Talk:World War II

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Good articleWorld 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.
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Allied leaders (priority position chronologically)[edit]

As about the priority position of the Allied leaders in the mainbox, I believe that the name of Winston Churchill must be the first name of the Allied leaders. I propose that, beacause the United Kingdom was the first country declared the war on Germany (not by a beetween two countries difference, but by an allied anti-Axis view), but also because Churchill worked hard about the establishment of the Alliance [1].

Inspirduser (talk) 21:48, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

There were several long discussions on that subject, and arguments were proposed in favor of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Your argument is purely formal, and, following your logic, Kaishek should be first, and Stalin - second.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:09, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I respect your opinion. But, Kaishek's and Stalin's wars with Japan during 30's, were in the place of between their countries differences. Were their wars on those years looked by an Allied anti-Axis view? Also, UK's declaration of war on Germany, whic also was the first allied-viewed declaration of war was chronologically a prior. Inspirduser (talk) 11:24, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Point of formality. In Chinese nomenclature the family name is given first, followed by the personal name. Therefore when speaking formally, Chiang Kai-shek should be referred to as "Chiang", not "Kaishek". Mediatech492 (talk) 15:38, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I just wanted to say that, taking into account that the current order is a result of long discussions where various arguments had been presented, the first thing to do would be to analyse those arguments and to make sure your rationale outweighs all previous arguments.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:59, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. This has been extensively discussed. Nick-D (talk) 10:47, 29 October 2018 (UTC)


The spy war?[edit]

Seems to be an omission in such a comprehensive article that goes into so much detail on other topics. Code-breaking gets a passing mention as part of the 'Technology' section but afaics there's nothing on e.g. the Double-Cross System and Operation Scherhorn, etc. I hereby call for a dedicated section, and invite drafting below for discussion. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:45, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

That seems rather undue. Modern historians generally argue that almost all the intelligence operations other than code-breaking (on all sides) had pretty minor results. The various spy rings, etc, rarely produced results - the only one which springs to mind as being truly influential is the Soviet penetration of the Allied nuclear program, and even that didn't pay off until after the war. These efforts also didn't involve many people or resources. That said, what text are you proposing? Nick-D (talk) 10:51, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the reply. With a view to the text, you concur that code-breaking did not have minor results, so we could start by folding that out into a dedicated section: Cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher was instrumental in the Battle of Kursk, Ultra was vital to the Battle of the Atlantic; the Battle of Arnhem failed in large part because commanders ignored SIGINT (as well as HUMINT from Dutch spies) on enemy positions. On the subject of spy rings, etc, D-Day was dependent on a deception operation named Operation Fortitude involving the double-agent Duško Popov, some say Soviet spy Richard Sorge personally enabled the Red Army to free up 18 divisions from the Far East for the Battle of Moscow, and the list goes on. But more importantly, the threshold for inclusion is not what we think historians agree about causality (and it's really debatable whether historians generally agree spies were irrelevant) but verifiability. The amount of sourcing on WWII espionage is vast, which also adds WP:NOTABILITY. Isn't Wikipedia meant to be a reflection of the available literature, rather than a reflection of a thesis about cause and effect? This is the tip of the iceberg, including both SIGINT and HUMINT:

Author(s) Title Publisher Date Notes
Babington-Smith, Constance Air Spy: The Story of Photo Intelligence in World War II 1957
Berg, Moe The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg Vintage Books 1994 — Major league baseball player and OSS Secret Intelligence (SI) spy in Yugoslavia
Bryden, John Best-Kept Secret: Canadian Secret Intelligence in the Second World War Lester 1993
Doundoulakis, Helias Trained to be an OSS Spy Xlibris 2014 OSS Secret Intelligence (SI) spy in Greece
Hall, Virginia The Spy with the Wooden Leg: The Story of Virginia Hall Alma Little 2012 SOE and OSS spy in France
Hinsley, F. H. and Alan Stripp Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park 2001
Hinsley, F. H. British Intelligence in the Second World War 1996 Abridged version of multivolume official history.
Hohne, Heinz Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy 1979
Jones, R. V. The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939–1945 1978
Kahn, David Hitler's Spies: German Military Intelligence in World War II 1978
Kahn, David Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boat Codes, 1939–1943 1991 FACE
Kitson, Simon The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France 2008
Leigh Fermor, Patrick Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation in Crete New York Review Books 2015 SOE spy who abducted General Kreipe from Crete
Lewin, Ronald The American Magic: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan 1982
Masterman, J. C. The Double Cross System in the War of 1935 to 1945 Yale 1972
Persico, Joseph Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage 2001
Persico, Joseph Casey: The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey-From the OSS to the CIA 1991
Pinck, Dan Journey to Peking: A Secret Agent in Wartime China US Naval Institute Press 2003 OSS Secret Intelligence (SI) spy in Hong Kong, China, during WWII
Ronnie, Art Counterfeit Hero: Fritz Duquesne, Adventurer and Spy 1995 ISBN 1-55750-733-3
Sayers, Michael & Albert E. Kahn Sabotage! The Secret War Against America 1942
Smith, Richard Harris OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency 2005
Stanley, Roy M. World War II Photo Intelligence 1981
Wark, Wesley The Ultimate Enemy: British Intelligence and Nazi Germany, 1933–1939 1985
Wark, Wesley "Cryptographic Innocence: The Origins of Signals Intelligence in Canada in the Second World War" in Journal of Contemporary History 22 1987
West, Nigel Secret War: The Story of SOE, Britain's Wartime Sabotage Organization 1992
Winterbotham, F. W. The Ultra Secret Harper & Row 1974
Winterbotham, F. W. The Nazi Connection Harper & Row 1978
Cowburn, B. No Cloak No Dagger Brown, Watson, Ltd. 1960
Wohlstetter, Roberta Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision 1962

Thanks -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:04, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

In addition I would recommend Max Hastings 2015 work, The Secret War: Spies, Codes And Guerrillas, 1939–45. London: William Collins, 2015. ISBN 9780007503742, an excellent, detailed overview of the effects of espionage in WW2 Simon Adler (talk) 05:12, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's a great point to include the clear overlap between field agents, code-breakers and the resistance war. To the latter can be added NKVD, OSS and SOE (particularly effective in Yugoslavia and Greece) and the mass of sabotage (as well as intelligence) against Germany provided by cells among the millions of slave labourers dragging down the Nazi war machine from the inside. Per The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan, the Untermensch ensured plenty of German tanks were already malfunctioning when they reached the Eastern Front. -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:37, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I think the question remains what text do you want to add to the article? As it stands, there is more about espionage than about the development of the atomic bomb. Many things happened in WW2, and they are all clamouring for attention. The main organising concept is the narrative, and the main criteria for inclusion seems to be the effect on the outcome of the war (see discussion at the start of the section). I think this is problematic, but there it is.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:35, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Well, in the name of consensus I'd hoped we could all chip in for content, but I'm happy to start the brainstorm if that's what you want. Here's a start:

====The intelligence war====

Cryptography and SIGINT was used extensively during World War II, with a plethora of code and cipher systems fielded by the nations involved. The break into the most secure Japanese diplomatic cipher, designated "PURPLE" by the US Army Signals Intelligence Service, started before the US entered the war. Product from this source was called Magic; the Japanese Ambassador to Germany, General Hiroshi Ōshima, routinely sent information about German plans to Tokyo which was immediately read by Roosevelt and Churchill. Decryption by the Allies of the German "Enigma" Cipher created product named Ultra. The first complete break into Enigma was accomplished in 1932 by the Poles, who passed their technology and methodology to the French and British in July 1939, and evacuated their team of code-breakers at the start of the war to continue their work. Ultra contributed to many Allied victories, including the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of Kursk.

Churchill's order to "set Europe ablaze" was undertaken by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), which developed a plan to train HUMINT spies, guerrillas and saboteurs for deployment in occupied Europe; eventually, this would become the Special Operations Executive. America had no overarching military intelligence agency until Roosevelt, inspired by the British, started the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI) which in 1942 became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which after the war became the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[1][2] The Soviet NKVD had been well-established for many years before the war, and its staff were Stalin's most trusted personnel; agents included Richard Sorge, who accurately reported that Japan had no intention of attacking the Soviet Union in 1941, and double-agent Kim Philby, a senior SIS officer with access to most of Britain's intelligence reports. NKVD operatives were also crucial to partisan warfare and the establishment of Soviet power in Eastern Europe toward the end of the war.


  1. ^ Joseph E. Persico, Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage (2001) p 329.
  2. ^ R Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency (U of California Press, 1972)

-Chumchum7 (talk) 16:33, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

What about Red Orchestra and Leopold Trepper?--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:30, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

"The Soviet NKVD had been well-established for many years before the war"

This seems to be an exaggeration. The NKVD was active from 1934 to 1946. The previous secret police was the Joint State Political Directorate (1923-1934), which was itself preceded by the State Political Directorate (1922-1923), the Cheka (1917-1922), the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee (1917), and the Okhrana (1881-1917). Dimadick (talk) 19:08, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

1934 is seven years before the Soviets entered the war, which is plenty of time for them to establish themselves. Also, the NKVD did have a previous incarnation from 1917 to 1930; so when it was re-established it came with a cadre of experienced men. Furthermore this later incarnation also incorporated the previously separate OGPU and all its men and resources, which included more than a few former Cheka men. The NKVD was not a novice bunch in 1934, and by 1941 it was very well established. Mediatech492 (talk) 20:31, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
"1934 is seven years before the Soviets entered the war" Five years. The Soviet invasion of Poland took place in 1939. Dimadick (talk) 21:49, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm not going to argue petty semantics. Russia officially entered the war in 1941. Mediatech492 (talk) 23:14, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

So at least three options:

(i) "The Soviet NKVD had been well-established before the war"

(ii) "The Soviet NKVD had been well-established before the war, and was preceded by the Joint State Political Directorate (1923-1934), which was itself preceded by the State Political Directorate (1922-1923), the Cheka (1917-1922), the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee (1917), and the Okhrana (1881-1917)

(iii) "The Soviet NKVD was the culmination of many years of the absolute power of the Russian state, which had masterfully pioneered tactics such as "maskirovka", "spetsoperatsiya", false flag, "aktivniyye meropriyatiya", "kompromat", "provokatsiya" and "mokroye delo". Run by Stalin's right-hand-man Lavrentiy Beria, it was not just the USSR's primary intelligence organization, but also the Interior Ministry of the Soviet Union, with a monopoly on law enforcement (when it merged with the secret police OGPU in 1934), operation of the Gulags, political repression including extrajudicial mass killings of perceived and real enemies, cooperation with the Gestapo and Denazification; during the war it took its methods abroad and even had its own front-line divisions.

-Chumchum7 (talk) 05:19, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't support the proposed text at all. It's focused on various individuals, when the intelligence war was conducted on an industrial scale. The text also makes no mention of the Axis intelligence efforts (which were quite successful until about 1943) and their attempts at sabotage campaigns (which were total failures). Nick-D (talk) 07:24, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

That's why I've said that is just a start to the brainstorm, and have asked for us all to chip in, in the name of consensus. What text do you propose? -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:45, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

"Axis intelligence efforts" You can find some material on the Gestapo (secret police), the Foreign Armies East (military intelligence organization), the Sicherheitsdienst (intelligence agency of the SS), the Abwehr (Wehrmacht military intelligence), the Geheime Feldpolizei (Wehrmacht secret police), and the Sicherheitspolizei (security police) on their respective articles. We also have an incomplete List of German spies, divided by period. Dimadick (talk) 08:29, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

German Radio Intelligence Operations during World War II covers what was by far the most effective element of the German intelligence efforts (though it doesn't yet seem to cover the German successes in breaking convoy codes during the Battle of the Atlantic). Their human intelligence campaign was a small-scale fiasco for most of the war. Nick-D (talk) 09:30, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Indeed it's worth including just how incompetent Germany was at HUMINT: the Ubermensch isn't very good at making friends. -Chumchum7 (talk) 10:35, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Nick-D are you going to make a contribution to reaching consensus here, for example by proposing an alternative to the content you objected to? For what it's worth I see see no policy or guideline infringement by mentioning a few individuals in a total war. Conceptually, every description of a subject uses examples of its details, e.g. a description of a human body could mention a freckle and a description of a metropolis could mention a street corner. But with your objection in mind, here's another go:
Cryptography and SIGINT was used extensively during World War II, with a plethora of code and cipher systems fielded by the nations involved. The break into the most secure Japanese diplomatic cipher, designated "PURPLE" by the US Army Signals Intelligence Service, started before the US entered the war. Product from this source was called Magic; the Japanese routinely sent information about German plans to Tokyo which was immediately read by Western Allied leadership. Their decryption of the German "Enigma" Cipher created product named Ultra. The first complete break into Enigma was accomplished in 1932 by the Poles, who passed their technology and methodology to the French and British in July 1939, and evacuated the Polish Cipher Bureau at the start of the war to continue its work. Ultra contributed to many Allied victories, including the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of Kursk.
The British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) trained HUMINT spies, guerrillas and saboteurs for deployment in occupied Europe; eventually, this would become the Special Operations Executive. America had no overarching military intelligence agency until - inspired by the British - it started the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI) which in 1942 became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which after the war became the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[1][2] The Soviet NKVD had been well-established before the war, and its staff were Stalin's most trusted personnel; it accurately established that Japan had no intention of attacking the Soviet Union in 1941, and used double-agents to access Britain's intelligence reports. The NKVD was also crucial to partisan warfare and the establishment of Soviet power in Eastern Europe toward the end of the war.
We could treat this as a minimum basis or stub, and add further detail depending what the consensus is on the amount of space to allocate to this section. -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:06, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I can suggest something, but it will take time to research and write. Nick-D (talk) 21:09, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
If there are no objections from other editors, I will add the content to the article with the understanding that at some stage Nick-D will be getting round to editing the section further. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:15, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
What's the rush? The above material remains deeply flawed: it doesn't capture the scale of the SIGINT efforts, most of the material is not sourced, and there's nothing about the Axis intelligence efforts. I'm not sure what you're hoping to achieve with snide comments? Nick-D (talk) 06:23, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Woah. Snide? -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:55, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Nick-D, I totally refute this allegation. I am working to consensus, using the Talk page before editing, have responded to a request for content, have offered compromise content and have invited others to chime in; I have also assisted you below on a point of accuracy with the matter of civilian deaths in Tokyo and Hiroshima. I apologize if in doing so I inadvertently hurt your feelings. As it stands you have made a false assumption about my comments. In so doing you have used uncivil language, not in keeping with the standards of our community. This is no example to be set for others. Per WP:IDENTIFYUNCIVIL, please strike through the sentence containing the word "snide", and that should be the end of it. We all make mistakes, tone can easily be misinterpreted on the internet, and you are hereby forgiven. So far, nobody else has stepped forward to object to the proposed content, so if you want WP:CONS to wait for you, please be kind enough to let us know within what time-frame you're going to come up with the content you'd prefer. Many thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:22, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
No-one else has actually supported the inclusion of the material you've proposed, or even having a dedicated section on this topic, so there is obviously not grounds to include this. Nick-D (talk) 08:11, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Nick-D, you've ignored my request to please strike out the line containing the word "snide". You have said that you are going to prepare alternative content, and have ignored my request to let me know when you are going to do so. Instead have now said that there is no grounds to include this, though it's not clear whether you are referring to the section in general or just my proposal specifically. On grounds for inclusion, we clearly have different views on the way WP:CONS works. From my perspective I've been patient and consultative. I've tried to clear up a misunderstanding. I've apologized. I'm asking you one more time to be a good sport and strike out the line. There are standards at stake here. If you continue you to ignore my request, I will reluctantly put it on the record for discussion at the relevant noticeboards. I have not been snide, and we all have an obligation to assume good faith. -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:07, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Stuff like "at some stage Nick-D will be getting round to editing the section further" isn't exactly polite... Nick-D (talk) 09:19, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Nick-D, I hope you're well. I'm keeping my word, and bringing this issue to conclusion. It's been over one week since you said you need time to go and research and write your preferred text. I have held back from editing the article out of respect for that. During this time you have not responded to my request for an indication of when you you are going to get back with said text. During this time you have not striked through the sentence in which you alleged I was "snide". I've explained above that this was a misinterpretation, and that Wikipedia standards are at stake. We are all bound by WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL. You are further bound by WP:ADMINCOND and WP:ADMINACCT, etc. I am not going to strike out your line myself, out of respect for boundaries. With the absence of a civility noticeboard at this time there are very few options left other than requesting the involvement of other administrators. Per WP:BOOMERANG I would invite scrutiny of my own conduct. The request would include the information that you have made the 2nd biggest number of edits on this article [1] and have been editing this article for 12 years and 457 edits, which were mostly deletions of content, the majority of which in the last three years were hard reverts [2]. This is evidence of your great work; it might also have become significant with regard to your stance here. I say this to give you a friendly and collegial explanation and notice for my next step before I take it. That will be within the next 24 hours or so. I still hope that before then you will be able to strike through the line, in order to maintain Wikipedia standards. I would be most grateful, and would look forward to continuing to support your work in the future. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:29, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

If it's helpful, the reasons I haven't proposed any text here are 1) no other editor supports adding a section on this topic 2) I don't want to engage with you given your conduct such as that in the post above and elsewhere 3) I'm a volunteer here (like everyone else) and can write on whatever topics I please. Regards, Nick-D (talk) 10:38, 11 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Joseph E. Persico, Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage (2001) p 329.
  2. ^ R Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency (U of California Press, 1972)

Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45)[edit]

I made several changes that, I believe, will cause no objections. My explanations are below.

1. I added the discussion of the Operation Spring Awakening, which was the last Germany's offensive. By its scale it was comparable to the battle of the Bulge, and strategic implications were very significant.
2. I added the battle of Battle of Königsberg, which had much greater scale than the battle of Hamburg.
3. I regrouped the text to explain what parts of Germany remained unoccupied by the time Soviet and American troops met at Elbe.
4. I removed the mention of surrender of German troops in Italy, because there were several local surrenders in different parts of Europe, and I do not understand why surrender in Italy deserves a separate mention.
5. I put a description of the Battle of Berlin into a separate paragraph to emphasize political, military, and symbolic importance of that battle.

I hope these edits are not controversial.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:44, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

I reverted you on the Italian surrender. It is significant as the first "unconditional" surrender of the Germans. Srnec (talk) 01:03, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

I also propose to significantly shorten this text:

Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were destroying strategic and populated cities and towns in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. On the night of 9–10 March, USAAF B-29 bombers struck Tokyo with thousands of incendiary bombs, which killed 100,000 civilians and destroyed 16 square miles (41 km2) within a few hours. Over the next five months, the USAAF firebombed a total of 67 Japanese cities, killing 393,000 civilians and destroying 65% of built-up areas.[1]"

This text provides too many details. We do not tell how many civilians were killed in Hamburg, Warsaw, London, Hiroshima. I don't understand why Tokyo should be an exception. We do not tell what part of German or Soviet urban areas was destroyed, and I don't understand why should we tell about Japan. I propose this version:

"Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces launched a massibe firebombing campaign of strategic cities in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. A devastating bombing raid of 9–10 March destroyed a significant part of Japanese capital and killed large number of civilians. In total, the campaign lead to destruction of more than a half of urban areas.[2]


  1. ^ John Dower (2007). "Lessons from Iwo Jima". Perspectives. 45 (6): 54–56.
  2. ^ John Dower (2007). "Lessons from Iwo Jima". Perspectives. 45 (6): 54–56.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:22, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

The March 10 raid on Tokyo was the single most deadly air raid of World War II (including the atomic bombings), making it probably one of the highest casualty events in history. The air campaign against Japan was massive in scale, and one of the main campaigns of the Pacific War, so I'm not sure what the case is to reduce the coverage of it. I'd suggest rewording the para to:
Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were destroying cities and towns in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. An attack on Tokyo on 10 March killed between 90,000 and 100,000 people, making it the single most deadly air raid of the war. Over the next five months, the USAAF firebombed a total of 67 Japanese cities, killing 393,000 civilians and destroying 65% of built-up areas. Nick-D (talk) 05:59, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Nick, there were several most deadly WWII events (a single most deadly battle, single most deadly siege etc.). My question is what makes 1945 Japan so special that we are providing numbers for Japanese losses only? If we decide to provide numbers, we should do that in the whole article. We must be consistent. --Paul Siebert (talk) 13:32, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
We'd need to slightly improve the wording here for precision because Enola Gay's final death toll at Hiroshima is 135,000. [3] So Tokyo is the single most deadly conventional bombing raid of the war, and if the sources have it we can specify whether the 100,000 deaths were immediate or eventual. But what's the rationale for cherry-picking a conventional bombing raid while omitting e.g. the up to ~300,000 civilians and POWs murdered in the six-week Rape of Nanjing or the 641,803 famine deaths during the siege of Leningrad? -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:35, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. However, what is the reason for providing figures for civilian victims and ignore military? In general, I think if we start showing figures for some events, the article will gradually convert into a statistical handbook, because it is not possible to propose a satisfactory threshold for figures inclusion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:19, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the BBC People's war is a reliable source - it's certainly not a high quality one (the people who wrote the narrative sections appear to be obscure historical consultants). Multiple RS state that Tokyo was the single most deadly air raid of the war. That said, I take the point about the desirability of avoiding figures for individual battles. How about:
Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were destroying cities and towns in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. An attack on Tokyo destroyed a quarter of the city, and marked the beginning of a firebombing campaign against Japanese urban areas. Over the next five months, the USAAF firebombed a total of 67 Japanese cities, killing 393,000 civilians and destroying 65% of built-up areas. Nick-D (talk) 21:16, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Nick, more German civilians were killed in Allied bombing raids than the Japanese. Don't we have to mention them? However, if we provide number of the Axis civilians, why do we ignore the Allied civilians? If we show the figures of civilians killed, why do we ignore KIA? That is a Pandora's box. Actually, we have a special section, "Casualties and war crimes", and all this information should go there: the most lethal bombing raid, the most lethal siege, the most deadly battle, etc. The only thing that can be left in this section is:
"Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces launched a massibe firebombing campaign of strategic cities in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. A devastating bombing raid of 9–10 March was the deadliest conventional bombing raid in the history. Over the next five months, all major Japanese cities were severely damaged and large number of civilians were killed."
--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:45, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the BBC source is a tad WP:PRIMARY and it's merely an indication of what's out there. A more WP:SECONDARY source here says the upper range of estimated Hiroshima deaths is even higher than that: "Perhaps the most frequently published figure in the United States suggests "from 70,000 to 140,000" died at Hiroshima" and from many Japanese sources including later death from nuclear fallout, the figure is "200,000".[4] If we're keeping this Japan par by cutting the numbers, then due to our responsibility for WP:NPOV we ought to ensure we include here that most WWII civilians killed of any single ethnicity were murdered by the Japanese (i.e. the Chinese), according to most sources (note some sources say murders of Soviets by Germans are higher than Chinese by Japanese, if one includes all Soviet ethnicities; though afaia it's Soviet military deaths and Chinese civilian deaths that tend to be the highest, in the majority view of sources). Notions of victimhood and revenge are controversial and we ought to eschew that debate:[5] Balance of perspective here will be a force for article stability. -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:43, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

"The air campaign against Japan was massive in scale," - hardly, the largest raid ever against Japan consisted of around 300 B-29's. The RAF OTOH was regularly sending out twice this number of Lancasters and Halfaxes against Germany, and carried out raids of over 1,000 bombers on a number of occasions. Total bomb tonnage dropped on Japan 1941-45 was around 300,000 US tons, whereas the RAF dropped around 900,000 long tons on Germany. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Multiple reliable sources describe the air campaign against Japan as being massive in scale or similar. As described in the Air raids on Japan article, many raids involved more than 500 of the huge B-29s and they routinely destroyed entire cities. By the end of the war, the Twentieth Air Force could dispatch more than 800 aircraft at once. Nick-D (talk) 10:24, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Italian partisans image[edit]

Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Tehran Conference

I reverted this edit, because we cannot have too many photos in this section. Meanwhile, I am wondering what purpose the Cairo photo serves in this section. The meeting with Chinese leader was not the most important event, Tehran conference was much more important. By saying that, I don't propose to replace this photo with the photo og the Big Three. Any ideas?--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:35, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree, and have just re-removed it. It's a dull photo of no clear historical significance. More broadly, there are way too many photos, and many don't seem well chosen. Given the topic of this article, it should only include high quality images of key topics, but instead we have a mixture of iconic photos and images of little clear significance. Regarding the Cairo photo, at the moment we have three essentially identical "family photos" from the Allied leader-level summits. One seems plenty. A photo of the "big three" leaders at either the Tehran or Yalta conferences would work best IMO - Tehran would be preferable as this was probably the most important such meeting. I'd suggest the image included in this section, which is clearly PD and good quality. Nick-D (talk) 06:07, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
But there are so many photos and so many events in the war that are significant to somewhere in the world. I guess it's interesting that Chiang was treated as one of a Big Three.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:33, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
He wasn't though: he was locked out of the much more important Tehran Conference which Cairo was held in preparation for, and not invited to any other leader-level meetings. The Canadian PM got similar treatment at the Quebec Conference, 1943 and Second Quebec Conference. Nick-D (talk) 08:40, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
If I remember correct, Churchill could not understand why Roosevelt exaggerated importance of China. It seems Chiang was treated as a member of a Big Three only by Roosevelt.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:36, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the Tehran photo, I would prefer not to show Stalin's photo in the article without a serious reason. 1943 was the year of titanic tank battles, whereas the pictures do not create such an impression. so I would propose a photo with a Tiger tank.
Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Zschaeckel-206-35, Schlacht um Kursk, Panzer VI (Tiger I).jpg
. I understand that is the second photo of the same battle, but this battle was a central event of the year.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:01, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that we should have two photos of Kursk. Modern historians generally argue that the post-Kursk Soviet offensive was actually more significant than the battle itself (the German offensive was always doomed to failure, and the battle was something of a stalemate, but the Soviet offensive was a major victory which liberated much of the Ukraine). Nick-D (talk) 21:08, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Nick, Battle of Kursk did include a post-Citadel offensive. However, this offensive became possible only after the German offensive was stopped. Citadel was not doomed to failure: it failed only because the Germans attached the most heavily fortified region if human history. It took tremendous efforts to stop Germans. I agree that a success in Citadel could not have lead to a full German victory. However, it could lead to stabilisation of the frontline, and, probably, to a separate peace between Stalin and Hitler (this possibility was Roosevelt's nightmare).--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:24, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Modern historians argue that the Soviets clearly had the upper hand in 1943, and would have been able to have stopped a German offensive anywhere. I haven't seen any suggestions that either Hitler or Stalin were looking for a negotiated end to the war in 1943. The general view seems to have been that the Germans would have been better off fighting defensively rather than attempting a major offensive, but this would have only delayed their defeat. See, for instance, David Glantz or Robert M. Citino's work on the topic. Nick-D (talk) 22:13, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
If I remember correct, it was Glanz who said: "After Stalingrad, it became clear that Germany would not win; after Kursk, it became clear the Soviets could not lose." That means before Kursk there was a possibility of some stalemate or even a separate peace at favourable (for Germany) conditions. That was the outcome Roosevelt tried to avoid, hence his idea of "unconditional surrender". You should remember that, according to Glanz, Kursk was the first battle in the whole war when Wehrmacht had not been successful in breaking through enemy's defence. That Germans would not succeed in that seems obvious retrospectively, but it was absolutely not obvious to those who were fighting in that war, and, importantly, that happened because the tremendous efforts of the Soviet army that, at cost of very high losses, tipped the balance to the Allied side. A time between Stalingrad and Kursk was a "gray zone" where the events could have turned in a direction that prevented the Axis complete defeat.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:11, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Regarding Chiang, he didn't attend Tehran because Stalin didn't want to meet him because the USSR was neutral in the war against Japan. It's not surprising that the Canadian PM attended conferences in Quebec! During the war, China was part of the Big Four. In 1945, China became a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Canada and Australia didn't. Chiang's standing has suffered because lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949, but he was clearly considered a major world leader at the time. These days many English-speakers don't realise China was in the war. Therefore I would vote for including a picture of Chiang. And regarding Stalin, why not have a picture of him? We have plenty of pictures of Hitler.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:17, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
It is an interesting interpretation, although a little bit illogical. The main opponents of Japan were the US and Britain (not China). Nevertheless, Stalin saw no problem to meet the major Japan's enemy, Roosevelt, who already won several important battles in the war with Japan (China hadn't). How do you explain that Stalin saw no problem to meet Roosevelt, but expected to have problem after meeting with Chiang? I see no logic here. Second, in 1943, after Kursk and Midway, a situation has changed: it was clear that Japan is loosing the war, and Germany probably too, so it was Japan who was more concerned not to irritate USSR, not vise versa.
Anyway, your own words demonstrate the importance of Chiang: if he was not invited to Tehran because Stalin didn't want to see him, that shows a real hierarchy. However, I suspect, the reason was different: I see absolutely no questions the Big Three could discuss with Chiang. Was China helpful in Pacific? No. Did it play any military role in Asia (except South-East China)? No. If we imagine a situation that Barbarossa was a success, this hypothetical situation would be an good analogy of a situation in China in 1943: Moscow (Peking), Leningrad (Shanghai), Nanking (Gorky), Sverdlovsk (Wuhan), and almost all other industrial centers are occupied, and further Axis advances are limited only with the conqueror's capability of controlling the occupied territories (Hitler didn't plan to move behind the A-A line, and the Japanese didn't move further just because they didn't need to; when they needed (in 1944) they did that relatively easily. I would say, China's military contribution was hardly comparable even to the effect of a 500,000 Soviet army located in Far East: it was tying down a whole Kwantung Army, which was stronger than the army that was fighting in China mainland.
It was Roosevelt who regarded China highly, neither Stalin nor Churchill didn't agree with him.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:35, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
To point was that the Cairo Conference dealt with the war with Japan, the Tehran Conference didn't. This is not my interpretation. It is well documented in the Wikipedia article and other sources.[6] Hence, Chiang only went to Cairo, and Stalin only went to Tehran. It was not a matter of hierarchy.--Jack Upland (talk) 05:28, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
If I remember correct, Japan was discussed, but, taking into account that the USSR bore a major brunt of the war against the European Axis, the sides agreed that the USSR would join the war against Japan after Germany would be defeated.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:54, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
In general I support Jack Upland's call for a greater emphasis on China in this article, and a photo of Chiang somewhere is a good way of doing it. I think we could all agree that Wikipedia policy doesn't really care what the 'Big Three' thought of Chiang and China, it cares what our verifiable sources say. Because for the last decade at least there has been a tilt from old Western narratives about who was relevant in the war; e.g. we know from Laurence Rees that for one single American GI or British Tommy who gave his life to the war, 54 Soviets did (and Rees etc also explain that as why D-Day was postponed by a year or even two). Similarly, this generation of historians emphasize that China took the overwhelming majority of bullets in Asia (and over 20 million civilian deaths). According to strategies of bait and bleed, both were by Allied design. With this in mind, use a photo of Chiang. The only question is where. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:09, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
There's already quite a bit on China in the article. I haven't seen any historian of any standing suggest that the Allies were so cynical about China. Instead, they usually argue that if anything too much resources were allocated to the Chinese, and emphasise the lighting-fast nature of the Allied advance through the Pacific from late 1943 (only possible once the necessary shipping had been constructed and troops trained). Nick-D (talk) 06:18, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Chumchum7, If the only Soviet achievement were "to take overwhelming majority of bullets", there would be no reason to devote much space to the Eastern Front. I am insisting on giving greater coverage of the Eastern front because the Soviets send overwhelming majority of bullets to the Axis solders (Eastern front killed more than 50% of all Axis military). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about China. However, I don't mind to add more description of Chinese losses in the section specially dedicated to that subject.
In addition, if we want to honor Chinese soldiers of civilians, lets show solders and civilians. I doubt Chiang's image (who was a ruthless, murderous and inefficient leader) is the best option.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:26, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Returning to the topic of this section, I think that the article has way too many dull posed photos of senior politicians. What Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, etc, looked like is pretty well known! (and just a click away when reading Wikipedia articles). Nick-D (talk) 06:35, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Cynicism isn't usually the word used, it's realpolitik. Roosevelt was a well-documented master of the art; take his often-quoted response to HUMINT on the Holocaust, for example. Historians of great standing show that democracies prefer to have their non-democratic allies fight total wars, because they don't win elections by letting their boys get killed. I agree with you that there is content on China in the article, and I'm just saying that in support of Jack Upland, there is room for more. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:51, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Taking bullets was obviously not the only Soviet achievement, and nobody said it was. The Soviet Union achieved very many things; brilliant generalship, technological advances, civilian resilience, production of materiel, the list goes on. I support the insistence on giving greater coverage to the Eastern Front. Chiang's image would not necessarily glorify him any more than Hirohito's image would glorify Hirohito, nor would it contradict our reflection of verifiable sources on Chiang's ruthless, murderous, inefficient record. If the majority view of sources say there's a paradox between Chinese deaths and Chinese effectiveness, then it can go into the article too. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:51, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Chumchum7, let me reiterate: In China, Japan reached its "A-A line". And that is the major difference between the Soviet and Chinese contributions in Allied war efforts. Actually, nothing was happening in China after 1941 which was comparable, by strategic implications, to El Alamein or Guadalcanal. If Wehrmacht reached the "A-A line" in 1941 (I assume a hypothetical situation that that hadn't led to immediate collapse of the Grand Alliance), it would be totally incorrect to speak about any significant role Stalin could play during strategic meetings of the Allied leaders. He would be a second rank leader, and that is exactly who Chiang was.
I agree that suffering and losses of Chinese people should be better explained. However, one has to keep in mind that majority of victims were civilians (and a significant part of them were a result of 1942-3 famine). I do think this question should be described in more details, but in the "Casualties and war crimes" section. And that does serve as an argument to emphasize the role of Chiang.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:28, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Oxford historian Rana Mitter is an authority on the role of China and the positive peer reception of his Forgotten Ally: China’s War with Japan, 1937-45 (2013) did a lot to revise the mainstream view. That will be a useful source for us at this juncture. In many interviews online, Mitter talks about the book, the addition of Wang Jingwei to Mao and Chiang, Stalin's pragmatic assistance to Chiang, and Chiang's 4 million troops fighting Japan; e.g. here: [7] -Chumchum7 (talk) 05:38, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks to the efforts of a few editors, quite a bit on the war in China has been added to the article over the last year or so. I suspect that the extent of this coverage is now greater than in most narratives on the war. If there are specific changes you'd like to propose, please start a new thread to do so. Nick-D (talk) 05:53, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I didn't find any specific facts in her article that support her assertion that Chinese role is underestimated. Obviously, a wast China required enormous resources to maintain control over it, so Japan had to keep significant troops to control conquered territories and protect a frontline. However, in contrast to Germany, Japan's military capabilities were limited not by manpower, but by her technology. The only exception was air forces, but China was not the theater that required a significant number of trained pilots. With regard to the rest, Japanese efforts in Pacific were limited with her capability of deliver troops there, so it would be incorrect to say that the need to keep 1.2 million troops in China had any significant effect on the war in Pacific. In addition, the size of Japanese army in mainland China was comparable with that of Kwantung Army, which was stationed in Manchuria to protect it against a 500,000 Soviet army that was stationed along the Amur river during the whole war. In that sense, the effect of the idle Soviet troops was similar to the effect of whole Chinese army. Even at the very end of the WWII, Japanese troops were not defeated by China, and they surrendered just because they were ordered to do so by Hirohito.
To summarise, China was the first (future) Ally who started to fight against a future Axis power. The story of the beginning of SSJW has been covered well in the article, and that is correct. Probably, we can tell more about that period. However, after 1941, China was de facto defeated, and all subsequent events in that theatre had only moderate strategic importance. China suffered enormous losses, but it inflicted relatively minor losses on Japan (if I am not wrong, more Japanese military died from diseases than were killed). Therefore, an adequate way to describe China in this article would be a detailed coverage of 1937-41 events and description of civilian and military casualties in the "Casualties" section.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:06, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
With regard to the discussion about the Tehran Conference above, it's true that Stalin did agree to declare war on Japan after the defeat of Hitler, but Japan didn't know that. If Chiang had gone to Tehran, Japan would surely have known, and it would look like the USSR was violating neutrality.--Jack Upland (talk) 19:45, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Stalin attended the conference with the leaders of two major military opponents of Japan: USA and UK. Wasn't it a violation of neutrality? In addition, in 1943, major Japan's concern was to keep the USSR neutral. It would be a nightmare for Japan if the USSR broke neutrality, and Japan would prefer to turn a blind eye on minor violations of neutrality, such as negotiations with Roosevelt and Churchill, and I sincerely don't understand how could Kaishek's presence change the situation. Actually, the very fact that the USSR broke a neutrality pact in August 1945 was a decisive factor that convinced Hirohito to surrender: before that, Japan still hoped Stalin would be a mediator in prospective negotiations with the US about a peace treaty.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:29, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, then, all the history books are wrong!--Jack Upland (talk) 06:52, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Maybe, not then books, but your conclusions?--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:40, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Your statement is based on a false premise. Stalin's attendance at conference with his Allied leaders (vs Germany) was definitely not a violation of his neutrality treaty with Japan. The treaty in no way prohibited such activities. Mediatech492 (talk) 14:55, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Stalin's meeting with Churchill in 1941 was definitely not a violation, because Britain was not at war with Japan. However, after Pearl Harbor, when the US and Britain were at war with Japan, any meeting where a joint military activity was discussed could be considered as an unfriendly step by Japan. Japan couldn't know what exactly did they discuss (it could never be sure a military activity against Japan was not discussed; actually, it was discussed, as you know). In any event, I don't see why a meeting between Stalin and Roosevelt was in accordance with the Soviet-Japan pact, and a meeting between Kaishek and Stalin was. During a meeting with Roosevelt, Stalin could discuss not the aspects of the war with Germany, but the details of a future attack of Japan (actually, this question was discussed). Similarly, a meeting with Kaishek (had it happened) could be devoted to a Chinese help to the USSR in the war with Germany (that sounds ridiculous, but formally that was possible). Therefore, from a formal point of view, the presence of Kaishek would not be a formal violation of neutrality (not more than meeting with Roosevelt).
In any event, I am not sure Stalin cared too much about that, because in 1943 it was Japan who was more interested in keeping the USSR neutral. If Stalin did object to invitation of Kaishek, a reference to the neutrality pact was just a formal pretext.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:40, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Okay, exactly which article of the Treaty was violated by Stalin's meeting with Roosevelt and Churchill? Mediatech492 (talk) 17:09, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
No article was openly violated. And exactly which article of the Treaty was violated by Stalin's meeting with Kaishek?--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:45, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
First of all, Chiang Kai-shek's surname is "Chinag", not "Kaishek". Nobody called him Kai-shek except family and close friends. Referring to him in this informal is disrespectful and shows your lack of knowledge of the basic subject matter. Secondly there is nothing in the the treaty which prohibited Stalin from meeting with Chiang, for any reason. Mediatech492 (talk) 17:57, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I made this mistake again. "Chiang" is even easier to write. With regard to disrespect, what about "Uncle Joe"? Going back to the main question, if you agree that a meeting with Chiang was not a violation of the pact, what all this dispute is about?--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:36, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I never said it was, so why are you pursuing the argument? Mediatech492 (talk) 18:44, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Because we are discussing the argument that Chiang Kaishek was not invited to Tehran because his meeting with Stalin would be a violation of USSR's neutrality.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:54, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
And you've already received your answer. Move along please. Mediatech492 (talk) 19:07, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Ok, I removed the Cairo image as redundant. I also propose to think about Casablanca: this was a meeting between just two Allied leaders, and no important agreements were achieved there.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:40, 9 November 2018 (UTC)


I tried to look for an additional book dealing with the WWII in this bibliography. But the bibliography contains ca. 240 titles. It is therefore totally useless. I would propose to delete 200 of this titles. Nearly 40 titles are sufficient to get more informations about this subjekt. Kind regards --Orik (talk) 18:21, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Those are the works which are referenced in the article, so they can't be removed. Nick-D (talk) 08:08, 5 November 2018 (UTC)


Frequently in discussions here, people have referred to the latest revisionist historians as the ultimate authority, and discounted older historians, and popular perceptions. I think this is a flawed approach. If this article was written entirely based on the latest revisionists, it would present a view of the war that no one holds and that would be unrecognizable to vast majority of readers. We should present a consensus view of the war and acknowledge different viewpoints.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:04, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Is this currently a problem with the article text? The article obviously needs to be current with the scholarship on the war, which is evolving quite rapidly. Some of what are widely considered the best books on the war have appeared in recent years (for instance, Adam Tooze's 2006 book The Wages of Destruction is generally considered the best work on Nazi Germany's war economy). Some works which used to be considered standard are now at rather dated (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for instance, or the many books which presented a sympathetic account of Nazi generals who are now generally considered major war criminals). Works like the Oxford Companion to World War II and Gerhard L. Weinberg's A World at Arms are my go-tos: they're pretty much up to date, and wide-ranging. As a feature of modern scholarship on the war is to more fully recognise its extent, new and well-reviewed works should be drawn on to ensure that the article is appropriately comprehensive. Nick-D (talk) 09:35, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

"Frequently in discussions here, people have referred to the latest revisionist historians as the ultimate authority, and discounted older historians"

That should not be "frequently", that should be "always". It is one of the most important content guidelines in Wikipedia, included in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources:

  • "Age matters:
    • "Especially in scientific and academic fields, older sources may be inaccurate because new information has been brought to light, new theories proposed, or vocabulary changed. In areas like politics or fashion, laws or trends may make older claims incorrect. Be sure to check that older sources have not been superseded, especially if it is likely the new discoveries or developments have occurred in the last few years. In particular, newer sources are generally preferred in medicine."
    • "Sometimes sources are too new to use, such as with breaking news (where later reports might be more accurate), and primary sources which purport to debunk a long-standing consensus or introduce a new discovery (in which case awaiting studies that attempt to replicate the discovery might be a good idea, or reviews that validate the methods used to make the discovery)."
    • "With regard to historical events, older reports (closer to the event, but not too close such that they are prone to the errors of breaking news) tend to have the most detail, and are less likely to have errors introduced by repeated copying and summarizing. However, newer secondary and tertiary sources may have done a better job of collecting more reports from primary sources and resolving conflicts, applying modern knowledge to correctly explain things that older sources could not have, or remaining free of bias that might affect sources written while any conflicts described were still active or strongly felt."

We need more historical revisionism, not less. Dimadick (talk) 10:10, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Jack Upland&Dimadick, I disagree with you both. There should be no general rule in that case. The very term "historical revisionism" is vague: overwhelming majority of old historians were considered revisionists at the beginning of their career. I think, decisions should be make for each case separately. For example, the German war efforts is a pretty well studied subject so it is quite likely that any new revisionist author who writes about that should be treated with cautions. In contrast, in some other fields, more reasons exit to expect a breakthrough. Thus, a major breakthrough occurred when the USSR dissolved, and a large number of data became available. That means the books written about the USSR that were published in 2000s are more preferable in this article than older monographs or papers. Probably, the same can be said about China, although it is still remaining a closed society, so we may expect good revisionist studies of China in close future.
In connection to that, Jack, what exactly are you concerned about? Which revisionist sources did you have in mind when you were writing your post? --Paul Siebert (talk) 16:50, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
It has mainly come up in discussion of weight. For example, Stalingrad. Perhaps the latest revisionist historians consider it to be a mere skirmish etc, but the fact that people at the time considered it was important needs to be taken into account. I think editors should be more broad-minded.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

"Stalingrad. Perhaps the latest revisionist historians consider it to be a mere skirmish"

The Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943)? What kind of "skirmish" lasts for 5 months and has 2 million people as casualties? Dimadick (talk) 07:42, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes indeed, who thinks Stalingrad was a skirmish? Presumably that was irony to illustrate the point. The irony can be put to good use here because it serves to show that whether the case of Stalingrad being called a skirmish would be revisionist or not, more importantly it would be WP:FRINGE. Thus one needs to distinguish between (i) revisionism that is well-received by peers in the field (if not popular consciousness) and therefore adjusts the majority view or instigates a polar debate and further research, and (ii) revisionist fringe theories that are contested by peers in the field and thereby strengthen the existing academic consensus (if not popular consciousness) such as the notorious David Irving. It has been rightly said above that most established historians could have been considered revisionist at some stage, and there is important revisionism underway in recent scholarship as professionals make it their job to obtain fresh evidence which support fresh perspectives. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I was trying to illustrate the point. A real example that has occurred is with the nuclear bombs. Paul Siebert pointed out that some historians do not think the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings won the war. I tend to agree, but this is not the only issue. There are many people that think they did. I think there needs to be a balanced representation.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:35, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Is a problem with the article text you'd like to see addressed? When WP:FRINGE stuff has found its way into the article, it's usually removed once it's called out (BTW, which historians argue that Stalingrad was a skirmish?! - I'll take them off my to-read list). Nick-D (talk) 09:21, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Jack Upland, your example is correct, but it is totally artificial. What real problem with sources do you see in the article?--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:24, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I was talking about a trend, not a particular example.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:34, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
If such trend exists, you will be able to show concrete examples (e.g., undue weight is given to a revisionist source X, a mainstream source Y is underrepresented).--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:08, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I think I've said all I want to say on this topic.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:43, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Jack Upland, you write (regarding the atomic bomb): "... some historians do not think the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings won the war. I tend to agree, but this is not the only issue. There are many people that think they did. I think there needs to be a balanced representation." This is a very interesting question: should Wikipedia translate the common popular views, myths and misconceptions, or it should rely on expert's opinion? In my opinion, if peer-reviewed sources are available on some subject, we should write what they say, and we can ignore popular books, newspaper articles and films. That is especially relevant to WWII, because a new mythology is gradually forming about it, so American historians had to organise round tables to discuss what to do with that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:42, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Historians all agree the war was already decisively won when the bombs were dropped. the issue was whether the Japanese would surrender or fight an invasion & retreat to the mountains and fight on for years. Rjensen (talk) 23:00, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Correct. However, one must separate the factors that lead to a decisive defeat from the factors that triggered a decision about unconditional surrender. A popular belief is that it was an atomic bomb, but scholarly sources disagree. Should we reproduce popular beliefs, or we should say what real experts think on that account?--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:36, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
not sure where one discovers "popular beliefs" -- Historians disagree on how important bombs were in forcing the surrender (versus role of Russia). We can document that disagreement. Rjensen (talk) 04:46, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Are there any serious debates about this subject? When I am searching for modern sources, I find Pape, or Wilson ("Did the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki force the Japanese to surrender in 1945? Did nuclear weapons, in effect, win the war in the Pacific? These questions matter because almost all thinking about nuclear war and nuclear weapons depends, in one way or another, on judgments about the effect of these attacks.Scholarship about Japan’s decision to surrender can be divided into three phases. During the first twenty years after Hiroshima, historians and strategists rarely questioned the necessity of using the atomic bomb or the decisive role it played in bringing World War II to a close. In 1965, however, a revisionist school began examining the decision to use the bomb more closely, raising moral questions about the use of nuclear weapons and asking probing questions about the motives of U.S. leaders. They continued to believe, however,that the bomb was instrumental in ending the war. Since 1990 new scholarship, including recently declassified documents and extensive research into Japanese, Soviet, and U.S. archives, has led to new interpretations of Japan’s surrender. New questions have been raised about the centrality of nuclear weapons in coercing Japan to end the war. In particular, analysis of the strategic situation from a Japanese perspective has led some scholars to assert that the Soviet Union’s entry into the Pacific war may have been as important or even more important in coercing Japan’s leaders." International Security, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Spring 2007), pp. 162–179), or similar sources. Clearly, after 1990s, a consensus is that atomic bombing was less important than Americans believed previously. BTW, Wilson himself goes even further in his views on the role of the atomic weapon.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:41, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Per WP:NOTTRUTH, WP:NPOV and WP:NOTABILITY this is actually very simple. Sources say that the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and the American bombing campaign including the use of nuclear weapons brought the war to an end. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:32, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Wilson (2007) states the issue very well: "In the spring of 1945, Japan was already largely defeated and Japan’s leaders knew it. They hoped, however, to win better terms than simple surrender through diplomacy or battle." So the issue is not "winning" or "defeat" it's deciding why Japan decided to surrender then and not sooner or later. Rjensen (talk) 14:10, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Correct. Japan was essentially defeated by mid 1945, and that was achieved by conventional warfare in Pacific. Atomic bombing hadn't added too much to that. Japanese military were not impressed with conventional or atomic bombing of cities, partially because their main base in Manchuria was still pretty safe, and because Korea still had a significant industrial and military potential. However, when the USSR broke a neutrality pact, and Kwantung army demonstrated poor fighting capabilities, the position of the war party in Japanese establishment had been shaken, and they agreed to surrender unconditionally.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:33, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
with the abomb the Army could no longer protect the Emperor in Tokyo--he had to leave (for the mountains) or surrender. Leaving meant he could no longer rule, and surrender meant that he could rule. He made the decision. USSR invasion did not involve a similar threat to the emperor. Rjensen (talk) 01:32, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Incorrect. The Japanese leadership still believed they could move the Emperor and his government to Korea or Manchuria, it was a wast territory with a strong economic potential, which was not affected by war. Soviet invasion deprived them of that opportunity, but atomic bombing did not prevent that. Second, had you been familiar with the subject, you would have known that the main reason for Japanese refusal to surrender was that Americans disagreed to preserve imperial institutions, which means there were absolutely no reason to expect the Emperor would continue to rule. --Paul Siebert (talk) 02:04, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
no--the Japanese leadership was hopelessly deadlocked. Stephen S. Larg states re the abombs: together with Russia’s subsequent entry into the war against Japan, politically they created, albeit not immediately, the extreme national emergency that made it possible for the Emperor to intervene effectively on behalf of surrender. Even then, it took two imperial interventions to end the war. [Stephen S. Large, Emperor Hirohito and Shōwa Japan: A Political Biography (1992) p 125] Relocating the government to Korea or Manchuria meant permanently abandoning Japan--exile--the US Navy controlled the sea and air passages. Rjensen (talk) 03:55, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Nevertheless, Pape and Wilson say that. Do you really believe these authors are not experts? Hirohito was more like a religious leader, so no exile could prevent it from ruling over his people.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:12, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
You did not read Pape closely: Pape does not discuss Korea or Manchuria--but he does state explicitly that by June 1945 "the connection with the Asian mainland was now completely cut" (p 127). There was no way to get the Emperor and gov't to Korea or Manchuria. He states: "the final straws, which led to acceptance of immediate surrender, were the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6 and the Soviet attack on August 9." [Pape p 183] Pape work is primarily about US planning & uses only American (& British) sources and uses no Japanese language sources. Mostly for Japanese thinking he relies on two old books (Butow--1954 and Kirby-1969 also Sigal 1989) Pape is indeed part of the debate--but he admits "The most widely accepted explanation of Japan's surrender is atomic coercion." so he agrees he's in the minority. (Pape p 191]. He does agree "the atomic bomb was the catalyst of the Emperor's decision" [p 185] but wants to say that J's military vulnerability was the most important long-term factor. Rjensen (talk) 05:01, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, it seems you think I am claiming the Soviet invasion was the sole and primary factor. I do not say that. I only say that the role of atomic bombs was grossly exaggerated, and that stereotype was strong in the past; now, thanks to Pape, Wilson and other authors, the current point of view (not in a popular culture, of course) has changed.
Regarding "complete cut", Pape, obviously meant a regular connection that allowed massive material or troops transfer. I am sure it would not be a problem to move Hirohito to Korea.
I don't remember which author, probably Wilson (maybe, Pape) demonstrated that the main decision makers in Japanese cabinet were military, and their major base was a Kwantung Army headquarter. Only after the Soviet troops broke Kwantung army's resistance, the influence of the JIA dropped, and the "peace party" became capable of pushing the decision to surrender.--Paul Siebert (talk) 07:00, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
What led the Japanese leadership to end the war and the exact way this occurred is a famously complicated subject, and as far as I'm aware there isn't a consensus among historians on the topic. I'd suggest that the article not get into this huge debate, but simply link to the relevant article. Nick-D (talk) 07:21, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think any additional coverage of this topic is needed, the article in its present form describes that question quite adequately.--Paul Siebert (talk) 07:26, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree with above This is a survey level article. Such minutia is better served in a separate article more focused to the subject. Mediatech492 (talk) 14:43, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 November 2018[edit]

The use of Indigenous languages also became a technological device as part of Canada's and US's communications. Indigenous members of the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps developed for transmitting vital messages in WW2. Know as "code talkers", their role was similar to the American First Nations who spoke Navajo and were know as “Windtalkers”. [1] JIllPrice (talk) 16:46, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. DannyS712 (talk) 16:57, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Negative. this is a very minor topic that is covered in separate articles and is not useful here. Rjensen (talk) 19:04, 10 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Montgomery, Marc. "The unbreakable Canadian "code" of the Second World War". Radio Canada International. CBC. Retrieved November 10, 2018.

Allies close in (1944)[edit]

I removed the mention of 200k civilians killed in Warsaw, because we do not provide this type figures in the Course of the War section. Should we add this information to the War crimes section?

The only serious problem that I see in this section is the image from Warsaw uprising. This event (more precisely, the behaviour of Soviet leadership) had long lasting political consequences, but its strategic implications were minimal. The second important battle in 1944 in terms of political effect (and the first important in terms of German military losses) was Bagration. Therefore, it would be correct to replace Dirlewanger's photo with one of Bagration photos. 1944 was the year of four major Soviet offensives where Germany sustained immense losses. The images do not reflect that fact.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:08, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

The 200,000 number should be removed, our rationale for no death counts having reached consensus for this article. It should be added to War Crimes as it was part of the Nuremberg Trials. However Operation Bagration should not be emphasized over the Warsaw Uprising per se for a number of reasons. (i) Emphasis and notability among sources. One example of many: Britannica has the Warsaw Uprising, but not Operation Bagration. [8] (ii) Categorization. There's no doubt that Soviet action on the Eastern Front was the most important factor in the defeat of Nazi Germany, and that should receive due weight in this article with it being made clear that engagements such as e.g. the Second Battle of El Alamein were tiny by comparison; but Bagration was just one aspect of several parts of this titanic front rather than a separate subject. (iii) Sources don't actually say the uprising was strategically insignificant. They say it was one of the perceivable causes of the Battle of Romania, with the Eastern front halting in Poland in response to the obstacle of the (perceivably anti-Soviet) uprising, after which Soviet forces could swing south to protect their flank and seize the Ploiesti oilfields while Germany did the job of suppressing Warsaw and killing most of the Polish resistance, which had already embarked on a guerrilla war against the Soviets. Straightforward military-political realism. Note the advances in blue on this map [9] coincide with the strategic halt outside Warsaw. (iv) Some sources say the Warsaw Uprising is one of the places, if not the place, where the Cold War percievably started, in which case it has huge significance. The point being that Poland was a British and American Ally and an Allied liberation of its own capital was cut off by the nearby Soviets (in contrast with the French liberation of Paris facilitated by the Americans), with a view to postwar political realities. It's verifiable that prompted by the Soviet strategic halt, Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Polish and South African airmen undertook over 200 resupply flights from the heel of Italy and were denied Soviet landing rights 5 minute's flying time from Warsaw; damaged Western Allied planes attempting to land due to German AA fire were attacked by the Soviets, the sources show. Historians tend to treat that as highly significant. (v) As to Oskar Dirlewanger himself, what he did against the Warsaw Uprising is verifiably one of the most notorious examples of Germany's sadism in the war. For Wikipedia purposes, that is not less significant than the causal factors in the defeat of Germany, it's an important part of comprehensive coverage of the subject of WWII. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:03, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
As I said, Warsaw uprising had serious political implications, and it, along with Katyn, poisoned relationships between the two countries. That is why it is important, and that is why it has a separate article in Britannica. However, its contribution to Allied war efforts was minimal. In contrats, Bagration was the most calamitous defeat of German army (and the Axis as whole) during the whole WWII. In addition to Bagration, there were three other major offensives in the East, and they had enormous effect on the course of the war. The photo must reflect the fact that 1944 was the year of a series of massive offensives in the East. The Dirlewanger's photo does not serve this goal. However, I think this photo can be preserved in the article, but it is more relevant to the "War crimes" section. In general, taking into account that more civilians were killed in this war than military, we definitely have to expand the war crimes section significantly.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:29, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
This boils down to whether Wikipedia article content is determined by causality or notability. For what it's worth, I believe it's the latter; more importantly, we defer to consensus. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:38, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. Bagration resulted in a fast advance of Red Army and eventually to the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops. Had the 1944 been less successful for the Soviets, it is quite likely that the war would have ended later, Berlin would be captured by Western Allies, who sustained much greater casualties, and most central European country would be occupied not by the USSR, but by Britain and the US. The whole European history of XX century would be different without Bagration. In contrast, the only consequence of Warsaw uprising was that Poland has more reasons to hate Russia. What else?
--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:17, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I stand by the rationale above. That's all from me and I defer to consensus. -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:47, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
That means you don't understand what consensus means. It is marked by addressing legitimate concerns held by editors through a process of compromise while following Wikipedia policies. I think I was able to explain you my vision of notability, however, I don't see how have you addressed my legitimate concern.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:57, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Re "...with the Eastern front halting in Poland in response to the obstacle of the (perceivably anti-Soviet) uprising..." That is a very odd interpretation. Whereas it sounds logical that Stalin could provide more support to the uprising (except allowing berlingowcy to cross Vistula and join the uprising), one has to keep in mind that the Red Army was desperately exhausted, and it was incapable to advance further without reinforcements. No evidences exist that Stavka delayed Vistula-Oder operation in responce to the Warsaw uprising. In contrast, existing sources say Red Army was not prepared for any significant offencive in this region during that time.
Actually, you are shifting the emphasis from my major point (1944 was a year when Red Army was extremely successful, and its four major offensives essentially destroyed Wehrmacht and shaped the political situation in Europe, and this fact should be reflected by adding the relevant photo.) to the question if Bagration was more imprtant than Warsaw. I am not sure that type argumentation is correct.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:47, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

"page needed" in the Axis attack of the USSR section[edit]

We already discussed this question recently, and I explained that these references are to journal articles, the first and last page are already provided. Wikipedia standards require a exact page only when a book is used as a source (which it totally reasonable, because articles are small, and they are devoted to some narrow topic). Adding the "page needed" template to journal articles, despite the fact that that issue has already been explained on the talk page, is unacceptable. I put notes to the article's text, and if the "page needed" template will appear again, I will consider it as a bad faith attempts to cast a doubt on the article's content and to spoil the article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:45, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Kuril islands[edit]

The lead currently says:

With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and occupation of the Kuril islands in northern Japan, the Empire finally surrendered on 2 September 1945...

However, Japan announced its surrender on 15 August, and the islands were occupied after that. The same anachronism is repeated in the body of the article. Also, why is the invasion of Korea not mentioned as well? Clearly, this was a threat to Japan.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:24, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

This is a good catch. I'd suggest changing this sentence to "With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies". The Kurils were an unimportant sideshow which don't belong in the lead (Manchuria was by far the main Soviet effort, and a key factor in Japan's surrender). The 2 September date is somewhat bureaucratic - hostilities ceased on the 15th. Nick-D (talk) 09:31, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I think that would be an improvement.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:34, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Kurils hardly deserve mention. With regard to Manchuria, some authors think that even the very fact that the USSR broke a neutrality pact was a key factor: Japan was still hoping she could have initiated some negotiations about surrender term, and the USSR, being a neutral party, could be a mediator in those negotiations. When the USSR broke a neutrality, it shattered the last Japan's hope for more favorable surrender terms, so there were no reason to continue the war. Therefore, I would suggest:
""With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies"
--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:49, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
That looks good to me Nick-D (talk) 09:00, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Germany and Soviet Union as Wartime allies[edit]

Uninvolved editors requested at Talk:Brześć Ghetto#Soviets and Germans as "wartime allies" where there is a dispute over whether it is appropriate to state that The German armed forces launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union – previously its own wartime ally. Icewhiz (talk) 08:10, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

As far as I know, there is no consensus about that in scholarly community. Literally speaking, if two states are allies, it implies that some alliance has been signed between them. "Wartime allies" is even more strict: it implies that these states signed a military alliance, and they were acting accordingly. In connection to that, I still cannot understand what document signed by Nazi Germany and the USSR stipulated any joint military activity. The closets candidate was the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, but it was de facto a neutrality pact, and the only activity that could be considered a joint activity was invasion of Poland. However, Entente did not consider Soviet Union as a wartime ally of Nazi Germany in 1939, and no war was declared on it by Britain or France. The Winter war was not a result of a wartime alliance with Nazi Germany, because the latter were not at war with Finland, and it even provided some moral support to it. Occupation of Bessarabia was not a result of a wartime alliance either, because Romania was not an enemy of Britain or France. By the way, the annexation of Bessarabia in 1918 was not recognised by the USSR (and by the USA too, by the way), so this Soviet action stays apart from other expansionist steps made by Stalin.
With regard to the occupation of the Baltic states, this step was considered as hostile by Nazi Germany, and it triggered a decision to start Barbarossa planning. In summary, the words "former wartime ally" should not be used in this case, because this idea is not universally accepted.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:16, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
What does "ally" mean. 1) We can ask the dictionary. Webster Unabridged: ALLY = a sovereign or state united, banded, or associated with another in a common cause or by treaty or league *the duke and his allies* *an eastern empire with strong western allies* This seems to fit USSR-Germany. 2) the 1939 pact had a major military dimension--it contained a secret protocol to arrange a new partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR. That took place as each invaded Poland from opposite directions a couple weeks apart. 3) look at some recent titles: The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by Roger Moorhouse - 2014 4) The Unholy Alliance: Stalin's Pact with Hitler by Geoffrey Roberts 1989. 5) Timothy D. Snyder a leading specialist (at Yale) often uses the term: "In fact, the war began with the German-Soviet alliance that destroyed Poland" Bloodlands (2012) at Rjensen (talk) 21:35, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
Re 1. Which "common cause" are we talking about in a context of MRP? Starting from late 1939, there were no common cause, and contradictions were growing. With regard to September-October 1939, see Roberts's opinion below. Instead of asking a dictionary (which leaves too much freedom of manoeuvre), let's ask Britannica. It says:
"Alliance, in international relations, a formal agreement between two or more states for mutual support in case of war."
In connection to that, I am wondering which formal agreement existed between the USSR and Nazi Germany that stipulated a mutual support in case of war?
Re 2. A good answer to that question is provided by Roberts (the author you refer to). In his article [10], he addresses this very question, and his conclusion is:
"This is not the generally accepted view of the Nazi-Soviet pact, which posits that on 23 August 1939 there was a definite agreement to partition Poland between Germany and the USSR and to allow Soviet subjugation of the Baltic states. The evidence for this view is quite simply that this is what subsequently happened. However, that fact is no proof of any prior commitment. The evidence, at least on the Soviet side, is that there was no such plan, agreement or definite intention. In signing the pact with Nazi Germany Stalin finally abandoned the policy of collective security and opted for safeguarding Soviet interests via neutrality and independent manoeuvring. Beyond that the new foreign policy embodied in the pact remained fluid. A strategy of territorial expansion into Eastern Europe was only one of the possibilities present at the moment of the signing of the pact; and whether or not it should be the chosen course of action would depend on the circumstances. After all, on 23 August 1939 nothing was certain. Would Hitler really attack Poland? Would the Poles fight back and how successful would they be? What would Britain and France do? What were the chances of another 'Munich'? What would be the consequences of any forward Soviet strategy in Eastern Europe? Until these and many other quandaries were resolved there could be no question of any precipitate action. In the meantime Soviet foreign strategy was kept in a state of abeyance. Only an analysis along these lines can explain the surprising ambiguity, hesitancy and uncertainty that characterised Soviet foreign policy in the days and weeks immediately following the conclusion of the pact with Nazi Germany."
Re 3-5. I prefer not to limit myself with reading titles. The example of Roberts clearly demonstrates all flaws of this approach. Yes, Roberts authored a book where he summarised his previous research of that period of Soviet history. This book was intended for a general reader, and it needed some captivating title. "The Unholy Alliance" is a just paraphrase of "The Holy Alliance", and this title definitely catches reader's attention. However, what Roberts writes in his book is more close to what he wrote in his earlier articles.
Roberts clearly sees the pact as a non-aggression treaty, and it contrasts it with a full scale military alliance that Soviet Union, Britain and France planned to sign, but never signed.
Snyder writes very vividly, but he is frequently inaccurate in usage of some terms (I found many reviews of his book, where he is being severely criticised, I am going to add them into the article about Bloodlands when time allows). In addition, the military history of 1939-41 is not a focus of his study, he seems to be an expert in somewhat different field. He just picked the term "alliance" because it is used very frequently by journalists who write about the Nazi-Soviet pact, but it is more journalism than a strict definition.
By writing "war time ally", we mislead a reader, who may conclude there were some formal treaty that stipulated some mutual support in a war against some common enemy. However, as Roberts demonstrated, even partition of Poland was not stipulated by the pact or its secret protocol, and later actions of Soviet leadership clearly demonstrated that they did not consider this pact as some agreement about any joint actions. Interestingly, it was Nazi propaganda who was trying to present the MRP as an alliance, so by presenting the USSR as Geramny's ally we actually reproduce what Nazi propaganda says.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:55, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
1) On misreading Roberts: he states he is talking about "at the moment of the signing of the pact" --he is discussing the ambiguous period in late August. he is NOT talking about the 2 year friendship. Germany and USSR were allies after Sept 1 when real wars were going on--USSR provided major help in that war--no soldiers but it provided the oil and food that ruined the British blockade of Germany, it cooperated in invading Poland & destroying Polish forces--and it ordered Communist parties to oppose the British/French war efforts. 2) Adam Tooze, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy stresses that Hitler wanted "alliances" -- Tooze repeats the term pp 292, 319-- and says USSR in 1939 was his "preferred alliance partner" (p 320) 3) formal written agreements are NOT needed between allies--there was no formal UK-France alliance and all RS call them allies. Rjensen (talk) 05:45, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
1. No. He discusses the behavior of Soviet leadership in September too: thus, read the discussion of Ribbentrop's telegrams. He says clearly about the Soviet policy "in the days and weeks immediately following the conclusion of the pact with Nazi Germany", i.e. the very period that marked the greatest degree of cooperation between the two powers. With regard to alleged "the 2 year friendship", Germany provided no support for the USSR in Winter war, and even provided a moral support to Finland. Annexation of the Baltic states in mid 1940 was seen as a hostile act by Germans, and their general staff started planning invasion of the USSR. November negotiations shattered the last hope for an alliance, and relationship stated to deteriorate further. By the way, if November negotiations were about an alliance with Germany, can't it serve as an indirect proof that there were no alliance before that? " provided the oil and food..." - in the same way the US provided oil and aviation fuel for Japan in 1937-40. Does it make the US Japan's ally in her war with China?
2. Yes, Hitler (actually, Ribbentrop, who was a Russophil) wanted an alliance with the USSR, and German propaganda tried to present MRP as an alliance. However, there was a big difference between what Ribbentrop wanted to achieve and what happened in reality. In addition, you use the sources that use the word "alliance" in passing, but ignore the sources that perform a deep analysis of this issue. In addition, you totally ignore an obvious fact that the word "alliance" has different meanings in English, and it is unclear whether the authors you cite use this word as a colloquial "alliance", or they speak about a "war time military alliance". The above example of Roberts is a clear demonstration of your mistake: this author uses the word "alliance" in a title of his book, but he demonstrates, in the book, that the USSR was not a German ally. It is clear, that the phrase "a wartime ally" implies that the USSR signed a military alliance with Germany, which means you are supposed to provide the sources that (i) clearly describe the Soviet-German non-aggression pact as a military alliance, (ii) debunk the sources that say the opposite.
3. Maybe (although that contradicts to what Britannica says). However, Britain and France at least declared a war on the same state (Germany). We cannot say the same about the USSR. By the way, by September 1, it was in de facto war state with future German ally, Japan.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:24, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
the assumption all along is that alliance requires a signed alliance. ("USSR signed a military alliance with Germany"). wrong. Britain and France did NOT have a signed alliance (1939-40) and US did not have a signed alliance with UK or USSR or China. (UK and USSR did have a signed alliance.) In summary "Ally" is used by the RS when there is no signed alliance. Rjensen (talk) 20:37, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
That is an interesting question. Britain and France were the allies in WWI, and I am don't know when and how their allied relationships were terminated in the interwar period. Can you point at any fact that can mark a termination of their allied relationships? In any event, since Britain and France were the allies in WWI, and there were no indication that their allied relationships were terminated, it would be correct to see them as allies, and their actions demonstrated they were the allies: they almost simultaneously declared a war on Germany, they together planned military actions against the USSR in 1939 (By the way, they planned a military intervention against the USSR not because they believed it was a German ally, but because they planned to defend Finland, which was not their ally, and not a German enemy). Britain and France were the allies in the WWI, they were the two victorious powers, they maintained collaboration after the WWI, they played a leading role in the League of Nations, they coordinated their activity in all main international events (including the Munich agreement, planned alliance with the USSR, etc). Can you tell me on what country did the USSR and Germany declared a war (together)? Can you give me an example of joint military planning of a serious military campaign by the USSR and Nazi Germany? I am pretty sure these examples are not existing. In contrast, the relationships between the USSR and Nazi Germany were extremely hostile starting from 1933. Nazi Germany initiated signing of the Anti-Comimtern pact (which was openly anti-Soviet), Nazi Germany and Soviet Union waged a proxy war in Spain, Soviet Union took enormous efforts to create anti-German collective security system ("Litvinov's line"), there was a serious military incident between the Soviet Union and one anti-Comintern pact signatory, Japan (which formally ended only in mid September 1939). All of that demonstrates a very hostile relationships between the USSR and Nazi Germany, and we need to see a really strong evidence of allied relationships (not just a non-aggression treaty, even taking into account its secret protocol) between Nazi and the Soviets to call them "wartime allies".
That the US had no treaty with China or Britain is correct. However, nobody says the US were an ally in 1940: the US were neutral until the very end of 1941. Later, the US signed the Declaration by United Nations, which was a formal alliance against the Axis.
Therefore, your arguments are not working.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:11, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Saying that the United States had no treaties with China or Britain is incorrect. At the time the United States had several standing treaties with both countries. Mediatech492 (talk) 05:49, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
When war began in 1914 did France and UK have a military treaty in effect? No. A major military alliance (against German aggression) was signed as a formal treaty by France, US and UK in 1919 but it never went into effect because US did not ratify it. Yes of course the USA had lots of minor treaties esp re trade, but US had no military alliances before NATO. The point is that "ally" does not require a formal written military treaty. And yes, US was deeply involved in support of China in 1941--using the "Flying Tigers" See Claire Lee Chennault#Plan to bomb Japan. The official US Army history notes that on23 July 1941 FDR "approved a Joint Board paper which recommended that the United States equip, man, and maintain the 500-plane Chinese Air Force proposed by Currie. The paper suggested this force embark on a vigorous program to be climaxed by the bombing of Japan in November 1941" What's an ally like in war--I think bombing the enemy counts. see Schaller, Michael. "American Air Strategy in China, 1939-1941: The Origins of Clandestine Air Warfare." American Quarterly 28.1 (1976): 3-19 online. Rjensen (talk) 06:51, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
Triple Entente is considered as a treaty that made Britain and France allies. In addition, these two states were acting as very close allies both during the WWI and interwar period. There were no urgent need in formalizing their relationships in a form of an additional treaty. Their role in the League of Nations, joint military planning, their guaranties to Poland, joint military actions in 1939-40 - all of that speaks for itself. When two countries are in de facto allied relationships for several decades (including co-belligenence in a world war), signing a special treaty may be redundant: what is the need in this formality if there is a full understanding between these two countries, and it is obvious for both parties that mutual support is vital for their survival? Nothing of that existed between the USSR and Nazi Germany: they were deeply hostile states before August 1939, and we need a serious proof to speak seriously that previous hostile relationships changed to an alliance. This proof could be either a formal and full scale military treaty (of the same type as the triple Anglo-Franko-Soviet alliance these states were trying to sign in 1939) or a joint declaration of war on the same enemy.
Regarding t he US, you are speaking about 1941, when the US-Japan relationships started to deteriorate rapidly, which finally had lead to Pearl Harbor. I am talking about the earlier period, because many key SSJW events happened earlier, and American oil was vital for that.
If you disagree with these arguments and want to continue this discussion, maybe it would be good to follow Icewhiz's advice and continue on the MilHistory page.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:31, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

This conversation should be at the other page!--Jack Upland (talk) 07:42, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

the question of who was whose ally in ww2 belongs here. It covers a lot of ground. Rjensen (talk) 08:27, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
As there is no proposal to change the text of this article (which provides quite a good short summary of the Nazi-Soviet agreement), there's no need to discuss the matter here. Nick-D (talk) 10:26, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
If you want to discuss the general question (e.g. how we treat these across several different WWII articles in a "blurb" (non-extended) fashion in our own voice) - then Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history is probably the best forum (with a notice here on the discussion there - as some of the domain experts watch this page and not that). Icewhiz (talk) 11:32, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 November 2018[edit]

Under section 4.9 Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45), 6th paragraph, 3rd sentence:

Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces launched a massibe firebombing campaign of strategic cities in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale.

Typo for 'massive' spelled 'massibe' in article (talk) 16:01, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:06, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

over 60 million died in ww2 so I will put it to say that[edit] (talk) 03:54, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

I have just reverted these and the below changes. As is stated by the article's edit note, significant changes should be discussed. These changes were not, and you appear to be operating on the basis of single sources when the article draws on a vast range of sources. Please also don't mark significant changes as being minor. Nick-D (talk) 09:29, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
"all of my sources are current and I will not mark them down has minor Jack90s15 (talk) 15:15, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

I put 85 million since the other page has it and it shows all deaths caused by WW2[edit]

50 million does not have all deaths from WW2 so I put the 85 to show all deaths Jack90s15 (talk) 04:28, 4 December 2018 (UTC) the other WW2 death page has it so I will put it to show all death from WW2 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack90s15 (talkcontribs) 22:42, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

An estimated 11 to 17 million civilians died as a direct or as an indirect result of Nazi racist policies, its 17 million 11 million is not used any more by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum So I will fix that[edit]

Jews 6 million

Soviet civilians around 7 million (including 1.3 Soviet Jewish civilians, who are included in the 6 million figure for Jews)

Soviet prisoners of war around 3 million (including about 50,000 Jewish soldiers)

Non-Jewish Polish civilians around 1.8 million (including between 50,000 and 100,000 members of the Polish elites)

Serb civilians (on the territory of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) 312,000

People with disabilities living in institutions up to 250,000

Roma (Gypsies) 196,000–220,000

Jehovah's Witnesses around 1,900

Repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials at least 70,000

German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territory undetermined

Homosexuals hundreds, possibly thousands (possibly also counted in part under the 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials noted above) (talk) 04:58, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

although their extermination was not an official goal, 3.6 million Soviet POWs out of 5.7 died in Nazi camps during the war it was[edit]

it was Deliberate Policy

This death toll was neither an accident nor an automatic result of the war. It was the Nazi state's deliberate policy. German treatment of Soviet POWs differed dramatically from German policy towards POWs from Britain and the United States, countries the Nazis regarded as racial equals to the Germans. Of the 231,000 British and American prisoners held by the Germans during the war only about 8,300—3.6 percent—died in German custody.Jack90s15 (talk) 05:29, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

15% of the POWs (226,127 out of 1,539,475 total) were transferred to the NKVD, i.e. the Gulag[edit]

just adding how many were sent to Gulag

("Военно-исторический журнал" ("Military-Historical Magazine"), 1997, №5. page 32)

Земское В.Н. К вопросу о репатриации советских граждан. 1944–1951 годы // История СССР. 1990. № 4 (Zemskov V.N. On repatriation of Soviet citizens. Istoriya SSSR., 1990, No.4Jack90s15 (talk) 06:09, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

85,000,000 died from all causes[edit]

I will put 85,000,000 for the death toll I will put down to The figure of over 85 million includes deaths from war-related disease and famine. Jack90s15 (talk) 06:13, 4 December 2018 (UTC)


You have changed text that is sourced and removed cn tags without adding citations. You are also applying a specific number where sources indicate that a range is appropriate, based on sources that do not cite their sources or discuss their methodology. Please allow for discussion before making such significant changes, and please stop starting new discussion threads for every comment you make. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 16:22, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

The ww2 Casualty page has 85 million for all deaths that is why I put it that page is linked wit this page so that is why I put it Jack90s15 (talk) 17:14, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia pages may not be used as sources for other Wikipedia pages; you must examine the underlying sources at that page and cite them here. You have also changed sourced information again and removed a source without discussion. Please make one change at a time so they may be individually assessed – some of these changes may be appropriate, but changing sourced content is not. And again, please allow for discussion here before making these changes. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 18:10, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Jack90s15 appears to be referring to the World War II casualties page. As that page discusses, estimates of casualties are indicated because exact totals cannot be determined. Further, there are different methodologies for arriving at estimates, again making exact totals impossible to state. Thus we discuss ranges instead of precise figures, and even the 70-85 million figure on the casualties page does not bear a specific cite. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 18:42, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

ok I will put over 70 million since that is cited by other sources and not wikiJack90s15 (talk) 18:53, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

And now you have changed sourced content again, here and here, and removed a source without discussion again, here. You don't get to throw out a source just because you don't like the number it states. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 19:02, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Jack90s15 (talk) 22:04, 4 December 2018 (UTC) I put the 17 million number I cited the holocaust museum they do not use the 11 million number)and I put why I did with the sources for the death toll of World War IIJack90s15 (talk) 22:04, 4 December 2018 (UTC) and I did try put the same source back in and I did put the source back in Jack90s15 (talk) 22:07, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

World War II is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 its officially September 1st[edit] Jack90s15 (talk) 06:57, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Please see the many previous talk page discussions of this topic. Nick-D (talk) 09:26, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
That's two ways of writing the same date. If your other contributions are any guide you have better uses for your time. Britmax (talk) 16:19, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I just stared doing Wiki so new at this still Jack90s15 (talk) 17:30, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I am a little concerned you're new to the topic because you're using websites over academic publications by known authors. Give other editors time to review all the number changes you think need to change ....see what historians have to say.--Moxy (talk) 22:23, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I would recommend Jack90s15 to do one thing first: go to WP:RSN and ask people about the sources he is using for death toll figures. That is a usual way to resolve the situation when there is a disagreement about some sources. If the consensus will be "Yes, these sources are very good and reliable", Jack90s15 can use that as an argument in the discussion, and the changes he proposes may have more chances to be accepted by others.
In any event, asking a question on the RSN and other noticeboards is a good exercise, and if Jack90s15 is a newcomer, and he going to edit Wikipedia in future, it would be useful for him to master this important skill.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:11, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
P.S. Usage of colons to format your posts properly is a good skill too. That makes a talk page discussion you are involved in more readable, by doing that, you show respect to others, and they are more likely to respond more positively to your arguments.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:11, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
P.P.S. I think, despite the fact Jack90s15 believes he is acting in a good faith, this his edit may be seen differently by others. I don't think it is an effective way to edit this article. Jack90s15, this article is very popular, many people are reading it every day, and if some impprtant figures are permanently changing here, that may discredit Wikipedia in eyes of a reader. Let's discuss these figures first on the talk page, and if other people will agree with you, you can implement these changes. Meanwhile, it would be better if you self-reverted. --Paul Siebert (talk) 23:32, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Thank you Paul you know I'm trying to do good that's why my two sources are from the national World War II Museum and the Holocaust Museum. In Washington DC and New Orleans and top historian have contributed to both museums. so you know that they're accurate the sources. I am Requesting to be Allowed to make the changes for the soul reason it will help improve Wikipedia credibility because for the World War II casualties page has 70 million to 85 for the death toll that is why I put over 70 million .and for the Holocaust page you have 17 million victims overall.Jack90s15 (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

And those two numbers are backed by the United States Holocaust museum in Washington DC

And the national World War II museum Jack90s15 (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

when you add all the deaths it over 70 million so it does match the numbers that are uses in scholarly and match the numbers that part of the World War II casualties page and the 17 million number is in line with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum number and the wiki page one Jack90s15 (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

I am Requesting to be Allowed to make the changes for the soul reason it will help improve Wikipedia credibility[edit]

my two sources are from the national World War II Museum and the Holocaust Museum. In Washington DC and New Orleans and top historian have contributed to both museums. so you know that they're accurate the sources. I am Requesting to be Allowed to make the changes for the soul reason it will help improve Wikipedia credibility because for the World War II casualties page has 70 million to 85 for the death toll that is why I put over 70 million .and for the Holocaust page you have 17 million victims overall.Jack90s15 (talk) 00:16, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

And those two numbers are backed by the United States Holocaust museum in Washington DC

And the national World War II museum Jack90s15 (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

when you add all the deaths it over 70 million so it does match the numbers that are uses in scholarly and match the numbers that part of the World War II casualties page and the 17 million number is in line with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum number and the wiki page Jack90s15 (talk) 00:16, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Jack90s15: Where we have different sources that disagree on totals, we include the different sources, and state the range of the totals they reach. We do not deem one source conclusive and remove the rest. Also, when other editors dispute your changes, you need to discuss here, as you have above, and then allow time for people to notice the discussion and comment. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 00:28, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Read the tips in the welcome template on your talk page, they may help you. Very few people have a sole reason for doing anything, by the way. Britmax (talk) 00:34, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

I am doing this to improve Wikipedia credibility the 70 Million is part of the range Total on the ww2 casualties wiki page so it right to say over 70 Million died it is backed by the the national World War II Museum and the Holocaust Museum In Washington DC does not use 11 Million they use 17 Million Jack90s15 (talk) 00:41, 5 December 2018 (UTC)