Talk:Bombardment of Cherbourg

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Former good article nominee Bombardment of Cherbourg was a Warfare good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 28, 2013 Good article nominee Not listed
October 25, 2014 WikiProject A-class review Not approved
Current status: Former good article nominee
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Morison account[edit]

Readers will note I've tried to tie the narrative to chronological order, so the sequence does not exactly mirror Morison's pagination. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Comprise – four sources say aye, are there any nays?[edit]

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, discussing "comprised" warned of incoming. ‘Comprise’ meaning constitute, made up of, has been in use since the 1700s, but it “is still attacked as wrong. Why … is not clear.” The Columbia Guide suggests related nuances in usage of comprise, constitute, compose, formulate, consist, and include. Here we followed the style practiced by members and former members of U.S. Navy fleet staff from the 1940s and 1950s in official publications and publications by the Government Printing Office. The usage is still in practice in operational publications and dictionaries in U.S. publications currently available online.

The immediate choice of the word here is taken from the Navy-based source documents. It conveys the tone and tenor of the contemporary writers, usually in the passive, formal style of the 1930s university trained officers who signed off on the documents, ‘The task force was comprised of nine ships.’ At The Naval Air Warfare Center for acquisitions, we have, “comprise” means to include or contain: “The whole comprises the parts.” Modern writers may have difficulty, but ‘comprise’ was used correctly by the generation of World War II writers. It is in the Wikipedia article.

Although it was not the convention of the time, to take the active voice, one may say, “Nine ships compose the task force.“ (See The Columbia guide to standard American English). If we chose to enumerate the individual components, it is more direct to make the collective noun the subject of the sentence, and use “comprised”, as in ‘Task Force One was comprised of Ship A, Ship B, … Ship I.’ To use the revision’s “composed”, proper usage according to Merriam-Webster, online 07/25/2011 requires a nine-item compound subject: ‘Ship A, Ship B, Ship C, Ship D, Ship E, Ship F, Ship G, Ship H, and Ship I composed Task Force One.’ Let’s not go there.

|Merriam-Webster Dictionary, notes that until comparatively recent times "comprise" was found chiefly in scientific or technical writing rather than belles lettres. Usage of comprised is “somewhat more frequent” in recent literary use. Navy ships use steam engines for power. At sea in a storm, you have to knife into the waves, or they will turn the ship sideways, drop you in a trough and flip the ship over. For over 150 years, Naval officers undertaking the engineering to keep the boilers on line with wood, coal, diesel or atoms, the service came by the term “comprised” honestly, just in the ordinary business of getting from here to there.The military usage is partly to convey contingency. Even though the “composition” is deranged on a plot board, it is not relative to other units underway, they can still proceed according to plan. The word conveys something of the contingency of war. (1930s officers wrote "under weigh", but that is confusing to modern readers, and I like the retro Dutch look.)

Composition as writing and logistics and administration is still seen for a military organization in the table of organization and the order of battle it is a staff function. Operationally, ‘comprised’ is who shows up, apart from the organization table ‘composed’ weeks and months before in the order-of-battle tables. Those tables are used for planning how many pallets of toilet paper are to be ordered in a 90-day supply for a command consisting of 40,000 men. The Columbia Guide uses ‘comprise’ referring to dish sets and cautions about its use. But like toilet paper or sets of dishes composed of four, eight , sixteen, or twenty-four, ‘Composed’ implies something set, certain, with an agent to intend and effect predictable outcomes. Claude Monet composed apples and grapes on a table for a still life, titled, viola, “Apples and Grapes” (1880), and it was so. An article about a military action where every ship receives damage, should be written with a style and vocabulary in something other than the phraseology of belles lettres a la Monet still-life tableaux.

In the heat of the campus anti-war sixties, 53% of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel found this usage of ‘comprised of’ unacceptable. In 1996, only 35% objected. Still, the edit has given me pause. I wonder if the readership of military articles online in 2011 with an international readership will find ‘comprised of’ off-putting impenetrable argot. The idea is to share information, not hide behind insider patois. Does anyone have an authoritative source beyond American Heritage, Merriam-Webster, the Columbia Guide to Standard American English and the Naval Aviation Computer Acquisition Guide to lead us away from ‘comprise’? Any discussion? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:57, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

"Bombardment of Cherbourg" 1940 vs.1944[edit]

At least by 1940, the British were conducting periodic naval, air and amphibious raids for testing defenses, mapping reconnaissance and prisoner capture all along the European coast, including Normandy. We will have to disambiguate the “Bombardment of Cherbourg” by the Royal Navy and RAF the night of 10-11 October 1940, and that of the Combined Task Force 129 on 25 June 1944.

A HMS Revenge (06) webpage reports a flare-lit night bombardment of Cherbourg, 10-11 October 1940, with cruisers, destroyers, torpedo boats with air support from heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force. After the bombardment, German heavy guns (13-15inch) to the east of the town opened fire. Their shells landed close to the ships for over 30 minutes and out to 36,000 yards. The fire was so accurate, some form of radar was believed in use. No casualties or damage were sustained by H.M. Ships. Another source HMS Revenge (1916), reports that the Royal Sovereign class battleship, is not listed as active unit in the December 1943 Navy List.

The HMS Jupiter F85 webpage reports participating in the OPERATION MEDIUM bombardment at Cherbourg 11 Oct 1940. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:17, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Destroyer names and numbers - disambiguation[edit]

In this operation, two destroyers had earlier ships with the same name. The official U.S. Navy ship history site designates the first named ship (I) and the second same-named ship (II).

  • USS Barton (I) DD-599 (1942), Benson class destroyer. Lost in the Pacific 1942. Barton II DD-722 (1943), Sumner class destroyer, participated in the Bombardment of Cherbourg.
  • USS Laffey (I), DD-459 (1942) Benson class destroyer was lost in the Pacific, 1942. Laffey II, DD-724 (1944) Sumner class destroyer, participated in the Bombardment of Cherbourg.
  • Gherardi DD-637 is also identified in sources as DD-638. The Navy ship history for Gherardi shows DD-637. During the Normandy landings in June she used her guns to supress targets ashore in the vicinity of "Utah" Beach and later in the month took part in the bombardment of Cherbourg. Her ship's designations were DD-637, DMS-30, then DD-637. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:29, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Comprise: a ruling[edit]

In one of the more profitable exchanges I have had at Wikipedia, Bryan Henderson led me through his Essay on “comprised of” on his talk page.

I paraphrase a portion of his explication here. He distinguished the "comprises" ... connotation as rather different from 'is composed of' or 'consists of.' "Comprises" means 'includes,' but usually means exhaustive inclusion -- there aren't any other parts. When A comprises 1, 2, and 3, ... the phrase emphasizes that A brings them together. 1, 2 and 3 should have some independent existence, and not function merely as parts of this whole. ‘The diocese comprises Johnson and Davis Counties’ is good if there is no territory in the diocese other than Johnson and Davis Counties. The counties are much more than divisions of a diocese; the diocese merely gathers them together for church purposes. The most common things for which Giraffedata would use "comprises" are … consortia of businesses and such.

--Which I took to mean task forces of squadrons and such. Ships and the squadrons they come from are more than parts of a Task Force. The Task Force merely gathers them together for combat purposes. Counties are more than divisions of a diocese, they are elements of a state or a nation. Ships are more than parts of a Task Force, they are elements of a squadron or a class.

To which he replied, It's perfectly acceptable to say a task force comprises certain ships and squadrons. Articles that say a military unit "is comprised of" smaller units can be changed to "comprises" or "is composed of," depending on nuance ... So yes, I support "The task force once comprised the USS Laffey, Cory, Reuben James and Bainbridge." … "The division comprises destroyers" also works for me, as long as there is nothing in the division that isn't a destroyer. And later, Many times "is comprised of" simply turns into "is." "Comprise" is actually a relatively arcane word and the author who writes ‘A is comprised of B’ probably isn't really thinking of inclusion at all, but composition …

I am grateful for his explanation. I would restrict 'comprise' to naval combat forces afloat. Otherwise, if I want variation from 'compose' there is 'include', 'contain', 'embrace', 'constitute'. Similarly, I only use 'materiel' for Army and Air Force equipages when discussing logistics, because in any other context it is a foreign word affectation, poor usage. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 20:31, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bombardment of Cherbourg/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Prabash.A (talk · contribs) 01:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I will get to this in a moment. Prabash.Akmeemana 01:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • It looks like the neutrality of the article is disputed as per the facts on my talk page and the constant removal of infantry related content, I will quick fail this review for the time being, once the dispute is solved please resubmit for a second GA assessment, or A-class review beforehand. I will start an RFC on the above comments for a solution to the issue. Prabash.Akmeemana 15:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

@Prabash.A:, where is the RfC? What removal of "infantry content" occurred when infantry, naval and air content was added to the stub [naval] Bombardment of Cherbourg?

I have tried to apply for A-Class review per your advice, but I fear I have been unsuccessful. See below. Thanks for any help. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:44, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposed amendment to introduction.[edit]

Part of the introduction reads: "...; German batteries were eliminated as a threat when the infantry captured them. Rapid infantry assaults ensured the guns could not be reactivated." IMO either the first clause or the second sentence is redundant; ie they say the same thing. I am seeking consensus on this. If it is agreed, which of the two should go? (Or how should an amended introduction read?) Gog the Mild (talk) 17:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. The first of the two should go, leaving the two complete sentences reading, While the bombardment force's heavy guns neutralized twenty-two of twenty-four assigned navy targets, none were destroyed. Rapid infantry assaults ensured the guns could not be reactivated. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:00, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Request for A-Class review[edit]

The banner code has been modified to read, A-Class=fail per the instructions at WP:MHR. I do not find "currently undergoing" yet., but have proceeded to add the nominated article at the Wikipedia:WikiProject Military/history/assessment. Thanks for any help to correct my oversight in coding. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:36, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi, You need to start Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Bombardment of Cherbourg, which is where the template points to :) Nick-D (talk) 11:43, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Okay. That's done per all instructions. code:[pipe]A-Class=fail above the B-Class code in the banner. The results displayed in the banner did not conform with the guide, to show "currently undergoing" -- anywhere on the Talk page, a link where I am to click to complete the step, were it to appear. The Banner code does not conform to the example in the instructions, should I reconfigure it? is the coding on this page to be done by others?
Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Bombardment of Cherbourg shows in red, the others on the request page show in blue. I assume that were the step involved with A-Class=fail were completed, the Bombardment of Cherbourg request would show in blue also. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:06, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

See also - rationale[edit]

The See also section allows for a list of participating ships linked there so as to avoid a 'blue-out'. The general reader may want access to the full careers of each element in the Task Force which does not bear directly on the flow of the narrative. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:55, 26 June 2014 (UTC)


Had a go at the biblio details but I'm not sure about the first one.Keith-264 (talk) 22:04, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Germanization of ranks[edit]

Following editorial direction at A-class review, after some back and forth, and multiple revisions, the three German officers named have their English-sourced titles "General" Germanized to "Generalleutnant" and "Generalfeldmarschall" according to their biography articles here at Wikipedia. I believe these are better sources than my Google German translator. I do not know of their ranks as of the date of the Bombardment of Cherbourg, but the Military Project community requires the style, but I want to improve the article to A-class, working from the sources at hand, until subsequent sourced copyedits make their appearance. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Infobox flags[edit]

Although the Infobox identifies the opposing sides as U.S. and Britain versus Nazi Germany showing the Nazi flag, the flag identifying General Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben, who was not a Nazi, is now changed from a German Cross Balkenkreuz.svg to a Nazi flag Nazi Germany, with the explanation, from Brigade Piron, "Flags are designed to make reading the infobox easier: using un-introduced symbols doesn't add anything..”

The German cross was a common identification for German equipment in World War II, such as tanks and aircraft, does it need introduction in each article? — I think that I copied this convention from another article. Which convention should prevail for professional German officers who were not political Nazis? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 21:51, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Photo review[edit]

Photo review at the A-class review by Adam Cuerden found three problems, only one is solved.

  • File:Morton Lyndholm Deyo 1.jpg -- is a bit underdocumented. No date, vague source.
  • File:Pete Quesada.jpg -- Underdocumented; source link broken.
  • File:Portcherbourg.jpg "This picture is from the site Archives Normandie 1939-45 where it is available under reference identifier undefined" - That's not good. No author information (If the Archives Normandie says "unknown", then say "unknown”)
Morton. Further Google search yields the Naval Historical Center on the web at, describing the photo Photo #: 80-G-231642. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army (left), with Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN (center) and Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo, USN — On board USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) on 19 May 1944, during preparations for the Normandy invasion. — Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Quesada. The same photo for Gen. Elwood Richard “Pete” Quesada which is used at Bombardment of Cherbourg is used to illustrate “Historic Fourth of July Flight” Part Two, 461st Air Service Squadron, “Gen. Eisenhower’s famous flight with the Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group”. A comparable period photo is in the sdasmarchieves, the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive on flickr.
Portcherbourg. the panoramic view showing the topography from land looking seaward is used to pair with the panoramic aerial photo from sea looking landward on either side of the map as a visual orientation to the place. The template for sourced documents from Archievesnormandie uses the term “undefined”; that term is now replaced with "unknown". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:46, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

A-class review thanks[edit]

@Dank, AustralianRupert, Peacemaker67, Adam Cuerden, Keith-264, MisterBee1966, Fdewaele, Colonies Chris, Brigade Piron, and Piledhigheranddeeper: Thank you all for your assist at Bombardment of Cherbourg. The A-class review has timed out without three supporters, but I believe the article is improved by implementing your copyedits and recommendations nevertheless. Thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:51, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

I apologise. I hadn't realise it was in risk of timing out, or I'd have tried to help more. I've been trying to get the end of the ACW anniversary sorted. Adam Cuerden (talk) 08:36, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
G'day, no worries, good luck with your future plans for the article. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 19:42, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

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