Talk:Massacre of the Acqui Division

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Referendum claims[edit]

I reverted two edits by Noclador about a referendum among the Acqui men. It is a really interesting and important detail but unfortunately it is completely uncited. The article is fully cited in every other claim it makes. Introducing these uncited facts will lower the quality of the article and runs against Wikipedia policies WP:RS and WP:V. It would be nice to include them in the article but citations have to be provided. The Italian and German Wikipedias make such referendum claims but they wre also uncited. We cannot refer to other Wikipedia article claims if these claims are not cited. Dr.K. (talk) 11:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I suspected that someone would revert my edits... I wrote the corresponding German wiki article and provided the scans of the various messages of the Germans and Italians in the days leading up to the massacre - my source was/is the Italian Partisans Association, a speech by the Italian president commemorating the event (at: "unanime, concorde, plebiscitaria") and many more, but I think those two should be enough to reinsert the referendum/plebiscite info into the article. --noclador (talk) 13:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
That someone was me. Glad to meet you Noclador. Your citations are "perfetto". Gracie and take care. Tasos (Dr.K. (talk) 13:14, 8 September 2008 (UTC))

Citation needed tags[edit]

These facts that are tagged need citations. If no citations are provided they have to be removed because they are in violation of WP:V and WP:RS. Thanks. Dr.K. (talk) 13:26, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps Noclador, who added the info in the relevant Italian and German articles, can help with providing refs and page numbers. I do not doubt that what he says is correct (except perhaps the bit about rebuffing an Allied commission), but let's see. Constantine 14:20, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes I agree with you on all points. However I removed them for the time being pending verification, instead of keeping those unsightly [citation needed] tags that mar the article. Tasos (Dr.K. (talk) 14:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC))

"Outcome never in doubt" and "Hardened veterans"[edit]

I repeat here my edit summary comments: "I hate doing this but: The "outcome was never in doubt" in whose opinion? Please provide citation. " Hardened veterans" also needs citation)"

The fact remains these are subjective evaluations and uncited speculation. Maybe these troops were professional and hardened but if they were so they would be recognized as such by historians so it wouldn't be so hard to find citations for the fact they were hardened. I also find the comment "Outcome never in doubt" to be WP:OR. So please provide citations for this stuff or do not insert it again. Dr.K. (talk) 13:57, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

P.S. I never thought I would be in this position with an editor I cooperated with in the past but let's keep in mind the WP:3RR rule. Dr.K. (talk) 13:59, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm, let's make it clear. Sorry if I show myself "stubborn". I appreciate the fact that you try to keep the article within NPOV and OR guidelines. My point is rather simple: when you have a division composed of conscripts, which has not seen any action for a couple of years at least, and whose commander was reluctant to confront the Germans, put against one of the Wehrmacht's finest units, engaged in constant warfare practically since the war began, and with absolute air superiority, then it isn't really OR to say that "the outcome was not in doubt", but rather a logical conclusion. You can remove it if you feel it is that important, but I wanted to provide some context for the average reader so that he could appreciate the (very real) disparity of the opposing sides. Cheers, Constantine
I appreciate your position Kostas. I was (and to an extent still am) a proponent of logical conclusions where warranted. In this case however I think that the phrase "Outcome never in doubt", (which by the way I really like because it adds a dramatic flair to the narrative), is too loaded against the capabilities of the Italians and their decision to fight on. If we can rephrase it somehow something like the "Germans enjoyed air superiority" or if there is a citation about the relative inexperience of the Italians versus the Germans etc. we can mention the relative dynamics of the troops. Otherwise we just reinforce the stereotypes of the German superior force and the Italian pasta loving, music playing people. I don't think that's fair to the Italians. Tasos (Dr.K. (talk) 14:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC))
Hmmm, I'll try to scrounge up some concrete reference. The problem is, one cannot really find a citation comparing these two adversaries in specific, chiefly because most books on the Gebirgsjäger that I have access to largely gloss the issue over, or do not consider the defeat of an Italian division important enough to mention in detail. Perhaps a phrasing like "despite help from the local population, including the island's small ELAS partisan detachments, the Germans had several advantages: they enjoyed complete air superiority, and their troops were of higher quality." I think that pretty much sums it up, since I cannot see how we can avoid phrases like "the Germans were better led/trained/equipped" when they correspond to facts. I agree it may look like repeating the eternal Italian stereotypes, but these stereotypes emerged for a reason. And in this case, the difference was simply too great. Do you have any better phrasing to propose? Constantine 15:05, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with everything proposed except: "and their troops were of higher quality" which could be modified as "the German troops had longer service and were experienced while the Italians were conscripts" That way the readers can make up their minds instead of being guided by the hand. Dr.K. (talk) 15:13, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps "...the Germans had extensive combat experience, in contrast with the conscripts of Acqui.?" I think it's much better. Constantine 15:21, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok. I modified it as per your suggestion. Tasos (Dr.K. (talk) 15:28, 8 September 2008 (UTC))

Revisionist history[edit]

It is a rather scandalous statement that "The reason for Lanz’s light sentence was that the court at Nuremberg was deceived by false evidence and did not believe that the massacre took place". Why was this so? Why do we now know that the massacre took place? Or did it? When was the change of view, and why? What is the evidence that there was actually a massacre? The Nuremburg trials were generally backed by comprehensive research. Why no so in this case? Or did the research fail to uncover any evidence, because there was none? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

The Nuremberg trials distributed justice and injustice almost at random. It is not surprising that their "research failed to uncover any evidence". In fact, you can assume that the physical evidenced were not searched at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Justification of the massacre on the basis of the chain of command[edit]

In two places the article justified the massacre because the whole 11th Italian army was under superior command of German command in the Balkans, e.g. "before the shooting a German sergeant informed the Italian officers they were to be shot for treason, which was true".

I do not doubt the chain of command or what that sergeant said, but writing that this justified the German actions or "which was true" is false and a dishonest attempt to justify war crime;

Possibly the murderers believed that themselves and used the belief to justify their actions to themselves and the rest of the world; Wikipedia shall not present murderer's motives as truth, The fact that an encyclopedia shall report is: the Italians were under German command because the Italian High Command ordered them so. They did not become German soldiers or pledged allegiance to the Fuhrer; they remained Italian soldiers liable to the Italian King and the Italian military jurisdiction. Once the Italian High Command ordered something contrasting the German orders, it was their duty to go against the German orders. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Actually, aren't mutineers generally shot in war time, when they get captured, especially when they acted in a very treasonous way? -- (talk) 23:51, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


I would like to suggest that this article needs an infobox, as this should count as a WW2 battle given that the Italians were both able and willing to fight the Germans for several days before being over-run. In fact, the Germans lost 300 dead. I would also like to point out other Wiki articles like (for example) The Glencoe Massacre of 1692 (where 78 victims were slain) have an Infobox. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 16:56, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Massacre of the Acqui Division
Cephalonia Massacre
Part of Operation Achse
Kephalonia Names.jpg
Cephalonia Island
Date 13–22 September 1943 (battle phase)
21–26 September 1943 (massacre phase)
Location Cephalonia, Ionian Islands
Result German victory
Massacre of Italian troops
German occupation of Cephalonia (until 1944)
 Greece (ELAS)
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Italy Antonio Gandin Executed Nazi Germany Johannes Barge
Nazi GermanyHarald von Hirschfeld
12,025 Italian officers and men
Small number of Greek Partisans
2,000 (before 17 September), reinforcements arrived 17 September
Casualties and losses
1,315 Italians killed in battle
15 Greek partisans killed[1]
5,155 Italian POWs executed Executed
3,000 Italian POWs drowned at sea
300 dead
1 landing craft lost
1 aircraft lost
I disagree with adding a battle infobox on an article primarily about the massacre and not the battle. Such infobox will be misleading because this article is mostly about the massacre. Also infoboxes are not mandatory in the first place. Therefore, no infobox in this article please. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 20:55, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Glencoe 1692 wasn't a battle per se, yet it has an Infobox. The massacre phase happened even before Gandin surrendered, ie. (according to the main memorial to the Acqui), there was about 24 hours of overlap between the battle and massacre phases (13-22 Sept. and 21-26 Sept). The battle itself was around 1 week in duration, longer than some wars (eg. Six Day War of 1967). Are you suggesting it needs its own article? best, Sunil060902 (talk) 00:48, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Please see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. I am also not suggesting anything. I simply explained that infoboxes are not mandatory and this article does not need one. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 01:00, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Why doesn't it need one? Infoboxes are a very useful summary of what happened, when it happened, and who was involved, as you can see in the infobox to the right. Is any of the information inaccurate? I will glady rectify any mistakes. Are you from Greece? As you may know, 15 of the local αντάρτες lost their lives in the initial battle when they fought alongside the Acqui. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 13:24, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Please familiarise yourself with the relevant policies regarding infoboxes and with the also relevant Arbcom case about infoboxes and their use before further insisting that an infobox is needed here. Further, my origin is irrelevant to any on-wiki discussion. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 13:45, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
You are not aware of ELAS's contribution to the battle? Or you don't recognize their contribution? As for policy, I don't believe that other editors have commented on this specific article for there to be a "consensus" to break, thanks! The other alternative is to start an article called "Battle of Cephalonia" or equivalent, which I would be happy to do at least at stub level. In 1944, Mussolini himself, privately, observed: "But our men defended themselves, you know. They hit several German landing craft, sinking them. They fought how Italians know how to fight". best, Sunil060902 (talk) 14:12, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
You are not aware of ELAS's contribution to the battle? First do not insult me. I am the creator of the article and I added the ELAS information in this edit and this one. Or you don't recognize their contribution? So you want to build an infobox to recognise the contribution of ELAS. I know infoboxes are many things but they are not used as vehicles to recognise contributions of any combatants. With this I bid you adieu. I am done with this discussion which has deteriorated enough. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 14:42, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Sorry if I caused offence, I saw your pictures of the neighbouring Ionian island Corfu which were very nice, and I thank you for the above edits for this article about Cephalonia. May I respectively remind you about: "The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article" Wikipedia:INFOBOXUSE. There is no "consensus" for this specific article, because you and I (just two editors) are the only ones who have commented on this Talk page subject. "Consensus" would require the participation of more editors, correct? The Battle of Kos, which lasted only two days (3 October to 4 October 1943) has an infobox (it also resulted in a murder of Italian POWs, 91 killed, of course far less than on Cephalonia!), why not the Battle of Cephalonia? The massacre phase overlapped the actual fighting. One commenced 21 September, the other ended 22 September. My point about ELAS was just to illustrate everyone's contribution to events 13 to 26 September, be they German, Greek, or Italian. We can put the infobox in the "Battle" section of this article (ie. instead of at the start of the article, as I had done yesterday), or create a new "Battle of Cephalonia" article just for events 13 to 22 September, when Gandin's forces surrendered (11.00 am on that day). Which would you like to see? best, Sunil060902 (talk) 16:16, 25 September 2015 (UTC)


why not the Battle of Cephalonia? Because as you will see when you perform a search there is no information about any such battle name either on the web or in Gbooks. The name of such article is non-existent. Further, the battle and the massacre are linked and should remain in the same article. There is no reason to separate them just for the purpose of using the infobox. In addition, slapping the infobox in the middle of the article in a rather short paragraph describing the battle is overkill. Since you mentioned consensus let's wait for the opinion of other editors on this. But at this time the status quo remains. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:47, 25 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ [1]

RfC: Does this article need an infobox?[edit]

Responding to the request for closure at WP:ANRFC. For the record, the editors in this discussion have already come to an agreement in favor of the infobox currently in the article. Sunrise (talk) 05:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article have an infobox, in line with articles on other historic massacres like Glencoe, and other WW2 confrontations between the Germans and Italians, like the Battle of Kos? Or should the article remain as it is? Thanks, Sunil060902 (talk) 14:39, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Invalid and non-neutral RfC question It does not follow the guidelines of how to phrase an RfC question without POV and bias. Quote from the RfC guideline: Include a brief, neutral statement of or question about the issue. The question fails the guideline because it is very long and very leading. Also, the question as phrased is heavily biased because it unduly highlights the battle component of the article thus effectively prescribing to editors a single course of action namely to add an infobox: in line with articles on other historic massacres like Glencoe, and other WW2 confrontations between the Germans and Italians, like the Battle of Kos? while completely disregarding the historical WP:WEIGHT of the massacre which gave the name to this article in the reliable sources. This approach to formulating the RfC question is very heavy-handed to the point of being ridiculous. In fact the so-called RfC question is actually two questions, both starting with "should" in complete violation of the RfC rules. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:23, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Δρ.Κ., your words left on me an impression of absolute shock. Is still allowed to be a human being in Wikipedia? Carlotm (talk) 05:28, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
@Carlotm: Can you please explain how your question relates to my evaluation of the RfC question? And why my critique of a badly-framed RfC left you with an impression of absolute shock? Also what is your comment Is still allowed to be a human being in Wikipedia? supposed to mean? Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 05:35, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Does this article need an infobox? No, but we seem to put infoboxes pretty much everywhere by now, so much that it even crops up at GA and FA reviews as a quasi-requirement. On Dr. K's objection, I would agree with his vehement opposition if the infobox was somehow shoehorned in, or the article changed to fit the infobox rather than the other way around, but there is IMO nothing that precludes a military conflict infobox as such from being used to cover a massacre, especially if it is as part of an actual military conflict. We can discuss about the specifics of what to put in it and how to phrase it, but it certainly can have an infobox. Constantine 12:01, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, let the question of the RfC change to a fair one first and then we can start the RfC process. My opposition to the infobox stems from the fact that as soon as we put it up in this article we are advertising the battle component of this conflict using a strong visual que, i.e. the infobox, to the detriment of the massacre component. That would lead to a gross historical distortion which would add a strong POV to the article. I can't imagine an FA process for this article that would allow such a distortion which would affect the historical balance of this article in such a detrimental way in favour of the rather weak battle component. Also please understand, that using adjectives like "vehement" does not help. Raising strong objections to the historical distortion of a massacre is due diligence, not vehemence. Framing my opinion this way has the effect of devaluing it therefore I would appreciate that my arguments are not labeled but rather discussed on a fairer level given the historical sensitivity of the subject. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 13:16, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • "vehement" was not meant as judgmental, or as criticism in any way, and I apologize if it came across as that. And as I said, perhaps not clearly enough, I fully support the objective of not overshadowing the massacre, but I cannot see how using a conflict infobox, properly written, would do that. I too would have been very "vehement" indeed in my opposition if, as I gathered from the earlier debate, there had been a POV-fork article simply in order to put the infobox in, or as an attempt at separating the battle from the massacre, but this is a different story altogether. I am not crazy about infoboxes either, but they have a place in Wikipedia. The reader sees the infobox and its title as it is rendered, not the template name or its substructure, and it is upon us to provide appropriate info in the infobox so that the nature of the event is apparent. If the infobox is headed "Massacre of the Acqui Division", I think it cannot be argued that the event is misrepresented. If you feel the infobox military conflict lacks clarity or is unsuited, then we can use another, or create a custom one; but as an atrocity perpetrated in the context of an actual military conflict, and between uniformed militaries, in contravention of international military custom and law, I for one think that the mil. conflict infobox is certainly suitable. Constantine 15:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • No problem Kostas. No apology needed. You know my respect for you. Thank you also for your comments regarding the POV-fork and the separation of the battle from the massacre. I fully agree with you on that aspect of the debate. My opposition to the military conflict infobox is based on the mixing of the massacre and the battle in the box. For example, the header says: "Massacre of the Acqui Division Cephalonia Massacre Part of Operation Achse" making the massacre appear as part of a military operation. That of course is completely inappropriate. Then the field "Belligerents" Those who were massacred were not "Belligerents" they were victims of an atrocity. Then the field "Result" "German victory Massacre of Italian troops" Putting "German victory" and "Massacre of Italian troops" next to each other risks showing the massacre as part of the German victory. I hope you can see how in this case this type of infobox distorts the massacre in a rather bad way. If you can find a way to use a more appropriate infobox which will not have these glaring incongruities I will agree to include it. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 17:22, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Then we have the "Casualties and losses" section of the infobox: "1,315 Italians killed in battle 15 Greek partisans killed 5,155 Italian POWs executed 3,000 Italian POWs drowned at sea 300 dead 1 landing craft lost 1 aircraft lost." Ok, the battle happened, losses in men and materiel occurred and they have to be accounted for. But putting the mass murder of 5,155 people on the same footing as the combatants and their materiel, including 1 landing craft and 1 airplane, somehow smacks of POV to me. We have to realise that this massacre has a very sensitive connection to the battle and that connection can easily be disturbed by blunt instruments such as the "template:infobox military conflict". Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 20:24, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Firstly, my apologies that my RfC wording was inappropriate. Please direct me to re-word the question. Open to any suggestions that you feel appropriate. Secondly, the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre also has an Infobox. It was clearly a one-sided attack by US forces on the Lakota tribe, yet U.S. casualties are also listed in that infobox. Thank you, and best, Sunil060902 (talk) 21:15, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm inclined to agree that this isn't a "proper" use of the RFC process (as someone who's come here from the feedback request service), but I'm very much a fan of infoboxes — they're a very convenient means of providing a little information without having to parse it from the text. If there's a problem with how to present the information to avoid an implication of POV, then that's something that can be discussed (though an infobox on Wounded Knee Massacre does, as Sunil060902 pointed out, suggest that this has been considered before). — OwenBlacker (Talk) 13:07, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your comments Owen. But I don't agree that the infobox on the Wounded Knee Massacre is a precedent for this article or that the issues I raised about this article have been considered before. My objections also apply to the Wounded Knee Massacre article. I cannot see how innocent victims can be considered "belligerents" and be listed along with the losses of the actual combatants. That is an egregious POV which the infobox introduces on both articles and I don't think it has been addressed in either article. Dr. K. 08:30, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Most of the massacre etc. articles seem to use {{Infobox civilian attack}}, but here we are not dealing with a civilian attack. The most analogous cases I can think of would be the Katyn massacre and the Malmedy massacre. The former uses no infobox, the latter uses the civilian attack one. One could probably make do with the more generic {{infobox event}} too... Anyhow, there are possibilities, but there is clearly also the option of leaving the article without an infobox if no satisfactory solution can be reached. Constantine 09:15, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you Constantine for your excellent analysis. I fully agree with your analysis and conclusions. Dr. K. 01:57, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

I hope this Infobox (see below) addresses most or indeed all of User:Dr.K.'s concerns. I hope it solves the issues regarding any POV fork and/or abstraction from the subject of the article. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 01:31, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Massacre of the Acqui Division
Kephalonia Names.jpg
The island of Cephalonia
Location Cephalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece
Coordinates 38°15′N 20°35′E / 38.25°N 20.59°E / 38.25; 20.59Coordinates: 38°15′N 20°35′E / 38.25°N 20.59°E / 38.25; 20.59
Date September 21—26, 1943
Attack type
Mass murder
Deaths 5,155 Italian POWs
inc. Gen. Antonio Gandin
Perpetrators 1st Mountain Division
104th Jäger Division
Gen. Hubert Lanz
Maj. Harald von Hirschfeld
You mean you are going to drop the subject of a separate battle article? Dr. K. 02:01, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 02:57, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
In that case I agree with your proposal. Thank you. Dr. K. 03:08, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Officers shot[edit]

The division was not comprised mostly of officers. Yet the article refers to thousands of officers being shot. Obviously the orders and executions extended beyond officers.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:17, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Policy to drown POW's?[edit]

The ships Sinfra and Ardena were sunk in the Adriatic as a result of hitting mines. To say that "These losses and similar ones from the Italian Dodecanese garrisons were also the result of German policy" is overstating the situation. It was not policy to sail into mines.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:19, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Massacre of the Acqui Division. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 08:22, 5 June 2017 (UTC)