Talk:Operation Bodenplatte

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Good article Operation Bodenplatte 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.
September 11, 2010 Good article nominee Listed



My name is David and I am writing a book about Operation Bodenplatte. I would love hearing from anyone in this forum about the operation, and I seek veterans of this conflict or anyone with first or second-hand information to speak up.



--- As per the German Wiki and other sources I beleive Operation Hermann should be copied into the Operation Bodenplatte article, and this page be made an redirect. I will do so within the next day or so unless there are protests. Abel29a 23:10, 12 November 2006 (UTC)


Added three infoboxes to the article, and now the edit buttons for three of the headlines are placed on top op the table(at least in Opera 9.02.) My Wiki-Fu is not yet strong enough to fix this - anybody know how to properly code this thing? Abel29a 02:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Name and terminology[edit]

I have moved the article for two reasons: (1) "Operation Bodenplatte" is Denglish rather than a correct English or German name. (2) The common translation is "Operation Baseplate" (refer Google search), rather than "Ground Plate". I have also cleaned up some of the terminology, into the correct British and US military forms. Regards, Grant | Talk 10:05, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Good call. I didn't even think about this when I was working on the article Abel29a 20:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi there, just corrected a translation error: mäßig (as stated in the german wiki) = moderate, medium. Not Massiv. In the german wiki the terminology was critisised for not beeing suitable in connection with destruction. Also it would be to vague to be used in an encyclpedia. However, the author of the source, Werner Girbig (Start im Morgengrauen), used just this terminology in his extentensivly researched book. The term medium destruction will probably is more neutral.
On the issue of Operation vs. Unternehmen (directly translates as untertaking) I fully agree with the editors. While Unternehmen is suitable for the majority of operations of the german wehrmacht during WW2 (like Unternehmen Taifun, Unternehmen Barbarossa, Unternehmen Zitadelle etc.), the term Operation seems to fit for most of the allied undertakings (!?).
To make things interesting, the german wehrmacht used the codeword Fall (case) for some of their operations, like Fall Gelb for what was commonly called Westfeldzug, the term Feldzug describing a limited military operation within a greater war (the closest english term I can think of is raid). Fall Weiß=Polenfeldzug, Fall Rot=Frankreichfeldzug, Fall Blau=Kaukasusfeldzug. The Fall+Color coding got somewhat mixed up when Fall Barbarossa and Unternehmen Barbarossa was both used for the attack on the soviet union in 1941. The Fall Blau in 1942 was the last operation using the color coding that I know of. The transition can be seen in the chronolgy: mid 1941 Fall/Unternehmen Barbarossa, end 1941 Unternehmen Taifun (moskow), early 1942 Fall Blau (for the last time), from there on only Unternehmen + codeword (no color).
As for Galland, I would like to point out that he was removed from his position as supreme commander of the day-fighters in early 1945, but kept his rank as Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General US, respectivly Air Marshall RAF). He returned to activ combat duty on own will and was given command of the most famous jetfighter unit of the war, the Jagdverband 44. Reading the article one may think he was degraded, which was not the case. Just for info, best regards and thanks for noting,--Greenx 10:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Polish Air Force units[edit]

...should not be credited in the combatant box. They were not fully independent units. They were always subordinate to the RAF. The fact that they were (may have been) answerable to the Polish government in exile is irrelevant. Dapi89 (talk) 18:14, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

??The Poles were proud to serve in the RAF, they served heroically and well (in spite of which treated extremely badly post war by a government who wanted to stay cosy with "Uncle Joe"), they were combatants, the airfield on which their units were based was a target, so what's the problem?Minorhistorian (talk) 23:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Your missing the point. That is completely irrelevant. Dapi89 (talk) 12:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

It was I that changed it. For a similar case, see the intro and battlebox in Invasion of Normandy. The "problem" is Polish airmen were officially recognised by the RAF as members of a separate air force. See Polish_Air_Forces_in_France_and_Great_Britain#History:

Initially the Polish airmen were compelled to wear British uniforms, fly British flags and pass two oaths, one to the Polish government and the other to King George VI of the United Kingdom. However, after the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk and the arrival of hundreds of Polish airmen from France, the situation changed. On August 5, 1940, the British government finally accepted the Polish Air Force as a sovereign, allied military formation. From then on the airmen were part of the Polish Army, flying their own standards and wearing British uniforms but with Polish rank insignia. Although still subordinate to British command, the Polish units were directly subordinate to a Polish inspector of the Air Forces, who in turn was responsible to the Polish government.

I think the logic is inescapable. And on further reflection, I think it is clear that — as well as Poland — Canada and New Zealand should be listed here as well, since the RCAF and RNZAF participated, in the form of units of other sovereign countries, under RAF operational control. (Whereas, in this instance, Australian/RAAF units did not.) Regards, Grant 03:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with logic. My problem is that there isn't a single citation on that page that indicates the P.A.Fs were indeed given sovereignty. The "citationless" text also mentions that they were answerable to the RAF, as they flew RAF machines, in RAF units. It appears they only had minimal autonomy. I wanted proper accreditation, that's all. Dapi89 (talk) 12:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Michael Alfred Peszke appears to be the leading authority regarding the agreement of August 5, 1940 (and note the significance of that date). Here are two articles by him that support the above interpretation:
  • "An Introduction to English-Language Literature on the Polish Armed Forces in World War II" The Journal of Military History v70, n4 (Oct. 2006), pp. 1029-1064.
  • "A Synopsis of Polish-Allied Military Agreements During World War Two" Military Affairs, v 44, n3 (Oct. 1980), pp. 128-134.
Grant 13:59, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I take it you found these on JSTOR? Fair enough. Then please add the proper reference Grant, it appears the entry was legitimate. Dapi89 (talk) 14:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I see what you mean; I was working under a mistaken impression, apologies for that. The article does need some references and citation to indicate where the information comes from. I forgot to show a reference for the section about Galland being sacked then reinstated, so I'll add that.Minorhistorian (talk) 23:02, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
By way of background, several months ago I was sceptical regarding the claims of Polish sovereignty in 1940-45, until I checked this for myself. I don't have access to online subscriptions or ready access to the paper journals for the next few weeks. Regards, Grant 00:18, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

That's okay, I do, so I'll "wack 'em in". Dapi89 (talk) 17:21, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Cheers, Grant 07:09, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Generally at the time all Polish units would have been described and considered as 'Polish units of the RAF'.
Because Poland surrendered in 1939 and had thereafter what the Germans considered a 'legitimate' government this meant that Poles fighting alongside the Allies could be legally considered 'traitors' by the Germans and so could be denied the protection of the Geneva Convention. So all Polish units had to be 'RAF units' first, Polish second. This also applied to Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians, Czechs, Free French, etc., So although they wore their own uniforms, and were nominally in their own respective air forces, they were in fact, all RAF personnel - which is why al these personnel when captured were held by the Germans in prisoner of war camps alongside the British. Their respective air force's countries having surrendered they were no longer considered legitimate fighting forces by the Nazis and so could all have theoretically been executed or put in concentration camps if captured.
You see, once these countries had surrendered, the surrender terms almost always included a clause that the armed forces of the conquered state lay down their arms and cease fighting the victor. Failing to do this renders the persons concerned as having disobeyed lawful orders and therefore denies them the protection of the Geneva Convention if they are later captured. That means the captor doesn't have to consider them legitimate prisoners of war and can (theoretically) do what they like with them. In practice, that meant that any person from any of these states captured while fighting German forces would be handed over to the Gestapo or SS instead of being sent to a Luftwaffe POW camp. This is also usually what happened to British SOE agents caught in civilian clothes, several of whom ended up in Dachau and Ravensbrück. So the legal niceties of who you were actually fighting for had some importance at the time.
That's why all RAF squadrons with personnel made up from the occupied countries had 'No XXX (Polish) Squadron' or 'No XX (Norwegian) Squadron' in their official titles. That way they had the legal protection of fighting for what the Germans regarded as a legal combatant, i.e, the British.
BTW, the Polish government-in-exile in London wasn't recognised by Germany, so Poles fighting outside nominally British and other Allied units had no recognised legal status with the Germans. This also applied to the other occupied countries.
IIRC, the problem of what would happen to personnel from the occupied countries if shot down and captured had not occurred prior to around 1941-42, from then on the RAF started flying offensive 'Rhubarb' and 'Ranger' patrols over occupied France and the possibility of capture became real. For a time prior to this Poles (and Czechs) who might have to fly over France from stations in the UK had been given British citizenship to protect them if shot down. That's why so many Poles in the RAF were able to remain in the UK after the war's end in 1945.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:43, 1 January 2014 (UTC)


I notice that ranks of equivalent air forces are added in brackets in the main text. I think this clutters up the main text. If a reader wants to know more, they simpy have to click on the links provided (I note also that the equivalent ranks are listed in those articles anyway). Agreed? Dapi89 (talk) 14:04, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

The original version of the paragraph was even more confusing, the Allied ranks weren't accurate and there wasn't a footnote explaining the differences between Luftwaffe positions and Allied ranks (not everyone is going to bother to look at the Wiki articles on the Geshwaderkommodore etc). I adjusted the paragraph accordingly. However, I think it clutters up the text, although the footnote should probably stay.Minorhistorian (talk) 04:32, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

List of Allied aircraft lost.[edit]

Looking good, apart from two things: Flg. Off. Fraser of 439 Squadron RCAF was not shot down; the official 439 Sqn log and the "Unofficial Squadron History" show that the only aircraft of the unit lost in the air was that of Flg. Off. Angelini. In fact Fraser claimed two German aircraft, more than likely from JG 3.

Second, I doubt if the rank for David Johnson of 366 FG was Flying Officer, unless he was seconded from the RAF. Worth checking on. Minorhistorian (talk) 01:11, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Start Class?[edit]

I think the detail on this article deserves more than a start class classification. Dapi89 (talk) 11:42, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Operation Hermann[edit]

Can the relevant page for Operation Hermann get de-linked from that one so an article on that can be properly created and worked on? I'd do it but honestly I get lost when it comes to moving and de-redirecting pages.radek (talk) 21:21, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


Two years or so ago, myself and another user put some effort into drawing up the loss tables. But given their capacity to eat up space, I suggest they be moved (the German ones) to the Geschwader articles. Or, I guess setting up a 'Bodenplatte losses' article would be in order. The space is need for a planned revamp. Dapi89 (talk) 10:56, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

How about simply collapsing them? (Hohum @) 21:02, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Does that kill kb useage? Dapi89 (talk) 12:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
No. However, the main reason for article length guidelines for readable prose, is to prevent the reader getting bogged down, which this achieves - while keeping the information quickly accessible for those that want it. (Hohum @) 19:31, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
So in theory, it could be 150, and still get GA? Dapi89 (talk) 20:20, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
That probably depends on the reviewers. If they need it removed, it's a simple cut. (Hohum @) 19:31, 8 August 2010 (UTC)


To kill kbs, does anyone think it is a good idea to move the Casualties text to the main article? Dapi89 (talk) 12:21, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

  1. Book references are missing publishing locations
  2. Images with missing Non-free media use rationale: [File:Heinrich Bär.jpg], [File:Helmut Bennemann.jpg], [File:Siegfried Freytag.jpg] --Jim Sweeney (talk) 14:43, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay Jim. Do you have any other concerns? Does everything else seem okay? I think I've covered all other aspects of the operation in concise and sufficient enough detail (considering the space restrictions). Dapi89 (talk) 15:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
No I just had a quick read but nothing else jumped out. --Jim Sweeney (talk) 15:24, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Unternehmen Bodenplatte/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'm working on reviewing this article over the phone with a non-Wikipedian who's a walking encyclopedia on all things WWII, and who also has professional article reviewing experience. The review is by me but throughout it you'll see me refer to his opinions.

I think it's got a lot of good info and is well done, neutral, with good referencing--but a lot of work is still needed. Primarily, my buddy and I think that there's a huge amount of detail and the overall general concepts are being neglected. Either they're lost in with all the detail or they go unmentioned.

Some general comments before I go through section by section:

  • The article is too long and excessively detailed. We are going to have to go through and make some tough decisions about detail to cut out.
  • Throughout the article, there's a lot of 'fluff' wording, wording that you could leave out and the sentence would still make sense--unnecessary words and clauses that are implied by the context or the rest of what you say. I've been going through and removing some instances, you can check the history if you like. Try these exercises. I'd recommend a read through to try to find and remove unnecessary wording.
  • Define your abbreviations when you first use them.
  • Sometimes foreign words are in italics and sometimes not. Make them consistent.
  • The article is difficult to read with all the German and the abbreviations (especailly in the Battle section). I think you should use English terms wherever possible. I've been going through and changing where it's 'German word (English translation)'. I think it's better to have 'English (German)' if you need the German at all. I think for example using 'fighter' instead of Jagdgeschwader would make the article much easier for an English speaker to read.
  • Abbreviations aren't always consistent. For example, with Sint-Truiden, 'sint' is used inconsistently. Sometimes there's a period, sometimes a dash, sometimes nothing.
  • The reader gets kind of bogged down in all the detail and deviations. For example, would it be ok to remove the translations in this sentence? The Germans husbanded their resources in the preceding months at the expense of the Defence of the Reich units in what was a last-ditch effort to keep up the momentum of the German Army (German: Heer) during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge (German: Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein). This is too much for the introduction.
  • You might want to make more explicit at the end of the lead what it meant to lose airplanes vs. losing airmen. i.e. the pilots were a much more important resource so losing pilots was a bigger hit for Germany. Maybe just a brief mention after ...Moreover, the nature of the operation meant the Allies lost few airmen, because the airplanes were destroyed on the ground without pilots.
  • I think the background section is too long. I think the Big Blow section should be reduced to a few sentences and integrated into the rest. Consider making a spinoff article and leaving a summary here per WP:SUMMARY.
  • This sentence is too difficult and convoluted: The Royal Air Force's (RAF) Second Tactical Air Force, under the command of Air Marshal Arthur Coningham, directed its No. 2 Group RAF, No. 83 Group RAF, No. 84 Group RAF and No. 85 Group RAF, to provide constant ground support to the Allied Armies. Could it be reworded to have a list like 'RAF groups 2, 83, 84, and 85'? Just to have less repetition. And for a lay reader like me, it isn't really clear what a 'Group RAF' is.
  • I think this sentence needs further explanation: As the ground forces moved up, the Allied tactical and strategic air forces followed. First, maybe clarify where is 'up'. Next, this is an important point: They are taking airfields as soon as they were becoming available to save gas and shorten commute times, right? So they were moving into these exposed locations.
  • This sentence kind of comes out of the blue and leaves the reader lost: Air wings based in the Netherlands, Belgium and France could keep offering that same support over Germany proper. How is it related to the first sentence? Are you trying to say "therefore the attack was strategic because the airfields were vulnerable, but even so air wings based in the Netherlands, Belgium and France could keep offering the support lost in the attack over Germany proper"?
  • Sometimes there are refs in the middle of paras, sometimes they're at the end. When a ref is at the end, am I to understand that it covers everything in the para? I would put the ref after every sentence it covers--it's bulkier but more flexible--it lets you add or move stuff later. These sentences have numerical stats and thus need refs: On the eight days of operations, between the 17 to 27 December 1944, some 644 fighters were lost and 227 damaged. This resulted in 322 pilots killed, 23 captured and 133 wounded. On the three days of operations, 23 to 25 December 1944, some 363 fighters were destroyed. If the ref at the end of the para covers it, you might want to at least put that in hidden tags so you or others can move it later.
The "Big Blow"
  • The background secion is kind of hard to follow because it mixes info from before and after the attack. I like the summary, it's definitely needed, but is there a way to move the summary info so the background section is just background? e.g. the whole para starting "Following the operation..." (not to mention that doesn't really have to do with the Big Blow). Could we do away with this para altogether? Or at least put it in aftermath. Does the Big Blow really need a section of its own? Or could it be pared down and incorporated into the rest of background?
Operation codenames
  • Again, this is not background. Could this be done away with altogether? This is the kind of detail the article is full of and that I consider excessive. If the codenames are used somewhere, you can bring this up then, but I say get rid of this section entirely.
The plan
  • What does 'superiority' mean here? commence plans for a ground attack and air superiority operations over the Ardennes. I took it out; if it means something you can replace it if you add some clarification.
  • This has been said before in the background section: Preparations were to be complete by 27 November, and to be carried out on the first day of the offensive. However, weather conditions blocked any large-scale operations. I think it actually makes more sense here, maybe you can shorten it out of the background.
  • What does the second part of this sentence have to do with the first? The previous sentence was about how they were down because of the weather. Maybe break into two sentences? It was, therefore, not launched until 1 January 1945 in an attempt to help regain the momentum of the struggling Panzer Army supporting the second phase of the offensive, Operation North Wind.
  • The plan of Bodenplatte called for a surprise attack against 16 Allied air bases in Belgium, the Netherlands, and one base at Metz, in France. Does this mean there were 15 in Belgium and the Netherlands and one in France? Or 16 in Belgium and the Netherlands and an additional one in France?
  • In a major oversight, the planners had set flight paths which took many units over some of the most heavily defended areas on the Continent; namely the V2 launch sites around The Hague. 'Oversight' has two meanings so might be a little confusing here. 'Maybe gaffe'? 'Blunder'? Or reword to use 'overlook' instead?
  • I think this is excessive detail but my buddy doesn't, so you can decide whether to keep or excise: At the turn of 1944/45 Air Command West had 267 heavy and 277 medium or light anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) batteries, and in addition to this there were 100 Kriegsmarine (Navy) AAA batteries along the Dutch coast. The path of most of these lay in the sector of the 16th AAA Division, with its control station at Doetinchem, 15 miles east of Arnhem.
  • I think the para starting Another problem was the fact that many of the Luftwaffe pilots were very poor marksmen and lacked flight skills is too detailed, but again my buddy doesn't. Really I think it could be reduced to a couple sentences about how fuel, instructors and training facilities were severely limited (and you could integrate it into the previous para).
  • This is not a good topic sentence for the para beginning "Exacerbating an already significant series of problems, the plan called for the units to maintain strict radio/wireless silence and secrecy in order to maintain surprise." The rest of the para is about maps and the pilots being ill-prepared.

That's all I got now. My buddy and I are going to go through the next few sections tomorrow or Monday, it will probably take us a while to get through the whole thing, but you can get started working on this set of suggestions. Definitely let me know if you have anything to discuss about any of this. delldot ∇. 19:10, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Reviewer: delldot ∇. 19:10, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh, there's a way to make citations from the references link to their books in the Bibliography section, see for example prenatal cocaine exposure. I can help you implement this if you decide you want to. delldot ∇. 19:13, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

First Comment[edit]

Oh dear. We have a problem.

General Comment[edit]

I’m definitely opposed to the removal of detail. To be honest, if the article starts getting massacred I’d rather leave it at B class. I certainly don’t agree in the slightest that the overall point is being lost; I believe that the plan sections are fine in length and summation. Bodenplatte’s overall intention can be summed up very swiftly, and all that remains is the detail. In once sense more detail is being demanded, yet in another is to be removed. How can I expand on a background that already has everything in it? I do not accept that English terms should be used, in military articles on aces the German words are always used – after one example and conversion has been given. Another user has also pointed out a good reason for the use of German terms[1]

The other points I can live with. With reard to article length: I have already created two separate articles to deal with excess detail, so I'm struggling to see other ways in which I can cut down the detail.

Ok, neither of us wants to struggle over this, let's just work on improving the article. You can take my advice or leave it, and in the end we can come to an agreement or leave it as a B--I applaud your greater concern for article quality than for shiny stickers. I'm happy to listen to your views when you disagree that stuff should be removed. Let's both try to approach this without defensiveness, we both want this article to be as good as it can be. BTW, do you happen to know the readable prose size? The tool I used to use for finding it is down and I can't get anything else to work. delldot ∇. 01:02, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, sorry. With regard to content, I'll figure something out. Dapi89 (talk) 10:18, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I've looked around. It appears to by 60kb. Articles that are +60kbs are acceptable if they are large in scope (I think this one is). Dapi89 (talk)
Yeah, that's pretty good! We should probably aim for about 50, but this is definitely not bad. delldot ∇. 20:12, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
This article cannot be reduced to 50. It would just look silly. GA articles are and can reach 80kb (inclusive of refs and citations of course. Dapi89 (talk) 11:24, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I did a check. Without the biliography, cites and external links it gets to about 77. I think this is the best I can do. Dapi89 (talk) 11:38, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


I don’t believe the abbreviations are too much. I see GA articles and above with this kind of thing all the time. And an article with such length would look awkward to say the least with a painfully short introduction while being generous in length. I appreciate that it could be better worded. I agree, I’ll make the fact pilots were more precious.

Most readers are going to be reading this for the first time and don't already know what it's trying to say. Admittedly I'm a WWII novice, but my buddy felt the same way about the abbreviations. But just making the uses consistent would help a lot. delldot ∇. 01:02, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Done. Dapi89 (talk) 10:14, 4 September 2010 (UTC)


I agree it could be shortened. I’ll do that. I’ll sort out wording issues. If a ref is in the middle of a sentence it because the information is not contained in the paragraph and needs insertion. If you think it needs to be at the end, that fine.

One of my big concerns with the background section was it wasn't all background--some paras were dealing with during the strike and the aftermath.
I'm not sure if I communicated the ref thing well--I was asking you, did you mean for a ref that's at the end of a para to cover everything in the para? I don't have a problem with mid-sentence refs, but some at FAC do. delldot ∇. 01:02, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes. But where I have included an inline citation mid-sentence means it was not in the end-of-para citations and is inserted. Dapi89 (talk) 10:16, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Done. Its been reworded. Hop this is sufficient. Dapi89 (talk) 10:17, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Big Blow[edit]

Can be shortened and simplified.

Operation codenames[edit]

No. There is much controversy and myth about this operation. It needs a title so it stands out and is clear. Mixing it with the background is just going to look confusing. I think a better idea is to move it under “The plan” section.

My bad, I must have been thinking that the codenames section was in the background section (and yeah, that would not have worked). delldot ∇. 01:02, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll have a look at the plan section tomorrow. Dapi89 (talk) 20:03, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Related FAs include Battle of Midway, British anti-invasion preparations of World War II, Convoy GP55, Omaha Beach, Panzer I. We can look at these when questions of how things should be done come up (e.g. do they use English or German words?) Some of these have been featured for a while, though, so may not reflect current practices. delldot ∇. 01:40, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Would it not be better to look at German air articles? Werner Mölders, Heinrich Bär, Organization of the Luftwaffe (1933–1945), Jagdgeschwader 1. Dapi89 (talk) 12:26, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, those are better. I just hadn't noticed them in the brief look I did. It looks like they use the German, so we can revert the changes I made from German to English. delldot ∇. 20:18, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

GA Review format[edit]

Would it be possible to use this format, so it is possible to see what has been done and what if anything can be done to assist. --Jim Sweeney (talk) 17:43, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Sure, I can do that if it would be helpful. Let me get through the detailed reading first. So far it looks like the only problems are with 1 and 3. delldot ∇. 06:13, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see any issue with 3. However, I appreciate the writing needs clarity. I'll go over all that. Dapi89 (talk) 09:35, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I've cut some more detail from the article. It is now at 69kb. I think this is an acceptable target considering the amount of detail cut. The detail that is there now is virtually the bare minimum. If this is still not acceptable, then I don't think an agreement can be reached. Dapi89 (talk) 13:19, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I'll have another close look as soon as I can and give feedback. Don't worry too much about it, I'm sure we'll figure something out we're both happy with. I'll look over the cuts you made as soon as I can and let you know what I think. I'll try to get together with my buddy again this afternoon. I'm not trying to make you take a hatchet to the article, detail per se is ok, there was just a lot of detail I thought was unimportant. But you are right that the info will determine the size of the article. delldot ∇. 14:26, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
OK. Dapi89 (talk) 16:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Remember, refs and bibliography don't count in the readable prose size, so no need to make cuts to them (no need to undo anything either, just so you know). Tables, lists, captions, and that kind of thing also don't count.
OK. Great, thanks. Dapi89 (talk) 16:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Looking over the cuts you've made so far I think they're great. The language is tighter, it looks to me like it makes sense to have cut the detail you've cut. I haven't reread the whole thing yet though. delldot ∇. 14:37, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Good to hear! I'll awaitg further comments. Dapi89 (talk) 16:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


I reread the sections I had left comments on before, and I think they're much better: clearer, more direct, easier to read. It might be partly due to the fact that I'd read and understood it before, but really I think they're much improved. I'll try to leave a new set of comments this afternoon. delldot ∇. 15:11, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Glad things are moving along. Cheers. Dapi89 (talk) 16:06, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
My buddy agrees it's hugely improved. He says "it's nice as it can be now!" I got the prose size tool working (for reasons that are completely mysterious to me) and it tells me the prose size is 62, readable prose size is 41. So that's perfect, no more cutting is necessary for purposes of size. (Obviously the focus of the article could require adding or subtracting of detail, but that seems ok to me so far). delldot ∇. 17:46, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Great work guys. Does anyone else have a problem with saying that France had been "liberated"? The term is completely accurate ... certainly if France is once again controlled by the French, then it's been liberated ... but in general, the term isn't neutral (it strongly suggests which "side you're on"). I don't have an opinion, just throwing this out. - Dank (push to talk) 18:46, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Not sure. "Liberated" from illegal occupation forces I believe is neutral. It is a term often used in this sense. I have no particular opinion either. I'll leave up to the reviewer. Dapi89 (talk)
I think it's ok, but it might make it even clearer to say something like 'the Allies had retaken..." delldot ∇. 19:49, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Dapi89 (talk) 15:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Next installment[edit]

Here's our thoughts on the next few sections:

  • Minor thing: The table looks good, but I wonder if there's a more neutral word than 'enemy' in the table. Maybe 'Allied force'? If nothing else works, 'enemy' is ok.
Forces involved
  • There shouldn't be an empty section, can this link be incorporated elsewhere in the article so we can do away with the header?
German Communication
  • This sentence is a repeat of information that's already in The Plan: The anti-aircraft batteries (described above) knew of the operation but the passage of information was inadequate. Only a small number of the batteries knew at what time the German formations would fly over their front. (in The Plan, the paragraph says, Some had been warned about the operation but were not kept up to date with developments about changing timetables and the flight plan of German formations. As a result many of the German fighter units lost aircraft to "friendly fire" before the attacks could be initiated.) I think it would be a good idea to reference the info from the other section, just to jog the reader's memory, but you really only need to explain it at length in one or the other section.

In the following sections about each of the targets, these sections are incredibly repetitive with a ton of unfamiliar abbreviations. It occurs to me that all the info about types of aircraft, what units they're from, aircraft lost, pilots lost, etc. would be better in a table. (Then you could link the first abbreviation, too). It could be like: Target, divisions assigned to it, German aircraft destroyed, aircraft damaged, pilots killed, pilots MIA, pilots wounded. Then the same info for allied losses (or a new table with those data). That way readers who don't want that level of detail can get the basic idea from a summary in the prose that points to the table. You could have one big table or a small table for each target. That way it would be more interesting to read the prose because you don't have to go through the same thing with each sentence: "this is how many Fws were available, this is how many pilots were ready, this is how many they lost..." etc.

If you hate that idea, here's specific critiques of the prose for the next few sections.

Maldegem, Ursel and St. Denis Westrem
  • 'Stab' is used here for the first time, new terms need an explanation when they're introduced.
  • I added the word 'friendly' to the sentence I./JG 1 lost four of their number to AAA fire--please revert me if that assumption was incorrect.
  • I got confused here Casualties could have been heavier, had the AAA defences of Maldegem airfield not been removed. The rest of the para before this sentence is talking about losing planes to friendly AAA fire. But this has to be Allied AAA fire that you're talking about. Can you clarify this?
  • With this sentence, can the location be clarified? I./JG 1 claimed 30 Spitfires on the ground and two shot down. The next sentence is about Maldegem and Ursel, so where are we talking about in this one?
  • This sentence kind of switches tune: On Maldegem 16 aircraft were destroyed and at Ursel only six were lost. in the first part, they're destroyed, in the second they're lost. We're talking about the enemy aircraft they destroyed in both parts, right?
  • The whole latter part of this paragraph is very confusing: I./JG 1 claimed 30 British Spitfires on the ground and two shot down. On Maldegem 16 aircraft were destroyed and at Ursel only six were lost. This solitary claim is more inline with Allied losses on both airfields. At Maldegem No. 135 Wing RAF lost 13 Spitfires plus two damaged beyond repair.[35] In total 15 Spitfires were lost at Maldegem. At Ursel, a B-17 two Lancaster’s and the Mosquito, the only machines there, were lost. The German loss of 16 aircraft and 12 pilots was not a good return.[36] First we hear about 30, then we hear about 16 + 6. What is the 'solitary' claim, and what does 'solitary' mean? If there are multiple claims, who claimed the 16 + 6?
  • With that same paragraph, I think it would help to clarify who is making the claims. The uses of "lost" and "destroyed" should be made consistent (I'd go with 'destroyed' unless you're explicitly saying Allied forces are making the claims. (So it would read, e.g., "15 Spitfires were destroyed. British forces claimed they lost 13...")
  • I think it's good that you break up the paras into Maldegem/Ursel and St. Denis. But it's hard to follow with the quick transitioning from German losses to their successes. In the last para, it switches back and forth to and from what they lost and what they shot down. I think it would be easier if you would pick a consistent pattern and present each para the same way: the first half what they destroyed and the second half what they lost (or vice versa, whichever works best).
  • I can't make any sense of this sentence: Stab./SG 4 three Fw 190s and two pilots. Also, is there supposed to be a period after Stab? This should be made consistent throughout the article.
  • All the info about the specific kinds of aircraft is pretty incomprehensible. As a layperson, what am I supposed to do with the fact that such and such a number of the craft were 190D-9s, or 109G-14s, when I don't know what one of those is? Is there at least a list article you can link to that would expand on what each of these things is? If not, wouldn't that mean this info is super obscure?
  • I added 'Allied' to this sentence, please revert me if the assumption is incorrect: At 09:12 JG 2 crossed the front line at Malmedy and was greeted by an enormous volume of Allied AAA fire.
Volkel and Heesch

This sentence doesn't seem to make sense: I and III./JG 6 were to attack while III./JG 6 was to provide cover against Allied fighters. What happened to II?

  • Does 'scrambled' mean something specific that could be put into layperson's terms? No. 401 Squadron scrambled.
  • There's the mixing up of 'lost' and 'shot down' that I was complaining about above here too: A further Hawker Typhoon was lost, but no Hawker Tempests were shot down or damaged.
  • Since it's been so long since you've used the abbreviation KG, it might help to jog the reader's memory here: Stab./KG 6 lost the Kommodore, Kogel as a POW...
  • Minor point: per WP:DASH, page ranges (like all numerical ranges) should be separated with an n dash (–).

That's all I got for now, we're planning on getting back together in a day or two. delldot ∇. 19:49, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Sorry if you think it is all repetitive, unfortunately there is little other way to describe air-to-air combat. It’s an issue with all air related (and ace) articles. Anyone who bothers to look this up are going to people with some interest, and I think they will appreciate it.
I'll correct the text for each section. I don't think a table is a good idea. I have tabled losses in the casualties section which were moved because they ate up space. They give specific losses re: individual aircraft/pilots. It’s too much for the main article and I can't think of a sensible layout for a table that dealt with the general loss - victory figures.
The Target section has a link to the Organization of the Luftwaffe (1933-1945) which explains abbrevs. I'll explain more thoroughly. Dapi89 (talk) 20:10, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I done most of it. Just sorting bits and pieces. I think it is crystal clear now. Dapi89 (talk) 20:58, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

The table idea is not something I would fail the article over, but I would still advocate for putting at least some of the data into a table. If you find yourself repeating the same information in slightly different wording in every paragraph, you might be presenting info that belongs in a table. So many of the sentences are basically embellished versions of this: "Target: Units: Number and types of aircraft: Number of pilots: Number shot down: Number damaged: ..." I'm not saying to leave nothing in the sections, but if the sections consisted of the other info that wouldn't belong in a table they'd be more interesting. And the tabulated info would be quicker and easier to find. It might actually be cool to have a little box to the right in each section with the info I mentioned above (number of planes lost, etc.). I'm picturing something like this. Then you could decide if and how much to repeat the same info in the prose. delldot ∇. 13:56, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

OK. I think I'll do that then. What I failed to do earlier was to explain that it might complicate matters by having just tables in sections. I read somewhere that articles that are purely/largely statistical are not liked. Dapi89 (talk) 15:12, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
What about the sections that have pictures. The layout will be messed up a bit. I don't htink it will look right. Dapi89 (talk) 15:46, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the picture layout could be tweaked if it looks bad. I never worry about the picture layout while the article is undergoing work because it always ends up drastically different anyway. But it's up to you. delldot ∇. 16:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Last sections[edit]

Antwerp-Deurne and Woensdrecht
  • These two sentences are confusing together: ... just 12 aircraft were destroyed. Only 14 Allied aircraft were destroyed and nine damaged. if it's saying the 12 is a subset and the 14 is a grand total, can that be clarified? Also, I'm noticing throughout these sections that it's not made clear who's doing the estimating, and those numbers differ. So if that's the reason for the disparity, just make clear who's making the estimates: ... the Germans claimed that just 12 aircraft were destroyed. According to the Allies, only 14 Allied aircraft were destroyed and nine damaged.
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 13:51, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Here's another example of the same thing: JG 77 lost 11 Bf 109s and their pilots were lost. Six were killed and five captured. German records show the loss of ten pilots, but only four are listed as captured. Who's making the claim in the first section, the Allies? In that case it should be made explicit. If they're both German claims, what's the reason for the disparity?
Done Dapi89 (talk) 13:51, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • There's a number missing in this sentence, after 'claimed': On the way home at 09:20, III./JG 53 were intercepted by 366th Fighter Squadron which claimed destroyed and three damaged for a solitary P-47.
  • The raid on Etain was a total failure. Wait, why are we talking about Etain now? We were just talking about Metz-Frescaty. Is this a new location? Or an alternate name?
  • It's better not to start a sentence with a numeral if you can avoid it: 13 pilots were missing; three were killed, six remain missing as of today, and four were captured.
Done. I've cleared out the unneeded data, fixed it so it makes sense and eliminated Etain from the section - it was only a part of the main complex. It doesn't need to be there. Dapi89 (talk) 14:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Le Culot and Ophoven
  • Le Culot was undamaged. This is referring to the airfield itself?
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 14:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • can you say 'fully operational pilots'? It sounds weird to me.
  • so other Staffel made up the numbers. -- I don't think the word Staffel has been introduced yet.
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 14:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The caption seems to start using new nomenclature: of 10./JG54. As far as we've seen heretofore, it's always a roman numeral like II/JG54.
  • These two sentences don't make sense in context: In total II./JG 26 suffered 13 Fw 190s lost and two damaged. The amount of damaged made up for the losses. I think you're saying in the second sentence "the amount of enemy aircraft damaged made up for their own losses" but since it's switching subjects so abruptly that's not clear.
  • Is Recce Wings supposed to be capitalized here? The Recce Wings had lost two entire squadrons worth of machines.
Done. The number is used for staffel, numeral for Group. I usually like using 10.III./JG 54 to explain the difference. Its effective and easy, but official German units make a distinction only in the number/numeral.
Recce is slang for reconnaissance. Dapi89 (talk) 14:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Gilze-Rijen and Eindhoven.
  • this sentence doesn't add up: Some 15 pilots were missing; nine were killed and five captured
  • This still seems too detailed to me: Another source gives 41 aircraft destroyed, 24 slightly damaged and 19 severely damaged, six of which were beyond repair. Does it have to be this specific with the severity of damaged, or could it just give number destroyed and number damaged? And what's the difference between damaged beyond repair and destroyed?
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 14:35, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Aftermath and casualties
  • This sentence doesn't make sense: Additionally, while it was supposed to "revive" the offensive, it could have preceded the Ardennes attack, without the need to rely on weather.
  • Say who you're quoting here: aircraft and pilots were irreplaceable, leaving the Germans "weaker than ever and incapable of mounting any major attack again". If it's some obscure person, consider paraphrasing rather than quoting.
  • Why the quotation marks here? Are you quoting someone? If so, give them credit: Additionally, while it was supposed to "revive" the offensive, it could have preceded the Ardennes attack
  • Again, give credit: In strategic terms, "Operation Bodenplatte amounted to a total defeat".
  • Werner Girbig wrote, "it was not until the autumn of 1944 that--Good that you gave credit here, but since the guy doesn't have an article you may want to introduce him: Historian Werner Girbig or Noted author Werner Girbig
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 14:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • There's still the problem where Stab sometimes has a period and sometimes does not throughout the article. The use should be consistent.
I don't understand what you mean by this one. Dapi89 (talk) 14:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
So for example, sometimes it has a period, e.g. Stab./JG 2 had three Fw 190s ready for the mission; Stab., II., III., and IV./JG 53 were available. Sometimes it doesn't: Stab and II./JG 6 stumbled on another strip at Helmond; Stab and I./JG 1 lost 13 Fw 190s. Does the period mean something? If so it may need to be more explicit. If not, you should choose whether to have it with a period every time or without one every time. delldot ∇. 21:47, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
It depends how it is used. I'll make it consistent though. Dapi89 (talk) 11:12, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Also about consistency: Sometimes ordinal numbers have a 'th' after them, e.g. 358th Fighter Group, sometimes not.
Done. Appears to be Okay now. Dapi89 (talk) 14:42, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • references are inconsistent, I've been changing all the p104 and p.104 to p. 104. I know for medical articles MOS says to use this format: pp. 124–25. I bet it's the same for milhist articles.
Done. On one or two it created format problems and an error message came up. So I've kept those. Dapi89 (talk) 15:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • In the Casualties and losses section of the infobox, why not put the totals as best they can be estimated? You could put 'est.' or some such if the concern is exactness.
I thought it would be too long, and it would be better to direct people to the Aftermath and Casualty article. Dapi89 (talk) 15:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The infobox is for a brief summary, for people who want info at a glance. What about Germans: pilots killed and missing: 143 captured: 70 and wounded: 21. But are there totals for Allied pilots? delldot ∇. 16:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to reply to each point right under it--it might make it easier to track each one. delldot ∇. 16:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm still not too crazy about the empty subsection, Forces involved. I think it might help the reader to get just a sentence or two outlining the order of battle. Like "The German order of battle consisted of Jagdgeschwader 1, 3, 6, 26, 27..." (if you can say it that way). That way they would have a bit of context for the next several sections when they're told Jagdgeschwader so-and-so was assigned to this or that target. delldot ∇. 15:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I've merged it with the target section although I have seen FA with this format. I think things might ger repetitive if I list the JG's and targets here, as well as in the main battle section, and yet again in the results table. Dapi89 (talk) 15:45, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
That said, I think perhaps another column added the table in the said section might be ok. ok? Dapi89 (talk)
Sure, that's fine. By the way, have you seen this picture? Figured I'd point it out in case you hadn't seen it and wanted to use it. delldot ∇. 16:09, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Yep. Saw it. It's too small for my liking though. Cheers. Dapi89 (talk) 17:04, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm giving it a final read-through and it looks good. Minor stuff: in the table under Results of raid you should decide whether you want to put a period at the end of the sentences and make that consistent. delldot ∇. 16:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 17:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
All images are good as far as copyright. delldot ∇. 16:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a pass. Here's the requested rundown:

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    It could still use some copy editing, there are some choppy sentences and there's some repetitiveness we've discussed in the targets sections, but I'm sure you will keep working on it. Maybe you could offer another GAN nominee to exchange copy edits. But on the whole this is well written.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    I think the cutting you've done since this review began have improved the article massively. I'm really pleased with the focus and level of detail now. I still think the lay reader may not be as interested in the detail about each type of airplane as the writers are though! But really excellent work.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Great work! delldot ∇. 00:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay great. Thanks. Dapi89 (talk) 08:53, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

German / English naming[edit]

I notice there is discussion above, and some article edits surrounding the use of German or English equivalent names for units in this article.

I believe that the as long as the initial use of the German term includes a translation, it would be better to generally use the German terminology throughout the rest of the article. This will instantly differentiate Allied fighter groups and German ones. (Hohum @) 20:26, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I should have checked how milhist FAs do it before going through and changing it. My reviewing buddy and I both felt like the German made the article denser and harder to get through. Also with some, I was changing them to be in accordance with the articles' titles, which were in English. But I'm not super concerned either way, we should go with whatever the convention is per MOS. delldot ∇. 01:08, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
FYI the guidlines are at WP:MILMOS#UNITNAME and WP:WikiProject_Military_history/German_military_history_task_force#Naming_conventions. Although they are focused mainly on article names, not use within the article. I think the relevant questions are: Will converting to English cause any confusion with similarly designated Allied units present? If so, would using the full disambiguator "_(Germany)" be messy. What style do the English language historical references for the battle tend to use? - we should be consistent with them to avoid confusing readers who want investigate further. (Hohum @) 02:14, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
When editing list of military aircraft accidents, I kind of like to use the rule of thumb, as much is reasonable, use the terminology appropriate to the originating country / language. For South American accidents its different than for Greek or German or the myriad former Soviets... Since Bodenplatte is at heart, a German undertaking, let their terminology prevail. Maybe the readers who thinks it slows it down a bit will get exposed to the German language for a few minutes... Mark Sublette (talk) 02:56, 4 September 2010 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette (talk) 02:56, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
We're not talking about a style guideline here, actually, it's WP:UE, which is policy, so we don't have a lot of wiggle-room (unless you want to go debate and change the policy): "In deciding whether and how to translate a foreign name into English, follow English-language usage. If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader." It's a hard question that is generally attacked by wading through Google searches and through a lot of sources, seeing whether English-language sources tend to prefer the German or the English term, and sometimes the results are inconsistent: at WP:SHIPS, we've found more hits for "Germany Imperial Navy" than for "Kaiserliche Marine", but more hits for "Reichsmarine" than for various English names for the German navy in the interwar years. - Dank (push to talk) 23:49, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Btw, a quick search shows a lot more support in English sources for "Unternehmen Bodenplatte" than for either of the two translations we give, so we've got the right article title. - Dank (push to talk) 00:21, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
WP:UE is article title policy, not content. (Hohum @) 01:53, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
The page was called "Naming conventions" until recently. We finally decided to focus the specific advice of the page on what to put in an article title, because that leads to fewer squabbles, but more often than not, the word that makes the most sense in the title also makes the most sense in the text, for the same reasons (although judgment and knowledge of common exceptions is required). - Dank (push to talk) 02:54, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

All these impotent little war lovers are Nazi jock sniffers and fantasize about being a Nazi and thus love the use of Nazi/German language in English articles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Further suggestions[edit]

Some further suggestions, the title has started to concern me. Of course not that much that it would prevent it reaching GA class.

  • I was looking at the Unternehmen part being the English WIKI should it not be Operation Bodenplatte the only other example I could think of was the Japanese Operation U-Go which uses the English Operation. If Operation Bodenplatte was used we could get rid of the translations which are a bit awkward not being an exact translation.
  • In the lede to allow the German Army (German: Heer) should be changed to German Armed Forces/German land forces/German divisions, as the Waffen SS were a large part of the operation and are not part of the Heer. The exact term would need some considerations to best fit.--Jim Sweeney (talk) 19:13, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Done. Dapi89 (talk) 20:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I like the changes but it sort of seemed like the consensus in the above section was against using the English. I guess we'll see if anyone objects. delldot ∇. 13:23, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Hi Delldot. I think this was just the case for the written article, not article names. Admins tend to do internet searches for thos most common search name - this tends to "Operation", even for German operations. I just wanted to comply quickly so it did not slow anything down even further. Dapi89 (talk) 14:03, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm certainly fine with it if everyone else is. delldot ∇. 17:00, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Another comment[edit]

My buddy called me back the other day with another suggestion. He thinks the article makes clear that the operation was a tactical success but a strategic blunder because the Allies were able to replace their losses quickly. But he thinks you need to stress more the fact that the operation was supposed to have been an integral part of the Battle of the Bulge, but the weather prevented it. He says to say that the Battle of the Bulge was pretty much over by the time the operation was launched. The Germans had gotten what they wanted: the weather prevented Air support for the battle. After the weather cleared up the Germans failed to reconsider whether Bodenplatte was still a good idea. So he just feels like this lack of planning should be stressed more. He's sort of saying that it's a mistake to say it was a blunder because the allies were able to replace their losses quickly--really he feels like it was a blunder in planning even without that. delldot ∇. 17:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi Delldot. There isn't much to say on the purpose of the operation other than to say it was intended to achieve air superiority so the SS could sprint to Antwerp. I believe the plan and background section covers this. The literature doesn't have much more than a few lines in this regard - simply because there wasn't much thought given to the plan (in fact having a section called "the plan" is quite ironic).
I'm not sure I agree that the BoB was over by 1 January - from which sides perspective? Certainly not the Germans. The break in the weather was a problem, but once it had cleared up they were already committed to the operation. Failing to try Bodenplatte (as far as Wacht am Rhine was concerned) was not really an option as it would concede defeat on the Western Front.
Re blunder, again I am not sure. Very few operations in military history are just about destroying more than the losses you receive (for example army operations). However, in aviation terms, this is the case. The operation was a failure because the losses were pyrrhic – great success won as too costly a price. Married to non-existent planning = big blunder. If you like I could copyedit and pad out the planning section and clarify the point in my reply a bit more if you’d prefer. Bodenplatte was not a blunder because it was launched , it was a blunder because of poor/brief planning. Dapi89 (talk) 18:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I think my buddy will just disagree with your analysis, but let me get back to him and let you know what he says. I think whatever you decide to do will be fine. He can always come up with a source of his own that supports his point if he feels strongly about it, but he probably won't. delldot ∇. 19:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I can assure you it is based on sound consideration, if one looks at the bigger picture! But just to add – if one argues that operation should never have taken place, it ignores the predicament the Germans were in. Stopping concedes total defeat, continuing may cost more casualties, but may offer a glimmer of hope no matter how small. Had it been planned more thoroughly and if its units had been thoroughly trained in Ground-attack tactics (which was still possible to do, even via the use of ground instruction only) then the Luftwaffe may have achieved great success at acceptable losses. In short the Germans had reached the point of no return, and it was better to take the gamble. I think that the OKW and OKL had little choice in the matter. Something had to be done…fast. Dapi89 (talk) 19:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

File:Airfield burning.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Missing references[edit]

Hi everybody. There are some references (Caldwell 1991, Price 2001, and maybe others I didn't notice) that do not correspond to any book in the bibliography... anyone able to fix that? --M.L.WattsAir Mail ✈ 18:11, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

No, wait :) I found Caldwell 1991 in German and Allied order of battle for Unternehmen Bodenplatte, even though Price 2001 is still missing --M.L.WattsAir Mail ✈ 18:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Melsbroek 140 Squadron RAF

The suggestion that 140 Squadron lost all of its aircraft cannot be correct as at least 11 aircraft are listed in the Operations Record Book as carrying out sorties before and after 1 Jan 1945. A few might have been with 34WSU during the attack but not all. Four aircraft were written off. Two sorties were flown around midday. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

in 2013...Article sources: first-person accounts of combat during Bodenplatte, excerpted from memoirs?[edit]

I am interested in Bodenplatte and Luftwaffe fighter operations in general. Am presently reading the Manrho/Pütz book, Bodenplatte The Luftwaffe's Last Hope, but would like to know what other contributors can recommend wrt memoirs or biographies of Luftwaffe fighter pilots who saw combat during Bodenplatte? They could be good sources of info for this article, not to mention interesting reading. I got Manrho/Pütz book specifically b/c it was an overview, but am really missing the first-person I-was-there style, and would really like to find that for Bodenplatte, from the German perspective as I know I'll be keen to add to this article from whatever I read. So, are then any memoirs/biographies of Luftwaffe fighter pilots who saw combat during Bodenplatte that you editors can recommend? To a lesser degree I am interested and willing to contribute material from the American perspective, and will accept recommendations for the same kind of texts from Allied fliers, but I dream of flying in a Ta 152H, not a P-51D, if I could only fly in one! Thanks! Azx2 04:23, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Archiving talk page[edit]

would anyone object (convincingly) to the setting-up of automatic archiving of this talk page? and if not, what time interval should we use for inactive threads before they're archived? 90 days? 60 days? Thanks. Azx2 04:30, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

External Links - had to remove one and couldn't find it archived on the Wayback Machine[edit]

I had to remove one of the external links, which was dead, and not available via Wayback Machine. For those who are interested, I did find this link to the first page of article text tho...


"THE HARSH WEATHER THAT DESCENDED ON THE SCATTERED ALLIED lines stretched thinly across the Ardennes Forest in mid-December 1944 was a bittersweet triumph for Adolf Hitler. Although his ground troops used the horrible weather to their advantage, concealing buildups for their eventual forward thrust into the overwhelmed GIs, his once vaulted, "blitzkrieging" Luftwaffe sat helpless on the fog-covered frozen ground as the Battle of the Bulge commenced. The original plan, code-named Wacht am Rhein (watch on the Rhine), called for coordinated ground and air attacks to cripple and destroy the Allied air power that had recently decimated the Luftwaffe. If this could be accomplished, the Allied ground push toward Germany would be halted, and without protective air cover, the Allies would be forced to the Channel. It was all wishful thinking on Hitler's part. He lived by the sword, and now he was about to die by it. He had to wait for something he had no control over: clear weather. By the time the fog and low clouds had lifted, the Germans were retreating with the Allied armies hot on their heels. As the new year approached, Hitler used his final trump card and unleashed more than 800 of his Luftwaffe fighters in a frantic act to save his homeland and himself.

Operation Bodenplatte (ground plate) was a desperate attempt by a desperate man to change the course of the War. Convinced of their ultimate overwhelming success, Luftwaffe planners and pilots prepared for what they hoped would be their victorious start to the new year: a surprise attack by German fighters on Allied airfields in western Europe.

Here are the stories of two fighter pilots who were there - one German and one American.

by Feldwebel Oscar Boesch, Sturmnstaffel 1 JG 3 Udet

I had just flown my last mission of the year: a support sweep for our ground troops fighting in the Bulge area. Our Fw 190s had earned their keep once again, as evidenced by our blackened gun ports when we Staffel (squadron) pilots taxied in and shut down. As we entered the operations building, thoughts of celebrating on this New Year's Eve were short-lived.

"By order of the Geschwaderstab (commander), the pilots of Geschwader IV JG 3 Udet are restricted to base without alcohol or party and are to be in bed by 10 p.m. Do not talk to anyone, as a very important mission is planned for early tomorrow morning. Happy New Year, German fighter pilots! Dismissed!"

January 1, 1945. Our wake-up call came at 5:30 a.m. A top-secret mission, Operation Bodenplatte was laid out for us at the morning briefing. We pilots studied detailed maps of our route and target area-Eindhoven air base in Holland-and listened to last-minute instructions before we made the short walk to our Fw 190s.

I was surprised at how calm I felt and was somewhat refreshed knowing that it was now our turn to attack Allied aircraft that we hoped would still be on the ground. At last, I thought, some payback, and our day for revenge against the bothersome Allied escort fighters. They referred to us as "targets of opportunity," when they left their bombers and dropped to come looking for us. We were always out-numbered as we took our daily beatings.

Every day we endured attacks by Mustangs, Spitfires, Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Typhoons. They shot up everything they saw; even a man on a bicycle was not safe on the streets! As I strapped myself into the 190, I believed that this important mission would bring a much-needed reprieve from Allied superiority on the Western Front. I also understood, however, that if this mission failed, it would spell disaster for all of us and would mean the tactical end of the Luftwaffe.

Shortly after 8:20 a.m., our Staffel of 19 Fw 190s quickly lifted off from the snow-covered field at Gütersloh and disappeared into the western sky. We quickly rendezvoused with the rest of Geschwader Udet near Lippstadt and formed up with other 190s to become a strike force of 60 Fw 190s. To avoid detection by enemy radar, our flight level was on the deck; we flew between chimneys and around church steeples.

Leading us to Eindhoven was our "Mother Goose"-a Ju 88 that did all of the navigating and communicating; radio silence was mandatory until we reached the target. With good visibility and flat terrain, we flew over the frontlines undetected by antiaircraft guns. Fifty kilometers behind Allied lines, we dropped our belly tanks and charged our guns, and I tightened my straps as Eindhoven air base came into view.

In front of us was a huge parking lot filled with Spitfires and Typhoons. Hundreds of Allied aircraft were right before my eyes, and this time, they were all on the ground! I saw four Spitfires being fueled, and I aimed for the one in the center as my cannon rounds tore into them. Huge explosions ripped the Spitfires apart, and they all began to burn. Below me were black and red fireballs where Allied aircraft had once sat.

Cannon shells zipped through the snow and mud into burning aircraft as the base was chewed to bits by our Fw 190s. I made pass after pass on the fully engulfed field and saw Typhoons and Spitfires trying to taxi through the chaos. Other Fw 190s sealed their fate: their cannon shells found their marks and ignited the fighters before they could get airborne. Heavy antiaircraft fire arched in my direction as the British defensive gunners retaliated. It was like flying in a damn hornets' nest because tracer rounds flew everywhere! OPERATION BODENPLATTE Flight Journal, Feb 2005 by Busha, James P << Page 1 Continued from page 1. Previous | Next

On my fourth and last pass over Eindhoven, I ran out of machinegun ammo and my cannon jammed. I was just above the treetops when the fires from the burning aircraft threw thick black clouds of oily smoke into the air and completely limited my visibility. Suddenly, out of the smoke and haze, came a fellow Fw 190 right in front of my nose! A fraction of a second sooner, and we would have collided. That's when I thought, "Oh boy, it's dangerous; time to get the hell out of here!"

With my cannon still jammed and my machine guns out of ammo, it was time for me to leave. On the deck at full throttle, I turned east for home. Like so often after a battle, I was alone. About five minutes flying time from Eindhoven, I saw a low-flying aircraft ahead and thought it was an Fw 190. As I closed on my newfound wingman, a chill ran up my spine: this was no 190; this was a hostile Typhoon!

I was right behind him just 100 feet away and, luckily for me, right in his blind spot. The Typhoon was one of the Luftwaffe's most hated and feared Allied aircraft. It had done so much damage to our ground units, particularly our armor. It was fast, and when heavily loaded with rockets, it turned our tanks into Swiss cheese. I recharged my jammed cannon and got a green light!

The Typhoon made a 30-degree turn to the left, and I stayed with him but out of sight. I had him bull's-eyed in my gunsight, and at this close range, how could I miss? I pulled the trigger on the 30mm cannon and hoped he would fall. I squeezed the trigger again and again. Nothing! The only thing that worked was that damn green light!

Advertisement I was 50 kilometers behind enemy lines on the tail of a ferocious tiger. He had superior speed and firepower and, probably, lots of ammunition. Had I been over Germany, I might have rammed him or chewed off his tail, but over his lines, I had no chance to survive a tangle with him. The Typhoon went into another turn, and I followed him through it, still unnoticed. I had a 10-second window of opportunity to leave before I'd become a victim.

I carefully maneuvered myself out of harm's way and eliminated the Typhoon pilot's golden opportunity to get an easy kill. I now wish I knew his name so I could let him know how he and I got away; then we could both celebrate!

There was no celebrating when I returned to Gütersloh. The news was bad. Luftwaffe losses were colossal: 211 pilots and more than 300 aircraft lost. The damage we had inflicted seemed minimal in proportion to our losses. This was the Luftwaffe's final large-scale operation on the Western Front, but we held out for as long as we could. May was only four months away, and it came very quickly..."

Unfortunately the forum in which this was posted has the same dead link to the main article as the one I just removed from this article here. Cheers. Azx2 06:31, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Was it really a tactical German victory, be it Pyrrhic?[edit]

Is there a consensus to evaluate the operation as an at least Pyrrhic tactical German victory? It is not even certain that the Allies lost more aircraft, but even taken that for granted, the Germans definitely lost a multiple of airmen. I'd judge that, at best from a German point of view, as "tactically inconclusive". --KnightMove (talk) 07:17, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

There are differences of opinion all the time. Result/outcomes on military articles are subjected to endless, and sometimes needless, arguments and or debates. As long as we have sources and those sources do not conflict, there is no issue and we have consensus.
But more to the point, the article does not use the term "victory". The word carries with it certain connotations that did/do not fit with the circumstances. The sources assert Pyrrhic Tactical Success - immediate tactical success for a raid but not to the extent that it altered, tactically or otherwise, the overall situation in the air as a whole on that day or thereafter in the German favour. Hence the word victory is excluded. Dapi89 (talk) 18:09, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

My math is a little rusty, can someone explain this?[edit]

The last paragraph in the Volkel and Heesch section seems a little off, especially the last sentence, but maybe it's just my math.

"As well as Kogel, three of the two Gruppenkommandeure and three Staffelkapitane were lost.[57]"

A couple of things seem to be off:

  • "Three of the two Gruppenkomandeure"... Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that an impossible number? All the other sources I googled show only 1 was killed that day.
  • Kogel was not the Geschwaderkommodore of KG6, there is no record of a Kogel in the unit, every source I've seen says Kogler. also:
  • Half the paragraph refers to KG6, a former bomber unit converting to fighters, and not a part of JG6. KG6 was stationed in Prague at the point of time in question, re-equipping with fighters.

Does anyone have access to the sources cited to gather more background information? With all the glaring faults mentioned above, if the source cited actually states that, it might need to be revisited.

-- (talk) 01:51, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I've had a look at the list of all the pilots killed, captured and wounded.

  • Four Gruppenkomandeure were shot down in total
  • Johann Kogler was the AOC of JG 6.
  • It said KG 6 it was meant to be JG 6

. Dapi89 (talk) 16:24, 14 March 2015 (UTC)