Talk:Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz

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Good article Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.


"Hyacinth," customarily an English woman's name, is the English spelling of the generic name of the flower – which in German is spelled with a z.

The subject was a German male. The subject's given and legal name was Hyazinth. German WP therefore uses Hyazinth. A newly published English-language history of WWII in the Baltics, Prit Buttar's detailed and thoroughly documented Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War II – published by UK-based Osprey – uses Hyazinth in every mention. To persist in using Hyacinth for this person is an error, regardless of what past (mistaken) practice in English may have been.

Ref.: Buttar, Prit. Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War II. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing (2015). ISBN-10: 1472807499; ISBN-13: 978-1472807496.

MisterBee1966, please do not revert my edits again. Thanks. Sca (talk) 13:38, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

as the main editor who brought this article to the current state, who owns all the sources, I have a strong opionion. It stays as reviewed MisterBee1966 (talk) 14:10, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
MisterBee1966, please enlighten me as to why the name should be spelled with a c rather than a z. For the reasons stated above, it appears to be historically incorrect – in which case, any sources that spell it with a c are (were) wrong. Explain why this is not so.
No doubt you put much effort into the article, but that's not a reason to leave it in an erroneous state, no matter what your (or anyone else's) contributions have been, how many books you own, or how strong your opinion may be. Further, effects on WP templates are in internal issue irrelevant to the readers we serve.
Wiki is an encyclopedia of information, and you or I don't own any of its articles. An encyclopedia must be accurate, no exceptions. Of course there's leeway in military history for different interpretations of events, but not for erroneous basic historical facts such as misspelling people's names. (For an analogy, a few English-language books spell Hitler's first name as "Adolph." This is simply wrong. Would you stick with "Adolph" if you had worked on an article about him?)
I note that the Hyaz/cinth issue has come up before and it probably will again, since it's (IMO) a spelling error. Let's fix it. Sca (talk) 15:29, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
we all have to acknowledge that Wiki relies on how a lema is predominantly known in English. It is irrelevant how the lema is known in its native language. Köln is known as Cologne and the river Rhein as Rhine. The battleship Friedrich der Große is known in English as Friedrich der Grosse. In my sources he is predominantly spelled with a C. I am very much aware that this is incorrect but it is irrelevant and therefore it stays spelled with a C, as most English sources do. MisterBee1966 (talk) 16:11, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
to add to that, Röll is the primary authority in English and German. He spelled the name with a C. See the Note in the article to, which I had put there many moons agoMisterBee1966 (talk) 16:24, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
You haven't made a reasonable case for why Hyacinth would be the CORRECT spelling for someone whose given name was Hyazinth. English-language names of German towns and rivers are not analagous and irrelevant here. Personal names are whatever they are/were on the record. German, Estonian, Norwegian and Polish WPs all use Hyazinth. (And as noted, to English readers Hyacinth is a woman's name – as in the main character of this sitcom.)
Röll may be considered the primary 'authority' on this person, but that doesn't make him infallible. If historical names are misspelled by some sources, such mistakes obviously should not be perpetuated just because someone doesn't feel like changing an article. (BTW, since you evidently are highly interested in the topic, I recommend Buttar's new book.)
I've no idea what you mean by lema. Sca (talk) 17:16, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Support what Sca says. If Mozart was spelled Mocart in some reliable source, shouldn't we honour how he himself signed? (Bad enough that we say Amadeus whyle he signed Amadé.) - To give this man a woman's name seems grotesque, not to mention kafkaesque again, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:26, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia in general uses the spelling of foreign names as it is used in the overwhelming number of English-language sources; see Franz Josef Strauss. However, I'm sure that the English-language coverage of Strachwitz is much thinner, so there is no obstacle to use the German spelling, as done for Fritz Geißler. However2, there's a good case that Strachwitz' first name is even in German "Hyacinth"; see his grave here and here, at this website. He was certainly baptised "Hyacinth", but, according to Bagdonas (2013, p. 15) later used "Hyazinth". I can only conclude that the spelling was not fixed in his own lifetime, which is not unusual for that time. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:41, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Michael. That seems to explain a lot.
Do you have an opinion on whether the article should use Z or C? (I got into this only because I'm reading Buttar's Between Giants, which as noted uses Z.)
If Hyacinth was his name, I still have to wonder why German WP and those other WPs use Z. – ??? Sca (talk) 14:34, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am back home now with access to my sources. In Röll's book you will find a number of contemporary images (including an image of his grave which is already linked above), documents and newspaper clippings. In every instance you will find his name spelled Hyacinth (with the C). Please remember that his name is derived from the Polish Saint Hyacinth of Poland. In German, this Saint is de:Hyazinth von Polen (note the Z). I can only assume that his move to West Germany introduced the spelling Hyazinth. Historically, over many generations the first born son in the family was named Hyacinth and spelled with a C.MisterBee1966 (talk) 17:32, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Mr. B, thank you for your conciliatory message on my talk page. Due to that and Michael's post, I'm beginning to understand the situation from your point of view. I apologize for acting on (apparently) insufficient information when I changed the article to the Z spelling.
How about putting some sort of explanatory note or footnote in the article regarding the two spellings? Sca (talk) 21:45, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
From my cursory examination, it doesn't matter whether the article is named using "c" or "z", but an explanatory footnote – baptised in family tradition as "Hyacinth", then preferred "Hyazinth" – should be provided. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 23:56, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
just tossing a belated 2 cents into the conversation: Hyacinth is the common spelling of the ungendered name. It might also be spelled with an e at the end. Wikipedia has a set index article with an explanation. auntieruth (talk) 18:55, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Community reassessment[edit]

Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page • GAN review not found
Result: No consensus. Anotherclown (talk) 10:13, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

2014 GA review: Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz

The article has several problematic areas:


The article relies largely on one source for the article copy, containing about 160 citations to Röll:

  • Röll, Hans-Joachim (2011). Generalleutnant der Reserve Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz: Vom Kavallerieoffizier zum Führer gepanzerter Verbände [Lieutenant General of the Reserve Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz: From a Cavalry Officer to a Leader of Armoured Units] (in German). Würzburg, Germany: Flechsig. ISBN 978-3-8035-0015-1. 

Judging by the book cover, this appears to be a laudatory, non-peer reviewed narrative along the lines authored by other similar militaria literature writers, such as Franz Kurowski or his colleague from Der Landser writer Günter Fraschka (de). WP:Biased may apply. Fraschka is used in the article for a couple of what look like POV, laudatory statements (please see Neutrality section below).

Judging by the book cover? Really? When we challenge a source for reliability, on en WP we use WP:RS. You are trying to use WP:OTHERSTUFF to challenge this text "appears to be", "what look like", "may apply", and make references to authors who have no demonstrated link to this book or author with a view to undermining it. I can't speak for it, but you'll want to do better than that. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:09, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
The bright line is verifiability, not a subjective measure of quality. Better sources are better, of course, but this meets V. Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
This source is fine. Most biographical articles rely heavily for details on one or two sources. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
You can not question the validity of a source when you are personally unfamiliar with it and do not have other sources which criticize it and/or contradict it. Per Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources, "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, that are promotional in nature, or that rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions." In this case it is unclear what kind of reputation Röll's work has and there is no indication of extremism. Dimadick (talk) 06:28, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Dimadick: The problem is that this article is essentially single-sourced to a work that is physically and linguistically inaccessible to English-language editors, and the reliability of which cannot be confirmed. The RS policy states that the articles should be based on "multiple sources" so that the information can be cross-checked. I believe this especially applies to GA articles, as they represent Wikipedia's best work.
I recently became aware of an English-language source The Devil's General: The Life of Hyazinth Strachwitz by Raymond Bagdonas. But I'm not sure if it would be helpful either. It's written by a non-notable author of unknown credentials, and the author himself states in the intro:
"[Strachwitz's] records of service in the 16th Panzer Division were destroyed along with the division in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. After a period of distinguished service with the elite Grossdeutschland Division, he served as commander of several ad-hoc units, some bearing his name, in a period when records, if kept at all, were scanty, or lost.
"It all makes for a rather threadbare paper trail. His comrades-in-arms have now all passed away, so there are no witnesses to his many battles and exploits."
Please see Casemate's blog.
Separately, please see WP:Overcite and Extraordinary claims sections for additional discussion on sources. K.e.coffman (talk) 06:31, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • This is a much better reliability concern. If Strachwitz's records of service are essentially lost works, military historians may not have reliable data for a considerable part of his service. Dimadick (talk) 06:52, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • As noted by K.e.coffman, The article relies largely on one source for the article copy, containing about 160 citations to Röll. (My emphasis). I looked up the publisher for Röll's book, Flechsig, and it's a nothing publisher. Is it a real company? I'm not convinced. From what I can find online, it might just be some guy in his basement. It's not carried by universities, libraries or otherwise reputable places, only things like amazon, so my jaw dropped when I looked back at the citation list with that in mind. This source does not appear to be appropriate for any BLP, especially to give that much weight to a single source for material not covered elsewhere. According to google scholar, it's only been cited two times by others. BLP's require a higher standard of sourcing than a regular article and this source seems to be the bottom of the barrel. It has no reputation, we know nothing about the editorial oversight or fact-checking, it's not referenced by experts, yet it's used to source WP:EXCEPTIONAL claims that multiple editors have now commented sound far fetched. Per WP:V: Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources." (WP's emphasis). All of the arguments in favor of this source contradict WP:NPOV and WP:BLP. I haven't heard any single convincing reason why this source is at all appropriate. Given WP:ONUS, "The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content", I feel like it's a waste of my time to keep looking for seemingly nonexistent information about this publisher. I'm open to the possibility that other editors might be able to verify for us that this actually a reliable source, but for now it doesn't appear to meet any of the criteria. PermStrump(talk) 20:55, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


The lead is overly long and complex, making it difficult to read. It provides extraneous detail which would not normally be notable for a military figure for inclusion in the lead, such as:

  • As an officer in the reserves, he participated in various military exercises during the 1930s.
  • At the outbreak of World War II, Strachwitz was appointed ordnance officer in his unit.
What is in the lead depends upon what is in the article. I have seen you removing completely relevant information from articles because you don't think they are "notable". WP:NOTABILITY refers to article subjects, not to information within an article. I think you may be confusing what makes a person notable and thus an appropriate subject for an article with what is relevant detail to include in an article. His military service is the main reason for the article, so information about the whole of it should be in the lead. The fact that he was a reservist between the wars is relevant to his later service and ranks he was promoted to, and the fact that he worked in ordnance is relevant to his career. As a veteran I am personally intrigued by the fact that he was an ordnance officer but ended up commanding a panzer regiment. I am sure I am not alone. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:18, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Same here. To me these are important points. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I think the lede is excellent, but I tend to use four-para ledes of about this length in my own articles -AI Mk. IV radar for example- so I'm biased in that respect. Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The lead looks fine to me. It summarises the article quite well. Length falls within the guidelines. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section: "The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic. It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." A relatively long lead might be better at managing these requirements, and Wikipedia has a long list of articles with leads which are too short. See how many articles are tagged with Template:Lead too short. The one reliability concern I have for the lead, is that his activities in the 1930s are summarized to "he participated in various military exercises during the 1930s." The relevant section National Socialism states that he actually served in both the Allgemeine SS and the Military reserve force during the 1930s, and through a series of quick promotions achieved the dual ranks of Sturmbannführer and Rittmeister. Career-wise it seems more important than his participation on a largely irrelevant military exercise. Dimadick (talk) 06:47, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Overly detailed[edit]

The article contains excessive intricate detail, such as

  • Again, you are confused about the application of WP:NOTABILITY. In this case, my understanding is that qualification for this badge was some sort of expectation during probation in the Allgemeine-SS, so it may be a little esoteric. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 09:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Here I agree, there is significant amounts of what could only be described as OT filler. The discussion of the Schlieffen Plan, for instance, has nothing whatsoever to do with this article. There are certainly places one can include such information as a background for explaining the contents of that article (as in the radar example above, one really does need to know about chain home to know how you get there) the materials in this case bear no explanatory power. But casting my gaze wider, I don't find that many instances of this, perhaps 10% of the article body at the most. I would argue that removing these would improve the article, but it certainly isn't a "bad article" as it is.
      • It has been impressed on me again and again that the readers don't want to interrupt their reading to click on the blue links in order to understand what they are being told. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Generally, a biographical article should be comprehensive and,when needed, provide some context for the info provided. Details about the Schlieffen Plan may be out-of-topic here. The article on the topic points that the Plan guided some German strategic movements up to 1914, but was largely irrelevant to the way World War I was fought following the Battle of the Frontiers and Germany's failure to achieve the objectives of the Plan. Dimadick (talk) 07:10, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

The section on childhood unnecessarily long for an article on a military man, especially at this level of detail:

  • Strachwitz was born on 30 July 1893 in Groß Stein, in the district of Groß Strehlitz in Silesia, a province in the Kingdom of Prussia. Today it is Kamień Śląski, in Gogolin, Opole Voivodeship, Poland. Strachwitz was the second child of Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz (1864–1942) and his wife Aloysia (1872–1940),[Note 1] née Gräfin von Matuschka Freiin von Toppolczan und Spaetgen.[2][Note 2] He had an older sister, Aloysia (1892–1972), followed by his younger brother Johannes (1896–1917) nicknamed "Ceslaus", his sister Elisabeth (1897–1992), his brother Manfred (1899–1972), his brother Mariano (1902–22), and his youngest sister Margarethe (1905–1989).[3]. His family were members of the old Silesian nobility (Uradel), and held large estates in Upper Silesia, including the family Schloss (Palace) at Groß Stein. As the first-born son he was the heir to the title Graf (Count) Strachwitz, and following family tradition he was christened Hyacinth, after the 12th century saint. Some clothing belonging to the saint were in the family's possession until 1945.[4].
  • Strachwitz attended the Volksschule (primary school) and the Gymnasium (advanced secondary school) in Oppeln—present-day Opole. He received further schooling and paramilitary training at the Königlich Preußischen Kadettenkorps (Royal Prussian cadet corps) in Wahlstatt—present-day Legnickie Pole—before he transferred to the Hauptkadettenanstalt (Main Military Academy) in Berlin-Lichterfelde....
  • There is a requirement that articles be comprehensive. While I wouldn't personally include all the detail in the first dot point, for example I think his position in the family and the number of children would be sufficient detail on his family structure, the second one is completely legitimate and standard for any detailed biographical article where the information is available. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:23, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
The more detail the better. For many of the topics we write about on the Wiki, the article in question becomes the canonical worldwide reference. As such I generally argue in favour of any on-topic detail.
  • As a reader and an editor in Wikipedia, I rather prefer articles that go in depth into family background and in some cases social background of a subject. I may be biased, but I think the information on the family and its estates should stay. The translation of "Schloss" to "palace" seems to be inaccurate, since the article on the subject indicates that the term is partly equivalent to both "castle" and "country house". The information on education is not exactly helpful, since Volksschule and Gymnasium (school) are generic terms for primary and secondary schools in several countries. The information would be equivalent to writing "he attended kindergarten, elementary school, and high school" on the article of a an American general. It might be factual but hardly unusual. When discussing the historical name of a modern location, long sentences are unneeded. "Oppeln—present-day Opole" could be written as "Oppeln (Opole)" and let the blue link provide additional information on the topic. Dimadick (talk) 07:33, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Low-level unit actions[edit]

Military operations of low-level units are described in excessive detail, for example:

  • His patrol ran into many obstacles and they were constantly on the verge of being detected by either British or French forces. Their objective was the Paris–LimogesBordeaux train track. Strachwitz dispatched a messenger, who broke through to the German lines and delivered the intelligence they had gathered. The patrol blew up the signal box at the Fontainebleau railway station,[5]....
    • The objective and result of a military operation at any level, are important. The "ran into obstacles" sentence seems uninformative and being located by the enemy comes with leading a patrol in an enemy area. The sentence could be shortened with no real loss of information. Dimadick (talk) 07:43, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • His regiment also crossed the border that day at Grunsruh and reached the river Lisswarthe at noon. They took Klobutzko that evening without much resistance. On 2 September they proceeded on towards Biała Górna, where they suffered the first casualties of the war. They then crossed the Warthe at Gidle and Plauno heading for Radomsko. Suffering further losses, they conquered Petrikau on 5 September. The regiment reached Góra Kalwaria at the Vistula via Wolbórz and Zawada on 8 September. Here the regiment was allowed to rest until 10 September. On this day, Keltsch informed him that Strachwitz had been nominated for the Clasp to the Iron Cross (Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz)....
    • The information on the military operation, its progress, and the casualties seems relevant here. That Strachwitz was nominated for a military decoration for his actions may be kept, but who informed him about his nomination and on what day seems rather trivial to me. Dimadick (talk) 07:51, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Kirchner received the order for Fall Gelb at 13:15, during lunch, on 9 May 1940. (is it important that the subject was at lunch when the order came in?)
    • Hardly relevant. Detailed information on the exact timing on an event within a day is useful when it actually has some relevance to the topic. For example, in Jack the Ripper-related articles, the time of day is given for when were the victims last seen alive and when were their corpses discovered. The timing has actually been discussed in multiple sources to help determine a timeline for the investigation. I doubt that this topic has similar relevance. Dimadick (talk) 07:59, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strachwitz's I. Battalion received the order to prepare for the attack on 6 April 1941 at 09:00. (is exact timing important?)
  • The time isn't important unless later events on that day depend on an understanding of when the orders were received. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:33, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • It depends on the context. A sentence that goes "orders received at 9:00 AM", "the operation began at 11:00 A.M", and the "operation was completed by 3:00 P.M" might be necessary to establish the order and duration of events. If the receiving of the order does not relate to other events of the same day, the detail is extraneous. Dimadick (talk) 08:05, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Various wounds are described in excessive detail:

  • During the Battle of Uman (15 July – 8 August 1941) Strachwitz received injuries to the head on 29 July and was hit again by shrapnel in the arm the next day. He received first aid in the field and stayed with his men.[6] (It appears that the subject only needed first aid; this material is superfluous. In general, military men are generally not notable for having been wounded.)
  • Again, you misunderstand notability. The fact that he was wounded but remained with his command would be included in any military biography. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • This has nothing to do with notability. Combat injuries and what kind of medical aid was available seem essential to a military biography, they were not extraneous detail. Dimadick (talk) 08:09, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • From 1 December 1941 – 9 January 1942 he stayed at hospitals in Opplen and Breslau. He then went on an extended leave, staying in Groß Stein and Alt Siedel. He returned to the Eastern Front in mid-March 1942. Here he received the 1939 version of the Wound Badge in Silver on 17 March 1942.[7] (same)
  • I assume you think it is relevant that he wasn't with his unit during that period. An explanation of why is appropriate. The award is relevant, particularly given the number of times he was wounded during the war. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • That he was on military leave for nearly 4 months to recuperate from injuries seems relevant. In what hospitals and houses he spend this period seems too much of a detail. That he received an award for multiple injuries received while in service seems relevant, but the exact date may not be. Dimadick (talk) 08:16, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strachwitz and his driver, Feldwebel Haase, were severely wounded on 13 October 1942, requiring immediate treatment in a field hospital. A direct hit on their command Panzer caused severe burns... (same)
  • Are you kidding? Of course this information is relevant to his biography. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Severe injuries in combat service and nearly dying on the field seem essential here. The link to "burn" might be too generic. The relevant medical article points that the term is used for anything from 1st-degree burns (which take up to 10 days to heal and are not life-threatening) to 4th-degree burns (which require amputation, result in significant functional impairment, and can be lethal). Dimadick (talk) 18:24, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strachwitz was directing the attack from his command Panzer and had ordered his gunner to hold fire. Strachwitz was carelessly resting his left arm on the gun-breech. The gunner, without orders, fired the gun, causing the recoiling gun to smash his left arm. Strachwitz was immediately evacuated to a field hospital.[8]... (same)
  • the circumstances of his wounding is relevant to his biography. I don't have the foggiest idea why you think it should be deleted. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
    Agreed. This is important. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Accidental injuries seem relevant, particularly when they result to hospital evacuation. Dimadick (talk) 08:28, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Non-battlefield actions[edit]

Non-battlefield actions are described in excessive detail:

  • Following a brief vacation back home in Silesia, Strachwitz was back with the 1st Panzer Division at the training grounds at Königsbrück near Dresden. During the preparations for the fall manoeuvres the General der Kavallerie (General of the Cavalry) von Weichs was dismissed. On 18 September Panzer-Regiment 2 was relocated from Königsbrück to Fürstenberg and then to Neustrelitz. Here, under the watchful eyes of Hitler and Benito Mussolini from the Schmooksberg near Laage, the 1st and 3rd Panzer-Brigade, supported by Kampfgeschwader (Bomber Wings), practiced a large scale tank attack. The regiment returned to Eisenach on 30 September. Strachwitz returned home to his estate but was called back shortly before the Anschluß, the annexation of Austria by Germany, in March 1938.[9]....
    No, this is important. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Königsbrück near Dresden? The relevant article points to a distance of 27 km (16.78 miles) between the two cities. I assume the dismissed "von Weichs" is Maximilian von Weichs, though I do not see the relevance of this dismissal to an article on Strachwitz. Much of the material here actually seems to be about Strachwitz's unit and not about Strachwitz himself. Dimadick (talk) 08:40, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Against orders, his jubilant adjutant, Unteroffizier Rosenstock, woke him up on the early morning to share the news.[10]
  • This is, of course, referring to his award of the Diamonds to his RK. I would have thought it was fine to include, especially given the high level of award involved. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:09, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The military award is important, the jubilation of an adjutant may not be, and that Strachwitz had given orders to his underlings to not disturb his sleep seems to give a ridiculous level of detail. The mentioned rank Unteroffizier seems to be a German equivalent to Sergeant, which should probably be explained here. Dimadick (talk) 08:47, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Non-military matters[edit]

Non-military matters are also described in excessive detail, for example:

  • Annual production at Groß Stein was 92,894 litres (24,540 US gal) and 116,386 litres (30,746 US gal) at Alt Siedel. Of his 4,109-hectare (10,150-acre) property, 1,182.6 hectares (2,922 acres) were farmland, 69.9 hectares (173 acres) meadows, 26.3 hectares (65 acres) pastures, 6.1 hectares (15 acres) water, 2,737.3 hectares (6,764 acres) forest, 10 hectares (25 acres) parks, and 6.6 hectares (16 acres) gardens, 35 hectares (86 acres) wasteland and 19.4 hectares (48 acres) buildings and farms, as well as 16 roads. His agricultural production included forest seeds, rye, barley, corn, potatoes, lupins and malt. In animal husbandry he had feral, cattle, horse breeding, Deutsches Edelschwein (German pig), merinos and fish.[11].
    Strachwitz also owned the manor in Alt Siedel with a property size of 583 hectares (1,440 acres). 278 hectares (690 acres) were farmland, 13.5 hectares (33 acres) pastures, 3.5 hectares (8.6 acres) gardens, 279 hectares (690 acres) forest, 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) water, and 5 hectares (12 acres) were buildings. The manor in Einsiedel, in Freudenthal—present-day Bruntál in the Czech Republic—Upper Silesia, with its oak forests and farmland, belonged to him as well.[12].
  • this could be cut down to the production, size of the estate in total and agricultural produce. Same for the manor. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:22, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The level of wealth of a biographical subject seems relevant. I am less certain of the accuracy of the numbers given, and "annual production" is by its nature not a fixed number. Dimadick (talk) 08:51, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The influential man behind Husni al-Za'im was Adib Shishakli, who wanted a Pan-Arabian revolution and was trying to run the state from behind the scenes. Seeing himself as a state-maker, the Otto von Bismarck of the Arabian peoples, Shishakli's goal was to transform Syria into a kind of "Prussian Arabia". He owned a Mercedes car which had once belonged to Adolf Hitler... (the latter sentence also appears to be trivia).[13]
  • Seems a bit off-topic unless it is relevant to Strachwitz's involvement with him (which isn't apparent). Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:22, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Sourced or not, the language here is POV. Adib Shishakli is compared to Otto von Bismarck, Syria to the Kingdom of Prussia, and Röll seems to not be an expert or reliable source in Syrian political history. That Shishakli had a passion for vintage cars might be relevant to his biographical article, not that of Strachwitz. Dimadick (talk) 09:09, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 16.
  2. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 13, 16.
  3. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 20–22.
  4. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 20–22.
  5. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 20–22.
  6. ^ Röll 2011, p. 74.
  7. ^ Röll 2011, p. 93.
  8. ^ Röll 2011, p. 135.
  9. ^ Röll 2011, p. 148.
  10. ^ Röll 2011, p. 148.
  11. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 20–22.
  12. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 20–22.
  13. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 184–186.
List of junior ranks[edit]


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  2. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  3. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  4. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  5. ^ Röll 2011 p. 188
  6. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  7. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188
  8. ^ Röll 2011, p. 188.

Most of these are junior ranks and non-notable. This could just as easily be conveyed by stating that the subject finished World War as an Oberleutnant, and World War II as Generalleutnant. The section appears to be reproducing verbatim the subject's service record, which seems to belong in the archives, and not on an encyclopedia article, especially for a mid-level officer. Otherwise, the article looks like an indiscriminate collection of primary material.

Sorry, this is arrant nonsense. The career of the subject is relevant information. Promotions/demotions are all relevant, and are included in all quality military biographies. I suggest you have a look at some other military biographical articles and educate yourself, because you are way off base with this. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:37, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. This is the sort of information that we like to include in every military biography if we possibly can. And at a glance I can see important points, like the fact that he spent twelve years as an Oberleutnant. I am constantly referring to articles to verify ranks at particular times. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • This has nothing to do with the notability of the rank. The advancement of a career and series of promotions is relevant to any article on members of hierarchical systems, such as the military. Note however that Obersturmführer seems to be the rank used for a large number of low-level officers with duties ranging from simple staff aids to commanders of their own platoon, so the rank alone may not explain the significance of a promotion. Dimadick (talk) 09:24, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c d Scherzer 2007, p. 728.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 413.
  3. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 331.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 63.
  5. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 31.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
  7. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 15.
  8. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 37.
  9. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 12.

Three citations for material that's unlikely to be controversial do not appear to be needed.

The reason for the three citations is that there are several "authorities" on awards the Knight's Cross, and they can vary (generally in detail) on the specifics of the awards. Given that, having all three isn't excessive in my view. Where they agree, it reinforces the authority regarding the specifics. I've used five citations regarding the contentious award of a lowly EKII, sometimes it is necessary for that reason, but in this case, three is ok. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 09:07, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Coincidently, I found a relevant discussion from 2013 on Scherzer, Fellgiebel et al. in the MilHist archives. The passage (from editor ÄDA - DÄP VA) directly related is:
  1. Scherzer and Busch & Röll have been properly researched and have found critical acclaim from scholars. In most articles they are rightly the major source.
  2. Fellgiebel represents the current view of the [Knight's Cross Holders Association], although biased, I can live with it, if accompanied by one of the works mentioned above.
  3. Range and von Seemen come from the same place, but have been superseded by Fellgiebel's work and are thus dated. Same apllies to Kurowski, who has been criticized for ignoring scholarly studies since 1957. One wonders what information can be found there that is not in one of the more reliable sources.
  4. Schaulen, Fraschka, and Alman are heavily NPOV, incidentally Alman is a pseudonym for Kuroswki which he used not to taint the reputation for his more serious work.
  5. Last, Williamson does not give footnotes nor does he provide a bibliography in his works concerned here, while obviously drawing on some of the sources already mentioned. In some cases I left his works in the list, if only because there were no other English-language publications listed.
As noted in the Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's article, he was a long-term president of the Knight's Cross Holders Association. So Scherzer would be preferred where available, in not then Fellgiebel is okay. Seemen is redundant as well. The minute differences between Fellgiebel and Scherzer appear immaterial to warrant inclusion of both sources.
Please also see for a local consensus on this WP:Overcite topic at Talk:Erich von Manstein, which is a GA article. Here's the related diff1 and diff2 that resulted. K.e.coffman (talk) 06:28, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • That a source is dated may be relevant to areas where there has been additional research and/or a shift in the POV of sources. For example, a source from the Red Scare may support wide-scale persecution of communists, but a more recent source may criticize or condemn. In the case of who received what award in the 1940s, I doubt there will be much new information uncovered. Dimadick (talk) 09:34, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


Extraordinary claims[edit]

This is an extraordinary claim and requires verification by multiple sources.


  1. ^ Williamson 2006, p. 26.

I would not consider Gordon Williamson (writer) to be an RS for this claim, judging by the linked article.

You would need to establish that Williamson is not reliable. Per WP:RS. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:39, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
"The military historian S.P. MacKenzie describes Williamson as a writer who attempts "to restore the tarnished reputation [of the Waffen-SS] and reiterate its superb fighting qualities" by relying on veterans' narratives, with "predictably positive results"." Yup, he's definitely a reliable source! But in all due seriousness, this is just a claim. Unless we have any form of reliable proof that it wasn't simple propaganda like many other kill claims, we should describe it as a claim, as opposed to how it's worded now. --MaxRavenclaw (talk) 07:45, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
Also note that "destruction of more than 270 Soviet tanks and artillery pieces within 48 hours" from the lead becomes: "his regiment destroyed more than 270 Soviet tanks within 48 hours". So were these only tanks, or including artillery pieces, or perhaps mortar tubes as well?
Although not in the article, according to Williamson, on another occasion (in 1943), the subject "destroyed 105 Soviet tanks in 30 minutes, with just four Panzers of his own. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:35, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
G'day, I feel attribution in the body would be the best way to deal with this. It is a claim, so we should call it such and state who claims it (policy link: WP:BIASED). Equally, if you have a source that says otherwise, it could easily be contrasted in the text of the article. Please remember we are here to report what is written on something (i.e. "verified"), not the "truth", per Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. Regarding your point about artillery pieces and tanks (the discrepancy between lead and the body), you raise a fair point. It is my understanding that the German military potentially included self propelled artillery under the encompassing term "tank". I could be wrong, though. Potentially, the best way to resolve it is to add a short verbatim quote in the body (with attribution, e.g. 'according to Smith, "blah blah blah"...', and then come up with something less detailed for the lead. Perhaps something like this in the lead would be an improvement: "For his service on the Eastern Front, specifically during the tank battle of Kalach, he received several high awards such as the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves" (or something similar). It would reduce the detail a little in the lead, and resolve the discrepancy. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:07, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
It appears that WP:QS is more applicable vs WP:BIASED, as Williamson and similar authors have been indeed questioned by reputable historians in published works, as for example noted by MaxRavenclaw above. Please see more at Waffen-SS in popular culture.
As far reflecting the sources, I believe this applies to what Wikipedia considers to be reliable sources. WP:MILMOS#SOURCES states: "articles on military history should aim to be based primarily on published secondary works by reputable historians". I do not believe that Williamson can be described as a reputable historian and statistics that he provides are questionable, while we are not even sure whether these were tanks, or tanks + artillery, or tanks + artillery + mortars, or equipment simply abandoned in an encirclement battle which did occur at Kalach in that timeframe. However, Williamson does not state a date. K.e.coffman (talk) 07:07, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Unless I am mistaken, the mentioned battle on Kalach-na-Donu is the Battle of Kalach (1942), a German military victory. According to that article, the German forces overestimated the number of enemy tanks that they managed to destroy. "XIV Panzer Corps alone claimed to have knocked out 482 Soviet tanks in the last eight days of the month, and the total Sixth Army claimed was well over 600. Soviet accounts confirm that strong tank forces were in the Kalach bridgehead, but not as many tanks as the Germans claimed." A source that is itself using only German accounts for this battle may indeed produce inflated numbers. Dimadick (talk) 09:47, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
So what's the conclusion. Williamson is biased? Do we keep him as a source? --MaxRavenclaw (talk) 10:55, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Potential synthesis[edit]

The article appears to contain unnecessary speculation which may be construed as original research/synthesis and is only tangentially related to the subject of the article:

  • Peter Hoffmann, a Canadian historian of German descent, published a book in 1969 with the title "Widerstand, Staatsstreich, Attentat. Der Kampf der Opposition gegen Hitler" [Resistance, Coup d'etat, Assassination — The Battle of the Opposition against Hitler]. This work lists Strachwitz as being part of the German military resistance to Nazism. With generals Hubert Lanz, Hans Speidel and Paul Loehning (de) he is shown as being associated with "Plan Lanz". But the only person to have testified that a "Plan Lanz" ever existed was general Hubert Lanz. According to Lanz, the plan was to arrest or kill Hitler in early February 1943 during Hitler's scheduled visit to the Army Detachment Lanz. In his account, the role of Strachwitz was to surround Hitler and his escorts shortly after Hitler's arrival with his tanks. Lanz stated that he would have then arrested Hitler, and in the event of resistance, Strachwitz's tanks would have shot and killed the entire delegation. Hitler cancelled the visit and the plan was dropped.[1] Author Röll casts doubt on this account. Strachwitz's cousin, Rudolf von Gersdorff, who attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1943, stated that Strachwitz had expressed the belief to him several times that killing Hitler would have constituted murder. Röll concludes that Strachwitz was too much a Prussian officer to consider murdering Hitler.[2]

Quoting from Otto Carius appears to be undue and/or speculation, to try to make light of the subject's unsuccessful battlefield performance:

  • Alternatively tension between him and the division's commander Hörnlein is thought by many veterans to be the true reason for Strachwitz's departure.[3] Otto Carius stated that:

Gossip mongers maintained that the Großdeutschland Panzer-Regiment was taken away from Strachwitz because he had too many losses. I had justifiable doubts concerning this claim. Graf Strachwitz and his staff were always employed at hot spots on the front, where they had to carry out extremely pressing operations, for which every form of support was provided to them. Painful losses couldn't always be avoided during those types of operations. But it was through these losses that the lives of many soldiers from other units were saved."[4]


  1. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 182–183.
  2. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 184–186.
  3. ^ Röll 2011, p. 139.
  4. ^ Carius 2003, p. 100.
  • This is not WP:SYNTH. He is quoting notable writers on their opinions. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • If it has sources and accurately reflects them, it is not original research. Per Wikipedia:No original research: "The prohibition against OR means that all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable, published source, even if not actually attributed. The verifiability policy says that an inline citation to a reliable source must be provided for all quotations, and for anything challenged or likely to be challenged—but a source must exist even for material that is never challenged. " I thing you misunderstand the policy. On the other hand, the lengthy quotation of Otto Carius seems to be a bit too much. Per the current policy on Quotations: "While quotations are an indispensable part of Wikipedia, try not to overuse them. Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea. It is generally recommended that content be written in Wikipedia editor's own words. Using too many quotes is incompatible with an encyclopedic writing style, and may indicate a copyright infringement. Consider minimizing the use of quotations by paraphrasing, as quotations should not replace free text (including one that the editor writes)," Dimadick (talk) 10:01, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Non-verifiable by independent sources[edit]

Potentially unverifiable information is presented in Wikipedia's voice:

  • Strachwitz took the opportunity and reported to Hube, volunteering for service in the Stalingrad pocket. Hube rejected this request, stating that Strachwitz would be better deployed somewhere else.[1]
  • It's not "potentially unverifiable", it is verifiable from the source given. It could be in-line attributed to Roll, but I don't think it is necessary, unless you have a source that challenges the assertion? Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:24, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I would rather in-line attribute the act of volunteering to the source that includes it. Be careful of stating in Wikipedia's voice something which only a minority of sources supports. Dimadick (talk) 10:05, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 110.



Unneeded foreign language translations for the terms already linked. Interested readers can click on the related links.

  • This approach to translations is quite common on en WP, and is a matter for the main editor(s). It has been accepted by consensus of the Milhist A-Class reviewers, so I wouldn't touch it. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:26, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • This approach to translations is more often used to cover how a name or term is used or spelled in its native language. For example Greek terms or Greek-derived terms such as Catholic (term), Kyrios, Demon do have them. It does not help readability to include the German names of each military award in a bio article, and the Iron Cross is probably sufficiently familiar to non-German readers to not need a translation at all. We even have articles on American comic book characters who are named after the award. Dimadick (talk) 10:16, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • It's superfluous on to provide the German equivalent of the English name of every award received by the biographical article subject, especially since they're linked to articles on the awards that provide the German names. If we provided the German (or whatever) original for every military and other term, article length would bloat dramatically. Imagine if every military title, division name, etc., were given in multiple languages at an article like World War II; it would be practically unreadable. When to provide a translation/transliteration and original at the same time is a judgement call. If this article were to retain both, it would probably be in German first, as the proper name, then an English gloss, and done on the basis that the RS (in English) about these medals usually use the German. If that's not the case, just use the English. Including both in the lead, in particular, is kind of beyond the pale.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:33, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Inclusion doesn't make these articles unreadable at all - unless people can't actually read. They're instantly informative. Dapi89 (talk) 09:28, 22 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Röll 2011, p. 31.
Foreign language terms[edit]

Excessive foreign-language spelling of unit names and piping, when English language articles for this topics are available, for example:

  • The 16th Panzer Division was subordinated to ''[[Army Group South|Heeresgruppe Süd]]'' (Army Group South) under the command of ''Generalfeldmarschall'' Von Rundstedt. The goal, together with the [[6th Army (Wehrmacht)|6. Armee]] and [[17th Army (Wehrmacht)|17. Armee]] as well as ''Panzergruppe'' I... Etc.
  • ''[[Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten]]''
  • I strongly disagree. I personally prefer the German version. And I can spot a subtlety in one of these examples that reminds me of why. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Agree with Hawkeye7. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:26, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I actually agree with K.e.coffman here. For readers which can not read German, the names used are simply obscuring the meaning of the terms. Dimadick (talk) 10:21, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Concur with K.e.coffman. And the "subtlety" matter is resolved by wording and linking a little differently. This is really the same issue as the medal-naming redundancy above. If we have an article on the topic at an English title, because RS on the subject in English regularly use the English version not the German original, use the English version. It produces cleaner, shorter prose that is less "we're going to make you learn some German-language trivia whether you want to or not" brow-beating. Throwing all the unnecessary German in is simply going to make many readers' eyes glaze over. The treatment quoted above isn't even consistent; don't bounce around from "Panzer Division" to "Panzergruppe".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:42, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Agree with Peacemaker67 and Hawkeye7. Dapi89 (talk) 09:26, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Overlinking to common terms (lung cancer, eulogy):

  • Strachwitz lived out his final years quietly and died on 25 April 1968 of lung cancer in hospital in Trostberg.[1] The Bundeswehr provided an honour guard as a mark of respect. Heinz-Georg Lemm delivered the eulogy.[2]
    • Lung cancer is not a common term. The blue link leads to a medical article which more fully explains the cause of death. On the other hand, I am not certain whether the link to eulogy provides any additional information. Dimadick (talk) 11:39, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • ...he participated in various military exercises during the 1930s.
  • ... were questioned by a French captain and accused of being spies and saboteurs.[3]
  • A direct hit (...) caused severe burns...
well, lung cancer, ok. It certainly appears to be unnecessarily linked, but not everyone knows what a eulogy is. Be careful in assuming that everyone has your own level of education and experience with language. Obviously Bundeswehr and Trostberg should remain linked. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:08, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
The names of the towns too. I would leave eulogy linked. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Of course lung cancer is a common term, in both senses (it's the vernacular version of a less familiar medical term, and it's one of the leading causes of death). However, I would still link it in this case, because we should link causes of death as pertinent and helpful to the reader in the context, not drive-by overlinking.

    We do not need to link "eulogy", "military exercises", "burns", etc. It's DICDEF behavior. "Spies" and "saboteur" are judgment calls, and I think I would link them (though I would link spy to espionage, what he was actually accused of, and bypassing the redirect), again because they're pertinent avenues for readers getting more contextually important information. We link to help the reader understand the material.

    Think it through as a reader: I learn that he was accused of things; I've heard these terms before (maybe, these days, more in the context of commercial espionage and hacker sabotage), and I wonder just what such an accusation would have entailed in this context. Our articles provide this background. I read that he died of lung cancer, which I've obviously heard of before. Was this an unusual way to go out in his era? Should he have seen it coming, since today we all know smoking is carcinogenic? Our article does in fact go into lung cancer rates and the prevalent and eventually declining "culture" of smoking in the 20th century, and how long it took to prove the connection. Now I hit the term "military exercise", a passing reference to something the subject did briefly. I really DGaF for a detailed exploration of that right now, because it doesn't tell me anything important about the bio subject. I run into "eulogy"; even if I don't actually know this word, it's kind of clear from the context, and I know what a dictionary is; reading up on the history of eulogies helps me in no way understand the subject better. And everyone over about the age of 3 knows all about burns, from having touched the hot stove or mommy's curling iron by that age; there's no reason to link this except in a context where understanding the physiology and treatment of burns is helpful (e.g. in an article on first aid, or even in this one, if the subject had died in hospital of burns received in a house fire).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:01, 9 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 31.
  2. ^ Röll 2011, p. 181.
  3. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 26–27.


The article is potentially non-neutral, as it contains POV language, such as:

  • He was captured by the French in October 1914 and almost executed on the spot for wearing civilian clothes. He was later sentenced to forced labour (if he was wearing civilian clothes, then perhaps he should have been sentenced as a spy) and after an odyssey (non encyclopedic language) through various French prisons and several escape attempts ....
  • "odyssey" is flowery and pretty unencyclopedic. The others are appropriate. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:17, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Execution and forced labor are standard terms for these situations and I fail to see any POV in using them. Executions for espionage were standard practice for much of the 20th century, particularly in war-time. Even the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) which restricts the use of the death penalty and lethal force makes an exception for war-time offenses. "Protocol 6 - restriction of death penalty - Requires parties to restrict the application of the death penalty to times of war or "imminent threat of war". Every Council of Europe member state has signed and ratified Protocol 6, except Russia, which has signed but not ratified." Odyssey sees out of place here, since the definition is "an extended adventurous voyage." Dimadick (talk) 11:57, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Röll states that Strachwitz believed that he could better politically represent his Upper Silesian agricultural and forestry interests by joining the NSDAP.[1]... (this appears to be a way to explain away the subject's party membership; also the construction "Röll states that Strachwitz believed..." suggests that this is either speculation, or that Röll was writing the book from the subject's words)
  • Suggest what you like, people joined the Nazi Party for a whole range of reasons, including to promote their business interests. Why do you doubt this reason as given? Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:17, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I do not see a problem here. The claim explains which historian or biographer supports it. It may be accurate or inaccurate, but it is not stated in Wikipedia's voice or presented as a certain fact. Dimadick (talk) 12:02, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strachwitz, charging his Panzer III ahead of his troops, engaged a Soviet supply convoy.... (non-encyclopedic language; it is also unclear to me why "[[Soviet]] supply convoy" is being piped to the Soviet Union)
  • "charging his panzer" is flowery. Red Army would be a better link. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:17, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • It might not be neutral, but the expression "charging ahead" might better reflect what the source claims. Given the length of the section covering conflicts with the Soviet Union, one or two links to the article on the country or specific military formations seems appropriate. But in this case the link seems misplaced. Dimadick (talk) 12:09, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • During the advance in France Strachwitz adopted the thinking that "Tanks must be led from the front!"[2][3]
    • It might need some additional explanation here, but the concept of a military leader who places himself in the line of fire and takes risks is not that rare. Dimadick (talk) 12:16, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Even in his role as supply officer he led "from the front".[4]
  • ...rose to fame for his command of armoured forces in World War. (It seems that only a few sources are available; perhaps he was not very famous)
    • It depends on the era. It is not that unusual for a politician, a literary figure, a military officer, an actor, etc, to rise to become a household name which everybody has heard off. However as time passes and generations change, his/her memory may fade away and the name becomes known only to a minority of experts or aficionados. For example, Edward Bulwer-Lytton was probably among the most famous and successful British authors of the 19th century and has left a lasting legacy, but most of his works are now either vanishingly obscure or only studied for their influence in various other writers, philosophers, and occultists. His novel Vril (1871) has attracted the attention of quite a few crackpots who either take it for a factual account or consider it to have had a huge influence on Nazism. Dimadick (talk) 12:40, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • During this campaign, Strachwitz showed such a talent for commanding panzers that his troops nicknamed him der Panzergraf (the Armoured Count). [5]


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 181.
  2. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 53–54.
  3. ^ Fraschka 1994, p. 139.
  4. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 53–54.
  5. ^ Williamson 2006, p. 26.

On the last point, it's equally as likely that he got the nickname due to his aristocratic background. Williamson is not an RS for the "talent" claim. Fraschka has been mentioned in the section on sources above.

    • I have reasons to doubt the neutrality of Williamson's assessment, though the nickname should probably be mentioned. Attributing the etymology of a nickname to anonymous troops sounds like weasel words to me. It is the equivalent of saying "they called him a genius", without having to mention who "they" are or why they did that. Dimadick (talk) 12:47, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Full name is Maria Aloysia Hedwig Friederike Therese Oktavie, Gräfin von Matuschka, Freiin von Toppolczan und Spaetgen.[1]
  2. ^ Regarding personal names: Freiin was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baroness. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The title is for unmarried daughters of a Freiherr.

K.e.coffman (talk) 03:00, 11 June 2016 (UTC)


Comments by AustralianRupert: Thank you for the time you have put into your review. Overall, I think the article could be edited to maintain its current assessment status. I have some comments/suggestions: AustralianRupert (talk) 05:21, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I think you need to provide some evidence that Roll is biased rather than judging a book by its cover. Otherwise, as it appears to be a full length biography it seems appropriate to me that it is relied upon as the main source;
  • sourcing: "regiment destroyed more than 270 Soviet tanks within 48 hours": this should be attributed in text, but I don't see a problem with including it so long as it is clearly attributed;
  • Level of detail: some of this I agree with you on; however, I think it is important to remember though that the article should reflect the level of detail that reliable sources provide, otherwise it is not complete. As such, details about family, wounds, and small unit actions (when the subject is directly involved) seem appropriate to me, although perhaps the wording could be tightened. The coverage of the higher level strategy may be overly detailed, unless the subject was involved in developing it, although some context is of course necessary;
  • the annual production figures are probably not necessary;
  • "As an officer in the reserves, he participated in various military exercises during the 1930s": it seems fair enough to me to state in the lead that he remained serving in the reserves;
  • Neutrality/wording: I don't agree that the word "executed" is a POV term. Regardless of what side shoots someone as a spy, the term executed is a reasonable description. Nevertheless, perhaps the lead could just say "was nearly shot as a spy after he was caught wearing civilian clothes" or something similar.
  • "sentenced to forced labour": seems a reasonably neutral term. I'm not seeing the POV in that. Do you have a suggestion about re-wording?
  • "odyssey through various French prisons and several escape attempts he returned to Germany after the war in 1918": agreed, this could be tightened. Perhaps this would work: "...after incarceration in various French prisons and several escape attempts he returned to Germany after the war in 1918"?
  • "charging his Panzer": probably could be toned down slightly, but not generally POV in my opinion. Perhaps, "advancing ahead of the rest of his troops in his Panzer III..."?
  • "such a talent", the claim probably should be attributed in text, which would resolve the issue for me. For instance, "According to Williamson, during this campaign, Strachwitz showed such a talent for commanding..." Or, the "such a talent" bit could just be removed and and replaced with: "During this campaign, according to Williamson, Strachwitz gained the nickname der Panzergraf (the Armoured Count)", or "Williamson states that during this campaign Strachwitz gained the nickname der Panzergraf (the Armoured Count)";
  • "Refusing to accept this, and showing tremendous willpower...": this should be reworded (removal of "tremendous willpower", equally I don't think the list is required here. It might be better to just say: "Refusing to accept this, he worked out his own rehabilitation program. After seven days, Strachwitz signed himself out of the hospital... "
  • "unnecessary losses infringed by": should be "unnecessary losses incurred by.."
  • "letter Decker stated, that...": comma splice
  • "though Strachwitz was on the verge of going genuinely mad in the process": this should probably be reworded slightly:"though Strachwitz's mental health genuinely deteriorated in the process".
  • Your comment here misunderstands attribution policies and is not a fair criticism of the article: "...also the construction 'Röll states that Strachwitz believed...' suggests that this is either speculation, or that Röll was writing the book from the subject's words...". I believe that this is an appropriate attribution of opinion in the circumstances.
  • The header "A member of the German resistance?" probably needs to be re-worded as per MOS:HEAD which precludes the use of questions. Perhaps just have "Involvement with the German resistance" as the section title. AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • section header: "World War II – der Panzergraf". This should probably just be "World War II" as the context isn't established until later, and it seems unnecessary emphasis on the nickname AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • "hooked up with...": probably should be "linked up with..." AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • "his unit destroyed 105 T-34s" --> "his unit claimed to have destroyed 105 T-34s" (or something similar) AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • grammar here needs work: "started their attacked on Lubny and ambushed and destroyed a Soviet supply convoy...." (the article needs a copy edit, but that shouldn't be too hard to achieve if consensus can be achieved about other aspects) AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • "ordered to Ratibor—present-day Racibórz, where...": should have a second emdash after Raciborz AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • "at Groß Wartenberg—present-day Syców": same as above AustralianRupert (talk) 02:29, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
    • G'day, in an effort to move the review forward, I've made a number of the above edits, and some others. I am unable to work on the sources or the German language issues, though. Please feel free to comment or adjust further if necessary. Anyway, I'm taking a break for a while to do my taxes and go for a run. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Comments. Agreed with every one of AR's points. (Normally I just agree silently, but this is a good article review.) Reading AR's comments carefully and PM's quickly, this looks like a "keep", though I'm not an expert on any of this. - Dank (push to talk) 11:20, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment I think this is an excellent article. Too long? Maybe. Too detail? Perhaps. Worthy of GA downgrade? Absolutely not, IMHO. Quite the opposite, I wish every article on the wiki was this detailed. Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Comments. I agree with AR's comments above. With that said the article could use some edits for concision in regards to length and certain details; for example, I had taken out this sentence: "Against orders, his jubilant adjutant, Unteroffizier Rosenstock, woke him up on the early morning to share the news." I also hope that you, K.e. with think about the comments made by these gentlemen above for a good rule of thumb as we all carry forward on this project. Lastly, I agree the article should not be downgraded. Note: Once a general criteria is agreed to; using this one as a model, there are other articles, some of other classes, which should have a second look. Kierzek (talk) 13:34, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment: Here's the version that I had worked up before it has been suggested that the article go through current review and the changes were reverted: June 9 version. I believe it to be superior from the readability standpoint, as it addresses the issue of excessive detail and hard to read prose. Please let me know what you guys think. K.e.coffman (talk) 15:41, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't get the sense you are taking the comments here on board, K.e. It is pretty clear that you, rather than a half-a-dozen Milhist coordinators who have been with this project for many years, have picked up the wrong end of the stick about this article. I think "what you guys think" is pretty clear from the comments above. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 09:07, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment: I think the current (original) version of the article is far superior, and disagree strongly with the proposed cuts (cutting out his entire early life?) I agree with Rupert's comments. I think that the level of detail of the article is quite appropriate, and the sourcing is fine. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment: It will be apparent from my comments throughout that I also believe the current version is superior, the level of detail (with minor exceptions) is appropriate, and the sourcing appears fine. I'm afraid that the nominator has misunderstood or misapplied a number of core en WP policies as well as taken a strange stance on inclusion of detail in a military biography on en WP. I encourage the nominator to familiarise themselves with the expectations of the Milhist project regarding biographical articles and the detail needed to meet the comprehensiveness criteria. A study of recently promoted Milhist A-Class articles would be of value in that regard. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:32, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment I saw this referenced on a talk page on my watchlist. I agree with the comments concerning neutrality and excessive detail and agree that it should not be GA status. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 14:12, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment I saw this on the watchlist, and any article by MrBee usually gets my attention. This article has a few hiccups grammatically, but is fine. I wouldn't downgrade it to GA. Not sure why that came up. This man's life story is very interesting, certainly worthy, and offers a very nuanced view of his character. auntieruth (talk) 19:05, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

  • are we settled with this? could we entitle it Hyacinth...etc as it had been originally, rather than the formidable Hyazinth? auntieruth (talk) 19:40, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Comment - I was pinged on my talk page about this GAR (presumably because I took part in the ACR). I generally agree with Peacemaker's and Rupert's comments above. If I had thought the article was excessively detailed, I'd have raised my concerns during the ACR. Parsecboy (talk) 19:08, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Note for closing editor this can be closed as keep. The nominator clearly needs to better familiarise themselves with core en WP policies, as well as recently promoted A-Class military biographical articles, in order to understand community expectations regarding the structure, content and detail of GA and Milhist A-Class articles. Frankly, except for some minor points regarding excessive detail, this GAR has been a complete waste of the valuable time of a number of experienced editors, as well as the nominator. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:18, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment I'd suggest that this review be kept open and not closed, and I encourage the nominator to make it known outside the military history project and what appears to be a kind of echo chamber. The comments advocating delisting are totally on-target. There is an immense amount of intricate detail that is along the realm of "military fancruft." If this is a typical A-Class or GA-class military biographical article, then I would suggest that there is a systemic issue for articles of this kind. The similarities between this and the GA Review of another article, one that I commenced, are quite notable. Note that I have no connection to this article and never even read it until it came to my attention. Coretheapple (talk) 13:08, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
    • I strongly agree with Coretheapple. PermStrump(talk) 23:10, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
      • Hmph. See top of WP:GAR: "The goal should not be to delist the article, but to restore it back to its former good article quality, if possible.". I did see the comment elsewhere that this GAR was initiated because attempts to clean it up were reverted on the basis that people shouldn't mess with a MILHIST A-Class article "promoted by consensus", i.e. promoted by a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS at one wikiproject. If what the wikiproject considers good and what the broader community's GA process considers good are in conflict, then the wikiproject is what needs to bend. And it is clear that quite a number of respondents here are concerned about what was called "military fancruft" making the article hard to read. That's a legit GAR concern. But a) it shouldn't take actual delisting to resolve this, and b) the flood of MILHIST trivia-poring above isn't helpful. As I noted below, GAR doesn't exist for WP:MILHIST to use as an topically local A-Class reassessment system, and GAR has its own ways and purpose. GARs are supposed to stick to the GA criteria and not be enormous, drawn-out affairs.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:29, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Comment: I've seen K.e.coffman's request for input here today on several projects and noticeboards that I follow, so finally decided to click over and take a look. I never heard of this subject before attempting to read this BLP today and I have to say, the current version is very difficult to get through and I haven't finished reading it yet, but wanted to make my first impression known as I think many readers will share the same feelings and be turned off from the article. For me, the main things making it difficult to read are the frequent, inappropriate use of foreign language terms, excessive footnoting, overlinking, and the over-abundance of minor details (in both the lead and the body) instead of using the recommended summary style. If a reader is interested in that level of detail, they will go to the sources, but indiscriminately including details just because it's provided in biographies on the subject is unencyclopedic. I haven't had enough time to look into the sources, so won't weigh in on the POV issues yet, but given the excessive length and poor readability alone, I'm honestly surprised that people are arguing to keep this at GA status. For example, one of the main criteria for featured articles is: Length. It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail and uses summary style. It makes sense for a GA to be aiming in FA direction as well. I think it should be de-listed until after improvements are made and it is reassessed. PermStrump(talk) 23:10, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

It's a fair point, but to clarify, the Good Article criteria also requires this. Per WP:GAC: " stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style)". Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 07:35, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • comments by Jytdog
    • There is some good contextualization here. The writing around the Balkans campaign handles that nicely; this bit is just great, elegant writing: "In March 1941 Strachwitz was sent back to Cosel in Germany where a new replacement unit was to be founded. He returned via his home town and 24 hours later a telegram from Hube called him back. This was preceded by a series of events in Belgrade. On 25 March 1941..." I was disappointed a bit later in that section when all the sudden he was stopped from trying to cross the Danube, which surely is related to larger strategies, but nothing is provided. In articles like this, jumping from the micro to the macro often and smoothly is important.
    • However the article is overly detailed with irrelevant micro-level detail, and I would say fails GA on this basis. The details throughout the article overwhelm the biographical story, and I lost complete sense of the man in Nazi section and especially in the details of the German campaigns in the section Hyacinth_Graf_Strachwitz#World_War_II_.E2.80.93_der_Panzergraf. Needs to be pared way, way back to be a GA; the actual biographical content here looks to be about a quarter of the text at most. As one tiny example, the sentence "At 15:30 the German artillery began a 30-minute bombardment followed by a further aerial attack. " tells me nothing about the man. Way too much detail like that.
    • There is some oddly colorful language. "Here, under the watchful eyes of Hitler and Benito Mussolini from the Schmooksberg near Laage...." -- I don't know what you are trying to communicate with "under the watchful eyes" language but more professional language would simply be: "which Hitler and Mussolini observed from x". Likewise "Apart from training and keeping their equipment in perfect order, the soldiers had nothing to do and became bored." "Perfect" was just kind of jarring.
    • I found note 6 to be just kind of ugly, as a way to give him some nice reason to become a Nazi. Makes no sense especially in light of his decision to join the SS in '33. You don't join the SS at that time in its history if you are just looking to make sure your voice is heard. Note 6 should be deleted.
    • I agree that the extraordinary claim about his unit destroying 270 soviet tanks, as well as him single-handedly (?)) in his tank "destroying over three hundred soft-skinned vehicles and several Russian artillery batteries", needs stronger sourcing.
    • Overall one doesn't leave the article with a sense of who he was, what was important to him, etc. 06:28, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Comments The sourcing seems quite decent, though several of the sources are not available for verification. The article could use copyediting, some trimming of extraneous details, and more clear attribution to what source or sources make the specific claims. But otherwise, the only section which seems POV to me is the one on post-war activities in Syria. Some of the claims sound like bullshit, but we must write based on the sources and not what we think of them. Dimadick (talk) 13:04, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment (Summoned by note on my talkpage.) While the article reflects great work and care, there is a serious problem of overdetail, at least for someone who wants to get a reasonable overview of the subject in a decent amount of time. The article makes the fatal mistake of trying to present pretty much everything chronologically, instead of using summary style. I wish I had time to comment in further detail, but I do not. EEng 20:49, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • 2nd Comment: Regarding NPOV, given the scarcity of reliable, intellectually independent sources on this topic, the length of this article is massively WP:UNDUE. I work at a university and our library doesn't carry a single work (books or journal articles) mentioning the subject (by either spelling). There's zero coverage in peer-reviewed sources and there are only 2 hits on google news. Of the 70 hits on google scholar, they all seem to be based on this wikipedia article or on a single, questionably published source (see my comment in the sources section above). Several of the sources currently cited do not mention the subject at all or are only passing mentions. PermStrump(talk) 21:13, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
    While most Wikipedias would dismiss this under WP:AADD, I thought I would give it a try at my own university. I keyed in the name to the university library catalog, and got a pile of hits, including books on the source list in both English and German, and, to my surprise, several articles in peer-reviewed journals. You've done something wrong. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:27, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
    Hawkeye7: Please do share the citations. Thanks! Also, lack of reliable sources is NOT a conversation to avoid at any stage in the article process. PermStrump(talk) 17:58, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment - I say keep, mostly per Maury Markowitz. I feel that it is a good thing to have details and this is an good enough article. The text could use some copyediting for odd language and the article can be trimmed a lot. It is a bit too detailed, however it is something that can be taken care of. In my opinion, this does not deserve to get delisted. Yash! 10:08, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Nom's comment -- Editor Kudpung provided feedback on their Talk page, with permission to repost on the GAR page. //Quoted material starts here://

"Editors should bear in mind that GA is not FA, tolerance is needed where sources may be difficult or impossible to find, and that this article is not subject to the rules of BLP. Somehow a mention should preferably be built into to the article that much of the information relies on a single source (e.g. 'according to Röll...) . BTW, that source may be a paid-for vanity publication and it would be of interest for a Wikipedia editor fluent in German (as I am for example) to obtain a copy and read it).

  • The lede is overly detailed - a lot of it is material for the article body.
  • Military operations of low-level units are described in excessive detail unless he received military decoration for his actions in these operations or campaigns.There is often a tendency on Wikipedia to provide excessive detail in many kinds of articles. Such detail is beyond the requirement of encyclopedic entries whose main objective is to direct the reader to more detailed externally available information rather than excessively reproducing (paraphrasing, etc) that information.
  • A lot of fine detail such as, just for example,but not only, the type of war wounds, their hopitalisations, and treatment, etc, are excessive.
  • A lot of the detail is unnecessary because it does not directly relate to Strachwitz and some paragraphs could be significantly reduced such as, for example:

On 30 January 1933, the Nazi Party, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, came to power and began to rearm Germany. The Heer (Germany Army) was increased and modernized with a strong focus on the Panzer (tank) force. Personnel were recruited from the cavalry. In October 1935 Panzer-Regiment 2 was created and was subordinated to the 1st Panzer Division, at the time under command of General Maximilian von Weichs. The soldiers of the I. Abteilung (1st Battalion) came from Saxony and Thuringia, the II. Abteilung (2nd Battalion) was made up from soldiers from Silesia. Strachwitz, who had served as an officer of the reserves in Reiter-Regiment 7 (7th Cavalry Regiment) in Breslau, had asked to be transferred to the Panzer force and, in May 1936, participated in his first manoeuvre on the training ground at Ohrdruf, followed by an exercise of live firing on the gunnery training ground at Putlos—today in the administrative district of Oldenburg-Land—near the Baltic Sea. A year later, from July to August 1937, he participated in a second reserve training exercise on the Silesian training grounds at Neuhammer—present-day Świętoszów.[23]


In 1933 the Nazi administration began to rearm Germany and the army was increased and reorganised with a focus on tank warfare. Strachwitz, who had served in Reiter-Regiment 7 (7th Cavalry Regiment) had asked to be transferred to the Panzer force and in 1936 participated in his first manoeuvre, followed by gunnery training at Putlos (today Oldenburg-Land). In 1937 he participated in further training at Neuhammer (present-day Świętoszów.)

  • The word Schloss in German, just as château in French, can mean anything from a country house, manor or mansion ,through stately home, and palace, to a fortified castle. Usually associated with aristocracy of some kind but may also refer to the residence of large land owners.
To conclude, I personally believe that with consideration to the above points, the article could easily retain (or regain) its GA status."

//Quoted material ends.//

To clarify, my original intention was not to get the article delisted, but rather to improve the article by addressing the difficult prose, non-encyclopedic language and excessive detail. However, my edits, which I considered an improvement, were reverted on the grounds that: "This type of "death of a thousand cuts" is inappropriate for an Milhist A-Class article that was promoted by consensus". So the way forward, it appears, is to get the article delisted so that it would be possible to implement the suggested improvements that came up in this GAR. K.e.coffman (talk) 19:45, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Here's a sample edit:


Strachwitz was born on 30 July 1893 in Groß Stein, in the district of Groß Strehlitz in Silesia, a province in the Kingdom of Prussia. Today it is Kamień Śląski, in Gogolin, Opole Voivodeship, Poland. Strachwitz was the second child of Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz (1864–1942) and his wife Aloysia (1872–1940),[Note 1] née Gräfin von Matuschka Freiin von Toppolczan und Spaetgen.[2][Note 2] He had an older sister, Aloysia (1892–1972), followed by his younger brother Johannes (1896–1917) nicknamed "Ceslaus", his sister Elisabeth (1897–1992), his brother Manfred (1899–1972), his brother Mariano (1902–22), and his youngest sister Margarethe (1905–1989).[3] His family were members of the old Silesian nobility (Uradel), and held large estates in Upper Silesia, including the family Schloss (Palace) at Groß Stein. As the first-born son he was the heir to the title Graf (Count) Strachwitz, and following family tradition he was christened Hyacinth, after the 12th century saint. Some clothing belonging to the saint were in the family's possession until 1945.[4]

Strachwitz attended the Volksschule (primary school) and the Gymnasium (advanced secondary school) in Oppeln—present-day Opole. He received further schooling and paramilitary training at the Königlich Preußischen Kadettenkorps (Royal Prussian cadet corps) in Wahlstatt—present-day Legnickie Pole—before he transferred to the Hauptkadettenanstalt (Main Military Academy) in Berlin-Lichterfelde. Among his closest friends at the cadet academy were Manfred von Richthofen, the World War I flying ace and a fellow Silesian, and Hans von Aulock, brother of the World War II colonel Andreas von Aulock.[5] In August 1912, Cadet Strachwitz was admitted to the élite Gardes du Corps (Life Guards) cavalry regiment in Potsdam as a Fähnrich (Ensign). The Life Guards had been established by Prussian King Frederick the Great in 1740, and were considered the most prestigious posting in the Imperial German Army. Their patron was Emperor Wilhelm II, who nominally commanded them. Strachwitz was sent to an officer training course at the Kriegsschule (War School) in Hanover in late 1912, where he excelled at various sports.[6] Strachwitz was commissioned as Leutnant (Second Lieutenant) on 17 February 1914.[7] At this early stage of his career in Potsdam, Strachwitz began insisting on being addressed as "Herr Graf" rather than "Herr Leutnant", even from higher-ranking officers, a quirk that he maintained throughout his career. He always felt prouder of his aristocratic descent than of his military rank.[8] His close friends called him Conté (Count).[9]

Upon his return from Hanover to the Prussian Main Military Academy, Strachwitz was appointed sports-officer for the Life Guards, where he introduced the soldiers to daily gymnastics and weekly endurance running. The sports team of the Life Guards was selected to participate in the 1916 Olympic Games, which further encouraged his ambition. He participated in many sporting activities, particularly equestrian, fencing and track and field athletics, which became his prime focus. Strachwitz continued to excel as a sportsman, and with his friend Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia, was among the best athletes to train for the Olympic Games.[10]


Born in 1893, Strachwitz was the second child of Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz (1864–1942) and his wife Aloysia (1872–1940). He had two sisters and two younger brothers. His family were members of the old Silesian nobility, and held large estates in Upper Silesia, including the family manor at Groß Stein. As the first-born son he was the heir to the title Graf (Count) Strachwitz.[11] Strachwitz studied at a military academy in Berlin-Lichterfelde and was admitted to the Gardes du Corps, an élite cavalry regiment in Potsdam in August 1912. The Life Guards had been established by Prussian King Frederick the Great in 1740, and were considered the most prestigious posting in the Imperial German Army.[12] Strachwitz was commissioned as Leutnant (Second Lieutenant) on 17 February 1914.[7] Strachwitz was appointed sports-officer for the Life Guards. The sports team of the Life Guards was selected to participate in the 1916 Olympic Games. Strachwitz trained in equestrian sports, fencing and track and field, which became his prime focus.[13]


  1. ^ Röll 2011, p. 16.
  2. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 13, 16.
  3. ^ "Röll p13"
  4. ^ "Röll p13"
  5. ^ "Röll p13"
  6. ^ "Röll p13"
  7. ^ a b Röll 2011, p. 188.
  8. ^ Röll 2011, p. 19.
  9. ^ Berger 1999, p. 348.
  10. ^ "Röll p13"
  11. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 13, 16.
  12. ^ Röll 2011, pp. 13, 19, 188
  13. ^ "Röll p13"
  1. ^ Full name is Maria Aloysia Hedwig Friederike Therese Oktavie, Gräfin von Matuschka, Freiin von Toppolczan und Spaetgen.[1]
  2. ^ Regarding personal names: Freiin was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baroness. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The title is for unmarried daughters of a Freiherr.

This allows the reader to go straight onto the subject's military career which I assume is of interested to the Wikipedia audiences, rather then genealogy and details of primary education. K.e.coffman (talk) 20:06, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Overall comment: Without wading into details, I agree with some of the sourcing concerns, but they don't seem insurmountable. It's often the case that we rely heavily on a particular bio (see, e.g., Cary Grant, Walter Lindrum), and that finding additional sources is desirable (there are many for Grant, not for Lindrum, and evidently not for Strachwitz). If they're not available, the article should not be penalized unless something inappropriate is being done with the sources at hand. I agree that the lead is excessively detailed, and that too much "micro-detail" as Jytdog put it, is present throughout the whole article.

    However, this review seems overly harsh and nit-picky, to FA level. The GA criteria are much simpler and less stringent, and much of the fine-tuning of this article can be punted for later FA work (or MilHist A-Class before that, if they're still doing those assessments).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:10, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

@SMcCandlish: thank you for your review and comments. To clarify, this is an MilHist A-class article, promoted by consensus. The instructions page states:
"The Milhist A-Class standard is deliberately set high, very close to featured article quality. Reviewers should therefore satisfy themselves that the article meets all of the A-Class criteria before supporting a nomination."
So I believe it's appropriate to review the article against Featured Article criteria, since that's how the project defines A-Class. For reference, here's the A-Class review from 2014. K.e.coffman (talk) 20:20, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
But this is not a WP:MILHIST A-Class reassessment, it's a GA reassessment. GA reviewers like me are GA reviewers because the criteria are simple and clear cut, and we do not have to [nor, probably in most cases, have time to] agonize over nitpicks. If the MILHIST process wants to do that, because the editors involved in that assessment process are up for it, let them do it. FAR is definitely up for it (and lots of GA-reviewing people do not often participate in FA reviews for this reason; it's a different mindset and time commitment). I'm not mentioning the venue context out of some kind of process-wonkery, but because it impacts the reviewers. When I see a GAR, I expect a concise issue or few issues to be laid out - recent-ish changes that have notably reduced the quality of the article, and which can be identified and corrected pretty easily. I arrived here, and it's a firehose of trivia. It took a lot of wading and mental triage to figure out that the GA-cognizant issues are a) the lead quality, b) whether clarity of prose is marred by excessive micro-details; and c) whether the post-GAN material consists of facts that were adequately sourced and added sources that are themselves adequate. All the rest of this is not GA stuff, except maybe the claims of emotive wording (most of which I agree need toning down) since WP:NPOV, like the rest of WP:CCPOL, is a GA matter). If MILHIST is "taking over" GAR for its own wikiproject A-class assessments, this is not a good idea. From top of WP:GAR: "The outcome of a reassessment should only depend on whether the article being reassessed meets the good article criteria or not."  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼ 
G'day, to clarify, Milhist has its own internal A-class Re-appraisal process, but that would most likely not have obtained a broad community involvement. While I disagree in part, or full, with some of the points raised by the GAR nominator, I believe that the choice of venue for the discussion was probably the best one in the circumstances. Agree, though, that the review should be tied to the GA criteria, and not higher, although I don't think it is necessarily a problem for other points to be raised (as ultimately it could help improve the article), so long as they are not factored into the final re-assessment decision. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:03, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
To clarify, I was going by "Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it" at the top of the Talk page. So I started it as a GAR. But yes, the objections to my edits of the article prior to the review were based on the fact that it was "promoted by consensus". That may have been how I learned about the A-class status. (The article icon is a GA icon and the Talk page lists it as a "Warfare good article"). K.e.coffman (talk) 23:25, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
G'day, A-class is separate to GA, which can technically exist in parallel. I see no issues with either process being used, and remain convinced that in the circumstances GAR was the best option for you to discuss your concerns. Regardless, of whether we all agree about the issues or not, surely using a process that centralizes the comments and promotes a discussion is useful. I believe you have achieved that. The key focus now, though, should be trying to determine where consensus lies and moving the article towards that so that the time and effort put into this review by everyone involved is not wasted. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Request move to "Hyazinth" while GAR in progress[edit]

The recent move somehow disabled the link to the GAR from the top of the Talk page. I suggest the article be moved back to "Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz" while the GAR is in progress. Would there be any objections?

Or if someone knows how to re-add the link to Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz/1‎, that would be an alternate solution. K.e.coffman (talk) 22:10, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes; it shouldn't have been moved unilaterally in the first place. You did not address the valid points Misterbee raised the last two times it was discussed. Clearly it was controversial, so WP:RM should have been used.
Problem solved. Parsecboy (talk) 12:11, 27 June 2016 (UTC)