Talk:Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS

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"War crimes"[edit]

Dear Mr. Petri Krohn, please, can you show any sources which claim that the unit did commit war crimes. "Panttipataljoona : suomalaisen SS-pataljoonan historia" by Mauno Jokipii, a detailed book about the history of the unit did not say anything about war crimes, nor have I seen any other sources say anything about such. If the unit has never been accused of war crimes (and according to Panttipataljoona it has not been) I dare to say that this case is clear enough. --Kurt Leyman 17:35, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Maybe, but if you want to include that claim in the article, you have to provide a source. You not "seeing" this or that is original research. -- Petri Krohn 23:21, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

It is ridiculous to include claims about what this unit did not do, unless it is within the context of claims that it did do such things. In this case no evidence is lead that anyone is making such claims about this unit so there is no need to state that it did not perform war crimes. Neither did the unit invade South Africa, but obviously there is no need to put a claim in the article to that effect. The whole idea of stating that some thing or other is not true without the context of some claim, and in an encyclopedic artice some well known claim, that it is so is just stupid. Finally lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, it a very big claim to state that some unit did not commit war crimes when by the very nature of warefare records are incomplete and no one can really make such a statement with absolute certainty, better to not say anything about the subject otherwise it just looks like you are trying to cover something up. Nick Thorne talk 21:41, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

I see you have re-instated the negative claim about war crimes. Again, you seem unable to grasp the simple point that unless there is some claim or context that this unit did commit war crines - and I have no opinion one way or the other - then it is stupid to include a statement that this unit did not commit them. Even if such a claim/context exists then you should include some reference to that claim/context within the body of your counter claim so that it makes sense to be stating the unit did not do what you say. Once again, I point out that this unit did not do many things. They did not fly to the moon, they did not assasinate Churchill, they did not turn into invisible pink unicorns either, yet you feel no compulsion to include a statement to the effect that the unit did not do these things. Further, please put your arguments onto the talk page, not the edit summary where it does not belong. Nick Thorne talk 11:36, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. There's the (usually, but not always, silent) implication that if the units belonged to Waffen-SS and thus, were under control of Schutzstaffel, they must have been partaken in the heinous Nazi crimes the SS is famous for, or at least they were likely to so partake. This position is not even particularly unreasonable to take, at least by somebody whose knowledge of the WWII history is superficial. Thus, even if there is nobody notable positively asserting, or even insinuating, about such war crimes or crimes against humanity, if their non-commiting by the units in question can be backed up with WP:RS, it merits a remark of a sentence of two. Digwuren 12:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, you are not disagreeing with me at all, read my previous comment. If what you say is true then it would be appropriate to say something along the lines of unlike other Waffen-SS units under the control of Schutzstaffel, there have been no substantiated claimes of war crimes committed by this unit or some such wording. I do not know whether this is the case or not and I certainly do not have any references one way or the other for this issue, so I will not put such wording into the article. Note that such a statement is entirely consistent with what I stated would be required to make a negative proposition in the article. I note, however, that --Kurt Leyman does not get this important point and simply re-inserted the bald assertion that the unit was not involved in war crimes - he needs to back such a claim up and provide a context as to why it is necessary to deny that the unit committed war crimes. Nick Thorne talk 13:39, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh. Right. Sorry about the confusion, it's a question of accents ...
Still, "unlike" is not entirely correct. It's generally accepted that the main line goes between Waffen-SS and "regular" SS. I'd word it roughly "Contrary to what might be expected from the unit's SS-sounding name ...". Digwuren 14:06, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

"he needs to back such a claim up" It is not a claim, it is a fact unless someone brings forth sudden proves that oddly seem to have been missing for the last 67 years, and this goes to speculation. "provide a context as to why it is necessary to deny that the unit committed war crimes." Because many people seem to think (in many cases that I have seen) that all members of the Waffen-SS took part in the Nazi crimes. This information is useful (especially for people whose knowledge of the Second World War is not great), and there is nothing wrong with it. Regards, --Kurt Leyman 15:26, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Finnish SS Cuff title.png[edit]

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Image:Finnish SS Cuff title.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 21:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Translation of "Panttipataljoona"[edit]

I believe the translation to "Hostage battalion" is basically incorrect and the proper term should be "Pawn battalion". The finnish word "pantti" means a pawn, whereas the word for hostage is "panttivanki", "vanki" meaning prisoner. In this case the battalion would act as a pawn for securing Germany's assistance, not as a hostage taken by Germany (which would imply Germany extorting Finland for action in the war).
Quick Google search seems to give more "pawn battalion" hits, and the incorrect "hostage battalion" translation seems to be foremostly based on a daily news article in Helsingin Sanomat, where the translation is informal (and connotationally wrong).
I did not see edit "19:50, 26 July 2010 Death Bredon (talk | contribs) (9,789 bytes) (Changed translation of "panttipataljoona" from "pawn battalion" to "hostage battalion" (nb. Finn. "panttivanki", literally "pawn prisoner", translates as "hostage").)" before, dear Death Bredon your linguistics and reasoning are simply wrong. The original word to be translated is "panttipataljoona", not "panttivankipataljoona".
--Rk1945 (talk)--Rk1945 (talk) 19:23, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

The term "Pawn battalion" is also used at [[1]] so same term should be used here for consistency. --Rk1945 (talk) 07:10, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

@Wanderer602: the article has been uncited since 2009; what's the proposal to address this? K.e.coffman (talk) 08:58, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Adding new sources and fixing it by yourself would have been the preferred option - per WP:BLANK. - Wanderer602 (talk) 09:08, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Such references have been requested since 2009; please see:
K.e.coffman (talk) 09:10, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It also gives you instructions on how to resolve the problem, yet you ignored those. Or did you miss the part which stated: Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.? - Wanderer602 (talk) 09:12, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It gives another option: "Unsourced material may be challenged and removed" which I did. Please see WP:BURDEN (in bold): "The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material. K.e.coffman (talk) 09:21, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Yet as stated on the other talk page you didn't challenge it. You just deleted it. - Wanderer602 (talk) 09:25, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It has already been challenged, 8 years ago. Nowhere in the tag does it state that the content may only be removed by the editor who originally placed the tag, unless I'm missing something -- ? K.e.coffman (talk) 09:29, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
The existing content is problematic and POV. For example, the article boldly states that "all Waffen-SS formations served under the Heer command" which is demonstrably false. K.e.coffman (talk) 09:31, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
No, neither does the existence of that tag show in article lists that the articles needs references. Common courtesy alone demands that you first ask for the sources or alternatively provide them by yourself instead of deleting the article. Also a such an error in the page is something you ought to have corrected by yourself with the references to the valid data instead of blanking the section. - Wanderer602 (talk) 09:33, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
WP:V "demands" that the content be verifiable. In addition, the content has not been "deleted"; it's still available in the article history. What's the rush to restore the dubious material? K.e.coffman (talk) 09:36, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Why the rush to remove it instead of adding the required references? - Wanderer602 (talk) 10:18, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Wanderer602: Eight years is plenty of chances. In addition, the content is POV and dubious and should be removed. Here's my proposal: I'll leave the Finnish reconquest of Ladoga Karelia (1941) & the other big article alone for two weeks, but we restore this article to this version. What do you think? K.e.coffman (talk) 19:51, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

If content is in your opinion POV (let alone dubious) then it really is on you to provide the opposing the view. And i do not think any sort of compromise of sort like you suggest would be wise regardless (it sounded like horse trading). Just leave the articles there for a while and if references haven't been added by the end of March go ahead and remove them. - Wanderer602 (talk) 23:12, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It really is on you to provide the opposing view is not how WP:V works, when the material in question is uncited and has been challenged. Please see Wikipedia:Verifiability#Responsibility for providing citations: "Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source." Please consider self-reverting. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:05, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
You got it partially right. However it is not up to the editor to provide the opposing view if some one thinks it is lacking. It is the task for those who consider it lacking. Keep in mind that just because you think something would be POV doesn't mean it wouldn't verifiable and from a reliable source. - Wanderer602 (talk) 07:27, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
I've requested a WP:3O. K.e.coffman (talk) 01:59, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


This article has a lot of uncited material, and this has been noted for eight years. Per Wikipedia:Verifiability#Responsibility for providing citations, and per K.e.coffman above: "Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source." This should be done promptly, though I'd suggest leaving it for a week or so because I guess that Wanderer602 or others can provide the necessary reliable sources. I look forward to seeing those sources produced. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:38, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

You are not going to see anything from me on so short notice due to real life issues that some of the people editing wiki are saddled with. End of March is the earliest i might have time for. If some one else wants to edit the article i have no qualms about it. You should remember that while the notice has been on the page for eight years there hasn't been any sort of indication of section blanking prior to the recent edits. - Wanderer602 (talk) 12:05, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks in advance for anything you may be able to do for this page. I hope it's clear that nobody is blaming you for its problems, nor is any overdue removal of uncited material in any way directed at you. Richard Keatinge (talk) 13:57, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

I have reverted the edit in violation of BURDEN and am preserving the material by giving this link. I'm a frequent volunteer in the discussions at the verifiability policy about this issue. It's been established many, many times on the V talk page that while there are better practices, it is acceptable to merely remove unsourced material merely because it is unsourced. There may — or may not, opinions diverge — be exceptions which make it unacceptable for an editor to do it as a regular practice, e.g. as a "hobby", in pursuit of a particular point of view, or — relevant in this case — to do it even a single time if a large amount of material is involved. However, one of those clearly-defined better practices is to tag it and wait awhile before deleting it. There's no defined time for "awhile" but eight years is clearly long enough. On the other hand, even a single replacement of unsourced material after it has been removed without adding sources is a clear violation of BURDEN. If Wanderer602 felt that K.e.coffman's removal was improper, the remedy was to make a complaint to an adminstrator or file a complaint at ANI, not to violate policy by reverting it back in. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 19:12, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't like the idea of deleting entire sections. This article is from an era when citations weren't widely used in Wikipedia except in features articles. I added a citation for the casualties to this article in October 2006! [2] You can go through half of Wikipedia's content from this period and remove everything. As I understand it, you should challenge the parts you think are controversial and remove them, not entire sections. Did you really think everything was biased? --Pudeo (talk) 00:15, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Your understanding is incorrect. First, this is about verifiability, which has nothing to do with bias or controversy (that's the neutral point of view policy, whose issues are only reached after verifiability has been established. Second, though there is no policy or guideline on section blanking it might, indeed, be improper in some circumstances but policy makes it very clear in BURDEN that once it has been removed that it cannot be restored without citations. Since we do not have a board of paid professional editors to make decisions about whether or not content is reliable enough to be included, the reliability of the encyclopedia turns on verifiability. I'm afraid that I did not notice that K.e.coffman's edit included some sourced material, including your edit, along with the sourced material. I'm restoring that material. If K.e. believes it to be inappropriate for some reason, he can make his case for its deletion here. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 12:34, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Sourced content[edit]

I do not see any cited material that has been removed, including the unit composition. Instead, short paras have been combined and moved up; this is easier to see via individual edits: diff.

@Pudeo: I reviewed the content again, and I don't see anything valuable here. Some of it is about SS Division Wiking, then trivial content about which camps the unit trained at, and some combat content that may or may not be true. The "Notable members" section consisted predominantly of red links. The articles appears to have been written from a particular POV: I already noted the false claim that 'all' Waffen-SS units were under army (Heer) command, plus there's a strange sentence about a unit "carrying on the legacy" of another Finnish unit that had been part of the Wehrmacht. My conclusion is that Wikipedia is better off without this material.

Here's a source that deals with the topic directly and in detail: "Finnish Waffen-SS Volunteers and Finland's Historical imagination", by Antero Holmila of the University of Jyväskylä. This could be a suitable source. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:03, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

That seems like a deconstructionist book (lately it's really popular that cosmopolitan academics are deconstructing what they see as "national myths"). Fair enough, it's one view point on the topic but it's hard to write a full article about a military unit based on such a limited critical view. The definitive books on the battalion have been written by professor Mauno Jokipii in 1996 and later in 2002 but those exist only in Finnish. Well, I'm not interested in spending that much time on the topic but let's see what Wanderer602 comes up with later if he's going to work on it. --Pudeo (talk) 03:38, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I reviewed what was deleted and I'll agree that most of it was garbage. However, the stuff that you dismiss like the unit's training in various camps is worth keeping, IMO, because detailed info on how long a unit takes to become combat ready is scarcer than you might think. You seem to have a very minimalist idea of what level of detail is best for Wiki, coffman. We're not constrained by the cost of paper, so we can provide more detail than the Britannica, and should, IMO. I believe that we need to ensure that Wiki articles appeal both to specialists and to those barely familiar with the topic.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:16, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Sure, if this content can be reliably sourced, then by all means. However, I often find that "intricate detail" (i.e. the precise locations of the training camps) actually obscures the significance of the subject. Yes, we can know where and how they trained, but what was the social and political significance of this unit? How did it fit into the overall war aims of Finland? How were its personnel perceived in Finland after the war? I believe that these questions should be answered first to make the content encyclopedically relevant. K.e.coffman (talk) 06:24, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

Continued from above

Those are very good questions that the article should ideally cover, but we don't live in an ideal world where the most important questions get covered first. So I don't think that there's any merit to deleting stuff, just because they're unsourced and aren't the most important aspects of the article. For me personally, the most interesting things about this article relate to how the Germans created this combat unit from scratch (training, resources, time required), how well did they integrate it into their command system, how well did it fight and how did this unit do in comparison to the other volunteer units in relation to the resources invested. All stuff at what you could call the operational level, whereas as your issues mentioned above are what I could characterize as strategic. Both are valuable, IMO, but you tend, I think, to be dismissive of the operational-level stuff. Like in the Helbig article, I had to add back in a bunch of stuff about what his Gruppen were doing that you dismissed as not relevant or trivial. Now I doubt that either one of us will ever have all of the information that we want in the article (I seriously doubt that I'll ever find an unbiased assessment about the unit's fighting qualities by a reputable historian, but it's certainly not impossible), so let's not throw out the baby along with the bathwater.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:51, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Sure, if the operational information can be reliably sourced, I don't think anybody would object to having it in the article. My comment was in re: a certain phenomenon I've observed in many articles, whereas the content focuses on "military performance" (enemy ships sunk, aircraft shot down, tanks destroyed, etc), without any socio-political context. This is ahistorical, and, when combined with a hagiographic take on the subject or one-sided POV, becomes problematic. See for example, the collections of diffs on my user page:
K.e.coffman (talk) 07:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Bias and hyperbole are certainly problems and combat stats should be qualified as "claims" unless validated by post-war research using material from both sides, which, AFAIK, has only been done for aircraft losses (partially) and submarines. I have no issues with reducing or even eliminating that sort of stuff, but leave the simple factual stuff alone, even if it's not yet sourced. Somebody'll hopefully come along at some point and cite it, even if it's been 8 years. I know that I've still got start-level articles out there that I began without much, if any sourcing, that long ago, that I've yet to revisit and I'd be pretty irritated if somebody came along and started deleting everything that wasn't cited. I have no issues with tagging things as unsourced, but I've seen WP:Burden used as a hammer too many times by one clique or person against another to believe that it should be applied universally and uncritically. All they have to do is slap some text, or the whole article, with an unsourced tag, and then they're free to delete it, sometimes just hours later; all perfectly legal according WP:Burden. I don't think that you've been doing this per se, but I do think that you've been taking the easy route by deleting everything that wasn't sourced, like in the Finnish SS battalion article. Personally, I'd have left the training/assignment/strength stuff alone, as that's uncontroversial and probably fairly easy to find cites for, and deleted all the puffery and biased material, of which there was plenty in that article.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:31, 25 February 2017 (UTC)