Talk:Second Battle of Kharkov

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NUMBERS[edit]

most numbers in this article are FALSE 188.134.32.73

Old talk[edit]

Someone quoted this website: http://www.soldat.ru/doc/casualties/book/chapter5_10_1.html as a reference, but wrote total rubbish, numbers wrote about soviet casualties are absolutely wrong and not from the website cited, please check references before allowing people to edit things. 99.231.63.253 (talk) 07:04, 31 December 2007 (UTC)Pavel Golikov, 31 December.

older entries[edit]

There, I finished what should be the ground for the article. If anybody has anymore to add it's all yours! I might make changes here and there as I re-read the article. If there are any issues that need clarification please do not hesitate to bring them up. Catalan 06:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Manpower[edit]

Someone edited the numbers without leaving a comment, and without adding a resource. I won't change it back until I get to my house, but I think the edit could have been done with a bit more etiquette - for example, explaining why that change was made in this article's discussion page, or sharing resources, so that this page can turn into an intellectual debate about the battle, which would add more accuracy, as opposed to merely changing statistics without backing up your decision. I would just appreciate that. JonCatalan 01:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I personally think that changing numbers should be done in the discussion first and require citation. Oberiko 16:14, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

Very good, balanced article. ( I am a Kharkov native).

  1. Searchtool.svg Review: this article is being reviewed (additional comments are welcome).Support. Very well written article, does not seem to be biased as far as I am aware. Contains a large selection of relevant annotated images. Well written opening section. Only negative, which IMO is what stops it being featured article is the lack of information concerning civillians. The conflict caused huge issues for the civillians of Kharkov and there were large numbers of deaths. This deserves its own section. However, it definately deserve good article status. BSkliarWard 15:40, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Stalin's speech date[edit]

There is an incosistency within this article. In the General situation on the Eastern Front section is stated that Stalin gave his speech on November 7 1941, and under the picture is stated that this event occured on November 6. -- Obradović Goran (talk 09:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Passing as GA[edit]

I am passing this article as a GA because it covers all aspects from both the German and the Russian points of views, and covers them well. However, in order to have a chance at a FAC, there will need to be more in-line citations and the use of lots more references than just 5. Anyway, congratulations. Diez2 15:59, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Kharkov vs Kharkiv[edit]

The official name of the city in Ukrainian is represented as Kharkiv in English, instead of the obsolete (USSR-like) name Kharkov. To my mind, we should rename the article.--Mormat 22:20, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The battle however occurred whilst the USSR still existed - and at the time Kharkov would have been used. Since it is the name of a historical event, I disagree. BSkliarWard 13:44, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Kharkiv should be the name used. Just like we dont call Lviv Lwow, it should be called Kharkiv. Mona23653 00:57, 29 October 2007 (UTC)mona23653

From the english-lang perspective, I would say that it should stay at Kharkov, which is the standard way it's referred to in academic and popular accounts of the war. Buckshot06 03:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Saying that the name has changed since then is no reason to move the page. The battle is WIDELY regarded as the battle of Kharkov (as it of course was fought in Soviet times) in literature, films, internet archives etc... I believe de-russification should play no part in wikipedia naming, the name of the battle (and all other naming for that matter) should be decided by it's current popularity. Therefore, renaming of cities should not necessarily mean renaming of battles. Would you rename the battle of Stalingrad, the battle of Volgograd? Regards, Bogdan 04:00, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Of course it has to be Kharkov, for the reasons noted above. With respect, Ko Soi IX 16:31, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: On hold[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the requirements of the GA criteria. I'm specifically going over all of the "Conflicts, battles and military exercises" articles. I believe the article currently meets the majority of the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. However, the article has two images that need fair use rationales to justify their inclusion in the article. The two images are: Image:Paulus photo.jpg & Image:Moskalenko.jpg. Once they have been added, I will pass the article (just leave a message here saying it has been addressed). I'll leave messages on a couple talk pages of editors of this article and the uploader of the images. Please add the FURs within seven days, so the article can continue to maintain its GA status. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 07:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Pass[edit]

Since no action was taken to add fair use rationales, I removed the images from the article. If a fair use rationale is added for each image, they can be readded to the article. At this time, the article continues to meet the requirements of the GA criteria, and I have uploaded the article history of the article to reflect this review. Keep improving the article, and to readd the images, detailed FURs will be needed. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 04:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Wehrmacht Strength[edit]

This article gives figures on Wehrmacht strength from Zhukov's memoirs. While the figures for tanks and aircraft seem plausible, and the troop strength doesn't seem too much of an exaggeration, there is no way the Germans had 57,000 artillery pieces in early 1942.

TariqAlSuave (talk) 22:20, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Reason for move[edit]

This was a Soviet-initiated offensive, and therefore should be known according to the English name of the operation. Second battle of Kharkov is not more descriptive, but is easily confusing due to article naming 1st, 2nd 3rd which is not reflective of the magnitude, time or place of the operation. Struggle is far more evocative of a large operation then 'battle' and helps to distinguish this operation from other operations in the vicinity of the city of Kharkov although no fighting took place even close to the city during this operation. Finally I had to do this because there is yet one more article on operations around Kharkov that needs to be written, and I didn't see it as a good idea in adding a 4th to the 'bunch'--mrg3105mrg3105 09:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I've just reverted Mrg3105's hasty move that he made without any agreement here. He should have waited until the larger issue had been decided upon - as it is being discussed on the main MILHIST talk right now. Simply announcing to people that it has been moved because you prefer the Soviet name to the German name is not good enough. Buckshot06 (talk) 09:52, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
What was the German name for this "battle" (sources please)?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:55, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
How's this for a reason to move - not one of the cited sources uses 2nd Battle of Kharkov--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This has been suspended for the time being until I can get a reply form various people on second opinions, and will be recommenced subject to those replies.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:02, 18 May 2008 (UTC) Second Battle of KharkovStruggle for Kharkov — best translation of the Russian name for it --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Oppose We should not be making our own translations; and there is no reason to prefer Soviet names to English ones. Please present a case that English sources call this something else, and I will support. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:16, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unauthenticated translations, as Septentrionalis says, amounts to WP:OR. The move could be considered if there is evidence that English sources call this the 'Struggle for Kharkov'. Also it fails the English common name test; the common name in English is not 'Struggle for Kharkov.' Unfortunately this is one of the examples where Mrg is trying to push Russian naming conventions too far onto English. Buckshot06(prof) 21:46, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Сражение, just like битва, is translated as "battle" into English. With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 03:51, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
So, it doesn't really matter whether battle or struggle is used, does it?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:23, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
It most definately does, as struggle in Russian is борьба, not битва or сражение. With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 13:32, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, well, the only problem is that the Битва за Харьков is already allocated to the 2nd liberation of Kharkov (city) in 1943. Борьба is not used in any Soviet or Russian sources. According to Dal', сражение is a faster type of battle, but in actual fact the operation took two weeks, far longer then either of the battles for the Kharkov (city). I'm open to suggestions, but I oppose use of invented terms by Irving that are not used in any other source, German or Soviet. If you have read about the operation, it was far more an ebb-and-flow struggle between the two Red Army Fronts and their opponents then a short-duration (couple of days) battle, which is why I decided to use this term as it is a better reflection of the event.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:31, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Again Mrg, you're talking about Russian names! Битва за Харьков is Russian! Here we use English! Thus we can, and many have done, use numbers in front of the them, from Second Battle of Bull Run onwards! Buckshot06(prof) 22:59, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Hey Buckshot, this is not a comparative argument, but one of verifiable sources! The Second Battle of Bull Run was actually so named by contemporaries, the Second Battle of Kharkov did not exist! Go look for a source. Until you find one, the operation remains one conducted by the Red Army which happened to have spoken largely Russian, so you will have to swallow your pride and accept that it has to come from a Soviet source despite your love of the English language--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 21:42, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
The rule is WP:COMMONNAME: in English, not in Russian. Right now, you are completely outvoted, and I have refrained from starting to dig up sources because I anticipated vitriolic attacks against their competence. However, if you like, I'll begin. Buckshot06(prof) 21:50, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Google Books gives 10 hits to the present title and 3 for the proposed one. If other English sources show a preponderance of the latter, I may change, but it looks like the first is more common. Biruitorul (talk) 16:35, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Was wondering when someone would show up with Google hits. Well, guess what, Google hits don't count Biru. Source, and verifiable sources do. So, same advice for you as for Buckshot, go find sources of a Second Battle of Kharkov ever having existed, otherwise you are just making it up like David Irving.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 21:42, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't need that sort of abrasiveness, thank you very much. I definitely don't need to be compared to a notorious anti-Semite. Guess what, Google hits do count and I'm not "making it up", all right? In fact, Donald M. Goldstein, J. Michael Wenger, Katherine V. Dillon use the term in their book, Williamson Murray and Allan Reed Millett in theirs, John Ward in his, Samuel W. Mitcham in his, Everette Lemons in hers, etc. Those surely count as "verifiable sources" - indeed more so than the Russian source, since these are in English, and we're the English Wikipedia. Biruitorul (talk) 04:46, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so you are not claiming Google hits as the basis of your opposition, but source use. However, all this proves is that many authors to not do their own independent research, but take that of others for granted. What that means is that sometimes they can get burned when their own sources are shown to be fraudulent, as in this case, because, and I repeat, there was never a Second Battle of Kharkov. IF you, and the authors you listed, actually studied the operation, you would know why there never could have been one, and it actually has very little to do with my sources being in Russian. In any case, sources in Russian about a Russian operation seem to be far superior then sources that simply paraphrase each other, or are based on a whimsy of a fraud.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:00, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I am claiming, and have always claimed, sources found by Google - the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Please review WP:V (an official policy): "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—meaning, in this context, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true". You have a right to believe that these authors did sloppy research. However, it is not up to us to question the use of that term, which clearly prevails in English. Maybe (I don't hesitate to admit) "Struggle for Kharkov" is the "correct" term. But the common term, the one in use, as shown by sources, whether or not they are to your liking, is "Second Battle of Kharkov", which is why this article should stay put. Biruitorul (talk) 16:26, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Septentrionalis. English usage (WP:COMMONNAME) versus Russian name, why don't we translate the German name and use it for the title? (No offense intended, mrg, I want it clear that I'm not here on a personal agenda.) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 22:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't just jump on the bandwagon DIREKTOR, read below. Septentrionalis has no basis of opposition since his is supporting an entirely fraudulent source. However, given I have shown that three other German sources DO NOT use this name, the onus is on you to do research and find out what the German name for this Red Army operation was. I'll be happy to look at the fruits of your labour.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:21, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I did read below, and I must say once again that I oppose the move per WP:COMMONNAME. My point was that I do not see why we should use the translated Russian, German, Italian or even Croatian name on the English Wikipedia for any operation whatsoever. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 22:30, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Once again, there was no such event, that is why. I use a Russian translation because it was an even named in Russian! It was not an event named in German, or in English. That is the reason Irving made up the name in his translation --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:51, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify my point: the event we are talking about appears to be mostly known (in English) as the "Second Battle of Kharkov", whether or not it actually was a second battle for the city of Kharkov is secondary. For example, in the final stages of WW2 the Yugoslav Partisans also did not operate as "partisans" in the strategic sense of the word, but they are still known as the "Yugoslav Partisans" regardless. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 23:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
What you don't understand is that the title is not derived from an English source, so can not have been a "common English usage". It is not common now. It is used by some less discerning authors and a few online websites. It does however itself come from a completely unacceptable source! Not one of the opposers has been able to produce an alternative to the RM because there isn't one. If you READ the other German sources, you also will understand WHY there is no name for this even in German. History is not written with book titles alone, you actually have to read and understand what happened. Other German sources WHO WERE THERE do not support David Irving. This is the case where the English name is not just a misnomer like the Battle of Britain, but a fraud.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:20, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but to me you appear to be clutching at straws here: if the name "Second Battle of Kharkov" is the most common name in English, then it should be used (unless there is a specific rule stating otherwise). Simple as that. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 23:29, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
How can you participate in this RM if you don't even know whether the name is the most common in English usage or not? --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:35, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh but why bother? After all, I cannot hope to reach your level of insight in this matter. Oppose. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 16:29, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - We have a perfectly good name here for the article, wheras the proposed one is indistinct and inaccurate. Skinny87 (talk) 23:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi again Skinny87. So, you also think that fraudulent research is perfectly ok? In what way do you find my proposal indistinct and inaccurate?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:22, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Please refrain from personal attacks, Mrg, as I believe you've already been warned about that in other discussions. I oppose the move because the name is not based on inaccurate information (Irving may be an idiot now and his holocaust work rightly discredited, but his work on military areas is still quite accurate, however much I loathe Irving himself). As numerous people have highlighted above, your moving proposal would be inaccurate and goes against even the Russian naming convention, again as users have highlighted above. Thus, I oppose. Skinny87 (talk) 12:32, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

The following text was moved here from WP:RM

There were several combat operations around Kharkov during the course of the war between Germany and Soviet Union. Their English translations and transliterations from Russian are given below.

  • Sumy-Kharkov Defensive Operation (30 September 1941 - 30 November 1941)
  • (1st) loss of Kharkov on 25 October 1941 - known in one German source as the 1st Battle of Kharkov’’
  • Struggle for Kharkov from Russian: Харьковское сражение (12 May 1942 - 29 May 1942) Red Army offensive operation – known in one German source as the Second Battle of Kharkov
  • Voronezh-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation (13 January 1943 - 3 March 1943)
    • Kharkov Offensive Operation (Operation Zvezda) (2 February 1943 - 3 March 1943) – known in one German source as the 3rd Battle of Kharkov
      • (1st) liberation on 16 February 1943
  • Kharkov Defensive Operation Operation (4 March 1943 - 25 March 1943)
  • (2nd) loss of Kharkov on 16 March 1943
  • Belgorod-Kharkov Strategic Counter-offensive Operation (Operation Rumyantsev) (3 August 1943 - 23 August 1943)
    • Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation (3 August 1943 - 23 August 1943)
      • (2nd) Liberation of Kharkov on 23 August 1943
The operation that is currently called the Second Battle of Kharkov can not be called a “battle” because its duration was two weeks, and it involved the forces of two Red Army Fronts (9 Armies), a scale far larger then the common conception of a battle.
The use of German 1st through to 3rd names for article titles are problematic because they fail to provide any descriptive of the operations, and also give the impression that the operations titles are sequential, which is only true if they are seen in direct descriptive of the area of operations and not that of the entire Eastern Front. More importantly, the so called 1st battle was a tactical operation conducted in and around the city of Kharkov, the second was an operation south of the city conducted by two Red Army Fronts, and the “3rd Battle” was a substantial part of a much larger strategic operation, that included five other operations of equal size. The sequential titling and use of generic "battle" completely distorts this significant difference from operation to operation.
The origin of the German names in English was derived from the reprints of one memoir, and one prequel:
The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Keitel by Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. Edited by Walter Görlitz. Translated by David Irving (Author) 1965
Walter Görlitz - Stalingrad, Battle of, Volgograd, Russia, 1942-1943 - 1963
This was not a standard way to refer to these operations in Germany as can be seen from the “Panzer Leader” by General Heinz Guderian who mentions them all, but never in the enumerated sequential order. Nor are these terms used in v. Senger u. Etterlin F.M.. Neither Fear Nor Hope.(London: Macdonald, 1963), or in Manstein E. von. Verlorene Siege. (Bonn, 1955) or in the F. W. von Mellenthin. Panzer battles 1939-1945: A study of the employment of armour in the Second World War. (2nd edition, enlarged, London, 1956). So why is it that the German terms only used by one author are dominate in preference to the Red Army operational names in the case of at least two operations? The answer is quite simply ignorance of the Soviet operational names until the 1970s. I would suggest that in terms of sources and accurate titles for articles, those derived from Soviet sources, where the operations were initiated by the Red Army should be used, while similar terminology can be used for the German operations using terms already defined in Wikipedia, such as offensive and defensive operations.--mrg3105 (comms) 13:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

End of move--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:48, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

The idea that there is a maximum size of Battle in the Second World War is novel; see Battle of Britain, Battle of France, Battle of the Atlantic. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I have added a reference to the origin of the name Battle of France which comes from the same source as the Battle of Britain, statements made for popular consumption and entirely emotional reasons. The article on the Battle of Atlantic in the second paragraph of the introduction noted that it was "a campaign" to which a misnomer was applied. A misnomer is a term which suggests an interpretation that is known to be untrue. I have however amended the introduction to reflect the article contents, that is that the title is applied to a number of naval, and air campaigns which were themselves divided into distinct operations that resulted in battles between opposing forces.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:43, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I should point out that the first two opposers are disqualified by their reliance on a discredited source. The initial, and only source of the "Second Battle of Kahrkov" that had entered English usage comes from a translation of a non-native German speaker, David Irving, who has been discredited several times on the subject of his historical research, and found to have used concocted research by the Canadian Court of law. This also discredits the writers who unquestioningly used his research since the publication in 1965 which is not substantiated by other German sources, notably former senior serving officers in Wehrmacht and Bundeswehr (I can provide more). Not only that, but the source was written during a period when the writer, Keitel, was denied access to all relevant documents, namely the Soviet archives.
Stop fiddling with the facts to prove your point Mrg. David Irving's holocaust-denial material is disputed, but before he went off the rails in that regard, he did some good historical work. You cannot try to argue against the Second Battle of Kharkov title because David Irving denied the holocaust. Buckshot06(prof) 23:59, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
For example (copied from our article):The military historian John Keegan has praised Irving for his "extraordinary ability to describe and analyse Hitler's conduct of military operations, which was his main occupation during the Second World War."[1]
Donald Cameron Watt, Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the London School of Economics, wrote that he admires some of Irving's work as a historian, though he rejects his conclusions about the Holocaust.[2]
  1. ^ The trial of David Irving -- and my part in his downfall By John Keegan, Defence Editor, Daily Telegraph (UK) ISSUE 1783 Wednesday 12 April 2000
  2. ^ "History needs David Irvings" by Donald Cameron Watt, The Evening Standard, April 11, 2000.
The least you could to is read the article on David Irving that I pointed to in the RM. He has a history of falsification of data related to military operations going to before his translation of Keitel's memoirs that had been discredited well before his Holocaust denial claims. In fact he had been discredited as a military historian back in the 60s and 70s. Prior to his translation of Keitel's work he had no training in translation from German, and no of research to the Eastern Front. So, I am far from "fiddling with the facts".
As it happens Sir John Keegan refused to testify for Irving
  1. David Irving invites historian John Keegan to testify as an expert at the trial
  2. Since Dr Keegan refuses to testify voluntarily, Mr Irving puts him on notice that he will issue a subpoena[1]
You may also want to read the testimony given by Sir John n 2000 here [1]. The earlier book published by Irving in 1977 was a Hitler's point of view of the war, and an introductory overview at that.
I will quote from Sir John on the final statement of his opinion of Irving that has nothing to do with the Holocaust, but everything to do with being a military historian

Mr Irving, perhaps because he left London University without taking a degree, is acutely concerned to be recognised as an academic historian among others. It is not enough for him to receive compliments from professors about his skill in uncovering lost documents or finding forgotten survivors of Hitler's court. Those are the sort of things journalists do. He wants to be praised for his source notes, for his exegesis, for his bibliographies, for what historians call "the apparatus".

As a result, his books positively clank and groan under the weight of apparatus. Very good it is too. Irving, never confident enough to believe what he reads about himself, really is admired by some of those whose approval he seeks. Unfortunately for him, he is admired only when he writes sense. When he writes nonsense, a small but disabling element in his work, he sacrifices all admiration and incurs blame mixed with incredulity. How can anyone so good at history be so bad?

There is an answer. It is that there are really two Irvings. There is Irving the researcher and most of Irving the writer, who sticks to the facts and makes eloquent sense of them. Then there is Irving the thinker, who lets insecurities, imagined slights and youthful resentments bubble up from within him to cloud his mind. It is as if he becomes possessed by the desire to shock and confound the respectable ranks of academe, to write the unprintable and to speak the unutterable. Like many who seek to shock, he may not really believe what he says and probably feels astounded when taken seriously.

--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:55, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The translation of the Russian name may require second opinion, but the Russian word for battle is битва, and not сражение, which has an entirely different etymology.
  • The notion that a "battle" has a clearly defined in military science is not novel. Only the naming of the above-cited events is novel since they were not named by military scientists or historians. However this is another issue which will be taken up elsewhere, namely in the Talk:Battle where I believe I had brought it up before.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:27, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Right. I assume you're going to single-handedly changed common English usage for Battle of the Atlantic and Battle of Britain etc? I don't think so. This runs completely contra to WP:COMMONNAME. Buckshot06(prof) 23:59, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
If you look up at the heading for this page, you will find that the current discussion is on the Second Battle of Kharkov. What happens with other pages, or my future activity in their editing is entirely your speculation, and is not relevant to this discussion.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:12, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Fine; David Irving is an anti-Semite and a scoundrel. We knew that. So what? None of this affects the only question of interest under WP:NAME; what do English speakers generally call the subject of this article? It is possible for anti-Semites and scoundrels to coin terms; we have an article on Final Solution, little though Irving would like it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:27, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand the issue. Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with it. Irving was not qualified to author the translation when he did it in the 60s since he had not achieved his academic degree. He was also not a qualified German translator. He had previously invented data for his book on the bombing of Germany. He has subsequently invented other data relating to his publications, besides his amoral stance. Either Keitel, or Irving had invented titles for operations that never existed, not in German history of the war, and not in Soviet history of the war. What English speakers call the operations in question is essentially influenced by what would be called blatant original research not only in Wikipedia but every academic history department in the English world. Due to the large number of operations that took place around Kharkov, and their examination from German and Soviet points of view there exist several ways of referring to them in English, most commonly by attaching the year to the city name, so Kharkov 1941, Kharkov 1942, and Kharkov 1943 although this hardly helps since there were several operations in same years, as I show above. Certainly the name "Second Battle of Kharkov" does not dominate the English usage, but what I would like to ensure is that there is a clear differentiation between various operations based on sound sources. As I said above, I am open to suggestions, but I strongly object to use of discredited sources as the basis of common English usage since this is a reference work which encourages use of verified sources.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:52, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I have been asked to comment on this page last May, but owing to various troubles, I had not gotten to doing so until now. I will comment briefly that Irving has done immense scholarly damage over the years, including up to and beyond the “Second Battle of Kharkov” concept. Through the term has ended popular usuage, however as a general rule, I would prefer to have the opinion of historians count more then popular opinon. I realize this is going to sound somewhat elitist, but over the years, I have seen too many articles around here that either omit significant information and/or misinterpret and/or include false information. To be fair, not all of this is because of malice (usually someone engaging in POV-pushing), and many of the more problematic articles seemed to be the work of people probably well intentioned do not possess sufficient knowledge about the subject. I suppose this is what happens when anybody can edit an encyclopaedia, but returning to the main subject. Irving is a tainted source with a most peculiar methodology. Now just because Irving says something does not necessarily make it false, but I rather he’ll not be used as a source around here ever. Irving is capable of making extraordinary disingenuous arguments. For those with the specific expert knowledge about the Third Reich and World War II can sort out of the good from the bad in Irving’s writings. If only those with that expert knowledge were contributing here that I might not reject having Irving as a source. Again at the risk of sounding awfully elitist, many of your contributors lack that knowledge, which means that good and the bad in Irving’s writings can enter the popular mainstream to confuse the public. Since the concept of the “Second Battle of Kharkov” is Irving’s invention, and historical opinion is against that concept, I would support the move.--A.S. Brown (talk) 00:13, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

RM #2 Kharkov 1942 Offensive[edit]

Oppose. This is WP:OR(!), and breaches WP:COMMONNAME. Furthermore, it's a bit meaningless; might as well be called 'Kharkov 1942 Defence,' from the other side's point of view. Current name is referenced in multiple sources, beyond David Irving, and, whether Irving was dishonest about the holocaust or not, it does not affect his scholarship on the Eastern Front. Buckshot06(prof) 05:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
What is it that you refuse to accept about the Second Battle of Kharkov did not exist anywhere outside of Irving's translation of Keitel's memoirs? All the other authors simply copied him without doing independent research, and this is why it appears in multiple sources.
That doesn't change the fact that your proposal breaches WP:COMMONNAME or WP:OR. Buckshot06(prof) 08:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
You are just being obstinate in the worst display of "bad faith" possible. Wikipedia is a reference work, and is supposed to remove from its content anything that is not supported by sources. The only source that has this name is fraudulent, and the use of this name by many subsequent authors in no way gives it validity. Common only works for something that has a basis in fact. In this case it just does not apply! I is certainly not OR since the title now proposed only testifies to the fact that the article describes a 1942 offensive in the vicinity of Kharkov. This is about as factual as it can get. Maybe I need to start a WP:RfC before this WP:RM is done.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:46, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Mrg, you've had multiple editors repeat the same thing over and over again; it doesn't seem to be getting through. Neither of your alternatives is the common name in English, and as several people have repeated to you, Irving is usable on this particular subject. By all means start an RfC; I think you'll probably find the consensus remains the same whether RM or RfC. Buckshot06(prof) 09:49, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - 0 hits on Google, not to mention Google Books, leads me to believe this is OR. Have you got published sources to back up the proposal? Remember, WP:V, an official policy, requires us to employ "reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". Your correspondence does not fall under that rubric, whereas the published sources calling it by the present title do. Biruitorul (talk) 05:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Biruitorul, try Kharkov 1942. In a dubious honour there are even two computer games named in this way. The Offensive part is there only to denote it was a Red Army operation. To answer Bucksot06 also, it is impossible to give the other side point of view because if you read the German accounts, you would quickly realise there was not a single point of view. This is evident even before Irving's translation from The battle of Kharkov, 1942 by Anton Bechtolsheim published in 1952. The German reaction to the Red Army offensive was conducted on several levels, and this is why in actual memoirs the operations of German troops are referred to variously as defences, counter-attacks and attacks from various detections of the compass depending on their position, or just as often, from various detections of the compass relative to Kharkov. I suspect that Keitel, being head of OKW simply decided to summarise all these operational and tactical manoeuvring by field formations and units as "2nd Battle of Kharkov", but this is a gross oversimplification. The suggestion for the name is from Kharkov 1942: Anatomy of a Military Disaster Through Soviet Eyes by David Glantz. There is a great deal of confusion in other titles dealing specifically with the operation. For example The Battle for Kharkov, Winter 1942/1943 by Jean Restayn actually seems to capture several operations around Kharkov, but not the actual battle for the city as one might expect from the title, and is in fact the Voronezh-Khar'kov Strategic Offensive Operation. Robert Citino in his Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942 (Modern War Studies) simply calls it Kharkov, May 1942. Dr R. Gordon Grant calls the Red Army's offensive a "spoiling attack near Kharkov" (Barbarossa: The German Campaign in Russia - Planning and Operations (1940-1942)), while another very in-depth analysis also does not call it the "2nd" in Field Marshal Erich von Manstein and the operational art at the Battle of Kharkov (USAWC strategy research project) by Thomas A Thompson.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Oppose, yet again. Proposed name breaches COMMONNAME and is essentially Original Research. The current name is absolutely fine as it is, and I doubt you will get a consensus in your favour mrg. Skinny87 (talk) 08:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Tank quality?[edit]

"Therefore, the Red Army's strength was still inferior in everything except tanks, though their quality was inferior to those manufactured by German industries"

Perhaps a bit inaccurate. I'm not sure of exact numbers, but I believe that 1/3 to 1/2 of all Red Army tanks were T-34's, superior to anything that Germans had at the time. --Itinerant1 (talk) 08:01, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The T-34 article specifically notes the early versions armed with the 76mm main gun were superior to all German tanks until the Panther came into service, and the KV-1 heavy tank even more so. Contemporary German accounts (Guderian, for example) repeatedly mention the superior quality of the Soviet tanks. Wombat socho (talk) 01:32, 2 February 2009 (UTC)wombat socho

All true....but a very high proportion of the Red Army tank units committed to this battle were equipped with T-60s, T-70s, BTs and various lend-lease Matildas, Valentines and M3 Stuarts. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 18:09, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

@morpheus , doesnt madder? the text compares the strength of axis and soviets and not the tank forces participating in this operation. so the quote is wrong! --HROThomas (talk) 22:30, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Superior how? True, the 1942's T-34 had sloping armor and a 76mm cannon, but it was also of rather poor quality (1942 was the low point for T-34's reliability and such); the cannon was powerful, but the optics were rather poor; the crew was missing a member (a commander who's job would be just that), unlike German tanks or T-34/85, in 1942 by far not all T-34 had radio's (even receivers), again, unlike German tanks, etc, etc. The German Pz-IV with the long gun (Ausf F2 and later models) was thus superior to the T-34 on the battlefield; they started appearing as early as 1942. Basically, T-34's mythical status is a bit of an exaggeration. With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 01:59, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
german tanks were panzer I-IV (pre kampfwertsteigerung ) and 38t , the russians had t34 and kv , please tell me again which is the superior tank!

panzer IV ausführung F2 is from March 1942!!! , t-34 could destroy every german modell with ease until kampfwertsteigerung of early 42. but until this kampwertsteigerungen the t-34 and kv were superior. the statement of zhukov is wrong. BTW a big part of german tanks were obsolet panzer 1 and 2. and i dont know what u mean with myth status of t-34 , they lost 30.000 or 40.000 thousand? but at this time it was the superior tank. --HROThomas (talk) 20:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Again - only a small proportion of the Red Army's tanks in this battle were T-34s. Yes, they were generally better than the German tanks they faced. But *most* of the Soviet tanks in this battle were T-60s, T-70s, BTs, Valentines, Matildas and M3 Stuarts. None of these were the equal of a Pzkw-III or IV. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 21:15, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Again - the statement of zhukov was about both !armies! and not this battle!!! please notice that! and i guess the matilda was "equal" to panzer 3. u have to read the comments of other users before u repeat yourself unneccesary ... --HROThomas (talk) 23:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry but I cannot understand your postings. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 13:24, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

ok here is the complete quote : " At the end of the spring of 1942, the Red Army was still inferior to the Wehrmacht both in numerical strength and equipment quality, despite heavy reinforcement by artillery, tanks and airplanes during the winter and spring of 1942. Overall, the Red Army deployed on the Eastern Front about 5,600,000 men, 3900 tanks, 44,900 guns and 2200 planes. By comparison, the Wehrmacht had 6,200,000 men, 3229 tanks, 57,000 guns and 3395 planes. Therefore, the Red Army's strength was still inferior in everything except tanks, though their quality was inferior to those manufactured by German industries": zhukov compares the wehrmacht and the red army. he mentiones that the german had the superior tanks at spring 42!!! and this statement is not correct at all .... —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 16:25, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

So what you've done is removed a cited bit of content because you personally disagree with it. A better way to handle this might be to find another source that backs your claim.
I have read the Red Army unit strengths for this battle, and most of the tank brigades in question had only a few T-34s. I haven't read the German strength reports but I suspect the majority of their tanks were Pzkw-IIIs, with a few Pzkw-IVs and IIs also. So, the point we may want to make in this article, if we broach the subject at all, is that the Red Army's tank units were not better-equipped than their German opponents in general. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 17:30, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


YES . maybe the germans got the better tanks in this battle, but the quote of zhukov is wrong at all . and its not only my personla opnion the the zhukovs memories are hm a little bit biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 17:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

hm lol ?[edit]

from the article " At the end of the spring of 1942, the Red Army was still inferior to the Wehrmacht both in numerical strength and equipment quality, despite heavy reinforcement by artillery, tanks and airplanes during the winter and spring of 1942. Overall, the Red Army deployed on the Eastern Front about 5,600,000 men, 3900 tanks, 44,900 guns and 2200 planes. By comparison, the Wehrmacht had 6,200,000 men, 3229 tanks, 57,000 guns and 3395 planes. Therefore, the Red Army's strength was still inferior in everything except tanks, though their quality was inferior to those manufactured by German industries."

and the quote comes from the memories of zhukov!!!!!!!!!!! i have no explizit numbers but this is a big bullshit. "STILL inferior" ? they lost 5-6 millions soldiers last year , why the word "still" ? number of total soldiers are incorrect. nummber of tanks is wrong i guess. the number of guns is wrong i guess . nearly all numbers WRONG

soviet produced 15000 aircraft in 41 and 25000 in 42 , inferior in numbers? soviet produced 4000 t-34 and kv in 41 , in 42 12000 T-34. german fielded panzer 1-4 , superior quality ? wrong..

6.200.000 million axis soldiers on the east front? where ? :-)

zhukov is NO reliable source for me. i delete this text ...

best regards --HROThomas (talk) 20:42, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

T-34 production in 1940 was 115 tanks. In 1941 it rose to 2,800 tanks. In *all* of 1942, it totaled over 12,000 tanks, but obviously most of those could not have been available for Kharkov.
KV production totaled 141 in 1940 and 1121 in 1941.
DMorpheus (talk) 17:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


yes dmorpheus i understood your point, i dont say u are wrong i say zhukovs view of the situation at eastern front at winter/spring is wrong.... --HROThomas (talk) 17:56, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Beevor puts Soviet losses in terms of prisoners as 240,000[edit]

I do not get this. Does that means Beevor stated that the German caught 240000 Soviet prisoners ?

If that is right, I have question: Some of my friend read the book of Beevor (translated to Russian) and only see 24000 prisoners. They also argued that the 240000 prisoners is too large, and if applied the usual death:wounded:captured ratios, the casualties became very large. The Soviet army did not have such many troops to be caught like that.

So, this is 24000 or 240000 prisoners ? Михаил Александрович Шолохов (talk) 09:47, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that there is no such thing as a death/wounded/captured ratio, it all depends on a battle. For example, Stalingrad, being a large battle of encirclement, yielded a large number of German prisoners, while Kursk, not being a battle of encirclement, didn't yield too many German prisoners. Perhaps dead/wounded ratio has a little merit to it (often, but by no means as a rule, 1/3 or 1/4). With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 15:51, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Tanks[edit]

The soviet union has 1,176 tanks but looses 1,250 tanks. how is this possible? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.193.51.88 (talk) 02:30, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Kharkov / Kharkiv[edit]

The spelling of the city name here was boldly changed on 21 February with the edit summary “to reflect common English usage & for consistency within this article and with the one on Kharkiv”. I have reverted these changes, as the rationale is wholly incorrect.
The relevant guideline is WP:NC(Geographical names), which says “if…the article deals only with a place in a period when it held a different name, the widely accepted historical English name should be used”. In this case "Kharkov" is correct.
There is a fuller discussion here. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:45, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Decisive Axis Victory[edit]

Source which says that Axis victory was decisive. The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Page 279

I am going to fix this article --Obitauri (talk) 13:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

The source used was a WP:PRIMARY one, please use reliable WP:SECONDARY sources for interpretive information. (Hohum @) 17:04, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Encyclopedia of World War II Battles, 2007: "The Eastern Front at the time of the Second Battle of Kharkov Part of the Eastern Front of World War II Date: 12 May 1942 - 28 May, 1942 Location: Kharkov region , USSR. Result: Decisive German victory".

--Obitauri (talk) 17:24, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Instead of reverting back to the primary source, use a secondary source. The encyclopaedia you just quoted is a WP:TERTIARY source. (Hohum @) 18:15, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I will put this encyclopedia source --Obitauri (talk) 21:24, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── All you have done is reinsert the tertiary source again, which on further investigation is a WP:CIRCULAR mirror of wikipedia by mobilereference anyway, so totally unusable. (Hohum @) 22:50, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

This source is from Encyclopedia and this is reliable. If you want read it, its referred from mobile version. And this source is reliable and its tertiary source. Also if this is not enough, then I will remove similar source from normandy landigs and write not decisive with similar reason.

Ok you need other kind of source? Here are all sources saying decisive and by the way I will remove Decisive from all articles with no secondary or other source given to write decisive after hearing this and 90% of battles I saw haves no source given when it haves "Decisive" Wrote.

Erich Von Manstein: Hitler's Master Strategist, Page 325. "...restoring and stabilizing Eastern Front after his counter attack on Kharkov sector, by means of a bypass which remains today as a classic of its kind"

Memories, this is source which you ignored as of "primary" but I saw many decisives claimed on article with this source kind

Encyclopedia of World War II

As is this mobile reference, you can see it here, first book top and read: The Eastern Front at the time of the Second Battle of Kharkov Part of the Eastern Front of World War II Date: 12 May 1942 - 28 May, 2nd battle of Kharkov, (WW2 Encyclopedia) 1942 Location: Kharkov region , USSR. Result: Decisive German victory Combatants: Germany Soviet Union ...

First source says that Kharkov battles stabilized East Front for Germany, this means this was decisive victory and success. Also here are other kind of sources, last one is encyclopedia. Now we have enough to write decisive, if you still disagree, I will request you to show me source which says Kharkov 2nd victory was not decisive. Also see, 3rd battle was won again by Germany and 1st as well, this 2nd was middle of stabilizing and example of a good battle tactic. --Obitauri (talk) 11:17, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Threatening to vandalise other articles because you didn't provide a suitable reference for this one is not a sensible way to behave. I have told you quite clearly with links why primary sources are no good, and why the encyclopedia you used is a mirror of wikipedia, and therefore unusable. Please learn the requirements of wikipedia. (Hohum @) 13:23, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
This 3 source is enough and one of them is ENCYCLOPEDIA and is useful. Why its unusable? Cause you do not want here to be wrote that this was DECISIVE AXIS VICTORY? Those are enough sources right now and here is even Encyclopedia. We must achieve consensus now or I will have to do other thing. You want more source? This is just to write decisive victory basing on 3 source and also looking facts and battle timeline. Read what I tell you. Enough sources. I have full permission to change article right now but I need your agreement first, which I cant see, also I see your location and + one more reason you dont want to write DECISIVE AXIS VICTORY --Obitauri (talk) 14:22, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I have explained clearly why each source you have provided so far is unusable according to wikipedia rules. (Hohum @) 14:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I saw many this kind source used here and show me what rules you talk about. I clearly prove my point to use those sources --Obitauri (talk) 17:01, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, the encyclopedia is absolutely not a reliable source; it is composed of articles simply copied from previous versions of Wikipedia articles. It is important you understand that, as you cannot use that as a reference for anything in the future, and if you have seen it used in other artilces as a reference for anything else, you should point that out.
The primary source (Keitel's memoirs) is borderline; Hohum is correct that it is a primary source, and we don't use primary sources for contentious claims. To be honest I don't understand why calling this "decisive" is particularly contentious. But the rules, if strictly enforced, seem to be against using this source.
The Benoit Lemay book does seem like an acceptable secondary source to me; I'd be tempted to accept this, but I'd like to hear Hohum's thoughts on this reference first, as military history is one of many things I have very little experience with.
Note, Obitauri, that just because I think I might agree with you is NOT proof that you have consensus; wait to hear from Hohum first. This is not a battle to try to win, it is a discussion to try to resolve. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
So what if Hohum does not talks anymore here, do we have to wait to achieve "consesus"? I see what he is doing, after I brought reliable sources, now he tries to keep it as he wants for as long as he can. I will wait him still. I have non-primary sources. Also this encyclopedia is not took from older Wikipedia variants, it haves just stats like it and is not mirror. Also 2nd source is enough again and this "primary" still does something. Same kind of sources were used on Normandy Landings to write decisive victory, even source which is not as reliable and is not neutral as of source in Normandy landings is British. I brought enough neutral and reliable source. I will wait "Hohum" for short time again. Here is no source against which says this battle was not decisive victory. No contrary source and also reliable source about decisive victory. Is not this enough? I will still wait this guy --Obitauri (talk) 11:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
You know what? Yes. If Hohum doesn't talk anymore, it isn't going in. Waiting a few hours is not some kind of hardship on your part. And if you don't stop with the constant insinuations about people's motives based on their nationality, then no one is going to interact with you, and since you need them to get consensus for what you want to add, you're going to be pretty much screwed. Personally, I don't care if this battle is called "decisive" or not, but since I insisted you get consensus for everything, I wanted to try my hand at showing you how a discussion with other editors is supposed to go. If you aren't interested in changing your approach, I certainly don't give a fuck.--Floquenbeam (talk) 12:14, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I will kick your reputation right now and also you just said inappropriate word, ok I know this is your name but do not call it to others. Give normal argument and watch your dirty language --Obitauri (talk) 13:31, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
@User:Hohum, when you next see this conversation, I'd consider it a favor if you'd ignore Obitauri's behavior one last time, and tell me what you think of the book source. But if Obitauri spouts off once more, then screw it. --Floquenbeam (talk) 12:14, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing decisive about this battle, the germans didn't win nothing special there and just got beaten in stalingrad some time later. Izraías (talk) 22:07, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
This was truly decisive victory. Also I see from your name why you say it, you seem to have soviet ancestors as your name is Latvian. In this battle only 20 000 German fell, but almost half million soviet was killed with different ways (Exploding alive, burning alive, getting ill or got killed by own leader as of soviets were killing own soldiers who was running from battle or was wounded sometimes). No way what happened in Stalingrad, still in Stalingrad many soviet died and wounded. Also this Kharkov battle was well planned defense and also well planned attacks were in. --Obitauri (talk) 11:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
This opinion can be safely ignored; classic drive-by comment from a sock. Not because of the nationality of the name, but because of the behavior of the account. Also, not based on any reliable sources, just opinion. --Floquenbeam (talk) 12:14, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Sock? You call me sock? Proof man. I brought 3 RELIABLE SOURCE WHICH IS ENOUGH TO SAY DECISIVE VICTORY. --Obitauri (talk) 13:31, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Sigh. No, I'm not calling you a sock, look at the indentation. I am saying Izraias is probably a sock, and you didn't need to respond to his comment. And no, you didn't bring 3 reliable sources, you brought one source that I think is reliable, but I'm not positive so I asked Hohum to comment. --Floquenbeam (talk) 13:59, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The three sources I have seen: Keitel and Manstein, primary sources. The encyclopedia, a tertiary source which uses wikipedia for it's information. We need a secondary source like a reputable historian. (Hohum @) 14:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

It looks like the other editor just got themselves blocked, and I'm not pushing this myself, so this is just my curiosity now. I agree completely about the tertiary source, and I'll buy your opinion on the Keitel book, but isn't the Manstein book actually a secondary source? Written by Benoît Lemay? --Floquenbeam (talk) 14:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
A biography, by a biographer, not a military historian, that I can see - he only seems to have written two biographies. I don't mind if the article says "Decisive victory" as long as it's properly sourced. (Hohum @) 14:19, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Nah, I certainly don't care enough to pursue it. Thanks for the feeback, cheers. --Floquenbeam (talk) 14:21, 6 September 2013 (UTC)