Talk:Sinyavino Offensive (1942)

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Former good article nominee Sinyavino Offensive (1942) was a Warfare good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 13, 2010 WikiProject peer review Reviewed
December 23, 2010 WikiProject peer review Reviewed
March 14, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
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A couple of suggestions[edit]

Overall, I think this is a B class article. I have a couple of suggestions for further improvement:

  • expand the lead to summarise the article completely;
  • format the References section with {{cite book}} template;
  • (as per the comment on the [Request page]), I think the article probably should be renamed from Operation Northern Light to either "Battle of Sinyavin" or "Sinyavin offensive";
  • you could try to add a few more wikilinks to some of the units involved if they have articles, or maybe create some stubs if they don't exist and if you are really keen.
  • possibly add a few more citations (e.g to the last sentence in Soviet subsection of Background; last sentence in Stalemate September 10-19 section; and first and last sentences of Aftermath section).

Anyway, good effort so far. Thanks for your contribution. — AustralianRupert (talk) 22:39, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Also would it be possible to get German strength and casualty figures? Cheers. Anotherclown (talk) 23:09, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

I have done the lead expansion, using {{cite book}}, adding more citations and linking to existing military units. I will add German strength and casualties when I get back one of my books (Siege of Leningrad by Glantz) I have a couple of questions:
  • How do I change the article name?
  • There does not seem to be a military navigation template for Soviet Divisions, should I create one?D2306 (talk) 15:07, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
You can change the article name, by moving the article. This can be done by clicking on the "Move" tab at the top of the screen when viewing the article and then typing in the new name that you want the article moved to. This will then move the text to the new name and create a redirect from this page to the other (take a look at Wikipedia:How_to_move_a_page first, though). In regards to the second question, I can't see any problems with that if you're keen to do so. — AustralianRupert (talk) 15:43, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Move history[edit]

I notice that the history of this page is all over the place.
When it was written in March 2006 it was called Operation Northern Lights and was about a US operation in Iraq. Contrariwise, the information about the two German offensives was at Operation Nordlicht, which was cut and pasted there on in September 2009, then moved to Operation Northern Light. This was then re-written in January to cover a Soviet offensive, and moved to its current title, and the information on the US and the German offensives was mostly lost.
With the benefit of hindsight it would have made more sense to a)leave ONLs alone, b) move ON straight to ONL, and c) write about Sinyavin on its own page. But, we will know better next time. Meanwhile I’ve restored the the stuff about the US and the German offensives to their previous pages, with links to the edit history here. Xyl 54 (talk) 19:20, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

PS This article is pretty good, BTW; a useful addition. Does anyone know if the Soviet operation had a name?Xyl 54 (talk) 19:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

The Soviet operation was called "Sinyavin Offensive Operation" "Синявинская наступательная операция", as it appears under Krivosheev. Many soviet offensives were named after notable battle locations. With regard to the page history, I agree that the US operation in Iraq needs its own page, but the German planned operation operation and the Soviet offensive are essentially the same battle.D2306 (talk) 02:40, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The information about the 1944 Operation Nordlicht needs a page, but it also needs a reference. All information in the two paragraphs about the 1942 Nordlicht is in this already in this article.D2306 (talk) 02:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Part of the reason I asked about the operation name was that I wondered if it was an aspect of the Uranus/Mars plans, but when I checked there I got more confused than ever. But “essentially the same battle”? I don’t know exactly what the Germans had in mind, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it.
As for Operation Northern Light, there’s a fair bit wrong with the page, but it should probably be discussed over there. The 1944 stuff could go to its own page and make ONL a disambiguation, for example, though I’d favour keeping it for now. There’s nothing untoward about having separate pages for operational plans and actual battles, if they don’t completely overlap. Xyl 54 (talk) 15:44, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


I've changed the header around; the focus of the article is the Soviet offensive, so that should be mentioned first. In fact I'm wondering whether the mention of the German operation is appropriate in the lead at all, now. The co-incidence of them is important, but maybe not for the opening sentence; what do you think? Xyl 54 (talk) 19:28, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the German operation needs to be covered in the lead, as it was the build up of forces for this operation, which allowed the German side to halt the Soviet. I am not sure if it needs to be in the first sentence now.D2306 (talk) 02:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Regarding Soviet Losses[edit]

the figures are almost exactly twice the numbers reported by Krivoshyev, yet are claimed to be based on his research. moreover there is no mention of the fact that Soviet Irrecoverable losses'Bold text' is a category which includes invalids as well as the dead or missing. The result is a striking inflation. Momentarily I will leave the figures as they stand. However, If I receive no reply, explaining the discrepancy, I will change themSoz101 (talk) 02:15, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

The numbers given:40,085 dead and missing (including 12,000 captured) 73,589 wounded are exactly what they are in the source for the the Sinyavin Offensive (number 21 under the frontal operations list at the bottom). You may be confusing it with the 8.1-20.4.42 Volkhov Offensive.
Also the irrecoverable losses does not include invalids. Please see Table 120 in the book. Irrecoverable losses is dead or missing (both combat and non-combat) D2306 (talk) 18:03, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
This review is transcluded from Talk:Sinyavin Offensive (1942)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jappalang (talk) 09:19, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    See below for examples; mostly issues with clarity
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    Spotted some issues below
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    Spotted some issues below
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
    Some slight POV-ish adjectives, but seems unintentional.
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    The copyright status of the images are in doubt.
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    It is questionable for the lede image to be a photograph of a road that does not seem to factor much in the offensive; similarly, what is the point of an image of an anti-aircraft battery in Leningrad when the article is about offensives outside the city (and the air battles were not decided by such artillery)?
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    On hold, pending resolution of issues
    Nominator no longer has the time to continue the assessment.[1] Jappalang (talk) 00:53, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, many thanks for taking your time to review this article. I have answered most comments (a couple need your reply). I will answer the rest in the next day.D2306 (talk) 11:09, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


  • Is the subject called the "Sinyavin Offensive"? I tried a search on Google Books with this name, and nothing (except for prints of Wikipedia articles) popped up. The closest term I saw in a reliable source is "Sinyavin Operation" from a snippet view of issue 59 of Revue internationale d'histoire militaire. Even Glantz (a heavily used source in this article) has nothing about "Sinyavin" in his books. My concern: is the right terminology used for this subject?
    • Glantz uses "Siniavino Offensive". "Sinyavin Offensive" was used in the very old version of this page and stayed since. I could move the page to "Siniavino Offensive (1942)"


  • "After that, heavy fighting continued until October 15, as the Soviet forces were breaking out and the German forces reduced the encirclement, but by October 10, the front line returned to the position before battle."
    I do not quite get the point here... look at the chronology ("until Oct 15... but by Oct 10") and events (as Soviet forces break out and German forces tightened the encirclement)...
    • The lines returned, but heavy fighting continued for another 5 days with neither side making any progress.
      • Then it should be "By October 10, the front line returned to the position before this battle; heavy fighting continued until October 15, as the Germans reduced emphasis on encircling the Russians, allowing their foes to break out." Is that correct? Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
        • I have reworded it based on your suggestion.
  • "... but heavy casualties caused the Germans to order their forces over to to go on the defense."
    • I have checked and "over to the defense" is the expression used in the Glantz book
      • From Google's snippet views, Glantz use the phrase "to go over to the defense", meaning the subject joins the defense or switch from offense to defense (hence my suggested phrasing). "Over to the defense" does not make sense on its own, it needs the verb "go". I feel "go on the defense" is preferable to "go over to the defense". Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC) Done
  • "... deal with the crisis a major Soviet offensive at Stalingrad and Operation Northern Light was aborted." Done
    Countrary to the Done tag above, this was not done. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Apologies, I replaced one of the two "crisis" phrases. Now both fixed.


  • "... which was causing colossal damage to the city and civilian population."
    "Colossal" is a bit POV-ish in terms of exaggeration; heavy or severe would do. I believe one does not "damage" population.
    • Being among the deadliest sieges in history, I though "colossal" is an acceptable word to use, but it is probably better to change it. Done


  • "One of the key locations were the Sinyavin heights which were some 150 metres higher than the surrounding flat terrain, which were one of the ..."
    • Reworded  Done
  • "Since the front line changed very little since the blockade was established, ..."
    The same
    • Reworded  Done
  • The above change highlighted another prose issue "... and the German forces have built a dense defensive network of strong points, interconnected by trenches and protected by extensive obstacles and interlocking artillery and mortar fire." There are 4 "and"s in this clause, which I feel is too many. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Reworded
      • But the rewording reverted back to the repetitive "Since ... since ..." structure above... Jappalang (talk) 00:34, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
        • Fixed

German plans

  • "The plan to capture Leningrad in summer-autumn 1942 was first found in the OKW directive 41 of April 5, 1942."
    This sentence (was ... found) makes it seem that no one (even the Germans) was aware of any plans to capture Leningrad until the discovery... Replace "found" with "issued"?
    • Replaced with "outlined", which seems an even better word to use.
  • Who are the OKH?
    • Linked
      • Abbreviations/acronyms generally would not help layman much. As such, I appended a brief description in parentheses to OKW and OKH. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "On the same day, Fuehrer Directive No. 45 included orders for an operation by Army Group North to capture Leningrad by early September, named "Feuerzauber" (Fire Magic)."
    The Directive was named Feuerzauber, or was it the orders? Or was it the operation stated in the orders to be called by that name (or later named as such)? Or is the deadline (early September) named Feuerzauber?
    • Reworded.
  • "... sent the powerful 8th Air Corps to ..."
    POV-ish stance there...
    • Removed "powerful"
  • "... Operation Nordlicht Northern Light."
    Inconsistent with the lede...
    • Fixed

Soviet plans

  • "While both the winter offensives and the Lyuban offensive operations failed ..."
    • Fixed
  • "... in third echelon."
    Explain: the layman would likely not understand this military formation jargon.
  • "In contrast with the earlier operations, the Soviet troops were very well equipped for this offensive taking into account the difficult and heavily fortified terrain they had to fight in."
    "Taking into account the difficult and heavily fortified terrain of the upcoming battle, the Soviet troops were, in contrast to their earlier operations, very well equipped."
    • Fixed
  • "... one or two Katyusha batteries."
    "... one or two batteries of Katyusha rocket launchers."
    • Fixed
  • "This allowed a density of 60-100 guns and 5-9 tanks per kilometer of front in the penetration sector."
    "This allowed the Soviets to deploy 60-100 guns and 5-9 tanks per kilometer of frontage of their main offensive."
    • Fixed
  • "The troops had attached engineering units to improve their transport capacity, as well as large numbers of PPD-40 and PPSh-41 submachine guns."
    "The troops were equipped with large numbers of PPD-40 and PPSh-41 submachine guns. Engineering units were attached to individual companies; the engineering vehicles helped ferry combat troops, increasing the overall mobility of the army." Was that what the sources were saying?
    • Nearly. Fixed based on your suggestion.
      • Does it say exactly how these engineering units help improve their "transport capacity" or mobility? With very limited access to the source, I can only hazard a guess (above) but it is a bit puzzling to see how simply attaching engineering units would help to do so. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
        • As the terrain description in "preparation" says, moving anything through the wetlands and dense forests was very difficult. The engineering units allowed vehicles to move on roads like this one.D2306 (talk) 16:07, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


  • "Neither side was aware of the others intentions to launch an offensive and were not aware of the build-up of forces in the region."
    "Neither side was aware that the other was building up forces and planning to launch an offensive in the region."
    • Fixed
  • "The Germans only realized that the Soviet action was a major offensive in the following days after the start of the offensive by the 8th Army on August 27."
    Repetitive "offensive"
    • Fixed
  • Stopping prose checks here; I think the above examples hint that some further copy-editing would help improve the article further. I suggest getting someone else to do so.
    • I strongly suggest to do this. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

References and sources

  • Glantz and House is listed in the References, but is not apparently used in the article (not cited in the Notes).
    • Moved to Further reading.
  • The same for Исаев. Isayev is listed in the Notes, but is not listed in the References.
    • Исаев=Isayev. Now clarified
  • Krivosheev Study in the Notes is linking to a fansite?
    • No, just a website which has be book online.
      • So, is this book the "Krivosheev, Grigoriy" below? Jappalang (talk) 00:34, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Is Krivosheev, Grigoriy in the Reference a self-published Study (which in that case, what qualifies him as an expert)? If it is published, what is the publication year and who is the publisher? Any ISBN?
    • Grigoriy Krivosheyev is considered a reliable source for Soviet casualties on Wikipedia. It is not self published. I could replace the reference with Glantz who uses the casualties numbers from this very same book. The ISBN for the most recent edition of the book is ISBN: 978-5-9533-4672-6
      • Adding the ISBN number and other publication information would be very helpful. Jappalang (talk) 00:34, 19 February 2011 (UTC)


  • File:Anti aircraft Leningrad 1941 bright.jpg: There should be only at most two copyright/license templates for images on Commons: one for its status in the US, and one for its status in its country of origin (where it was first published, or where it was created if unpublished). Of the three licensing templates there now, two are irrelevant to this image. {{PD-Russia-2008}} fits the country of source, but even then there is nothing to verify that the author died before 1943, the work was anonymously published before 1943, or that 70 years have passed after it was published as a corporate work. Note that "publication" is not "creation". The work's copyright status in the US is also not examined. It is claimed that this photograph came from John Erickson's The Eastern Front in Photographs. From Chris Bellamy's Absolute War, it seems the Russian photographs in Erickson's book were likely from the Russian archives and unpublished. That would mean those photographs are still copyrighted in the Russia and by extension the US.
    • This image was originally taken from the Siege of Leningrad page. It does not seem to be there anymore so it the copyright is questionable, it is best removed.
      • I suggest removing this and the Volhov road photo unless information is available to show they are public domain in both US and Russia/Ukraine. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
        • Leningrad image removed.D2306 (talk) 16:19, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • File:Volkhov Front Road.JPG: Per above, Commons demand the satisfaction of copyright status of a work in the US and its country of origin. This is claimed to be a Ukranian work per PD-Ukraine, which requests that the work "was published before January 1, 1946, and the creator (if known) died before that date" for it to be PD in both Ukraine and the US. There is, however, no information on what was its first publication.
  • File:Sinyavin offensive 27 08.JPG, File:Sinyavin offensive 10 09.JPG, File:Sinyavin offensive 25 09.JPG: I find it strange that there are artifacts (squarish blocks) around the text and edges in these maps (and some blank areas). The square artifacts are not the result of graphical compression. It would seem likely that the map was produced by taking it from some publication and erasing textures or details. Is that the case?
    • No, I have done the maps in paint entirely by myself. The artifacts are due to me reshuffling and moving text blocks around and redrawing bits of the the map between the first, second and third map as well as the Operation Iskra maps.D2306 (talk) 11:09, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
      • Okay. In that event, then firstly the subsequent derivative maps (the 3 above) should state in their Description that they are based on File:Iskra 21-1-43.JPG or whichever was the first map you created. Furthermore, they should provide information on what sources (maps or deployment data) were used to create those maps. Jappalang (talk) 14:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

-- Jappalang (talk) 09:19, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I will not be very active in the next week, so please allow some time to respond to the remaining comments.D2306 (talk) 10:41, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I have no problems in extending the review beyond 7 days, but I hope that you would take my suggestion above to engage a copy-editor. He or she can then work the next week to improve the prose. Jappalang (talk) 08:06, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

This review seems to have fizzled out after a good start; what's the status? Wizardman Operation Big Bear 06:12, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I am uncertain. I am waiting for D2306's return. I was planning for 2 weeks grace (March 13?) before deciding the next step. Jappalang (talk) 07:40, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, D2306 said he does not have the time at this moment to continue the work.[2] Jappalang (talk) 00:53, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.