Talk:East Sea Campaign

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Former good article nominee East Sea Campaign 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.
May 3, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed
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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:East Sea Campaign/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll review this article over the next few days Reviewer: Nick-D (talk) 10:53, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • I'm rather concerned about the article mainly being cited to works published by the Vietnamese Army. Are these reliable sources? (eg, have they been cited by historians in other countries?). Are other sources available? (particularly ones published in countries which have greater freedom of expression).
    • The sources which I have cited are the most reliable I could find, as they consisted of information collected from Vietnamese veterans on both sides of the conflict not just North Vietnamese/VC veterans. I could not find any western alternative for it, and not sure if they had been cited by historians from other countries, because the campaign is virtually unknown outside of Vietnam. I had the same problem with the Battle of Dong Xoai, and my intention is encourage the reader to make their own judgements and not take the sources at face value.Canpark (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
      • Sorry, but I'm not prepared to pass an article which is so heavily referenced to sources which may not be reliable. I've seen the Vietnamese official histories referenced in western books (including the official history of Australia's involvement in the war), but they're normally careful to specify what it is they're quoting in the prose of the book and highlight some outlandish claims in these books. I'm going to ask for a second opinion on this. Nick-D (talk) 04:22, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
      • I understand where your coming from on this. The Vietnamese Communist obviously learned a few things from official American histories on the Vietnam War, which often sounds like a script from a Rambo movie.Canpark (talk) 16:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
        • There is nothing wrong with using North Vietnamese sources in this article. However, it must be recognised that there is Vietnamese communist point of view (just as there is a British Army point of view), and using sources written from one point of view only makes an article less balanced and less reliable than one that used sources from more than one point of view. Recommend that the article should only pass G-A review once this has been corrected.--Toddy1 (talk) 06:26, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
          • Have journal articles been searched for? This might be a way to expand the reference base. If you could find a couple of articles from reliable military history journals and used these in conjunction with the People's Army Publishing House sources it would probably be okay, IMO. AustralianRupert (talk) 08:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
            • I tried google book for Western books, articles and journals but with little luck. I have found a few sources which briefly mentioned the take over of those islands by North Vietnam.Canpark (talk) 15:02, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Is the story about how the South Vietnamese captured Southwest Cay Island described in other sources? While not implausible, this looks a bit dubious, and could be propaganda
    • If you go to the article on Policies, activities and history of the Philippines in Spratly Islands, you will find that the Filipinos were quite pi$$ off about losing Southwest Cay in such a manner. It was no propaganda.Canpark (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
      • It's not referenced there, and I couldn't find any reliable sources on this through an internet search (almost all websites stating this were Wikipedia mirrors and the rest were blogs and discussion boards). Given the source of this information, I'm a bit concerned about it as it fits the mold of Communist propaganda against the decadent capitalist countries - though I certainly wouldn't rule it out as actually being true. Nick-D (talk) 04:22, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
        • The source which I used did not assert that it was true, as you may notice in this sentence: it was reported that South Vietnamese authorities sent prostitutes to the birthday party of the Philippine military commander on another island. The word 'report' in that context suggests it could be true, but do not assert that it did happened. The report came from Filipino claims, and was cited by official Vietnamese history, so wasn't communist propaganda.Canpark (talk) 15:26, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Should "60 experienced crews" be "60 experienced sailors"?
  • Ships' names should be in italics
  • Would the US Navy had done anything if the North Vietnamese ships had been correctly identified? The US was pretty much out of the war by this time.
    • Good question. If the U.S. had correctly identified North Vietnamese ships, their course of action may vary according to the American commander's interpretation of North Vietnamese movements. But their information would have definitely been useful for the South Vietnamese, that's why the North Vietnamese were rightly concerned.Canpark (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  • "However, when the fighting ended 6 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed, and 33 others were captured" - this reads as saying that these South Vietnamese soldiers were killed and wounded after the battle - is this correct? (or do you mean "By the time the fighting ended..."?)
    • I have rephrased the sentence: The North Vietnamese counted 6 South Vietnamese soldiers killed in action, and captured 33 prisoners.Hope that make sense.Canpark (talk) 11:11, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  • "On the night of April 24, single North Vietnamese transport ships sailed through the Taiwanese-occupied island of Aba, where the Taiwanese keenly observed the movement of an unknown ship moving pass their territory" - this is confusingly written
    • I rephrased this also: On the night of April 24, under the observation of the Taiwanese military, North Vietnamese transport ships sailed in a single column passed the Taiwanese-occupied island of Itu Aba towards their next objective.Canpark (talk) 11:11, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Should 'Navy' in "South Vietnamese navy" and 'army' in 'South Vietnamese army' and 'North Vietnamese army' be capitalised?
  • " After several hours, the sailors on HQ-11 pulled anchor and escaped to the Philippines" - did HQ-11 really engage the North Vietnamese while anchored? This seems rather unwise!
    • Obviously the South Vietnamese were not anchored when the battle was fought. So I will fix that sentence.Canpark (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Do other sources confirm this account of the capture of the Con Dao Archipelago? It seems rather amazing that three platoons of political prisoners could defeat 2000 regular soldiers, even allowing for the chaos of the time and the ARVN's low morale. Nick-D (talk) 01:47, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I think you may have missed the sentence which reads: The South Vietnamese Army were easily defeated as they chose to run away instead of fighting back, whilst leaving large quantities of weapons and ammunition behind. The rebel prisoners made short work of the South Vietnamese soldiers mainly due to psychological factors. Firstly, it seems South Vietnamese soldiers were leaderless. Secondly, the South Vietnamese knew they had already lost the war on the mainland, so what was the point of fighting? Thirdly, the South Vietnamese had their families to think of.Canpark (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
      • That makes sense, but due to the source it's still of some concern to me. Nick-D (talk) 04:22, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The statement " On April 29, 1975, the airfield at Con Son became a staging post where South Vietnamese government officials and U.S. advisers from Tan Son Nhat were assembled, to be evacuated to the U.S warships of the 7th Fleet which anchored nearby. During the last days of the war, about 2,000 regular South Vietnamese soldiers were defending the island.[19][20]" in the East Sea Campaign#Con Dao Archipelago section is not in agreement with a source I have. It almost seems as though everything was planned carefully and was an orderly staging post. My source on operations at Con Son states that the airstrip was totally unusable because of so many abandoned aircraft left on the airstrip by fleeing South Vietnamese. My source is: "The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975", Alex Larzelere, (1997), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland ISBN 978-1-55750-529-3, Chapter 17, pp 275-279. Larzelere discusses the U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station that operated at Con Son until 1246 local time 29 April 1975 and the problems that the personnel had in shutting the station down and getting off the island. My impression from his account is that things were very confused and disorderly. Hope this helps. Cheers. Cuprum17 (talk) 19:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


Assessment[edit]

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    As the majority of editors who have commented here believe that broader sourcing is necessary, I'm closing this GA nomination as not being successful. I think that this article has real potential to reach GA (and higher assessment levels) if a wider range of sources are available. Nick-D (talk) 08:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Second opinion[edit]

I see nothing wrong with using sources published by People’s Army Publishing House. I find the refusal to treat these as reliable sources by the reviewer to be rather ethnocentric dubious. I see no reason why these sources should not be as reliable as US Defence Department sources. Jezhotwells (talk) 08:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Ethnocentric? Really? I've explained my concerns about the reliability of these sources above, and they're sure not motivated by illusions of cultural superiority. Nick-D (talk) 08:20, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually I share the reviewer's concerns about these sources. Although I cannot comment on the specific sources used here, I have used similar sources in my own research (specifically Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the Peopple's Army of Vietnam, 1954–1975 written by the Military History Insititue of Vietnam and published by the People's Army Publishing House) and have found that while often it is a valuable resource, being at times remarkably candid, it can is also full of hyperbole and triumphalism (including at times making fairly outlandish claims about American and South Vietnamese losses). As such while there is no reason why they shouldn't be used, they need to be used in conjunction with other sources (which currently they are not). Anotherclown (talk) 09:55, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

English variation[edit]

Hi, this article currently appears to use two English variations. For example there are US spellings "defense", "kilometer", "realized" etc., but there are also British spellings "defence", "kilometres" etc. This should be consistent. I'm happy to help if you let me know which variation you wish to use. IMO it probably makes sense to US given that the topic is probably most likely more relevant to US readers, but that is just my opinion. Cheers, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:28, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi mate, I am trying to apply U.S. English to this article but I have spent a fair amount of time on it, so I can't see it objectively anymore. If you could help me out here, I would appreciate it.Canpark (talk) 14:55, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi, no worries, I think they've been taken care of now. The only one I didn't change was "Defence" in the References as it is a title of a book. Cheers, AustralianRupert (talk) 20:37, 24 April 2011 (UTC)