Talk:Hans-Joachim Marseille/Archive 1

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unsourced and speculative

this is about the following paragraph in the article:

Many, like Adolf Galland considered him to be the best ace of the war. Marseille scored most of his victories against the Tomahawks, Kittyhawks, Hurricanes and Spitfires of the well-trained RAF and Commonwealth pilots in North Africa, whereas the majority of the other German aces scored most of their victories in the Russian theatre, where targets where much more numerous.

now can anyone prove that? to the best of my knowledge, Tomahawks were outdated by the start of the war, being sent in lend-lease because that's all the yanks had extra before they joined. as well the aircraft sent to Africa were second line, as the best and newest fighters were all being used at home to protect Britain, so this paragraph has no purpose but to continue the standard western stereotyping of the Soviets. (I am from Canada, so I am not a bleeding heart in Russia trying to make my country seem great). the Highest scoring Russian ace had 80 victories, the highest western ally: 32. Somewhere in there facts dont match with the speculation put out in the article. and I dont like the terming of the last sentence "targets" implies that they were basically sitting ducks. the Russian fighters were not obsolete, sure the I-16 and others at the start of Barbarossa were outdated, but tehy were being phased out at the time, and by the end of teh war the Russians were using soem great flying machines, not to mention that through lend-lease they were flying American planes, so claiming they were obsolete is, well ludicrous.

--Jadger 05:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I've got no opinion on what was/wasn't outdated, as I really know very little about the craft. I'll point out the POV fact that it's possible Soviet aces numbers were exaggerated as per Vassili Zaitsev or something, though of course that can always cut both directions...but I do definitely agree about the word "targets" having a pov implication, and it should be changed. Sherurcij (talk) (Terrorist Wikiproject) 05:55, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

not to mention that the paragraph is wrong, in that the Tomahawk and Kittyhawk are exactly the same thing. Unfortunately I do not know how to rewrite the paragraph, although I'm not even sure if it is even needed at all, should we delete it?

--Jadger 02:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

A llok at the top 10 Germans with articles from Flying_ace#World_War_II shows me 4 Eastern, 1 Northern and 1 Southern front, and 4 I agree, just nix the paragraph Sherurcij (talk) (Terrorist Wikiproject) 02:32, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The Tomahawk and Kittyhawk were different marks/models of the basic P-40. I think personally the difference should be maintianed as the kittyhawk was a more refined and thus more difficult opponent for marseille and the Lutftwaffe as the war wore on [[Harryurz 13:15, 14 April 2006 (UTC)]]

incorrect, the Kittyhawk is the British name for the Tomahawk. this type of naming can be seen in all different kinds of lendlease aircraft the British used from the Americans. It may have been more advanced because it used the British Engines and was newer then the prewar variants called the tomahawk in America.

--Jadger 18:27, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect 'kittyhawk' and 'Tomahawk' are not the same. These were both RAF names for distinctly different marks/versions of the P-40. The RAF gave their lend-lease aircraft 'proper' names ( as with the P-40) that often became unoffically adopted by the American forces ( though the Americans used the 'warhawk' name for various modles of P-40 ). Thus the 'Tomahawk IIA & IIB' was the P-40B and C and Kittyhawk I was the P-40D, Kittyhawk II was the P-40F , etc. Harryurz 12:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't really matter now does it? we don't need to get in an argument over it, the offending paragraph has been removed. but I would like to point out that the Kittyhawk and Tomahawk were indeed the same thing, take for instance the typhoon, when in the CAP role it was the Typhoon, but in the interceptor/air superiority role it was named differently. There was of course differences in them to fit them to their role, but they were essentially the same aircraft.

--Jadger 14:41, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion, deleting this paragraph was wrong. First of all, you had no real facts that spoke against it, just your POV. On the other hand, the Luftwaffe also had much more important fronts like the Battle of Britain or the Eastern Front, where good aircrafts were needed more badly. I have not the knowledge but who says that the Me-109 for the DAK where allways up to date? There existed various versions of this plane and who can say that they aint just send the outdated ones. Also, the battle of britain lastet up to 41 but the desert war up to 43 and germany was in a desperate position at the eastern front. I guess you can assume that at this point, the british brought their best planes down there but the germans needed their best planes on the eastern front. Also i do believe that the british pilots were better trained than their soviet counterparts because great britain neither got the manpower nore the masses of airplanes that would allow such a worse training which would result in massive losses. On the other hands, masses instead of quality was exactly the soviet tactics. Even if you look at their often badly trained tank divisions or infantry.

I maybe nearly a year late nut i will say it anyway. I agree with the above.

1-Adolf Galland described Marseille as the virtuoso of all fighter pilots. His biography The First and the Last also F Kurowski's German Fighter ace Hans-Joachim Marseille state this.

2- It is accepted that up until 1943 the Russians were inferior in equipment and tactics. Osprey's BF109 Aces on the Eastern front describes German pilots using bombers as target practice. 'Just shoot down the leaders and hand the rest over to the inexpperienced pilots. This is how Werner Molders did it. this was common place up until the end of 1942.

3- Most of the lend lease aircraft were US rejects like the P-39 Aircobra that was rejected in most cases by the US airforce US Army Air Corps and Naval air arm, (US Navy),in favour of P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt development. As for the P-36 and P-40 they were obselete by mid '41.

4- only the Spitfires from Britain were capable of leveling the playing field but only saw action in small numbers.

5- In North Africa the overwhelming number of aircraft after May 1942 were not only piloted by well trained but were up to date Spitfire Marks. With the American entry P-47'S the P-38's also increased the pressure on the Luftwaffe.

The paragraphy should NOT have been removed.

Dapi89 22:26, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Your remarks about "exactly the soviet tactics" can be applied to Germany (reluctance in the phasing out of the BF109) and to the US (Sherman tank). The reason Russians didn't have better fighters on the beginning of the war was not because they wanted big numbers but because Polikarpov loss Stalin's approval. If soviet tactics ware “more numbers and less quality” why was the yak-3 better than the BF109 a the FW190 below 5000m and why was the T-34 the best tank on the beginning of the war (and better than the latter Sherman). Soviets always had “small” numbers of high rate fighters: I-16 (Spanish civil war), Yak-3 (WWII), La-15 (Korean-War era) But I give you credit in training. the Russian pilots' training in 1942 and 1943 was equivalent to German training in the end of the war and to British training during the Battle of Britain... and the right kind of training when you have half of your industrialized area occupied by the enemy and your ill equipped air force wiped out in the first month of the war.

More in-topic I agree with you. Hans-Joachim Marseille was better than even Hartmann. Raw numbers are not comparable. The air battle in North-Africa was more of a fighter battle and less of a Sturmovik battle.


Is it actually ironic that his death came in his most productive month? I mean surely if at some stage you were being sent up more often you would expect both a higher success rate and a higher chance of being shot down? That's not really ironic then - unless you're Alanis Morrisette, I guess.

"Ironically" is for my humble opinion definitely POV. You could also say "tragically". Someone rewrite it please.

Last Mission

The article says his last mission was a bomber escort, but the essay referenced at the bottom says it was a fighter sweep. Just wanting to make sure the article is right, which was it?

Well spotted, I have another source that calls the mission 'a patrol'. In the absence of a definitive answer I will generalise the wording of the article to 'mission' unless you can think of a better solution?Mumby 19:45, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Ironic Death Reply

I'm not one her fans, so I don't get the Joke.

Yes infact it was ironic. Luftwaffe forces in North Africa were outnumbered from May 1942 onwards, and flew comparable numbers of missions until its defeat in Tunisia. My point was that since there were just as numerous targets in May-August 1942 as there were in September 1942 Marseille was far more productive in those thirty days as he had been over the previous six months. Infact what makes it more ironic is that Allied Pilots were far better trained and 'more aggressive in the air' as Marseille himself said, in the latter half of 1942 than they were before, but he was not shot down. Unlike the early days when with experience from the Battle of Britain and seven kills to his name against inferior aircraft (Hurricane's mostly) he got shot down a couple of times..........thus its ironic.

Hence I added back the sentence.

Dapi89 13:50, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi Dapi89,

I still don't think it should say ironic, so I took it out again. Whichever way you cut it, irony is in the eye of the beholder and is not the kind of language that really needs to be in an encyclopedia. What would be better is if you added (and referenced) the information you have written above regarding the so-called irony, then readers can make up there own minds about whether it is ironic or not. Thanks, Mumby 14:45, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


Firstly its pretty obvious when something is ironic, and therefore it is not in the eye of the beholder. Admittedly it is a subtle irony, as I explained above it would not really be noticed by someone who does not take an interest in the finer detail. But based on the facts, and fact is the most important thing here, the enthusiast would see the circumstances as ironic, this is why I pointed it out. I would also like to point out (quite ironically actually) that I agree it is up to others to determine whether they would find it ironic or not, but now you have taken away the sentence, you've denied them the chance to make that observation, because you yourself have decided it's not ironic! I also noticed since I wrote that part last year your the only one to complain- But I'm not suggesting your being mealy mouthed at all. Just on the quotation side of things, I did not say it was a quote or referenced only that the irony could be derived from the source the way it describes the circumstances. But if your looking for some material that points this out and uses similar language, John Weal's Jadgeschwader 27 'Afrika' points out the blatant irony, on p86.

Hi again,

I disagree that it is "pretty obvious". Instead of ironic we could say his death was: saddening, tragic, funny, upsetting, fateful, comforting or unremarkable. It is all these things, depending on your point of view. None of them should be used in the article because this is an encyclopedia, and should have a neutral point of view. John Weal's book is not an encycolpedia, so he can say whatever he wants. I have not decided that it is not ironic, just that we should not call it ironic, purely on the basis that I don't think this is encyclopedic language, for the reasons I have just laid out. Removing the sentence in question does not deny anyone the chance to decide whether or not is is ironic, if we removed any information of the circumstances of his death, that might deny them the chance. If the enthusiast would see it as ironic, there is no need to point it out to them, anybody who doesn't see the irony doesn't need to be led. I sorted the references out by the way.Mumby 17:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


To avoid dragging this out I'll say this then nothing more on this subject. So we both agree it was ironic, although I take offense to the fact that you might say it was funny(even if he did fly under the Swastika) comforting perhaps (at least to the Allied pilots!). I noticed you said you have removed the sentence, its still on, I have not added it back since we began our discussion. I felt it would look rather childish adding it back, as its rather small detail but I thought might be appreciated by everyone not just the enthusiasts.

Thanks for the refs, I couldn't figure it out, I'm new, and they are pain!

Hi, no offence meant, I was just trying to illustrate the aspect of 'point of view', that is not necessarily my point of view. I totally agree though, I think we have taken this conversation far enough! I must get a good book on Marseille so we can make the article better.Mumby 19:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Last Mission


In Franz Kurowski's German Fighter Ace: Hans-Joachim Marseille (1994, p208) it clearly states his last mission as a Stuka escort mission. Also Fritz Dettmann, Mein Freund Marseille (1944)refers to this being the case as does jerry Scutts in BF109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean(p33). Infact the overwhelming number of reliable soures I have looked at quote it as being 'Stuka escort'. There are some mistakes as in Uwe Feist's The Fighting BF109, but as this is not about the Pilot himself this can be attributed to error. I can only attribute this to the fact that Marseille's squadron had parted with the Stuka's and were directed toward enemy fighters, but the enemy refused to take up combat -source Franz Kurowski's book. This may explain the confusion and why it was refered to as a sweep by mistake.

Just out of interest the former mentions a telephone call made to Marseille by Erwin Rommel on the 28th September, asking him to go with him to Berlin to meet Hitler at the Berliner Sportsplatz on the 30th. Marseille refused this offer. When he was falling to death he could have been safely back in berlin!

Dapi89 13:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi Dapi89, thanks for the useful information. Since you have some good book references, could you please add these to the article as in-line references, the article really needs good references! To do this, after the part where it says "stuka escort mission" (the bit you just added), add the citaion template <ref>{{cite book | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = | publisher = | date = | location = | pages = | url = | doi = | id = }} </ref> and fill in the fields. Then, in the notes section lower down the page, add the tag {{reflist}} and rename the section 'notes and references' to reflect this. If you can do this with anymore references throughout the article that would be great!Mumby 14:41, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

p.s. See this page WP:CITET for more information on citation templates.Mumby 14:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


thanks for helping out with the numbering ref. part. I should have put it in in the first place to explain where it came from, but I did'nt know how. After I wrote most of the beginning and end of the article I just couldn't bring myself to find out how...a bit lazy I know. Dapi89 17:24, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

No problem! It was just a case of putting everything in the same format.Mumby 19:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Expanding the middle Parts


I have added and amended some of the beginning and end of this article. I will try to flesh out and add some more to the middle section and hs military service. Info is hard to come by on this pilot but i do have some great quotes and interesting and otherwise unknown info about marseille i could put in. In particular a couple of lines out of a conversation with his friend Hans Arnold Stahlschmidt- about his attack methods.

Dapi89 22:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

OK great, thanks for taking the effort to expand this article. It is much longer now, perhaps we should think about the layout and arrangement? For example, the Biography section could be split into 'Early Life' and 'Military Career'. And of course, the more references the better, if you have anything from the Osprey series of books they are normally quite good because they are often written by noted historians e.g Alfred Price. What is the source for the quotes you mention?Mumby 22:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay.

This comes originally from Fritz Dettmann who collected Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt's writings (he was a close friend of Marseille and himself flew 400+missions and had 59 Kills to his credit. -he was killed three weeks before Marseille.)in Berlin in 1944. they were published in 1964 under Peter Hans under the title Husaren des Himmils- Hussars of the Sky. The actual quotes themselves are in his biography by Franz Kurowski.

I am currently looking for an article written in Bild am Sonntag in Hamburg 1979 called Der Playboy mit dem Ritterkreuz. This might be an interesting article- wwritten by Gunter Stiller.

Dapi89 18:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I've done a bit more on his early combats, I'll add more shortly on his North African service. Dapi89 21:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Tone, style, and jargon.

I made some edits throughout the article to bring style and tone in line with the Manual of Style, particularly Information style and tone : "the tone, however, should always remain formal, impersonal, and dispassionate." I noticed there is quite a bit of jargon in the article. I removed references to the Luftbery circle for example as this term is not explained in the article. Some of the German ranks that are mentioned but have no article of their own could also be explained (I have no idea myself!). The same goes for some of the unit definitions. Finally, a note on British/American English. I don't think it matters which is used, but since it was mostly in British English I have brought all spelling in line with that, e.g. manoeuvre (B.E.) vs. manouvre (A. E.)Mumby 21:02, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I will add an explanation of the Luffbery circle, as its quite important that its included. as Marseille's tactics were meant mostly to engage these types of formations. I will also add an Article on Eduard Neumann, as I have come across some rare information. I have covered the needed citations, but thanks for the extra pairs of eyes.

Dapi89 21:48, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I will go to work next -using some different sources!! on his most successful day 1 st September 1942. Uwe Fiests the Fighting Bf 109 has some good stuff in there.

Dapi89 22:28, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


I have deleted the statistcis at the bottom. I didn't put them there and have been trying to reference them through reliable sources. As I could not find any I deleted them as they can not be verified. Dapi89 17:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Disputes over claims

Perhaps this would be a good place to discuss the dispute over how we present the victory tally, rather than having a to-and-fro in the main article.Mumby 22:17, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Agree, finally a person who talks sense.

It is a source that clearly identifies the 17 kill claim as acurrate. Not only does it refer to fact that the claims were considered correct by the British, the quote from the author F.K whom served with Marseille in africa, says ultimatley, in these particular actions, on this day, the claims were absolutley correct. I am NOT arguing the fact other claims may have been incorrect, just that they were right on this particular occasion -highlighted by the fact that they identified as so BY THE BRITISH!!!

The user 'Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg' clearly doesn't seem to have absorbed that fact. In light of the FACTS and reliable source it deserves to be in the article, as the articles are about fact not Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg's POV. To suggest it doesn't contribute to the article is laughable.

Furthermore, he/she is not presenting any counter evidence, just a POV, aguess, that 'it couldn't possibly be accurrate' - based on what?

It's arrogant and presumptuous for someone who does not have any of the facts to delete that quote.

Dapi89 23:09, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I find it odd that you mention arrogance and presumption after you have made allegation after allegation about my pov and my intentions without the least amount of evidence. On this issue I really I have no particular pov. I especially take issue with your comment that I have not provided any counter-arguments, you very well know that that is false. I have never said that the claims were inaccurate, in fact I think that the chances are, they were accurate. However, it simply cannot be stated with absolute certainty as your quote implies. Anyone who has the least amount of knowledge on the subject would understand that that claim is so outrageously silly as to actually be comical. I have attempted to engage you several times with civilty, and yet you have been nothing but rude since the very beginning. Your condescending disrespect may actually be aggravating if it weren't for the feebleness of your position.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 15:24, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Rubbish - totally reject this.

There is nothing odd about it. I draw your attention again to the fact that the claims for the units total that day were verified by the British making it indisputable. Again I draw your attention to the fact that those words were not mine they F.K's whom has access to the primary sources and therefore is in a position to make such statements, unlike you of course, who are not. As for this comical nonsense and arrogance- I have never disrespected a source or dismissed it without evidence or good reason. I resent the sentence 'Anyone who has the least amount of knowledge on the subject...' I am infact very Knowledgeable on this subject and I am rather insulted by your dismissive attitude. As for your counter argument then, what is it? simply 'it's not true' won't do.

As for engaging me with civility, until now you have done neither. You responded to my initial (polite) request by deleting it, then by mocking the quote by saying it was ridiculous - again without cause, without engaging me in any discussion.

Again on the whole claims could well be inaccurate but in this instance having the British records acknowledge it as correct in this case, the information was just.

Ignoring reliable sources is just idiotic sir.

I also do not respond well to threats of 'blocking'. I have not in anyway violated or come close to violating Wiki's guidlines on conduct. I fail to see how adding a Referenced source which is related to the article can be deemed inappropriate !

However I respect your opinion, and will not re-add it. I have never disagreed with kill claims being inaccurate but in this case I feel I was justified.

I felt that the quote added much to the article as the 17 kill claim has been questioned rather alot.

I also do not want to come into conflict over this article. What time I have I would like to use editing not arguing, as far as I am concerned that’s the end of the matter.

Dapi89 16:34, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

If you believe your initial "request" was civil, then I hope I never encounter you again in real life or wikipedia. Also in response to your remark about not breaking wikipedia guidelines, I did not say you did, I said you were one revert away from doing so. As per WP:3RR you may be blocked if you revert an article more than three times within 24 hours, you reverted exactly 3 times and therefore I gave a customary warning to notify you. Also, just because a passage has a source that passes reliability guidelines (your source was a little iffy) it does not automatically guarantee inclusion. I hope now we can put this matter to rest and move on.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 22:43, 24 April 2007(UTC)

The quote at the bottom of this article you removed has been re-added. It was referenced properly, and added much weight to the segment. Please do not remove things that are referenced and relevant on a whim.

This was what I said, which followed the 'ridiculous' accusation, and was more polite than you deserved. I was fully entitled to revert the info back as it was legitimate, as I have explained time and time again. I am glad you have recognised that fact that you seem to acknowledge the quote did pass the reliability guidelines - it was exact and extremely relevant to that part of the article - therefore it was not 'iffy'. To echo your comment on not wanting to encounter each other again, at last we agree on something. Dapi89 18:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Get over it, I'm done, there is no reason to try to continue with this dispute. Its time you moved on with your life.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 15:00, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

References and Notes

I propose a cleanup of this section. For example multiple references from the same source can be combined (as well, the numerous errors can be corrected) : e.g. 3. a.b. Kurowski,Franz. German Fighter Ace Hans-Joachim Marseille. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1994. p. 15. ISBN 0-88740-517-7. Bzuk 23:45, 4 May 2007 (UTC).

That would be good. Are you offering?Dapi89 18:15, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Bzuk 18:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC).

opening paragraph

Its bad form to have statements like kill claims in opening paragraphs. No other ace on wiki has this in their opening paragraph even though it is highly unlikely that they score the exact kills they claim. On the contrary it seems you like people to know, or at least like to throw upon them immediately that Marseille kills are questioned. This could be sublte biased.

This really is all academic. Its already discussed in the later section you have added. People will see it as they read through. There is no reason for it to be repeated. Dapi89 12:16, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

If there were these kinds of doubts about Erich Hartmann or any other ace then I would be pushing for the same kind of intro. It could be seen as "subtly biased" not to mention these kinds of serious doubts in the first par. You will have to do better than that. Grant | Talk 12:44, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so. It should be pointed out Hartman's claims were and still are doubted. It would only perhaps be biased if this was not included at all. But to have mentioned in two parts of the article makes it seem as if your "throwing it in the face" of the reader, which suggests to me your effectively saying his claims were false. Your not presenting a closing arguement to a jury. Its already on once.Dapi89 13:06, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

After reading the entire article and especially the section on over-claiming, I an not sure if this is even relevant. Did Marseille himself over-claim? This is the issue and one author disputing the generally accepted record makes this whole section seem to be overly-weighted. FWIW Bzuk 12:55, 8 September 2007 (UTC).

As you can see above, this is debatable. I'm not sure its relevant either. We could add this kind of section to every ace's article. Definitely agree with the section seemingly over-weighted. Marseille generally did not have time to watch the dispatched enemy aircraft hit the ground. He tended to move on to the next target immediately after firing his 'burst', therefore more often that not it was his wingman and staffel members than confirmed the crash and resulting killDapi89 13:06, 8 September 2007 (UTC).

I agree it seems to be "overweighted" even without appearing in the first paragraph, once it appeared in the first paragraph is once it was "ridiculous" enough to complain. Claims that the Germans "over-stated their kills" being proven by comparing them against British losses is ludicrous at best, both sides over/under-reported aerial battles. That would be as POV as writing "While the US Army claims that only 28 American troops were killed, this is clearly not true when one compares it against the number of troops that the insurgents have recorded killing". At best we can mention there is a discrepency, but painting the discrepency to advance the theory that one author is "correct" and history is "wrong" is offensive to common sense. I move that it definitely not be allowed in the opening paragraph, and that unless we can find more than a single source for the claim that Marseille's numbers were over-inflated, we seriosly consider removing the entire section. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 14:00, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I support would support this. While admittedly I directed User:Grant65 to put this info on Marseille's page rather than the Bf 109 page I did so with reservations that editors might have a problem. This has been a bone of contention before.Dapi89 16:00, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry; I feel as though I've stepped through the looking glass. The Allied squadron records are less reliable than of a Nazi air force group because.....? Once again: if the same kind of serious and very specific doubts about any other ace of any nationality exist, then I think we should include them; not only in the body text but in the intro. I'm not aware of any similar examples. Is anyone else? Grant | Talk 16:56, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
They're no more reliable than the Luftwaffe, both sides greatly exaggerated the other's losses and downplayed their own. Just because Germany lost, doesn't mean their record-keeping was any shoddier than ours. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 17:11, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

semi-agree. Also picking up on the" Nazi airforce" comment I think highlights User:Grant65 ultimate problem, in that German claims can't be reliable because of the regime. Doubts exist about the exact claims of every Ace in history. It is certain that no Ace in histroy has shot down the exact number he claimed. Its pointless to try and pick out a few pilots for special attention. It must be noted that the Luftwaffe possed far more stringent procedure and required more evidence for a kill. The RAF during the Battle of Britain were guilty of massive over claiming. The Luftwaffe no doubt overclaimed but to a much lesser extent than the RAF. The Soviets and Americans were also guilty of huge overclaiming (the former chronically so), evidence of this exists in most books about the BoB. The RAFs supposed highest scorer Marmaduke Pattle total is not even known, a casual guess of 50+ is mostly thrown around. At least most of the Germans have an exact count of either claimed or confirmed kills.Dapi89 18:39, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

It's not worth getting into a huge fight over, but I think it is fair to point out that the book with the accusations is written by a retired high school teacher who's never written anything before, while the other accounts are by actual WWII historians with 6-24 titles under their belt. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 20:47, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't disagree. I appreciate the logic (and fustration) that such lesser capable authors are used. I feel like having it in myself. But it seems a little too POVish to have it in. People can trace the sources and will be aware that Kurowski and Wubbe hold far more credence than Brown. We have to try and write dispassionately as per the guidlines no matter how much it may irritate us. Also we are not really here to defend or attack Marseilles claims, just to report what is knownDapi89 00:13, 9 September 2007 (UTC).

Like you guys (I guess), I read these books about aces when I was a kid and I just accepted the standard claims of and about Marseille without question. Having read Brown I am now ashamed that I swallowed tall tales about my countrymen that have their basis in Nazi propaganda.
I ask for a third time: where have these kind of specific criticisms and questions been levelled at any other ace?
Sherurcij, if as you say, the Allied records are no more reliable than German ones, why give priority to the German records?
Dapi, while it is may be true that the Luftwaffe had "far more stringent procedure and required more evidence for a kill" during the Battle of Britain, something that is frequently claimed, I have presented evidence that claiming procedures were less stringent in North Africa.
By the way, the above comments about Brown are outrageous and disgusting; what makes you such authorities that you can dismiss Brown as "lesser capable" and/or a mere school teacher? Have you even laid hands on a copy of Brown's book? It is highly detailed and immaculately researched and referenced. I quote from a review by a USAF historian, Maj. Robert F. Tate:
...[T]he author uses many primary sources, including original squadron operational records and pilot interviews. Very few original documents other than combat reports can give a reader the timely flavor of actual warfare, and Brown successfully uses these to great advantage throughout the book. Having studied the desert air war for years, primarily from the German side, I found it both refreshing and enlightening to see combat reports from Australian pilots in actual combat with the Luftwaffe.
Perhaps the true significance of this book is Brown's detailed and scholarly research, coupled with its excellent presentation. In many books and articles on the desert air war, pilots of the desert air forces, primarily Australian and South African, are often considered second rate. When we view them through our typical ethnocentric American eyes, we often want to downgrade their abilities in order to justify the apparent kills of their German counterparts.
Not only does this book demonstrate the quality, professionalism, and tenacity of pilots within the Royal Australian Air Force, but also it debunks the myth of natural German superiority. Although the Germans did have very successful pilots in North Africa, the author is able to compare some German claims to actual losses on several occasions, demonstrating the not-too-uncommon habit of German overclaiming.
Without a doubt, Desert Warriors is a valuable contribution to the history of the North African campaign. It is by far the most important book written in years on this aspect of the Second World War [emphasis added]. Although Brown is an Australian, there appears to be little or no bias in his reporting, and, as a student of the Luftwaffe in North Africa, I believe I would have spotted any unfair or critical bias immediately. It is about time this aspect of the desert war was brought to light, and the author has done an excellent job in presenting objective information. Because of this book, my respect for Australian aviators in the Second World War has grown immensely, and my hope is that, somewhere in South Africa, some writer is doing the same thing for the contributions of the South African [A]ir [F]orce pilots in this theater.
I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in the air war in North Africa and the Middle East. It is rare for me to stress something as a "must have" book, but Desert Warriors is just tha [emphasis added]. It would indeed be almost impossible to have a full and balanced understanding of the desert air war without this book as an indispensable reference.
"Desert Warriors: Australian P-40 Pilots at War in the Middle East and North Africa, 1941-1943. Net Assessment — book review. Aerospace Power Journal (Winter, 2001), Maj. Robert F. Tate
And so on.
I could as easily dismiss Kurowski and Wubbe on a similar basis, as "Nazi-lovers" who have swallowed a whole lot of propaganda and have totally ignored the records of individual Allied squadrons. But that would be unfair, wouldn't it? Especially since the Allied squadron records were not even available until recent years.
I intend to revert the paragraphs in question unless someone can do better than attempting to belittle Brown and questioning Allied claims in other theatres and other periods, which are not the subject of this article. Cheers, Grant | Talk 02:36, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you've prescribed the best resolution to the issue. I don't think anyone was disputing the authenticity or reliability of Brown's research (and I am sorry if it came across that way in my comment) but whether Marseille personally over-claimed is still the issue. Possibly JG27 or others may have been responsible for some of the 49 claims in dispute. FWIW Bzuk 03:36, 9 September 2007 (UTC).
I think some definitions need to be established to help me follow the discussion.

A claimed victory, to my understanding, is a pilots individual account of combat indicating that a plane was shot down in aerial combat. Correct?

A claimed victory becomes a credited victory when sufficient evidence is provided sustaining the claim. For this the Luftwaffe system was very stringent. Right?

Marseille is credited with 158 aerial victories, thus sufficient proof (at least from the German point of view) was provided at the time to officially credit him with 158 aircraft shot down. No statement about the actual number of victories claimed is made; this number could be higher still. So the dispute is not about claimed victories but rather about credited victories. In this instance it is not Marseille alone who is being scrutinized but rather JG 27, eyewitnesses provided and the system in general. Is this a fair statement?MisterBee1966 07:10, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Grant 65, Well I wasn't wrong with regard to my last comment was I? The "Nazi-lovers" and "Nazi propaganda"comments prove my point - he seems incapable of avoiding politics and seems hell bent on a crusade to have this anti-German information plastered all over the article, based on one source. It seems odd you accuse other editors of buying into Nazi-propaganda when you refuse to listen to any other source other than those written from the Allied perspective. Your wrong however Franz Kurowski used the Allied records to confirm claims for the 1 September '42 in particular. Also I think Misterbee 1966 will agree Wubbe's sources were all primary were they not? To the last point,will you stop asking "for a third time" if there are any similar claims made against other aces. You have been told that there is. Hartman for one, and among the many Allied aces, including the one listed in an above post.

We can only report on the article what is known, the article is fine as it isDapi89 11:06, 9 September 2007 (UTC).

By the way having read the review Tate Does make some interresting observations you should take note of ...."The author does not imply that German claims were widely distorted, admitting that overclaiming occurred on both sides, but to suggest that, on occasion, things were not as they necessarily seemed". If we are to give Tate credence, then in fact Brown is actually saying that the Germans over claimed on occasion. Which refutes your interpretation of Browns work somewhat. Another thing that concerns me as that these good reviews refer to the Literature pertaining to the actual subject title, of P-40 pilots in Africa and Asia, rather than aimed at one specific subjects like German overclaiming.Dapi89 11:19, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

MisterBee, no. Material I added, which has since been removed by Dapi and Sherurcij details how Marseille's personal, individual claims on 15/9/42 (for instance) exceeded total Allied losses for that day.
Dapi, you would fail a comprehension test on this debate. But never mind, I will go over the main points for you as many times as necessary.
For a fourth time, what are the specific claims and evidence of overclaiming against Hartmann "and the many Allied aces" you allude to? Exact references with page numbers or URLs, please. And I don't mean the numerous self-publishers who fetishise the WW2 Luftwaffe. I think it is your duty to add such important material to the relevant articles.
There is no disagreement between Tate and Brown; both say that the Germans overclaimed in North Africa.
Yes, Brown's book is about "P-40 pilots in Africa and Asia". As I said before, it also has an appendix on overclaiming by JG27 and Brown specifically mentions and documents overclaiming by Marseille, which is why it is relevant.
"What is known" is that Marseille and the rest of his unit claimed three times as many planes destroyed as were actually lost, in the worst single instance (15/9/42). There were other documented instances. Since his main claim to fame is his 158 kills, this is serious and worthy of coverage in the introduction.
Kurowski and Wübbe may have used some Allied records, but do they cite the records of individual squadrons? Because those only became available within the last 20 years. Do either of them cite Brown? Did either of them consult RAAF/SAAF records, or interviewed veterans of those air forces either, which Brown did, as least as far as the RAAF angle is concerned. (It's amusing to read Brown's account of how he points out to individuals that JG27 pilots claimed to have killed them at a particular time and place, around 50 years previously.)
Last but not least, you have gone to far with the "anti-German" statement; it is untrue, abusive, violates at least two major Wikpedia policies (assume good faith and no personal attacks) and I ask you to retract it. You have mistaken a hypothetical, rhetorical question, revolving around Kurowski and Wübbe, for me calling them Nazi-lovers. Read more carefully and don't defame people. If I was incapable of listening to anything other than "the Allied perspective" then there would be a lot more about this article that I would change. But I don't need to.
Grant | Talk 12:53, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

What a load of Rubbish - I havn't violated any wiki policy. You just don't listen. You have made outrageously slanderous remarks against two authors that have written many books on these subjects and pushed a retired teachers first work to be the supreme authority on this subject - and your not fooling anyone by trying to pass those comments off as a hypothetical question.

Ive read the review by Tate. I didnt say they disagreed with each other. I said that Tates review of his book doesnt share your view of massive over claiming, ...."The author does not imply that German claims were widely distorted, admitting that overclaiming occurred on both sides, but to suggest that, on occasion, things were not as they necessarily seemed". I suggest you read more carefully. Lastly I'll refuse to be drawn into a personal arguement with you (your accusations of personal attacks seem ironic given that you say I would fail a comprehension test). Your undoubabtly crusading that the article should pursuade the reader his total kills were no where near 158. Dapi89 14:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for asking again, maybe it's due to my lack of mastering the English language. To my humble opinion it is not Marseille who claims to have shot down x amount of enemy planes but he is credited by the system with shooting down these planes. To me that is a difference because in the later case it implies that his comrades and witnesses to these aerial battles concurred in his opinion and gave him credit for these victories, independently of the fact whether or not from an allied perspective he actually did shoot them down. I was and still am of the opinion that the German system credited him with 158 victories and not him claiming 158 victories. So if indeed these numbers are wrong it is not Marseille alone who "over claimed" but the system itself failed and gave him credit for aerial victories that he did not achieve. On the other hand I could also interpret this in such a way that the pilots in JG 27 worked the system in such away to unnaturally augment their figures and lie about the number of victories. What exactly is the issue here? Are we talking about an undetected systematic error in the approval process or are the pilots of JG 27 being accused about inflating their numbers? MisterBee1966 13:54, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

By the way the only two German pilots I have come across whose number of aerial victories have been doubted by their peer Luftwaffe pilots are Helmut Wick and Kurt Welter. Would someone please point me to literature where Erich Hartmann's totals are being questioned?MisterBee1966 14:12, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems Grant65 is accussing the Germans in gerneral of overclaiming. This runs contrary to what Tate says that the Brown work infers. It must be pointed out that some Allied aircraft limped back home and crash landed. Whilst the Germans can legitimately claim this as a victory as the fighter/bomber was brought down, the aircraft would not have been destroyed - therefore it would not have entered the Allied loss records. It is enough that the section covers the fact that some of those claims are missing and, according to some Allied records are dubious. The Article is now fine as it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dapi89 (talkcontribs) 15:18, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Some available works pertaining to Hartman are:

  • Combat Kill: The Drama of Aerial Warfare in World War Two and the Controversy Surrounding Victories by Hugh Morgan and Jurgen Seibel.
  • The Blond Knight of Germany by Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable

Hope this helps.Dapi89 14:32, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm asking for specific instances (dates and places) and references (page numbers) for your claims regarding Hartmann and Allied aces, not titles that I can find for myself in library catalogues.
I'm "crusading" that the article presents in full the evidence and logic that there is serious doubt regarding Marseille's claims; if you want to read that as me saying his total kills were "no where near 158", then that is your problem.
I might also ask why you seem hostile and/or disinterested in the presentation of historical controversy in these articles? We are, after all, an encyclopedia, not the Boys' Big Book of Super Fighter Aces.
No ingenuous and/or intelligent reader would have read me as accusing Kurowski and Wübbe of being Nazi sympathisers. Of course, they could be — who knows? It's also possible that you are. I haven't actually said either thing. But such subtleties appear to be lost on you, so I will wait for further sprays of mock outrage.
"Grant65 is accussing the Germans in gerneral of overclaiming..." Looks like you could use schoolmaster Brown's assistance with your spelling and punctuation, and nice attempt at another slur, Or is it just that you can't grasp that the indefinite "Germans" may mean "some Germans", rather than "all Germans". I'm not accusing Galland or Richthofen (in WW1), because it appears that they did not over claim in any significant way (while Allied pilots almost certainly did in those contexts). But I'm prepared to take advice on that.
MisterBee1966, if Marseille accepted the "credit" then they become his "kills" or his "claims", depending on one's point of view. Does that help?
Grant | Talk 16:02, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

More Rubbish. I'm not going over old ground and wasting more of my time on you. Get the books and read them, I don't help lazy people. All im interested in is making sure editors like you can't trash the article. I did not have any objection to adding in the section or the source that claims there is reasonable evidence to dispute his claims- I was the one that directed you to this article from the Bf 109 page or had you forgotten? I've actually defended Brown - as he was unjustly attacked for being a school teacher with a single title to his name. I don't appreciate you inferring that I'm unintelligent and a Nazi, your posts are becoming increasingly childlike, perhaps its you that needs to be educated - in the school of growing up. What makes that snipe even funnier is that you completely messed up your first edits, poor explanation, failed to add in the book refs on the list, and then ignored the citation style used throughout. As for all that incoherent nonsense about "all Germans" its abundantly clear in your posts your refering to all German pilots in North Africa, which of course are represented by JG27.

As for your last addition of "claims or kills", that does depend on one's point of view. Buts its not something (your point of view) that needs to be in the article.Dapi89 16:42, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Neither you nor Sherurcij have presented a valid reason for deleting the material I included (e.g. it is factually incorrect, it does not concern the subject of the article, etc). All I get are these specious statements about how it is only one source who is (horror of horrors) an independent scholar who used to be a school teacher, as though the errors of so-called professionals should triumph because of their sheer volume and repetition. To quote George Orwell: "sanity is not statistical".
It seems your sole apparent objective here is to preserve the reputation of one of your heroes, based on a few books which clearly do not even consider all of the currently-available documentary evidence or scholarly literature.
Neither have you shown me a single instance of a similar historical controversy (i.e. documented kill claims which were 300% of actual enemy losses on a specific day), let alone one that has been deemed unworthy of inclusion in Wikipedia. I would be concerned about Wikipedia if such a thing existed.
Dapi, I'm considering how to bring home to you the consequences of your blatant disregard for and violation of Wikipedia writing style and policy, for which there is ample evidence. I'm going to sleep on that. Grant | Talk 18:05, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
By the way, in the course of "defending" unencyclopedic material, you have violated 3RR. Other admins are less lenient about this than I am. This is your last chance to re-consider your attitude. Grant | Talk 18:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Quick comment about 3RR. What you have here is an edit war. Several individuals are involved, especially Grant65 and Dapi89. Both individuals violated the 3RR rule. Grant65: here are four reverts you applied within the space of 24 hours: [1] [2] [3] [4].
The reason a block is applied is not as a punishment, but as a way of getting the general disruption to stop. Speaking of "leniency" is inappropriate — especially as you are directly involved and just as much contributing to the war. As a new admin, you should know better. Thinly veiled threats and what you are thinking of doing are also highly inappropriate.
The wikiquette alert was brought by Dapi89. Grant65 could conceivably have brought an alert as well. But the problem is that neither of you is assuming good faith; and both of you are making the matter worse. In the alert, I responded by suggesting Dapi89 relax a bit. But this needs to be said also to Grant65. So I'm doing it here. Grant65; your comments here are most unhelpful. You need to work at trying to make the situation better, not worse. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 21:02, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

More absolute rubbish. You just don't listen do you? Changing Claims to kills (as it has been like that for months) is not vandalism. I have not moved any referenced material. Any editor worth his salt can see from the articles history this is a complete lie. How dare you threaten me with that inane rubbish, "I'm going to sleep on it" "I'll decide what to do with you", who on earth are you to say that to another editor.

I have said time again, I defended Browns input and removed the text insulting him as a mere school teacher as I felt that violated wiki policy. I was the one that referred you to this page in the first place and fully supported its place in the article. I dont buy into heroworship. I don't want to preserve his myth status as you so crudely put it. Not only have you made ludicrous and offensive remarks about me and the sources provided you have consistently lied about me violating guidlines despite it being abundantly clear I have not. Your appalling behaviour can so easily be traced on these boards and on the article itself. I can't for the life of me figure out what your getting out of this.

As a result of your latest comments, I am going to have to get other authoritative editors envolved in this. Dapi89 18:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Folks calm down please! Dapi, may I mention that JG 77 also fought on African soil. A new and very nice book on Heinrich Bär is available now, I regret to mention that it is by Franz Kurowski and to my knowledge in German only (as of now).

Thanks everyone. I have both the English and the German version of the Blond Knight. However I don't recall Toliver and Constable doubting Hartmanns 352 aerial victories?! Sorry but I still have my concerns about the usage of the word claim and credited victory. Nobody has clearly expressed this but my read here is that not Marseille personally is being doubted. He and his fellow Luftwaffe pilots have made their claims in the honest faith that they have told the truth. To me this is consistent with every book and author I have read. Nobody has every expressed any doubt regarding Marseilles personal credibility. Nevertheless errors could have been made and doubt about his achievements date back to the 1950ties (quote from Sims, Edward H. Jagdflieger. Die grossen Gegner von einst.)MisterBee1966 18:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Yep. I was aware, I should have said I was talking about the Marseille period. Of course JG77 saw action in NA too, but later on. As the article stands its neutral. It reports what Marseille had claimed, the contested issues regarding claims both for and against. Theres no problem with the article.
It was definitely in Morgan and Siebels. I'll have a look round in the loft for the Blond Knight. Im sure its there.Dapi89 18:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I can see both sides on the "claimed" issue (though "claimed by the Nazi airforce" or "Claimed by the Luftwaffe" are overly subjective), and am relatively easy to convince either direction on that issue - so it might indeed be a good place to start since nobody seems to be "emotional" on the question of whether to refer to "claimed kills", "confirmed kills" or simply "kills". Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 20:07, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquette alert

A Wikiquette alert has been place for discussions on this page. You can read it here. I tried to give an initial suggestion, which was not acceptable. So I have asked for some additional independent input. I'd particularly welcome a comment from editors who have been involved in this page without being part of the fighting. User:MisterBee1966 and User:Bzuk would be especially welcome. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 19:24, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I have added a comment on the revert war above. Since Grant65 was the first to raise the mention of 3RR, I have documented that he has violated the rule as well. This is not intended as a threat. As far as I am concerned, the purpose of 3RR is to get the war to stop; not to punish offenders. If people can calm down and work at trying to understand each other and assume good faith, then I don't see a need for action. But the edit warring needs to stop. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 21:15, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Talking about shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.
In fact, technically speaking, neither Dapi nor I were in violation of 3RR — I erred in saying that Dapi was — although I take the point that we were both in breach of the intent and spirit of the rule. Grant | Talk 03:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)


Why are we not using the template:cite book? I tried to introduce this here but my edits were reverted. If we have this template I feel we should make use of it.MisterBee1966 20:37, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure who reverted it, but unless anybody raises a specific reason to reject it, I suggest you re-insert it. Perhaps in a separate edit not adding/removing/changing any information which perhaps is being reverted, thus inadvertantly removing the citation updates. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 21:03, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
It's a template and shouldn't be used to replace legitimate "scratch" cataloging references and citations. Templates are not mandated and are used as an aid when editors are unable to edit references on their own. When the references were properly done and then another editor revises them to insert a template, then it's nonproductive editing. Check the citations and references and you will see they are properly cited. FWIW Bzuk 21:06, 10 September 2007 (UTC).

Year links

No need to wikilink years when they appear without month and day. [Dates] doesn't expressly endorse or denounce it but the link adds absolutely no meaning to the article. If you click on the link it doesn't lead you to any new information about Marseilles. It doesn't help the year conform to user preferences, either; that's the main reason for date links. Binksternet (talk) 18:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Unlinking of the years in the infobox "Years of service" conforms to the established style of other holders of the Knight's Cross such as Erwin Rommel, Gordon Gollob, Hermann Graf, Walter Nowotny, Werner Mölders, Adolf Galland and Wolfgang Lüth. Binksternet (talk) 22:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

There are large number of other knights cross holders that have these links. You say wikipedia does not expressly forbid it...then there is no problem in having it there. Removal is personal rather than wiki preference. (talk) 03:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

You might have to define what is meant by "large number"... of the 27 Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds holders I found only 2 with linked years in the infobox. 25 have the years unlinked, 24 if you don't include our dear departed master of deflection shooting, "Jochen". Binksternet (talk) 03:57, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Individual years are not generally linked as they do not have relevance specifically to the topic or subject. Bzuk (talk) 03:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC).
Links should only be used if they are relevant to the context (see Wikipedia:Only_make_links_that_are_relevant_to_the_context). It is unlikely that users would like search for other events on the day when a fighter pilot was promoted. As a general rule within Wikipedia, only date of birth and death as well as significant dates are linked. Inwind (talk) 21:44, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
The dates in the article are linked so that foreign users can identify them clearly and for individuals with browser preferences set to see the dates in their preferred form. This is an article that is constituted under a format that has been established by the WP:Aviation Project Group. The reason for using this variation is that dates are not the same in the 2007-05-10 format as it does not mean the same thing to foreign users. Is it October 5, 2007 or May 10, 2007? When you specify day, month, year, there is no ambiguity, it matches all the dating conventions within the text, and is already the agreed upon format of the WP:Aviation Group. FWIW, please see the question below. Bzuk (talk) 21:51, 1 January 2008 (UTC).
In response to third opinion, per MOS:DATE, there is no consensus to outright remove the link to a year. However, in terms of Wikipedia:Only_make links that are relevant to the context#Dates, it makes no valid sense to link to a year when it only serves to overlink, and only dates that have a month and day should be linked, per guideline. Also of note, the linking of the year does not serve to deepen the understanding of the topic, and therefore serves no real purpose. The reason that just because the date is linked on other pages is incorrect -- if that is the case, then those date-year links should be removed in accordance to the MOS. Hope this helps, Seicer (talk) (contribs) 05:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You are missing the point, we are not linking dates, the WP:Aviation Group is making the dates readable for users who have their browsers set to a specific date preference. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 05:47, 2 January 2008 (UTC).
I don't believe so, per comments made above that were in direct relation to what I discussed, and per what was posted at third opinion. If you wish, please provide a link to the appropriate discussion so that other editors and mediators part of the dispute resolution process can provide a timely and accurate answer. Seicer (talk) (contribs) 06:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. To whit: no sense in linking years that have no day and month if the link doesn't deepen understanding of the topic. Binksternet (talk) 07:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It seems that User:Bzuk (as a speaker for WP:Aviation Group) would like to use Interwiki links to display dates in a user specific format. Since normally the full name for the month is used, the date is described unambiguously and no additional linking is required. I believe that making the dates readable for users who have their browsers set to a specific date preference is not sufficient reason for linking all dates through Interwiki links. This has a few side-effects some people may find undesirable. One example is the function What links here used on a date like June 8 will point to so many articles that it can no longer be used to find significant events for this day. Inwind (talk) 13:11, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of your preferences, the convention for date formats that has been adopted for aviation articles has been established by consensus and reflects hundreds if not thousands of articles already in place. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 13:23, 2 January 2008 (UTC).
Regarding guidelines, I don't see too large of an issue where the article is overlinked and date-linked to pages that are not relevant. Per date format, it is currently styled in accordance to MOS:DATE, so there is not a large issue. I don't see why you are escalating the issue further by stating, "regardless of your preferences," given that the convention adopted is fine as it is. Seicer (talk) (contribs) 14:36, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Seicer, whoops, I think I am replying to a different editor's comments. I agree with you in that there is not much of an issue here. I was commenting on the overall revision of the article with changes to spelling of a prominent aviatior's name as well as the deletion of all date-links. Sorry for the confusion. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 17:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC).

Recent changes to spelling

An editor with a German background has recently changed many of the spellings of German names: for example: Werner Schröer to Werner Schroer. Is this correct? What is the generally accepted usage? FWIW Bzuk (talk) 21:32, 1 January 2008 (UTC).

Google count (1900 for '"werner schroer" pilot' versus 190 for '"werner schröer" pilot) as well as de:Liste der Fliegerasse are in favour of Schroer. Inwind (talk) 21:58, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't answer the question as to correct spelling, are most authoritative sources in accordance to the change in spelling? Google searches are inconclusive. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 22:03, 1 January 2008 (UTC).

(MisterBee1966) is also a German wikipedian. Recently he saw fit to add the umlaut to the "o" to this pilots talk page. I am certain he has good reason and sources that confirm this as correct. The sources I have, even the ones translated into English from German, have it without the umlaut, but I don't consider this conclusive proof either, given the spelling and translation errors in English literature I am constantly finding.Dapi89 (talk) 23:43, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

By the way, this has been nominated as a good article. Would de-linking affect its chances of being recognised as such?Dapi89 (talk) 23:57, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Please have a look to the talk page of Werner Schröer Talk:Werner Schroer. I have listed the sources I have checked on this matter and they all list him as Werner Schröer. Also the phonetics of the name itself renders the name somewhat unpronounceable in German if the "ö" is omitted, this is no proof but an indication that Schröer is correct. A stronger indication from my point of view is that Hans Ring, the co-author Jagdgeschwader 27 Die Dokumentation über den Einsatz an allen Fronten 1939-1945 was a member of JG 27 and should have known Werner Schröer personally.MisterBee1966 (talk) 09:41, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Linking dates in biographies

An example of one editor still "pushing". FWIW Bzuk (talk) 11:01, 3 January 2008 (UTC).

Responses to RfC

If you look up the policy, you will see that you should link the years in the dates of birth and death. After that you can link years if you like, but only link on the first mention. If anyone editing here has time on their hands, I suggest participation in the wikification wikiproject. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:46, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. I can see how birth and death date links can help a reader find out contemporary events surrounding the subject. They also might help a future automated page update for, say, the Wikipedia article about the year 1919 when Hans-Joachim Marseille was born--such an automation could take birth and death dates from infoboxes and slap it into pre-arranged format on year page. Currently, the 1919 page appears to be hand-edited. Marseille's birth isn't represented there (yet).
A major problem I have with date links is that one can't click on the entire day-month-year date in order to go to a Wikipedia page with that precise date. There is no such page. I can't click on "December 13, 1919" to find what else happened on that exact date.
Linking "Years of service" in this particular infobox (the original question here) doesn't strike me as necessary for reader's enlightenment. I respect others' right to disagree. Binksternet (talk) 16:23, 4 January 2008 (UTC)