Talk:World War II

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

Material on books concerning India added to the article today[edit]

copy ex talk:Rjensen: Hi, Could you please start a discussion on the talk page regarding the content you're seeking to add to the World War II article? The article currently doesn't have summaries of the contributions of the various countries involved, and I personally don't think that this would be useful - others might have a different view though, of course. I note that you have added identical links to the books concerned to multiple articles. Regards, Nick-D (talk) 23:53, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

The CBI theater includes India and it had major theater status. I was moved by a major book review by Tooze in today's Wall Street Journal of the two books and he makes the importance clear. Rjensen (talk) 00:00, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Yet the material you're edit warring in only has a single sentence on that topic, with most of it being about different things... I'm familiar with those books and have also seen lots of positive reviews of them, but you seem to be intent on shoehorning material concerning them into the article regardless of content, complete with little advertisements for the books. I know from previous contacts with you that you make a habit of stuff like this, and it's really annoying - it sure isn't collaborative editing. I'll start a talk page discussion. Nick-D (talk) 00:09, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
I make a habit of thousands of edits in military history articles. This article does talk about soldiers a dozen times (1) "Italian soldiers recruited in 1935" (2) "Japanese Imperial Army soldiers" 3) "Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht" 4) "About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theatres of the war." etc. Rjensen (talk) 00:13, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

My main concern with the material being edit warred in is that it doesn't fit into the tone and content of the article as it's basically a little mini-essay on India's role in the war - it covers India's entire war effort from 1939 to 1945 in a paragraph on events in North Africa and the Middle East during 1941 (bit odd to find material on the Chinese-Burma-India theatre in 1945 there!). I'm certain that there's scope to improve the relevant parts of the narrative, but this should be done by improving the existing material - which notes the various campaigns - rather than shoehorning material into the article. The article also doesn't have comparable summaries of the war efforts of other countries, nor a need for them as this is what the various articles on the history of national contributions to the war do. The referencing is also problematic as while the books cited are of a high standard, no page numbers are provided, and the full references include Rjensen's personal views on the books and unnecessary links to their entries on From a post on their talk page, it appears that Rjensen might be motivated by a desire to highlight these books [1], and this began with them adding references to these books without any content to this article [2] and they've made similar edits to two other articles: [3], [4] Nick-D (talk) 00:27, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

We need to take a broad view of the war and include material on a major theater CBI that provided millions of combat soldiers and was a key base of supply. Soldiers are indeed included in the article ["About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theatres of the war."] I was motivated to mention the two new major books because they cover seriously neglected topic and there was a major book review in today's WSJ newspaper. (I also have read the Khan book). The way for you to to ask for page numbers is to ask for them not delete the cite. annotations are ok by wiki policy so don't erase them. The amazon link is necessary for readers to access the texts. You have an ownership attitude that is unfortunate--especially since i have written far more text on this article than you have. Rjensen (talk) 00:42, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
The material doesn't belong in a section on the Mediterranean, and in a paragraph on successes in Syria and Lebanon. In any case, it should be removed pending a resolution here. Although somewhat irrelevant to what's under discussion here, I don't understand a need for links to Amazon in references, as such links can be seen as promotional. Because Amazon listings often rank high on Google searches, I'll get bibliographical data from them; but my links in references are not to their site, unless there's no other way. Dhtwiki (talk) 04:38, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
IMHO, the text in question does not belong in that section. Let's set secondary issues aside. --A D Monroe III (talk) 15:42, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion, User:Nick-D should stop saying "edit war". Then we can review and discuss.Juan Riley (talk) 19:51, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

As there's been no support from other editors for including this material at present, I've removed it. It's posted below. Nick-D (talk) 08:52, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

The British Army raised over 2 million volunteer soldiers from India during the war. They played a large role in the Middle East, against Italy and Germany. They also played a major role in defeating the Japanese in Burma in 1944-45. India served as a major base for American supply lines into China. [1] [2]


  1. ^ Yasmin Khan. India At War: The Subcontinent and the Second World War (2015),
  2. ^ Srinath Raghavan, India's War: World War II and the Making of Modern South Asia (2016)

borked up refs[edit]

  1. Per WP:CITEVAR, there must be a discussion if one is to change styles. I see no discussion. I could care less what one is used, but when changing styles on a huge article, mistakes will happen.
  2. In the zeal to convert everything, info is being removed or completely messed up. For example, ref #239 (Rees 2008, pp. 406–7) has this quote: Stalin always believed that Britain and America were delaying the second front so that the Soviet Union would bear the brunt of the war. With redoing the styles, the quote was left out of the ref and just dangling in the paragraph with a </ref> left behind. Another quote left out, It was the most calamitous defeat of all the German armed forces in World War II. This ref was left borked up in the article text, Michel Thomas (20 October 1999). "Results of the German and American Submarine Campaigns of World War II". U.S. Navy. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved April 2008.</ref> Those are three I could spot quickly.
  3. I reverted to the version without errors.

Bgwhite (talk) 07:33, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Instead of reverting you should have given me a call; errors happen but they can be resolved. Why should I start a discussion? for what? I didn't change any style; I was simply recouping some space and solving somne errors and broken links, and adding some "page needed". But it seems you don't care much about that. Carlotm (talk) 08:45, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Carlotm Egads. If you are going talk down to me, there is nothing for me to say to you. Bgwhite (talk) 08:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't think that's useful Bgwhite. Nick-D (talk) 09:01, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Nick-D Ending one's comments with, But it seems you don't care much about that was talking down, uncivil and I don't deal with people like that. There's no place for that comment. Bgwhite (talk) 09:32, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm in favour of moving to the {{sfn}} references: this is rapidly becoming the standard, and requires less coding than the current version. As Carlotm notes, the end product is pretty much exactly the same so it's not really a change to the referencing style. I'd also prefer to delete all the comments and quotes which have been included as part of the references as hiding material away like this isn't helpful to readers, and none of the comments or quotes seems necessary. If any of this material is considered useful, it should be presented more clearly as "notes" rather than being placed with the references. Nick-D (talk) 09:01, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't care if the quotes are left in or out. The details are up to you. The quotes were being left in the article with no context. Borked refs were being left in the article. If these were being borked, what else was? If one doesn't discuss about changing style of refs, and going to different templates is part of style, then things can go down hill quickly. I've seen alot of work lost because it wasn't discussed and changes were reverted. Changing ref styles is one of the most contentious things around here. It's best to do it right. Nick-D wanting quotes out while Carlotm was keeping them in is another reason to discuss. Decide what you guys want to do before hand is easier and a time savings in the long run. Bgwhite (talk) 09:32, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

How are we doing here?[edit]

Just wondering what you guys are thinking. Are there any ways this article could be much better? I'm not talking things you think we can get consensus for. Just assume we let you control the article for a week. What changes would you make? Sole Flounder (talk) 01:18, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 August 2016[edit]

I was wondering why there was no mention of Italian surrender (talk) 01:40, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done No specific requested change here. -- Dane2007 talk 01:54, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

When did it become a world war?[edit]

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

Opinions differ. DMorpheus2 (talk) 19:25, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
In the beginning, it was the Second Sino-Japanese War. TimothyJosephWood 19:26, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
A war between China and Japan was not in itself a world war. 3 September 1939 could be when it became a global conflict as the British Empire declared war, or 23 August 1939 as that was when the Soviet Union agreed to invade Poland in conjunction with Germany. (Jdkd44 (talk) 19:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC))
Well, SJW II was the earliest (AFAIK) full-on conflict where the theater and belligerents flowed directly and uninterrupted into WWII. TimothyJosephWood 19:38, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
@Timothyjosephwood:@Jdkd44:Actually when I read one of the most important scholarly work- The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I [5]. It really claims "the war began in 1937 in China" in its General Introduction part. See the link[6] and read the location 383 in open preview of good read.(Miracle dream (talk) 15:38, 14 September 2016‎ (UTC))
The questions "When did WWII start?" and "When did WWII become a world war?" are different.
There some definite well-sourced opinions on the first, all stated in the article.
The second question doesn't get much coverage. The problem is there's no agreement on what defines a "world war". Some say only WWI and WWII are world wars, but others include different lists of other wars, based on number of continents, theaters, campaigns, death toll, or some combination, or even have a variable definition based on the size of the "known world" at the time. Based on those conflicting definitions, WWII might be a "world war" starting with the attack on China, or Poland, or Russia, or America, or sometime between these, or sometime after. No one sees much point in trying to pin this down. --A D Monroe III (talk) 17:01, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
no other war gets confused with WWI or WWII. The dates can vary slightly as major players entered & left. Rjensen (talk) 17:51, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think what they mean is "when did it cease being a series of regional conflicts and start being a world war". Also, the Seven Years' War is also fairly widely regarded as a world war. TimothyJosephWood 17:57, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think AJP Taylor had some thoughtful things to say about this in his "Origins of the Second World War" DMorpheus2 (talk) 18:03, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Taylor essentially says that a set of separate, regional conflicts eventually expanded and merged to some extent into WW2. He considers it to have become a "world war" when most/all of the world's major powers became involved. DMorpheus2 (talk) 17:36, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It was a world war from 3 September 1939 when the British Empire declared war on Germany. This meant every continent in the world was at war. The 23 August 1939 date should be added to the lede, as without the pact with the USSR Hitler would not have been able to invade western Poland. ( (talk) 11:11, 17 September 2016 (UTC))
I think it would probably be a good idea to beef up the footnote on the start date a bit, and actually give examples of variations in the start date and why. Basically a rehash of this conversation but with ample sourcing. The current footnote is pretty lacking in nuance, and doesn't really give an in depth rationale for why this date is used, or why it should be the most frequent date used by scholars. TimothyJosephWood 13:42, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Did Japan surrender unconditionally?[edit]

I reverted a significant but debatable edit by Boeing720. [7]. Is this strictly correct, or was it an unconditional surrender? Any thoughts by colleagues on this and how, if consensus is with the edit, it should shape the section? Irondome (talk) 00:59, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
A quick check of general sources suggests that it was an unconditional surrender. From Hirohito's broadcast: "...we have ordered our Government to communicate...that our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration...", ie the Potsdam Declaration. Viewed narrowly the Potsdam Declaration could be said to not be unconditional surrender, but reading the terms that seems to me to be hair splitting; it does state "the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces". Importantly for Boeing720's point the Declaration and Hirohito's acceptance of it make no mention of retaining the monarchy.
The formal instrument of surrender - drawn up by the Allies and imposed on the Japanese - includes "The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the State shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers". My understanding, over simplified, and to quote from another Wikipedia article, is that the head of the occupation administration Douglas "MacArthur found that ruling via the Emperor made his job in running Japan much easier than it otherwise would have been" and so never got round to abolishing the institution. This is covered in much detail elsewhere, but the point is that when the Japanese surrendered there was no pre-condition that the monarchy would be retained; that the occupying Allies found it expeditious was fortuitous. Gog the Mild (talk) 10:28, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

The Japanese themselves wrote somewhat on this point, according to our article on the their surrender:

On July 27, the Japanese government considered how to respond to the Declaration. The four military members of the Big Six wanted to reject it, but Tōgō persuaded the cabinet not to do so until he could get a reaction from the Soviets. In a telegram, Shun'ichi Kase, Japan's ambassador to Switzerland, observed that "unconditional surrender" applied only to the military and not to the government or the people, and he pleaded that it should be understood that the careful language of Potsdam appeared "to have occasioned a great deal of thought" on the part of the signatory governments—"they seem to have taken pains to save face for us on various points."[1]

In this sense then I suppose it could be said that the Japanese were able to squeeze out a condition, however the generally accepted version is that the Japanese surrendered unconditionally by submitted to the terms of the Potsdam declaration. Honestly, it could go either way, but I'd prefer not rock the boat such as it were and leave it as it is in the article, all the more so since their are better places on Wikipedia to address the matter - if it is judged by the community to need addressing. TomStar81 (Talk) 10:43, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

In the sense that "unconditional" is a juxtaposition to a negotiated peace on any sort of mutually beneficial terms, it works well enough. Signing a paper that says "your general > our emperor", as has been pointed out, pretty much makes moot any nominal token "concessions" that may have been traded. Having said that, as I sit on my porch in the Appalachian countryside, I would be interested to know how the Japanese WP treats the issue. TimothyJosephWood 12:03, 24 September 2016 (UTC)


1. The article is great in description, but it needs some grammar check overall 2. Some of the links do not lead anywhere, but most of them do lead to specific points in the article. 3. It would be best if there were specific statistics in the amount of economic investment that went into the war. 4. the aftermath only described how japan grew after the war, but excluded the many other countries that also quickly developed to become powers post WWII.Jgallaga (talk) 07:50, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Can you please be specific about points 1 and 2? It's not really possible to follow up on general comments on topics like that (alternatively, feel free to fix the grammar and links yourself). Thanks, Nick-D (talk) 08:34, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
    • ^ Weintraub, 288.