Talk:Lists of battles

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What does everyone think about separating the naval battles from the land battles?

More generally, I think we need to give some thought as to how to organize this page. It's going to get very, very, very long. I own a six hundred page book containing several thousand battles.... -- Paul Drye

First, I think we ought to separate naval battles. Second, I think you ought to restrain your desire for completeness, Paul! --MichaelTinkler
No, no, no, I didn't mean "...and I'm going to type them all in"! Blah! :-) But in the long run everyone working collectively is going to get to a significant fraction of them and this page will get way out of hand.
I have the same issue with the Star listing page, actually. -- Paul Drye
WHEW! Well, then - I think that geography is inadquate, or even inflammatory (since geography nomenclature turns on battle, after all). Alphabet is cumbersome, and is searchable anyway (if you already know the name, you can search for it). Would relative chronology be better? Ancient - Medieval - Early Modern - 19th Century - 20th Century - 21st Century and then alphabetical or chronological inside each of those?
Chronology works for me, though I'd also give large wars their own "epoch": WWII and the French Revolutionary-Napoleonic Wars for sure, maybe more. On the other hand, are the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria part of WWII? Urg.
Chronological or alphabetical within epochs, though, that's a poser. Alphabetical might be easier for skimmers, but would make it harder on someone trying to trace the history of a war in detail. I suspect it's possible to do the latter task by going through the text of the articles themselves and following the links, but that would take careful writing: making sure that the events leading up to and the events following the battle are at outlined. I'd say "alphabetical within epoch", but I could easily be convinced otherwise. -- Paul Drye

Chronological order is ok for me, links to geography and war would be in entry (otoh, so would be links to dates :) ), so i agree for chronological listing. Should we then divide medieval in three periods two? early medieval, medieval, late medieval?

Then again, battles could be listed in few ways by few categories. No everyone searching for battle would be sure what its name was, although that problem is related mostly to non-english speaker. I would have problems with finding battle of the nile. links like chronological listing, alphabetical listing, naval battles? or that does not have sense?

listing by country would be related not to location of battle, but more to fighting sides, so Beresteczko would be in Ukraine and Poland, Poitiers in France and England...

there could be also table with year and wars, but otoh something like this is already in year reviews. (like 9999 * Fictious War ends * Another fictious war starts * War of clones * .... szopen

I find it hard to understand why we are using a different format for the battles of World War 2. Also I am quite satisfied with the alphabetical list, but showing the year and war after the battle in the listings could make them more useful; occasionally with a widespread war it might even be helpful to show the theater of operation. --Eclecticology, Monday, June 10, 2002

Do we have any preferences about how to disambiguate battle names? The existing article about the Battle of Cape St. Vincent describes only the one in the Wars of the French Revolution. There was an earlier one in the American Revolution. Perhaps adding the year in brackets to the title would work for most cases. -- Eclecticology, Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Well I went and made it chronological (and added stuff from a list I compiled a while ago), and someone moved alphabetical list and I moved geographical list off this page.

It might become a nuisance to maintain 3 separate lists though, they will inevitably diverge (and both geographic and alphabetic lists are already missing battles from the main page). Is it possible to set up a database within a database allowing different sorts from a wikipedia page (e.g., I can have the same data and sort by year, date, name, location, war, or whatever)? Is there still value in the alphabetical list?

Disambiguation is still unclear. E.g. the Adrianople battles all have the year in the name, while others are First and Second this or that ... should this be standardized? Perhaps they should only have the years if they were in different wars.

-- David Levinson, June 15 2002

I have no problem confessing to having separated the alpha list. The reference that I have to work with (Eggenberger: A Dictionary of Battles) is an alpha one so that made my efforts much easier in trying to identify some of the obscure battles that were already on the list. I still need to root around on the net for rudimentary infrormation about nearly 20% of them. Also, Eggenberger includes a lot that aren't already on the list. I have no personal interest in maintaining either the chrono or geo lists. Nevertheless, I would suggest that a strict chrono list is not the most useful since it would have the reader trying to cope with simultaneous but often unrelated wars. Chronological by war might be better, with the battles listed chronologically with a war.
The idea of a sortable database is great, but I would question its technical feasibility.
The Adrianople battles were a good test of the disambiguation question. (The two at El Alamein were both in the same year.) My source numbers these in Roman numerals from I to VII. Be that as it may, there is much to be said about that part of the Wikipedian psyche that loves to find a counter-example. As things stand the battle during the 4th Crusade was the fourth battle of Adrianople, but the numbering scheme would crumble if some Wikipedian discovered an obscure battle in the 3rd Crusade. Using the year gets around that problem; it also provides a mercifully short disambiguator. Numbered wars tend to be more stable in their nomenclature. --Eclecticology, Sunday, June 16, 2002


Proposal for organizing List of battles[edit]

Since this list is getting cumbersome, and we want to maintain consistency between the master list, the alphabetical list, and the geographic list, as well developing a list sorted by wars, and we can't have a database within wikipedia, lets have a file with a standard format. This file, which would be the main List of battles could be reformated with some standard unix program (say an awk script) on any number of fields, and then pasted to the respective pages. The other pages would not be updated by users (we would have a note to that effect), only the master (chronological) list would be.

The suggested record structure Year - Name of battle - War - Location/Country - (Description)

Where the wiki [[ ]] will be used to refer to standard wiki links. Single dashes will be the record separator. The dashes will be used even if there is missing information

I will implement this when I get a few hours, after reading comments. The awk script will be posted to this Talk page, and anyone could run it from time to time to keep everything up-to-date.


The fact is that some of us prefer to work with the alphabetical list and some prefer working with the chronological list. That aspect of human nature is not likely to change soon. Also to suggest that all users would have the forbearance to respect a note telling them not to edit something shows elements of wishful thinking.
Although standard format is a good idea in theory, we are likely to have a divergence of views of just what that should be. On the alpha list I've been using 1. Name of Battle, 2. Alternate Name of battle (when applicable), 3 Year that battle began (unless it's included in the name as a disambiguator), 4. Name of War (which I sometimes have to make up), 5. Campaign or theater (only sometimes, when the war is too broad to be helpful), 6. Notes, trivia and comments (mainly to pique the reader's curiosity). I do not generally show the location except within the context of 5 where, for example, it can be helpful to know that the Battle of Trincomalee in the American Revolutionary War was fought in the Indian Ocean. I would also keep description to an absolute minimum. This article, in whatever format we each favour, is after all a list. Anything beyond basic identifying features really belongs in the article about the specific battle. A key point in Wikipedia's "leave something undone" debate was to encourage others to contribute.
As for the Unix awk program, I can't see how that will be acceptable to the large majority who haven't a clue about Unix, unless it's something that can be also run on the average Windows based PC.

-- Eclecticology, Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Why is it called the battle of New Orleans (1815) if there is no other battle of New Orleans? --rmhermen

There was another one in 1862 in the American Civil War. Eclecticology, Saturday, July 6, 2002
And who's to say there won't be another one? sjc

Battle of Trafalgar belongs in a topic Naval battles and also in Napoleonic Wars. This List of Battles is just real long. User:Fredbauder

Anyone interested in Wikiproject Battles?

It can also solve the problem on sorting the battles chronologically, geographically alphabetically or on any other criteria have not been thought of yet. If we have all information about a battle oragnizeg properly on its page, creating sorted lists is simply checking watch links and look for the specific criterion. Say one wants to sort by the alphabetical order on the first alphabet of the battle sites. One can copy-paste all geographically names, sort them and saving them on

[[List of battles (geographical order)/A]], [[List of battles (geographical order)/B]] etc.

The parent page of List of battles became linking page of all sorted lists.


[[List of battles (geographical order)]], [[List of battles (alphabetical order)]], [[List of battles (chronological order)]], etc. 

A primitive prototype can be seen here

I'll post this comment also on Wikipedia:WikiProject to gain more interests. Ktsquare Oct 19 2002

So what about a list of Wars? -Ann O'nyme 15:27, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

You mean like List of wars? :) -- Jniemenmaa
Thanks ;) --Ann O'nyme 20:31, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

There are a lot of wars listed in List of battles 1901-2000. IMHO these should be removed. Surely there are famous battles in these wars we could list instead? Same thing for all the "Operations". -- Jniemenmaa 16:02, Aug 16, 2003 (UTC)