Talk:Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II

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This article is way too long and unlikely to be brought to an acceptable length merely by deleting unnecessary words. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to cut it down? Deleting Unnecessary Words 00:00, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi. A strongly approve of what you're doing in removing general descriptions of the war where they don't directly affect Britain. I think we can also make more use of 'see also' articles. DJ Clayworth 13:26, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

But it's going too far to delete material about Britain's own actions, plus some of the adjectives are there for a reason. It's not possible to eliminate all redundancy; otherwise you end up with a no-text link farm that is unreadable. A better strategy is to do one edit for obvious fluff words, and separate edits for any deleted content bits, with edit summaries justifying in terms of where the content is already. This article is not, by its nature, going to be really short. Stan 15:57, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Fair enough. But I thought that is what I was doing. You've just reverted a whole lot of edits. Did you disagree with all of them? Deleting Unnecessary Words 19:32, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)
OK, I flip-flopped :-) and restored your edits. Most of the wording changes are good; some of the missing "very"s were emphasizing important points, I didn't like their removal. The bit about the Battle of Taranto should at least mention its significance in the overall strategic picture, after all this is the place to stitch all the individual events into a connected whole. Also, if you want to get serious about pruning, look at the "Norwegian campaign" section and compare to Allied campaign in Norway, which isn't even linked from here - you could clone this section over to the Allied campaign article, and replace with a good summary 1/4 the size. If you just make links for all the obvious linkable terms in this article, you'll find even more duplicated content. Stan 20:41, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I hope we can agree that this article is way, way too long. It is more than twice the length of the article on World War II. Surely it shouldn't take twice as long to tell the story of Britain's role in the war than it does to tell the story of the entire war. I don't want to delete important information, but the article has to be kept to an appropriate length so that people are able to read and edit it easily. Anyone wanting further details (on Taranto, for example), can use one of the links. This is one of the basic Wikipedia principles and is discussed in the "Length" section of "Wikipedia:Summary Style" ( Deleting Unnecessary Words 02:48, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Relative length isn't very meaningful as a metric; we have long articles on unimportant subjects, and vice versa. But as I said, I think you can find duplicated content, plus some of the articles linked to are thin, and could benefit from some of the info here. One way to analyze is to decide on an ideal length, then "budget" for sections and subsections, so you can see how many words are available for any given subject, and don't giving too much to one area at the expense of another just as worthy. Stan 05:16, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm not going to do all the edits in one go. (One of the reasons this thing should not be so long: it is impossible to take a holistic approach to it.) This means that while I'm editing there will be times when one section gets relatively more attention than one of equal importance. Deleting Unnecessary Words 16:39, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Since this was last discussed, this article has grown to be huge again. I have just added a cleanup request for it. Ed 16:58, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

see also articles[edit]

I copied the information in the section on the Arctic Convoys into an article of the same name on 19th because an article of that name was needed and as a experiment to see what would happen. Since that has been done the article has been expanded and some of the initial information has been amended. I would suggest that it would be useful to remove the paragraphs which start "Three particular convoys are notable:" as the initial summary is sufficient to know that the British escorted the Arctic convoys and the "Main article see Arctic Convoys of World War II" now covers those specific convoys. Does anyone object to the removal of those three paragraphs from this article?

Using this technique other sections this article can be shorted without loss of any information. For example I have copied the Burma campaign information into the Burma campaign. This should allow for a "Main article see Bufma Campaign" and the Burma campaign section in this article to be reduced to 4 summary paragraphs instead of 4 sub sections. Philip Baird Shearer 17:41, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for this common-sense solution. Deleting Unnecessary Words 02:18, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Whether or not the diversion of material is executed some of it needs touching up, such as minor POV points every so often. I'll work through editing it from start to finish and condensing it. It is a mammoth like task; I apologise if over the many hours some edits of people are erased - I'll do my best to integrate those as possible.

Sections such as the desert warfare section are prime candidates to be condensed to a brief outline with links to articles with more depth in terms of tactics and such. - Greaser 07:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)


The way this article is currently organized is rather confusing. I would suggest putting it into a more chronological order then the current grouping, as it, IMO, would flow better.

For example: The Norwegian Campaign was cut short by the invasion of France. The fall of France, making all French colonies neutral, is what gave Italy the incentive to launch its offensives in North Africa.

Also, as has been pointed out, there's to much detail on this page. Alot of it could be transferred to other articles and summerized. Oberiko 13:38, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As said above, the detail level is wrong. Not only is there too much in general, but the level for each section does not reflect the importance. Both the Norwegian Campaign and Ethiopian Campaign are longer than the Battle of Britain!.

I think I agree with changing this to run chronologically, but with a few exceptions. The Battle of the Atlantic needs to be separate; interweaving it with land events will be too confusing. But a chronological view would give a much beter overall picture of what was going on. DJ Clayworth 15:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to see here an information: how many men were in the British Army in specific periods of war? (We also need that kind of information for other nations' military history during WW2) I also agree, that there are too much details in some sections, eg. battle of Matapan. Pibwl 17:01, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)


My sources say that Rome fell on 5th June. DJ Clayworth 18:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Size of the British Army[edit]

The page state that the British army was smaller than the German army at the start of the conflict which strictly speaking is true, but the Imperial army (especially the Indian Army which was the biggest in the world) when added to those numbers changed the equation. The same could be said of the French colonial army (specifically the Senialese). Should the there not be some reference to this fact? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps, but this article is about the United Kingdom. Much British manpower was deployed abroad and unavailable, unlike the German army. I'm not even sure whether the Canadians, Australians and other "old" Dominions had many men under arms in September 1939. The Indian Army had its own responsibilities and in fact was not used in northern Europe in WWII. (PS please sign your comments) Folks at 137 10:37, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Second happy time[edit]

The sentence "The British ironically benefited from the attacks on American coastal shipping as a large decrease in attacks on Atlantic convoy ships occurred." is dubious. Given that Britain was almost entirely dependent upon seaborne cargo for survival, how could the massive sinkings off the US coast be anything but disastrous? The reason the U-boats went there was because they could be more successful than in the north Atlantic. I'll await a response to this before amending the article. (I don't think it was irony, either!) Folks at 137 10:37, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

21st november 2006[edit]

I am 13 and i really dont find it confuseing i am doing a piece on if hitler wanted a war aginst britain and france can any1 help

(= — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The United Kingdom and her Empire[edit]

the united kingdom is a she? kingdom is a male word in french (royaume) and in english "king" is not "queendom" so WTF? are you really sure it is her not his or its? Shame On You 00:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

In English we normally call countries "she" and "her". England, Britain and the Empire are all feminine. We're a Kingdom whether or not we have a Queen or a King as head of state - Kingdom just means a country reigned over by a monarch. David 10:36, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


The reason I gave it a "Start" assessment is that it is lacking references, is a a bit long and could use a few more pictures.--Looper5920 18:46, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Summary statistics[edit]

Some summary statistics would be good, such as the overall number of combatants and casualties, with a breakdown of the main services. --Epipelagic (talk) 06:56, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


This article is surprisingly biased in favour of Britain against India. What needs to be added those are-

British declared war on Germany on behalf of India without consulting with Indian leaders, resulted in their resignation. Quit India movement Bengal Famine of 1942. Only Japanese did not fight in Kohima, Manipur? Indian national army also fought, and it's most men were prisoners of Battle of Singapore. A recent debate in Britain said Battle of Kohima-Imphal was toughest battle British ever fought.

Of course these events happened in India, but India was a colony of Great Britain in WW2, directly ruled by British, India was not a dominion like Canada or Australia or New Zealand, so these should be added.

And what about IRA border campaigns during WW2?Ovsek (talk) 18:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Too many sections[edit]

This article is excessively long due to the amount of sub-sections. One example is the Battle of France and Fall of France sections. These are exactly the same topic so I am going to join them up. Would anyone else support merging more sub-sections to give the article a better layout? P.S Look at the Military history of the United States during World War II article to see how this article would be ideally wrote.Tomh903 (talk) 12:00, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 20 August 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: NOT MOVE consensus is for page not to be moved for consistency and as per WP:COMMONNAME ʍaɦʋɛօtʍ (talk) 02:46, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

– Per WP:TITLEVAR. Most Britons refer to the War as the Second World War. --Nevéselbert 15:51, 20 August 2017 (UTC) --Relisting. Steel1943 (talk) 16:06, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Most Wikipedians are American. All articles in English Wikipedia are for all. Articles related to the United Kingdom are also for us all. Sawol (talk) 10:46, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
@Sawol: although I agree with you in this instance, and am also opposing, for slightly different reasons, I do have to point out that your assertion here is incorrect. Per WP:TIES, articles that are specific to a particular English-speaking region are written in the English variety of that region. Of course, the Wiki is for all English speakers, but I do think it's sensible to style them as they would locally where possible. Someone reading an article on Budleigh Salterton is more likely to be from the UK than from the US, while Albert Lea, Minnesota, is likely to be more read from the US than the UK. So all other things being equal, we may as well use the version of English familiar to those readers. thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 10:06, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Agree Neve-selbert is persuasive. Americans reading this article should know the terms the Brits use for the war. Rjensen (talk) 12:28, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Neutral: still deliberating on whether WP:CONSISTENCY is more important than MOS:ENGVAR here. DrStrauss talk 22:34, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose The main article is World War II and consistency should be maintained. Dimadick (talk) 19:41, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The preference for one term or the other in the UK and the USA does not seem strong enough to override consistency. (talk) 15:40, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm not actually convinced the supposed difference between AmE and BrE exists for this term, at least in 2017. "World War II" is used extensively in the UK, probably more so than "Second World War" these days. I think there's actually a case for deprecating usage of "Second World War" across the whole Wiki, for consistency.  — Amakuru (talk) 10:03, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.