) or 1941 (USSR). The article will need to convey that nebulosity, assuming it already doesn't. EyeTruth (talk) 20:58, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
I've half a mind to complicate things by adding Foley's demolition of the view that German strategists only thought in decisive Clausewitzian terms before 1914. A reference to the Schlieffen Plan (sic) as a plan for decisive victory, rather than a deployment plan, which was expected to create a conquered hinterland, useful in a war of exhaustion (ermattungsstrategie), needs qualification because it sheds light on the blitzkrieg myth. As you point out, myth makes definitions tautological.Keith-264 (talk) 21:28, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
It occurs that a history of the idea of Blitzkrieg might come first and that the uses of such ideas by writers might be done chronologically by campaign, it could look a bit like case-studies if the writers referred to are put in order, to show the rise and fall of the idea.Keith-264 (talk) 21:32, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Good order. It would be more comprehensive that way for a reader. EyeTruth (talk) 05:05, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
How many editors have an interest in the article? I'd be interested to hear their views about structure.Keith-264 (talk) 06:42, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
The article looks good, and the context is important, but the Military change, 1919–1939 section looks a little bit excessive, especially the Britain-France-URSS pieces. The doctrine of the Germany army is important too, but it looks much connected to the "blitzkrieg" term for something that had existed for a century before. That's almost half of the article. AdjectivesAreBad (talk) 02:31, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Edit in picture description[edit]

Under the section "Use of Air Power" in the description for the image of the Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers, I edited the link to read as 'Ju 87 "Stuka"', as the previous link only read '"Stuka"', which I felt could be better expressed as the designation of the aircraft in addition to the "nickname" of the craft; is this appropriate? It is my first edit of an article and I don't yet have a feel for what is appropriate and what isn't, even after reading the editing guidelines. If my explanation wasn't clear I can expand on it, if needed. SygerrikJenrys (talk) 12:20, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Conversion to sfns[edit]

Complete except for Taylor 1974, haven't a clue which Taylor sadly. Some bibliographical details still missing.Keith-264 (talk) 11:46, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

It was added with THIS EDIT, and the editor that added it didn't provide further details in subsequent or proceeding edits. EyeTruth (talk) 20:41, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
It seems odd to have a notes section and then put some back into the references section, is it really necessary?Keith-264 (talk) 06:40, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Those are direct quotes specifically from the citations they are attached to. I've seen it done like that in a number of articles. All of the older notes in the article elaborate on narrow subtopics while citing several sources. For the excerpts, it would look like an unnecessary repetition to repeat a citation twice for exactly the same thing (one for the main text and again for the quoted excerpt). Also if the quoted excerpts are separated from their in-text citations, they are surely bound to eventually get orphaned or comprehensively misplaced in future edits (I've seen this happen before several times). What do you think? EyeTruth (talk) 22:20, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd put the quotes into the text if they're that important or into the notes with the rest if they aren't. Is it because of the wide variation of opinion among editors on the validity of the term, that the article is somewhat over-cited (to my eyes)?Keith-264 (talk) 05:48, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
over-cited is fine provided the host of citations is made to look neat enough. But separating quotes from citations will eventually lead to some of them getting orphaned. However, many of those quoted excerpts are not even necessary. EyeTruth (talk) 20:55, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
What's the difference between {{harv| and {{sfn|?Keith-264 (talk) 06:03, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
There are a few differences in their technical limitations. The main difference relevant to this article is that harv (and its variants like harvnb, harvs, harvtxt, etc) can handle nesting (i.e. a reference-markup within a reference-markup), but sfn can't. Sfn markups are same as ref tags but are coded to link inline citations to their full bibliographic citations. I tried to make the notes cleaner by nesting the harv markups with ref tags <ref>{{harv|Xxxx|2015}}</ref>, which should have produced neat square brackets, but since all were already nested within efn markups (which are just a variant of refn), even harv couldn't handle the double nesting and the whole thing broke. The only way I know to get the citations in the notes into neat square brackets is to move the content of the notes back into the main text, which would mean only one nest is required, but that severely clutters the markups in the main text. One way around it, would be to make the citations in the notes look like APA style with parenthesis.EyeTruth (talk) 20:55, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I get by with sfns and efn but then I have rarely had to cite lists of names; I put sfns in after the full stop, a crude but serviceable method. I'd thought that <ref>{{harv|Xxxx|2015}}</ref> was a way of using the sfn form in an article which used the ref. I thought something had gone wrong, when I looked at the overnight edits, then managed to make it worse in note B.Keith-264 (talk) 21:16, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Many editors use nested harv for that too. But Sfn can always substitute harv nested in ref tags without any hassle, so there is absolutely never a need for harv nested in ref tags, unless when trying to bypass the limitations of nesting sfn or ref tags. So yes, sfn and efn (or refn) together are more than sufficient for most tasks. I'll see what I can do for the notes section later. EyeTruth (talk) 21:45, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


Capital B or not or depending on circumstances?Keith-264 (talk) 14:33, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

In German, all nouns are capitalized. So, if Blitzkrieg is used as German language, then it would be capitalized, and usually italicized as a foreign word. But I think it long ago went beyond being just German, and is used in English as a loanword (like "kindergarten"), and should be lower-case, unless quoting something in German. --A D Monroe III (talk) 20:42, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
So lower case [and no italics] except where it is being cited from a German source [from] the time then?Keith-264 (talk) 05:50, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
That's what I believe, but MOS:FOREIGN isn't clear on the subject. It gives one example, "Gestapo", with caps, but states no actual policy. I favor making it more English than that, since (as carefully noted in the article over the past couple of years), the term, as used in the West, wasn't really German to start with. RS's tend to use it either way, but I think the lower-case version is more common recently. --A D Monroe III (talk) 15:01, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I asked about this over at MOSCAPS, and it was pointed out that "Gestapo" is only capitalized because it is a proper noun (sorry for not noticing that). Thus MOS and WP usage apparently agrees with the lower case blitzkrieg in English. --A D Monroe III (talk) 20:05, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


Did some more copy-editing and realised that I've interpolated British spellings; sorry, I'll take them out. How about this, add a brief section on German military thinking 1815-1914 Clausewitz, Moltke, Schlieffen, Von der Goltz on bewegungskrieg and ermattungskrieg. Follow this with the "Post war" section, then the Operations 1939-45 section, then wartime and post-war views about blitzkrieg as an idea and myth and the effect of motorisation, wireless and air power on WWII independent of any theory of war?Keith-264 (talk) 07:43, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Tried to address a problem in the Notes section and made it worse so have blanked for the moment.Keith-264 (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

BRD on is blitzkrieg "war" or "warfare"?[edit]

It may seem trivial, but a nascent edit-war has started over whether to describe blitzkrieg in the lede as a type of war, or a type of warfare. Per WP:BRD, I'm asking for opinions and a discussion to reach consensus.

I think it's warfare, not war. Currently, our article stresses the association of blitzkrieg with armored warfare, and that it's operational/tactical, not strategic. Also, as it notes, the Germans did not apply any kind of "blitz" (quickness) for the war in total; they instead stressed the long-term aspects of a war of industry/resources for the long term, specifically opposed to the short-term war strategy planning by Germany when starting WWI. Plus, having one nation apply blitzkrieg at the start of WWII did not make the entire war blitzkrieg; a lot of WWI-style frontal assaults continued to be employed by other nations, only some of which later started applying the new style of warfare to some of their specific war operations. --A D Monroe III (talk) 19:54, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

It's a method of warfare. WWII, and most modern wars, are too vast to have any single method. Blitzkrieg was once considered to be strategic by some historians, but that perspective is now largely obsolete. Also, while some German officials and senior officers stressed the need to prepare for a long war, the German leadership as whole still did little to prepare for a total war until 1943. EyeTruth (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm neutral in this warfare. The article is dealing with a thing which didn't exist, except as a rhetorical category, so arguing about it being tactical or strategic is pointless. If the passage is using the term in the sense of the obsolete view that Blitzkrieg existed, it's indubitably strategic, since it was supposed to be a way round German resource constraints. We know that it is a spurious term and we also know that some of the changes to war brought about by internal combustion engines, wireless and aircraft can be mistaken for it. As for 1914, that the Schlieffen Plan as a blueprint for a quick victory, was just as spurious. (Hence me mulling over a short section on 1870-1914 and the post-war fabrications by the Reichsarchiv).Keith-264 (talk) 21:05, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Bliztkrieg, while embellished with a lot of mythology, did exist in retrospect. It's true that it wasn't part of any military doctrine, and over the years its definition has strolled all over the place, but there was a loose pattern to the German style of manoeuvre warfare which observers came to refer to as blitzkrieg. There was indeed a pattern to the German style of manoeuvre warfare, albeit it wasn't a very consistent one. But because there are no formal or institutional constraints on the term, it becomes easy to shove all sort of things into it. Even the First Gilf War has been called a blitzkrieg. EyeTruth (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Gilf? Is there something I should know? ;O) That the Germans pulled off some quick wins is indisputable but consider the opposition, apart from the Franco-British, the Germans didn't fight formidable opponents until the Red Army. I follow the Tooze view that Barbarossa was an attempt at an industrial, strategic synthesis for a quick war and that it too was determined by dearth against plenty, to create the resource base necessary for a long war against the Anglo-Americans. I think that the article reflects your point about the word becoming a portmanteau term, since there is commentary on the history of the word, its use as a heuristic device, chicanery by the likes of Liddell Hart and the relatively recent knowledge in English language scholarship about the reality of the German war economy.Keith-264 (talk) 21:43, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant "Gulf". Proofreading what I type hurts my head sometimes, so I skip it sometimes. France and Britain were both very formidable opponents in terms of quantity and quality of war equipment. In those same terms, the Soviet Armed Forces was vastly far superior to the Wehrmacht. As a German military doctrine, concept or strategic plan, blitzkrieg did not exist. There were a set of military methods and styles that characterized the Heer during the first half of WWII, and observers decided to shove all these various bits into a single term blitzkrieg. But the term was just a good buzz word for the media, because those set of methods and styles were never viewed or executed as a cohesive concept by those who practised it (unlike something like the Soviet deep battle), nor did they even give it a name. The myth that was perpetuated for a long time was that blitzkrieg was all these things that it wasn't. As a retrospectively defined style of warfare though, blitzkrieg has a place. EyeTruth (talk) 22:58, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps as a historical artefact, during a period when the term was adopted by the English-language press to explain German success in non-systemic terms and then by wartime and post-war commentators and hack writers but not as an adequate description of how it really was. The section on the responses of the armies to the lessons of the Great War could be better but it does show that adaptation to the machine-isation of war continued after 1918 and the case-study section shows how this was revealed in Spain, Manchuria and then western Europe; it was a generic phenomenon with variations determined by the objective circumstances of the various societies, economies, geographies and ecologies. Using blitzkrieg as a generic term for those developments will saddle it with all those obsolete connotations the article presents so well.Keith-264 (talk) 07:08, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Agree. On a side note, the term is still used ubiquitously by historians, including many of those who have written on its origins and misconceptions. EyeTruth (talk) 08:06, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
(ec) This discussion isn't on whether blitzkrieg exists; it at least exists as an article, like aether (classical element), so must be described in some matter. The question is here a minor detail on how.
@Keith-264:, you're neutral on this? So calling "warfare" is okay? --A D Monroe III (talk) 21:45, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
It isn't a minor detail, it's the essence of the article. I think you're being a bit touchy but I'm not climbing onto a barricade about it. If your heart's set on it go ahead.Keith-264 (talk) 22:17, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm just trying to keep the talk/article text ratio below 1000:1. ;) --A D Monroe III (talk) 22:32, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


I'm not sure that the content of notes A-D ought to be there, do we really need lists when the writers are cited in the article? There are several occurrences of "most" or "many" historians in the text and I'd put the lists in at those points to avoid a complaint of weaselling if the lists are necessary.Keith-264 (talk) 22:43, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Note A details information not elsewhere in the article. I'm not sure if it's necessary, but it looks alright to me. Notes B and C preempt weasel tags that are surely bound to show up if the notes are not there. Not sure what to think of note D; it's alright I guess. EyeTruth (talk) 23:05, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
The existence of most or many in the text suggests that there should be an explicit mention in those places or perhaps the placing of the notes next to them but perhaps this will be resolved by copy editing. I think we've done rather well in removing overlaps and repetitions but I'm still fretting about blitzkrieg being used as a rhetorical term within the article as well as in its other senses when paraphrasing pre-, war and post- war writing. Is there a consensus that there was a general trend 1914-1939 of industrial states mechanising their armies and adopting novel methods of communication such as radio, that was independent of blitzkrieg in any of its connotations? Keith-264 (talk) 07:44, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Explicit mention would produce way too many names in one paragraphs. Sorry, I don't understand your other question. EyeTruth (talk) 10:18, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
If peoples' names are used in the text they don't need to be noted since they're there and if they aren't they do. I wonder if a revised text would end the need to Note them at all? That said the harv form is new to me so I'm keeping well out of the Notes section, to avoid buggering it up again. ;O)Keith-264 (talk) 10:51, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if the use of the term blitzkrieg is consistent within the article. If we use it in more than one sense, I think that should be made explicit: Blitzkrieg, blitzkrieg and "blitzkrieg". As you pointed out it has become a shorthand term so vague as to be meaningless, yet is related to the changes in the means of making war before 1939 which strictly speaking the Germans called Bewegungskrieg.Keith-264 (talk) 10:51, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
An editor already differentiated "blitzkrieg" (as a reference to the word) and blitzkrieg (as a reference to the meaning). Unless the editor missed some, or more were introduced via copyedits since then, then that particular issue has been dealt with. The meaning of blitzkrieg is vague, but it's not meaningless. If you read a recent work (authored within the last two or three decades) that specially tackles the concept of blitzkrieg, like Frieser's, you will understand that it is a very complicated concept that tends to look vague precisely because of its complexity. Think of generic methods of warfare like guerrilla, maneuvre, attrition, fabian, etc., which are not formal military doctrines, can get vague, or become problematic when applied to certain wars, yet they are not meaningless, and they did and do exist. Fabian warfare was inherently Roman, but later usage (in name and in actual practice) went beyond Roman, and the same thing is already happening to blitzkrieg. (More). EyeTruth (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
(Cont'd). German commander didn't sit around a table and developed blitzkrieg. But there was a pattern to their style of maneuvre warfare, and observers termed it blitzkrieg. The name stuck and got popular. An entire myth grew around it, and even completely overshadowed the real thing. In the 1990s, historians started digging through German archives in order to produce a better picture of the prevalent pattern in Germany's style of maneuvre warfare. The myths (blitzkrieg economy, blitzkrieg doctrine, blitzkrieg strategy, etc) were cleaned out, and the mainstream understanding of blitzkrieg was revised. The reason why I specially mentioned Frieser is because his work is easily one of the most praised out of all the pack by the academic community. See example of reviews like these: [1], [2] [3]. EyeTruth (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
My point is that blitzkrieg began as a journalistic cliche then got inflated into something which was projected onto German methods and then got debunked. While that was going on, the armies of industrial states (notably the German one), were adopting technologies for mass movement, mass fire power and mass communication which made the lesser European powers look as helpless as Ethiopia in the 30s and the Ancien Regime polities attacked by Napoleon. Your vague term is my Bewegungskrieg. PS I'm familiar with Frieser and think he's as important as Foley to the English speaking world. I think we could be more cautious about bandying the term around, now we're so much better informed as to what it wasn't. That said, Cooper wrote much the same in the 70s except he still followed the Hitler made me do it school.Keith-264 (talk) 22:59, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Many won't consider the term "blitzkrieg" appearing abundantly in an article titled Blitzkrieg to be bad thing. Also blitzkrieg was never debunked and likely will never be; instead, I think you meant to say that the Blitzkrieg myths were debunked. And that is correct. EyeTruth (talk) 15:54, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm not damning the article or anyone's efforts but want to improve it and I think that casual use of the term won't help. I think that what you're describing is Bewegungskrieg with C20th characteristics which is not the same, even if the term blitzkrieg is considered to be analogous by some of our sources; in this sense its heuristic value is nil.Keith-264 (talk) 16:00, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
The article is simply meant to present what the reliable sources out there have to say. I really don't hold any original opinion on the topic. For me, all scholarly opinions that have not been broadly rejected by the history community are welcomed. EyeTruth (talk) 19:17, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
I know and most of it does but I think we could be more rigorous about making it clear that the word has no standard meaning as well as being historically tendentious, along with the complication that there was considerable change from 1914-1945 which is sometimes called blitzkrieg and sometimes not.Keith-264 (talk) 19:38, 16 August 2015 (UTC)


Somewhat curious about J. T. Greenwood appearing in the sfn, if he's an editor, shouldn't he be cited as such in the long reference not in the sfn? I thought that was for co-authors.Keith-264 (talk) 07:44, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

He is a translator. Frieser is a German historian and his work was originally written in German. EyeTruth (talk) 10:12, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it seems laborious to add his name to the sfn, is it an American usage?Keith-264 (talk) 10:39, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
It’s more of a technical limitation. The cite book template doesn’t have a parameter dedicated to rendering “translator”. The parameter “other” can fill in that role though. EyeTruth (talk) 21:50, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Iv'e been putting things like that in edition or others too.Keith-264 (talk) 22:02, 15 August 2015 (UTC)


I'm rather enjoying trying to spell everything wrong (er, in American English, that is) but I'm not as sure about usage. It's my experience that possessive apostrophes are deprecated and that when a military unit is first mentioned, the commander goes in brackets after it, rather than with a possessive apostrophe in front (except where there is a proprietary connotation in early modern armies, when colonels were subcontractors) and the surname only is used after the first mention. When referring to a writer, does the name really have to be prefaced by a noun like historian? When describing someone's work, it's a fact that he/she wrote but is it a fact that he/she "claimed", "concluded", "argued" or "contended" if they don't use the word like Slavoj Zizek does? Avoiding repetition of wrote is fine but I wonder if these synonyms are justified when they have connotations of commentary, which makes it OR?Keith-264 (talk) 11:37, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Characterising what an author writes as "claimed", "concluded", "argued" or "contended" depends on specifically what they wrote and how they wrote it. Of course, if the wrong or misleading characterization is used, that would be WP:OR or WP:SYN. EyeTruth (talk) 22:56, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
If they write "I claim" or "I argue" OK but if we describe something in those terms, not OK.Keith-264 (talk) 23:06, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
True indeed. Although someone can put up a whole argument without ever saying "I argue". EyeTruth (talk) 15:55, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes but that requires inference from us, even if it's an exercise in the bleeding obvious. ;O)Keith-264 (talk) 16:02, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
While that's a reasonable point, WP policy says the opposite: "Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication" (WP:NOR). If an author makes an argument explicitly (e.g. conspicuously pits their analysis against others that differ), then WP editors can rightly write "the author argued". EyeTruth (talk) 19:55, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources: same source.Keith-264 (talk) 20:18, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
In a paragraph talking about WWII events, the names of historians, when not clarified as such, can easily get mistaken for actual participants in those war-events. The same goes for the participants who often get their ranks mentioned as a means to clarify their role. I've seen these being done in copyedits for FAC or A-Class, almost unfailingly. But I'm ok with skipping those modifiers. I already started removing some of them. EyeTruth (talk) 21:49, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
I prefer to add the year in brackets after the name, since the citation and reference make everything obvious to anyone who wants that information. I have the impression that adjectives, nouns and adverbs are common in American usage but I find them irrelevant at best. Interesting thing to explore though, thanks for answering.Keith-264 (talk) 22:08, 15 August 2015 (UTC)