Talk:Narodnoe Opolcheniye

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People's Militia vs. Narodnoe Opolcheniye[edit]

I have a problem with using the term “People’s militia” as the title for or a redirect to this article because the term is a general one. The term would be more suitable to an article about such militias, not a particular one. Russia is not the only country that has or has had “people’s militia” – for example, China, Libya, Indonesia, Nigeria, and so on – so “People’s militia” should not redirect to the article in question.

An unaddressed issue is whether this article should focus just on the “Narodnoe Opolcheniye” or also include similar Russian militias that were called by other terms than “Opolcheniye”; if not, then “Narodnoe Opolcheniye” would seem the best title for this article, otherwise “Russian People’s Militias” might be a better choice. Askari Mark (Talk) 01:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

This is the point I have been trying to make. There never were any militias in Russia or Soviet Union. Some authors confuse the Soviet militsiya (civilian police) with militia, but that is about all. However, Narodnoe Opolcheniye was never a militia given that the raising of Militia, and Volunteers, in England was a task of the Home Secretary, where as in Russia, regardless of the period, is was a self-created force based in popular patriotism that only once in its history was incorporated into the regular units, in 1941. It is for this reason that Narodnoe Opolcheniye is neither functionally nor in terms of the role or form of creation resemble a Militia as used in English. I also note that the "people's" part is taken from the People's Commissariats. However, these were offices which replaced Imperial Russian Ministries as revolutionary creations unique to the Soviet Russia, and were in turn replaced by Soviet Ministers in 1946 --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:54, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The statement that there “never were any militias in Russia or Soviet Union” is technically incorrect. The term “militia” has a much broader range of application with respect to volunteer and conscripted forces than formal modern British usage. Narodnoe Opolcheniye were indeed a type of militia, but not of the sort that the British Home Secretary would have called up. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:55, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. JPG-GR (talk) 04:42, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Narodnoe OpolcheniyePeople's Militia (Soviet Union) — See WP:UE - English is preferred. —Biruitorul Talk 03:11, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Note: When I created the article, I took the title from the divisions section heading. However, it seems to me that when used on its own as Narodnoe Opolcheniye, the correct usage is in fact Narodnoe opolcheniye for an article title since it is no longer referring to a unit or formation, but to a concept, so I would want to rename the article Narodnoe opolcheniye--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:02, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Biruitorul, you know full well this is not the only English translation used for the article as this was brought up on the main Project page. The function of the Narodnoe Opolcheniye was never that of a militia, and it does not translate as People's Militia either. This move is nothing but a cause to provoke conflict before an RfC has been conducted--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:28, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Kindly assume good faith and refrain from speculating on what I "know full well". I know of no RfC - I merely know that I saw a title I thought should be changed and brought it to RM for consideration. If you oppose the move, by all means say so, but do try and do this without veering into speculation on my motives. Biruitorul Talk 03:56, 1 July 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
propose move Narodnoe OpolcheniyePeople's Militia (Soviet Union)
  • Support move; as per my interpretation of WP:UE discussed in detail on the Talk:List_of_infantry_divisions_of_the_Soviet_Union_1917–1957 page. Buckshot06(prof) 05:27, 1 July 2008 (UTC) Having seen that this translation is not just the opinion of one editor, but, beyond him, AskariMark, W. B. Wilson, and also Philip Baird Shearer having found something which seems to support the use of the transliterated Russian term, I'm withdrawing my 'support' vote. Buckshot06(prof) 03:01, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support also as per my discussion at Talk:List_of_infantry_divisions_of_the_Soviet_Union_1917–1957. David Glantz, who is arguably the current leading western historian of the Soviet military, appears to consistantly use 'People's Milita' in his major books. Nick Dowling (talk) 06:05, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - for the record, the people supporting do not know Russian, and have based their support on the work of one author who uses Narodnoe Opolcheniye and people's militia synonymously, with divisions of people's militia abbreviated in Colossus Reborn as DNO, and with people's militia placed in brackets in a translation of a quote on page 561. The abbreviation of DNO is used more often than "people's militia". Moreover, and more importantly to emphasise the point that Narodnoe Opolcheniye was more like Cossacks then like a militia, Glantz points out on page 717 that other forces formed based on the same decree authorising formation of Narodnoe Opolcheniye (4 July 1941) were the three Kuban Cossack divisions (1st, 2nd and 3rd) later renamed 10th 12th and 13th), for a total of some 60 divisions of which only 36 were incorporated into the Red Army--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:12, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with mrg3105, there is no clear alternative English language name. I did not just take his word for it but found an article via Google Scholar ("The Political Mood in Leningrad during the First Year of the Soviet-German War" by R Bidlack) that says "... special battalions and regiments of what became known in early July as the people’s militia (one of several possible translations for narodnoe opolchenie)...". As Narodnoe Opolchenie is used in its own right as a name in English article and books returned by Google Scholar and Books the page should not be moved to People's Militia (Soviet Union) --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:25, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. KNewman (talk) 19:42, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Better late (16:50, 14 March 2008 (UTC)) than never that this policy is discovered--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:37, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Dredging up 3½ month old discussions to use against me isn't terribly chivalrous, and might even give rise to the notion you have some sort of vendetta against me, but if you must know, I voted in that discussion and simultaneously commented. Unfortunately, your jab has fallen wide of its mark. Biruitorul Talk 05:10, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Luckily there is no Wikipedia guideline for chivalry --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Please remain WP:Civil Mrg. You appear, at least to me, to be out to score points off people at the moment. Buckshot06(prof) 06:55, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This proposed move is unwise for a very fundamental and specific reason – it is factually incorrect. It assumes that Narodnoe Opolcheniye is strictly a Soviet-era entity when it actually predates this era by several centuries. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:11, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Propose move Narodnoe OpolcheniyeNarodnoe Opolchenie
  • Support, in line with WP:NC. Using Google to search books and articles returns no books or articles using the spelling "Narodnoe Opolcheniye" but 17 articles are returned by a Google search of Scholar and 55 English language books using "Narodnoe Opolchenie". --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:25, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Philip, if you see the article history, you will note it was named as you suggested before. I had renamed it to comply with Wikipedia:NC#Russian_names, namely BGN/PCGN romanization of Russian use of Е (е) after vowels (Чапаевск = Chapayevsk). Having said that, I am getting tired of jumping through policy and guideline "hoops" rather then editing, which takes up a lot of time for what seems to be little gain--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:15, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Since Wikipedia has an established transliteration convention at WP:RUS, as mrg3105 notes, we should follow it. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:40, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment see WP:UE "Do not use a systematically transliterated name if there is a common English form of the name; thus, use Tchaikovsky or Chiang Kai-shek even though those are unsystematic." This is clearly a case were this is true and it is what Wikipedia:NC#Russian_names states as well. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 08:44, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
How can an unsystematic use of a name be the common name? It simply means that of all the possible unsystematic transliterations, one has been arbitrarily used more often than others (given lack of system), and this is reflected in the survey of sources going back to middle of last century, with at least one recent (post-2000) author using different spellings in two works from same publisher. I think that institution of a systematic application of transliteration would introduce a welcome consistency for all occasions and languages, as had been done in several natural science and social science disciplines--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

Could someone please wikilink to the RfC? Andrewa (talk) 01:11, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

What a surprise form the "Support" camp (not). However, to actually get the article moved, you need arguments based on references that show majority of the available literature uses this meaning since it is not actually a translation. Shall I contact Glantz to repudiate the use of People's Militia? You see, Glantz is not particularly interested in accurate translation of the term, and uses it with Italic text Narodnoe Opolcheniye, with either one likely to be in brackets in his and other printed works--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:38, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Andrewa, I was confused also, but under mrg3105 RfC link is Talk:List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1957#Request for comment. But also see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Request for comment:

>== Request for comment ==

I'm sorry to bother people with this issue again, but WP:UE at Talk:List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1957#Request for comment has come up again. Simply put, should Soviet 'home guard' divisions of World War II be described as People's Militia(my interpretation) or Narodnoe Opolcheniye (user:Mrg3105), depending on how one interprets WP:UE. Further opinions would be welcome, as would guidance as to bring this issue to a close. Buckshot06(prof) 10:23, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

To save people the trip....

A term derived from the medieval Rus like Oprichnik, the Narodnoe Opolcheniye is of the type known as "national troops" such as the Dnieper Cossacks, or German Landwehr, and although often translated as the "people's militia",[1], "home guard",[2], "people-in-arms"[3], "national popular

army"[4], "civilian reserves"[5], "popular levy"[6], "People's Volunteer Army"[7], "national guard...the factory regiments"[8], "bataillons ouvriers"[9], "all men fit to bear arms from their 21st year"[10], like "British Local Defence Volunteers"[11], "a hastily mustered militia, the opolchenie"[12], "a reserve force"[13], "Opolchenie (a kind of "Landsturm")"[14], "home guard militia"[15], "volunteer militia"[16], "territorial army"[17], "temporary militias composed of mostly peasant 'volunteers'"[18] its members never belonged to an organised military force, but were in all cases selectively accepted from a body of volunteers during a national emergency.
--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:10, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ p.561, Glantz
  2. ^ p.43, Kirschenbaum
  3. ^ p.195, Berman, Kerner
  4. ^ p.178, Gippenreĭter, Komech
  5. ^ p.43, Rhodes
  6. ^ p.197, Harcave
  7. ^ p.621, Herzen
  8. ^ p.238, Arlen
  9. ^ p.335, Elleinstein
  10. ^ p.503, Drury
  11. ^ p.31, RAND
  12. ^ p.203, Rothenberg
  13. ^ p.357, Singleton
  14. ^ p.91, De Windt
  15. ^ p.20, Seaton
  16. ^ p.280, Rottman
  17. ^ p.93,Raymond, Atwater-Green
  18. ^ Harris
I should note in response that 'People's Militia' is the usage of US historian David Glantz and appears to be the most used appellation in mainstream sources. A great amount of discussion is to be found on the talk page. Buckshot06(prof) 11:21, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Mr. Glantz is not particular about the usage. The commonality of use is only reflected by the accompaniment of most of the translations by the transliteration, which Buckshot06 neglected to mention--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
This isn't the place to discuss the finer points of useage: there's a very long debate of this on the article's talk page. Nick Dowling (talk) 11:48, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:06, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

For what it is worth, the definition of Narodnoe Opolcheniye I found is "people's guards", this on page 241 (Russian - English part) of the New Comprehensive Russian - English and English - Russian Dictionary by O. S. Akhmanova, published in 1960 by Ottenheimer Publishers in Baltimore. This said, the overwhelming political influence on every Soviet military organization of the period must be recognized. The use of the term 'guards' is for me reminiscent of the German prefix "Volks-" in their unit designations later in the war. One could argue that Volkssturm does not mean militia but in fact that is what the VS was closest to being in military terms. Personally, I classify the N.O. as a form of militia and am not greatly disturbed if Wikipedia titles the article "People's Militia". At the very least, there should be a redirect page titled "People's Militia" because so many searches will be based on the terminology used by Glantz in his works. Cheers, W. B. Wilson (talk) 18:50, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess my issue with this is that the subject covers four centuries of Russian history, and is not specific to the Second World War. Volkssturm were formed as a necessity of war, while the Soviet opolcheniye was but the latest manifestation of several such raisings, with the official formation decree coming after the start fo the opolcheniye formation. I think there is already a redirect in place--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:34, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Merge with Militia suggestion[edit]

  • Oppose. Militia is a generic term, Narodnoe Opolcheniye, while similar to Militia, has its own specifics, i.e., it is a separate, well-defined topic. - 7-bubёn >t 19:29, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
  • An encyclopaedia is populated by encyclopaedic content articles, that is, articles about subjects which describe (in this case) a. global concepts such as paramilitary forces, b. generic concepts such as the various types of paramilitary forces, and c. specific concepts such as the national forms of paramilitary forces, that in the United Kingdom were called militia.

Narodnoe Opolcheniye does not fall into any of these categories because it is not a paramilitary organisation formed and maintained by the state in times of peace for service in war. In Russia, and the Soviet Union, it was only formed by the population in times of war.

User Buckshot06 fails to comprehend this in his attempt to pigeon-hole this article into his frame of understanding, and in his dogged attempt to fit everything in the World covered by Wikipedia into the English language equivalents regardless of actual loss of meaning, context or sourced support for such attempts. The suggestion to merge is therefore not even something that needs to be considered within the framework of Wikipedia objectives, never mind the guidelines for merging articles.-- (talk) 00:51, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose The article Militia is about a general subject of which Narodnoe Opolcheniye is but one type among many varieties. There seems to be no reason why it cannot or should not have its own article. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:33, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Initiator's response: As there are other contributors clearly saying that this merge should not occur, - not just Mrg3105 - I'm withdrawing this suggestion. Regards to all. Buckshot06(prof) 09:40, 30 April 2009 (UTC)