Talk:World War II

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Good article World War II has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

When did it become a world war?[edit]

Was it a world war from the very beginning? (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:17, 6 September 2016 (UTC)) answer: 1st sept 1939

Opinions differ. DMorpheus2 (talk) 19:25, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
In the beginning, it was the Second Sino-Japanese War. TimothyJosephWood 19:26, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
A war between China and Japan was not in itself a world war. 3 September 1939 could be when it became a global conflict as the British Empire declared war, or 23 August 1939 as that was when the Soviet Union agreed to invade Poland in conjunction with Germany. (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC))
Well, SJW II was the earliest (AFAIK) full-on conflict where the theater and belligerents flowed directly and uninterrupted into WWII. TimothyJosephWood 19:38, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
@Timothyjosephwood:@Jdkd44:Actually when I read one of the most important scholarly work- The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I [1]. It really claims "the war began in 1937 in China" in its General Introduction part. See the link[2] and read the location 383 in open preview of good read.(Miracle dream (talk) 15:38, 14 September 2016‎ (UTC))
The questions "When did WWII start?" and "When did WWII become a world war?" are different.
There some definite well-sourced opinions on the first, all stated in the article.
The second question doesn't get much coverage. The problem is there's no agreement on what defines a "world war". Some say only WWI and WWII are world wars, but others include different lists of other wars, based on number of continents, theaters, campaigns, death toll, or some combination, or even have a variable definition based on the size of the "known world" at the time. Based on those conflicting definitions, WWII might be a "world war" starting with the attack on China, or Poland, or Russia, or America, or sometime between these, or sometime after. No one sees much point in trying to pin this down. --A D Monroe III (talk) 17:01, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
no other war gets confused with WWI or WWII. The dates can vary slightly as major players entered & left. Rjensen (talk) 17:51, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think what they mean is "when did it cease being a series of regional conflicts and start being a world war". Also, the Seven Years' War is also fairly widely regarded as a world war. TimothyJosephWood 17:57, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think AJP Taylor had some thoughtful things to say about this in his "Origins of the Second World War" DMorpheus2 (talk) 18:03, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Taylor essentially says that a set of separate, regional conflicts eventually expanded and merged to some extent into WW2. He considers it to have become a "world war" when most/all of the world's major powers became involved. DMorpheus2 (talk) 17:36, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It was a world war from 3 September 1939 when the British Empire declared war on Germany. This meant every continent in the world was at war. The 23 August 1939 date should be added to the lede, as without the pact with the USSR Hitler would not have been able to invade western Poland. ( (talk) 11:11, 17 September 2016 (UTC))
I think it would probably be a good idea to beef up the footnote on the start date a bit, and actually give examples of variations in the start date and why. Basically a rehash of this conversation but with ample sourcing. The current footnote is pretty lacking in nuance, and doesn't really give an in depth rationale for why this date is used, or why it should be the most frequent date used by scholars. TimothyJosephWood 13:42, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The fact that the British empire included every continent means nothing. They weren't all free to choose. DMorpheus2 (talk) 20:49, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
That is when they joined the conflict, whoever made the decision that they would. Britmax (talk) 21:00, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Historians define a "World War" as one involving all the great powers of the day. There is some debate about which wars qualify, but the usual candidates include the Thirty Years War, the War of the Spanish Succession, the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, World War I and World War II. They are considered to start when the great powers begin going to war with each other. Under this definition, World War II became a world war in September 1939, when Britain, France, Germany and the Soviet Union joined the war. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:38, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Plus the United States sided with the British Empire from the very beginning, as it had in World War I. (JebDilbert (talk) 15:54, 3 October 2016 (UTC))
Then why do we not say WW2 began in 1937, when China (with US aid) and Japan went to war? I'm not seriously arguing for that date but 'great powers' is undefined above. I'd say Japan probably qualifies, though, given how much attention they got in arms treaties in the interwar period.
DMorpheus2 (talk) 18:30, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
For the same reason that (under this definition) the Great War is considered to end in 1918. It's not enough to have two great powers at war with each other; you have to have multiple great powers at war. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:02, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
It only became a global conflict when the UK declared war on Germany. China was not a great power in 1937. (JebDilbert (talk) 18:45, 3 October 2016 (UTC))
But why? What is special about the UK? How can we claim a conflict is 'worldwide' if neither the USSR nor the US is involved? There are plenty of ways to look at this. DMorpheus2 (talk) 19:54, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
When the UK declared war it meant that every country in the Empire was at war with Germany. The USSR was involved - it had already agreed to invade Poland on 23 August 1939. (JebDilbert (talk) 20:01, 3 October 2016 (UTC))
No, that is not correct. The self-governing dominions of the British Empire each issued their own declarations of war on Germany (and later on the other axis powers) Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:25, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
They were the countries of the Commonwealth, not the Empire. (JebDilbert (talk) 06:31, 4 October 2016 (UTC))

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Everyone has their own idea when WWII started (some sources then and some scholars today point to Sept. 18, 1931--look in the archives for the reliable sources that cite that date) and the material on when it really became a World War is even more confusing.

"But why? What is special about the UK? How can we claim a conflict is 'worldwide' if neither the USSR nor the US is involved?"
The British Empire.png
Because when Britain and France declared war on September 3rd 1939 all THESE (or most of them) pink parts of the world were then at war with Germany. They are situated over the WHOLE GLOBE. That means geographically across the WHOLE WORLD - including the oceans, because Britain had both the world's largest navy, but also the world's largest merchant shipping fleet, ~12,000 ships. It became then A WORLD WAR. See the connection. I've left out the French bits, but they include Morocco, Algeria, and French Indo-China. France also had a navy of considerable size.
Alternatively, it became a World War when everyone at the time started calling it and referring to it as a "WORLD WAR". Which was September the 3rd 1939. Note: This was before either the USSR or US became involved. It was already a WORLD WAR by the time they got involved.
Prior to Sept 3rd 1939 all the other contretemps were mere "regional conflicts" affecting no-one else but the people directly involved. They had no effect on any one else. From Sept 3rd 1939 that all changed.
And BTW, it wasn't the "UK", it was the British Empire. Its armies contributed over 4,000,000 ground troops to the war, and its ships transported the vast majority of the cargoes both from and to the US and USSR. They also transported most of the troops and materiel to the beaches on D-Day. Their airmen dropped a heavier tonnage of bombs on Germany - around a million tons - than all the other air forces dropped on Germany and Japan combined. Their seamen and airmen sank more U-boats and other submarines in "the longest battle of the Second World War" than were sunk by all the other world's navies and air forces combined.
So THAT is what was "special" about the UK and the Empire.
That and going into the war, alongside France, voluntarily. Hardly a trivial thing. Most of the other "allies" waited until they were attacked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
That map only shows the British Empire. The French Empire was also extensive, including Indochina and parts of Africa. There is no doubt it was a world war when they declared war on Germany. (By the way, in response to comments above, the dominions of the "British Commonwealth of Nations" were part of the British Empire. It is not true that all the dominions declared war individually. Australia, for example, didn't, and didn't have the power to declare war until it ratified the Statute of Westminster in 1942, after which the Curtin government declared war on every country it could, including Finland.)
People who say that WW2 actually occurred earlier are pretty stupid. Yes, there were precursor conflicts, but where does it end? WW2 developed out of WW1, and WW1 developed out of the Balkans Wars etc. Koreans were fighting Japan since it annexed Korea in 1911. Is that when the war started???--Jack Upland (talk) 12:34, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, there's a collegial comment. There is a legitimate debate, and we would do well to not be too Europe-centric or anglo-centric. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:25, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, that was badly put. I wasn't commenting on specific arguments made here, just the general assertion that the war "really" began before 1939. It's illogical. I know various scholars do that, but it really makes no sense, and all you get is an endless array of different opinions, and all founded on the inconvertable but irrelevant fact that there were precursor conflicts. As already pointed out, it is not Eurocentric to focus on the British and French Empires: they were global. It is a fact that much of Europe and Asia etc was under foreign domination. In fact, I think it is Eurocentric to ignore this.--Jack Upland (talk) 14:14, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Easy to win this debate. World War II started on 3rd September. 1st September Germany invaded Poland. If Britain and France had not declared war on September 3rd. If Germany had stopped at Poland. If Hitler had died in a car crash on September 15th. Then nobody would regard Germany's invasion of Poland as WWII. You can not historically insert a date. On September 2nd 1939 nobody alive considered there to be a World War II. On September 3rd War had been declared and that has to be the date for the start of World War II. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

An illustration of the global nature of the conflict starting in September 3rd 1939 is the Battle of the River Plate which occurred ~7,000 miles from the nearest (if one excludes the Falklands) of the combatant countries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Normally a world war is when a few countries like Germany declares war on Poland and simultaneously Britain and France declares war on Germany. If this was the case which happened WW2 began on 1st September 1939 Malcolm Mak (talk) 04:37, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

As pointed out before there are a host of sources (both reliable and iffy) that clearly state that that WWII stated on September 18, 1931. Simply searching the archives for 1931 is enough to find these references. Heck, some of the references date from when the war was going on with Prelude to War (1942) being the most reliable of the bunch. For those who one more recent reliable sources there are things such as "Chronology September 18, 1931 — Japan invades Manchuria, a region of China. ... Some historians consider the invasion of Manchuria to be the actual start of World War II." - Stein, R. Conrad (1994) World War II in the Pacific: "Remember Pearl Harbor" Enslow Publishers Page 117. When WWII stated seems to be dependent on whoever is writing the book.--2606:A000:7D44:100:6870:1446:6F61:93E6 (talk) 15:25, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
The key phrase is "some historians". The majority of Western historians say 1 Sept 1939, and en WP is Western. WP must follow the RSs. Since there are definitely reliable opposing views, we should also state them as additional info per WP:DUE, which we do here. But we can't campaign for the single undeniable and obvious WP:TRUTH by promoting the "correct" date over the consensus of RSs. --A D Monroe III (talk) 17:14, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
WP:NPOV clearly states "Avoid stating seriously contested assertions as facts." (sic) The 1939 start date is a "seriously contested assertion" even Among Western historians (even more so if you count Japan as a "Western" nation as their historians go for the 1931 date) and yet the lede blatantly ignores this part of NPOV as it is biased toward a certain view. And that "although related conflicts began earlier" statement doesn't change the documented fact that for various sources Ethiopia and Manchuria were not "related conflicts began earlier" but the actual start of WWII.--2606:A000:7D44:100:A546:99BA:2128:B644 (talk) 16:42, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Is start in 1931 a "seriously contested assertion" -- I don't think so. No one here has named any historian in last 50 years in any country that states 1931 was start of a WORLD war. It was the start of a localized invasion that had ended by 1933. In a separate later operation Japan invaded China in 1937 =- a localized war between Japan & China and no one else. Likewise Ethiopia invasion was local fighting not a world "war" I've been looking and so far have not found a named historian who dates start of ww2 to 1931. Rjensen (talk) 19:01, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Untrue. Two historian references within that 50 year period were given back in 2014, three years ago:

  • Thomas B. Allen (born 1929) is an American author and historian and his 1991 World War II: America at war, 1941-1945 Dover Publications (part of the Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor series) was one of the sources presented for the 1931 date. The actual quote was even given: "World War II began along a stretch of railroad track near the northeastern Chinese city of Mukden (now Shenyang). There, on Sept. 18, 1931..."
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr and William Leuchtenburg are two another historians who in his 2009 Herbert Hoover: The American Presidents Series: The 31st President, 1929-1933 stated that: "A clash between Japanese and Chinese soldiers north of Mukden in Manchuria on the night of September 18, 1931, has come to be perceived as the opening shot of World War II".

This could have been found by a simple search of the archive for 1931 and seeing if any of the authors of the referenced works were historians so claiming "No one here has named any historian in last 50 years in any country that states 1931 was start of a WORLD war" without first checking the archive is just sloppy. Heck, William Leuchtenburg and Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s book is within the last 10 years never mind 50 and their view was put "here" back in 2014. Always check the talk archives before making a broad statement as given how long wikipedia has been around if something is notable odds are it has been mentioned somewhere in the talk pages along the line. Oh, Spencer C. Tucker a military historian states in his 2016 World War II: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection that "Japanese official histories of World War II begin in September 1931 with the start of the Manchurian Campaign" --2606:A000:7D44:100:F931:1E7E:367D:5BD3 (talk) 15:27, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the sources. But the key phrase is still "some historians". Perhaps it deserves some mention per WP:DUE, but this isn't going to overturn the majority of RSs here. --A D Monroe III (talk) 19:30, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
"some historians" comes down to N=1 in English. Schlesinger (really Leuchtenberg) did not say 1931 is when historians say the war started. It's only common in China & Japan (as Tucker notes.) Leuchtenburg explicitly says the war started in Sept 1939 in In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Barack Obama p viii. Allen is a real historian and he does say 1931, but in his World War II: the Encyclopedia of the War Years, 1941-1945 (with Polmar) they give 1931 once using the same phrase about railway track (p 202) and then they use 1939 as the starting date at least 15 times by my count (pages xvi, 174, 176, 200, 202, 227, 323, 381, 394, 414, 422, 465, 839, 852, 870) so when he is serious he routinely uses 1939 --as Leuchtenburg notes, no one anywhere in 1931 saw the Manchuria episode as a starting any kind of war. Rjensen (talk) 22:02, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
I think there is a difference between rhetorically saying, 'this is when the war really started,' and matter-of-factly using 1931 as the starting date. The implication of this for the narrative are huge. The war would be much longer, the USSR would have entered it before Britain and France etc. There seems a lot of point in acknowledging the precursors to the war, but no point in changing the established dates of the war.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:29, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
The mere fact that they are trying to claim a "World War" started in 1931 does not say much about these historian's credibility, especially when it is so at variance with what numerous reputable (and notable) historians have written in the past half-century or so.
I suspect that if a "World War" had broken out in 1931 then people in the rest of the world might have noticed it, as an event such as the start of a World War would have received at least a passing mention in the newspapers and newsreels of the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Beginning of World War II

My 'historical' understanding is that World War II started when US entered into the war after attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 1941.

Germany declared war on U.S., Japan declared war on U.S through its act of aggression, and US declared war on Japan. With a series of declarations of war against one nation against another it became a world war - hence WWII.

Countries either aligned with either the Axis or Allies or became neutral it then became a World War. To categorise WWII beginning in 1931 is an absurd historical portrayal, to

In its strictest sense to define World War in contrast to WWI a truly global conflict existed with axis, allies and neutral parties

From above - Taylor essentially says that a set of separate, regional conflicts eventually expanded and merged to some extent into WW2. He considers it to have become a "world war" when most/all of the world's major powers became involved.

By 1941 USA had become a superpower it was not engaged in WWII in 1931, 1939 or 1940. A true date is effectively Dec 8th 1941 when all global players had a need to identify which side they were on and in a pure definition would become a world war — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Historical dilettantes of various stripes have numerous opinions as to when World War II “really” began—even amid World War I, during which the Russian Revolution broke out in 1917. Some say that the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, finalized in 1919, assured that an aggrieved Germany would inevitably resume the “War to End All Wars.” Some say the first act of World War II was Japan’s 1931 invasion of Manchuria in blatant defiance of the League of Nations, while similar claims are made of Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia. Some might cite 1936 for Adolf Hitler’s risky but successful occupation of the Rhineland combined with the Spanish Civil War, while others might bring up Japan’s 1937 invasion of China. Notwithstanding all such claims, the official date for the start of World War II remains September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland.

As for the United States’ official involvement in the European war, while President Franklin D. Roosevelt had long been seeking a way to override American isolationist sentiment to go to war against Hitler.

December 11, 1941—after which the U.S. Congress promptly agrred to enter US into war.

The generally accepted date therefore it would appear is September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

In what way was it a "World War" in Sept 1st 1939 when the only countries involved were Poland and Germany and the only fighting going on was in Poland itself.
Word War II began with the declaration of war by France and the Britain on Sept 3rd, 1939. Which is also the start date of the longest continuous military campaign of World War II. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:04, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 September 2017/Suggestion for text outlining creation of Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs104.207.219.150 (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2017 (UTC)PS[edit]

Kindly consider amending Section 4.0 Course of the war/4.2 Western Europe shown below to include additional text outlining Roosevelt's creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

Although Roosevelt had promised to keep the United States out of the war, he nevertheless took concrete steps to prepare for war. In December 1940 he accused Hitler of planning world conquest and ruled out negotiations as useless, calling for the US to become an "arsenal of democracy" and promoted the passage of Lend-Lease aid to support the British war effort.[101] In January 1941 secret high level staff talks with the British began for the purposes of determining how to defeat Germany should the US enter the war. They decided on a number of offensive policies, including an air offensive, the "early elimination" of Italy, raids, support of resistance groups, and the capture of positions to launch an offensive against Germany.[108]

Additional text (or an additional paragraph) might be included at the end of the paragraph shown above to outline additional steps taken by Roosevelt to prepare for the war while also encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflict:

By July of 1941, Roosevelt also authorized the creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, in an effort to respond to Italian/German propaganda in Latin America through the use of news, film and radio broadcast media. In the process, Roosevelt also sought to enhance his Good Neighbor policy, promote Pan-Americanism and forestall military hostility through the use of cultural diplomacy. [1]


  1. ^ Media Sound & Culture in Latin America. Editors: Bronfman, Alejanda & Wood, Andrew Grant. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, PA, USA, 2012, Pgs. 41-54 ISBN 978-0-8229-6187-1 See Pgs. 41-54

Many thanks in advance for your kind consideration. (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2017 (UTC)PS (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Not done. Appears to be WP:COPYVIO from "World War 2 In Review: A Primer". --A D Monroe III (talk) 20:13, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Hi A D Monroe - thanks for the prompt analysis. Kindly note that the suggested additional text is not copied or derived from the book which you quoted above. It is original text developed from Wikipedia's articles on Good Neighbor policy, Pan-Americanism and cultural diplomacy. The text is also based upon analysis contained in a different published book "Media Sound & Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean" as published by editors at the University of Pittsburg, Pa in 2012 --specifically the chapter written by Gisela Cramer - who appears to be a professor of History at the National University of Columbia in Bogota See [3] and her resume at [4]. (talk) 21:18, 13 September 2017 (UTC)PS
Not done: It is suggested that you rephrase the new text to make it look less like a WP:COPYVIO, as A D Monroe suggests. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 21:27, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt reply --Perhaps the following text would be more appropriate?
By July, 1941 Roosevelt also authorized the creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in accordance with his Good Neighbor policy and cultural diplomacy initiatives in Latin America.
P.S.--See [5] for additional information about Professor Gisela Cramer's publications. (talk) 21:43, 13 September 2017 (UTC)PS (talk) 21:46, 13 September 2017 (UTC)PS

Done though to keep things chronological, I've bumped the paragraph to the end of the section. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 02:56, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

I've just removed this addition, as it doesn't seem a very significant element of the war. The article aims to provide a high level summary of the war, so the inclusion criteria (informally defined!) need to be fairly high - especially as the article is probably over-length. FDR setting up a diplomatic position doesn't seem very important. The material is also rather US-centric - if things like this make the cut, why not add in other interesting international relations facts like the beginnings of the establishment of an independent Australian diplomatic network during the war or negotiations of the Empire Air Training Scheme? Nick-D (talk) 08:21, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
Dear Nick- Many thanks for your thoughtful analysis. Just a few quick thoughts-- A review of the English Wikipedia article on the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs indicates that the efforts which it supported to counter Italian/German propaganda in Latin America were significant in promoting peace in the region during the War and preventing the Italian/German alliance from establishing new military fronts in Latin America--this is a rather significant accomplishment on the part of FDR. In addition, it encouraged Pan-Americanism ( as the reference source indicates) in order to emphasize the shared cultural values prevalent throughout the Americas--this is not really a US centric development and reflects Roosevelt's interest in promoting a Good Neighbor policy while also respecting the cultural traditions of the various nations in the Americas. Also it might be observed that the establishment of the office did not constitute setting up a diplomatic position and might be more properly described ( as the reference source indicates) as the active implementation of a previously established diplomatic position (Good Neighbor Policy) to protect the Latin American region. As the War became more active in Europe, FDR clearly elected to take a more aggressive diplomatic effort to counteract the propaganda efforts of the Italians/Germans by implementing hemispheric solidarity, Pan-Americanism and cultural diplomacy on a more sustained basis through the Office of the Coordinator on Inter-American affairs. As for concerns regarding the length of the articles, I doubt that a sentence or two is a matter of serious concern, but I'll leave such matters in the hands of more experienced editors--Many thanks again for your kind thoughts. Regards (talk) 23:31, 14 September 2017 (UTC)PS
I support Nick-D's removal. This specific American action itself (albeit possibly not its indirect consequences) appears not very central in the context of this global conflict. Therefore I would label this undue attention for details. Arnoutf (talk) 18:14, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Addition is labeled as undue weight per discussion. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 18:21, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
From a quick search of some key words, it appears that the article doesn't cover the neutrality of most of the South American states until the final months of the war, so there may be scope to work that in somewhere (perhaps briefly noting Brazil's entry into the war in 1942 and the other countries' entry in 1945 in the relevant sections?). It would be best though to cover this in a straightforward way rather than viewing it through the prism of US Government policies and actions as proposed above. Nick-D (talk) 23:05, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm okay with that. --A D Monroe III (talk) 16:47, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
See also British Security Co-ordination. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:20, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 September 2017[edit]

I would like to add Battles of Khalkhin Gol to the template Template:Events leading to World War II, but I have never edited such a high traffic page before and I do not want to ruffle any feathers. I think the repercussions of Khalkin Gol on Japanese and Soviet military and foreign policy are significant enough to warrant its inclusion in this section. Do other users find this edit beneficial? Dakopo (talk) 5:25, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

I disagree, the Khalkhin Gol conflict has little if anything, to do with World War II. Mediatech492 (talk) 01:02, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Infobox edit proposal[edit]

World War II
Location {{{place}}}
Commanders and leaders
Main Allied leaders Main Axis leaders

Unlike other infoboxes on Wikipedia which include the fates of the senior figures in the conflict, World War 2's infobox does not. I propose that these be included in the infobox. An edit I had made was reverted, which did make a good point that there was no cross for FDR - perhaps there should be something clarified for use across the website for when someone dies of natural causes. The reversion also curiously stated the use of a skull was "troubling" next to Mussolini, although it is the standard image used across Wikipedia for when someone is executed. Anyways, I make the following proposal for the leaders section of the infobox:

  • A double-dagger icon for Franklin D. Roosevelt to use as death by natural causes, and linked this to the sub-section of FDR's death. The only reason I shortened his name is for formatting, to fit it all on one line, but I'm not too much bothered about that.
  • A single dagger icon for Adolf Hitler, and linked it to the article focused on Hitler's death.
  • A surrender icon for Hirohito, as he and the whole of the Empire of Japan accepted an unconditional surrender at the end of the war.
  • An execution icon for Benito Mussolini, who was executed by Italian communists.

What do people think? (Anaruna (talk) 19:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC))

In my opinion, this adds clutter for no benefits at all. The deaths of FDR, Hitler and Mussolini were not very relevant to the course or outcomes of the war (FDR was replaced by Truman quite smoothy, Hitler died in the last days of the war in Europe and Mussolini had been largely irrelevant for about two years before his death), and Hirohito did not personally surrender. As noted in the edit summary, these symbols will confuse a lot of readers. Nick-D (talk) 21:21, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Whether they had impact or not isn't really relevant - what's relevant is the historicity of it. The symbols hardly will confuse people, since they are widely used across Wikipedia, and they can easily find out what they are by clicking on them. I think to suggest people either will not know or won't be able to find out is quite patronising. Hirohito did not personally surrender no, but the Empire of Japan did - which meant every man, woman, child and soldier fell under that bracket. (Anaruna (talk) 01:05, 5 November 2017 (UTC))
What's important is whether the symbols impart necessary information clearly. Hirohito's decision to surrender and the deaths of Mussolini and Hitler are almost trivialities, since their causes were deemed lost. The one death that was thought to make a difference—FDR's in giving false hope to Hitler—you initially didn't think important enough to include in your markup. Otherwise, the symbols add visual clutter, aren't all that clear (the skull and crossbones is a common symbol to denote poison or pirate ships), and thus are a distraction because they will take time to decipher. Dhtwiki (talk) 23:23, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Italian desertion in mass after September 1943[edit]

Italian soldiers deserted in mass after the Armistice of Cassibile on all fronts and above all in mainland.That's why in the article must be added that the Germans entered in Italy easily also because of many desertions in the Italian Army.In a "normal " situation with the Vallo Alpino (that was active also in the Cold War) the Germans wouldn't have ever passed and nevertheless in few time.In the description it seems like the Germans occupied part of Italy defeating a normal Regio Esercito.Tales.[1]Kingofwoods (talk) 23:09, 4 November 2017 (UTC)


From memory, the main body of the German forces who were involved in occupying Italy entered the country while Germany and Italy were still Allied. They then took the Italians by surprise, and often brutally attacked them. Nick-D (talk) 10:13, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, almost all the German troops were already stationed in Italy when the armistice occurred. Two new divisions, the 44th and 305th had secured the mountain passes in July. Conflict varied from place to place. The Germans disbanded most Italian units quietly. There was fighting in the north, on Sardinia and Corsica, and around Rome, but little in the south, where most Italian troops cooperated against the Allies. Some 600,000 Italian troops were disbanded in the Balkans, Greece and the Aegean with few incidents. Some units went over to the German side. Volunteers from the Italian 184 Airborne Division Nembo and 185 Airborne Division Folgore formed the German 4th Parachute Division. Thereafter the war in Italy assumed the character of a civil war. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 11:03, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

The german divisions wouldn't have been sufficient to do it.They entered with the fascist permit when Mussolini ruled all over italian mainland since the fear of the invasion of Sicily.Numbers can't explain in clear way this.Italian Royal Army collapsed because of desertions.The first thing that Italian soldiers were looking for was a civil dressing to join home.In fact the fascist republic of the north that helped a lot Germans had few soldiers (compared to the former Royal Italian Army soldiers in that area) after the Armistice of Cassibile.Many Italian soldiers in mainland joined home or a part of them resistance.Italian armies abroad had many desertions too or passed with Allies.German soldiers weren't so fantastic as presented in this point.They just were with a part in the civil war.This part became after 8/9/1943 a puppet state.Kingofwoods (talk) 10:42, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

First scenes are in Veneto(north Italy).They already hear about the freedom arriving in the south (in Sicily and Calabria).They show to suffer the war condition and to be bored a lot.This famous italian movie well describes Italian situation after September and sentiments.The majority of Italians weren't sure of war before and nevertheless liked it after.El Alamein was the official statement of the end of this unliked war for the italian minding. Liberal and catholic wings (generally with many blue blood members inside and that stopped Mussolini in the Gran Consiglio in July 1943) of the fascist party were against war.These wings ( considering also red oppositions that were banned by Mussolini but still existed) were very present in the Italian Royal Air Force and in the Italian Royal Navy that were even accused to collaborate with Allies. These 2 fascist wings had strong links with Vatican ,France,UK and US(many italian people moved to US above all from southern Italy and they had all relatives in the homeland).They wanted to go home.It's common believing in Italy that W.Churchill (and not only,all over the world) ordered the execution of Mussolini.Mussolini had contacts with him since long time and he was afraid some papers could have compromised his image.Fascists joined power in 1922 also with the help of other western fearful powers of comunism spreading in the world.I'm waiting for a final opinion to add.Silemce would be considered a "yes".Best regards. Kingofwoods (talk) 11:17, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Please spell out the wording that you want to add to the article and specify where you want to place it. Silence might indicate assent if you haven't been reverted, but I think you have. Dhtwiki (talk) 21:39, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

It'd be correct to add that Italian Royal Army suffered many desertions that facilitated the german action ("that were in many places without superior orders and suffered many desertions"). I'm waiting for your opinion. So it should be.Thanks. Kingofwoods (talk) 12:41, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Nothing is to be added to this article. Instead, update the Armistice of Cassibile article, providing reliable sources for all the statements it contains, including anything extra you want to add. Then nominate it for GA. I will review it for you there. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 10:41, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

I edited Armistice of Cassibile to improve it as you suggested.)Kingofwoods (talk) 10:45, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Requested edit to article[edit]

Hello editors, this edit was requested (link) at Wikipedia:RFPP by (talk · contribs), as this talk page is semi-protected:

RE: World War II -Semi-protected edit request on 13 September 2017/Suggestion for text outlining creation of Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

ATTENTION EDITORS: Kindly reconsider and/or review this request for the addition of new text as outlined in the discussion shown below in light of the additional primary source material now available at the United States National Archive online reference as described in the following reply which was posted to the talk page of User:Nick-D (See the talk page for World War II). Many thanks in advance for your thoughtful consideration. Respectfully, (talk) 18:09, 9 November 2017 (UTC)PS

Hello Nick-D;
Many thanks for your comments regarding the proposed changes to the article World War II as described on the article's talk page (See Below).
While it is possible that the suggested additional content is irrelevant or largely unimportant as you suggest, I thought that you might enjoy reviewing an example of primary source material from the United States National Archive before dismissing the proposed content entirely. The original source material indicates that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs as part of a broader strategy for preventing Germany, Italy and Spain from establishing a military presence in South and Central America. In addition, it illustrates actions taken by Nelson Rockefeller to implement this strategy during the 1940s. I hope that you enjoy reviewing the material and that you are able to share it with your fellow editors in order to ensure the highest degree of accuracy in the article. See the following link for further reading. Thanks again for your input and best wishes for your continued success on Wikipedia.. Regards (talk) 01:24, 9 November 2017 (UTC)JJ See Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs at the U.S. National Archive Online at [1]
Kindly consider amending Section 4.0 Course of the war/4.2 Western Europe shown below to include additional text outlining Roosevelt's creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs
Although Roosevelt had promised to keep the United States out of the war, he nevertheless took concrete steps to prepare for war. In December 1940 he accused Hitler of planning world conquest and ruled out negotiations as useless, calling for the US to become an "arsenal of democracy" and promoted the passage of Lend-Lease aid to support the British war effort.[101] In January 1941 secret high level staff talks with the British began for the purposes of determining how to defeat Germany should the US enter the war. They decided on a number of offensive policies, including an air offensive, the "early elimination" of Italy and Spain, raids, support of resistance groups, and the capture of positions to launch an offensive against Germany.[108]
Additional text (or an additional paragraph) might be included at the end of the paragraph shown above to outline additional steps taken by Roosevelt to prepare for the war while also encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflict:
By July of 1941, Roosevelt also authorized the creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, in an effort to respond to German, Italian and Spanish propaganda in Latin America through the use of news, film and radio broadcast media. In the process, Roosevelt also sought to enhance his Good Neighbor policy, promote Pan-Americanism and forestall military hostility through the use of cultural diplomacy. [2]


Media Sound & Culture in Latin America. Editors: Bronfman, Alejanda & Wood, Andrew Grant. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, PA, USA, 2012, Pgs. 41-54 ISBN 978-0-8229-6187-1 See Pgs. 41-54 [2]

  1. ^ Anthony, Edwin D. Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs. National Archives and Record Services--General Services Administration, Washington, D.C. 1973 P. 1-9 Library of Congress No. 73-600146 Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs at The National Archive Online at
  2. ^ Media Sound & Culture in Latin America. Editors: Bronfman, Alejanda & Wood, Andrew Grant. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, PA, USA, 2012, Pg. 49 ISBN 978-0-8229-6187-1 See pg. 49

I do not know if this is worthy of being added to the article or not; I leave that up to you. Cheers, fish&karate 14:43, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

"Supplied by Soviet Union"[edit]

On Romania as largest supplier of Nazi oil in 1939-40, not the Soviet Union, see The Devils' Alliance by Roger Moorhouse

The very page that claim was linked to has tables which show Finland, Denmark, Romania and Netherlands all providing more overall imports to Germany in those years. GPRamirez5 (talk) 03:12, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Please refer to my reply below at 15:41, 13 December 2017 (UTC). At a lede of this size, I also support your inclusion of the Phoney War and the Invasion of France, and have edited in support of your rationale here [6] and here [7]. -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:15, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
In your reply below you suggest that oil is not an important material to the campaign. Please identify what you consider important raw material(s) to be and check in the table referenced above which countries supplied them and when. Cheers! -GPRamirez5 (talk) 19:15, 16 December 2017 (UTC)


World War 2 was fought between the Allies and the Axis Powers. The Allied Powers is the name for the military alliance that opposed the Central Powers during World War 1. ( (talk) 03:49, 10 December 2017 (UTC))

World War II Start[edit]

September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Key dates

Key dates re. WWII which relates to discussions above:

  • September 18, 1931

Japan invades Manchuria.

October 2, 1935–May 1936 Fascist Italy invades, conquers, and annexes Ethiopia.

October 25–November 1, 1936 Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sign a treaty of cooperation on October 25; on November 1, the Rome-Berlin Axis is announced.

November 25, 1936 Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, directed against the Soviet Union and the international Communist movement.

July 7, 1937 Japan invades China, initiating World War II in the Pacific.

March 11–13, 1938 Germany incorporates Austria in the Anschluss.

September 29, 1938 Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France sign the Munich agreement which forces the Czechoslovak Republic to cede the Sudetenland, including the key Czechoslovak military defense positions, to Nazi Germany.

March 14–15, 1939 Under German pressure, the Slovaks declare their independence and form a Slovak Republic. The Germans occupy the rump Czech lands in violation of the Munich agreement, forming a Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

March 31, 1939 France and Great Britain guarantee the integrity of the borders of the Polish state.

April 7–15, 1939 Fascist Italy invades and annexes Albania.

August 23, 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a nonaggression agreement and a secret codicil dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence.

  • September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland, initiating World War II in Europe. ****

September 3, 1939 Honouring their guarantee of Poland’s borders, Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.

September 17, 1939 The Soviet Union invades Poland from the east.

September 27–29, 1939 Warsaw surrenders on September 27. The Polish government flees into exile via Romania. Germany and the Soviet Union divide Poland between them.

November 30, 1939–March 12, 1940 The Soviet Union invades Finland, initiating the so-called Winter War. The Finns sue for an armistice and have to cede the northern shores of Lake Lagoda and the small Finnish coastline on the Arctic Sea to the Soviet Union.

  • December 7, 1941 ***

Japan bombs Pearl Harbor.

  • December 8, 1941 ***

The United States declares war on Japan, entering World War II. Japanese troops land in the Philippines, French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), and British Singapore. By April 1942, the Philippines, Indochina, and Singapore are under Japanese occupation.

  • December 11–13, 1941 ***

Nazi Germany and its Axis partners declare war on the United States.

Becomes a global war

April 30, 1945 Hitler commits suicide.

May 7, 1945 Germany surrenders to the western Allies.

May 9, 1945 Germany surrenders to the Soviets.

May 1945 Allied troops conquer Okinawa, the last island stop before the Japanese islands.

August 6, 1945 The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

August 8, 1945 The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.

August 9, 1945 The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

September 2, 1945 Having agreed in principle to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, Japan formally surrenders, ending World War II. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

We are not here to discuss various dates and actions to find when WWII started. Wikipedia is built on WP:SECONDARY sources, not on editor discussions. So if you are interested in changing the date that WWII started, you should present various dates given by reliable sources, with the goal of showing broadly what the literature says about the issue. Binksternet (talk) 00:23, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Querying the lede[edit]

'The great powers first clashed directly when Germany assaulted France in May 1940, but the major obstacle to the European Axis would be the coalition of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, with campaigns including the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz bombing campaign, and the Balkan Campaign, as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic.'

Seems odd to pointedly assert what the first major obstacle for the European Axis was. (i) First of all wasn't it an alliance rather than a coalition? (ii) It wasn't just the UK & Commonwealth, but also Yugoslavia, Greece, the Free French and others. The highest-scoring Allied fighter ace in the Battle of Britain was Czech. (iii) Many if not most historians would argue that the first major obstacle was the Channel, not the British, etc., per se. The British did not provide a major obstacle to the Invasion of France. One could counter that it was the Royal Navy in the Channel that did it, but my main point is that this is way too point-y for the lede. (iv) Great Powers should use capitals; but why the need to point out by analytical emphasis their first clash anyway? (v) Lower down, it says Berlin was captured by Soviet troops - to be precise it was captured by the Soviets and 200,000 of their Polish Communist allies, who raised at least two Polish flags at the end of the battle, one of which may have gone up before the Soviet one: [8]

-Chumchum7 (talk) 15:34, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

This text does seem rather unclear, and saying that the UK was in a "coalition" with the Commonwealth is outright wrong. They were actually the same legal entity in a number of key ways (most notably, the UK directly ruled most of the empire, including India, with only the white Dominions being independent), and functioned like an alliance in practice. I'm not sure what's meant by it. The British Commonwealth was indeed the Axis' main "obstacle" (a confusing word in itself) from June 1940 to 21 June 1941, but this is an odd way of putting things. I'd suggest changing this to something like "The great powers first clashed directly when Germany successfully invaded France in May 1940, which was followed by the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz bombing campaign, and the Balkan Campaign, as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic". Nick-D (talk) 07:20, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, strike that. I see that this text was recently added without discussion, along with some other confusing and poorly-sourced material, and I've reverted it out pending further discussion. Nick-D (talk) 07:26, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, Australia didn't have its own foreign policy in 1939, so the Commonwealth was neither a coalition nor an alliance.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:24, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
The revert was merited. The section still needs improvement, and that's perhaps what prompted the addition in the first place. I'm adding a point (vi) that there is also error and Eurocentric POV at 'The war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the coalition' because the Asian Theater 1939–40 Winter Offensive and the Hundred Regiments Offensive are conventionally categorized as part of WWII, with over 100,000 casualties. It's correct that the Commonwealth was neither a coalition nor an alliance, but the UK was in alliance with Greece, etc. I will make an edit to the section in an attempt to address these issues. -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:09, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

I made the edit, and some points may be valid. On the other hand, I did remove the language of "primarily...European" which ChumChum7 objects to, I acknowledged the well-documented Phoney War for the first time, and I do not understand why the Fall of France would be considered a secondary event, especially given that it encompassed the fall of the Netherlands and Belgium as well.

But my primary concern was to remove this language of "supplied by the Soviet Union" which is misleading non-NPOV. As I documented in the section by that title above, they supplied only a tiny fraction of Axis oil. The Dutch and Danes exported more overall supplies to Hitler, and the Swedes provided his iron ore. Just like those neutral countries, the USSR provided no material *aid* to the Reich. They traded with it and made Germany pay through the nose for every ounce of product, just as the US did when it traded with Hitler and Tojo up until Pearl Harbor day. I put a talk section up about this nearly a week ago now and no one's opposed it.GPRamirez5 (talk) 14:36, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

This phrase has been in the article for years, as such it represents consensus so you might have a hard time trying to remove it. For what it's worth we have an article on the German-Soviet Commercial Agreement (1940) which states Germany imported millions of tons of Soviet raw materials required for warfighting (not just oil) in exchange for Nazi Germany's military tech, money, etc; this was also in the context of the vast Soviet annexations in Eastern Europe as agreed to by Nazi Germany. So the clause "supplied by the Soviet Union" isn't really misleading non-NPOV, in fact it's verifiably relevant. Granted, it does touch a raw nerve: the extent of Nazi-Soviet cooperation is a matter of scholarly, international and emotive debate. We mere Wikipedians are not going to win or lose it, either way. We must make our article compatible with all sides, and incorporate any controversy about it in analysis lower down the article. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:41, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Chumchum7 -- it represents the consensus of RS. Rjensen (talk) 15:53, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, the article has to reflect the consensus of RS literature and the data, not that of Wikipedia editors. So what justifies mention of this *in the lede*, especially under a standard wherein the Fall of France and the Phoney War are considered of insufficient importance? The guideline is actually that controversial issues be kept out of the lede unless they are properly contextualized. Controversy is just another word for non-consensus, after all.
ChumChum7 very rightly raised the issue of Eurocentricity. I think we should consider if Anglocentrism (deriving from our common Anglophony) is influencing our attitude towards these edits. That is, it touches a raw nerve to be reminded that for the first eight months of the war, England was continuing to avoid confrontation with Hitler, and that prior to September 1939 the British Empire was doing more business with Germany than the Soviets were. Far more reassuring to cling to a sense of cultural and moral superiority and point the finger east.GPRamirez5 (talk) 17:11, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I haven't yet seen any self-identifying British editors here have a problem with content about the Phoney War, and you can make a perfectly reasonable case for it to be emphasized more in the lede. But let's not get too personal or assumptive about our fellow Wikipedians here (and there are some Irish people who would disagree that speaking English must mean that you have a British axe to grind, and that you then must grind it by casting aspersions about Joseph Stalin). Please also note I said the content was Eurocentric, not that any editors are. Moreover I'm not convinced that British superiority and 'finger-pointing' about Stalin is necessarily what's going on here. Besides, it would have to be a pretty ignorant Brit who even tried it, given it was Churchill who justified the British alliance with Stalin by saying: “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil." -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:58, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
There's no need to mention the "Phoney War" in the lead, and especially not in the context suggested (eg, the false claim that France and the UK "largely stood aside" during this period: they did not, and the IWM source GPRamirez5 is citing doesn't state this: it states that the western Allies were on the strategic defensive, and needed time to build up their forces, which reflects the general view in histories of the war). Abusing other editors as GPRamirez5 doing is totally unhelpful. Nick-D (talk) 09:56, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
(vii) "On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history, which trapped the major part of the Axis military forces into a war of attrition." Inaccurate to say 'the major part of the Axis' because that's failing to account for Japan. Also the RS don't concur that this campaign was attritive (as they say WWI and Napoleon's 1812 was), which would mean that that the Axis were defeated because they ran out of resources. That came later. Afair most historians put the outcome of the campaign down to inferior German versus superior Soviet military leadership, which explains both Stalingrad and Kursk. In terms of numbers though and where the war was won, there's no doubt that RS concur the Western Front was a side show compared to Eastern Front, which is where Germany was decisively defeated. -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:54, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

I've just reverted some more unagreed changes to the lead. Can we please seek consensus on significant changes here before they're added per the longstanding convention? Nick-D (talk) 07:28, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Sure. Please propose the solution that you have in mind. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:31, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
It would definitely be good to leave out "coalition" as this is misleading. We could just say UK and the British Commonwealth. But "British Commonwealth" is a bit misleading at that point. It is really the British Empire. So UK and the British Empire or just the British Empire. I agree that "major part of the Axis military forces" should be changed as it leave out Japan. Why not a major part of German forces? (I know that other Axis powers were involved, but they are less important.) But was the Eastern Front really a "war of attrition"??? The Battle of Kursk? Yes, there were aspects of attrition, but there were also decisive victories on both sides. This is just an opinion. I also don't see why we should mention Japan's war with Japan, but not the invasion of Manchuria, or the annexation of Korea.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:52, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Given that the lead is already much too long (six paragraphs instead of the standard three amounting to 763 words), I'd suggest that any changes resulting from this discussion also seek to streamline what we have - or at very least not make it longer. I agree re: 'coalition' - the usual formulation is something like 'Britain and the British Empire' (noting that the 'Commonwealth' was largely a PR concept at this time). Nick-D (talk) 09:40, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Apart from that this is designated as a 'good article' and it has actual errors in the lede: prior to Pearl Harbour the war was certainly not 'primarily' fought by any formulation the British Empire; UK or Commonwealth. Measured by fatalities it was primarily fought by China; and to also editorialize out the fighting by the Yugoslavians, Greeks, Norwegians, Free French and others is unencyclopedic narrative history. Anyway, to assert who 'primarily' fought is an odd, pointy categorization that would equally justify a line saying that it was the Soviets, not the Brits and Americans, who primarily fought against Nazi Germany in the war as a whole. One solution is to simply refer to the 'Allies' instead of pushing the importance of the British and/or the Commonwealth, who did not stand alone, as many historians work hard to try to explain. -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:44, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
The British Empire was the world power primarily fighting Germany at that point. China was not in the same war (as discussed ad nauseum). China was fighting Japan, not Germany. Britain was fighting Germany, not Japan. I think streamlining would be a good idea. There is a lot of unnecessary detail, like Hitler's suicide.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:56, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That would make complete sense if the article higher up defined WWII as exclusively a European conflict against Germany (and presumably Italy) up until Pearl Harbor, but it doesn't yet do that. The article says that the conflict between China and Japan started earlier than the outbreak of the war, but not that it is distinguished from it from the outbreak of the war. The casual reader currently sees Japan and China as participants from the start, that perception is our responsibility: The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937,[5] but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939[6] with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom. I really sympathize if you've discussed this ad nauseam (been there, know how it feels): it's frustrating for all of us that the discussion hasn't resulted in the article being better worded to prevent further confusion. So it's high time for a decision: the lede must clearly state whether Japan and China did or did not participate in WWII from 1 Sep 1939. Also, on the inclusion of who was 'primarily' fighting Nazi Germany and when, from 22 June 1941 to 8 May 1945 it was the Soviet Union, with 11 million fatalalies, compared to 0.4 million American and 0.4 million British Empire & Commonwealth - a factor of 28:1:1. Number of fatalities are by no means the only way of measuring this: The Big Three are on the record discussing whether the Western Allies were choosing not to 'primarily' fight Nazi Germany, so that the USSR had to. It's an effective strategy called bait and bleed that the Brits and Americans were excellent at. As Truman said: "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible." The lede is currently skewed to include one 'primary' fighter and not the other. -Chumchum7 (talk) 10:15, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Please suggest specific textual changes. We're not here to debate the war. Nick-D (talk) 10:26, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Dear Nick, please note above I invited you propose the solution that you have in mind, after your revert of my suggested textual changes, which you can see in the article history. So really, the ball is in your court. I've accepted your revert and I'm waiting with patience, and I look forward to your specific suggestions with great interest. -Chumchum7 (talk) 10:37, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Aside from fixing the 'coalition' wording issue noted above, I'm not suggesting any changes at present. If you want to, please suggest specific changes for other editors to consider. Nick-D (talk) 10:45, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I would like to respectfully second the change from Commonwealth to Empire. As far as I can tell, the international commonwealth designation didn't exist at this time.GPRamirez5 (talk) 11:51, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Nick, thank you for the explanation. To clarify, the specific change I am suggesting is the content that was reverted, here: [9] -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:17, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that we need the extra detail added in those edits, noting again that I think the lead is already much too long and detailed. I also don't see a significant problem with the lead's balance of the Pacific vs the European theatre (and I'm more interested in the Pacific than Europe), and the best way to handle any such imbalance would be to reduce rather than add detail from it IMO. Nick-D (talk) 21:21, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I would say no, Japan and China were not in WW2 till 1939 [correction: 1941], because they were not part of the international conflict. In any case, we should avoid implying that Britain and its empire were at war with Japan from 1939. This is false, though it is a common misconception.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:11, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Jack, thank you for stating your case. At heart the solution is for the lede to clearly define WWII as either (i) a European conflict that extended to Asia after at Pearl Harbor or (ii) an ongoing conflict in Asia that on 1st September 1939 became a World War, because of the start of conflict in Europe. For what its' worth, my preference is the second formulation as it's what I have seen is verifiable, general understanding in the RS. I can quote them, and will defer to whatever turns out to be broad consensus here. If we do settle on the first formulation we firstly need to cut down on the considerable content lower down the article covering Asia prior to Pearl Harbor, as our guidelines are that the lede summarizes the article. Secondly, this still wouldn't justify the editorialization that the British 'primarily' fought Germany prior to Barbarossa without saying (as GPRamirez5 (talk) has rightly pointed out) that they primarily did no fighting at all for the eight months of the Phoney War, that Yugoslavia primarily fought Germany in the Balkan Campaign and that Germany was primarily fought by the USSR from the day Barbarossa began. If we're on a mission to cut down, then the solution here is to cut the word, as PPOV. -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:06, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

The second formulation is eccentric and misleading. For the umpteenth time, Britain and France did not declare war on Japan in 1939. It is highly misleading to suggest this, to suggest that Britain, France, and Germany entered into an ongoing war in Asia in 1939. They didn't. (And by the way, though the war started in Europe in 1939, it was never a purely European conflict because Britain and France had worldwide empires.) But I don't think we need to tailor-make the article to one interpretation, and I don't think we have to remove content relating to Asia.--Jack Upland (talk) 05:50, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time? I never proposed that the article should suggest Britain and France declared war on Japan in 1939. On the contrary, I am proposing it should state more clearly that there were separate conflicts in Asia and Europe from the start of WWII. The point that Japan wasn't at war with Britain and France from the start is moot: at times throughout the conflict, plenty of WWII combatants were only at war with some and not others. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:29, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Also, including China at the start of the war isn't eccentric. Please take a look at this verifiable, mass-publication source dedicated to an Oxford University historian's account of it: [10] We ought to be just as careful about using words like 'eccentric' point of view on history as we ought to be about using 'Anglocentric' or 'racist'. In China many of the 1.379 billion people think WWII started in 1937, in Russia and America many people think it started 1941. These are all legitimate, subjective perspectives just as the 1939 date is. This article says it's 1939, not because The British Empire is the point of reference for world history, but because the world is. Wikipedia guidelines are to represent neutral, worldwide point of view. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:55, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
At CNN it is even more explicit: "China was the first country to enter what would become the Second World War" [11] - Chumchum7 (talk) 15:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Also, historians don't define a World War as a war with a worldwide empire's involvement. If that were the case, every single war involving the British Empire would be termed a World War. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Nick, thank you, you think the lede is too long and detailed. It's actually full of detail from beginning to end, so cutting some detail leaves other detail, creating imbalance. So if you want it to be short, the solution is a re-write. One solution is to simply state the Great Powers involved, its ~50 million deaths, that it was a consequence of WWI and racism and was a final challenge to the legacy empires, that it lead to a nuclear world, decolonization, American hegemony in the west, Soviet control of Eastern Europe and a Communist China. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:18, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
And please don't be shy of showing us what you do have in mind for a shorter lede. -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:20, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Also our first photograph, top left, has been there for years. It shows Chinese troops, fighting the year before this article says the war began, let alone before Pearl Harbor. Proof Evidence that we've had consensus of Chinese involvement from the start. But still, it needs to be fixed for accuracy: either we revise our definition of when the war started, or we replace it with a photo of Chinese troops after our current definition of when the war started. As it stands, our lede is contradicting itself in several places. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:30, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Suggesting that the inclusion of a picture is proof of consensus on the "start date" on WW2 is extremely thin on credibility. Lets stick with what the majority of the best reliable sources say, and if there are notable exceptions or complexities, note that in the body of the article. (Hohum @) 15:54, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
You're right, it's not proof: I meant to say evidence of consensus, given that the photo has been at the top of this article for many years. To clarify, I am not talking about a start date for WWII. I'm talking about including China as a belligerent from our start date of 1 September 1939. I would like to find out if there is general consensus on that. Because it's verifiable that historians are saying China was already involved in WWII from the conventional/traditional start date in 1939. -Chumchum7 (talk) 16:50, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
China and Japan had a low level conflict in Sept 1939-- it was not "world" and it was just barely "war". That said I think Sept 1939 DID bring in much of the world as never before and works well. Rjensen (talk) 17:24, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
So to clarify, you support including China as a belligerent in WWII from 1st September 1939? (Btw am not sure how low level the conflict was: the National Revolutionary Army already fielded 1.2 million troops in 1937 according to David Horner, considerably more by September 1939. The 1939–40 Winter Offensive had around 90,000 casualties.) -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:47, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
One of the most important scholarly work- The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I [12]. It really claims "the war began in 1937 in China" in its General Introduction part. See the link[13] and read the location 383 in open preview of good read. I think there is also a choice to separate the start date to two in the lede, one for Asia and the other for Europe. For example, the amalgamation of two separate conflicts, one beginning in Asia, 1937, as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the other beginning in Europe, 1939, with the invasion of Poland. (Miracle dream (talk) 22:28, 16 December 2017‎ (UTC))

Let it be noted for the record that ChumChum7 has just reverted the administrator's edit. He's misleadingly claimed to be reverting my revision, but that is not the case. Ironically he invokes Nick's words as he does this, seemingly oblivious to the point that Nick effectively pressed the reset button with that revision.GPRamirez5 (talk) 17:55, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Steady on, GPRamirez. As far as I'm aware we're all equal editors, and are working as a community without hierarchy. As far as I was aware I undid your change, nobody else's. And I did so in good faith, in keeping with my understanding that we're discussing changes on the Talk page first. I have also engaged with you in discussion about your proposed change, on this page, and have supported your proposals as emphasized above. Take it easy, we're all friends here. -Chumchum7 (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
" understanding that we're discussing changes on the Talk page first."
That's cool Chumchum7. Can you replace User:Nick-D's revision until we've had a chance to consense on any changes to it then?- GPRamirez5 (talk) 19:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
That I'm an administrator isn't relevant here: I have no more or less say on the article content than any other editor, and can't use the tools except in obvious cases of misconduct regarding this article as I'm very much WP:INVOLVED. Nick-D (talk) 03:50, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
GPRamirez, as far as I can see you are responsible for this edit, not anybody else. You need to establish consensus for it. I reverted it because I don't see that it reflects consensus: Rjensen above says of my rationale, "I agree with Chumchum7 -- it represents the consensus of RS." But still, this is open for discussion, which is your right. How long was the clause in the lede before you cut it? Working this out may help us come to a resolution. Also, please note that prompted by your sentiments, I added the Phoney War, my edit was reverted for the same reason. -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:26, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • To go back to the point raised by Chumchum7, I think there is an issue but it's not with the word "primarily" but with the expression "The war continued...". The paragraph starts off: "The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937..." Later, it says: "The war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the coalition of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth...". Clearly, "the war" refers to the war in Europe and surrounds; however, it could be misinterpreted as including the war in East Asia. I think either we should make it clear that it is the "war in the West" that is referred to, or move the statement about Japan elsewhere.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:00, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes absolutely, this is much about the terminology and phrasing, which is currently contradictory and confusing in the lede (and really should not be, with 'Good Article' status). Additionally editors clearly do have a varying reading of RS consensus on when the Asia theater of WWII starts, the above formulations (i) 7 December 1941 (we need a RS saying China entered the War on that date, please) and (ii) 1 September 1939 (we have RS for this, above). Wikipedia is not a democracy, though a vote on this might eventually be a helpful way of gauging a tendency of opinion. Before we do that, perhaps there is a way of encyclopedically including both formulations, rather than asserting one. Such as, for example:
The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937.[5] But the world war is traditionally said to have begun on 1 September 1939[6] with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom; some historians say the Asia theater starts on or before that date, others say the separate conflict between China and Japan can only be categorized as part of the war from when the British Empire and America were attacked by Japan in 1941. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:36, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Too much detail for the lead IMO. "Traditionally" also implies that such a view is antiquated, which I don't believe is the case. The current text here looks fine to me: it reflects the standard accounts of the war. We have a whole section on the discussion around the dates, and don't also need to also do this in the lead. Nick-D (talk) 06:54, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree. We don't need a discussion about dates in the lead.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:40, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, so no disambiguation in the lede. In that case the trouble remains, existing excess of detail prompts further detail for balance and clarification. Nothing in our current definition of the War indicates China should be excluded prior to Pearl Harbor, meanwhile we include details such as the Blitz. Either we reduce all detail, or provide a stronger definition of the scope of the war (a clear assertion of whether or not Asia is included from the start), or we provide balanced detail. Nick you've indicated you would like to reduce all detail, it would be helpful to see what your low-detail lede would look like. As I say, one solution is to simply state the Great Powers involved, its ~50 million deaths, that it was a consequence of WWI and racism and was a final challenge to the legacy empires, that it lead to a nuclear world, decolonization, American hegemony in the west, Soviet control of Eastern Europe and a Communist China. In principle that can be done in one paragraph. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:09, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Wars involving Argentina[edit]

Why is this category missing in the article? -- (talk) 23:01, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
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