Talk:World War II/Archive 19

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Archive 18 Archive 19 Archive 20


Did the United States declare war?

The article contains a lot of dates for who declared war on whom, but not so for the US. Did the US declare war? on whom? when?

Declaration of war by the United States Japan: Dec 8, 1941; Germany, Italy: Dec 11, 1941; Bulgaria, Hungary Romania: June 5, 1942. This was the last time the US declared war. --NEMT 00:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
To clarify, the United States declared war on Japan, but not on Germany and Italy. These two countries, Germany and Italy actually declared war on the United States! Wallie 22:02, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
and then the US declared war on them on the dates specified above - what's your point? --NEMT 21:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I would have thought any historical account should have every detail that can be found. Just because you do not need the information doesn't need someone else wouldn't or some future generation wouldn't need it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:07, 4 April 2007 (UTC).

Vandalism By 'Flying Tiger' and 'NEMT'

'Flying Tiger': Holocaust civilians who died were not allies. Most of the jews killed in the holocaust were native Germans, or living in axis controlled countries which makes them axis civilians.

'NEMT' vandalism--- the infobox gives a useful brief summary of the major players and their respective leaders. One disadvantage of the 'axis powers' and 'allies powers' articles is that they don't list the leaders. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pkpat2011 (talkcontribs)

Neither of these edits are vandalism, and have been discussed to death on this very talk page. Additionally, please sign your comments and leave new comments on the bottom of talk pages in the future. --NEMT 23:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Battle of the Bulge in not in "Main Events" Directory?

The "Main Events" section of the World War II directory at the bottom of the article doesn't include the Battle of the Bulge. Why not, is it not considered significant enough? The article for the Battle has been featured, so it's certainly qualified in terms of quality. Mgold4me 02:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

While significant in many ways (Largest battle of WW2 with Western Allies - almost half the scale of Stalingrad; last German operative/strategic offensive), it's impact was apparently not significant enough - many other events are also not included, from the 14 month Battle of Rzhev to Chinese battles. With respect, Ko Soi IX 07:00, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course the Battle of the Bulge should be there. Wallie 22:26, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

The battle of the bulge was not one of the "main events" of WWII. It was not even a large offensive by German standards earlier in the war. More intense fighting happened around Berlin soon after the battle of the bulge, and the real massive German offensives were between 1940-42.

  • Perhaps but while the chinese battles were unimportant and did not have an effect on the war the Battle of the Bulge at least was Germany's final gamble to win the war and i'm not sure but I believe it was the largest or at least one of the largest battles the Western allies fought in the war. 18:19, 8 March 2007 (UTC)jamhaw

My personal opinion is that the Battle of the Bulge should be there because it was one of the major parts of WWII!!!!!! Lotrtkdchic 14:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Re-Structuring of This Article

This is how I propose we re-structure this article

  • The War Begins in Europe (September 1939-May 1940)
  • The War Begins in Asia (July 1937-December 1941)
  • The Western Front (May 1940-June 1944)
  • The Pacific (December 1941-October 1944)
  • Mediterranean (April 1940-May 1943)
  • China and South East Asia (December 1941-March 1944)
  • The Eastern Front (June 1941-February 1943)
  • Mediterranean (May 1943-May 1945)
  • The Pacific (October 1944-September 1945)
  • The Eastern Front (February 1943-January 1945)
  • China and South East Asia (March 1944-September 1945)
  • The Western Front (June 1944-May 1945)
  • The Eastern Front (January 1945-May 1945)
  • The End of the War in Europe
  • The End of the War in Asia

Lemme know what you guys think Mercenary2k 19:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

You're chopping up the time periods out of order. Why should Europe come first if it was 2 years after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War? That doesn't make sense. Neither does doing the Pacific until 1944, and then jumping backwards to 1940 Mediterranean. Also, doing the Pacific to september 1945, and then having another whole section for the end of the war in Asia seems to be totally redundant, the same for Europe. This list needs some major re-working to be viable. Parsecboy 19:43, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm Good points. Let me re-organize this list.
  • The War Begins in Asia (July 1937-December 1941)
    • Covers from Japanese invasion of China to Pearl Harbor

  • The War Begins in Europe (September 1939-May 1940)
    • Covers from German invasion of Poland up to the German invasion of France

  • The Western Front (May 1940-June 1944)
    • Covers from the German invasion of France, battle of Britain, occupation of Europe, battle of Atlantic, allied bombing of Germany and leading up to the Allied invasion of Normandy.

  • The Eastern Front (June 1941-February 1943)
    • Covers the German invasion of Russia up to the German defeat at Stalingrad

  • Mediterranean (April 1940-May 1943)
    • Covers the campaign in Greece, Balkans, Crete and North Africa up to the Axis defeat in Tunisia

  • The Pacific (December 1941-October 1944)
    • Covers from Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and up to Battle of Philippine Sea.

  • China and South East Asia (December 1941-March 1944)
    • Covers from Pearl Harbor to Change De to Operation Ichigo and events leading up to the Japanese invasion of India.

  • The Eastern Front (February 1943-January 1945)
    • Covers from the German defeat at Stalingrad to Kursk to Bagration to the eve of the Soviet invasion of Germany

  • Mediterranean (May 1943-March 1945)
    • Covers the Campaign in Italy up to just before the Allies break through the Po Valley.

  • China and South East Asia (March 1944-June 1945)
    • Covers the Japanese invasion of India and their defeat and the allied liberation of Burma and the opening of the burma road.

  • The Pacific (October 1944-July 1945)
    • Covers from the liberation of the philippines, to iwo jima and up to Okinawa

  • The Western Front (June 1944-January 1945)
    • Covers from Normandy and the conclusion of the Battle of the bulge

  • The Eastern Front (January 1945-April 1945)
    • Covers the start of the Soviet invasion of Germany to the German defeat at Seelow heights just before the soviets begin the battle for berlin.

  • The End of the War in Europe
    • Covers the Western Front from January 1945 to May 1945, the Eastern front from April 1945 to May 1945, Mediterranean from March 1945 to May 1945

  • The End of the War in Asia
    • Covers the Pacific from July 1945 to September 1945 and China and South East Asia from June 1945 to September 1945

How about this? Mercenary2k 22:42, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Not bad, but what about the South West Pacific theatre: first Philippines campaign (very significant), Dutch East Indies (including the ill-fated ABDACOM), Malaya-Singapore, New Guinea ((very long and significant)? Grant | Talk 11:52, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Philippines Campaign and the rest will be covered in the China and South East Asia (December 1941-March 1944).Mercenary2k 17:08, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
That list looks pretty good, the only thing I would change is switch the first Eastern Front and Mediterranean sections, as the German invasions of Greece and the Balkans delayed Barbarrossa by a few critical weeks, and had great ramifications on the rest of the war, so it should come before the Eastern Front. That and just having a correct timeline. Grant, I would assume those things would be in the article, this is, after all, just a very bare bones outline. Parsecboy 13:12, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I will move the Mediterranean ahead for Barbarossa. Mercenary2k 17:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
OK DONE. I DID THE CHANGES. Now what we need to do is to get proper sentence flow because the whole article is very dis-jointed.Mercenary2k 18:22, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Congratulations on all the work Mercenary2k, that must have been quite a task and is obviously much, much better than it was! Now I'm looking at it though, I do wonder if we are still too locked into a sequential "timetable of WW2" rather than by themes? Is there any support for the concept that this page should look briefly at key themes like "Hitler and the Nazis", "Imperial Japan", "the war in Europe", "the war in the Pacific", "genocide and cruelty", "technology of war", "the Allies and the Big Three", etc, etc, etc and maybe spin off the core of the existing page as a bunch of "World War 2 in depth" pages or some such? MarkThomas 18:30, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Talking about the big three is dangerous, you could end up falling awry of the many chinese, polish, and french nationalists afoot. --NEMT 21:50, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
This has been a rather large restructuring. Also many of the subsection headings have been removed. This means that there are rather large tracts of text to go through for your average reader. However, I will try to get used to it, and no doubt it will keeping changing (for the better I hope) into the future. Wallie 21:30, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
There needs to be a proper narritive in each of the sub-section. So far I just slapped them all together. One of you guys needs to go through each section and write a strong narritive that links the different parts together. Mercenary2k 23:20, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Apart from the excessive length of the sections, a major problem now is the so-called "main" articles in each section. In a lot of cases we only have a link to particular battles, rather than the relevant campaign articles. I have just fixed the "Pacific 1941-43" section but a lot more need fixing. Grant | Talk 14:48, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if you were paying attention a month ago or so, but I have been working on re-writing the article so it has improved flow and organization, and so it reads like a narrative. I have not been able to work on it for a few weeks, but now I can get back to it. Would you like to help, or would you like me to stop working on it? Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs 22:42, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

The Japanese offensives of 1941-42 can be covered in one section. But it gets too complicated after that, and I think it makes more sense to split the Asia-Pacific 1942-45 stuff according to the four official Allied commands: Pacific Ocean (Nimitz), Southwest Pacific (MacArthur), South East Asia (Wavell/Mountbatten) and China (under Chiang). Grant | Talk 17:43, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone else here see how the "Commanders" box can be misleading? Away from the fact that both Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong are apparently commanders under the "Republic of China" flag, there is somewhat of a misunderstanding of that section. I think that if both of the "commanders" of the "Republic of China" are there, then shouldn't other "commanders" like Truman/Attlee (Allies) and Fumimaro Konoe (Axis) be included? And I also think it would definitely help the quality of the article if the ACTUAL military leaders (Zhukov, Eisenhower, etc.) are included as well. Swang 22:31, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

This problem was discussed many times. For Japan the names of Hirohito (who was according to the constitution, "head of the state" and "supreme commander of the army and the navy") and Konoe were considered but many wanted Tôjô because he was prime minister, minister of the army and at the end, chief of staff during the war against Occident.

For all the countries, the choice that was made by the majority is a kind of compromise between political and military leaders. I agree it is far from perfect but I think there can be no consensus about it. --Flying tiger 22:54, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I've removed Mao from the list. He wasn't the supreme commander of the China theater and wasn't part of any major conferences. BlueShirts 04:42, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Commander generally refers to the Commander in Chief of that state's forces, Mao does not belong. --NEMT 19:32, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Need Picture of Japanese Troops

This article has No Pictures of Japanese Troops.

Can someone find some good pictures of Japanese troops and add them.

Thanks Mercenary2k 06:30, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

To Do List

Could I suggest that we simply get rid of the To Do list? It clutters the top of the page and tends to be the place new editors put their comments instead of putting them in a new section here. I think it also discourages users from just making changes to the article - they put it on the To Do list when it should either be done or discussed here. --Habap 15:35, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I second that motion. Parsecboy 16:16, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Nuke it. Haber 17:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Quote from the article: "six million Jews [...]were murdered by Germany"

How can a whole country murder anyone? Last time I checked only people can murder others. Additionally you should not forget that people from both Germany's allies and from occupied terroritories did not hesitate to take part in those actions, too. Last but not least I don't think that it is the job of an encyclopedia to decide whether those people were murdered or killed, since this is a subjective assessment (a rather difficult one, btw, if you want to assess six million cases)--AchtungAchtung 21:47, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Sure, they all met with unfortunate accidents by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing to do with the Germans at all, who must be held blameless. And nobody died through murder in the "extermination" camps. Plus I think I saw the moon in a balloon this morning. :-( MarkThomas 22:09, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Try to stick what I said, alright? I know it's a controversial topic, but don't get too emotional.--AchtungAchtung 22:18, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you could honestly call what happened in Auschwitz or Treblinka anything other than murder, unless you want to sound like a revisionist. Since it was the German government doing the killings, it is perfectly alright to say the state murdered them. Because it did. And sure, other Axis members participated in the slaughter, but Germany was the primary country behind the killings. If you want to change anything about that sentence, add "by Germany and its fellow Axis members" or something to that effect. Parsecboy 23:26, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't deny that they have been killed. I merely propose the word "killed" instead of "murdered", since that seems more neutral to me.--AchtungAchtung 23:58, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Watch your tone (as in above - "don't get emotional") - I am very calm. I am calmly informing you that your revisionist attempt to redefine pre-planned Nazi and German extermination and mass-murder as some kind of indeterminate "we don't know who did this or if it happened" "killing" will not wash. Any changes you make along those lines that don't meet Wikipedia's need to speak the facts will absolutely be reverted. MarkThomas 00:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

AchtungAchtung, "kill" may sound more neutral to you, but to me it sounds like a feeble attempt at mitigating Germany's involvement in one of mankind's worst human tragedies. Without diving into legal definitions of murder around the world, whether or not a human being dies as a direct result of being fired upon or after being malnourished (an understatement) over an extended period of time — it's murder. — Dorvaq (talk) 14:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Well said Mark, Parseq, and Dorvaq. I'm glad we have such a good crew interested in this article. Haber 14:55, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

"Killed" or possibly "executed" does seem more appropriate than "murdered" in this case. Murder has a more personal connotation not generally ascribed to actions of the state. --NEMT 21:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

"Killed" is too watered down to properly convey the scale and barbarity of what occurred, and "executed" makes it sound like they were criminals being "justly" killed by the state. here's a definition for you, taken from [1] :

1. Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).
2. Slang. something extremely difficult or perilous: That final exam was murder!
3. a group or flock of crows.
–verb (used with object)
4. Law. to kill by an act constituting murder.
5. to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.
6. to spoil or mar by bad performance, representation, pronunciation, etc.: The tenor murdered the aria.
–verb (used without object)
7. to commit murder.

I direct your attention to number 5. If that does not fit the bill perfectly, I don't know what does. Parsecboy 01:05, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

You've picked a pretty strange one of the definitions to back up your case. The humanity or lack thereof in the nazi death camps is rarely considered a major issue - would it still be "murder" in your eyes if the prisoners were euthanized? Gassing and shooting are relatively humane and civil with respect to the history of mass killing. The bottom line is murder contains a human, person element, and is not a NPOV term, nor is it appropriate when describing actions of the state. Kill is much better suited in this case. Many of those killed in the camps died from starvation and exhaustion, as well, which doesn't fit well with any definition of murder. Would you say the soviets murdered those sent to the gulag? --NEMT 03:18, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
NEMT, you're actually comparing a prisoner convicted of a crime with the Jewish people sent to the Nazi concentration camps? Fine... If you are so bent on taking out "murder" as the word contains too much of a human element, then I propose we use "slaughter" as a compromise. I mean, the paragraph in question does deal with the Holocaust and if you look at the definition of Holocaust in most dictionaries, then you'll probably find something along the lines of, "the mass slaughter of people." — you know, that thing the UK did to its livestock during the foot-and-mouth crisis back in 2001. — Dorvaq (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how you can call the actions of the Einsatzgruppen "humane". Machine-gunning defenseless civilians in pits, leaving many of them wounded but still living, and then burying them alive is somehow "civil"? Yes, it would still be murder if they were euthanized, because it would still be a completely unjustified and illegitimate killing. Soldiers who die in combat are not "murdered" by the enemy, but unarmed civilians who are rounded up and are shot/gassed/etc. for being a certain race/religion/political party/etc. ARE. Dorvaq, I think "slaughtered" would be a good substitute for "murdered". Parsecboy 15:32, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Slaughter is even less appropriate, as slaughter connotes killing for the purpose of consumption. What, exactly, is the problem you guys have with "killed?" "It doesn't make the nazis look evil enough" doesn't really count. No one is denying the barbarism of the holocaust, but "murder" is not appropriate when describing actions of state, period. Additionally, I have no idea where you got "you're actually comparing a prisoner convicted of a crime with the Jewish people sent to the Nazi concentration camps?" from, and I suggest you try to focus on what's actually been said rather than your own ridiculous strawman scenarios. --NEMT 15:49, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Straw man scenarios? Ok, now you're getting carried away. I admit I misread your sentence on the euthanasia of prisoners, but my comment was not meant as a straw man argument. My problem with replacing the word "murder" with "kill" is that the replacement trivializes the actions taken by the German state... and where on earth are you getting that killing by the state does not constitute murder? People sent to the camps were not sent there to survive. If they weren't to die at the camps due to the horrible living conditions, they were to eventually die by other means. — Dorvaq (talk) 16:41, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
The word "killed" is preferred by revisionists because it sounds like somehow it maybe was accidental, or maybe we don't know who did it. Murdered is used when we know who the murderer was. On a different subject, could some of the editors here look in please at Talk:Adolf Hitler where some fairly revisionist editors are currently seeking to claim that Hitler had no responsibility for World War 2. Thanks. MarkThomas 19:22, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
MarkThomas, well put. NEMT, Slaughter as used in conjuction with food is only one definition or connotation. I present another definition, taken from the same online dictionary as above:

–noun 1. the killing or butchering of cattle, sheep, etc., esp. for food.
2. the brutal or violent killing of a person.
3. the killing of great numbers of people or animals indiscriminately; carnage: the slaughter of war.
–verb (used with object)
4. to kill or butcher (animals), esp. for food.
5. to kill in a brutal or violent manner.
6. to slay in great numbers; massacre.
7. Informal. to defeat thoroughly; trounce: They slaughtered our team.

Both #2 and #3 (#'s 5 and 6 are essentially the same) seem appropriate to this situation. Parsecboy 19:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I have to concur that either "murdered" or "slaughtered" are appropriate while "killed" is not. Soldiers get killed in battle, civilians who are rounded up and either gassed, shot, starved or worked to death are murdered or slaughtered. --Habap 20:16, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree more with simply using "murdered" as is currently used. Despite slaughter being a fair representation of many of the deaths, I don't believe it's a proper general term for all of the deaths. To me "slaughter" implies the direct physical involvement with the use of tool/weapon in the kill. I apologize for the confusion, but I was being sarcastic when I first proposed the word. — Dorvaq (talk) 20:52, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I assumed as much, I was merely trying to prove a point with the definition. The sentence should remain as is - "murdered", not "killed". Parsecboy 20:58, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Slaughtered is a much better word then murdered. Potaaatos 09:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Look, I don't see why the thread comment is even here. Yes, Poland did fight the Germans, yes they did lose many people (22% as it says), but what is your point. Also, Poland was an original ally because it was invaded and wanted to defend itself. China did much more for the war than Poland did, because China actually provided a site where Americans could launch bombings raids on the Japanese homeland from and they fought the Japanese invasion since before the war. Poland fell over almost immediately and fell into small skirmishes and resistances because they had no real military. No offense meant, but Poland as a free nation didn't really do jack. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bendersgreat (talkcontribs) 18:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC).

So you can stop arguing and insulting ive got the correct word which the Germans did to the jews. genocide is the correct word.

Perhaps people would find it better to instead say Nazi Germany? Throktar


Are we no longer semi-protected despite the tag header? We seem to be getting attacks from recently registered users today... MarkThomas 19:18, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Need Help with this Article

Hi Guys, I have been re-structuring this article for a while now. It looks very good. All we have to do now is fix up the choppy narrative of the sections and this article is ready.

In my opinion the following sections flow nicely and have a good prose and do not require major re-structuring are:

  • War breaks out in Europe (September 1939 – May 1940)
  • Western Front (September 1939 – May 1940)
  • Western Front (May 1940 – September 1940)
  • Pacific (June 1943 – July 1945)
  • Eastern Front (February 1943 – January 1945)
  • Eastern Front (January 1945 – April 1945)

These ones require major re-structuring as they are totally choppy and lacking major information are:

  • War breaks out in Asia (July 1937 – September 1939)
  • Western Front (September 1940 – June 1944) -->This one needs MAJOR HELP!
  • Mediterranean (April 1940 – May 1943)
  • Eastern Front (April 1941 – February 1943) -->I am gonna personally fix this up, so don't worry about this one.
  • Pacific (April 1941 – June 1943)
  • China and South East Asia (September 1941 – March 1944)
  • Mediterranean (May 1943 – March 1945)
  • China and South East Asia (March 1944 – June 1945)
  • War ends in Europe -->Gonna personally fix this up, so don't worry about it.
  • War ends in Asia -->Gonna personally fix this up, so don't worry about it.

So there you guys go. I need help with the above mentioned sections. Especially with the Western Front (September 1940 - June 1940). Thanks all help is appreciated.

Mercenary2k 03:36, 11 February 2007 (UTC)


This is a great article, but to me it looks like there a few to many images scattered around. I think it would be a good idea if some of them are extracted from the article and put into an image gallery at the bottom. This will help the article look a little more organised and structured.--Chickenfeed9 14:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

What British politicain declared war on germany?

This is something that google has not come up with an answer for and I cant find it in this article. Was it Churchill? - Thanks, H4eafy

lol. it was chamberlain Mercenary2k 22:50, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I have corrected the insulting spelling of "British" Spite & Malice 13:37, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Err...I can see that it was incorrect, but why's it insulting? Badgerpatrol 13:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I was just kidding, I ain't insulted. It's just I'm British. It'd be like me calling an American an Americant. Spite & Malice 12:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's not really the same. but obviously feel free to change any typos you see, providing you don't alter the meaning. All the best, Badgerpatrol 13:21, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

To your last message Badgerpatrol, that guy isn't aloud to edit anymore, see his page. --LtWinters 18:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Jews counted as Axis casualties?

are german jews part of axis casualties? BlueShirts 23:59, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Try World War II casualties, which is well-referenced and has a very knowledgeable main author/editor. Grant | Talk 03:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
If you look at the chart on that page, you can see that 3 million were Polish, another million were Russian, and a large chunk of the rest came from other conquered countries like France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc., so if anything, they should count on the Allied side. Parsecboy 16:14, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Infobox without major combatants/commanders, a dissenting opinion

Well, looks like I'm outnumbered at the moment. For now I'll just go on the record in favor of the 5v3 infobox with the pretty little flags. I think the decision to remove the combatants and commanders was made out of frustration (not a good way to write an encyclopedia), but for now I will honor the wishes of the more vocal group. When the silent majority out there starts to chime in, if ever, I would like to reinstate the 5v3. (UK, USSR, US, France, China vs. Germany, Italy, Japan ; Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, De Gaulle, Kai-shek vs. Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo) Haber 16:26, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

You'd better honor our wishes - or you will be crushed. Crushed like the Wei at Red Cliffs.

I kid, of course, but thank you for respecting our consensus. --NEMT 18:49, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I wish to have those pretty flags as well, but I am compelled to side with keeping them removed for reasons I have mentioned in the Canada2 section. — Dorvaq (talk) 21:03, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Seems people love those pretty flags. As much as I miss them, I think this way will work the best. If someone wants to know if China was in WWII, they only have to scroll down or click on the link provided. --Plasma Twa 2 02:36, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I want the combatants and commanders reinstated. This is ridiculous. Germany, Italy and Japan are shoe in for the Axis side and USA, USSR, British Empire and China are in for the Allied Side. I think British Empire is a good compromise as it will contain the England as well as Canada and others....Mercenary2k 19:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Look at it this way, when asked "Whom was WW2 fought between?" the vast majority of english speaking individuals will respond "the axis and allies," not a rambling list of everyone he or she considers "major" on each side. --NEMT 20:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Merc, "British Empire" would be my last pick, behind Great Britain or United Kingdom, but regardless if you want to put up the 4v3 your way I can't complain. It's better than nothing. I won't add the frogs for now, but if I ever find a person who agrees with me about them we might have to have another horrible discussion. Haber 23:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Avoid using racist terms, please. They have no place in an adult discussion, even if meant in jest. Badgerpatrol 01:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Hey I'm not the one trying to write them out of history. Haber 01:15, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
No one is trying to write them out of history, we're just arguing that France's role was minor when compared to the USSR, USA, UK, and China. Their contribution was arguably less than Canada's or India's, so if we include the French, those countries deserve mention too. Besides, what does it matter whether they're on the now-defunct list anyways? They're in the article, what's the difference? Parsecboy 03:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I think more people would respond "nazis" than axis. BlueShirts 00:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I dont think France, Poland or Canada belong in the list. USA, UK, USSR and China were the main combatants for Germany, Italy and Japan. France was initially a main Allied partner but got taken out in June 1940. For almost 5 years France was non-issue for the Germans so how can they be considered a main Ally? As for Canada, Canada had 200,000 Troops in Europe but were under British Command. India, Australia, had more troops than Canada and fought longer in North Africa and Burma and others. As for Poland it was taken out in the opening phases of WWII so how the heck can they be considered. This is a non issue, I dont know why we are wasting so much of our time debating this when there is so much to be done in this article. Mercenary2k 05:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
But weren't Indian/Australian troops under British command as part of the empire/commonwealth, along with the Canadians? RHB Talk - Edits 00:20, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Ya So like I said, British Empire is a good comprimise as it can include UK as well as all its commonwealth allies. Mercenary2k 02:11, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Look like things have changed and some others besides myself miss the infobox. I'm going to edit it periodically so that I am happy with the way it looks. You all know how I feel, and you can revert it if you really think that's the right thing to do. No hard feelings. Good luck. Haber 02:45, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

What has been said above about the "British Empire" is incorrect:
  • 1. The official name in 1926-49 was British Commonwealth, not British Empire.
  • 2. The Dominions received control over their foreign and military affairs in 1931. The British Commonwealth, like the Commonwealth of Nations that succeeded it, has never been a military organisation. It was and is merely a forum for countries which were once part of the British Empire, present-day British overseas territories, the UK itself and anyone else who wants to join.
  • . 3. Officially, the Allies had joint supreme command structures in each theatre, not "American" or "British" commands. For example, Australian troops most of the time were not under British command. After 1942, their supreme commander was usually Douglas MacArthur.
Grant | Talk 19:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

What happened to the consensus (yet a-freaking-gain)

Haber, why did you reinsert the list of Allies and Axis countries despite the consensus to leave them out? Why can't you accept the majority opinion? Why are you so obstinate? Parsecboy 02:47, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

There is no consensus it's you and three other guys who do nothing but stink up the talk page and revert the infobox. Plenty of people want it back and it seems like now they are coming out of the woodwork. Haber 02:50, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what talk page you've been reading, but if you look at this one, you'll see that it's more than myself and two other guys. Grant, NEMT, Plasma Twa, Dorvaq, and Badgerpatrol all voted to have them removed. I don't see how that's not a consensus, as it's just you and Merc who voted to keep them in. Parsecboy 02:59, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Two other editors have replaced the infobox today. This isn't a democracy. Haber 03:05, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
That still only makes it 6 v 4. Perhaps you should read WP:CON. Regardless, France does not belong on the list, and every editor to voice an opinion on this talk page save yourself agrees with that. Parsecboy 03:12, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Parsecboy, the list is going to be inserted into the article. Period. Also, France was a major ally during WW2. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thegoodson (talkcontribs)

I'm not sure who you think you are, or from where you think you derive your authority, but you are clearly mistaken. The consensus is to leave the list out, deal with it. And no, France was not a major ally. Period. Parsecboy 03:24, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, France was a major ally. I, and many others, would consider Italy not a major Axis power either, but yet, it's listed. France, along with the UK, was the first to declare war on Germany. France got a piece of Germany and a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. The list stays, and France will be on it. Forget your "consensus" talk. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, in case you don't know that yet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thegoodson (talkcontribs)

I am well aware that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia (there's that subtle hint in the title) but there are certain guidelines that editors must follow, like the need to establish consensus before making controversial changes. We can do without the snide remarks too. What did France contribute to the Allies? Their seat on the UNSC and their occupation zones were merely to re-inflate the damaged French ego because they got spanked by Germany in a few short weeks, nothing more. The US and UK felt the need to return to the ante-bellum order, and gave France some power back. Regardless, post-war decisions are irrelevant when determining war-time contributions. Was Germany a minor Axis power because it effectively didn't exist after the war? By your logic, yes, and it doesn't belong on the list. Perhaps you should remove them too. As for Italy, they contributed more to the Axis war effort than the French to the Allies, and you can't argue that and keep a straight face. Italy contributed the majority of troops to North Africa and a sizeable chunk to the Eastern Front. Parsecboy 03:46, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Despite the relatively small role France played after 1940ish, their initial involvement, which was basically getting the crap kicked out of them, is of great historic significance. Personally I feel that due to that fact alone, they should be included. In addition, if memory servers me right, the French played some part in Operation Torch and the liberation of their country. As I sit here writing this and looking at half my library, perhaps "France/Free French" would be a more appropriate listing, as the Free French did play an instrumental part in the war. If some of my facts are slightly off, forgive me, I've been reading too much about the War of 1812 as of late... American Patriot 1776 05:14, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the notion of France being a major ally is based more on appearances, i.e. their military strength before and after the war, than on reality. Where is the historical evidence that France was more significant than Poland, Canada or Australia over the whole six years of WW2? Between 1940 and 1944, at least as many Vichy France personnel fought as Axis co-belligerents than fought with the Free French Forces. On balance, IMO, France was a second-tier ally (like Poland, Canada or Australia) during the war.
And I still support the removal of countries from the box Grant | Talk 06:29, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know the details but Poland got knocked out pretty early too, so if France's there, shouldn't Poland too? But I still like the little flags though BlueShirts 08:28, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Poland did not surrender and many individual Poles contributed to both the western Allies and on the eastern front throughout the war, see Polish contribution to World War II: 400,000 troops in the British and Soviet armies, 400,000 partisans in the Armia Krajowa, 14,000 Polish airmen in British and US squadrons, as well as several warships. Grant | Talk 10:59, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I vote for removal of the countries from the box as well. This was a world war. Reducing it down to some mix of flags that happens to suite some subset of readers personal feelings about who was major and who wasnt is BS. If there isnt consensus on who were the major combatants, and its very clear there isnt, then it shouldnt be up there. I think every nation left out thinks its an insult, and including various people is problematic. At the beginning the soviets were "neutral" with pro-axis inclinations so should they be in both boxes? Demerphq 22:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Also calling Winston Churchil the "commander" of the British forces is just assinine. In fact, right after I post this I will change it to be "Leaders" as Commander implies a formal military command position. Which neither Roosevelt, nor Churchil, nor to the best of my knowledge Stalin held. And no, I dont think Roosevelt's formal title of "Commander In Chief of The Army and Navy of the United States" counts. Its a political position, not a field command position. Similar arguement with Roosevelt and Stalin. Demerphq 22:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually no i'm not. (I got intimidated by the notation:-) But I think it should be changed. Demerphq 22:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

The change from "commanders" to "leaders" would open another discussion as Hirohito is much more the true leader of Japan than Tôjô who was just prime minister for a little more than 2 and half years... --Flying tiger 00:35, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Inclusion of Combatants and Commanders in Infobox

Several prior discussions (#CANADA2, #Infobox without major combatants/commanders, a dissenting opinion, and #What happened to the consensus (yet a-freaking-gain) for starters, plus others in the archives) have yet to reach a clear (or undisputed) consensus on the issue of whether or not Combatants and Commanders should be listed in the Infobox. Further, if they are listed, which countries are "major" enough on each side to be listed? 00:59, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Statements by editors previously involved in dispute

  • To reiterate my position, I would prefer only the links to the separate articles, but if the consensus is to include the countries/commanders in the infobox, I would support USSR, UK, USA, and China for the Allied side, with Germany, Japan, and Italy on the Axis. No other Allied country contributed as much to the overall war effort to be listed, when compared to the Big Three and China. Parsecboy 02:52, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • This part of the infobox is a useful educational tool that allows people unfamiliar with the subject to quickly be brought up to speed. It will never be "fair", but it should be consistent with the literature on the subject. My recommendation: China, France, Great Britain, Soviet Union, United States vs. Germany, Italy, Japan. Combatants are listed in alphabetical order. Haber 03:26, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The combatants listed solely as Axis and Allied powers with links to their articles is the ideal solution. It also perfectly exemplifies the war as a global conflict, and does not minimalize the minor roles dozens of less involved belligerents played. Should consensus be established otherwise, however, the allied powers listed should consist only of the US, UK and USSR - for reasons discussed at length previously. Under no circumstances should the Free French be included. --NEMT 04:26, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • As no consensus can be reach on countries/commanders and so much time is wasted on this discussion, I prefer links to Axis and Allies articles but if a list is chosen, in alphabetical order : China, Great Britain, Soviet Union, USA vs Germany, Italy, Japan. --Flying tiger 04:37, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support infobox with USSR, UK, USSA, and China vs Germany Japan Italy. I think it's useful for readers to know who the big players were at a glance. BlueShirts 04:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree in general with Parsecboy and Flying tiger: my first choice is no countries and no leaders in the battlebox; my second is USA-USSR-UK-China & Germany-Japan-Italy. Grant | Talk 04:54, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I am really not too fussed about this. But the key to the discussion is whether or not Canada should be in the list of major combatants. China was not earlier there, but was later included. There seems to be a concensus which is pretty sensible in my view, that the same seven countries are mentioned. Perhaps there is a case for France, as it put up a massive force against the Germans in 1940, but were defeated, and so couldn't play a major part. The United Nations also put the five onb the Security Council, indicating that these were the five major victors. Also Germany was cut into four sectors, without China, as they were not involved to any extent in Europe. Wallie 08:28, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm against the infobox with the flags, and I'm against the commanders list for reasons I state elsewhere. I think it should just be a list of nations involved in either side. This was a "World War" with obviously many countires contributing in various degress. If you choose a measure of "major" contribution that includes only a subset one can always find another definition of major that produces a different list. If you choose gross expenditure you get one list, troops kiled another, contribution versus capacity another, focus on Europe you get another, focus on aisa another. Etc, etc. Including something potentially disrespectful so people can play toy soldiers with the flags is just silly and most importantly is inappropiate in a NPOV environment like this. For instance to many from nations who were involved from the very beginning of the war, the inclusion of nations that entered later, but due to their size were able to make bigger contributions can be perceived ais either biased or insulting. Either list everybody, and I mean everybody, or list no-one. I'd say the list should probably be ordered by date of joining the war or alphabetically, if there is a list. Demerphq 12:07, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • My first choice is simply to link to Axis and Allies, without any countries listed at all, per my previous comments. I don't have a second choice. Anything else is inherently POV, and the debate over what constitutes a "major" or "minor" ally is, frankly, somewhat insulting and I feel tinged with nationalistic biases and preconceptions. I don't see another way to resolve the issue. Badgerpatrol 17:24, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • My vote goes for the links to Axis and Allies. By doing that, it does not hurt anyone, nor offends anyone (Unless they're just dumb). If you want to see who the major allies or axis powers were, you simply go and read the article or click on the link. It's not hard. If you complain you must be pretty lazy.
  • My initial position was to have the countries listed in the infobox (either 4v3 or 5v3), but only as a tool. Yet, after witnessing what occurs each time they are listed, I now prefer to have them removed entirely and use the "Allies" and "Axis" format instead. Their removal is the only solution to prevent the whole "flag" idea from degenerating into a "who contributed the most" debate. Evidently, opinions differ on what constitutes any degree of contribution, which is irrelevant to begin with as we are supposed to maintain a neutral point of view. So if we can not achieve a strictly tool functionality with these "pretty flags", then we must remove them. — Dorvaq (talk) 14:40, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

If there must be countries in the infobox, it should be USSR, USA, and UK vs. Germany, Italy, and Japan. The argument China supporters use makes no sense. Hungary and Romania did more than most other Axis countries, so lets put up them on the major Axis powers list. There are the major 3 allies, the USSR, USA, and UK, and then there is everybody else. It doesn't matter if China did more than France or Canada or Poland. The fact is China did not do as much as the Big 3. The Big 3 are above the line, so to speak, and then everyone else is under, no matter what they did, because the Big 3 did more than them.

Being a major power is not measured by number of casualties. It's a mix of many things, and a big part of that is, for a lack of a better term, common knowledge. Walk up to the average person on the street - someone who knows only the very basics about World War II - and ask them "Who were the major Allies?". They will say the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Mabye some of them will add France or Canada. I'm willing to bet many people don't know China even fought against Japan. Why? Because China is overshadowed by the USA. The average person knows that the USA is a major power, and an enemy against Japan, but they may not know China was. Besides, on everyone's 'Major WWII Allies list', the USSR, UK, and USA are the only ones that are ALWAYS on the list. China, Canada, France, and anyone else may or may not be on the list, but the Big 3 are always considered 'major'. If a country isn't on their level of notability - and for a matter of fact, their overall contribution to the war effort - they do not deserve to be on the list. --Plasma Twa 2 05:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

This doesn't make any sense at all to me Plasma, we should be trying to correct misconceptions, not reinforce them. Grant | Talk 06:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
What misconceptions? Bottom line is the major Allies were the USSR, USA, and UK. No one else can be compared to them. If it was the way I worded it, sorry, but that was the point I was trying to put across. --Plasma Twa 2 06:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
See Four Policemen. Some here have argued that China was more significant than Britain, because of the size of its army and the huge number of Japanese soldiers it killed and otherwise occupied, for eight years.
The general ignorance about these facts is no reason why the Wikipedia article abour WW2 should fall in line. Grant | Talk 06:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
You know, until you brought that term up, I never heard of it before. I'm not denying that China was important to the war effort, but look at it this way. There is the Four Policemen, a term used, from what the article says, by Roosevelt perhaps once or twice. But then there is the Big 3, a term used since the end of WWII around the world, not to mention that (I'm not sure how to explain this, so bear with me) the Big 3 are 3 of the 'Four Policemen', thereby placing them higher above China. As it has beenbrought up before, Canada is not a major power because it didn't do as much as the Four Policemen, and by that logic China is not a major power because it didn't do as much as the Big 3.
Some people here have argued that Canada was more significant that China or France, as well. And, I think when we consider the major combatants in WWII, everyone would do best to remember that WWII went from 1939-45. I'm not trying too undermind anyone here, I mean nothing bad or nothing, but when we talk about WWII we should only have that time period in mind. --Plasma Twa 2 07:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
That's rather a Eurocentrist attitude. There really is no definitive "state date" for World War II, at least not one universally accepted. Sept 1, 1939 just marked the beginning of another European war. One could argue that World War II didn't truly begin until it became a global conflict in 1941, when America and the USSR joined, and the two separate theatres merged into one conflict. The fighting in China in 1937 is no less important than the fighting in Poland in 1939. Parsecboy 13:18, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
As I like to say, the US Navy fought most of the Japanese navy; the Chinese army fought most of the Japanese army. Grant | Talk 15:36, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Look at it this way. Most people from North America and Europe consider the war to start in 1939. Most of them seen to believe the war against Japan was USA only. It may not be universally accepted, but it's the view of majority, so to say. --Plasma Twa 2 19:41, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
So you mean that the population of north America and Europe is the majority in the world? Is wiki serving them only? I do not understand this statement. DCTT 04:01, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


  • I have tried to stay out of this dispute, but feel it has gone on long enough that we need to start working our way through the dispute resolution process. I am hopeful that some wider outside comments will help clear up this dispute. —Krellis 00:59, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I support an infobox with the major leaders/commanders and the 7 major combatants (UK, US, China, USSR, Germany, Italy, Japan), no more, no less. Under Allies/Axis it is sufficient with two "more"-links which link to the specific articles "Allies of World War II" and "Axis Powers". Furthermore, I personally would prefer the combatants sorted in regard to military casualties, i.e. Allies: USSR, China, US, UK and Axis: Germany, Japan, Italy, since I think this would be most fair. On the other hand, an alphabetical sort wouldn't disturb me too much. My reason for wanting to include combatants and commanders is simply because I think it would be of benefit to the casual reader to be able to find these quick links in the infobox. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 13:17, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Military casualties sustained are not a true measure of military effort. If we were to rate the participants in terms of casualties inflicted, many arguments would arise, for example, how many killed axis soldiers equal a destroyed axis tank? With respect, Ko Soi IX 16:50, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

When and where does it start?

Perhaps we should start clarifying some things. The article states that WWII started with the German attack on Poland in 1939. We could mention there with a brief link that the official German version (Gleiwitz incident) was that the Poles were attacking them again (like the Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919) and especially the Silesian Uprisings, which were perceived as attacks on German territory and helped to improve the acceptance of Freikorps and Black Reichswehr in the population because the Reichswehr could hardly handle the situation). However, China had been fighting the Second Sino-Japanese War since 1937, but both conflicts end together in 1945. So one could say that the European War and this war were more grouped together, although being quite independant. In the European theatre it would be adviseable to mention France and Poland (Poland was a major ally until the US joined and France was a major power, no matter how fast they and the British Army were knocked out), similar to the Seven Years' War, the French Revolutionary Wars or the Napoleonic Wars.

Take the FA Corinthian War as an example how short you can keep an infobox. I think it would be a far better idea to list opposing commanders of each area of conflict in tables in the more specific sub sections, while in the general sections we can briefly introduce the commanders in chief in a similar table. Wandalstouring 18:36, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

"So one could say that the European War and this war were more grouped together, although being quite independant." No, I don't think so. The world-wide efforts of the Western Allies were overseen and co-ordinated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff and there was cooperation between the Axis powers, e.g. Japanese submarines operated as far west as the coast of Africa (see Battle of Madagascar) and U-Boats were still operating the Pacific and Indian Oceans in 1945 (see Axis naval activity in Australian waters). Grant | Talk 02:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Meh, as long as you say WWII started 39 and not 37 it is grouped together. Some submarines hardly make a big interaction between the war scenes and German naval units had also been operating in these waters during WWI. The connection was that some allies fought in both theatres and there was a formal alliance between Japan and the European powers leading to the German declaration of war against the US in response for the US declaration of war against Japan after the initial Japanese attack. How the allies handled things in their chain of command is pretty irrelevant. Please list substantial non-Chinese troops fighting in the Chinese mainland against Japan. Chenault doesn't count because these were mercenaries.Wandalstouring 14:29, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Au contraire, Wandal, the AVG were generally not mercs (though there were some private citizens), they were almost completely volunteers from the USN, USMC, and USAAF, under a secret presidential sanction, with American government funding. You want more examples of Western troops in China? General Stillwell was Chiang's Chief of Staff. The Fourteenth Air Force was based in China, and the AVG became the 23d Fighter Group. The Twentieth Air Force flew B29s out of Chengdu. Parsecboy 15:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
"One of General [George E.] Stratemeyer's favorite cartoons showed him sitting at his desk surrounded by pictures of his eight bosses, all of whom could give him orders in one or another of his capacities. The American air commander in the CBI had a status comparable to that of Stilwell, who also wore quite a number of hats. Part of Stratemeyer's command, the Tenth Air Force, had been integrated with the RAF in India in December and was operating under Mountbatten. Another part of it, the Fourteenth Air Force in China, was at least technically under the jurisdiction of Chiang as theater commander. And although the India-China wing of the Air Transport Command received its assignments of tonnage from Stratemeyer as Stilwell's deputy, control actually stemmed from Washington. By the spring of 1944, when the B-29's arrived in the theater, another complex air factor would be added to the potpourri." (Maurice Matloff, 1959, Strategic Planning For Coalition Warfare 1943-1944, United States Army, Washington, D. C., Chapter XIX: "The Second Front and the Secondary War The CBI: January-May 1944", p.441)
Grant | Talk
And there were Indian and Arabian troops serving in the Wehrmacht. Come on, these units are hardly significant compared to the total of US forces (For WWI you do hardly mention the Pacific theatre were some German sailing ships played privateers.). The AVP were mercenaries because they did not fight for their native country and weren't officially recognized as such(that was their status if becoming POW until they were made a US unit). Where they came from and who paid them doesn't doesn't change this. Wandalstouring 17:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
You asked for "substantial non-Chinese troops fighting in the Chinese mainland against Japan". Q.E.D. Grant | Talk 19:19, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Substantial non-Chinese troops fighting in the Chinese mainland against Japan - the Soviets, in 1945. With respect, Ko Soi IX 16:51, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I just wanted to say that given this discussion I do not feel it was appropriate for Godefroy to unilaterally change the thing that we are all debating. Demerphq 15:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

for the popular view of start point of devastating WWII,39 is always viewed by europeans,but considering the Nazi and Japan were two separating decision making countries,the WWII for Nazi really began in 39,and the WWII for Japan and China began in 37.the WWII for the Soviet began in 1941,the USA began in 1941 also.So what importance is how people viewed this war.--Ksyrie 15:10, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

France in the infobox

  • In answer to some messages received on my talk page: I have added France in the list of Allied Powers because it is generally considered as one of the main victors of WWII, reflected by its seat in the Security Council. To list UK, US, USSR, and even China, but not listing France, appears to me as simply covert French bashing. Here it is not our job to discuss the merits of the victors, or to say which victor is more worthy of the status of victor than others. In the best of worlds we would list all allied countries, but that would make the infobox way too long, so we have to select only a few. In order to avoid bias, we need some sort of objective criteria. The five allied nations who were recognized as the main victors in 1945 and given a seat in the Security Council appears as an objective criteria. In the same way, the three countries who were part of the Axis Treaty also appears as an objective criteria (hence we don't mention Bulgaria or Hungary). It should also be noted that these 8 countries (5 allies and 3 axes) were the largest contributors in troops, with these 8 nations contributing several millions of troops each, which is way more than any other nation (Poland, for example, had only 950,000 troops at its most in 1939). Godefroy 15:40, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
To be blunt, France got a seat on the UNSC to prop up it's damaged ego after WWII and to return Europe to an ante bellum status quo, where France was a major power, not because it was a major power during the war. Excluding France from the infobox is not French-bashing, it's realism; France contributed very little to the overall Allied victory. As it's been mentioned before, there was the Big Three, as well as the Four Policemen (Big 3 and China). As for the Tripartite pact members, you're wrong. Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria all signed the pact. Parsecboy 15:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Though I hold no authority to tell people what to do, I strongly discourage everyone from adding or deleting entries in the list until the debate is over. We shouldn't be changing the infobox while still in RfC status so I went ahead and reverted the infobox back to the one used at the onset of the RfC. This will be my one and only revert regarding the infobox. — Dorvaq (talk) 16:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
"To prop up its damaged ego after WWII" is POV. As far as I know, POV is not allowed on Wikipedia (read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view). To complete what I said earlier, here is the total number of troops in the allied armies at their peak:
USSR: 12,500,000
USA: 12,364,000
UK: 5,120,000
France: 5,000,000
China: 5,000,000
British India: 2,150,000
Poland: 950,000
Canada: 780,000
Australia: 680,000
Belgium: 650,000
Yugoslavia: 500,000
Greece: 414,000
The Netherlands: 410,000
New Zealand: 157,000
South Africa: 140,000
And for the Axis:
Germany-Austria: 10,200,000
Japan: 6,095,000
Italy: 3,750,000
Romania: 600,000
Bulgaria: 450,000
Hungary: 350,000
Godefroy 16:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, how I love circular arguments. Sure, France contributed 5 million troops at the onset of the war, but what did France DO with those troops? Absolutely nothing, unless you want to include the abortive Saar offensive in mid-Sept. 1939 that accomplished nothing. Numbers on paper are all fine and good, but real-world accomplishments should be the real criteria for determining inclusion on the list. Oh, and if France didn't get a permanent seat on the UNSC for the reasons I stated, why did they get it? Parsecboy 16:19, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, this is POV. We are not here to judge the merits of countries during the war. It is also interesting to note that the Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish Wikipedias all mention France in the list of main allied powers in their infoboxes, while the German Wikipedia does not have an infobox but does mention five allied powers (incl. France) in its introduction. So why is it that only the English Wikipedia does not mention France among the main allied countries? How odd! Godefroy 16:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
They are also all European languages. How odd. 19:43, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, stupidity of the supreme command is no reason to exclude France. The same argument could be used to question British significance in the WWI, preferably refering to the tactical brilliance of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig. Wandalstouring 17:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
How is using actual accomplishments or contributions towards ending the war as opposed to what was on paper POV? IMO, what was on paper was utterly worthless, as it wasn't used effectively, or to any real effect. Who said anything about judging the merits of countries? I'm talking about what what done, and by whom. I'm not saying that the bad decisions made by the French supreme command excludes them from the list; you're not listening to me. The fact that they were essentially a non-entity in the years between 1940-44, when all the tough fighting (i.e., the fighting that won the war for the Allies) occurred, should exclude them from the list. Parsecboy 17:18, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Slow down, they still did contribute their share with the Résistance and not too few of the French youths were involved. Furthermore they did play a substantial role for the Western allied ability to disable German defences and reenter the European theatre in France. Wandalstouring 17:41, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Sure, they contributed with the Resistance, but if we use that as the justification for inclusion, then Poland and Yugoslavia deserve inclusion as well, as they had equally if not more successful resistance movements. Moreover, the Western Allies would have still invaded and liberated Western Europe without the assistance of the Resistance. France simply just doesn't rate at the same level as the Big Three or China, in terms of contribution towards winning the war. Parsecboy 17:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
You constantly judge them inefficient and based on this argument you say they have to be excluded. The French wikipedia seems to suggest the following view based on general Eisenhower, but their citation style is not up to English wiki standards.

On se réfère souvent au commentaire du général Eisenhower dans son «Rapport sur les opérations en Europe des forces expéditionnaires» :

« Notre QG estimait que par moment, la valeur de l'aide apportée par les FFI à la campagne représentait l'équivalent en hommes de 15 divisions d'infanterie et grâce à leur assistance, la rapidité de notre avance en France en fut grandement facilitée.»

Une division d'infanterie (DI) représente à peu près 10 000 hommes. La conversion des forces de la Résistance en DI a ses limites. Comment convertir les renseignements fournis aux alliés ? Et l'intoxication des Allemands que l'Intelligence Service tenta en manipulant le réseau Prosper du SOE ? On n'aura jamais de réponse certaine à la question : « Est-ce que l'apport de la Résistance fut décisif pour que la tête de pont établie en Normandie ne soit pas rejetée à la mer ? »
So the contribution of the FFI of the Résistance is estimated equivalent to 150.000 soldiers and they did build up this force during several years of occupation (Freeing Corsica already in 1943). It is not clear whether or not the allies would have had the same success without them (especially without intelligence and without attacks on the German supplies and communication). Wandalstouring 18:02, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I never said they were inefficient, I said they did not win the war. Nor did they really contribute much to the effort. The European theatre was largely won by the Soviets, with American backing (lend-lease) and the Anglo-American bombing raids that dismantled Germany's industrial capacity, and to a very limited extent, the partisans on the eastern front that harassed German resupply to the front lines. The war was already won by Normandy, and the drive across Europe just rolled up the German garrisons there, and was pretty much just to control as much of Europe as possible, to prevent Stalin from gaining too much power. My point here, is that the French resistance was irrelevant in the larger context of the war. Parsecboy 18:16, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
There are other sources arguing that the only effect of the allied bombing were homeless people and killed civilians, while the industrial capacity didn't decline. So you do present a personal assessment. Once again, it is tradition to take the pre-war status and not the status during the war to determine significance. Wandalstouring 18:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
To an extent, German manufacturing capacity moved underground or dispersed in small shops in the countryside, but the bombings did have an effect. Take the bombings of Ploesti for example. Taking the pre-war status doesn't make any sense whatsoever. By that standard, the USA wasn't a major power, as it's army was woefully undermanned, underequipped, and undertrained. That argument is ludicrous. Parsecboy 18:43, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

<reset>That's funny, as soon as it goes against the US all arguments are ludicrous, while France was almost equal to the Reich initially. As far as the US is concerned, the navy was a force to be reckoned with and the US army/air force were traditinally of minor importance. As far as the bombing is concerned, they continued to produce and produce increasingly more until the factories were taken by the ground forces. Yes, some equipment got bombed, but possibly not that much. However, starting an assessment of the airraids here is rather pointless, I just wanted to mention that there are opinions viewing its effects very criticical. The whole debate starts to get senseless. Wandalstouring 19:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

These arguments are getting us nowhere. Lets take a look at the critical years of the war: '41-'43, where the tough fighting occurred, the fighting that decided the outcome of the war. In 1941, GB was fighting in North Africa, the Atlantic, and in Burma, Malaysia, etc. the Soviets were being crushed under Barbarossa, and China was essentially in a stalemate with Japan. In '42, the Brits continued in the same areas as 1941, the Soviets made their first successful counterattack at Moscow, and fought around Stalingrad, and the US landed in N.A., fought battles in the Solomons, Midway, etc. In 1943, when the tide turned irreversibly, the Brits and Americans mopped up N.A., and invaded Sicily and Italy, the Soviets were driving the Germans back from Stalingrad, Kursk, Kharkov, etc., in the Pacific, the Americans finished in the Solomons, and landed in the Marshalls, beginning the island hopping campaign. Where in this time were the French armies? In what battles did they participate? Parsecboy 19:29, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

And where was the US in 1939 can be asked when the war was decided in Western Europe? If Hitler's big appetite hadn't received a chilling surprise it would have been questionable whether the Western remains such as the UK could have resisted much longer. The war in the West was over when France was knocked out and there was no really notable fighting afterwards (D-Day and the following operation was mopping up what hadn't been sent East).

The war in Western Europe wasn't decided until 1940, unless you're talking about the failure of France to knock out Germany when it had the chance. Your fixation with Europe is your problem. Are you aware that there was a whole other theatre in the war? And that France contributed absolutely zip to it? While the US, China and to a smaller extent the British (as far as major Allies goes, not trying to belittle Indians, Aussies, etc.) bore the brunt of the fighting? As for the lack of "notable fighting", are you nuts? North Africa ring a bell? Say the Brits had lost the Suez, India and then China would have ultimately collapsed, and Japan could have attacked the USSR from the east forcing a two front war on Stalin. The war could've ended competely differently. Even the invasion of Italy helped tie down German troops there, where they might have had better effect reinforcing the Eastern front or perhaps garrisoning the Atlantic wall. Parsecboy 20:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Look, if you want to use one guideline, make it consistent. If you argue for the exclusion of France, you have to exclude Italy based on the same arguments. As long as you don't strictly use your criteria on all participants your argumentation is only French-bashing. Wandalstouring 19:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Does anybody think this debate is going to end if we dont remove the flags in the infobox? Demerphq 17:46, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
No. Parsecboy 17:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
So far France was a major power, but was defeated, continued to fight without an official army and was reranked as a major power after the war. How far the French contribution was more or less significant than the Chinese (where the soldiers lacked guns) is no point we can judge. It has been tradition in all wars to list the major powers involved and France was a major power when it was involved. Arguably Italy could be deleted because they weren't able to achieve anything without the Germans doing the job for them and eventually were overrun and disarmed by the Germans. Wandalstouring 18:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The arguments about inclusion or exclusion of military powers boil down to an argument who contributed how much to the war. The French were arguably knocked out very fast and the US were very late to join, while the Chinese didn't have enough guns for all soldiers. In all other wars it has been policy to include all major powers, no matter how much or little they did. If anyone can prove the opposite he shouldn't hesitate to list these examples. Wandalstouring 19:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

1. More French personnel fought against the Allies in 1940-44 than fought with them.
2. Canada and Australia had bigger militaries for the last five years of the war, and they weren't major allies.
2. Being a major power for nine months of the war and a UN security council member after the war does not make France a major ally. This is all hopelessly Eurocentric. Grant | Talk 19:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Circular logic leads to insanity. Please try to read the specific question and than answer it and don't post things that are no reply. Wandalstouring 19:29, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
There is no "question". Grant | Talk 19:43, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

If the infobox includes China, it should definitely include France. It may not have had much military action througout the war, but France and the UK were basically the leading countries that stood up to Germany until the USSR joined. Also, although it may not mean much in terms of "major", alot of the war - as in, the stuff an average person knows about it - was about liberating France. --Plasma Twa 2 19:47, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

What about the "average" hundreds of millions in China? Or are we supposed to be reinforcing the ignorance of readers in some countries. Grant | Talk 19:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
It is about criteria and not feelings.
Is that clear enough:
'In all other wars it has been policy to include all major powers, no matter how much or little they did. If anyone can prove the opposite he shouldn't hesitate to list these examples.' Wandalstouring 19:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Feelings? Like the irrational reliance on France's status in 1939-40 and post-1945? Grant | Talk 19:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Joker, if the status of France during these times is your criteria, than do name it, but once again:
Is that clear enough:
'In all other wars it has been policy to include all major powers, no matter how much or little they did. If anyone can prove the opposite he shouldn't hesitate to list these examples.' Wandalstouring 19:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Rather difficult to understand? Wandalstouring 20:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Since I had something of a role in starting this, I will try to summarize my thoughts briefly:

  1. Size of armed forces - Godefroy's troop counts above are compelling data. The French army dwarfs that of the minor powers.
  2. Population of France - 41,502,000 (1936).
  3. Armed forces among most modern and well-equipped in the world.
  4. Both World Wars were started largely out of French/German competition for dominance in continental Europe.
  5. The Fall of France should not be viewed as insignificant simply because of its brevity or its relatively low body count.
  6. France got back into the war at the end, fielding 1.25 million troops by May 1945.
  7. Permanent position on UN security council, and dedicated German occupation zone, speak to French importance and influence as others have noted.
  8. Reliable sources - Although it might be impossible to find a reliable source that will tell us which places or events are "major", we can have a rough idea based on the amount of space various historians devote to a given topic. The overwhelming majority of professional historians, the people that write the books that we are supposed to be using as references, consider France major enough to devote extensive space in their texts to it. It is important for the success of Wikipedia that we adhere to such traditions as much as possible. Haber 20:13, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
If you use the word "frog" as a racial pejorative again I will endeavour to have you banned. Regards, Badgerpatrol 20:42, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
An encyclopedia needs writers, but it doesn't need busybodies. You should be banned for being a waste of energy. Haber 20:54, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Cool it, Haber, no need for comments like that. Parsecboy 20:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that debates over "major" vs. "minor" classification participants are inevitably controversial, since they are seen as value judgements. Statements about what a given country actually did during the war, where appropriate to the narrative, are more objective and give the reader the facts needed to form his/her own opinion. Further, the role of different belligerants was not static over the course of an 8-year (1937-45) conflict - entry of the US and USSR in 1941 clearly transformed the fundamental character of the war from what it had been to what it became; taking a one-size-fits-all approach to major/minor belligerants ignores this essential point. Countries like Poland, France and China were central to the outbreak of the war, even if their organized resistance was brief or relatively ineffective. My suggestion would be to list belligerents in their order of entry, which provides some context without raising NPOV issues, and point out in the text, where appropriate, where each country was especially important in a given campaign or area of the war. Canada, for instance, probably deserves specific mention in the Battle of the Atlantic and Overlord. LagunaDave 21:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

That has been all WP:OR except for LagunaDave's approach, which would be contrary to shortening the list. For the allies, arguments can be based on the talks of the big three, excluding China and France, or arguments can be based on the UN seats, including them, what would be verifiable. However, all other approches are asssessments by wikipedians. If we can agree to one way of listing things, despite being original, it applies to axis and allies, so excluding someone for insignificance in total combat means excluding France and Italy plus marking China (many soldiers without guns) with a big question mark. So far any French focused discussion of this issue is a rather biased approach and can be seen as POV-pushing. Wandalstouring 22:12, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Another possible and verifiable approach would be if a country was considered a major power by contemporaries when it entered the war or participated in the war. So even Italy's mock-ups of military equipment do make it a major power (some German militaries were quite shocked when they found out that their allies didn't even have the equipment they claimed to possess).

Reading what has been written here, it seems to me people are completely overlooking the significant role the French Army reborn under De Gaulle played in the war after 1941. This is particularly true of Parsecboy, who from what I understand is a 21-year-old guy serving in the US Army, and who denies any role played by France after 1940. Parsecboy, perhaps you've watched a bit too much of Fox News. So let me recap a few facts, just in memory of the tens of thousands of French men who died to liberate North Africa and Europe in the years from 1941 to 1945. The French played a significant role from 1941 on, and not just due to the Resistance. It was the Free French under Leclerc who liberated southern Libya after their victory over the Italian at the Battle of Kufra in 1941. It was the Free French in 1942 who resisted for 16 days at Bir Hakeim (Libya) against the advance of the German panzers led by Rommel, which allowed Montgomery to regroup at El Alamein (Egypt) where Rommel offensive was stopped. The French lost 1,183 men (dead, wounded, and captured) but inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans (3,577 dead, wounded, or captured). After the war a station of the Paris Métro was renamed Bir Hakeim in memory of this battle. The Free French were also a key component of Montgomery's troops at the Battle of El Alamein. At the same time, the Free French also played a role in the Pacific by allowing the US to use New Caledonia and French Polynesia as advanced bases against the Japanese. New Caledonia, which had recognized de Gaulle since July 1940, was vital to the US as it was the closest allied territory to the Japanese forces.

The Free French also played a role along with the UK and the US in the liberation of Tunisia. At this point, Vichy France was invaded by the Germans, and the Free French government moved from London to Algiers where they could recreate a French army based on the 1.5 million Frenchmen who lived in North Africa and who were mandatorily drafted into the reborn French Army + colonial troops recruited among the millions of Arabs and Black Africans who lived in the French Empire. At this point the Free French became regarded simply as the French Army again, and not just simply Free French lone fighters. The French Army recreated in North Africa played a major role during the campaign of Italy in 1943 and 1944. The French Moroccans often conquered rough terrain in the peninsula that the American sought impregnable. It was the French again who liberated the island of Corsica in 1943. In August 1944 the French First Army under de Lattre de Tassigny landed in Provence along with the US Army and liberated southern and eastern-central France (it is the First French Army who captured Toulon and Marseille). This is what US general Alexander Patch had to say after the capture of Toulon and Marseille by the French Army: "You have recovered France's largest military harbor (Toulon) and largest commercial port (Marseille). You have won a great victory and you deserve the recognition of France and its Allies." The French First Army, pursuing north, met in September 1944 with the French forces under Leclerc who had come from Normandy and they both liberated Alsace, with Leclerc taking Strasbourg 3 years after he had sworn in Kufra that he would stop only when his troops would reach Strasbourg. It was the French who held in front of Strasbourg in January 1945 when the Germans made their counter-offensive (Battle of the Bulge) and the US wanted to evacuate Alsace. De Gaulle refused and the French Army held Alsace successfully.

Then in the last months of the war the French conquered the German Palatinate and crossed the Rhine without US assistance, and went on to capture Stuttgart, one of the largest German cities, captured by the French First Army on April 21, 1945 along with 28,000 German prisoners. The French First Army then crossed the Danuble and in the very last days of the war the most advanced French columns reached Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. As Haber has already mentioned, at this time the French Army numbered 1,250,000 men, which is much more men than the Canadian, Australian, or Polish armies were ever able to muster at their peak. The general leading the French First Army, de Lattre de Tassigny, received Germany's unconditional surrender in Berlin on May 8, 1945 along with Zhukov (USSR), Spaatz (US), and Tedder (UK). It should also be noted that since the liberation of Paris in August 1944 (by US and French units), the Western Supreme Allied Command (SHAEF) was relocated from London to Greater Paris where it stayed till the end of the war (Eisenhower was leading combat operations from his headquarters in Versailles if my memory serves me right). Greater Paris also became the seat of NATO after 1945, before NATO moved to Brussels in the 1960s when de Gaulle withdrew from the unified command. Trying to portray the role of France after 1940 as insignificant is ignorance at best, and more probably a typical case of French-bashing. Godefroy 23:39, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Wandalstouring, if that is the question, then the answer, as you know very well, is there is an objective qualitative issue (time in combat) here as well as the quantitative (sheer numbers). France was not a major power between June 1940 and June 1944, it's as simple as that. If France was a major ally, then so were Poland, Canada and Australia, based on the qualitative criterion. But I don't think any of them were; the Allies cause did not stand or fall on the participation of French, Polish, Canadian or Australian forces, even though all of them played a vital role in some major battles and campaigns.
Secondly, there is the contribution of the Vichy French to the Axis, unique among the "Allied" powers, whish must be seen as detracting from France's status as a "major ally": the Vichy Armee du Levant fighting the Allies in Syria and Lebanon, an often-overlooked but exceedingly vicious campaign, in which two Victoria Crosses were awarded (as many as the Siege of Tobruk). Then there was the six-month-long Battle of Madagascar, in which 8,000 Vichy soldiers were supported by Japanese submarines. There is also the case of the Waffen SS Charlemagne Division on the Eastern Front.
Godefroy, De Gaulle barely even had a brigade when the FFF were formed. The FFF peak of 1,250,000 men only occurred after the liberation of Paris. In June 1944, De Gaulle had just over one field army. Whereas Poland had two field armies with the Red Army and the equivalent of one with the British. Canada had two field armies in Europe and Australia had two in the South West Pacific. I'm an Australian and I wouldn't claim Australia as a major ally, even though it was an independent country that fought for the whole six years, including the exhausting three and a half year New Guinea campaign. The North African and Middle East campaigns were also long and hard, and the Free French were as significant as Poland or New Zealand in those campaigns, but no more so. For instance, I could name ten battles equivalent to Bir Hakeim that Australians fought in North Africa/Middle East.
As for East Asia and the Pacific, there were virtually zero Free French troops or aviators in the Pacific; the only significant contribution was the ex-Vichy battleship Richelieu.
NATO, the UN Security Council and the occupation zones are irrelevant because they did not exist during WW2. Grant | Talk 04:24, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Amen, Grant. It was getting a little lonely here with these two France aggrandizers. And no, Godefoy, I don't watch Fox News. As for the French landing in Operation Dragoon, there were 3 American divisions, a French division, and a mixed British-American divisional-sized airborne task-force, commanded by Americans. It's funny how you two keep contradicting each other and yourselves, what with Godefroy listing the troop numbers for various countries and ruling out Poland because it had at most around 950,000 men, but then Wandal thinks an approximate 150,000 Resistance fighters is a notable contribution, and then Godefroy turns on his heels and lists the 1.25 million Free French soldiers at the end of the war as notable. So basically what I'm getting at is this: pick a rule and stick with it, not just when it suits your nationalistic goals. Parsecboy 13:34, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder whether you guys bother to read what other people write. The French Army numbered 5 million at the beginning of the war and 1.25 million at the end of it. The Polish or Australian armies were nowhere near those high numbers. The French Army captured Toulon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, and Stuttgart on its own. What city or region did the Australian or Polish armies captured? The reconquest of Alsace was done by the French without waiting for the Americans, with Leclerc boldly crossing the Vosges mountains where the Germans didn't expect any tanks to go through. The French received the unconditional surrender of Germany from Keitel in Berlin on May 8, 1945, along with the Soviets, the Americans, and the Brits. The Australians or the Poles were not allowed there. If people then recognized France as one of the main victors, who are we now to deny this? Godefroy 16:53, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it's actually the anti-France faction that keeps moving the goalposts. We have provided a list of reasons why France should be included. Now they say that because a few of those reasons also apply to Poland, they don't count. The rest of the reasons are irrelevant in their eyes. Parsecboy helped start this discussion by saying, "Therefore, they made no contribution of even minimal significance in 39-40. And their efforts didn't really improve thereafter." It was actually this statement that encouraged me to discuss the issue, because I thought maybe there were a few facts that he was overlooking and his mind could be changed. Still, it's not enough that the French helped start and end both world wars, it's not enough that they bore the brunt of the fighting in 1940, or that they got back into the war in a big way towards the end. They will forever be dismissed as less than for two reasons: 1) They tried to protect too much Belgian territory and overlooked the Ardennes invasion route. 2) The traitor Petain and other collaborators sold them out. Haber 17:32, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that one of the primary problems with the positions taken in these arguments is that they tend to focus on numbers of soldiers, numbers of battles, etc. The counting of these objects ignores the political realities of the war. The reason France was seen as a significant ally by VE-Day was that despite the events of 1940, France remained politically important on the continent, and supremely so in 1945 with the division of Germany. The U.S. leadership was very reluctant to acknowledge this reality, but Churchill grasped it readily. Finally, arguing that France's contributions to the war after 1944 were limited is ignoring that the U.S. was very much against allowing the French any truly significant role in the 1944-45 campaign. Had the original U.S. plan been followed, the French would have never crossed the Rhine in 1945 -- which would have been plainly stupid given that the U.S. 7th Army was assigned too much German territory to conquer as it was. Had the U.S. so wished, France could have done more -- but once again, we come full circle to the political realities of the war -- in this case, the desire of the U.S. to increase their own postwar influence in Europe at the expense of other European countries, most particularly France. W. B. Wilson 19:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
First of all, Godefroy, the French did not capture Toulon and Marseilles "on their own", there was a French armored division that landed with 3 American infantry divisions, and a divisional-sized Anglo-American airborne force. Hardly "on their own". Perhaps to foster a little understanding, let me break down my position. The primary reasons I don't think France was a major power during the war are: 1) They only maintained that 5 million man army for a few months, and then was taken out of the war, so the numbers are irrelevant (i.e., the war continued past 1940). 2) They contributed nothing to the Pacific Theatre. 3) The 1.25 million army at the end was insignificant, as the German army was already crushed. 4) Most importantly, they fought no large battles that directly benefitted the Allied cause (note that I did not say they didn't participate in important battles; I'm talking about being the primary Allied force. So before you say "well, what about Bir Hakeim, etc.?", that's not what I'm talking about). Parsecboy 17:51, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
If one is speaking solely of the battles of Toulon and Marseille, and not the entire campaign in southern France, then it is quite correct to state the French Army captured these cities alone, because they did. Moreover, there were other French units landed besides an "armored division" -- French armor, IIRC, did not play a significant role in the operations originating from the landing in southern France until the Allies moved north of Montelimar. W. B. Wilson 19:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

What I find astonishing in the above discussion is how Grant confuses fundamental elements like army and corps. Before criticizing French contributions to the war after 1940 I'd recommend studying the allied orders of battle for the period. Before the landings in France in 1944, France fielded 9 full strength field divisions (that is in addition to training formations etc.) plus supporting elements (one should also add the Battle of Garigliano to the list of significant French victories). Around that same time Poland fielded 3 field divisions with the allies (I'd have to check whether the two infantry ones were up to strength by that date), I don't have the strength of the remaining Polish forces in the Soviet Union, but those would properly be considered Soviet units. Canada fielded 5 field divisions etc. Add to that all the units raised after June 1944 (largely by incorporation of FFI and deducing sub Saharan African troops that had to be withdrawn from the front in the winter of 1944). So even after 1940 French contributions were significant in combat formations, raw numbers of troops and indeed combat success.

Note the above count of divisions is out of memory but I am 100% certain on the Canadian and Polish units (due to the small number I can identify them all easily). I am also 100% of the existence of 8 out of the 9 French divisions in my count by that date (the 9th is the 27th Mountain), though it's possible one of those (5th Armoured) was not ready for combat prior to the late summer 1944. For all three I ignored training and garrison formations (which were substantial for France which had to garrison Northern Africa) which would be considered of lesser combat value.--Caranorn 00:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Caranorn, I haven't "confused" anything. I stand by what I wrote, although I note that there is some overlap in the case of Canada, as corps and divisions from other countries served with said Canadaian field armies. As for the Polish units which according to you should "properly be considered Soviet units." I say that's garbage. France in 1940-44 would "properly" be considered to have fought with the Axis. An encylopedia should be about more than empty proprieties.
Godefroy: "5 million at the beginning of the war and 1.25 million at the end" and a few battalions for most of the time inbetween, not counting Vichy forces and fascist sympathisers. "What city or region did the Australian or Polish armies captured". The Poles were integrated into large Allied formations and did as they were asked by Allied commanders. The Australians were busy retaking New Guinea in 1942-45. They also recaptured Borneo in 1945. They would have taken part in the biggest and worst campaign in history, if it were not for Mr Oppenheimer. Grant | Talk 01:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
So there were 9 French divisions combat ready by late '44. How many American divisions were there? Over 100. What about the Soviets? I would wager a similar if not larger amount. I was re-reading some earlier debates about the infobox, and found an interesting quote by thatstheway (in reference to Canada) that I think suits this situation perfectly:
"Without the Battle of Britain, Battle of Midway and Battle of Stalingrad the war would have played out very differently. Canada's France's role in WWII, although laudable, was very much to assist existing US and UK efforts, such as Hong Kong or Caen Southern France or the drive into Germany."
Just a little food for thought. Parsecboy 01:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and I can't help feeling that many people here see the "real war" has having finished on May 7, 1945. Nothing could be further from the truth. The battle for Germany, as epic as it was, would have looked like a tea party at the vicarage, with games of croquet compared to the battle for Japan, had it occurred. Grant | Talk 01:57, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Couple of points on orders of battle and timelines. Canada put one field army into the ETO. There were two corps in Canadian 1st Army, and it should be mentioned that the Canadian field army was made whole by units of other nationalities such as the Polish 1st Armoured Division. Where was the second Canadian field army you mentioned? The Polish forces in the east fielded two armies, but if one reviews their ration strength, it is on the order of 90,000 per army, rather like that of a western corps. I am confused why you would contend that France fought for the Axis from 1940 to 1944, perhaps you meant until November 1942, although it is still quite a stretch to contend they "fought for the Axis". The Vichy government supported certain Axis policies, but they hardly fielded large forces that actively supported Hitler's campaigns. Where Vichy troops fought the Allies, it was mainly because the Allies were intent on bringing a particular region of the French Empire into the Allied camp by force of arms, or, in the case of Mers-El-Kebir, an attack by the British designed to cripple a French capability they feared might be used against them. While one can understand the British fears, the act served to poison the well of Anglo-French relations for much of the war. The Germans were able to recruit one regiment of Frenchmen as volunteer troops to fight the Russians -- nothing surprising there, considering France had a population of tens of millions, and as a prewar democracy, had tolerated a wide variety of political views, including strongly anti-communist outlooks. This regiment, mildly reinforced, later became a weak brigade that was given the misleading title "division" in the SS. There were tens of thousands of Frenchmen who died while in the German Army, but they were conscripted because the Germans considered many inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine as Germans and therefore duty-bound to serve the Reich. So, after November 1942, the French fielded a corps in the Tunisian and Italian campaigns, and then a field army in the fighting in France and Germany -- far stronger than any French unit put in the field by the Germans. W. B. Wilson 04:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
One addition to W. B. Wilson's excellent post. The French offered to send additional forces to Italy in 1943 but the offer was not accepted. Essentially most divisions that landed in France in 1944 were available for operations in Italy in late 1943. I'd also like to repeat that the units I listed as serving on the frontlines for France are for mid 1944, not late 1944 when additional divisions had entered the line and more importantly part of the FFI had been sent to the front as light infantry supplements (for political reasons these were not allowed to form entirely new divisions and were instead used to replenish and reinforce existing units, many never even made it to frontline duty for similar political reasons). Lastly the Australians indeed fielded large forces, particularly when compared to that country's population size. But most of those Australian units never saw combat (part of the Militia was used in combat on New Guinea), I could look up the number of divisions that ended up fighting, I'd expect it never surpassed 6 (4 divisions of the 2nd AIF, the others militia). In all of this I don't intend to belittle any of these nations efforts, it's just a question of who played a major role and who played a minor role. France definitely was in that major role in 1939-1940 and again from late 1943-1945.--Caranorn 13:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Forgot one note. One aspect of the Free French and later French contribution is often overseen. How France had to rely on Allied industrial input to rebuild it's armed forces after the defeat of 1940. Unlike other allied nations the French had few manpower problems even in 1943 they could have fielded additional combat units had they received the necessary supplies, that was particularly noticeable in 1944 after the liberation of France where large numbers of volunteers could not be equipped. But also in the low degree of mechanization (of the 9-10 divisions I previously listed only 4 were fully mechanized (3 armoured and one motorized), the infantry largely had to rely on US tank and anti-tank battalions for support, while the french supplied an above average number of smaller infantry units (4 brigade equivalents of mountain troops, 1 brigade equivalent of para-commando etc. by late 1943) of the French army during the campaigns of 1943 and 1944.--Caranorn 13:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Caranorn, you are still ignoring the main point. How many divisions did de Gaulle have in June 1940? 1941? 1942? June 1943?
Canada had four divisions garrisoning the UK for the whole of that period. Folklore has it that they were sent on the Dieppe raid because they were getting bored and getting into trouble. And for the record, the Australian 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th (AIF) and 3rd, 5th and 11th (Militia) Infantry Divisions all saw frontline service. (The 18th Brigade (7th Division), my personal favourite, had battle honours which included Tobruk, Milne Bay, Buna-Gona, Shaggy Ridge and Balikpapan. Most of the others were either not fully-formed or were quickly broken up, due to shortages of personnel. But many smaller independent units also saw combat. Not to mention the RAAF, probably the fifth biggest air force in the world in 1945 and the dozens of corvettes and destroyers commissioned by the RAN. Grant | Talk 17:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget that by the end of the war, the RAN was the 5th largest navy in the world, and it had more than just destroyers and corvettes. The RAN had several heavy cruisers, some of which participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. Parsecboy 17:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Vote on who was a major ally (for lack of any progress in the argumentation)

The issue doesn't get solved with any reasonable discussion on this talk page and is in fact a clash of differing POV on assessment. Let's vote on the subject (feels like kindergarten once again).

Who thinks that the major allies were: UK, USA, Soviet Union, China and France


  1. Wandalstouring 15:39, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Godefroy 16:34, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  3. It seems that every time I'm about to plunge into these little Wiki street fights I hear Herriot's words echoing in my ears: Ah, je t'en prie, mon petit, je t'en prie, ne vas pas te fourrer la-dedans! Now, I'd like to think I helped pioneer "Battle"/info-boxes back in the formative days of WikiProject:Battles, and anyone who knows me can tell by my edits that I like to keep them simple. Free from clutter. I despise "listing every rump statelet that ever puffed a chance whiff of air for or against [a combatant]." But let's just say that we Wikipedians don't exactly have a reputation for careful reflection and sound consideration when it comes to assessing issues in French military history. And I can't help but wonder why a country that for two years had a higher relative war potential than Japan and Italy, powerful fleets, a massive colonial empire, and several million soldiers in the field, should "under no circumstances be included." HenrSurely, if "real-world accomplishments should be the real criteria for determining inclusion on the list," Italy would get laughed out of the article. And incidentally, if we're concerned about representing some of the smaller Allies, I see no problem having "British Commonwealth" instead of "United Kingdom." Albrecht 17:31, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    The Dominions ceased to be subject to British foreign policy in 1931, and Churchill was not the head of the Commonwealth. The Dominions entered the war and fought it on their own terms. So I would be opposed. Grant | Talk 01:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    I don't see why "Commonwealth" can't be used as a normative descriptor, much like it is today, without implying some kind of constitutional subordination. You're basically assuming that the reader would infer from "British Commonwealth" the institutions and practices of the pre-Balfour/Westminster organisation, even though the timeframe specified in this article is 1939-1945. Also, the "Commanders" field was always intended to display each side's main war leaders, not necessarily their heads of government/state (frankly, I think the latter practice is pretty stupid, but I guess this is one article where it's the only realistic option). Anyway, this was just a thought from a Canadian, not a decree. Albrecht 03:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  4. Haber 18:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC) I'm assuming that this is just a survey in accordance with Wikipedia:Straw polls and that it won't be used to try to stifle debate in the future.
  5. Petercorless 18:15, 20 February 2007 (UTC) - France began the war at 5 million. By the end of the war, its armies were back at over 1.25 million. While many people focus on the 1942–1945 timeframe (from U.S. and Soviet entry and thereafter), the early 1939–1940 part of the war saw France as a major combatant. I'd also suggest changing from "UK" to "British Commonwealth" to acknowledge contributions by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, etc., though that's a separate issue.
    See above. Grant | Talk 01:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    I saw above. I read your argument and found it insufficient to prevent the change from "UK" to the broader "British Commonwealth." Considering that Commonwealth countries often provided a vast plethora of forces for the "British" army, such as in North Africa and elsewhere. They shared many common structures and systems. --Petercorless 06:05, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  6. Habap 21:22, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  7. Caranorn 00:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC) I'm a bit astonished that this even has to be debated, France was an essential member of the Allies in 1939 and 1940, from 1943 onwards it slowly regained importance etc. Not to mention, who the five powers were to receive veto powers in the post WWII United Nations.
    It shouldn't surprise you. Judging from this website, discussions on the matter are dominated by a majority of Francophobic know-nothings, with no formal historical training, who adhere to the "trivial pursuit" school of historiography and are informed purely by web forums, American "Dubya-Dubya-tooh" coffee table books, and campus lounges in which their views already hold sway. Albrecht 04:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    I'm astonised that people still think France was a major ally in World War 2. The UN Security Council is about post-war strength, it has nothing to do with the relative contributions in 1939-45. Grant | Talk 01:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The next one who makes a personal attack gets reported. Understood Albrecht? Wandalstouring 05:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
By all means, report any personal attacks you see. But before we begin to riot, bear in mind that I made reference above to "this website," not "this page." You need look no further than Talk:French military history to see what I'm talking about. Albrecht 05:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Back to the topic at hand: list British Commonwealth, China, France, US, USSR for the Allies. I'm also a proponent of China having two listed leaders: Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong. --Petercorless 07:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
ROC leader was Chiang Kai-shek, not Mao. BlueShirts 08:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Yup, Mao only controlled the CCP faction, and never really ammounted to much during the war; the KMT did most of the hard fighting against the Japanese.Parsecboy 13:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Please no more reporting people. It's actually refreshing to have have some discussion for a change, and the last thing we need is for the hall monitors to come charging in. Haber 13:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. I agree, it may seem ridiculous that China is in it, but they have suffered the largest amount of casulties. Eisenhower 21:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)


# Grant | Talk 15:59, 20 February 2007 (UTC) Changing to vote for no countries in battlebox. Grant | Talk 01:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

  1. Mercenary2k 17:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oberiko 18:13, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  3. --Laserbeamcrossfire 23:48, 20 February 2007 (UTC) Niether France nor China should be included on the Allies list as neither wielded significant impact upon the war.
  4. (4 vs 3)BlueShirts 08:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  5. Well, well I thought the decision about removing the countries/commanders in the infobox was still not fixed and it looks we have another "poll of the week"... Anyway, I oppose the inclusion of France and consider the major allies were in alphabetical order, China, UK, USA, USSR... I also propose a vote to find the question for the next poll!!--Flying tiger 16:26, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    I don't think we need to vote, let's just wait until another random nationalist wanders by...maybe we'll get Norway or perhaps Belgium next week ;) Parsecboy 01:52, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  6. If we include France, than someone would want to include Poland or Canada. With respect, Ko Soi IX 16:57, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Other solutions:(optional, you can vote in both cases)

Include no countries and link direct to Axis/Allies articles

  1. Badgerpatrol 16:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Parsecboy 16:45, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oberiko 18:13, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  4. Grant | Talk 01:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  5. Cla68 02:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC). Easiest way to resolve this dispute.
  6. Eron Talk 16:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  7. --NEMT 22:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC). It is the only way to move forward.
  8. Demerphq 08:58, 2 March 2007 (UTC) (All or nothing)

Link direct to Axis/Allies articles and mention the dominant political participants of the conflict - USSR, USA, UK on the allied side who had their leading politicians decide the fate of the postwar world and Germany, Italy and Japan who formed an alliance, but individually planned to change their standing in the world. The suggestion is shaped similar to the Peloponnesian War infobox and gives the reader at least a hint of some important participants. So far I have found no war where only the alliance systems were listed in the infobox.

Thus it would be: Allies, political dominance of UK, USA and USSR vs Axis, political dominance of Germany, Italy and Japan

  1. Wandalstouring 17:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    "Allies" and "Axis" being mentioned on top makes sense. I'd still suggest British Commonwealth (since they fought collectively, or perhaps if people want to get utterly nit-picky "British Commonwealth led by UK"), China, France, US, and USSR for the main Allies, and, yes, Germany, Italy and Japan for the Axis. --Petercorless 18:02, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a rather strange vote set up, I don't think it makes much sense.

First off, the options are not mutually exclusive. I voted twice as I don't think France should be listed as a major power and I would prefer to keep it at just Axis and Allies. A second problem is the slipping of China in there. The first option is China and France, but what if I want China and not France? What if I want France but not China? What if I want neither; is that the second option?

We should start this with an initial vote between listing nations or just going with Axis/Allies factions. If (and only if) we decide to list nations instead of factions, then we should decide on either the criteria for listing a nation and/or a maximum number of nations per side to list.

My thoughts are to stick with Axis and Allies as there are dozens of criteria we could possibly use to decide who was "major" or not. Troop counts, equipment (rifles, tanks, ships, aircraft etc.) production, equipment quality, duration of "official" wartime (from the declaration(s) of war to the declaration(s) of cessation), official recognitions, ratio of population enlisted, non-official combatants (partisans etc.)... and then we have to decide the values of each. Frankly, I don't think any of us here are qualified to be able to state; fully, factually and authoritatively, who was major and who was minor when a nationality can be quite high in one measure, and quite low in another.

Oberiko 18:13, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I also think the options are not mutually exclusive. There are those who would include/exclude China or France but wish to have the Big 3 listed. I voted in favor of 5 v 3 because I feel we need to list the major combatants for someone who comes here knowing nothing at all about WWII. If we insist that they follow a link if they want to know who the Allies were and who the Axis was, we are denying them the value of an infobox. --Habap 21:25, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I set up the vote, but not the axis and allies option. I think it is nonsense because we do list the participating countries in all other modern conflicts except for important alliances such as the Commonwealth or the NATO. Wandalstouring 21:49, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I added the "no countries" option. The initial set-up completely mischaracterised the issue- a large majority (a consensus majority?) of those originally involved actually stated a preference for the "no countries" option [2], then this vote comes along, ignores that, and jumps straight to choosing who is "major" and who isn't- by means of a poll! Wikipedia content is not decided by individual preference- if we have to vote on who should go in the infobox, then ipso facto no-one should go in at all. Any poll (and I do not think a poll is appropriate in this case, since it's fairly obvious that including a list of "major" combatants is going to be inherently POV, against Wikipedia policy and therefore a definite no-no anyway) should should include the option of straight links to Axis and Allies, since that is a) the only option that is in line with policy; b) the option seemingly favoured by a majority of respondents. The initial construction of the vote was inherently biased, and I don't want to come across as harsh to Wandalstouring, but I think he makes this clear with his statement above. Badgerpatrol 22:29, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion (and the reams of archives) on this subject makes it clear that there is no consensus on this. And that's actually okay; it's a complicated subject and the decision as to who was major and who was minor depends on a wide variety of factors, with each being given a different weight by different people: number of soldiers at peak enlistment; length of time in ative combat; effectiveness in combat; participation in high-level summits; pre-War status; post-War status; etc. etc. Add in questions of national pride - either real or perceived - and you've got a situation where there will always be disagreement. So, call it "Axis" and "Allies" and then let people go to those articles, where the subtleties of major and minor powers can be more properly reviewed. - Eron Talk 16:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I think that was enough voting (the language is getting rather nasty, especially Albrecht's). It is clear that the issue will remain a heated and rather France focused deadlock if we try to keep the usual list of major participants. Big problem here is lots of text gets produced, but hardly anybody cares to read it. However, I can't fully suppot the alternative proposal because it gives the reader too little information and is rather uncommon for military infoboxes (just because some people can't agree whether or not to include one participant), so I made my own proposal. Wandalstouring 17:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I've been reading everything people say, if it means anything :) I firmly believe listing just the Allied/Axis links is the only way to go. If anything these discussions has shown us, it's that listing any country beyond the Big 3 for the Allies is inherently POV. Leave it at the articles, and if they need work, let's expand or rewrite them, not spend our time arguing over who did what and the significance of it. We all need to cool off a little here. Parsecboy 20:56, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
WT, you seem to be fixated on France for some reason. You won't have to look very far to find similar debates regarding China and Canada. If the deadlock is currently France-focused it is perhaps in the main part because of the way you constructed your poll. This is not an "anti-France" issue (I'll leave aside for the moment the point about whether there actually is any unreasonable Francophobia evident) it is simply a result of differing, non-standard and non-standardisable criteria for what is and isn't a "major" country. In short, there can't be any NPOV criterion because the whole issue is inherently POV. It cannot be resolved from discussion, or at least it is very unlikely to be. The only viable solution is to ditch the "major" and link direct to e.g. "WWII Allies/WWIIAxis" Badgerpatrol 02:12, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. Please read again that it is absolutely not about who fought, but who talked. So did the prime minister of the Commonwealth or the prime minister of the UK talk with Stalin and the the US president? Depending on the answer it will be Commonwealth or UK. Wandalstouring 18:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    "Political dominance" was not just the dominance of the nominal leaders sitting around at conferences, but the individual or aligned nationstates they were bringing to the table. The UK itself was not capable of dominating even its own Commonwealth, which was why it had been formed in the first place. Post-war political changes further affirmed the loss of territorial control over its colonial empire. The Allied power that was dominant was the collective security of the British Commonwealth: troops who were as often as not Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Indian, etc. I would far more credit the "Commonwealth" as an institution collectively involved in the campaigns in Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Pacific than I would solely credit the "UK," which often found itself stretched rather thin. Winston Churchill, while not the de jure leader of the Commonwealth as a whole, represented the de facto leadership of the Commonwealth. (We'd have to list Queen Elizabeth II if we were being technically forced to cite de jure leaders of the UK or the British Commonwealth.) --Petercorless 18:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Quite simple to solve: Did Churchill say Commonwealth or British interests and does any historian refer to him as representative of the Commonwealth or the British Empire, everything else is OR. Wandalstouring 18:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    If you listen to Churchill himself, the Commonwealth did not exist early in the war (for example, there's no index reference for "British Commonwealth" in Volume I or II of his history of the Second World War). It's "England" above all. But by the end of the war, his stance had altered significantly. In referring to the emergence of the UN and the rise of the US and USSR as the "Big Two" main powerhouses, he wished to counter it with a strong collective position by the British Commonwealth: "This calls for a searching reconsideration of our entire foreign policy for the future. While a World Organization is necessary, it is equally essential that our Commonwealth and Empire should emerge from this ordeal as strong and as influential as possible, making us an equal partner in every sense for the other Big Two." -- Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Volume VI, Triumph and Tragedy, pg. 185. You can also read on page 313 of that volume how Winston Churchill indeed spoke on behalf of the "British Empire" with Stalin and Roosevelt at Yalta, not just on behalf of the UK. He represented the Dominions and lobbied for them to have separate seats in the United Nations. He spoke about how they worked for collective security, though of course, he maintains a position of the supremacy of the UK above them: "When the United Kingdom had declared war against Germany in 1939 all of them had sprung to arms, although they knew how weak we were." He admitted his own discomfort vis-a-vis the USSR, which had also wanted more than one voice, and indeed it was suggested they be given three seats ("White" Russia, the Ukraine and Lithuania), "I recognized that a nation of a hundred and eighty millions might well look with a questioning eye at the constitutional arrangements of the British Commonwealth, which resulted in our having more than one voice in the Assembly..." So, while the UK was indeed its own power, it was the leading power of the British Commonwealth, which undertook joint military operations and even training, such as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). I again suggest that we treat the British Commonwealth as the broader and more precise term for the forces to be cited in the infobox, as otherwise it leaves out the rest of the Commonwealth as "minor" allies, when in fact, in many battles or campaigns, they were the leading or sole forces involved. --Petercorless 20:23, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

21:14, 27 March 2007 (UTC) Each nation involved in World War II sacrificed a certain number of troops and money to the allied cause; in order to pick major wartime powers there would have to be a line drawn as to how many troops and money a nation would have to have sacrificed to be considered one of the powers. However, to many other nations, it may be considered an insult not to recognize their contributions to the allied cause. So in agreement, there really is no clear cut way to recognize those major powers in ww2.

  • Strongly Oppose. This is a fairly obvious rehash of the above. Badgerpatrol 02:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  • nice of Churchill to "lobby" for seats at the UN, to which the Dominions were perfectly entitled as independent countries, alongside Mongolia, Ethiopia and Paraguay. I am still not comfortable with the grouping of the Dominions and UK as "British Commonwealth". For one, it feeds the widespread misconception that the Dominions'foreign policy was controlled by the UK duing WW2. As I'm sure you know, this was neither the case in law or in fact; Churchill tried to prevent the return of the Australian I Corps from North Africa/Middle East to fight the Japanese. (A compromise was reached whereby one division came back immediately, one garrrisoned Ceylon for six months and one remained in Egypt until Alamein.) The political relationship between Australia and the US was far more significant in 1942-45, as shown by what Australian PM John Curtin's said in January 1942: "a routine article for the Melbourne Herald ... enraged ... Churchill. It included the famous words: 'Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom'. Curtin was merely stating the obvious, though it might have been worded more tactfully."[3] Grant | Talk 02:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
You just proved the point. You are correct. The UK often did interfere with or outrightly override the placement or withdrawal of other Dominion's troops. There was a New Zealand Brigade (with two cruiser tank battalions) at Dover which the UK refused to leave during September 1940 even though it was requested to move the force elsewhere (Churchill, The Second World War, Volume II, pg. 410). Churchill finally acquiesed to send them towards Egypt in November, once the threat of an invasion of Britain had passed (ibid, pg. 445). There were repeated contentions regarding the independence of operations by the Dominions. Did Churchill (and the rest of the UK) want his (their) cake and to eat it to? Of course. This was a time of Britain in transition. We can either list the war as being fought by the UK, the British Commonwealth, or the British Empire, all of which are legally true and valid ways to discuss the matter. To describe it as the "British Empire" would imply, I think, too much control of the UK over its Dominions, and to simply say "the UK" ignores the significant contributions of the Dominions to the UK's and Commonwealth's collective security. Hence, I believe "British Commonwealth" is the most appropriate way to describe the major power that fought for the Allies to be listed in the infobox. However, having made my point, and further clarified your own, I yield to the collective thoughts of all. --Petercorless 19:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

My opinion

I have not been involved in this debate at all, and am responding to the request for comment. It seems to me that the main bone of contention is whether countries involved in WWII should be listed in the infobox. There are several things to consider:

  1. Does listing some countries and not others in the infobox violate NPOV policies?
  2. If there are countries listed, in which manner should they be listed?
    1. Alphabetical Order
    2. By number of troops
    3. In one list or Axis vs Allies
  3. On what criteria do we determine which countries deserve mention?
    1. Number if troops in the battle
    2. Percentage of total population involved in battle

As such, I would like to propose a vote in the hope of achieving some sort of consensus. Feel free to add more sections if you feel the need. Bensmith53 10:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

You have summed up the situation pretty well Ben, and thanks for your input. However, there has already been (at least) one vote on this issue (see e.g. elsewhere on this page). This resulted in some meatpuppetry but overall a strong 11-5 majority in favour of excluding individual nations from the infobox, in line with NPOV policy. Unfortunately, some parties were not prepared to accept this and continued to edit war over the issue, which has led to the current mediation case. Feel free to comment on the mediation talk page at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/World War II. Badgerpatrol 10:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Sign your username using three tildas under the headings for the relevant questions:

Does the selective listing of countries violate NPOV policies?



  1. Bensmith53
  2. Juru 17:37, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
If there are countries listed, in which manner should they be listed

Alphabetical Order within allegiences

  1. Bensmith53

In descending order based on the number of troops involved, regardless of allegiences

In descending order based on the number of troops involved within allegiences

On which criteria should the countries, if any, deserve mention?

Number of troops involved

Percentage of population involved

French anti-Allied combatants

  1. The numbers speak for themselves Ko Soi. Total number of troops at their peak:
    France: 5,000,000
    Poland: 950,000
    Canada: 780,000
    Godefroy 17:10, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    If we look at the duration those numbers were sustained (peak or similar), the picture will be altered somewhat. Another issue is that more frenchmen died fighting for the nazis than against the nazis (Urlanis). With respect, Ko Soi IX 17:42, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    Altered, yes, but not necessarily to the detriment of France. Canada began with war with only 6,261 regular soldiers and sailors. By 1940 only 23,000 Canadians were serving in Britain. Only 5,000 fought in the French campaign. etc. Albrecht 17:58, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    More Frenchmen died fighting for the nazis than against the nazis?? That's a joke Ko Soi, isn't it? If you want to be respected, stop saying stupid and insulting things. Godefroy 21:27, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
    It's not a joke. It's a mistake. According to Urlanis, 20 thousand frenchmen died fighting in the Resistance, while 40 to 50 thousand died fighting for the Nazis. However, many more frenchmen died defending France (at least 90 thousand) and later on in the war. My apologies to those offended. With respect, Ko Soi IX 00:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Beyond that, your numbers are misleading. Given what we know about the foreign policy aims and ambitions of the Vichy regime, it's pretty ludicrous to suppose that those fighting for Pétain fought also for the Nazis. The only French soldiers truly to die "for the Nazis" were the comparatively miniscule numbers in the Légion des volontaires français or the SS Charlemagne. Albrecht 03:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Vichy France was a puppet state of Germany, was it not? With respect, Ko Soi IX 05:38, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Not exactly. It was an extremely vulnerable state forced by miltary circumstance and German pressure to adapt its policies to the needs and desires of the German occuppiers. Elements of the Vichy regime certainly collaborated with the Germans in various fields, sometimes willfully, sometimes with extreme reluctance. But although it wielded tremendous power, Germany never really directed the foreign policy programmes of Vichy France like one would a puppet state; in fact, the Nazis (for example) stifled Franco's and Mussolini's designs on French territory for fear of offending Vichy. In any case, it's fair to say that the Vichy military units who fought the Allies in Syria, Morocco, Madagascar, etc. were simply protecting the territorial integrity of the French colonial empire, not pursuing German policies or interests. The French armed forces as a whole were still extremely Germanophobic and viewed collaborationists with disgust and hostility. Albrecht 06:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Really? The Vichy authorities in Syria and Lebanon allowed the Luftwaffe to refuel there, which was the main reason for the Allied invasion. It wasn't even as though Syria or Lebanon had a common border with an Axis state, through which it could be coerced. The Armee du Levant fought like tigers against an Allied force that included Free French soldiers. If it quacks like duck... Grant | Talk 06:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Colonial authorities had nothing to do with it. The Syrian airfields were a concession made by Admiral Darlan as part of a reciprocal agreement aimed at reducing reparation payments and securing the release of French POWs (not that Darlan had any great qualms about pulling the chair out from underneath l'Albion perfide, but ultimately he had France's interests in mind). Metropolitan French military forces were demonstrably unenthusiastic about Darlan's initiatives and went as far as to countermand some of the government's orders. Albrecht 07:15, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    The point,as I think you know, is that the Vichy overseas territories were able to join the Allies, or at least decline to co-operate with the Axis, especially when they shared a land border with an Allied territory (Palestine). This was clearly more than a case of "we were just following orders". And as I've said before, two Victoria Crosses were awarded in the campaign; clearly more than a "walk in the park" for Allied soldiers facing a reluctant enemy.
    And we haven't even touched on Operation Torch, in which the Allies suffered 1,200 casualties and another VC was awarded. Grant | Talk 09:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Actually, I'm still trying to figure out what point you think you're making. Of course the Syrian authorities were "following orders"—orders from the head of their legitimate, internationally-recognised government. You'll have to explain to me how that turns them into Nazis. As far as I know, there were no death camps in Syria, but maybe you've consulted some dramatic, tell-all account of the Syrian campaign of which I've never heard. The idea that French armed forces—whatever their political sympathies— would suddenly surrender their jurisdiction to an invading British army is a nice fantasy, but it has nothing to do with the historical record. (And yes, in 1941 much of the French administration believed the Germans might well break through to the Middle East). Contrary to popular belief (and I know this'll scandalize many of you), fighting the French is very rarely a "walk in the park." So, Victoria Crosses were awarded? Wow, I'm sold. If your argument is: "1) Victoria Crosses were awarded 2) Victoria Crosses can only be awarded when fighting Nazis 3) Therefore, Vichy French units were Nazis," then I fear we're in bad shape. So what I would suggest is this: go dig through the French military archives and round up all the documents you find of military officials saying, "I love the Nazis and I'm glad to be fighting for them here in Syria." Lots of luck. Albrecht 15:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Oh, and thanks for letting me know about Operation Torch. These discussions, of course, are where I turn to for insightful analyses of military history. I didn't know it occurred. Albrecht 15:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Vichy France is the definition of puppet state. A few rationalizations from some collaborators doesn't change anything. Darlan "ultimately he had France's interests in mind"??? Come on! Haber 13:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Only to middle-schoolers and bubble-gum programs on psuedo-history-networks—it's a convenient generalisation when space doesn't permit an accurate description of French foreign policy, but no one who's studied the subject in any depth would label Vichy a puppet state. I suppose it doesn't bother you that my rationalizations are correct? If you want to reduce the immensely complicated topic of wartime French politics—which I've obviously spent a lot more time studying than you—to "rationalizations from collaborators," please go right ahead, but don't expect to be taken seriously. You're well on your way to exhausting your credit in that regard. Albrecht 15:08, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    unindent. Maybe they need to teach you some ethics at that fancy school of yours. Generally, it's not ok just to do whatever you want when things get "complicated". People who ignore this concept shouldn't be surprised when others give them nasty labels like "traitor" or "collaborator". Haber 16:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    OK. But maybe if you studied some history and political theory on top of ethics, you'd know the difference between a pluralist administration (with collaborationist elements) and a monolithic puppet state. And frankly, spitting out nasty labels like "traitor" and "coward" at those who didn't have the luxury of a channel or an ocean between them and the Nazis—like our fathers and grandfathers had—is a far graver moral hypocrisy than signing an armistice with your conqueror after being abandoned by your principal ally, and doesn't exactly qualify you as a level-headed participant in this debate. If you truly think it was just a case of Vichy diplomats and soldiers "doing whatever they wanted," then I think you've been watching an alternate account of World War II. Albrecht 16:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Albrecht, what do "death camps" have to do with anything?
    You tell me. You're the one trying to argue that French military forces somehow associated themselves with Nazi aims and ideologies, despite being demonstrably and virulently anti-German. I'm still waiting for you to make it work. Albrecht 03:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    How about this? Here's a nice quote from the article:
    "The Vichy government eagerly participated in the Holocaust, for example with the July 16, 1942 rafle du Vel'd'Hiv, in which 12,884 Jews were arrested, including 4,051 children which the German authorities had not asked for. They were all sent to Drancy transit camp anyway."
    Hmm...don't quite see how that's not acting in accordance with a Nazi aim or ideology. Maybe I'm just France bashing. Parsecboy 16:12, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    Of course you are. But that's neither new nor out of the ordinary. Of course, if we actually studied the evolution of European political thought instead of plumbing Google and Wikipedia for ad hoc, off topic arguments, we might realize that radical anti-Semitism was practically invented in France. And since we're obviously so fond of the Wikis, ever hear of Maurice Barrès, Paul Déroulède, or Charles Maurras? Did the Nazis pen La France Juive, I wonder? I suppose the Dreyfus Affair was the work of the Gestapo? All this of course ignores the fact that people—collaborators—like Laval resisted enormous German pressure to deport French Jews; that Paris radicals (who were themselves hostile to Vichy), not the Vichy state apparatus, were the most complicit in aiding and defending the SS; that French military services actively opposed Vichy's efforts to target and imprison these different groups. In fact, Parsecboy, you're guilty of a pretty cheap strawman distortion of my earlier statements. Step back and look at this discussion. Scour this page from end to end, examine it with a magnifying glass, and show me where I said: "No part of the Vichy administration was ever sympathetic to any Nazi ideology." Failing that, you should stop and explain how the actions of French bureaucrats and police units in Paris reflect on French military units in Syria. Better than that; instead of appealing to generalities or striking up spurious correlations between different slices of the French state, why not show us some historical evidence of the French army's supposed desire to "fight for the Nazis" and, presumably, assist in Nazi tyrrany and domination of Europe? Albrecht 17:14, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    You can't have it both ways; either Vichy France was a puppet state and it wasn't accountable for its actions, or it wasn't and it chose to fight against the Allies. And colonial regimes had even less excuse that Vichy itself, since most of them did go over to De Gaulle without a shot. In fact, French armed forces did "suddenly surrender their jurisdiction" to an invading Allied forces in most French colonies (Guiana, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, erc). It was no "fantasy". This is shown by the fact that the military governors of West Africa (Boisson), Syria-Lebanon (Dentz) and Madagascar (Cayla and Annet) were convicted of treason by French courts after the war. In fact Annet was sentenced to "lifetime national degradation".[4] Grant | Talk 17:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, are we discussing history, or are you just typing for the fun of it? It's strange, I've read many accounts of Vichy's military engagements, but I must have missed all the times when they chose to attack the Allies. Like that time at Mers-el-Kebir, where the British fleet was peacefully steaming by when Darlan roared, "Dudes, this is bogus, I'm opening fire." Right? In Syria the French garrison defended itself from attack, as was its function. In other places, resources, materiel, geography, strategic realities, and the personal dispositions of various commanders forcibly produced capitulation to the Allies. What's the problem? You're trying to assert that because some French leaders chose to join the Allies, those that did not were automatically Nazis. Not exactly crippling. So unless you can find some startling new documentary evidence to substantiate your awkward opinions, I'd suggest you consult the historical literature before making any more extravagant claims regarding the sympathies of the average Frenchman, let alone the French soldier. Even the pro-Nazi collaborators themselves had the sense to detect their own unpopularity among the French citizenry. Albrecht 03:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    Calm down and quit the ad hominems. Nazi does not = fascist. Fascist does not = Axis. Sympathy with Axis does not = formal member of Axis. As I said before, Vichy was an Axis co-belligerent. And the point, as you know very well, is that the Vichy military contribution to the anti-Allied cause was substantial. Not as much as Hungary, but substantial all the same. And significant enough to stop France, in toto, being considered a major ally. Grant | Talk 04:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    The point? Well, if all you're saying is "Vichy was a co-belligerent," then I don't think you're making any real point. We already know that. The question at issue, if you look above, was whether it was accurate in any sense to say that "40 to 50 thousand died fighting for the Nazis." No. Wrong. Also, it's pure sophistry to suppose that the Third Republic's wartime efforts (or Free France's, for that matter) need to be balanced somehow against Vichy's. The two were constitutionally different states; no one's clamouring for Vichy's inclusion in the list of Allies. Albrecht 14:25, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
· Can you specify what you mean by co-belligerent? When did Vichy fight the Allies at Hitler's behest rather than as an act of defense against various Allied operations designed to force a particular area of the French Empire into the Allied camp? What was this "substantial" military contribution other than acts of defense? I have the impression that you are equating anyone who fought with the Allies as a true member of the Axis -- kind of odd since it would be possible to have been in conflict with the Allies and yet not be truly on board with Hitler's plans for Europe. Further, if this logic is followed to its conclusion, then Italy should be moved to the Allied camp given its contributions post-1943 (many more Italian troops supported the Allies in 1944-45 then Frenchmen who voluntarily served in German units during the entire war) and the U.S.S.R. should be considered for movement into the Axis camp for its attack on Poland and the large numbers of Soviet citizens who served in the hundred+ (at least) Ostbataillone of the Wehrmacht. Yet nowhere does anyone in this debate wish to move either Italy or the U.S.S.R. into the opposite camp -- why? W. B. Wilson 16:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
By co-belligerents, I mean they were fighting the same people. No-one is saying that it was at Hitler's behest, but do you imagine that Hitler was dismayed by the Vichy reaction to Operation Exporter, Operation Ironclad or Operation Torch? Why did some Vichy colonial regimes feel the needed to "defend" themselves against the Allies, including their own countrymen, while others did not? As for Italy, well there are similarities with France, but no one is saying that Italy they were a major ally. That would be absurd... Likewise the "hundred+ (at least) Ostbataillone" were a miniscule force, compared to the 35 million who served in the Soviet armed forces during WW2. Grant | Talk 17:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
· Grant, if "fighting the same people" is the definition, that implies the U.S.S.R. was an Axis co-belligerent when they invaded Poland on September 17, 1939. The problem with this definition is that it attempts to impose reasoning that is far too simplified to represent a vast spectrum of possible national behavior ranging from being firmly in the Axis camp to being firmly in the Allied camp. The nations, all of them, did what they thought was best for themselves -- and the only reason that some of them operated more or less in concert with others was that they shared some mutual goals. This explanation of national behavior is much more useful, if only because it can easily explain the behavior of Vichy France (goal = survival), the U.S.S.R. in 1939 (goal = removal of Polish state), and the U.S.S.R. in 1941 (goal = survival, therefore, the nation with which they were once partnered [Germany] is now an enemy to be fought to the death). I don't see why one should question the consideration of Ostbataillone if one wishes to be taken seriously when one raises the question of the far more miniscule French voluntary contribution to the Wehrmacht as qualifying for co-belligerent status. I also find the notion of constant participation in the war as a qualification for "major ally" questionable -- neither the U.S.S.R. nor the U.S.A. rushed to join the war in Europe until events forced the war on them. Thus, the U.S.A. was "out of the war", "doing nothing", from September 1939 until December 1941, two years later. As you well know, the dates are similar for the U.S.S.R., except its case is even worse, since it actively participated in the dismantling of eastern European states and territory grabs. But it would be absurd to use their lack of constant participation as a reason for denying them "major ally" status. If the group opts to use a set of rules to determine who is "major" or not, then the rules should be applied with the same force to every nation. W. B. Wilson 18:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. What about Finland then? It was in a very similar situation; it was an Axis co-belligerent because it fought (defensively, mind you) the Soviet Union. It did not attack Leningrad even though Hitler wanted them to do so. They were likewise not signatories of the Anti-comintern pact, and they were one of the few Axis states to not deport Jews to the Holocaust, i.e., not truly on board for Hitler's plans for Europe. This all sounds like collaborationist apology. Besides, as I've shown above, the Vichy were aiding the Holocaust.Parsecboy 16:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
·No apologies for collaborationists here, Parsecboy, and it is poor form for you to assume so. No offense meant, but I'd really like to hear from user Grant in reply -- I am honestly trying to follow his logic on Vichy being a co-belligerent and wish to determine which military operations they initiated in concert with the Germans as a member of the Axis -- because from what I've read, the apparent top goal of Vichy France was survival until such a time that the international situation would allow France to have a greater say in its destiny. Finland was another state that swapped sides during the war in addition to having had a private war with the U.S.S.R. -- so what? They both actively fought with German troops (allowed into Finland to attack the U.S.S.R.) and fought against German troops when the only other option was being overrun by the U.S.S.R. The Finns were never occupied by Germany and had no reason to really fear a serious German attempt at invasion -- so one must conclude there was some willingness to host German troops and allow them to use Finland as a springboard for at least some German military operations. Finally, aiding the Holocaust was a despicable act by the Vichy authorities -- but it does not make them co-belligerents -- unless one claims that acts of political oppression and murder are equivalent to states initiating wars. W. B. Wilson 16:44, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. No offense taken, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. The "so what?" of Finland is that it was in a similar situation as Vichy France, but no one disputes that it was a de facto member of the Axis. The reason I mentioned the Holocaust is because you said "...yet not be truly on board with Hitler's plans for Europe", when it clearly was not the case. Parsecboy 16:52, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    · Well, if one wants to say that Finland was opportunistic in seeing an chance to regain very recently lost territory by working with the Germans, then okay. I do not understand the comparison to Vichy France -- VF was occupied (correction: trying to stay UNoccupied) and kept only a very flimsy political existence by striving to avoid angering Hitler. I do not see Finland's situation as comparable. I suppose the limited-objective operations they initiated in 1941 to reclaim the territory lost in the Winter War could be construed as a sort of very active defense -but- that idea loses a lot of steam when one considers they did allow a German field army into their nation to conduct German operations against the U.S.S.R. which had precious little to do with Finland's territorial grievances. I contend this is a far more active form of national collaboration and belligerence than VF defending territories against military attack -- something any nation does when its territories are attacked. W. B. Wilson 17:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    And we all know they weren't literally fighting for the Nazis. The sophistry is in your head, as shown by your own use of straw men like "Vichy's inclusion in the list of Allies", and euphemisms like "constitutionally different". Grant | Talk 15:56, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    Now here's an interesting admission. The question, of course... If you knew these statements were false, then why did you continue to promote them? Hmmm? I don't know if you realise this, but if you acknowledge that Vichy units didn't fight for the Nazis, you're left with the platitude, "Vichy units fought." Bravo, big guy. For days now you've struggled to scrape together a single historical argument for or against any position, only howling that France, like Carthage, had to be struck down (off the Combatants list). Do you even know what a strawman is, O Cicero? Look them up, you seem to be pretty fond of them, throwing up a new one each time I tear the last one down—no one's talking about Vichy as an Ally, so stop appealing to Vichy's behaviour as a smear on the French Republic/Free France. It's a nice waste of time, but that's it. Now, I'm not sure what was so complicated about "France's enemies," but in the minds of these crypto-fascists, they were the Germans—I assume you misread that entry. Beyond that, while I'm not sure what you mean by "the sophistry is in your head," I'd like to point out that your assumption of broad political continuity after 1940 is entirely off the mark. Pétain dissolved the French Republic, annihilated all liberal democratic practices and institutions, and created the Etat français. The distinction seems pretty real to me, and to most historians, but you can probably delude yourself otherwise. Albrecht 17:43, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    You have become so specious and abusive that it's hardly worth responding. I couldn't care less about the status of Vichy vis-a-vis the Third Republic. The subject,as I have always understood it, is Vichy France's contribution against the Allied cause and the impact of this on France's status as an Allied power. I never signed up for whatever narrow and twisted subject that you insist it is the real "question". Sorry to disappoint you, but it's a free discussion page.
    You now want to pretend that Vichy was somehow not really France, which is ingenious, but also bizarre and somewhat Orwellian. And you insist that the Vichy colonial regimes had to "defend" their territories. If "(Vichy) France's enemies" really were the Germans, as you insist, why did they fight the Allies? In fact, some Vichy French colonial regimes, in Guiana, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, Tahiti (etc) did not fight the Allies. In fact they welcomed them and became Free French. I guess, in your eyes those particular colonial regimes were too cowardly and unpatriotic to defend French sovereignty, against.....hmm, well what exactly was it that Vichy officials objected to about the Allies, including the Free French? There is no escape from the stain on France's standing in World War II that was Vichy policy. Grant | Talk 19:39, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    I don't think anyone besides Albrecht is buying the Vichy apology. Still, it doesn't mean France shouldn't be in the infobox. Haber 19:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Nice one, chief. You know, you can continue to try to dismiss a nuanced view of French social and political developments as "Vichy apology," or you can, say, read a book on the subject and maybe understand that ideologies defined by various forms of extreme nationalism, such as Pétain's Révolution national, usually aren't terribly enthusiastic about accepting a state of servitude to a hereditary enemy. Albrecht 03:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    As Haber said, the logic that Vichy's resistance to the Allies — and its direct contributions of personnel to the German military on the Eastern Front — detract from France's status as an major ally is perfectly clear to most people. There has been a similar discussion about Denmark's conduct at Talk:Allies of World War II, with the result that Denmark was removed from the main list of Allies, at the suggestion of a Dane. No-one is proposing that in regard to France, but only because of 1940 and 1944-45. Pétain's Révolution national and your "hereditary enemies" (another straw man) are irrelevant because authoritarians, ultrarightists, fascists, Nazis (etc) all generally share the characteristic of ethnocentrism. That doesn't stop them submitting to the top dog. Grant | Talk 15:56, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
    Note, one shouldn't consider de Gaulle too important before june 1944. There were many other important French figures on the allied side who did not support his leadership role. I can't quite recall which general/admiral was until his death (assassination iirc) considered the most likely leader for the united (FFL, FFI, North African forces etc.) Free French. Even after June 1944 there was massive opposition to this relatively low ranking general as political leader of France.
    Lastly I'd agree that Vichy France fulfilled many of the roles generally assigned a puppet state (one major exception is clearly the VF armed forces which in most cases did all they could to avoid serving the Axis). Most Vichy executives should also be considered collaborators and traitors (my own grand father was a collaborator, though in a different country so I know what I'm talking of), though of course their degree of guilt varied from person to person...
    None of that is really relevant to the topic at hand, whether France was an allied major power. Vichy France's contribution to the Axis militarily or politically was minimal and cannot be compared to the various French factions fighting with the Allies before or after the summer of 1940.--Caranorn 23:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    45,000 Vichy troops fought the Allies in Syria and Lebanon alone; I think that would have to be more than the "various French factions" in 1941. Grant | Talk 02:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

A different take on the poll

The above poll is starting to look very convoluted and, IMO, rather circus like. Considering the ambiguity that four options with overlap and multiple-selections-allowed brings, the outcome is inherently suspect and likely to only set off an entirely fresh round of debates. Offense to no one, but I'd like to propose that we nullify this poll and start a new one as follows:

Round 1

  • Allies and Axis only
  • Nationalities (if this wins, go to round 2)

Round 2a

  • Include France (Allied, French Third Republic)
  • Don't include France (Allied, French Third Republic)

Round 2b

  • Include France (Axis, Vichy Regime)
  • Don't include France (Axis, Vichy Regime)

Round 2c

  • Include China
  • Don't include China

Round 2d

  • Include Italy (Axis)
  • Don't include Italy (Axis)

Round 2e...

  • Include Nation X (Canada, Australia, Hungary, Romania, Norway, Italy (Allied), Poland, Finland (2x, Axis and Ally)...)
  • Don't include Nation X

Oberiko 18:39, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd support this kind of voting, although I still doubt there'll be any consensus if it goes past round 1. Parsecboy 20:56, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think there'd have to be, since if (and only if) we choose to have nationalities, we'll decide each one independently. It certainly won't be unanimous, but it will be the consensus.
The only problem I can foresee if we go the nationalities route would be something that seemingly doesn't make sense (Major Allies = U.S., British Commonwealth, U.S.S.R. and Brazil) should the voting become flooded by any particular "pro-Nation X" group. Oberiko 21:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the only issue is to whether to include "major" allies and which of the usual suspects (USA,UK,USSR,China,France) gets a spot. I don't think there's been any discussion to include minor countries in it yet. BlueShirts 23:25, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
In this segment? No. But Poland and Canada are in the discussion list above. Regardless, because we're doing them separately, we can have X number of countries to vote inclusion / exclusion for. Plus, in a war as complicated as this, there's always going to be some nation which (in some metrics) did nearly as much as our "lowest" major ally. The old "why X, but not Y when the difference is only Z?". Oberiko 00:51, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
This is the only way to do it, although it's going to be a convoluted nightmare of a poll if we go past the first knock out round (hopefully Oberiko is going to take a few weeks off in order to organise and police it ;-)...certainly the poll above (currently in progress) is not valid. The first question should obviously be: "countries in the battlebox vs. no countries in the infobox". Badgerpatrol 02:05, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
In response to Obierko's above comment: this is exactly the problem. We either need to list just the links to the separate articles, or if we're going to list countries, list only the Big 3, for without 1 the other two would not have been able to win. Surely it is unanimously held that the contributions of these countries tower over the rest. If we include the 4th most major power, then the 5th wants in, and the 6th, and so forth, until we have an infobox with some 70-odd countries in it taking up half the page. Long story short; the best option is just the links, failing that, the only workable solution would be to limit to 3v3 for the infobox. Parsecboy 02:41, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the slippery slope argument is a bit of a stretch: we should be able to determine Which countries are significant based on a selection of objectively justifiable criteria. I don't think we're going to have too many people championing Nicaragua, say, or Liberia. But since we obviously aren't, short (Axis/Allies, or Big Three(Four)/Big Three) lists are certainly better than long lists. When it's gotten to the point where we're listing the Roman Republic in the French Revolutionary Wars and Colombia in the Korean War, you have to wonder if we're saying anything useful. Hopefully this discussion forced a few people to reconsider their conception of French military contribution to WWII. But, in any case, I suppose I don't mind Axis/Allies. Albrecht 03:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Right, we should be able to determine what countries are significant or not, but apparently, we cannot. Check out the archives. The problem with selecting objectively justifiable criteria is that no one agrees what's important. If you scroll up to the "China?" section, you'll see that we tried to come up with some criteria to in/ex-clude China from the list, and there was no consensus. What's important to one editor might be irrelevant to another. For example, population size might be important, but then that makes China and India the two largest Allied powers. The core issue here is that a lot of countries made important contributions to the war, but very few of them were major powers, to the disappointment of a lot of jingoists out there. Where's the cut-off?
To be honest, I did learn some about the French military during the last year or so of the war (it's always been glossed over in my experience, be it high school or college), though I still believe it doesn't compare to the Big 3, if that makes you feel any better, Albrecht. Parsecboy 03:49, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Before anyone starts making personal attack accusations, I'm not talking about anyone here, more the anon users who generally start these arguments. Parsecboy 03:51, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The unfortunate thing is that the world is full of should's. Here's the main problems I see, if we go the nationality route and use numbers to back up claims:
  1. What are the metrics we are using? (troop levels, casualties taken, casualties inflicted, time in conflict etc.)
  2. What weight do we give each metric? (Who did more? The one who lost 100 and killed 50, or the one who lost 50 and killed 100?)
  3. Where do we draw the cut-off point? (Having 1000 "points" will get you in as a major, but 999 won't)
  4. And, worst of all, once we have them, the metrics, weights and point limits are all arbitrary anyway.
That's why I'm advocating a clean vote (if it goes to round 2) instead of a formulaic process. X people think Nation Y should be in, Z people think it shouldn't. Done. I don't think all numbers should be dismissed (indeed, careful review of the overall picture should be made by a participant before casting a vote), but ultimately, it's probably going to end up being a "gut" thing. Oberiko 04:11, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any objections to my polling idea, so I'm going to go ahead and create it. Oberiko 16:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


... "Alsace-Lorraine was given to France, which also separated the Saar area from Germany."

A.L. was not given to France in the aftermath of WW 2 but WW 1 and doesn't seperate the (eastwards lying) Saar area from Germany (which is pictured correctly in the map). The Saar area was temporarily removed from Germany in the aftermath of WW 2. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Only if one wishes to be highly selective about which point in history to determine as the "terrain ownership starting point in time". Alsace and Lorraine had been part of France for quite a while before 1870, when Germany absorbed these regions as spoils of their victory in the Franco-Prussian War. 1918 was not the start of the vicious reparations cycle; it was a continuation of that which had started after the Franco-Prussian War. W. B. Wilson 19:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
One could take it back even further, to the early 920s, when the region was part of Eastern Francia, which corresponds to Germany. A-L was annexed by France in the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, so it's obvious the land was changing hands between the French and Germans long before 1871. Parsecboy 13:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
· No argument about the land changing hands over time, although the dynamics of regional politics were quite a bit different when the region that eventually became Germany was a patchwork of medium- and small-scale states that had varying relationships with France. A bald comment, however, that Alsace and Lorraine were "given" to France after World War One, without some historical perspective on the situation, is misleading -- thus my comment. W. B. Wilson 16:23, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
There was also the Holy Roman Empire that was just sort of stuck there, and didn't necessarily correspond with the smaller states within it. Well, were German troops still occupying the territory at the end of the war? If that is the case, then "given" would be a fair way to describe it, because the French had not reconquered it during the war. That's just my two cents though. Parsecboy 02:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
·Whatever. IMO, the original comment was simply incomplete. W. B. Wilson 16:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place, but I didn't see where else to put it, and it IS a correction. The quote from Yammamoto: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." needs to be deleted. This is not a quote from history, this is a quote from a movie - Tora, Tora, Tora to be precise. While it does sum up Yammamoto's feelings about the chances of war with the USA, it should not be attributed to him as a quote, because it isn't. 08:02, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Glaring inconsistency

Emphasis mine: "the Emperor did not mention the entry of the Soviet Union into the war, but in his "Rescript to the soldiers and sailors" of August 17, ordering them to cease fire and lay down arms, he stressed the relationship between Soviet entrance into the war and his decision to surrender"

This can't be right, can it? - Hux 17:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean? And why do you omit the beginning of the sentence : "In his radio address to the nation..."? The sentence just mean that Hirohito did in fact use two distinct justifications for the surrender; one for the people and one for the army and the navy. --Flying tiger 17:24, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps the reason for the inclusion of the USSR in the message to the troops was to reaffirm the order to stop fighting applied to the Soviet Union too; to stop die-hard Japanese officers from continuing fighting the Soviets. I don't know if that makes any sense. It's just a wild guess... Parsecboy 21:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Endpoint on infobox freeze

Considering that the RfC started on 2/18, does anyone object to reopening the combatants/commanders portion of the infobox for editing on 2/25? Haber 19:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't seem like we have a clear path forward quite yet. --Petercorless 19:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it'd be a good'll just end up in a revert war. Lets give Obeirko's vote system a try. Parsecboy 19:54, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
If a consensus does not emerge, when do you think it is fair to lift the freeze? Haber 23:49, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think we'll get consensus with my proposal, albeit one that is far from unanimous. Unless we tie in Round 1 (which I think has only a slight possibility) we will end up with a majority vote one way or the other. Oberiko 04:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Um, a far from unanimous vote is not really what I had in mind when I was thinking of a consensus. Haber 04:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I suppose you're correct, as a "7 vs 6" can't really be considered consensus. None-the-less, while consensus is ideal, democracy is practical. Oberiko 04:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
March 1? Haber 15:21, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
There's no point in ending the infobox freeze until we actually have some consensus on how to move forward, whether that's March 1st or whenever. Anything else is just a recipe for an edit war. We should implement the improved poll as suggested and then see what happens. I agree that this is dragging on however. Badgerpatrol 15:29, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The article is not as good as it can be, and keeping it this way indefinitely is not part of normal process. Oberiko's poll is ending March 2. I will wait until March 3. There is plenty of time before then for everyone's opinion to be heard. Haber 20:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Nationalities debates

I'd like to create one specific sub-heading to group all the "Nation X should be considered a major player" discussions (they would each be a sub-section). Any objections? Oberiko 22:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, let's get this started. The debate here is otherwise going to take longer than the war itself. --Petercorless 19:49, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

World War II policies

I'm pretty sure that I've seen debates like the ones above before. I'm also going to advocate (in advance) that any decisions that are made (the starting date of the war etc.) be recorded on a specific policies sub-page (with links to the debates that lead to the resolutions) for this article. It might seem like a bit much, but it would certainly help avoid a lot of the rehashing that's going on. Oberiko 22:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't like the direction this is going. The point of the RfC was to get some fresh opinions in here. I went along with the vote too for the same reason, and it seems to have worked. A lot of new people are here and are giving some new perspectives. We're just talking. Maybe a consensus will emerge, maybe it won't. If I understand correctly, now you want to corral us into a flowchart-driven decision-making process with majority rule, and preserve those results on a special page so that they will be binding for posterity. This isn't really the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. Haber 23:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
No, not binding, but available. Right now, I haven't seen any references to previous discussions, causing us to reinvent the wheel each time. I'd just like to have support material available (such as rationales etc.). Oberiko 00:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Oberiko- seems like a sensible idea. There certainly is a lot of debate here, and similar issues have arisen time and time again. I think the time spent on this ("major") issue could be far, far better spent elsewhere. Some sort of guidelines, whether binding or non-dinding, are appropriate to prevent the same thing occurring again in the far, far, distant future (i.e. next week :-) Badgerpatrol 02:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

France in Allies page

This probably belongs on the article's talk page, but taking the topic of the past few days, I figured there are some people here who would be interested...all of you guys talking about France's contributions to the war may want to take a look here and perhaps make some contributions. I would myself, but I'm apparently an ignorant France-basher who watches Fox News religiously, and I wouldn't want to get anything wrong. Parsecboy 02:53, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Before anyone gets offended... Parsecboy 03:01, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Yep I noticed the double problem in that article. As it stands that article would not be acceptable as replacement for a listing of 5 Allied major powers in the infobox here. I'm not sure I have the material to add to that article either, certainly not in English language sources. Maybe I can find something very similar on the French language wikipedia which I (or someone else) could then translate.
Ah the days when I could watch Fox News, get terribly angry and send pages of email to them to correct their blunders. That is until the day they simply got rid of Fox on the satellite(s) accessible with moderate sized dishes here in Luxembourg;-).--Caranorn 15:25, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I've taken to add more than a stub for France on the Allies page. --Petercorless 20:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Petercorless, I've added an Italian Campaign section to the French military History of WWII article as that entire chapter seems to have been ignored (French wikipedia is also pretty poor in this respect, neither wikipedia even has a Battle of Garigliano, hopefully i will find some material to write that).--Caranorn 14:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


Guys. To improve this article. We need citations. Every Date, size of Armies, casualties, and any opinionated statements like, for example in the Battle of Kursk area, it states that Germany assembled the greatest concentration of firepower in World War II, that needs to be cited. Other like Operation Bagration was the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht in WWII, that needs to be cited.

We need to get citations in this article heavily. Need help if we are to get this article to featured article status.

Mercenary2k 06:26, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to help provide citations, but may I ask that [citation needed] be placed at all statements that folks feel need to be cited? This will at least jump-start the process of finding citations. A similar thing happened in the U2 article I worked on, for example see: [5] for the progress that was made in less than 5 months on that article. I think we can easily get up to 200 references for this article if the "citation needed" tags are added. Wikipedia brown 03:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Vote on Allies/Axis vs. Nationality in the infobox

Below is a vote on whether to use "Allies" and "Axis" or listing of the major participants in the "combatants" section of the war info box. The first option will be that the only listed combatants will be the "Allies" and the "Axis" with links to the appropriate articles. The second option will indicate a preference for major participants instead of only Allies and Axis.

Each Wikipedian is allowed one vote in each poll. For the sake of clarity, discussion and opinions beyond simple name-tagging are requested to not to be added to the voting section, but instead to an attached "comments" section.

Each poll will have a duration of one week unless otherwise specified.

The following applies if, and only if, the nationalities option wins in the vote
Should the second option win in the first round, it is suggested that discussions commence to attempt consensus on three (with possibly more added later) issues prior to discussion the metrics of individual nations:

  • The upper limit of combatants per side to list (not which combatants, but how many)
  • If Axis and Allies should still be listed in addition to the major powers (ie: Allies: Nation X, Nation Y; Axis: Nation A, Nation B).
  • Discussions on how nation "groupings" should be handled (ie: France vs. French Third Republic, Free French, Vichy; British Commonwealth vs. U.K., Canada, Australia etc.)

Should consensus not be achievable in the discussions, additional votes may be taken to settle the matters.

Once the above matters are settled, Wikipedian's are free to add mini-polls for any nationality they believe warrants consideration as a "major" power. Each nation will have only two options, inclusion or exclusion and will follow the same outline as above. Voting on each mini-poll will not begin until all contestable nationalities are listed, the period of time to be allocated for nation suggestion is currently to be determined.

WP:!VOTE states that polling is not an alternative to consensus. This poll is initiated by myself (Oberiko) as it appears to me that consensus is not a possibility in the matter. The results are, therefore, not binding, but it is requested that Wikipedian's respect the outcome.

Allies/Axis or Nationality listings poll (Started: February 23, 2007 - Ends: March 2nd, 2007)

Support Allies / Axis

  1. Oberiko 17:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Grant | Talk 18:53, 23February 2007 (UTC)
  3. Keeping it simple and clean in the infobox, let the articles sort out the combattants.Dryzen 19:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  4. Parsecboy 20:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  5. Krellis (Talk) 21:33, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  6. NEMT 22:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  7. --Flying tiger 11:50, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  8. Demerphq 15:04, 24 February 2007 (UTC) (All or nothing) Demerphq 15:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  9. Badgerpatrol 18:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  10. Slov01 22:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  11. Dorvaq 16:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Support Nationality listings

  1. Caranorn 17:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. BlueShirts 20:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  3. Petercorless 01:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  4. Staberinde 11:18, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  5. Swang 18:01, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  6. Xoamandapandaxo 01:48, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
    User's first and only contribution to Wikipedia. Badgerpatrol 02:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  7. Michael Ming Cao 02:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
    User's first and only contribution to Wikipedia. Badgerpatrol 02:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  8. Sabachtani 03:17, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
    User's first and only contribution to Wikipedia.--Caranorn 12:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  9. Wis102105 03:46, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
    User's first and only contribution to Wikipedia.--Caranorn 12:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


  • Both? - What if we wish "Allies, including:" (followed by list) and "Axis, including:" (followed by list)? --Petercorless 18:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
    • I've got that listed as a topic for discussion if we decide to go with the nationalities route since it's basically just whether we want a "header" of sorts on our nationality lists. Oberiko 19:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
      • If that's the case, I support listing Allies/Axis, followed by key nations. --Petercorless 01:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Further, looking at the infobox as it is now, that's how it is currently arranged. In other words, status quo. --Petercorless 09:06, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Bogus poll - I applaud the initiative, but I still disagree with this poll even being held. I'd encourage everyone to read WP:!VOTE, as Oberiko has suggested, before supporting this poll. Haber 20:37, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Here's the reason we keep having so much trouble with this issue. The problem is WWII isn't a typical war, fought in one generalized area. Countries that might have played important roles in one theatre or one campaign of the war aren't necessarily major allies, because they did not affect the overall war effort. For instance, France contributed nothing to the Pacific Theatre, while China made no contributions to the European one. Therefore, it's highly POV to state what countries were major Allies, unless you're going to limit it to just the Big 3. Parsecboy 20:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Neither Japan nor the USSR were involved much in the war in Africa. Italy and Germany were not involved in the Pacific. Should we punt them too? This is all lowest-common denominator thinking. While we have to keep your point it mind, it need not paralyze our decision-making. For example, I'd still consider all of those as major members of their respective sides in the war. Therefore, geographic area of involvement is indeed something to be taken into consideration, but shall not be the sole basis of decision-making regarding whether they should be "major" or "minor." We can use many objectively-measurable data points to determine what we consider "major" or "minor." Also, we are determining these criteria as a collective body, which minimizes individual POV for the sake of group consensus. While each of us brings our individual POV, we are asked to check our most spurious and disruptive logical fallacies, partisan chauvinist attitudes, and other personal agitations at the door. We don't have to be emotionless passionless drones. I am confident we can achieve a best-faith and best-effort consensus. --Petercorless 01:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Germany and Italy were involved in the Asia-Pacific region; as well as exchanging materiel, intelligence and technical information with the Japanese, some of their naval vessels operated in in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Many German raiding ships (auxiliary cruisers; see e.g. German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran) and U-boats were involved throughout the war. Even in 1944-1945, the Monsun U-Boat task force operated out of Penang.[6] Italy had a small colony in Tientsin, and many ships and submarines operated between there and Italian colonies in East Africa.[7] The submarine Torelli, taken over by the Germans in 1943 and Japanese in turn, was still operating in Japanese waters on August 30, 1945, when its AA guns shot down a B-25 bomber. Some sources say there were still Italians in the crew at that stage.[8] Grant | Talk 05:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
        • That kind of involvement counts as "minor"? BlueShirts 06:09, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
          • I guess some would say it wasn't minor. I was just responding to Peter's suggestion that "Italy and Germany were not involved in the Pacific". Grant | Talk 06:18, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
            • BlueShirts is picking up on my point. We're here trying to speak about "major" allies, likewise, we will indeed need to discuss what a "major" activity consisted of. "Greater than zero" Japanese in Africa or Germans/Italians in the Pacific is still on the noise level. --Petercorless 08:53, 24 February 2007 (UTC) p.s. The U-boats in Penang were stationed in the Indian Ocean. I don't doubt some went to the Pacific, but that wasn't their mission. --09:00, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
              • Be careful of absolute statements. My information is that the Monsun U-Boats were there to operate mainly in Australian and New Zealand waters, but whatever. Grant | Talk 09:19, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
                • So you'd consider a small submarine unit and auxiliaries of greater importance then a modern battleship? Because the French certainly deployed such a ship (I believe Richelieu, but not certain) to the Pacific, probably also a number of cruisers. Though I'd agree that the French, like the Germans or Italians, did not commit substantial forces to the Pacific War. Though had the war continued for a few more month it would certainly have been different (iirc a major mission was in preparation).--Caranorn 12:18, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
                  • While this is a fascinating tangent, it is still a tangent. You have my apology, if you wish, for saying Germany was "not involved" in the Pacific. Yet anti-shipping activity occurred off the coast of every inhabited continent. By comparison I'd not make a case that Germany was "involved" in South America just because the Graf Spee was sunk in Montevideo, or U-boats sunk shipping off the coast there. Read over those articles you cited, and put them in context. You are ironically arguing on the basis of corner cases, whereas this entire debate is over the high-level overview information of the infobox. --Petercorless 12:28, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I wasn't arguing that geographical participation was the only criteria we should be using. But it is probably the most important, when looking at the war as a whole. The question of criteria is problematic. Take troop numbers for instance. For France, for example, they had about 5 million in arms at the start of the war, but they really had no effect on the outcome of the war. So should they be counted? Or should the 1 and a quarter million at the end of the war be the number used? Clearly, I would argue to use the 1.25, but others would argue for the 5 million. Then there's population. Some nations outperformed for their population size, while others underperformed. Industrial output is important, but in some cases is seemingly irrelevant; the land war in Asia wasn't won with tanks, jet aircraft, and cruise missiles, it was won by grunts with rifles. This is why I say that participation in more than one front or campaign is the most important criteria for determining whether a country was a major or minor power. Parsecboy 15:16, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Caranorn, since you ask, I would certainly consider the German activity in the Asia-Pacific region to be more significant than the operations of the French battleship Richelieu in April 1944 to May 1945. I'm not aware of any Free French "cruisers" in the Pacific.

    • Parsecboy, your argument is somewhat ahead of the curve too. Here we are supposed to be simply determining whether we solely list the words "Axis" and "Allies," or whether we get down into the criteria for the listing of each country. I'll open a new section below where such opinions can be more fully expressed --Petercorless 19:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Peter, no need to apologise; it's just my experience that Wikipedia World War II articles -- in particular -- are prone to overstatements, sweeping generalisations and technical/terminological errors. Sure this is a talk page, but getting it right here helps us to get it right on the article pages. Grant | Talk 18:25, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

  • For what it's worth, an apology for a hasty generalization is often a healthy admission of one's mortality. My hope in this discussion is to help lead towards a consenus, and to avoid as many tangential logical ratholes as possible. --Petercorless 19:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Badgerpatrol has brought to light that two of the voters are likely sock puppets. Is there a way we can do an IP check on who created the account? In any case, I'm going to ask that their votes be discounted. Oberiko 02:49, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

You can request for check user Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser. BlueShirts 02:58, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

WTF, I used the World War II article often before for homework. Why should MY vote be discounted JUST because I created the account to uphold the nationalities box since it is VERY HELPFUL as a resource. I ask you, Oberiko, not to discount my vote before you do an IP check. Go RIGHT AHEAD. I have only created ONE wiki account on my computer. Xoamandapandaxo 03:11, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Because it is extremely suspect that now four accounts have been created, seemingly for the sole purpose of voting in this poll. I will move to discount your vote. Asides, an IP check isn't worth all that much, anyone can go to their local library or a friends computer. I'll wait until the end of the voting before taking it up for arbitration though. Oberiko 13:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

So what's the final outcome of this? I make it 11-5 against countries in the infobox. Badgerpatrol 18:59, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, either 11-5 or 11-6 (if we count the one who claims to be a lurker). So I guess remove the countries and leaders from the infobox and replace with a simple link to Axis and Allies. The way the Allies article is now (more equitable) I have no objection either.--Caranorn 21:16, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and make the change. Oberiko 02:15, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Personal criteria for determining a "major" ally

I would like people to list their criteria for what they consider a "major" ally to consist of. Do not list the names of the powers themselves. List objective elements and criteria, qualitative and quantitative values, and your thoughts on the weighting between these elements. I would wish each editor to propose their own "algorithm," against which we could make cases for the powers to be listed in the Infobox. Your terms can be as precise or loose as you wish, and they need not be computationally complete.

I'd consider the average number of combat units (frontline units weighted higher then garrison or non combat support elements) a country/state/nation fielded between 1939 and 1945. So essentially division/month for landforces, regimental groups considered 1/3 division (idem British style brigades), German style brigade 1/2 division etc. Of course modified for deviation from the norm (Italian binary divisions, 1943+ German binary or equivalent divisions rated at 2/3 division etc.). A similar system to evaluate air units. Probably average tonnage of capital ships to rate the navies. But that would of course be a very rough way to determine a country's contribution, particularly as it does not take factors such as high degree of mechanisation, or specialisation into consideration. On the other hand I expect it would rapidly separate countries into 3-5 groups according to their military capacities. Though in the end this type of process would be well beyond the scope of wikipedia, and quite likely constitute original research.
Note, I realise in this specific case political power is to be considered, but in the end, for WWII, this is largely derived from military power (and projection of power which is why I would not consider garrison units, or at most at low value, unless they negated part of the enemy's force (Allied 1st Line units in Britain from 1940-1944).--Caranorn 21:50, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
"Would the outcome of the war have significantly differed had this state remained neutral, or capitulated before any major hostilities?"
Yes: major ally
No: "me too" ww2 fan club (Poland and Free France are stoked China is coming to their party)
--NEMT 04:56, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
So Italy should be also removed from "major" axis. It was knocked out not in 1945, not in 1944, but in 1943. BlueShirts 06:12, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
My standard clearly doesn't apply to the axis powers, as they lost - and would obviously have still lost had germany italy or japan been neutral. --NEMT 06:49, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, Italy should be removed - as should Germany and Japan and all the Allies. --NEMT 16:11, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I like the list of participants in the Template:World War II at the bottom of the box. I'd see nothing wrong making the list of nations participating at the top match the infobox at the bottom. However, this seems to list both "major" and what others would consider "minor" allies. --Petercorless 08:34, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

How about avoiding Original Research?

In the spirit of avoiding original research, let's cite external sources where possible rather than inventing our own criteria. There is a correlation on the "Big Five" for the Allies, and the term "Great Britain" appears repeatedly rather than "UK;" (Churchill likewise uses "Great Britain" in his own history of the war; there is no index reference for "United Kingdom.") --Petercorless 19:43, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this approach. Good luck. Haber 20:24, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't doubt that you do! "Great Britain" is technically incorrect, in fact. The substantive political unit (now and in the 1930s) was and is "United Kingdom" (or "UKofGBandNI), which includes Northern Ireland and various other territories which are not located on Great Britain. I recognise that these naming issues may be complex for those who are not familiar with the UK, however. On the issue of the main point- using external sources is of course generally the correct route but in this case resolves nothing- I am quite certain that we will find sources listing (at least) France and China as so-called "major" powers, and some which don't, suiting both sides of the debate. This is because (for the nth time) the issue of whether a nation was a "major" or "minor" combatant is inherently POV. Badgerpatrol 02:30, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Major Allies

  • The Big Five - "President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed the peace could be kept by the major allied powers of the war, the "Big Five"—the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China." [9]
  • "The major Allies (China, Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, and the United States) held seats on the Security Council, each country held veto power over any decision the United Nations made." The Post War World
  • (Vis-a-vis the U.S.) "Although the 10th Air Force was assigned to the CBI to support the Chinese, the Japanese offensive in Burma meant that Brereton's bombers would be supporting the interests of two major Allies, China and Great Britain." [10]
  • This is not exactly a list of major combatants, but I think it is interesting. John Keegan, in The First World War, argues that the Second World War was "the direct outcome of the First." pp3-4. Anyone can view these pages for free[11]. I know we're trying to avoid OR, but I think the rest follows pretty naturally: France was a major combatant in the First, and the Second was the direct outcome of the First. Therefore France should get the benefit of the doubt. Haber 01:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Err...not sure about that logic, to be honest. Badgerpatrol 01:29, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Did you even read my reference? I just posted it four minutes ago. Go check it out. If nothing else, Keegan is a pretty entertaining read. Haber 01:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I read the reference. AJP Taylor is more famously associated with that (reasonable) line of thought. But your reasoning relies on a logical fallacy. Even if the Second War was a direct outcome of the first, it obviously does not logically follow that because a nation was a major combatant in one it must necessarily be in the other. These are two separate conflicts, although it can be reasonably argued that the latter has its roots in the outcome of the former. The Battle of Jutland was in many ways a direct result of the Battle of Trafalgar. I think we all agree that the orientation of the combatants in each was considerably different. Badgerpatrol 01:45, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
By "benefit of the doubt", I meant that if someone were sitting on the fence, this information might be valuable to them. If you think that it's irrelevant, that's fine. I was hoping that someone with a more open mind might look at it. Haber 02:02, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I have a perfectly open mind. I just don't agree with you on this point. I'm sure that no-one would deny that a) France was a major combatant in WWI; and b) that there is an obvious connection between the First and Second wars. But the only thing relevent to France's status in the Second War is.... France's status in the Second War. Badgerpatrol 02:08, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I would concur we need to generally rely upon the events of World War II to judge World War II. After all, Turkey, a major combatant of World War I, was neutral in World War II. France is generally regarded as a major power of the Allies until its fall, 1939–1940, and it is restored to major power status during the latter period of the war, especially after its liberation, 1944–1945 (such as by its grant of a seat on the United Nations Security Council). Many of the objections against not listing France seem stem from the following a) the "loser" argument: it fell to Germany, thus trying to dismiss its contribution because of swift capitulation, b) "collaborator/traitor" arguments: France (via Vichy) was also an Axis ally or, at best, neutral during the war, diminishing its status as an ally before or after, and disregarding the contribution of FFF, c) limitation to mainly participating in European and African campaigns and its lack of major contribution to the Pacific theatre, d) Francophobia and chauvinist derisions. Even for the arguments against it, France's 5 million troops at the early stages of the war, and its 1.5 million troops by the end would argue it was more than a "minor" ally. Then again, I am generous. I'll admit that I am still swayed by the nearly 1 million Polish troops that opposed the initial German invasion, and the nearly half-million forces that fought in the East and the West during the war. Any time you put those sorts of numbers in the field, I am somewhat stymied when people would call you a "minor" ally. My threshold would likely be somewhere in the 500,000+ troop range for the war, though 500,000 troops that suddenly get added in the late stages of the war in the closing days of 1945 would mean far less to me than 250,000 during some of the brutal campaigns of the early or mid-war period. --Petercorless 06:53, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Compare 1.5 million to the 16+ million serving in the American armed forces or the 18+ million in the Soviet Army at the end of the war. Clearly not on the same level. Parsecboy 07:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't buy that argument. You cannot simply say "Here's the top end of the scale, let's punt people who are not on this level." I look at the list in Grollier as a fair case for who to list in Wikipedia's own infobox: See tables on Allied and Axis peak strength. While we might leave off Denmark's 25,000 or Norway's 45,000 as "below the bar," or group Commonwealth nations like South Africa and New Zealand in a higher-level rollup, I think it behooves us to be encyclopedic in our efforts, not minimalist. I'm not going to advocate for every minor ally that took up arms, or argue for the citation of late-war entrants that saw no significant fighting. But many of these nations, even the smaller combatants of World War II, are presenting forces far larger than the sums of all combatants in some other wars before and since. It is easy to lose perspective when dealing with the numbers involved in World War II versus other wars. My rule-of-thumb would generally be for armies of 500,000+, though I find myself also considering almost all of the nations in the Grollier's table as worthy of infobox listing. Finland? They did some major fighting. Greece? A key battleground of 1940–41. It's a shame there's such an intense pressure from some quarters to make the infobox practically intellectually inert. --Petercorless 07:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Three points Peter: (1) those Grollier figures are wrong, at least in terms of Australian casualties, which were roughty equal to Canada's. Grollier appears to be omitting air force and navy casualties. (2) Poland, Australia and Canada would qualify under your "500,000" rule, but I know that their inclusion is all but impossible. This is one of the reasons why I favour the removal of countries from the inforbox. (3) Once again, the "British Commonwealth" designation is not suitable, because a lot of Commonwealth peoples, both during WW2 and now, object to being represented by figures like Churchill and symbols like the Union Jack. There was no single Commonwealth political or military structure, other than the limited powers of the monarch, and there was no Commonwealth flag at that stage. Grant | Talk 08:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

1) I was citing the table for forces under arms, not casualties sustained. 2) Every single cited source for troops, casualties, etc., will be invariably backed by some people and vociferously argued against by others. These figures were cited to show general figures. Is it an exhaustive analysis? No. YMMV. More sources can be quoted to determine best figures to use. Don't like these numbers? Cite others. 3) I have faith the inclusion of a list of Axis and Allied powers is indeed quite possible, logically achievable given open-minded discussions, and technically, quite easy to do (it could be effected immediately) yet it is obvious it has gone back and forth mostly based on personal biases and assumptions. I'd like to move away from such, towards more objective figures. To my mind, a half-million troops sounds like a "major combatant." Press me further, and "250,000" also sounds defensible. 3) Right now, these different Commonwealth nations are not represented at all in the infobox. If we cannot get each of the major Commonwealth nations separately, they should at least be shown collectively. 4) If the nations at the time were fighting as the British Commonwealth (or British Empire) and were referred to as the British Commonwealth (or British Empire), even if there are modern detractors of the term, that does not change what they were at the time. You are arguing in favor of modern political correctness and revisionism? I understand the objections. This does not change the de facto or de jure cases. Any survey of forces for battles in North Africa will show the multinational nature of the "British" troops. Troops from all parts of the British Empire were present. 5) Regardless of one's personal opinion of the man, when it came to the major conferences, Churchill was there to represent the Commonwealth and Empire. --Petercorless 10:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
"Fighting as the British Commonwealth"? "Modern political correctness and revisionism"?! If you really mean these things, I don't think you know much about relations between Britain and its (small-d) dominions, after 1931. Churchill may have said he was there to represent the Empire, but it was rhetoric; he didn't represent the Dominions in a stricly legal sense and John Curtin (for example) didn't feel that Winnie represented their real interests either. Curtin met Churchill once and met FDR once, but he turned control of the Australian armed forces over to MacArthur in 1942, for the duration of the war. That tells you all you need to know about the meaningfulness of the British Commonwealth as a military and political instiution. Sometimes these normative decsriptors have absolutely no basis in reality. Grant | Talk 13:49, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I know well the difference, thank you. And yes, it would make sense to turn over Australian forces in the Pacific over to MacArthur, given his role in the theater and the overwhelming American presence. North Africa and other theatres were different: "The Allied war effort was dominated by the British Commonwealth and exiles from Occupied Europe, until the United States entered the war, and began direct assistance to Allied forces in North Africa, on May 11, 1942." and "During the following stalemate, the Allied forces reorganised as the Eighth Army, which was made up of units from the armies of several countries, especially the Australian Army and the Indian Army, but also including divisions from the South African Army, the New Zealand Army and a brigade of Free French under Marie-Pierre Koenig." -- from North African campaign --Petercorless 20:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Another view in the Pacific can be seen in how Hideki Tojo was sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for waging war against the British Commonwealth (count 31). I can understand how, based on post-War devolution of the British Empire and modern sentiments, the terms "Commonwealth" and "British Empire" may be eschewed by many. However, at the time, these terms were used and, yes, it does seem like modern revisionism to avoid their use. --Petercorless 21:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I inserted "British Commonwealth" into those sentences, about the North African campaign and the make-up of the Eighth Army! In fact, I have fought for quite a while to have "British Commonwealth" used in WW2 articles, when it is factually correct, rather than the technically incorrect "British Empire" or "British and Commonwealth". It's an ongoing battle. Use of "British Commonwealth" in infoboxes is justified in cases such as the British Pacific Fleet (active in 1945), Commonwealth Corps (invasion of Japan) and the 1st Commonwealth Division (in the Korean War), where units were specifically organised along those lines. However, in the Pacific between mid-1942 and early 1945, the UK representation was almost negligible (a couple of RAF squadrons and some army/naval special forces): the South West Pacific Area (command) under MacArthur, during 1942, was almost 100% Australian; New Zealand was the second string in Nimitz's command, the Pacific Ocean Areas (command) and; in the Aleutians campaign it was all US and Canadian forces. Use of British Commonwealth in such cases, or at the global level, conveys two false impressions: that the "British" were somehow involved at all times in all theatres and that the "British Commonwealth" was a primary military/political organisation, when the forces of a particular Dominion were very often alone in joint commands with the U.S. Therefore "Allies" and "Allied" make more sense and are more accurate than "British Commonwealth" or any of the anachronistic alternatives. Grant | Talk 00:57, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Hence, if we do not list the Dominions separately, such as if we bring the bar low enough in terms of objective numbers to show India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and, for instance, South Africa, I was proposing to collectively show them all as part of the British Commonwealth, an alliance within the Allies. If you are arguing instead we should punt all of the Dominions in the infobox and relegate them to the role of such minorly involved powers as, say, Mongolia (which declared war only after the atomic bombs were dropped), and if that is what the collective wisdom of Wikipedians agree with, so be it. I, for one, would prefer to see either the criteria set such that the Dominions get individual listings, or that we do indeed find a way to show the non-trivial contributions of the British Commonwealth/British Empire by listing it alongside, or inclusive of, the UK. The term "British" can indeed be misleading if looked at narrowly, such as in the East Africa Campaign, which was fought by two Indian divisions from the north, the South African division from the south, and an amphibious landing by Sikh forces. While I do not doubt that often Dominions fought battles sans assistance from other Dominions or from the UK, it is also indisputable that in many major operations they did work as a collective Commonwealth, and, quite often, fought under a common command and logistical structure. --Petercorless 20:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I know many of you would prefer to list "no countries," so please bear with me for now, and please avoid trying to derail the discourse based on that desire. If we were to list nations or powers under the Allies, which should we put? The UK alone? The British Commonwealth or British Empire? Or a list of the individual nations (UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa)? To poke a hole in my own fabric, we do have to settle as to how low we go to list components of the British Empire. For instance, Newfoundland was separate from Canada during the war, and was the site of a German attack. I do not see many people advocating to set the bar as low as "15,000" for military force totals, so I believe it shall be swept aside by the broom of Wikipedian hygiene. Nepal, on the other hand, contributed 112,000 Gurkhas. While I know many are arguing for only those nations contributing a million (or three or five million) or more troops, again, I still look at other wars and I think, "how can this be considered, objectively, not as a significant contribution?" Well, again, it depends on where we set the bar for force level contributions. Both Grant65 and I have made our opinions clear now. What I would like to do is to lay aside further point-making and listen to the voices of others. --Petercorless 20:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I guess the way I look at it is that you have to take the scale of the conflict into account. There were scores of millions of men in arms in the combined Allied armies; 112,000 is a drop in the bucket. Like I said earlier, WWII is not a typical war. The USSR had over 34 million men in uniform ('41-'45), the US had over 20 million total, and then English had over 10 million. That's well over 60 million in just the Big 3. Even in somewhat localized fronts like China, there were several million soldiers on both sides. Parsecboy 21:43, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Is that number for England alone, or all the home nations combined? Badgerpatrol 01:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That's for the Commonwealth nations in total. Parsecboy 01:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Aha- as a word of advice, a fairly large proportion of the world's population is likely going to get grumpy with you if you accuse them of being English just because they are/were in the Commonwealth (and that's not to mention the Scots, the Welsh, the Irish, etc.) ;-) Badgerpatrol 02:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The thing that gets me is that using numbers like you are means that the major participants comprise people who were *not* involved the whole war, and exclude participants who *were* in the whole war, and whose contributions, especially from the perspective of their capability, were quite substantial. Its like a form of begging the question: "What level of participation is required to ensure that the major allies are 5/3" which doesn't seem objective to me. For instance if the UK hadn't been supported by its Dominion allies in the early stages of the war then there probably wouldn't have been a war for the US to join. So using raw numbers of men under arms to determine "major" status just seems to bias the discussion in a way that I think is neither informative nor fair.
I'd also say that if the argument for supporting the infobox is to provide brief summary data and the decision is to include it then it should also show date of entry to the war, otherwise someone uninformed might glance at it an assume that the US and USSR were in it from the beginning, and that anybody not listed was insignificant, which is IMO quite misleading. And yes, I have met people that thought this, similarly Ive met lots of people who were surprised to find that Canada did play a significant role in the European theatre. People in this discussion page shouldnt forget that they are self-selected and relatively well informed, and therefore not necessarily representative nor insightful as to what a curious and uninformed reader might know or should know. Demerphq 13:40, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the average person needs this information. In my opinion, it is equally disorienting to wade through a list of 13 Allies, with Greece mentioned in the same breath as the USSR. Another thing the average person is not good at is numbers. Do you think that they will have any idea that the Soviet armed forces were 30 times larger than the Greek? Or that the population of New York State alone was larger than that of Canada? Just because these relatively small places flew a different flag and declared war earlier doesn't mean that they should have top billing above the major players. To pretend otherwise gives people a skewed perception of the war. Haber 15:08, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, I have two views on that, first id be surprised if anybody assumed that the Soviets contributed less than Greece simply because they are in the same list. And second at least some of those relatively small places were making considerable contributions long before some of the so called "major players" even started fighting. To pretend otherwise gives people a skewed perception of the war.
This is like the old US/UK rivalry over who won the war. An objective viewer would probably say something like "The UK (and its allies) made sure there was a war to be won, and the US made sure it was won." Also, if you consider it on a timeline basis, Canada *was* a major ally right up until the US was attacked, and had war declared on it, and then joined which suddenly eclipses almost everybody elses contribution. I stand by my view that if the UK hadnt had the Dominions as supporters the US would never have had a war to fight, and to belittle that contribution is just wrong. Which is why I think removing the infobox outright is the right choice, better not to skew the perception at all and let people form their own opinions than to skew it one way or the other.
Frankly if I was feeling uncharitable Id see your position as historical revisionism, the truth was the US was isolationist and not interested in the war, and was even profitmaking from both sides, so trying to pretend that the people who were in it from the beginning werent as important as the latecomer juggernaught almost seems like a guilty conscience trying to cover up its mistakes. Truely, do you think the US would have gone to war in Europe if say the Battle of Brittain had been lost and Germany hadnt declared war on it? Personally I'm very doubtful. And yes this is not NPOV, but nor is yours. Thats the point. The infobox should go. Demerphq 15:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with Demerphq. If he hadn't got there first I'd have written much the same thing. Coricus 15:51, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
A truly objective viewer would surely suggest that the USSR would very probably have won the war on its own (at least in Europe, anyway) with neither Britain, the Commonwealth or the US directly involved. Badgerpatrol 01:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Well that was a nice chance for you to bring up a bunch of your pet gripes, but most of it has nothing to do with what I have said. We both think that the UK did a great job, and that it was a mistake for the US not to enter the war in 1939. We both also give some weight to early involvement, which is why I want Italy and France in the box. My point was about perspective. If x>>y (i.e. an order of magnitude or more), then people really don't need to hear about y until later. If you bury x in a long list of y's, then you're failing to convey perspective. Haber 17:47, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Using that logic would mean that any conflict where China, the US, Soviets/Russians, or India were involved would almost certainly ensure that no other participants should be listed in the info-box. *Even if they only entered on the last day of the conflict and actually did no fighting*. Informing people properly has to be more nuanced than that. Take a look at the korean war, the infobox there lists Canada, Belgium, Ethiopia, etc. So if your logic was applied then pretty much every info box that has the US in it should /only/ have the US in the infobox. That seems like a real dumbing down of the site. The purpose of wikipedia is to inform people, not simplify things down to counting soldiers. Now, maybe if the US and the Soviet Union had been involved in the war from the beginning and the others contributions were truely irrelevent you might have a point. But that isnt the case here. Demerphq 14:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
To followup on the consitancy point, I checked korean war, vietnam war, gulf war and iraq war. According to the argument of number of men in arms determining who belongs in the infobox all of those four conflicts should only have the US in the infobox. Yet, none of them are so restricted, with the exception of the gulf war which lists only the "UN coalition", and doesnt mention the US at all. So if we *do* end up following the rationale that some argue here to exclude many of the Allies then we should also go and modify the infoboxes of all those conflicts as well. Which I think would be a clear loss to the quality of the site. Therefore I feel there is precedent for All-or-None, precedent we should follow here. Demerphq 14:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course numbers don't tell the whole story. I never said that they did. What I said was that numbers that differ by an order of magnitude should be a part of a rational decision-making process. If you want to reduce that to an absurdity, that's fine. Maybe you're not a numbers person. Or maybe you think that the number of flags is more important than the number of soldiers under each flag, and that's fine with me. You're free to have your own personal criteria, but I think it would be a mistake to force an "all-or-none" decision on yourself just out of frustration. As for the other articles, infoboxes are a mess. We all know this. We're working on the biggest war ever, we have a good group of interested people, and we have a chance to set the example. Haber 18:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this, although the correct way to set a new precedent would be directly in conjunction with WP:MILHIST. "All or nothing" is an excellent summary- if there is room, all participants should be listed (either by number of troops, or alphabetically or some other reasonable sorting method) and if not, link direct to the coalition's generic page (e.g. Axis, Allies, etc.). That would be a good precedent to set to ensure consistency in infoboxes. Badgerpatrol 01:23, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See tables on Allied and Axis peak strength - relist of Peter's reference (for ease of reading). Looking at it myself, the number that jumps out at me is not 500,000, but 5 million. Make that leap and you're left with 5v2. Italy is questionable with 3.75 million, but that is as it should be. It squeaks in because it's original Axis, and because politically fascism was such a big deal, giving the traditional 5v3. Haber 15:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we can use different "thresholds": 250,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 3,000,000, or 5,000,000, based on what can be considered "major." Given the 1 million figure, you also have Italy for the Axis, and for the Allies, India and Poland join the US, UK, USSR, China and France. That would give us "7v3." If you want to use 3 million, you end up with "5v3". Also, shifting the bar lower ("you must be at least this tall to enter the World War..."), 500,000 gives us "11v4" and 250,000 gives us "13v7". I could support, based on objective criteria, any of those combinations, so long as we can reach a fair consensus. To my mind, "5v3" has been cited most often as the major powers given analyses of the subject. But to be encyclopedic, I'd support listing 500,000 or above easily, and even as "low" as 250,000 or more since that size of force, given any other war as a basis of comparison, is quite significant. --Petercorless 20:36, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Im really glad Petercorless has piped up here, he appears to me be one of the few who has contributed to this debate that doesn't appear to have an axe to grind. I think we should give his comments significant weight in our consideration. Demerphq 15:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks greatly for the vote of confidence! --Petercorless 19:36, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the numbers, I think using 500k or 250k to give us 11v4 or 13v7 is far more informative than either 5v3 or just a link to the other pages. I'd tend toward the 13v7 to be inclusive.... --Habap 13:53, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Major allies of the Axis

  • From German perspective: "In this article, I will concentrate on the relationship between the Luftwaffe with its major allies (Italy, Finland, Hungary and Rumania) to include the an [sic] overview of the battle performance of allied air forces, German assistance to its major allies and the Luftwaffe's policy towards the aviation industries of its allies." [12]
When you use the capital A Allies, it is commonly accepted that you mean the forces opposing the Axis. Using small a allies is typically used for any other set of countries and their relationships. So, I don't see a problem with it. --Habap 13:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Four "commanders" for Japan ?!

This is absolutely ridiculous. There is now four commanders for Japan. Why not add ALL prime ministers of the period ?! The easiest way is sure to change "commanders" for "leaders" and replace all those name with Hirohito who was, according to the constitution and in fact, the true leader of Japan. Has not Akira Yamada called one of his book : "The Showa emperor as commander in chief" ? --Flying tiger 12:54, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

List the official supreme commanders of all military units only = politicians who controlled the armed forces. Wandalstouring 00:06, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Whatever, let the nationalists and revisionists add however many countries and commanders they want until the "vote" is officially over and we just have the axis/allies and appropriate links. --NEMT 00:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
And if this is not the result of the vote? Wandalstouring 00:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know, but the outcome of World War 2 just suddenly changing is much more likely than that, and in that event we'll have much more important work to do on this article. --NEMT 00:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I should point out that the scope of the vote is limited to the combatants, I don't believe it extends to the commanders section. Oberiko 01:35, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't it? The disagreement seems one and the same. --NEMT
The disagreement can be related but is not one and the same. In this case, another editor had listed both US Presidents (Roosevelt and Truman), and two of the three Prime Minister of the UK and two of the Japanese PMs. So I added Chamberlain, and I also added two other war-time Japanese PMs; I'll confess that I did not put in the earlier 1939–1941 PMs for Japan. The information was factual. I did not see it as needing to be excised. We mislead the audience and oversimplify when we only cite one leader for each of these nations during the war. The shifts between Chamberlain to Churchill to Attlee are critical to note, just as changes from Fumimaro Konoe to Tojo are critical for an appreciation of the shift of Japanese policy leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor. I believe it worthwhile to show the succession of leadership for each of the major nations during the course of the war. While Stalin led the USSR during the entire course of the war, many of the other nations involved underwent significant leadership turnovers. I also feel it appropriate to list Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong as two different leaders of China. Though allied, and even working in a unified combat structure at times, they represented separate factions. There is no logical reason, other than to visually tidy up the infobox, that we must only list "one" flag per nation to represent a complex situation. My general sense is that there is an over-zealous sense of purgation of the infobox, which is getting in the way of making it make sense. --Petercorless 06:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The leaders issue is indeed related (if we go nationalities, we'll list the leader(s) of each nation), but I'm not sure what we'll put in there if we go Axis and Allies. Oberiko 14:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The "commanders" and "countries" issues are indeed related. It brings even MORE problem to choose who are the commanders than what are the "major" countries. For example, the french edition of this article lists Pétain and De Gaulle (!!!) with two separate french forces, and Poland as major allies. We would have to argue for years about this. Do we follow the constitution ? Do we choose the political or military leaders ? It is such a waste of time... --Flying tiger 20:35, 26 February 2007 (UTC)¸

I can easily understand the listing of Pétain and De Gaulle, and yes, Poland was considered a major ally. It makes sense to me why they would be listed as such. This debate is part of the regular process of Wikipedia to arrive at a consensus-based global viewpoint and objective documentation. In this case, it is for no less than the recording of the world's most significant military conflict. If that is a "waste of time," feel free to bow out of discussions. Yet I suspect you are sticking around to ensure your opinion is being made known. If there are "problems," we can offer rational solutions. I'd classify it as an investment of time, the end result of which should prove interesting. --Petercorless 20:53, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, excuse me to differ from you point of view but I as this debate is going along for almost 3 months, no "rational solutions" has been adopted and each day a new person wants to add HIS country and HIS leaders in the infobox. I won't "waste my time" and argue with you about De Gaulle, Pétain and Rydz-Smigly but I don't consider them "commanders" of "major countries". Recently, some changes made in the structure of this article that have been much more useful than names in Infobox. I "stick around" to wait for the result of the consultation, and the only "interesting result" would be for me to get rid of the infobox. --Flying tiger 21:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your input; you have my sympathies for your frustrations. --Petercorless 21:46, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Names of WWII

Have there been any other names for WWII, or is that what it's always been? --myselfalso 04:43, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

It was originally called European Fun Fest '39 but then when people started getting shot they figured the name didn't work. --NEMT 05:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Avoid the snarkiness. It's a legitimate question. Here are a few terms used in association with it. --Petercorless 07:02, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Couldn't resist. Anyway, I think the original question was more based on the first world war having been initially called the great war by many. --NEMT 07:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
It still is often so referred, at least in the UK anyway. Badgerpatrol 13:11, 26 February 2007

The U.S. called a one of the first parts of WWII the phony war, but take note that they didn't mean the WHOLE WWII, even from the begining. Lotrtkdchic 14:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Why did the UK and France not declare war on the USSR

Question: Why declared the UK and France war on Germany, but not on Russia after it attacked Poland aswell? (sic)

Answer: As per Winston S. Churchill: "I was still convinced of the profound, and as I believed, quenchless antagonism between Russia and Germany, and I clung to the hope that the Soviets would be drawn to our side by the force of events. I did not therefore give way to the indignation I felt and which surged around me in our Cabinet at their callous, brutal policy." (The Gathering Storm pg. 399.)

You could also say that it would have added an ally to the Germans, making them much more likely to win. Wandalstouring 00:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
If Germany and Russia joined together, they would have been unbeatable. Mercenary2k 01:03, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
"That the Russian armies should stand on this line [dividing Poland] was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace. At any rate, the line is there, and an Eastern Front has been created which Nazi Germany does not dare assail." (Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, radio speech on October 1, 1939) Grant | Talk 02:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, privately the British and French governments were disgusted but not surprised at Soviet opportunism, especially considering how the Communists had designs on Poland ever since the Battle of Warsaw (1920). They were in a way somewhat relieved the resources of eastern Poland were not added to the German war machine, and they hoped that some day the Soviet Union would enter the war against Germany. It indeed would have been catastrophic had Britain and France declared war on the Soviet Union, forcing it to side with the Axis. --Petercorless 02:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Polish communists certainly had designs on Poland in 1920. Grant | Talk 03:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I presume you are being facetious? For those not familiar, the Soviet Red Army certainly was part of the battle in 1920. --Petercorless 03:38, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
"The Communists" had designs on everywhere, Leon Trotsky was Red Army commander in 1920 and believed in Permanent Revolution; it has seven-tenths of SFA to do with 1939. Grant | Talk 04:36, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
It's an interesting idea that the USSR could have sided with the Axis powers in a longer war but I'm not sure that would have been possible. I quote from the Operation Barbarossa page: Mein Kampf makes clear Hitler's "belief that the German people needed Lebensraum ("living space", i.e. land and raw materials), and that it should be found in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to attack, deport, or enslave the Russian and other Slavic populations, whom they considered inferior, and to repopulate the land with Germanic peoples." It seems likely that sooner or later the Russians would have been betrayed. Coricus 10:50, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

It simply seemed to be most practical choice at the moment. Same way as Italian annexation of Ethiopia in 1936, German annexation of Sudetenland in 1938 and Chechoslovakkia in 1939, Italian annexation of Albania in 1939 and USSR taking control over whole Eastern Europe(including Poland) after WW II, were accepted by western powers simply because it seemed to be most practical solution at the time.--Staberinde 13:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Yep, only a matter of time as history actually demonstrates as Stalin seemed to be shocked when he learned of the German attack on June 22 1941. Though it is rather odd that he wasn't expecting it (maybe not in a two front war, then again the other fronts required limited German resources in mid 1941) as Mein Kampf was well known. For the other comments, in 1920 the war was waged between the Polish 2nd Republic and the Soviets (german Räte) of Russia, Ukraine and Poland (certainly volunteers from other countries as well). So the Soviets or the Red Army of 1920 was not the Soviet Union or the Red Army of 1939. Neverless there definitelly was bad blood between the Soviet Union and Poland (alose Czechoslovakia for the participation of the Czech Coprs in the Revolution) because of the war of 1920, but also because Poland had refused (essentially nulifying the possibilities of the French-Polish and French-Soviet treaties) to sign a defensive pact with the Soviet Union (to prepare against the very war that occured in 1939). Lastly it should be noted that the 1939 separation line of Poland was based on the Curzon Line proposed as the eastern border of Poland after WWI.--Caranorn 13:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Curzon Line was an armistice line proposed by british at the time then Poland was on full retreat. Russian SFSR did not accept it.--Staberinde 13:37, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Let's just rest assured knowing it's a good thing they didn't - I mean, those soviets turned out to be a huge asset and true allies for the western powers for decades to come. Oh wait. --NEMT 20:55, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Let's avoid baiting comments, please. --Petercorless 22:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Just sayin' --NEMT 22:20, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I doubt that French and British gov-ts were disgusted, after all, not like they were white fluffy virgins who never annexed nearly half the world into their empires. With respect, Ko Soi IX 19:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The hypocrisy of their position in regards to their own government's history does not prohibit them from being disgusted. After all, adults of every generation always bemoan the lack of morals among teenagers, forgetting that they acted pretty much the same when they were teens. --Habap 20:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
While we certainly can't get into the heads of men long gone, I find it strange that some cynical gangsters would be disgusted by the actions of other cynical gangsters. But than, of course, the traditional European double standarts come to play, and, depending on how deep they were rooted, it is not impossible that they were in fact disgusted. With respect, Ko Soi IX 19:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
"Cynical gangsters"? "Traditional European double standarts (sic)"? "With respect"? Can we please keep the comments more reasonable and less likely to incite? Coricus 04:21, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Sure, why not. But than again, with me being the merit for my own comments, please don't expect too much. Ko Soi IX 05:40, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

References fell off?

I just added back a reflist tag at the bottom. Somehow it got removed? --Petercorless 22:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Added East Africa and Madagascar

There is now a section covering East Africa and Madagascar. I'd be interested in feedback and corrections. I left the end of the campaign as September 1943, with the surrender of Italy and the end of the guerrilla movement, but I could see how dates earlier with the end of major hostilities might be used instead. I'd appreciate constructive feedback. --Petercorless 22:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I dont think East Africa and Madagascar is important enough to warrant its own section. I think we should merge it with the Mediterranean section. Mercenary2k 23:48, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Someone poofed the header, meaning it is still a separate section without a logical section break. It just plows into the subject above. Hence, I will add the header back in for clarifying purposes. --Petercorless 04:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I have not yet written a section on the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, but if someone wanted to also add a section on Dakar and the west African French territories, then I would not be adverse to putting them all under "Sub-Saharan Africa" or some such. However, it is over 2,000 km between Addis Ababa and Cairo. That's far more than the distance between London to Rome, and I don't hear anyone arguing to make the "Battle of Britain" part of the Mediterranean campaign. --Petercorless 04:13, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
True but in the great scheme of World War II, this episode is not really that relevant. I think we might re-title the Mediterranean to Mediterranean and Africa or something like that. Mercenary2k 04:52, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
See a relevant discussion at Template_talk:WWIITheatre#Africa.2C_Middle_East_and_Indian_Ocean Grant | Talk 05:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Most ironically, folks are trying to shoehorn the Horn of Africa. While I can definitely see linkage to the campaigns of East and North Africa, prior to my additions, Sub-Saharan African activities were entirely lacking in mention. Now, basically, they are being asked to sit in the back of the bus. Give it a few days before you make hasty edits merging the sections. I want to add west Africa. I'd prefer to rename the section "Sub-Saharan Africa," and hopefully, we'll have a nice section on the "missing" parts of the African aspects of the conflict. --Petercorless 05:10, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I was wondering if textbooks call these theaters sub-saharan africa or "east africa." I've always thought sub-saharan africa means places like the congo. BlueShirts 07:17, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
See map: Sub-Saharan Africa. You can see that the Horn of Africa, including all of the relevant area of Sudan and Eritrea covered in the article is part of the Sub-Saharan area. --Petercorless 07:23, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
okay, so it's a more encompassing term, thanks. BlueShirts 07:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

China/Republic of China & Taiwan/Formosa

Any interested editors please comment on the naming/nomenclature discussion at: Talk:Pacific_War#China.2FRepublic_of_China_.26_Taiwan.2FFormosa. Grant | Talk 13:10, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Latest RfC:

--Petercorless 19:41, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Corsica in WW2

Were any ground operations conducted on the island during WW2? I know axis air and naval units bombarded french positions. I'm having a very difficult time finding any detailed information on action in Corsica, in any language. --NEMT 22:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I just corrected my entry for Corsica under Military history of France during World War II#French contribution to the Italian Campaign, there was some regular and irregular fighting on Corsica (for the city of Bastia mostly) during the liberation. In addition to the listed forces the Corsican resistance also played a mayor role (rising up in arms after the Italian surrender, cooperating with the Italian troops that had changed sides and finally working in concert with the commandos). Unfortunately I have no detailed information on the role of the Italians (whether all defected, or just part of the Bastia garrison, also how much they actually participated in the fighting).--Caranorn 14:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I looked at the and it said "During World War II the island was occupied by German and Italian troops, but the people revolted against them, and the island was liberated in late 1943." ("Corsica." Historychannel. A&E Television Networks. 27 Mar 2007 <>.)

If the only information they provide is that single sentence it's not of much use here. Not to speak of the fact that the History Channel is of very limited scientific use. Thanks though for looking it up.--Caranorn 13:35, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I think he ment it to give it a general background. --LtWinters 18:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Restoring nationalities

Haber, why did you restore the nationalities? The vote showed a majority in favor of Axis /Allies. Oberiko 13:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

There's a thing about Haber you need to know: he doesn't care what other editors say; he does what he wants. Parsecboy 13:35, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear. Still no end in sight! The poll is quite clear- and apart from the poll in terms of the arguments themselves, I think the consensus (as close as it can be judged) is now for Axis and Allies. Hopefully Haber can explain why he's done this, because it don't make no sense to me..... Badgerpatrol 15:48, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I've restored back regardless. Haber, if you want to continue this, I suggest you take it to Wikipedia:Resolving disputes instead of simply reverting. I should let you know that I will enforce WP:3RR. Oberiko 17:41, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Because it's a straw poll? Blueshirts 17:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
What's with all the tough talk? The poll was supposed to be non-binding, wasn't it? Votes are wrong for so many reasons, clearly discussed in Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion which was cited but completely ignored in the planning and execution of the poll. I was kind enough to humor you guys and let you play your little parliamentary games. Now you threaten to "enforce" a rule which doesn't even apply. Nice. Haber 20:32, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I was in favor of keeping the list of Allies and Axis powers, and we were also in the midst of a discussion as to what particular nations to list in both. It seems some impatient people simply wanted to end the debate by flushing the flags down the toilet? While that may bury an issue, it doesn't really solve it. --Petercorless 10:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Nothing prohibits continuing the discussion after the vote's close and possibly reversing the changes at some point. I myself was in favour of the list of Allies, but to me the vote was pretty clear. Though maybe I was just disgusted by the attempt of one or more sock puppets to manipulate the vote (which by the way could have been a supporter of either or even someone trying to sow trouble). In any case, after some consideration, I've come to the conclusion that Axis/Allies is acceptable while not ideal. It's also probably more equitable for the minor countries who after all also played a role in the war. If we were to vote again today I'd probably switch to Axis/Allies though I worry a bit that those two articles could become battlegrounds over who played a major and who a minor role (just displacing the conflict)...--Caranorn 12:17, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
????This debate has been ongoing for weeks if not months. There were 3 days between the end of the poll (which happened to heavily support removing countries from the infobox) and the action itself. Have you read the extensive discussions above and in the archives? No-one here has been "impatient"- quite the reverse. When a debate has become as intractable as this one, it is perfectly legitimate to use straw polls as a means of gauging consensus. I personally think that a rough consensus has been reached for just Axis and Allies in the infobox, but in any case, as clearly stated by WP:CCC, our decisions (whatever the outcome) cannot conflict with e.g. WP:NPOV. If Haber or anyone else can come up with a way of listing some countries (but not others) in the infobox unambiguously and unequivocally, without invoking individual opinion, then obviously let's hear it. Otherwise, it is clear that the neutral position- which also happens to be supported by a rough consensus anyway- is to remove individual countries, simply list Axis and Allies and leave it to those articles to sort out the nuances and complexities of this situation in the depth that is required. Badgerpatrol 17:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I have restored it back to Allies and Axis and will request that it stay that way (again) until the mediation is settled. Haber, this is your second time reverting it. Oberiko 01:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

What's your point? Haber 03:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The point is that I'm requesting you stop doing so until the mediation is settled. Persisting with changes seems like disruptive editing. Oberiko 13:35, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Please don't make false accusations. Haber 15:44, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, enough, really, guys. Edit warring, by either "side" in this dispute, is disruptive, and isn't going to help get the issue resolved. We agreed to freeze the infobox while discussion was ongoing before, can we agree to freeze it again until at least the mediation is accepted or rejected? I understand that a freeze is guaranteed to leave one "side" or the other unhappy, but at least it prevents the article from constantly changing back and forth and confusing unsuspecting outsiders. It seems to me that many of the parties here have become personally invested in this dispute - please, try to remember, it's just an encyclopedia. No one should be taking any of it personally, and no one should be intentionally making it personal. Please, and I say this to everyone, try to keep WP:COOL and WP:NPA in mind. We're all here to make Wikipedia better. —Krellis (Talk) 15:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

A voluntary edit freeze for a finite amount of time is ok with me. What do you think would be a fair amount of time? After that I will expect to be able to make reasonable edits without being accused of being disruptive. I will also expect that any newcomers who edit the infobox be left alone, even during our voluntary freeze. It is not consistent with the project for a small group to decide to lock a part of the article indefinitely. Haber 16:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
For right now, I would suggest freezing until the acceptance or rejection of the mediation case. That would be, if I understand the process correctly, 7 days from when it was filed (21:15 on 5 March, UTC), which would be 21:15 on 12 March 2007. If the mediation is accepted, I would suggest we re-evaluate an extension of the voluntary freeze at that time, in discussion with the assigned mediator. If it is rejected, I would support the freeze ending, pending any further steps in dispute resolution. I agree that newcomers shouldn't be expected to read the hundreds of kilobytes of text on this subject, and should not be harassed if they make changes, though I think it reasonable to revert changes made to this particular area to comply with the freeze, with the situation appropriately explained to the editor whose edits are reverted. —Krellis (Talk) 16:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I should clarify that, in the above, I didn't really mean to set 21:15 on 12 March as a hard unfreeze time, only to indicate the general length of time I expected until a decision on the mediation is made. I tried to say that in the next sentence, but didn't do so well, so I'll state it explicitly here. I believe the freeze should continue until the mediation case is either rejected, in which case it would end immediately at that time, or accepted, in which case it would continue until it could be discussed with the mediator assigned to the case and all parties, to decide what should happen while the mediation is on-going. Sorry if that was less than clear before (or if I'm unnecessarily clarifying what was already clear :)) —Krellis (Talk) 16:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll leave it alone for three days, but I don't want this to be misconstrued as some sort of agreement to keep any other editors from working on the infobox. What you're proposing hardly seems voluntary. Haber 21:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Let me explain what I see as a possible scenario, then, if this is supposed to be "voluntary" and only includes participants in the talk page. User A, who has never contributed to this talk page before, comes by and re-adds the countries and flags to the infobox. Yet another round of complaining begins here - those who do not want the flags insist it's against the existing (if difficult to read) consensus, while those who do want the flags cite it as validation that others who haven't participated want them. This goes back and forth, and, as have most of the conversations about this topic, eventually leads to further personal attacks, accusations that User A is a sock/meat puppet of one or more of the "pro-flag" group, the recruitment of sock/meat puppets by the "anti-flag" group to remove the flags, and boom, you've got a whole new edit war going on, with sock/meat puppet violations to boot, and you've further entrenched each side in the argument.
Is that a worst-case scenario? I certainly hope so. Do I believe any of the editors involved in this dispute would stoop to those levels? I certainly hope there would be no sock/meat puppetry involved, but too many editors have already shown that they are willing to resort to personal attacks in this discussion, so I'm almost certain that at least accusations would be made, even if they were unfounded.
It is well within the "rights" of the editors on this talk page to form a consensus agreement that the list of combatants in the infobox will not change until a certain date or milestone, and enforce that by reverting changes by outsiders, as long as those reverts are followed by a polite and clear explanation to the outsider, with direction to the discussions here. If we do not agree to that, the only alternative I see is that an admin eventually gets called in over this edit war, and puts the article under full protection until we can come to some agreement. Do you really want to see this article full protected for months until mediation or arbitration of this matter can be completed? That's not in anyone's interest. I really am not trying to stifle anyone or any opinion here, I'm just trying to suggest compromise that avoids further conflict, edit warring, and personal attacks. —Krellis (Talk) 01:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
To repeat, I will not touch the infobox. That's all I can offer. I refuse to prevent others from editing, or to back any sort of policing operation. If you want to keep reverting the infobox yourself, I won't stop you. Just please don't do it in my name. Haber 03:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
It's reasonable to "protect" the infobox from editing until the end of the mediation case- if it goes ahead. Consensus only works in the absence of intransigence. Frankly, I'm not sure that a truly naive and uninvolved editor- and let's be honest, there is seemingly ample evidence of meatpuppetry in the !poll above- would actually revert the infobox anyway. If they do, then in good faith they can be told the situation and asked not to make changes to that particular area. I suggest we request a check user for the 3 or 4 possible socks votes in the poll above, which will help to confirm everyone's continuing good faith. Badgerpatrol 10:34, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Requesting mediation on allies/axis issue

All: Clearly, the RFC did not work - while it did stimulate further discussion, we do not seem to have made any actual progress, and are back to a near-edit-war situation. I just want to let everyone know that I am in the process of writing up a request for mediation, as the next step in dispute resolution. I will post notices to the parties and here on the talk page once the request is filed. If anyone thinks this should go directly to the binding forum of ArbCom rather than trying mediation first, please make your opinion known here. —Krellis (Talk) 21:07, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Bring on the mediation, though I doubt anything short of binding action will end this. --NEMT 21:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I suspect you are correct, but thought it prudent to at least try. —Krellis (Talk) 21:29, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I dont know why you guys are wasting so much energy on such a pointless issue. This article still needs a lot of work like more citations and some missing info that needs filling and you guys are so engrossed on the allied and axis battlebox Mercenary2k 22:35, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
We've had sixty-three years, you'd think we'd have been able to finish writing about the events of the war by now. --NEMT 15:18, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Bring on the mediation, although I agree that it is a real shame that so much time has been spent on this issue unecessarily. Badgerpatrol 17:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


The video near the start of the article does not state who is green, red or blue. If someone could please do so that'd be great —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'm all over it. Parsecboy 22:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Pictures in the Cause of War in Europe

I think that the Molotov-Ribbentrop picture would go nicely with this or this. With respect, Ko Soi IX 05:44, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd prefer the 2nd one, as Chamberlain is more easily recognizable. Parsecboy 16:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Can we add "citation needed" tags?

Hi, I mentioned this above but I'm sure no one read it. I'd like to help provide citations, but may I ask that [citation needed] be placed at all statements that folks feel need to be cited? This will at least jump-start the process of finding citations. A similar thing happened in the U2 article I worked on, for example see: [13] for the progress that was made in less than 5 months on that article. I think we can easily get up to 200 references for this article if the "citation needed" tags are added. The only risk is that the tags are not very pleasing to the eye and may make the article a little bit more difficult to read. Thanks. Wikipedia brown 00:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why not, as long as they aren't excessive - have a look at the guidelines at WP:CITE. RHB Talk - Edits 00:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Allies vs Axis

I think that to have the Allies and the Axis as the main combatants is confusing and inconsistent. I agree with Haber on this point. In the major battles, the major combatants are listed by country. This whole huge debate has been bought on by the fact that Canada was excluded from the list of "major" Allies. OK lets bring it in. Maybe it might be an idea to include more alies to get round this. The list would probably be USSR, US, UK, France, China, Canada, India, Poland and Australia. This would include anyone who might be "major". I don't think that countries like South Africa, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand and Yugoslavia would object too much to not being included, even though they did play a sizeable part. Wallie 19:08, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Alright, to play Devil's advocate:
  • On what grounds are you going to include them? What citation/references will you be using as justification for criteria selection?
  • Will France be listed, under the Allies, as the Third Republic? Will the Free French be included?
  • Why not Greece, Norway, South Africa and New Zealand as Allied? How about Italy post 1943? Finland once the Lapland War started?
  • Will you include Finland as an Axis Power? Romania? Hungary? Vichy France?
  • Will the USSR be listed as a co-belligerent of the Axis?
Oberiko 20:24, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Irrelevant, the matter is in mediation. --NEMT 21:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
You have to have a cut off point somewhere. The countries you mention are Allied or Axis, but are not "major", if you consider Canada as the cut-off point. Vichy France was a conquered country, as was China, with a puppet government. The Soviet Union was in the allies for most of the war (actually longer than the US). As mentioned, the matter is in mediation. The sooner this is resolved, the better. Wallie 21:57, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
We're trying, which is why it's mediation. The problem basically can be summed up in your sentence: "...if you consider Canada as the cut-off point...". There are lots of folks here who think the cut-off should be either before or after Canada. Some would argue yes to Poland and no to Canada, others would say yes to Canada, but no to France, etc. If we had an easy, clear-cut, generally-accepted (by reputable historians) answer as to who is major, and, more importantly, why they are major, we would have solved the issue weeks ago. Oberiko 19:24, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Why does such a contentious line have to be drawn? Can't we just have a list of allies of the Allies and a list of allies of the Axes? In the list, include the number of troops sent to the battlefield, or if they only supplied logistics, the number of troops killed or otherwise lost, the date they joined/left their in-group, (is there anything else?). Rank them by a troop/supplies ratio, or something. Xaxafrad 23:04, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've read some of the pertinent previous dialogue (but by no means all), and the problem, as I understand it, is thus: in the infobox at the top of the page, it currently states WW2 was between the Allies and the Axis, with 62 million dead on both sides. Some people want a more extended infobox, like the one for WW1, which is more colorful. An edit war has ensued between one or more editors with poor team-playing skills (if you take offense, please don't; I don't care who acts like what, and I don't care to name names, the histories can do that). Therefore, I would cast my vote in favor of an expanded infobox, listing only (for readability's sake) the top 3-5 unambiguous nations from each side, with et als linking to Allies and Axis much as it currently stands. In fact, I almost feel bold enough to do it myself (and maybe I will after checking out this article's history). Xaxafrad 23:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to ask that you don't change it since we are awaiting potential mediation on the matter. If, however, you can get enough people to agree (I'm satisfied with a simple majority personally) on listing 3-5 nations, which nations to list and how to list them (France vs. Third Republic etc.), then I'll be fine with the change. Oberiko 23:42, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Real quick off the top of my head (it doesn't help that I've read a bit more of the previous discussions): Germany, Japan, and allies vs. Britain, United States, and allies (given the facts that Italy, Canada, and others have been variously called major/minor/in between powers, and that France and China both had puppet governments, and that Russia switched sides). I have far less familiarity with the commanders: Rommel, Eisenhower, and whoever else, but let's keep it to a short list of field commanders, eh (would those who commanded the longest make for a decent cutoff point?)? I guess I should take it to WP:VP and WP:RFC? Xaxafrad 00:06, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Also given the fact of the mediation case, I won't get carried away until that matter is concluded (tomorrow, I think). Xaxafrad 01:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
So using your rationale you are going to leave the USSR out of the infobox. I think that may well be the best line up I've yet heard.... Badgerpatrol 10:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

eastern front SECTION: greece/bulgaria ERROR

The greeks were beaten quickly and decisively but they were not out numbered vastly as the article excuses it as. Please correct this.

WP:BOLD you correct it. -- 17:49, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe not outnumbered vastly but certainly outnumbered. Just looking at a quick reference book I find a 3/2 ratio of Italian to Greek forces in the initial invasion. Even taking into consideration the Italian casualties, the German intervention worsened the odds for Greece, add to that being outflanked... Lastly, the article doesn't say outnumbered vastly just outnumbered which is obviously correct and not an excuse in any case.--Caranorn 21:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Did the Germans outnumber the Greeks significantly? Or, did the Greek troops outnumber the German troops? I think the above is about German:Greek (as that was when they were defeated) Not Italian:Greek. JohnHistory 03:37, 23 March 2007 (UTC)JohnHistory

I can only compare rough numbers of units at that stage of the war. List's 12th Army had 10 divisions (that is discounting the 3 divisions of XI and L corps that don't seem to have participated in the Greek Campaign) on April 5 1941. Around the same date the Italian 9th Army had another 8 divisions and a number of non-divisional units (rough equivalent of 2 additional divisions). That gives the Axis roughly 20 divisions (the German ones strong and of high quality). The Greek Army on the other hand seems to have had 21 divisions plus a number of non-divisonal units (rough equivalent of 2 divisions). Add to that 2 Commonwealth divisions. So we'd end up with a 20 to 25 rate of Axis to Allied forces. Considering the quality and strength of the German units that seems like a rough parity. But I know too little about the size and type of Greek units (almost all reserve formations). For april 1941 as in the article outnumbered seems incorrect, though they were definitely outnumbered in 1940.
Note I'd not use any of the above numbers in the article as I have too little information on the Greek and Italian forces (I can back up the German, Commonwealth with sources and explanations, the Greek and Italian I only have the rough numbers).--Caranorn 13:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I've read a bit more on the subject and now realize the outnumbering relates to the Metaxas line. I also added the fact that the Greek forces were outflanked by the advance of 3 Panzer and 1 Motorised Division (did not list the numbers) through Yugoslavia. Also added the relevant link to the Battle of Greece article.--Caranorn 13:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Alright then, so the Germans were actually outnumbered, even when including the Italians, when fighting/defeating the mainly Greeks + some Commmonwealth forces, and not the other way around. So that should be mentioned/corrected if it hasn't already. Thanks, and good day. JohnHistory 22:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)johnHistory

I thought I'd clarified that this was relating to the Metaxas line situation only. The current sentence is: The Greek army defending the Metaxas Line was outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the rapid German advance through Yugoslavia and collapsed. If you think additional correction is needed go ahead, but we probably should leave the details to the individual articles on the Metaxas Line and/or the Battle of Greece.--Caranorn 22:50, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Nepal missing

In the first paragraph of this section: War breaks out in Europe (September 1939 – May 1940) it fails to mention that Nepal also declared war on Sept 4th.. I would change this myself but some petty issue over flags stops me from contributing to this article it seems.. why not just add all nations who contributed troops.. they all contributed in some small way or another.. I hope the mediation works out soon.. Basser g 16:15, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

No-one is barred from editing this article. I think the consensus is that it would be best if the infobox (particularly the combatants and commanders sections) was to remain as it is until the mediation is resolved. Every other part of the article is fair game- the only caveat being that anon users and very new accounts may have to post any suggested additions to this page to be added by another party. From what I can see, you should be able to edit the page directly anyway. Badgerpatrol 16:25, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Apparently the "Infobox minimalists" are continuing to whack away. The leaders are now shunted off to another page. This is becoming and increasingly non-informative page. While I have no problem with keeping the infobox clean, there had been discussions above about what constituted worthy mention in the infobox. Depending on what criteria we were (supposedly collectively) to determine, we'd figure whether the list of nations stayed, and if so, which remained as "major combatants" and which became "see also" in a longer list elsewhere. I've not taken to edit the box during the mediation phase, and in fact, I did what was recommended and walked away from the article for a bit. However, I must say that the trend to simply shove the issue onto other pages does not really solve the contentions and certainly doesn't clarify the issue for people who look to get an 'at-a-glance' view of the war from the infobox. Personally, Nepal could go either way for me. It depends on where we set the bar in terms of numbers of troops to be considered "major," and whether we deal with the collective "British Empire" which would include Nepal, or would list them separately. They certainly did not fight any less fiercely than other combatants involved and many Gurkhas were highly decorated. --Petercorless 12:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Discussing this under the wrong topic, but I guess I should reply here. Someone decided to add the leaders links after the individual leaders were deleted following the Poll about Axis and Allies (as logically no leaders would be cited if no countries are cited). The links might have been better places in the Axis and Allies articles, which would also not have broken the current agreement to freeze the infobox until mediation is accepted... In any case, there is insufficient space to add every relevant leader, even if we restrict ourselves to political leaders.--Caranorn 13:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
We don't need to add "every relevant leader." That is hyperbolic and reductio ad absurdum. We could add some set of 4-10 per side. --Petercorless 12:30, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Small note

Note 1 says, "Ibid." Looks like the reference tags got mixed up somehow...Chubbles 21:27, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Axis leaders of World War II

I've created this article, as the main page link was blank. It is by no means comprehensive. --NEMT 21:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Yet why are the major World War II leaders missing from this page? This seems to be simply shoveling the problem elsewhere, and degrades the effectiveness of the Infobox. --Petercorless 11:59, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Can you tell us who the major leaders were, please? Badgerpatrol 12:08, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Yep, and then start fighting over the leaders all over again;-). But on a more serious note, I fear the Allied Leaders of World War II and Axis Leaders of World War II will be a partial (major difference is inclusion of political leaders) duplication of the Commanders of World War II article. Maybe the Commanders article could be split up into the two new articles, or alternatively the Commanders article expanded to include political leaders.--Caranorn 13:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I would agree with splitting them up and including political leaders. As is, some nations (such as the US) already have their head of state as direct Commander-in-Chief. Even when not "officially" part of the military system, most political leaders have significant influence anyway. Oberiko 16:49, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
They're not missing from the page. All major WW2 leaders are discussed in detail in the article, even some less well known ones. Where they're "missing" is the infobox, which is not supposed to be an all-inclusive list, or a battleground for nationalists and misguided patriots of minor belligerents. The infobox is more effective as it is now - WW2 was a conflict between the Axis and the Allies, with the sides led by the appropriate allied/cooperating leaders. The broad nature of the war precludes your ideal, as nearly all editors involved in the dispute claim. -- 16:52, 15 March 2007 (UTC) (is User:NEMT)

What is so special about WW2?

I see that the WW1 article has no problems about defining Combatants and Commanders. So what is the problem about coming up with a similar list in WW2? Russia was only in WW1 for part of the war, and also became the Soviet Union during that time. But there does not seem to be the endless agonizing and nit-picking there. C'mon guys. Lets use our common sense. Wallie 19:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Good idea - common sense tells us a global conflict involving hundreds of belligerents should not and could not be exhaustively summarized in a wiki infobox. What's so special about WW2? It actually was a "world" war. -- 19:13, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
The main problems is the POVs and personal assertions people are bringing to the article. People, rather than cite souces (what does the US War College call the major Allied or Axis powers? What did Churchill or Roosevelt or Stalin or Hitler declare them to be?), they are wallowing in their own Mad Hatter's Tea Party. "No room! No room in the infobox!" declared the Mad Hatter. "But there's plenty of room," said Alice. --Petercorless 12:32, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
For every source that you can find that says one thing, someone else can find a source that says something different. That is the crux of the problem- but I encourage everyone to find reliable sources on this issue (in a variety of languages and from a variety of sources) and bring them to the table. It is not and never has been, a question of "no room at the in (-fobox)", except in the sense that there really isn't sufficient room to list all the beligerents. It is a question of the apparent impossibility of arriving at a stable NPOV list of "major" combatants (and even more difficult, a list of "major" leaders). Badgerpatrol 14:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
So why is POV a problem?? The authors of the WW1 article did not appear to have this problem. I would have thought there were just as many, probably more complications, when you look at WW1. The problem seems to be whether or not to include Canada in the list. Well, it was not in the WW1 list... Wallie 23:48, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
No, with respect, that is emphatically not a good analysis of the problem. Have a look at the discussion elsewhere on this page (and in the archives...I realise there is a lot of comment to get through) for some information on why POV is a problem here, and see also WP:NPOV. If there's a similar problem with First World War then I suppose someone will get to that eventually and perhaps the solution to this may act as a precedent, that can be discussed at the relevent forum. Badgerpatrol 02:00, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Comments on the mediation for the infobox dispute issue

I looked at this article's entry on the mediation page, but there's nothing showing any kind of discussion, only a list of involved parties. The way the process is supposed to work, as I understand it, is thus: these parties (about a dozen or so) have been involved in an edit war over the infobox at the top of the WW2 article; now that the issue has been brought before a mediator (the first mediator deposed himself due to a possible conflict of interest), whatever consensus they're able to find (are they looking for a consensus, or do they come up with an arbitrary decision?) will become binding on the involved parties. "Binding" means further edit warring on the infobox by those individuals will result in some kind of disciplinary action.

As I go diving into this article's history, I've started to desire a {{WW2infobox}} template, where it would be far, far easier to watch the many month long edit war, involving many drive-by parties. How long did the infobox stand with 4vs3 powers, with a 1:1 leader/commander list? Why were the "and others" links not sufficient? Further, the "and others" links are duplicates of the "Allied powers:" and "Axis powers:" links at the top of the list.

For comparison (I tried to maintain the original ordering of powers, and translated the exact names, but I may have missed a few specific nuances):

interwiki  (powers)vs(powers)                                                        notes on list of leaders and links to "other" powers
ar         (Russia,UK,US,France,China,Poland,Canada)vs(Nazis,Austria,Japan,Italy,Romania,Hungary,Bulgaria)                                           (no commanders), (links to Allies/Axis only in list header, no footer text, also link to Axis is redlink and Allies is a stub)
fr         (France (pre-June1940),UK,USSR,US,Republic of China,free France,Poland) vs (Nazis,Italy,Japan,French State(Vichy))                        (all countries listed with one commander, except US (2 presidents)), (links to Allies/Axis in list header only, "and others" is plain text under list of Allies)
pl         (Poland,Great Britain +domains,France (with date notes),USSR,US,China)vs(Nazis,Italy,Japan +Bulgaria,Romania,Hungary,Finland,Slovakia)    (no commanders, Allies link in header, Allies in WW2 link in footer, Axis powers in WW2 links in header and footer)
it         (Germany,Japan,Italy,Romania,Hungary,Bulgaria,Finland)vs(Soviet Union,US,Great Britain,Commonwealth,free France,China,Poland)             (3 Axis political leaders, 3 Axis military leaders, 4 Allied political leaders, 3 Allied military leaders), (Axis powers/Allies link in list header, no footer), (no flags)
de                                                                                   (no infobox, mostly still photos, 8 maps of Europe, and 2 maps of Operation Barbarossa)
pt         (UK,US,France,Soviet Union,Poland,China,Brazil) vs (Nazis,Italy,Japan)    (no Polish leader), (two Allies/Axis links: in list header, and "and others")
es         (Nazis,Italy,Japan)vs(Great Britain,France,US,Soviet Union,China,Poland)  (US has 2 leaders, Poland 0, all else 1), (double links to Axis/Allies in list header and footer), (animated map in place of photo-montage)
ja         (Russia,US,UK,Republic of China)vs(Nazis,Italy,Japan)                     (1 leader for each power), (characters indicate "and others", but no links to them in infobox)
zh         (Britain,Russia,US,China)vs(Nazis,Japan,Italy)                            (Allies header (and "others" footer) links to "Alliance", Axis powers linked in header and footer)

Well, the international community won't be a source of consensus, but I hope I've shown a few sources for inspiration (such as the animated map in the Spanish infobox, and a lack of duplicate links to Allied/Axis powers (both at the top and bottom of the list)). What I didn't investigate was the interwiki histories (are the French, Portuguese, and others having their own edit wars over their infoboxes too?).

What follows next is a collection of edit summaries which obviously reflect on the infoxbox (these were gleaned from simply scanning the history, and are far from a complete list):

01:43, 27 August 2006   Kurt Leyman (Talk | contribs)    (Poland was not a major power and needs to be listed, and I don't see a reason to list Hirohito.)
01:47, 27 August 2006   Kurt Leyman (Talk | contribs) m  ("and others...." for the Allies + changed British Commonwealth to United Kingdom)
02:02, 27 August 2006   Rex Germanus (Talk | contribs) m (my country was liberated by Poles and Canadians. Poles were also a major part of Operation Market Garden, anyway; Polish contribution to World War II speaks for itself)
03:26, 27 August 2006   Wallie (Talk | contribs)         (I have to agree with Kurt. Just because Poland liberated your country, doesn't make it major. Australia liberated Libya. Should it be there too?)
03:28, 27 August 2006   Rex Germanus (Talk | contribs) m (I wonder if you know how many Poles died in that "Just because" of yours.)
03:40, 27 August 2006   Wallie (Talk | contribs)         (A lot of Aussies died liberating Libya too. These are red herrings. Anyway, don't keep reverting. Bitte!)
03:54, 27 August 2006   Rex Germanus (Talk | contribs) m (In that case I'm removing Italy, as per article ("The principle axis powers were Germany and Japan"). Btw, you don't need to "bitte" me, we generally say "alstublieft".)
18:01, 27 August 2006   Rex Germanus (Talk | contribs) m (I think this is a better (probably not the best though) sollution. If someone could add the most important commonwealth nation and axis helpers acc. to period? That would be great.)
03:15, 28 December 2006 Big Iron (Talk | contribs) m     (I put Canada as a named allie in world war 2 because we were a major part.)
05:18, 7 January 2007   Genyusz (Talk | contribs) m      (Added Hungary to the Major Axis powers( Well if Poland deserves to be called major allied power then Hungary deserves the major Axis power title))
06:10, 9 January 2007   Ajonsey (Talk | contribs)        (canada was britain greatest ally up until the soviet union, and was a major part of campaigns in sicily, italy, france and liberated the netherlands)
09:06, 9 January 2007   Swang (Talk | contribs)          (We should keep the definition of MAJOR allies down to the 5 countries who received a PERMANENT seat on the UN Security Council. Neither Poland or Canada (not saying they didnt contribute) have a seat.)
17:14, 15 January 2007  Kurt Leyman (Talk | contribs) m  (the titles "major powers" are not nessecary. And can we not reach an agreement about China? The nation did not have any of the qualities of an major power.)
18:30, 15 January 2007  Habap (Talk | contribs)          (If you leave out the word "major" then people will ask to list every country, China ended up with a seat on the UN Security, so the Allies thought they were important)
07:52, 18 January 2007  Grant65 (Talk | contribs)        (rm France/de Gaulle from "major allies" [discussed at length before: makep of UN Sec Council has nothing to with role in WW2...personally I would prefer that we just say "Allies" and "Axis"])
18:52, 30 January 2007  Str1977 (Talk | contribs)        (actualls, the war fought between individual nations, not by some Axis block vs,. some Allied block, if we cannot list major powers we would have to list them all)

The infobox is not the place to duke out national pride issues! The infobox is a short summary of the most key points of a random war (see the Greek World War for another random infobox)

In closing, I motion for an infobox template, to at least keep the edit wars and discussions over the window dressing off the main WW2 article (it's like a case of fighting over the doilies, when the table's wobbly). Further, why should only the "major" players been listed? Or why should "major" be mentioned in the label of the list? Why can't the list be mostly comprehensive (would 9vs5 really be so terrible?)? Wikipedia is not paper, so why should the infobox be stripped of information? Xaxafrad 03:39, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is once you have 9, someone will want 10. The scope of the war was just too wide to have any kind of stable list. --NEMT 04:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Not everyone has been edit warring over this issue- I think I've made a grand total of about 2 edits to the infobox in the last year or something. It's suprising and disappointing that this has taken what appaears to be a bit of a bitter twist just as it seemed to be coming to some kind of resolution at last. As far as I'm aware, mediation is not binding. Whether all the parties respect the decision of the mediator (or respect consensus) is up to them- barring any truly egregious decisions, I will, for one. Taking a look at how the foreign language Wikis arrange their infoboxes is a useful exercise. In a quick scan of the 9 examples, I count at least 6 or 7 different iterations. There is no stable list. It is not possible to have a stable list. Every time someone changes the list it will be based on their own, personal, totally subjective criteria, as the conversation elsewhere on this page convincingly demonstrates. And every time someone else wants to change it the next day, their personal subjective list will by definition be just as valid. The other day someone on this page advocated excluding the USSR (!!!) whilst I see that on the Portugese Wiki, Brazil is included as a major Ally! It is sadly not possible for space reasons to include a full list of combatants and any list that is pared down according to subjective criteria (and there is no other way to do it) is inherently POV. I don't have an interest in the First World War article, but it may or may not be that there is a problem over there also. It is however definitely true that the Second World War was a conflict unique in scale, reach and participation- and in its lasting political and emotional resonance. Badgerpatrol 10:26, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Aye, as mentioned, the main problem here lies with scope creep. Even if we could agree to 5 major Allies and 3 major Axis (which many will feel is either to many or to few) it would still come down to a tug-of-war about "my country did more then yours". Who can say with absolute authority that the French Third Republic did more then Canada or India? A tricky question when we can't even define what "more" really means; trickier when people are bringing national pride and a selective historical focus (people usually learn their national history in more detail then those of other nations).
So, being that there will be valid arguments, let's take it a step further and say that accept FTR, India and Canada, giving us 7 major Allies. Now we will have commotion about including those 7 but not, say, Poland. Again, valid arguments will be brought up and we will have to include them. The Axis side likely goes from 3 to about 6 during the discussions for the same reason.
From here we will find ourselves in an endless "why X, but not Y"? How can you include Poland but exclude Greece and Australia? Why is Finland listed as an Axis co-belligerent, but not the Soviet Union? Why is it that the Soviet Union, Italy and Finland are on both sides of the info box? And so on, and so on. Oberiko 12:57, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I just want to chime in briefly because I'm attempting to take a break from this page until the mediation gets underway. I appreciate the recent efforts by everyone to discuss things. The interwiki list especially looks like it took a lot of time. I'm not sure how the mediation process works but I'd like to reassure everyone that whatever the outcome it won't be binding. I for one would welcome the participation of anyone who wants to get involved. Wallie, in particular, has been a longtime contributor to this article and should be listened to. Haber 12:25, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I definitely think the idea about the infobox being a template, which would move discussion off this page. I'm not sure whether it would reduce the drive-by changes or serve as something of a barrier to allowing new users to participate (they'd have to figure out where the template is in order to change it), but I think it would reduce the amount of chatter here. As you can see from the archives, the vast majority of discussion here has been about who belongs in the infobox. --Habap 13:59, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
With the best will in the world, that does sound a lot like you saying you will ignore any mediation that doesn't suit your POV, just as you ignored the overwhelming result of the straw poll, and just as you haven't fully responded to the (I think comparitively cogent and reasonable) arguments against including individuals in the infobox. However, let's hope the mediator can contribute anyway, despite this. For my part, if the mediator's input leads to a reasonable and stable formula for including individual nations and leaders in the infobox, and can square this with existing Wikipedia policy, then I will quite happily accept individual nations and leaders in the infobox. Badgerpatrol 14:08, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Badger, you seem to be a little bit upset in general, and I'm sure that you don't mean to come off sounding the way you do. A short break from this article before the mediation might help you too. Haber 16:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually thought Badger sounded fine. If he, or anyone else is upset, it's because we've been trying to resolve this issue for quite a long time now, and it seems every step we take isn't good enough for you. We've tried RfC's, and you didn't abide by the results. You pretty much make clear that you won't adhere to what the mediation decides if you don't agree. Why can't you accept when the majority of editors disagree with your position? Where does it end? Does this really need to go further? Parsecboy 16:17, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm not upset at all, sorry if I came across like that. The situation has become a bit frustrating (in a vaguely farcical sense ;-), and I do think that perhaps you have been a little bit intransigent, but I accept (at face value) everyone's good faith and I certainly don't think it's worth getting personally involved in or angry over. What we are dealing with fundamentally is an abstract argument, not a personal one. Everyone has their opinions and is entitled to them- but in this case, until they change WP:NPOV to WP:POV, I don't see a way to overcome the subjective aspect of including combatants in the infobox. Badgerpatrol 16:34, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
We all want the mediation to succeed. Why poison the atmosphere by getting into it now? Haber 16:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. It's worth noting that mediation is not an "imposed" solution but rather seeks to engender compromise and bridge-building between editors acting in good faith. That obviously means that everyone should be prepared to compromise and build bridges and not pre-judge the process. Hopefully someone will pick up the case soon (it's a shame that Daniel Bryant had to drop out, he seemed to be keen to help) and we can all get on with it. Badgerpatrol 16:38, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not really familiar with how mediation works, so please forgive my misstatements earlier. I don't know if I can be a mediator, but I have a desire to engender fruitful collaboration at the expense of petty bickering (I'm guessing there are prerequisites before mediating anything). Personally, I would be one of the first people to compromise, as I don't consider myself deeply entrenched in my beliefs/opinions. If lots of people want an infobox which is light on the info, they can have it, but I think this article is big enough (166kb) to have room for an infobox with 20-30 combatants.
Also, I took the liberty of forking the {{WW2infobox}}, as well as adding a causus belli (which was blank when the fork was made), but I stopped short of adding the template to WW2 (I'll wait for a consensus). Xaxafrad 00:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC), and I wound up subst'ing some underlying templates so I could edit the code to add v-d-e links (if a power editor can edit the appropriate templates, v-d-e links would get added to the templates of several dozen/hundred military articles). Xaxafrad 04:58, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The article is indeed a bit big, but in this case I don't think its unmanageably so. If we include 30 combatants in the infobox (which I don't think is really workable space-wise)...then that's still only about one third to half our list from e.g. Allies of World War II. Which 20 or 30 do you recommend we include? Badgerpatrol 02:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think my recommendations would carry much weight. How's the mediation going? Xaxafrad 04:58, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

somthing's BRoKeN

Um, the Chronology section is officially way too long. The "Main Article" on world war II chornology, the World War II timeline, is literally half the length (16,200 to 8,600 words) of the Chronology section. I think that it would be wise to either weed things out of the chronology section, expand the timeline, or relabel the link to the timeline as a "see also" instead of "main article". Sections should not be twice the length of their main article. I'm not saying we should re-open the can of worms about whether the article is too detailed or not detailed enough, we should just consider not calling the timeline a "main article" if we like the article the way it is. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

The timeline section is pretty bare-bones; I don't think it was ever intended to expand on the main article. It's just a list of significant dates and a brief explanation of the occurrances on said dates. If anything is done, it should just be changed to a "see also". I'd prefer to keep the main WWII article as it is. Parsecboy 23:22, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
"see also" insteand of "main article" is fine with me. Haber 13:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Alright. That seems to be a good solution. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Good Article Review

I believe that given how much the text changes, and how many editors find faults with the text of the articles, and given how many heated wars go on on this talk page, this article no longer meets the stability requirement of a Good Article. I also think the article has become nearly unusuable, but that's my opinion. At any rate, I have listed this article at Wikipedia: Good article review because of it's instability. Put any comments you have on the subject there. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

I disagree. I think finally after a long time, this article is stable. The new structure which I created seems to be holding and the content of the article has expanded and become a lot better. Mercenary2k 23:19, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Mercenary2k; the article itself is pretty stable, the only major issue on the talk page is the infobox/countries listed/commanders listed issue, which is, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor. I see no reason why it should not continue to be listed as a GA. Parsecboy 23:24, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm unfortunately unfamiliar with Good Article standards, so I'll ask somebody else: what's the average size of a Good Article? And how many good articles exceed 100kb/150kb? Xaxafrad 00:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the article is far from where it needs to be (especially in concision and quality of prose), though I disagree that the main problem is stability. If anything, some chaos at the section and paragraph level might help things in the long run. Do you have any specific suggestions? Which parts are "unusable"? Haber 14:04, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say the article as a whole is unusable, considering its length. Nobody in their right mind would (or maybe even could) read this all the way through. Furthermore, even if somebody did know what they were looking for, it would take more time than they would probably want to find anything. I don't know if length is a GA parameter, but it should be adressed. Ahudson 17:31, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Are there any sections that seem to be particularly wordy or unnecessary? I can go raze some content just give me a direction. Haber 02:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
The entire chronology section. Most of that stuff doesn't need to be here; just two or three paragraphs for each section should be more than enough, no need to go into excessive detail (for example, "the pacific" subsection has 19 paragraphs). Also, the external links and bibliography section need to be reviewed, but that's not as important. Ahudson 17:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
In the vein of shortening WW2 from 160+ KB, the chronology section could be compressed to quickly and simply describe all the countries involved in the various theaters and the dates and reasons for joining whichever side, with lots of links to the plethora of articles. I'll boldly do something to it.... Xaxafrad 23:43, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I was just looking at the talk page, and I realized that there was really still a huge amount of debate over the content of the page. This did not seem appropriate for a good article; the kind of stability required for a good article should exclude the kind of discussions that have been happening over the list of allied and axis powers in the infobox. This kind of fundamental detail should be worked out before the article is listed as a "good article"

Casus Belli

I'm not sure the recent addition of German invasion of Poland is sufficient as Casus Belli. That was indeed the official starting point for the War in Europe. But this article is not limited to just that War. At the very latest Casus Belli for both the War in Europe and the War in the Pacific have to be given.

Then there is the question of whether entry into the War is a Casus Belli. Maybe it would be better to leave this part of the Infobox empty, alternatively link to the section World War II#Causes within the Article, or to the Article Causes of World War II.--Caranorn 13:43, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it's probably best to just link to the separate article. Only listing the invasion of Poland is Eurocentric, and implies everyone started fighting on that date, and because of that incident. Parsecboy 14:23, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
The situation is just too nuanced to sum up in a single sentence. The current one ("....colonial ambitions....") is no better. I would ditch any short description of the cb in the infobox altogether, to be honest. Badgerpatrol 02:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
While I added the "colonial ambition" causus belli, and I also added the fact tag to it. It was just something I've read about Germany and Japan: Hitler's use of the phrase Lebensraum for Russian land, and Japan saw what was happening to China and knew it needed to secure key resources in order to remain politically competitive. But as I continue to research (does reading Wikipedia articles count as research?), I wonder if the currently stated causus belli for the Second Sino-Japanese War (Marco Polo Bridge incident) is truly accurate. Maybe causus bellis should be excluded from infoboxes because every good war article should have an entire section dedicated to the reasons nations use to murder foreigners.
And then I read
Japan's China policy was conflicting throughout the 1930s. Japanese military in Manchuria and North 
China enjoyed some degree of independence from both the civilian government and the military 
authority in Tokyo. There were debates as to whether Japan should attempt to conquer and establish a
sort of colonial relationship with China, or whether Japan should strengthen economic relations 
with China to make both countries more dependent on each other, thus making armed conflicts between 
the two less likely. Furthermore, the Japanese government wished to see China more fragmented 
because dealing with separate Chinese factions, which were often conflicting against each other, was
easier and more beneficial to Japan.
in the Mukden Incident and start to doubt myself again. My interest in this issue is fading. Xaxafrad 05:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Pre-War Japan

Causes of the war in the Pacific

"Imperial Japan in the 1930s was largely ruled by a militarist clique of Army and Navy leaders intending to make Japan a great colonial power."

This sentence is a vast over-simplification of the political situation in pre-war Japan. Pre-war, there was great tension in the Japan between militaristic and more pacifist factions, with the militaristic elements only gaining control as the events that led up to war with the USA and European powers took place. The actions of the USA and European powers actually inadvertantly contributed to increasing the power of Japan's military leaders.

There was a very powerful and influential 'militaristic clique' but it is a misrepresentation to say that it "largely ruled" Japan. Read the article on History_of_Japan#World_War_I_to_End_of_World_War_II. Perhaps it is not possible to properly explain the events in this article so simplification is required, but not to the point of misprepresentation. The Pacific section on cause is shorter than the European section on causes. Some Eurocentrism is unavoidable in an English language article I guess.

<edit> so I followed the link to the article on causes of the expecting a more comprehensive explanation and find almost the exact same sentence foremost. I'm not trying to defend Japan's aggression, but it's really stupid and simplistic to the point of wrong to says ww2 in the pacific started because Japan was ruled by war mongers. Germany was also ruled by a militaristic regime but we dont have that as the underlying cause of the war in Europe. It's really a cop-out. aussietiger 03:53, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Go ahead and modify, I for one know much less about the Pacific Theater of Operations then the ETO, but I fully agree that both are important (we could debate a lot on whether they are equally important, in the end I expect those who died or suffered wouldn't care about such disputes) and should get if not equal at least adequate coverage (and indeed the Causes of War in Asia section seems inadequate).--Caranorn 15:56, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Well done, aussietiger. It is very important to discover the reasons why Japan went to war. Much of the "history" is there to make the Japanese seem like the bad guys, and Wikipedia probably refects this. Like Caranorn, most Europeans do know much less about the Japan/US part of the war. In my mind, it was the main part of the war, though. After all the Japanese were still going strong after Germany surrendered, and only surrendered as a result of the Atom Bomb. If the Americans had been beaten by the Japanese, and it was close in the early stages, the Axis might have won. However, if the Germans had beaten the the USSR in Europe, it is unlikely they would have beaten the US without Japan's help. Wallie 22:35, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Aussietiger, if you modify the section, I hope that in "the events that led to war with USA and europeans powers", as you called them, you will take into account that as soon as 1936, the Toseiha had gained control of the policy and that the main tension source between the two military faction was whether to go north against URSS or south in east Asia, and that neither the Navy, the Army or Hirohito himself had any real objection against the invasion of China.

Wallie, the documents prepared by Sugiyama and Nagano and presented in the numerous Imperial conferences of autumn 1941 show clearly that neither the Navy, the Army or Hirohito ever thought it was possible to win the war against the Occident and that it was only a way to gain the natural ressources to secure the position of Japan in China. --Flying tiger 23:32, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

OK. I'm sure that plenty in Japan thought they could win. Otherwise they would not have attacked. I'm also sure that they wouldn't have used the term "Occident" as this means West and the US is on East! Wallie 00:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The moment Yamato ordered the aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, the war was over for the Japanese. The US broke the Japanese code months before joining the war. I remember reading about Japanese civil reaction the success in Pearl Harbor, which was vastly different to that of the German public. Many Japanese were shocked and disappointed, which I find funny and worth sharing. Oyo321 02:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Wallie, the US is part of the West regardless of compass directions. If we relied on compass directions, I'm not even sure that Europeans could call Asia the "Orient".
The Japanese leadership thought that by destroying the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, they could both deprive the US of the capability of counter-attacking and convince them that it would not be worth the trouble. They failed in both attempts and angered the sleeping giant. I would suggest research instead of speculation. --Habap 12:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I just think it is incorrect that the explanation of the cause of war in Europe begins with Franco-German rivalry over 50 years prior, while the Asian war requires less than a decade of history to contextualise. It would be interesting to contrast the policy of appeasement adopted toward Germany's agression and the attitude taken towards Japan's, although obviously the situations were not the same. On the one hand, pre-ww2 Japan had a highly militarised culture, not just governement, that was hell bent on war regardless. On the other hand, Japan had more legitimate and no more menevolent imperial designs in Asia than the western powers who practically goaded japan into the war, disempowering any moderate Japanese who may have had influence. my main problem with the causes section, is the implication that only the former of these views is correct, when of course neither is. i am not speaking as an expert in my own right, but nor am i speculating.

maybe a little more linkage can help the interested reader gain a little more insight. i'll try to dig up some references. i certainly wouldn't like to turn the section into a justification for war, but to try to expand slighltly to put it in the context of its time. as it reads now, I get the impression that the UK, US, etc, were always simply reacting to Japan's unreasonable actions rather than persuing their own just as unreasonable interests as well. aussietiger 13:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Aussietiger, I agree with your point that the roots of the Showa policy must be found in part in the Treaty of Versailles. Fumimaro Konoe, in an «Essay against the Anglo-saxon peace» promoted the view that Japan should follow its own path and not bend to the «anglo-saxon supremacy». However, it should be remembered that the occidental powers have never really took measures against Japan for the invasion of Manchuria and that Hirohito would probably have kept it if he had not sanctionned the invasion of 1937. The ultimatum of 1941 never asked Japan to retreat from Manchuria but only from «China» and Indochina.

Wallie, I agree with Habap, it would be useful yo do some research before writing affirmations based on your personal feelings and about «what you're sure»... --Flying tiger 14:51, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


At Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/World War II

Well, this has been fruitful so far. --NEMT 14:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I find your lack of faith disturbing.
I have taken this case. The issues as presented are here. Because the mediation is on multiple articles, we will discuss things here and transclude this page into the relevant articles. -Stevertigo 02:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

What does itbm mean? Xaxafrad 00:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Issues to be mediated
  • Should the individual countries making up the Axis Powers and Allies of World War II be listed in the Combatants section of the infobox, or should only links to the relevant articles be provided?
  • If countries are to be listed, which countries are appropriate to list for each side?
  • If countries are to be listed, should commanders for those countries also be listed?
  • If commanders are to be listed, which commanders are appropriate for each country?

Should the individual countries making up the Axis Powers and Allies of World War II be listed in the Combatants section of the infobox, or should only links to the relevant articles be provided?

The easiest compromise is just to list links to the relevant Axis and Allies articles. Some may argue that other war articles don't do it that way, but WWII is unique in the number of countries that were involved. One issue is that not all countries were directly involved in the all the theaters of WWII. For example, Japan didn't have much of a presence in the western Europe theater of the war. To avoid the hassle of trying to decide which countries should be listed in the infoboxes for the major theaters (for example, should Brazil be listed in the infobox for the Battle of the Atlantic?), the same Axis and Allies links should be used. Cla68 03:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

It may be the easiest compromise, but it is the worst. World War 1 involved a similar number of countries too. We are listing the MAJOR countries. By the way, are you getting Brazil confused with Uruguay. The Graf Spee went there, not to Rio. As far a theaters are concerned, this artcile encompasses all theaters.
If I remember right, a Brazilian cargo ship carrying the crews and equipment to constitute a Brazilian fighter aircraft squadron in Europe was sunk by a U-boat off the coast of South America as it began its journey with heavy loss of life. This illustrates my point, that numerous countries have some degree of participation in various theaters of the war. Brazilians would probably argue that their sacrifice in this instance is not minor and their country should be listed in the infobox. How to resolve this other than listing every country in the infobox? By linking to the Axis and Allies articles instead. Cla68 08:03, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
If that's all Brazil did during the war (as I recall reading, the then-Brazilian president was an excellent fence sitter who stayed neutral until he could side with what he perceived to be the eventual victor, but whose government most closely matched that of fascist Italy, putting him in the orbit of the Axis), that sounds like a "minor" contribution. Xaxafrad 00:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
No, World War 1 did not involve a similar number of countries. --NEMT 07:11, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Most people here know exactly who the major participants were. It is only a few nit-pickers who want their own little country included, who are causing the problem. I have no doubt that common sense will eventually prevail. It always does. Wallie 07:08, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree. --NEMT 07:11, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, if it were that simple, we'd be done. The problem is what is a minor country. Take the following: China, France (3R), Canada, Finland and Italy. Which of them are major or minor? I could potentially say that I think China is minor because it had no real air force, navy or armored presence, and no contributions outside of its theatre; I could also say it's major due to the sheer size of their forces, the amount of Japanese troops they kept tied down and the length of time China was in combat. We can make similar arguments for and against the others I mentioned as well. France (3R) was one of the two principle Allies at the start of the European Theatre, with a modern and sizable military roughly comparable (on paper) to Germany's; it was however, knocked out of the war quite quickly.
For this reason, I think it'd be best to keep it as Allies and Axis for the main article, and then list major nations for each campaign and battle. At this time, I can't think of any where we'll have more then four nations involved, especially considering that we are encouraged to use the actual forces involved (ie. "U.S. Third Army") instead of the nations where feasible. Oberiko 14:29, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Which four nations? Maybe we could call those 4 nations the major ones. But for a twist, instead of labeling every other nation minor (and it has become apparent that nobody wants that label), let's call them non-major and avoid nit-picking? Xaxafrad 00:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you miss my point. If we include those four, then why not Poland (major player at the start, first Allied combatant) as well? Why not Norway? Why not Romania and Hungary? It becomes a slippery slope as there is always someone who has done more then at least one of our listed nations (depending on which metrics we use) and therefore requires entry. Each entry then opens the door for two others until we have all 50+ nations listed, making the infobox worthless. Oberiko 13:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to be brief. I am in favor of the infobox with individual countries because:

  1. The encyclopedia is more useful if a reader walks away knowing the major players.
  2. The distinction between major and minor is possible to make using objective criteria.
  3. Historians prioritize this information all the time.
  4. Previous versions of this article mentioned the major countries in both the lead and the infobox.
  5. Links to subpages will rarely be followed.
  6. Avoidance of edit warring and disruption is no excuse for a poor article.

I'm sure I will think of more reasons but I hope this will get the ball rolling. Haber 21:25, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I think I can honestly say I wholeheartedly agree with Haber. Has anyone scanned through the article's history to see if there were any significant periods of time when the list of combatants remained stable? I think I'll do that next, while I ask if I should butt out of this discussion since I'm not on the list of mediation adherents (not that that's hard to fix). Xaxafrad 00:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I have just added you and Wallie. If anyone objects they'll say so. Haber 00:59, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I tried to grab at least 4-5 samples from every month; this list far from exhaustive. For instance, the addition and removal of Poland was many times not noted in the sampling, but noticed in scanned-over edit summaries. I also did not look into the actual articles linked to from any given list of combatants, so some ambiguity probably exists regarding specific names of polities (UK/GB/CW, USSR/SU, China/ROC, France/FFF/F3R, etc).

As I compiled it, I couldn't help but wonder why the wordy "and others" was chosen over "et al". Also, some edit summaries made reference to using the UN Security Council as a standard for defining "major", which sounds kinda lame, to me (it's a solution in the same vein as not listing any powers, but in the direction of including individual nations, rather than away from). It would be a better objective standard to use the number of troops sent to battle, or died, to determine majority contribution.

Further, I noticed a change in the labeling of the combatant list that occurred at the end of January, when heated discussions on the talk page became referenced to in edit summaries. Specifically, it seems that when the list of combatants was first replaced with links to the main Allies/Axis articles, the label "Major .... powers" was taken off. More arguments against this label include the article to which they were linking was not an article about the major players, but ALL the players, thus requiring copyediting. Add to that the fact that the Allies/Axis articles were linked by the "Major powers" text, as well as the "and others" text at the bottom of the list. That said, I think passing judgement on major/minor is unneccessary, but a link to "and others" is sufficient to appease the nationalists from the smaller nations. (note: "major" was not in the list label as of 1 Dec)

At one point, the "and others" links were included in the list of powers, but neglected in the list of commanders (the disparity looks funny when you notice it).

More random comments: while the list of Allied combatants seemed especially unstable, the list of Axis powers changed very rarely. If it is decided to include an expanded combatants list, Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary will likely be added as signatories to the Pact of the Axis, or whichever treaties they were.

Date Allies Axis
21 March Allies Axis
14 March Allies Axis
7 March Allies Axis
28 Feb UK, SU, US, China, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
23 Feb UK, SU, US, China, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
15 Feb Allies Axis
7 Feb UK, Free French Forces, SU, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
1 Feb Allies Axis
29 Jan UK, SU, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
22 Jan UK, SU, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
15 Jan UK, Free French Forces, SU, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
6 Jan UK, SU, US, France, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
29 Dec UK, Free French Forces, USSR, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
22 Dec UK, Free French Forces, USSR, US, ROC, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
15 Dec UK, USSR, US, China, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
8 Dec UK, USSR, US, China, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
1 Dec SU, UK, US, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
23 Nov SU, UK, US, and others Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
15 Nov UK, SU, US, ROC Germany, Italy, Japan, and others

It took me a while to scan through 17 previous revisions spanning about 4 months, and I'm not sure how to add in the changes to the list of commanders. The first revision where I noticed a significant difference was on 23 Nov, when it seems supreme field commanders were included with political leaders (6 total powers, with 14 commanders). Xaxafrad 02:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I just had the thought: I'll bet Hitler thought France was major. Probably a more major opponent than Poland. And even after conquest, France was probably a major territory, in his mind. The occupied French were probably a major source of intelligence regarding German positions, resources, etc. China, Thailand, India, Poland, Finland, and Libya should be included as major players for similar reasons. I believe the UK/Commonwealth distinction is sufficient for the sake of some brevity, but just for fun, let's see what the list looks like with Canada/Australia/India/etc. (after some clicking around, I found Dominion#Foreign_relations which seems to describe the evolution of the status of the Dominions in the first half of the 20th century; from what I read, I would urge the inclusion of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa in the list of combatants, then ask if the troops from said nations mostly served together, and if so, then recommend the Commonwealth of Nations be listed as something like: "UK and CN") Xaxafrad 03:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Mediator comments

I dont find the argument to include all countries compelling. WWII involved too many countries to include in such a small box. A much better idea would be to list the major ones, and indicate others with an others link, that leads to a section or footnote in which all countries are listed. -Stevertigo 05:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you read the debate on Talk:World War II? Badgerpatrol 10:28, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I have come to the view that the major participants in World War II were decided both during, and shortly after, World War II. Have we gained some additional hindsight in the intervening 60 years to overturn the decisions of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin? Contrast the commonly seen picture of those three leaders of the Allies with an image of Hitler (vs Churchill), Mussolini (vs Roosevelt), and Hirohito (or Tojo?) (vs Stalin). I can give some easy reasoning for those particular associations. I could argue that, although the US didn't officially enter the war until 2 years after Canada, the lend-lease agreements at least equal Canada's status as a sub-major country under the leadership of Churchill (I'm not implying Canada was under the direct leadership of Churchill, but only in the sense that Canada, Australia, etc can be considered "sub-units" of the disintegrating British Empire (was the term British Empire still in use in 1945?)). Xaxafrad 20:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Parts of it. And just because 3-5 people might be frustrated enough to wipe out all the coutries from a list because they can't agree with 3-5 other people, doesn't mean I'm frustrated enough. I don't find the argument that the infobox is small to be very compelling. How about this: we start with an list of combatants that is incredibly long, and when random, new people (like I used to be) complain about how long it is, or when random people boldly delete countries from the list, then the list can be pruned. With such a long list, alphabetical or date entering war strikes me as the best ordering.
I've heard a few people say the infobox is too small for such a long list, but I've never seen an example of an overloaded infobox. How can including some/most countries be POV? ...Especially if there's a big discussion on a talk page over the efforts some people went through to avoid POVness. Xaxafrad 15:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, to clarify, I meant that question for Stevertigo- apologies for any confusion. It is not a question of 3-5 people not agreeing on who goes in the infobox- I personally have never (to the best of my recollection) suggested who should go in the infobox at all. The question is- is it actually possible to come up with a stable, NPOV list of "major" combatants? I suggest not- implicit to the very word "major" is an entirely subjective inference. The only lists that are actually acceptable in the infobox are- a) everyone (that's what, 60-80 combatants for the Allies and a smaller but still large number for the Axis) or b) Nobody. The other day, someone wanted to exclude the USSR as a major combatant from the infobox. Some others have wanted to exclude France and China, or include Canada, or Australia, or exclude Italy. On other language Wikis, countries like Brazil are listed or not listed as major combatants, or Romania, Or Hungary, or Poland. There does not seem to me to be a way to arrive at a stable list and by assigning countries as major or non-major we are inescapably imposing our own, subjective point of view. You ask "How can including some/most countries be POV?"- that's why. I don't see any discussion on the talk page about anybody coming up with objective criteria. Saying "let's only include countries who contributed more than 2 million troops" or whatever is obviously not defining an objective criterion. If you can point towards the big discussion where people figure out a way to avoid POV then I'd be grateful. Badgerpatrol 15:47, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the succinct response. Respectfully, how is some arbitrary number of troops subjective? I would pick an arbitrary number that created a cutoff point of 5-15 countries (you wouldn't say 15 is too many, would you?). That sounds objective to me. It doesn't really favor any country over another, except perhaps the populous ones. Israel wasn't populous, and I'm sure there're plently of Israel supports editing this wiki, so Israel's troop contribution will probably be a good arbitrary number to pick (that's not a serious suggestion, just as my suggestion of leave the Soviet Union off the list of combatants, while accompanied by some reasoning, wasn't serious; call it playing the devil's advocate).
^^ vv -->> The discussion all around here. Actually, I had the idea to cut-and-paste the bulk of the infobox discussion to the template talk page, and leave a note (and a link) on the WW2 talk page about the move.
Finally, I fully agree that any kind of major/minor division is contentious. Therefore, I would like to assert that by placing 1, or 5, or 10 countries above 70-80 other countries, we are not passing judgement as to who contributed a major or a minor part to the war effort (for goodness's sake, an infobox isn't serious like that). By including a handful of countries in the infobox, we are saying that many countries were involved in the conflict, but the list is too long to be complete, as testified by the final link to the other combatants. Xaxafrad 16:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
OK. "How is some arbitrary number of troops subjective?". That says everything I think needs to be said at this point, really. Sorry if I offended you by mentioning the USSR- I honestly didn't register that it was you who originally made this suggestion when I mentioned it (egg on my face...) Your edit at the time appeared serious [14] and I didn't realise you were only joking (egg on my face II....). Apologies. ;-) Badgerpatrol 16:56, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
First, I should clarify: I was half serious. It was one of those desperate suggestions to save some small bit of information from getting erased, or a reaction against the extreme of omitting everything (I knew it would be extreme to omit the USSR, but I was unsure of how people would react to it, thus the (harmless?) suggestion), or something like that, y'know what I mean? I'm not offended at all, but I would like to apologize for the ambiguous statements.
Second, I think you need to educate me on subjectivity. I always thought of something as subjective when it comes down to a personal opinion, taste, point of view, etc. Something would be objective if it depended on some external, impersonal thing. All of us can apply a number-of-troops-filter to the 90 countries involved in the war, and, provided we use the same filter, we would get the same list, an objective list, no? Xaxafrad 18:48, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
So you don't think that arbitrarily deciding an abstract number (e.g. of troops) as a cut-off is subjective? Why is that reliant on some "external, impersonal thing"? I might think that 1 million people is a large number- you might think that 5 million is a suitably large number. Bob Smith might think that 100,000 is a large number. Which of us is "right"? And why is that system "objective"? Badgerpatrol 10:03, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
The main problem with that Vertigo is deciding which countries are major and what metrics (and metric weighting) we are to use to determine them. Sounds simple, but there's dozens of ways to measure a nations significance. Oberiko 13:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I just looked at the Invasion of Poland (1939). It's a featured article, and has an infobox that looks worse than the one under discussion, due to it's wordiness in commanders, and strength lists. Below the infobox, in the place of WW2's {{Campaignbox}} listing the 7 theaters of the global conflict, is a box for the whole invasion of Poland, listing every city that was taken over by Germans or Soviets, including 10 redlinks. Redlinks in a featured article? Why didn't any editors before, and along the FA process, pick on that nit? On second thought, I should use that as a reason to start the former-FA process, but I like to try to think on the positive side of things. Xaxafrad 16:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I have now seen the infobox for the Battle of Britain, very parallel to this case, IMO. If you don't want to view it yourself, I'll describe it: UK vs. Germany, followed by "Including combatants from:<:ref>This list is in descending order of number of people from that nation. For a detailed breakdown of the various countries contribution see Battle of Britain Foreign Contribution.</ref>".
For ideas of suggestions, please keep this footnote reference in mind, as well as the slightly different footnote in the Eastern Front (World War II) infobox.
I've noticed breakdowns of the strength of each side in these two battles, and wonder if a summary of Allied and Axis strengths would be possible, while I already see the difficultly in compiling such a summary. Maybe I should go over all the articles in Category:Military operations of World War II.... Xaxafrad 16:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I edited the list of combatants against the warnings posted all about. I'll revert it, if it really pisses somebody off, but I don't think the list is too long (21 vs. 10), unless we try to add commanders for every power, and I don't see why that would be necessary. But I'll still revert it anyway. In case you missed it, it looked like this. Xaxafrad 17:42, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I didn't note it on this page, but I grabbed those 31 combantants (not truly 31 as some countries are listed twice, Thailand and Free Thailand, for example) from the {{World War II}} infobox at the bottom of WW2 (and a lot of other articles). Their list of combatants is equally contentious, but isn't in as visible a location as "our" list, and so hasn't gotten the kind of traffic that lob POV accusations when somebody disagrees with them. See Template_talk:World_War_II#Belligerents.3F, Template_talk:World_War_II#List of Participants, and Template_talk:World_War_II#Compression for discussions of a different kind regarding who gets listed and who gets slighted ("Compression" is a longish discussion about which events to call major or minor; this list won't get the same kind of nationalistic objections from descendants unless somebody's ancestors died in a supposedly "minor" event).
On the topic of POV, I decided to look at WP:NPOV. In a nutshell, it says "articles and other encyclopedic content" must be written from a NPOV. Are infoboxes "other content"? Or are infoboxes a part of "other content" that is not encyclopedic, and therefore exempt from NPOV? Xaxafrad 18:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Mediator comment

Oberiko said: "The main problem with that Vertigo is deciding which countries are major and what metrics (and metric weighting) we are to use to determine them. Sounds simple, but there's dozens of ways to measure a nations significance." - I find this argument to be utterly lacking. The 'either or' argument is not found in NPOV at all. We represent "significance" by a simple method: largest involved nations are in, the smallest are out (in this case, out of the template, but in a separate section).

Here is what I want: Make a list here, and take two votes: First vote will be on the order of countries from largest (or most significant) to the least. The second vote will be on where the cutoff should be. Those below the cutoff will be included in a separate section, but not in the topicbox. End of story.

Somewhere in the middle is a compromise - I don't care if its five or fifteen, as long as its not excessively short or large. Note, that by "largest" there may be some disagreement about large nations versus large numbers of participants. It doesn't matter though, as these criteria are for the most part related. This compromise is called "consensus." Consensus is a social guideline which handles what little NPOV does not cover. It assumes that reasonable people can be reasonable and not just quibble about little details which are subjective in any case. Just because there is some subjectivity involved, doesnt make it POV, and likewise it doesnt validate the 'either or' argument.

The other argument about NPOV appears to be fraught with misconception. NPOV is not about representing views equally, in the sense that they can cancel each other out, but rather in order of acceptance. For example the most accepted view on Intelligent Design is that its a religious-political argument, not a "scientific theory," as its proponents claim.

Please note that my blunt tone here is due to two factors: 1) I dont have time to read all the back and forth discussion on what for all intents and purposes is a trivial matter, requiring simply that people compromise. 2) That there are a number of people who are unfamiliar with our policies and conventions, such that they completely misstate and misrepresent them. By stating a simple ruling, I hope that those unfamiliar with our conventions might better learn their value, saving their energies for work, as well as for discussions of more importance. -Stevertigo 00:18, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that interesting perspective, Steve. Can I just ask- why is this "vote" any more valid than the well-formed and appropriately carried out one that we have already recently had on the WWII talk page which resulted in a 69% majority for excluding judgements about "major" nations. I would say that it appears that we will be continuously voting until we reach a conclusion favourable to the (forgive the term) "inclusionists", but since you appear to have rejected one side of the argument a priori one can't even say that. You also admit that you haven't actually read the arguments on the talk page, which I admit are long and at times tortuous but are surely an essential prerequisite to any mediation exercise. Your solution is not a "compromise" in any way shape or form. What you have in fact done is ignore one side of the argument completely. Is this how mediation works? I'm a bit confused by this: Mediators are not Advocates. Mediators will not take sides or promote one person's point of view or request over those of another person. It's fairly obvious that you have immediately sided with the "inclusionists" and ignored from the outset the (super?) majority view that individual countries should be excluded from the infobox. Badgerpatrol 10:21, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I assume it is I and Haber who are the inclusionists. Let me try to make a reasoned appeal to you: I don't think you're truly opposed to the idea of including individual countries in the list of combatants. I think you're opposed to an overly long list, and I think that you think that if we put a few "major" countries (you know, they called them major and minor in Axis powers of World War II, so what's the big stink about the Allies? Wait, I've got: it's because nobody wants to pipe up and say "My country was a major member of the Axis during WW2!") it will become inevitable that extra countries will creep in over time. After two RFCs and a mediation case, I think that if anybody tries to add to the list, they can be told a resounding "NO" and to read all the pages of discussion. In fact, I recall a notice near the list of combatants about "do not edit this section while mediation is in progress", which can be easily changed to "do not add to this section without consensus on the talk page". With that comment in place, one can simply revert an addition, leaving the one who added it the option of starting a talk page section titled "Add <my country> to list of Allies". Think about what the situation would be like if such a comment had been in the infobox since 8/06 (the starting date of the first archive of combatant discussions). Xaxafrad 02:01, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to label anyone as "inclusionists" or "exclusionists", it sounds adversarial- I use both as a form of shorthand for easy reference. You're not correct- I am truly opposed to the idea of including any list of combatants in the infobox that is not complete- i.e. any that doesn't include either every combatant, or none at all. I am opposed to any partial list, and I am opposed to using the terms "major" and "minor". (I think I've made my position pretty clear on this in the past - it's becoming increasingly clear that many people have not read, or not paid attention to, the previous discussion, which is in fairness fairly dull, very long, and frustratingly torturous at times). If it is possible to include all 60 or so Allies for example, and all the Axis nations (and perhaps it is) then this may be a suitable compromise to end this mess. Then we can get started on discussing the order they should be placed in (mama mia....). Reaching consensus on the talk page does not solve the issue because that consensus would be based on the subjective point of view of the editors concerned, as described and exemplified ad nauseum. Badgerpatrol 02:26, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
That's fair, and in turn I should state that I find a list ended with the statement "and others" to be quite acceptable, but that's what I might be mistakingly be referring to as my subjective preference. What does subjective really mean, anyway (Subjective, Subjectivity, Objectivity (philosophy))?
However, I agree with you in opposition to the terms "major" and "minor", but I don't feel a major/minor distinction must be made in order to truncate a list. Granted, the truncation creates a distinction, but this distinction should not, in anyway, be viewed as creating or conferring major or minor status.
In spite of that, I managed to skip over the following exerpt in all my scanning for lists of countries and descriptions of those countries' war efforts (from the lead section of Allies of World War II, emphasis mine). Xaxafrad 02:47, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Within the ranks of the Allied powers, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom 
and the United States were known as "The Big Three." U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred 
to the Big Three and China as the "Four Policemen".[1] France, in 1939-40 and after its liberation 
in 1944, was also once again considered a major Allied power. At the Potsdam Conference of 
July-August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman proposed that the foreign ministers of 
China, France, Soviet Union, United Kingdom and United States "should draft the peace treaties and 
boundary settlements of Europe," which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign 

I agree with Badgerpatrol. Have we already decide that there SHOULD be a country listing with major countries ? It looks that the decision is only which country should be in the Infobox. However, if we agreed to go to mediation, it is precisely because the question was much more difficult than that and precisely because, in long term, there will always be someone who'll want to include HIS country in the Infobox. I suggest we get one step back. --Flying tiger 12:51, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. I will be catching up on reading them. One thing does strike me as odd in the earlier voting is that several of the nation-based votes were falsified. It would be a simple matter to run a checkuser on these to see if they have the same IP, and whom it matches. In any case, such abuse of good will is good enough for me to go with supporting just the Axis/Allies version. Those opposed to this can try to convice me otherwise. Discrete concrete proposals would be nice. -Stevertigo 06:06, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Does "earlier voting" refer to events prior to this mediation case? Xaxafrad 22:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I dont seem to have noticed mention here (apologies if i missed it) of what to me is the most difficult aspects of establishing what is a major/minor power. And that is the interaction of chronology and size. Certain states are by nature capable of fielding disproportionate power in the field of war. So there is a tendency to give them "major power" status. Yet when one looks at the chronology of the war it is notable that several of these states either switched sides during the course of the war (France and the USSR) or did not join the conflict until it was several years under way (USA). Other states however, say Australia or Canada, who contributed for the full duration of the war and contributed heavily (when analysed in a contextual fashion) are by their nature unable to field comparable armies. In such a situation raw numerical judgements seem to me to be misleading.
Australia and Canada were probably considered subordinate to the United Kingdom, or Great Britain, or whatever, by the international community of the mid 1940's. Xaxafrad 22:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that using such a simple metric as number of men-at-arms it is easy to construct a scenario where the results would be clearly absurd. For instance two small nations fight for years, then a large nation gets involved, rattles its sabres, sends some troops to the field and soon after the war is finished. Who is a major power in such a scenario? The nations that fought for years or the nation whose very presence on the field brings the conflict to an end? Anyway, its because of this kind of reasoning that I object to the 5v3 breakdown, and why I think that if we must have a bunch of flags in the infobox why I think that the list should be biased towards including as many participants as possible, especially if they were involved in the conflict from the beginning and why I think that the flags should be ordered by date of entry and not size of army.
I think the solution has to be nuanced to take into account the capability of the country to wage war, when it entered the conflict and its impact on the course of the war. For instance if Canada joined a war on Monday and the USA joined on Tuesday then I have no problem in considering the USA to be a major power and Canada not, but when Canada joins the war on day 2 and USA joins on day 500 then i have a serious problem with the USA bumping Canada off the list. In regard to WWII specifically, I think its quite reasonable to argue that had the former colonies decided to abstain from entering the war (like the USA did) that the UK would have been unable to continue to fight the war and there very likely wouldnt have been a war for the USA to join.
Canada is on the list in the spirit of the British Empire. Did the former colonies significantly contribute to staving off a land invasion of the British Isles? Had they not gone to war (even though the fact is, they did), maybe Germany would've had a slightly freer hand in conquering Europe, but the failed Russian invasion still would've occurred, and the Pacific War still would've been waged, no? Xaxafrad 22:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Id also like to make a last point: earlier in this section Haber posts a list of what he considers important for the infobox and wikipedia as a whole. A list that I have to say I dont entirely agree with. Especially the entry "The encyclopedia is more useful if a reader walks away knowing the major players." I think it is potentially counterproductive to reduce a conflict of such impact and such a global nature down to what is to me a mere caricature of the actual history involved. If people view the article, see the infobox and decide thats all they need to know then we are actually doing people a disservice. They wont know for instance that some of the "major powers" actually didn't join until part way through, or changed sides during the conflict, they might even be persuaded to think that a country which made major contributions was not even involved! And to me that isnt a desirable outcome at all. If reductionism results in notable omission then the reduction isnt appropriate in my book. Anyway, thanks for listening. Demerphq 12:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
If people are viewing the article, they would read the sentences that say Canada and everybody else joined the war on such and such a date. The fact is, the whole article doesn't hang on this infobox. If random readers don't feel like educating themselves enough to notice which nations changed sides (detailed in the long chronology section of WW2), that's their problem, it's not up to the infobox to correct that. Xaxafrad 22:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, in the vein of shortening WW2 from 160+ KB, the chronology section could be compressed to quickly and simply describe all the countries involved in the various theaters and the dates and reasons for joining whichever side, with lots of links to the plethora of {{main}} articles. (I'll cross post this comment on the appropriate talk page.) Xaxafrad 23:30, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

List order

List A1
  1. Allies of World War II
List A2

Allies (largest to smallest): (thanks Cla68) (38 countries)

  1. Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union: 1941 22 June
  2. Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States of America: 1941 8 December (including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other unincorporated territories)
  3. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom: 1939 3 September (included Indian Empire & Crown Colonies)
  4. Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China: 1941 9 December (in war with Empire of Japan since 1937)
  5. Flag of France.svg France: 1939 3 September
  6. Flag of Poland.svg Poland: 1939 1 September
  7. Flag of Australia.svg Australia: 1939 3 September
  8. Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand: 1939 3 September
  9. Canadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg Canada: 1939 10 September
  10. Flag of Norway.svg Norway: 1940 9 April
  11. Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium: 1940 10 May
  12. Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg: 1940 10 May
  13. Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands: 1940 10 May
  14. Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greece: 1940 28 October
  15. Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (state).svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia: 1941 6 April (formerly a member of the Axis)
  16. Flag of Tuvinian People's Republic (1926-1930).png Tannu Tuva: 1941 25 June (annexed by Soviet Union in 1944)
  17. Flag of Panama.svg Panama: 1941 7 December
  18. Flag of Costa Rica (state).svg Costa Rica: 1941 8 December
  19. Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic: 1941 8 December
  20. Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador: 1941 8 December
  21. Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti: 1941 8 December
  22. Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras: 1941 8 December
  23. Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua: 1941 8 December
  24. Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala: 1941 9 December
  25. Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba: 1941 9 December
  26. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia (Government-in-Exile) : 1941 16 December
  27. Flag of Peru.svg Peru: 1942 12 February
  28. Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg Mexico: 1942 22 May
  29. Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil: 1942 22 August
  30. Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopia: 1942 14 December
  31. Flag of Iraq (1921–1959).svg Iraq: 1943 17 January (occupied by Allies in 1941)
  32. Flag of Bolivia (state).svg Bolivia: 1943 7 April
  33. Flag of Iran (1933-1964).svg Iran: 1943 9 September (occupied by Allies in 1941)
  34. Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy: 1943 13 October (formerly a member of the Axis)
  35. Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia: 1943 26 November
  36. Flag of Liberia.svg Liberia: 1944 27 January
  37. Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal: 1939 4 September
  38. Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg South Africa: 1939 6 September
List A3

(from the original signatories of the Declaration by United Nations on 1 Jan 1942) (26 countries)

  1. Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States of America (including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other unincorporated territories)
  2. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (included Indian Empire & Crown Colonies)
  3. Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
  4. Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China
  5. Flag of Australia.svg Australia
  6. Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium
  7. Canadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg Canada
  8. Flag of Costa Rica (state).svg Costa Rica
  9. Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba
  10. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia (Government-in-Exile)
  11. Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic
  12. Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador
  13. Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greece
  14. Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
  15. Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti
  16. Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras
  17. 22x20px India
  18. Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg
  19. Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
  20. Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
  21. Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua
  22. Flag of Norway.svg Norway
  23. Flag of Panama.svg Panama
  24. Flag of Poland.svg Poland
  25. Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg South Africa
  26. Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (state).svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia
List A4

(from Allies of World War II#United Nations, "leading nations" statement)

  1. Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China
  2. Flag of France.svg France
  3. Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
  4. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (included Indian Empire & Crown Colonies)
  5. Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States of America (including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other unincorporated territories)
List A5

(Country names in alphabetical order, short form GB from Churchill's 2nd World War)

  1. China
  2. France
  3. Great Britain
  4. Soviet Union
  5. United States
List B1
  1. Axis powers of World War II
List B2

(from Axis powers of World War II) (28 countries)

Major powers:

  1. Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich
  2. Flag of Japan (1870–1999).svg Empire of Greater Japan
  3. Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Kingdom of Italy

Minor powers:

  1. Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Kingdom of Hungary
  2. Flag of Roumanie1921-1948.gif Kingdom of Romania
  3. Flag of First Slovak Republic 1939-1945.svg Slovak Republic
  4. Flag of Bulgaria.svg Kingdom of Bulgaria
  5. Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (state).svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia
  6. Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg Independent State of Croatia


  1. Flag of Thailand.svg Kingdom of Thailand
  2. Flag of Finland.svg Republic of Finland
  3. Flag of Iraq (1921–1959).svg Kingdom of Iraq

Japanese puppet states:

  1. Flag of Manchukuo.svg Manchukuo
  2. Flag of the Mengjiang.svg Mengjiang
  3. Flag of the Republic of China.svg Reorganised Government of China
  4. 22x20px Burma
  5. Flag of the Philippines.svg Second Philippine Republic
  6. 1931 Flag of India.svg Provisional Government of Free India

Italian puppet states:

  1. Flag of Albania (1939-1943).svg Albania
  2. Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopia

German puppet states:

  1. Flag of Italy.svg Italian Social Republic
  2. Civil Flag of Serbia.svg Kingdom of Serbia
  3. Flag of Montenegro (1994-2004).svg Independent State of Montenegro

Axis collaborator states:

  1. Flag of France.svg French State

Controversial relations with the Axis:

  1. Flag of Denmark.svg Kingdom of Denmark
  2. Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
  3. Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg Spanish State
  4. Flag of Portugal.svg Estado Novo
List B3


List B4
  1. Germany
  2. Italy
  3. Japan


Mediator note: We can agree on a list in general, or if necessary take a vote on each country, deciding whether it belongs in the top or bottom piles. One important way to define relevance is to adhere to the particular spheres of conflict. There are understandably caveats. Was France an allied combatant? Or was it for the most part taken over by Germany? We can sort all of this out methodically I think. Another way to define a cutoff point would be to let the smaller list, in this case the Axis list, define the number of Allied parties represented. Can we have an Axis list added, someone? Regards, -Stevertigo 02:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Axis list added, as well as two extras for the Allies. Xaxafrad 04:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Excellent. NonFreeImageRemoved.svg -Stevertigo 07:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


  • A5 and B4. Note that I don't really see this vote as binding, nor do I like Wikipedia votes very much in principle, but I do think we should cooperate with the mediator and see where it takes us. Haber 02:22, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A5, B4 - 5vs3. I wouldn't look at it like a vote; I think it's more like a poll to determine consensus, but it's easier to just say "vote". Xaxafrad 02:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment For the list of commanders, I would vote for 6v3 (2 US presidents) off the top of my head, since I haven't familiarized myself with the specific players. Xaxafrad 02:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • More comments These are probably my final statements on this matter, as I'm not sure I can say anything that I haven't said before. I have just read about the creation of the Allies in chronology section covering the war in the Pacific (1941-1943):
The Allies were officially formed in the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942. Soon 
afterwards, the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM) was formed to unite Allied 
forces in South East Asia. It was the first Allied supreme command of the war.
  • In looking at the Declaration by United Nations, I followed the link to the online text of the original document. In the original document, the nations are listed in a curious order: the USA, the UK of GB and NI, the USSR, and China, followed by an alphabetical listing of the remaining countries. This signifies to me the delineation, in the mind of the writer of the declaration of 1941, between who was major and who wasn't. Notably, France is not on the list, as France was a conquered nation and a collaborator state in 1941. In 1939, at the war's beginning, I believe they considered France a major member of the British-Franco-Polish defense alliance. After the war, with a reinstated French government, the Council of Foreign Ministers probably thought they were the big boys in the winners' circle (sorry Canada, Australia, and all the rest, it's nothing personal). Xaxafrad 01:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Even more... Sorry, I thought of something else to say. If one wanted to accuse the writer of the UN declaration to have a biased POV, I'd like to point out the fact that representatives from each country agreed to the ordering by their signatures. They had a chance to disagree with the "ladder of importance" when the declaration was being drafted. Xaxafrad 04:20, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I do not support any combatant or commander listings in the infobox beyond Axis and Allies. --NEMT 17:49, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • How did we come to Cla68's list? Number of troops fielded I assume? Why that metric and not, say, length of time officially at war or citizens killed? Also, could I see the figures used for Cla68's list? Oberiko 21:13, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I assumed the "largest to smallest" was referring to land area, but I can't say from which period of time (1945ish?). Xaxafrad 02:13, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I only meant "largest to smallest" for the top part of the list. I didn't try to actually put the entire list in descending order by land size or population or anything like that. Cla68 09:22, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I also do not support any combatant or commander listings in the infobox beyond "Axis" and "Allies", and since that option does not appear to be available (thus mischaracterising and obfuscating the whole debate), it's difficult to see this vote as valid- especially since a less malformed iteration of this idea was recently tried and resulted in a clear result (which might be taken as a consensus by some anyway). However, I'd like to hear further comments from the mediator (and anyone else, of course). One avenue we might explore as a compromise is including all combatants in a redesigned infobox. I think we had all perhaps thought this as impractical on space grounds, but examples such as Invasion of Poland (1939) (I'm thinking of the city listing in the lower box, below the main infobox) offer a possibilty that even large lists can be included. Badgerpatrol 02:38, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I took the {{Campaign}} infobox from Invasion of Poland (1939) and copied a bunch of stuff to a subpage just to see how it would look (55vs28 countries). I used the list of participants from the respective Allies and Axis powers articles. More formatting is probably desirable (here's a link to the template in case anyone's interested: User:Xaxafrad/WW2combatants). Xaxafrad 04:23, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Note, Ive moved your boxes to a different format at the bottom of this page. My thinking is that the make fine full lists for the bottom of the WWII article, but the war box at the top should only include a short number, linking of course to the section you've composed. -Stevertigo 09:07, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Xaxafrad fr doing this. fairness, it looks fairly horrendous. I'm not sure if it's possible to clean that up to a decent listing. I'm certainly inclined to stick with just "Allies" and "Axis". Badgerpatrol 10:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I also do not support listing combatants and commanders in the infobox. Listing only some countries and not others is inherently POV. Parsecboy 13:25, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
  • With all due respect....Is it really? What part of listing the top 3 or 5 major countries (as decided by Churchill and other political leaders in 1945, for the Allies, and Wikipedia editors, for the Axis) is biased? How can a point of view be biased when there's a link to the remainder of the list at the bottom of the list? When the remainder of the article (briefly) describes the roles the US, Canada, Hungary, and others played? Is the problem here that some people are assuming readers are going to only read the infobox to learn everything they want? I don't know what information everybody is looking for when they come to WW2, but they probably read more than the infobox, or are at least aware that more than 8 countries were involved. If a reader doesn't care to follow the links, what are we really supposed to do about it? Xaxafrad 23:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's "inherently pov" to include some and exclude others. There are definitely some political and military criteria that one can use to rank the countries and some historical consensus on who the major players were. Blueshirts 18:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Cutoff point

Mediator note: Vote here on the cutoff point, after agreeing on the nation order above. The cutoff point could be represented by a simple number, representing the first entry which does not belong in the topicbox. -SV

Allied powers during World War II
Flag of Poland.svg Poland Flag of Australia.svg Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (included Indian Empire & Crown Colonies) Flag of France.svg France Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg South Africa
Canadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg Canada
Flag of Norway.svg Norway Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greece
Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (state).svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia (former Axis power)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union Flag of Tuvinian People's Republic (1926-1930).png Tannu Tuva Flag of Panama.svg Panama
Flag of Costa Rica (state).svg Costa Rica Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States of America (including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other unincorporated territories) Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China (in war with Empire of Japan since 1937) Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia (Government-in-Exile)
Flag of Peru.svg Peru Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg Mexico Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopia
' Flag of Iraq (1921–1959).svg Iraq (occupied by Allies in 1941) Flag of Bolivia (state).svg Bolivia
Flag of Iran (1933-1964).svg Iran (occupied by Allies in 1941) Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy (former Axis power) Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia
Flag of Liberia.svg Liberia Flag of Romania.svg Romania (former Axis power)
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria (former Axis power) Flag of San Marino.svg San Marino
Flag of Albania.svg Albania (formerly occupied by Fascist Italy)
Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary (former Axis power) Flag of Bahawalpur.svg Bahawalpur
Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay
Flag of Venezuela (1954-2006).svg Venezuela Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey Flag of Lebanon.svg Lebanon Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia Flag of Finland.svg Finland (formerly an Axis co-belligerent, de facto co-belligerent of UN in Lapland War)
Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina Flag of Chile.svg Chile Flag of the People's Republic of Mongolia (1940-1992).svg People's Republic of Mongolia

Axis powers during World War II
Major powers
Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich Flag of Japan (1870–1999).svg Empire of Greater Japan Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Kingdom of Italy
Minor powers
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Kingdom of Hungary Flag of Roumanie1921-1948.gif Kingdom of Romania Flag of First Slovak Republic 1939-1945.svg Slovak Republic Flag of Bulgaria.svg Kingdom of Bulgaria
Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (state).svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg Independent State of Croatia
Flag of Thailand.svg Kingdom of Thailand Flag of Finland.svg Republic of Finland
Flag of Iraq (1921–1959).svg Kingdom of Iraq
Puppet states
Flag of Manchukuo.svg Manchukuo Flag of the Mengjiang.svg Mengjiang Flag of the Republic of China.svg Reorganised Government of China 22x20px Burma Flag of the Philippines.svg Second Philippine Republic 1931 Flag of India.svg Provisional Government of Free India 22x20px Albania Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopia Flag of Italy.svg Italian Social Republic Civil Flag of Serbia.svg Kingdom of Serbia Flag of Montenegro (1994-2004).svg Independent State of Montenegro
Collaborator states
Flag of France.svg French State
Controversial affiliation
Flag of Denmark.svg Kingdom of Denmark Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg Spanish State Flag of Portugal.svg Estado Novo

What's going on?

It's been some time now. Is everyone still interested in this mediation? Haber 03:09, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm still here :) Parsecboy 12:10, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess now that American Idol is heating up, people have better things to do. Motion to exclude them from the infobox about this mediation. Haber 20:47, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm here, too. I'm been waiting for Stevertigo to weigh in, but he seems to be a busy Wikipedian (and that's probably only when he isn't busy in real life). Until he has the time to come to a decision and make some comments about it, I'd like to summarize the basic arguments. I'll start a new section for it, but I think it shouldn't take the form of a discussion (with signatures, and what not). Xaxafrad 23:31, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Too bad, I tought for a moment this section was refering to Marvin Gaye. Maybe that would have been more interesting than a remake of the previous discussion on the WWII page... --Flying tiger 21:25, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Haber 21:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I haven't gone anywhere. Obviously this mediation exercise has gotten us absolutely nowhere and went wrong almost from the very start. Since this issue is surely too insignificant for the ArbCom, since some are unwilling to accept the result of the previous poll, since we've surely discussed every permutation fairly exhaustively over the many weeks (months?) of debate both here and on the WWII talk page, and since people (not least the mediator) appear to be losing interest, I'm really not sure how to resolve this. Any ideas as to a possible compromise? Badgerpatrol 09:30, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Summary of arguments

It is obvious that no one has convinced any one else of anything in this issue. Since there has been so much discussion, I think a brief summary might prove beneficial.... Xaxafrad 00:49, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Should the individual countries making up the Axis Powers and Allies of World War II be listed in the Combatants section of the infobox, or should only links to the relevant articles be provided?
  • If countries are to be listed, which countries are appropriate to list for each side?
  • If countries are to be listed, should commanders for those countries also be listed?
  • If commanders are to be listed, which commanders are appropriate for each country?
Parties who have contributed to this section
Arguments for listing only "major" countries
  • More informative
  • The major countries were agreed upon in 1942, in the Declaration by United Nations
  • Links to articles listing and describing the nature of each countries involvement in their respective alliances are sufficient for Wikipedia readers
Counter arguments
  • "Major" is not defined
  • The UN Declaration reflects the timing of signing, not importance.
Arguments for listing only "Allied powers" and "Axis powers"
  • A previous poll supported this position, and it's logic is "obvious"
  • If all countries cannot be listed, then no countries should be listed
  • Any partial list will inevitably be expanded by random editors (mostly for reasons of nationalistic pride)
Counter arguments
  • Illogically unfounded
Some lists to vote on

(I took the liberty of transposing the votes previously logged on this page) (Also, let's quibble over the sequence in a separate section, or edit them in place if you please)

  1. Allies vs Axis
  2. United Kingdom, Soviet Union, United States, and others vs Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
  3. China, France, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, and others vs Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
  4. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Poland, China, Soviet Union, United States, and others vs Germany, Italy, Japan, and others
  5. or half a dozen other permutations if one of the above lists is, for some reason, insufficient
  • 3 - Haber, Xaxafrad, Blueshirts
  • 1 - NEMT, Badgerpatrol, Parsecboy
  • Comment I'd vote for an expanded version of #4, if others would do it too; the infobox has enough room this many items. Xaxafrad 05:51, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


The 1942 Declaration by United Nations was signed by 26 countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Luxembourg and Cuba (just a random sampling...). Do you mean to say that you consider this to be a definitive and incontrovertible list of "major" powers? And what about the Axis? You claim (unilaterally) that the order reflects some agreed upon scale of importance between the signatories (it would be very useful if you could point to your source for this- this article from the UN suggests that the list reflects simply the timing of when the signatories signed. I find it quite hard to believe that the USSR for example voluntarily ceded primacy to the US and UK in any meaningful sense). It is obvious that any one of us will easily be able to come up with another source that includes other parties (e.g. France, and others)- a good example being the actual United Nations Charter, signed after the war in the context of the final outcome, which clearly orders the permanent security council members alphabetically starting with China and France and ending with the UK and US [15]. My point is not, before it is misrepresented, "France in", my point is "No-one in". Any partial list based on whatever source is going to be indefensible (because either the list itself, or the selection of the source from which such a list is taken, is going to be POV), whereas (despite your claim above) the logic of a list that includes no countries whatsoever (or all countries as a whole) should be obvious to everyone. This mediation is going nowhere and, with the best will in the world, the way the process has been handled certainly hasn't helped move the debate forward and may actually have hindered it. I can only appeal to everyone to accept the fair outcome of the previous poll (and of course majorities (or supermajorities) do not always equal consensus, but in this I see no other available substitute) and leave the box as it is. Badgerpatrol 01:08, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

It would've been nice to have that kind of response when I first raised the UN Declaration topic, but better late than never. If the list in that document reflects timing rather than importance, I'll move on to the current statement in the Allies article referring to the "informal Big 3" which emerged in the second half of the war: UK, SU, and US, in that order. Now, what about the name "Allies"? When was the alliance formed? Would the UK, France, and Poland have been considered the Allies at some date in 1939? China? Given the overall length of WW2, I can't think of any reasonable argument against having a list of 5, 7, or 8 countries fighting 2, 3, or 8 other countries, provided links to the remaining allies are included (twice, at that: once at the top in the list heading, and again as the last item in the list)
And as for the Axis, the axis was a line running through Europe, starting in Germany and ending in Italy. I don't doubt that the Soviet Union and imperial Japan were little more than convenient, and temporary, allies (see also: Tripartite Pact, for somebody else's judgment on the major Axis powers). However, without the addition of Japan (on one side, and the US on the other), the two regional conflicts could not have been called a global war. Wouldn't you say that the other European Axis powers were undoubtedly "non-major" in this global context?
Finally, I apologize for the unilateralness of this presentation. It was my hope others would edit the outlined arguments for a more complete view, but I'll work with what I've got. Xaxafrad 19:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I did not respond at the time because there is absolutely no point in restating the same argument over and over again- the point has been made almost ad infinitum. There is no definitive and incontrovertible list of "major" belligerents. No response is necessary when the contention effectively seems to be "OK, I see your point about the impossibility of a definitive list....but what about this new one that I just found?". With respect, and I hate to be direct, you still haven't grasped the fundamentals of this debate. You claim that "in this global context" the other European belligerents were "non-major". You're probably right- it would still have been a World War without Hungary and Romania. But so what? The whole point is that in that context you may be right- but what about all the other "contexts"? What about the huge numbers of casualties suffered by e.g. those two powers and the enormous numbers of troops committed? What about the political context? What about the economic context? What you are saying is in your opinion other European "Axis" co-belligerents were non-major because in your opinion the only meaningful context is whether or not the addition of said combatants escalated the conflict from a regional to a global war. Unfortunately, your opinion doesn't matter, or at least it doesn't matter any more than the opinion of anyone else, who might wish to compile a list based on number of troops, or number of casualties, or population, or wealth and economic contribution, or any number of other factors. (Your argument is particularly interesting btw because you appear to be implicitly suggesting that World War II started in 1941 with the advent of the US to both theatres. Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Trinidadians etc etc will no doubt be amazed to hear that in the late 1930s their countries were part of Europe- is this the amazing power of plate tectonics in action, I can only wonder?). By the way, I didn't accuse you of being unilateral with regard to the summation- I don't see the point of it, but I was actually referring to your statement that the order of signatories to the DecbyUN was specifically chosen and represented something more than circumstance. No-one else appears to have raised this point and no-one else has made any argument that that document is somehow definitive (to the best of my recollection). If you have the reference, or can expand on your supportive argument with more facts, I'd like to read it, for my own interest. Badgerpatrol 20:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your directness; if I don't learn and grow because of it, that would mean I'm truly stupid, rather than simply ignorant. I have no references, only opinions. I'm mostly just grasping at straws here, as best I can. I'm sorry this has been such a long standing issue, but if you're just frustrated because of it, I'm not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
You spoke of global contexts, and economic and political contexts, but I don't see why the infobox should necessarily portray all of these aspects. It should only be a short, concise summary. The very clearly linked articles, Allies of World War II and Axis powers of World War II, have the scope to properly expand on the various intricacies of this global conflict.
And fwiw, I think WW2 started whenever the Axis powers entered into treaty negotiations with Japan, or when Japan first made their multi-pronged blitz all around greater southeast Asia. And what of New Zealanders and Trinidadians being considered part of Europe just because they're theoretically grouped under "United Kingdom"? Would Canada and Australia be approvingly listed as "major" sub-list items under the UK?
And why not go to the Axis article to contest the majority status of Hungary and Romania? Doesn't Wikipedia strive for some kind of harmony? Nobody editing that whole article ever contested the placement of those two countries as minor allies. And for the allies that eventually won, even those editors have not yet straightened out the problem with "major" status, as they state, with so much apparent bias and a narrow point of view, "The Big Three", China, and France (after liberation), were major players. Why can't we take a clue from them, or upset their article with petty bickering over status. If I felt like using Wikipedia to make a POINT, I'd delete the sentence calling France a major ally, and challenge somebody else to come up with a verifiable reference (or just add a {{fact}} tag).
But truly, what is so contentious about the big 3 Allies (and others) versus the big 3 Axes (and others)? I use the plural of axis purposefully: when considering great powers, other, lesser powers can be said to revolve in an orbit around one of the great powers of their choosing. The international political field has always be hierarchical, ever since politics were invented.
And just for fun, Wiktionary says "major" means: of great significance or importance. To have been a major ally, means one country made a greatly significant or important contribution. Does anyone think it possible to check off some countries one by one using this decidedly abstract definition, or would anyone even care to humor me in such an exercise? Xaxafrad 05:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Consider this: the list of combatants in the infobox is supposed to be a brief summary of the long list of allies on either side of the conflict. Let us take those countries which were significant enough to warrant mention in the lead paragraphs of the two articles which are dedicated to expounding on the full list of participants on either side: Allies of World War II and Axis powers of World War II: USSR, US, UK, China, France, and others vs Germany, Italy, Japan, and others. Or even the more general Participants in World War II, which doesn't have a specific lead section and could result in two different lists, depending on how much content one considers introductory. If future editors, who are unaware of the massive amounts of discussion generated by this issue, wish to change the infobox list, they should be pointed in the direction of the primary articles. If someone can get Hungary or Poland added to the lead, it should be similarly included in the infobox list. It's easy for people to edit infoboxes, but adding a new sentence to the lead section usually requires a reference of some sort. What do you think? Just another bad idea? Xaxafrad 03:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

List of Allies, copied from that article (originally listed by date of entry into the Alliance):

Major powers
Possibly major powers
Not major powers (due to lack of comparable military with other major/great powers)
Not major, due to incomparability to major countries
Not major, due to lack of mention of contributions in Wikipedia
  • Flag of Panama (bordered).svg Panama (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba (not major, "did not significantly participate militarily in World War II hostilities")
  • Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg Mexico (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Bolivia (state).svg Bolivia (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Bahawalpur.svg Bahawalpur (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Uruguay (bordered).svg Uruguay (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Venezuela (1954-2006).svg Venezuela (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)
  • Flag of Chile.svg Chile (not major, no mention of WW2 contribution in Wikipedia article)

The Flags are no longer on the French version of WWII

For those interested, the little flags and lists of "major" countries have been deleted for some weeks on the french article and nobody objected. [16]--Flying tiger 13:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC) (Oooops, signed my comment...)

Indeed. The edit summary for that diff [17] uses a word that I don't recognise ("avusives"?) but the jist seems to be that per the military history standard, oversimplifications are unwise and that it is better to have nothing at all than include misleading or partial information. Sensible words. That edit was made nearly two weeks ago and I can't see any dissenting arguments on the talk page or elsewhere. Badgerpatrol 11:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

In fact, it is the word "abusives" which is mispelled, and there is still no dissent... --Flying tiger 13:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that oversimplifications are unwise, especially in military history and planning, but this is an infobox in an online encylopedia. I noticed the French lead section is actually well developed, in contrast with a dry series of approximately eight facts. I'll take some notes when I have more time (later this evening, probably). Xaxafrad 20:18, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
After attempting to translate the French lead into English (with the help of Babelfish), I wondered what all those interwiki FA versions of WW2 looked like. WW2 has become a featured article in 11 different wikis; a good question is: are other language FA standards similar to en FA standards? I'll assume they're not far off....
Xaxafrad 04:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Mediation over

This is done. I formally withdraw, and I intend to open the infobox back up to any editor who wishes to work on it. Haber 22:59, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Ah, yet another triumph for your inclusive, consensus-building style of doing things! In fairness, it's obvious that this mediation is going nowhere and much of the blame for that must go to the mediator, who turned up without actually even reading the arguments, totally misunderstand the issue, tried to dictate some changes that completely missed the point and that very few people wanted, made little or no effort whatsoever to encourage the disputing editors to compromise or come together, and then quickly disappeared completely. If this is how mediation works, it's fair to say that I at least won't be going back down this route again in a hurry. Now, Haber- are you going to actually make any attempt to contribute a substantive argument to support your views, or are you just going to ignore everyone else as usual and provoke another stupid edit war over this issue? Badgerpatrol 09:19, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you still trying to win? Who do you think is even listening? Haber 03:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear. The only person who has ever characterised this debate in terms of "winning" and "losing" is YOU. I (and, in my opinion at least, everyone else on BOTH sides of this debate) have been trying to have an honest (if stupidly long-winded) debate to decide how to improve the article. If no-one's listening, it's because your unilateral, frustrating and stroppy behaviour has served to stifle the legitimate debate. Badgerpatrol 09:19, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
All I said was that the mediation was over, and you unloaded with the same tired distortions and personal attacks. What purpose do you think this serves? Haber 14:43, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
So, would you be willing to continue if another mediator from the Mediation Committee took the case? — Armed Blowfish (mail) 17:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Provided they are actually committed to doing a decent job. Badgerpatrol 02:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Waiting for response from Haber (and anyone else with this page still watchlisted)....Armed Blowfish (mail) 03:04, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Badgerpatrol. Parsecboy 09:25, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
If anything, this has shown the merit of a pure Axis vs. Allies listing. --NEMT 16:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

No thanks to more mediation. Haber 13:55, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

What's your preferred alternative, Haber? Badgerpatrol 14:56, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
In that case, I am sorry to close this mediation as unsuccessful. For the Mediation Committee, Armed Blowfish (mail) 15:12, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
in america --NEMT 21:57, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean? By "unsuccessful" I mean that it does not look like all the participants are happy with the result, something the Mediation Committee strives for. I am not judging whatever result you reached in any other way. — Armed Blowfish (mail) 23:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm also a bit puzzled- what do you mean, NEMT? Badgerpatrol 23:21, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
a non sequitur --NEMT 23:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, were you by any chance singing along to Kim and got over excited? If so, don't worry about it- happens to me all the time....;-) Badgerpatrol 03:21, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it's actually a reference to a character from a youtube video series, he says it after everything. --NEMT 03:44, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
 : ) Armed Blowfish (mail) 03:43, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that as of right now, things have settled down a bit and there is no need for a mediator. No one's really been making any big discussion on the talk page for a while. But if we ever have a mediation on it again, I would be 100% against having stevertigo as the mediator. Before I became an editor I used to read the talk page (now in the archives) and I used to wonder where the "heck" stevertigo was in all of this. So he should definantly not be the mediator the next time we need one. --LtWinters 15:29, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Since mediation requires the consent of all parties, the parties may reject any mediator they do not feel comfortable with. For the Mediation Committee, Armed Blowfish (mail) 16:59, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

wwii mediation

I noticed on your project page it says you are the mediator of WWII... that ended like a month ago. Might want to erase that.--LtWinters 18:35, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually the atom bomb is the mediator of WWII. --NEMT 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Give me the link to his talk page. I can't find the a-bomb's. --LtWinters 02:08, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, if you find any more mediation templates or transclusions of the mediation on these pages, feel free to remove them. And if you all change your mind about trying mediation again with a different mediator, you are welcome to file a new request. Thanks, Armed Blowfish (mail) 04:44, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

two or more Theaters?

TrogdorPolitiks added to the intro that the war was divided into two Theaters (ET and PT). I removed this for a number of reasons.

  • The PT wikilink actually leads to the article about the Pacific Ocean Theater.
  • The war was separated into many more areas then just these two.
  • Listing them all in the intro seems unpractical.
  • They all are covered more or less in the article's body (the chronology).

If we were to add a division to the intro it should probably be the same one we have in the article itself, that is into a) War in Europe (and Africa) and b) War in Asia and the Pacific.--Caranorn 22:40, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

There is currently a template near the top of the article, {{Campaignbox World War II}}, listing:
  1. Europe
  2. Eastern Europe
  3. Africa
  4. Middle East
  5. Mediterranean
  6. Asia & Pacific
  7. Atlantic
Although I can see how the Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean, and Atlantic theaters could be folded into a great big, extended European theater, especially from the POV of American war planners. German war planners might have a different take on the situation. Where any battles fought around the Indian ocean, or the coastlines thereof? Xaxafrad 00:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
The Europe there is a parent of Eastern Europe. We should either replace it with Western Europe or remove Eastern Europe. Oberiko 00:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, I had not noticed the second template before. At first I thought to replace the Europe link (leading to European Theater of World War II which again covers the Eastern Front and the Mediterranean) with a Western Europe linking to European Theater of Operations but that's too specific (only 1944/45). How about linking it to Western Front (World War II)? That article doesn't contain any explanation of causes but seems the perfect pendant to the current Eastern Front (World War II) article etc..--Caranorn 13:54, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
That's probably our best option for the moment. Oberiko 15:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The reason I added that sentence is because the rest of the article describes the war in terms of the Asian theater and the Pacific theater. This is also the way the war is taught in most history textbooks. This description and classification into Asian and European theaters is necessary to the reader's understanding of the article. Even the overview is split that way. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs<;/span>


Why is the lead so short? Is it that hard to write a lead? Quadzilla99 07:10, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I could read the article and write one that's of satisfactory length if the editors here are having problems. It's really not that difficult. The lead right now is unacceptbale. Quadzilla99 07:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
It used to be longer, but it wasn't working too well. We split it to a lead/overview layout and it seems to be more stable. Haber 11:42, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Well that will cause an immediate fail during any FAC. Quadzilla99 08:31, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I, for one, would like to see what Quadzilla has in mind (even if only on the talk page). Xaxafrad 23:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Fine with me. I'm not thrilled with the current version either. Haber 20:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Yea, sounds good... If you look at the introduction to WWI, it's about 3 times longer... so yea it definantly should be longer. --LtWinters 16:19, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

formatting probs {{WWIITheatre}}

Well the page formatting was really askew — it bled right off the left edge of the text area and into the left sidebar area — but then a tag team edit of some <div> tags made it better... but on my monitor, which is smal but not ridiculously so, the word "on" appears between {{WWIITheatre}} and the image to the left.. and there is a gap of several inches before you can find the next word.. suggest moving {{WWIITheatre}} above the "Overview" section.. in fact, I'm just gonna do it 'cause it looks so unsightly as is.. (in fact, if I were a regular editor of this article, I would argue for taking the {{WWIITheatre}} completely off the article.. but...) --Ling.Nut 17:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I think i just fixed it. Please post again if it's still a problem. Ahudson 17:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, much better... I moved it up, then you moved it up even further. :-) Your version and mine look about the same, but both versions (including the way it stands now) look much much much better than about 20 minutes ago! :-) --Ling.Nut 17:34, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't the {{WWIITheatre}} box be more appropriate at the bottom of the article, in the "see also" section? I'd point out the location listing in the regular infobox, which almost stands in for the other infobox. Xaxafrad 23:39, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


It says that the Greeks quickly repulsed the Italian invasion with details of troops pinned down, etc , but then it just has one sentence for the Greek defeat by the Germans, and also says the Greek Army was "eventually" defeated by the Germans. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "quickly defeated" as it says in the earlier case with Greeks V.S. Italians, as I think the German invasion and victory was stunningly quick (especially with regard to the rugged terrain that had to be trevassed). Also, I really think someone should "beef" up that section up some more. I would myself, but the article is locked. thanks! JohnHistory 03:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)JohnHistory

I think you are absolutely correct, the German invasion was much quicker than the Italian one. The Italian offensive on Greece(which failed) took 4 months, while the German offensive(which worked) took only 2 months. Eisenhower 01:16, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

What to do with the Chronology?

I was only setting out to shorten the chronology section. When I started editing it, it was 110 KB (leaving approx 50 KB for the rest of the article). Then I read the overview section more closely and it seemed like a perfect short summary of the chronology. So I deleted the redundant information. Between the timeline article, and the articles covering the several theaters, I don't see an enormous chronology to be necessary to this article. Undoubtly, many people worked to bring the chronology up to a point they were happy with, but I don't think there's room for such detail (that's what the overview section and the {{main}}s accomplish).

The collection of main articles from the subsections follow. Xaxafrad 00:20, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Split. Just have the entire Chronology section as a separate article. KyuuA4 20:52, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
That was bold, if in any doubt would it be worthwhile creating an 'archive' called Chronology of WWII - or, would that just duplicate the timeline? Kbthompson 00:20, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I know some folks would raise an issue about the history of the text, what with the attribution and such. My solution is to include an edit summary stating which article I plagarized the text from (it's not like the history is truly missing, just attached to an old article). In any case...
What should really be done with the section? It's over 110 KB, which is okay for some (list-like) articles (especially the ones that don't aspire to FA status). The timeline article for WW2 is already over 70 KB. Would it be long before somebody suggested splitting that article? We have a short overview of the entire conflict already existing on WW2. We have articles devoted to the various theaters, battles, and phases of the entire war. We have infoboxes linking to all these articles, as well as links throughout the article text. When is it too much information?
If the answer is never, then let's talk about where the text should go, and how it should go there. A new article: Chronology of World War II? Or merge into/throughout Timeline of World War II? The new article is the easy solution, requiring only a cut/paste, but I don't think we need another article when the topic is already nearly sufficiently covered by another article. Therefore, the chronology should be merged into the timeline article.
The chronology isn't in a straight sequence. It seems the date ranges have been somewhat arbitrarily chosen, though I'm sure they correspond to some phase of the war. The timeline is really just a 70 KB list of events with very little prose. Somewhere between these two swathes of text, I think a good article is buried. Xaxafrad 00:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Just for the sake of comparison, the structure of Second Sino-Japanese War doesn't have a chronology, while the chronology of World War I is spread out among top-level section headings. Xaxafrad 01:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The following is a rough chronology which I'll use to classify the sequence of events of World War II. I'm working on merging the 19 chronology sections into the 79 timeline sections. Post objections on this talk thread, please. Xaxafrad 02:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Someone please fix the talk page. Xaxafrad, I disagree. I think the article is better off longer. Haber 21:26, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. The guy from the good/featured article committee didn't think so. But I don't think the chronology section should be a stub either. I like how the article looks, overall (I won't speak on the details in this post), but if you really don't like it shortened, I won't stop you from reverting it back to 100+ KB.
Consider each article as a pie chart, with each section being a slice....Balance is better, no? Xaxafrad 04:13, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I guess I'm just surprised. People will fight tooth and nail over a few lines in an infobox, but a major change such as this doesn't even draw comments. I'm going to think about it a little bit more before reverting. Haber 12:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
With regard to the infobox- the only person I see "fighting tooth and nail" is you. Everyone else discussed the matter sensibly, came to a reasonable consensus throughout which everyone was free to have their say, and then cautiously made a change after consultation. You then unilaterally reverted it. The infobox affair would not have been such a long drawn out process if everyone had behaved reasonably. Badgerpatrol 13:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Now that's not on topic....And the whole infobox thing is in mediation. Once that is settled, we'll see what happens over the next 3-6 months to the infobox. If another issue is raised, it will go to arbitration, next, I think. Xaxafrad 22:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This might be interpreted as a snide comment, or a cliche (if it's repeatable), or wisdom (if it's experientailly truthful): keep your personalities out of the wikiprocess. Xaxafrad 22:05, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Back on topic though: To revert the chronology back to the big size, or not? Xaxafrad 22:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

This is a VERY STUPID idea. Moving the entire meat of the World War II article to a different article is very stupid. The reason being when people come to this article they want a good summary of world war II and world war II is long and diverse and thats the reason that this article is so long but this event is an exception as 62 million people died and everyone who died in various campaigns has to be addressed and cannot be brushed aside like this small summary which is currently in place does. I think we should move it back. I spend a great deal of time writing and improving this article and all my hard work has been moved to another page which not many people will bother to click to see. Move the stuff back. Mercenary2k 22:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I support Mercenary2k's decision to re-include the chronology section. As the article currently stands, the "minor" sections like "technology" and "casualties, civilian impact, and atrocities" are as long as, if not longer, than the actual discription of the war, which, if I'm not mistaken, is the more important part of the article. I understand the drive of some editors to cut the article down in size, but I don't think 32kb (or anything close to it) is an attainable goal with a topic as vast as WWII. I don't think 4 or 5 short paragraphs is anywhere nearly sufficient to define the European Theater. 3 paltry sentences to discuss 8 years of fighting in China is hardly sufficient either. Parsecboy 22:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Oppose re-split. I third Mercenary2k's sentiments, though in a more diplomatic way :) The short version of this article was impotent and really didn't do its subject justice. For an issue of such significance, a lengthy treatment of the topic is to be encouraged. It would be hard to differentiate details from meaty facts. Brisvegas 13:26, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Very tricky one. The article was enormous, but understandably so given the topic. Even the abbreviated form is 54 kb, but the long form is a whopper- 165 kb, I think. I just support leaving it as it is (with the chronology section deconvolved). It might be an idea to put a short additional sentence right at the top of the page explaining exactly where to go to find the events of WWII (which many if not most will presumably be looking for). I do see everyone's point of view however.. In this case though I personally think the long-form article was just too long. If there's a middle ground or a compromise though then I would probably go for it. Badgerpatrol 00:12, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I would agree that the old version is rather large, but I would prefer overkill to a bare-bones article. If we could reach a happy medium, and flesh out the very broad strokes of the current article, I could be convinced to support it. Parsecboy 00:25, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually even that 165 KB article had major information missing. For example major parts of the Battle of the Atlantic, Bombing of Germany and Sino-Japanese War was missing. I think having a long article is fine. This current article is just horrible. Please Revert the Changes. Mercenary2k 04:47, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
We should ask people what are their reasons for coming to this article. Until then, I don't think we can be sure. However, I do think that the people who want an in-depth coverage of the day-to-day events of the war will find the 160 KB of coverage at Chronology of World War II from World War II (give readers a little bit of credit). With all due respect, Mercenary2k, I appreciate all the work you've done, but don't get personally attached to World War II; your hard work still makes Chronology look good. I think "horrible" is a grossly exaggerated way to describe the current article.
Parsecboy: I think a few paragraphs summarizing the two or three major theaters of the war is perfect, since the war was really just two wars that happened to be fought simultaneously, for strategic purposes, like WWI before. The European theater was like a 6 year replay of the entire history of the Roman Empire, but with even better equipment, while Japan, China, and Russia would've been having border disputes with or without the European chaos. Such coordination on such a global scale was never possible before the advent of railroads and industrialized warfare, but wars of similar totality have always been fought between any two or three opportunists of nearly comparable power projection potential.
If anybody's really interested in a compromise, they can add what content they see fit to the short, but already growing, military chronology. If they're really attached to their original work, it still exists at Chronology. No article can ever be perfect, otherwise we would be told to stop editing it. The question here is: is this whole article better, or worse, than it was before? Xaxafrad 15:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, before is now the short version, and after is the long version. Xaxafrad 15:27, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The better way is to trim the long version. In the next few days it may appear that I am taking a meat cleaver to the chronology section. Please revert me or discuss if you think I am getting too aggressive. Haber 16:00, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
In that case, should Chronology of World War II be reverted back to a redirect to Timeline of World War II? Xaxafrad 21:25, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Let's keep it for now. It could become a nice article in its own right.
Merc, I think some of the Eastern front sections have gotten way out of hand in length. Yes, they were important, but there's no need to get so deeply into plans and strategy, orders of battle, casualties, etc. in a large overview article. As the writer of a lot of it maybe you would like to edit it down or explain why it has to be so long? Haber 01:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I dont think its long but although some details can be removed. I will give it a read through over the weekend and see what excess information needs to go. Mercenary2k 04:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that Xaxafrad's removal of the Chronology section to a separate article is correct. This article does not need a comprehensive and excessively detailed chronology, because this is a MAIN ARTICLE for an entire historical period. All that we need in terms of military chronology is a brief description of major events and theatres of battle so that when you reference shipping problems as a result of the Battle of the Atlantic later in the article, readers will know what you are talking about. The people who want/need to know the kind of detail we currently have in the article will be perfectly willing to go into a more detailed side article. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

"Colonial ambitions"

Germany was not after colonies. Just change it to "Axis territorial ambitions". --Kurt Leyman 11:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Maybe if you define a colony as being across a body of water, but in either case, Hitler wanted to make build German cities all over Russian land. Actually, it would've been easier to take over the pre-built Russian cities, but what's the real hair we're splitting here? Xaxafrad 00:02, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Although listing only Germany and Japan excludes the Italian element.... Xaxafrad 00:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
A colony is defined as being geographically distant from the parent country. Furthermore, the other countries weren't settled by the Germans; I think they would be described as occupied territories in this case, so the proposed wording would be more appropriate. Ahudson 21:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
That seems to be a problem with prescribing ambitions to others: the other countries weren't settled yet; if Hitler's war machine had won, they would've been repopulated (colonized?)...The current casus say "territorial." Xaxafrad 04:08, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

New section - Balkans?

Does anyone else think the Greece/Yugoslavia/Albania/Bulgaria stuff might be better put in a Balkans section rather than scattered in Eastern Front/Mediterranean like it is currently? Haber 02:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

there is nothing wrong with that but the only problem is going to add more sub-sections and make the article very dis-jointed. Mercenary2k 04:55, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem is how those areas are interconnected. That is how the Balkans campaign(s) of 1941 affected the beginning of Barbarossa for the Germans, on the other hand for the Allies it's clearly closely connected to operations in the Mediterranean. Though I guess that's actually an argument for a separate section as it's hard to include it in either East Front or Med.--Caranorn 11:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm really confused

The main intro says that 73 million people were killed. The table at the side said 62 million. That's a difference of 11 million!!! Like New York City has disappeared somewhere??? I clicked on the 73 million link, and it went to a comprehensive list of stats, with lots of pretty pie charts. It said There were 26 million military and 46 million civilians killed. OK. And it says there were 61 million allies and 11 million Axis killed. Still OK! The chart said 50 percent were Allied Civilians, thats 36 million. Great! I took that away from the total of 46 million Civilians, leaving 10 million Axis Civilians killed. Good. Then I took this figure away from the 11 miilion total Axis Killed, and that leaves 1 million Axis Military killed. OK. Actually, (nope).


Not OK. I reckon there were that many killed in one battle, let alone the whole war. It all looks very pretty. Probably collated by the Census Department, and as usual is not checked. Wallie 17:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I did a quick Google search for "total deaths ww2" and in the first 20 results, I got totals ranging from 46-65 million, but mostly in the 50-60 range. Xaxafrad 19:53, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Been discussed lots of time before, usually to little avail. :-) There are lots of ways of counting, lots of problems in the figures (difficulties in analysing census records, poor records during the war, history of lies and distortion by some states, etc) and lots of difficulties such as defining who was a "civilian" and who was "military". Evidently it needs some detailed research to put it all right. That would presumably take several hundred hours of diligent work. Which presumably then would be vandalised out of all recognition by fools in the time honoured Wikipedian way. :-) MarkThomas 20:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
We've got basically five "primary" casualty figures: Allied military, Allied civilian, Axis military, Axis civilian and Holocaust figures. Perhaps we should put a range instead of an approximation? Oberiko 23:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, my book i have right now (which so far is pretty accurate) says that an amount of just over 56 million deaths were resulted by the Second World War. I also went on the Chinese Wikipedia and got the result of 71Mill. On the French site, it said 62 (Oh, My, God). on the German site(lol), it said 55-60 Mill. So I say its about just over 60 mill. Eisenhower 01:03, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The amount of people killed in WW2 is obviously going to be confusing, and 73 million is the highest I've ever heard. The lowest I've ever heard of is 52 million. The majority of sources I've heard from say it was from 55-60 million, so wouldn't is just be smart to say that more than 55 million people died??? And we must remember, during WW2 the majority of figures based on how much is cost economically, militarily, and through the number of lives lost, is just an estimate, so no one source really can be right.

-- 18:36, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Beginning of the war

The article starts saying the war started in 1939. Then it says Japan invaded China in 1937 (from Manchuria which had been invaded before) Isn't it confusing?-- 02:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

There will always be confusion. The are arguments to say the war started on all sorts of dates. You could argue that the Chinese/Japanese war in 1937 was a precursor. Or you could say it was the real thing. The same applies to the other key dates, 01.09.1939, 03.09.1939, 22.06.1941 or 07.12.1941. Wallie 22:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The Chinese/Japanese war was another war, it is only included in many WWII articles, only because the US had joined in fighting the Japanese for another reason, also because the US had fought with Chinese forces - which is because the US was in war with Japan - but the Chinese/Japanese war was not part of WWII until the US had joined the war. Eisenhower 00:42, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

What nonsense. How is US so important in beginning of World War II. It joined in 1941. How is that the start of WWII in Asia. Or did WWII start in Europe when USA joined? The comment above reflects a very American centric point of view. It is not valid. The beginning of the war could easily be 1937. The biggest theater of World War II in Asia was China. 00:54, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Most historians choose 1939 as the beginning of WWII because it this then, that the war, that was already raging in Asia, became global and really a "world war". --Flying tiger 14:12, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The introduction states that it was a worldwide conflict from 1939-1945, which is definantly not true because Germany, Italy, and Japan had already invaded other nations outlined in the Treaty of Versailles. However, major fighting erupted on September 1, 1939, so it should be kept as that date, because if it was said it started in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria people would think a random person made that fact up because all other encyclopedias, dictionaries, websites, books, ect. say it started in 1939. So all in all, it should be left as it is, however, I would not be against adding the word September before 1939 in the introduction. --LtWinters 16:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Allies and axis, Neutrality problem

I think Wikipedia is biased. By using those old terms, we are painting the side known as allies as the good guys, and their opponents as the bad guys. To them, we were the axis, and they the allies. To people with Nazi beliefs, or beliefs that the fascist countries of the time were right, this is extreamly insulting. We should not use these terms. Thoughts? -- The Serene Silver Star 03:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

This is not the place to try to improve the world or make it more fair. In the English language, the two sides are known as Axis and Allies. Whether those words have happy or sad connotations is irrelevant. Haber 11:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Axis was the term specifically coined by Mussolini and Hitler, that is the Rome-Berlin Axis. There is absolutely nothing insulting or non neutral about these classifications. The modern term Axis of Evil which I expect you are referring to is to be blunt a major stupidity by some politicians.--Caranorn 11:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Well that may be true, but isn't the term allies still biased. -- The Serene Silver Star 14:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

How is it biased? An ally is "a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose." It is a neutral term. - Eron Talk 14:45, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Germany and Italy were allies, yet they are not called the allies. They are refered to as the axis, we should come up withy another name for the alles, though axis can stay. -- The Serene Silver Star 15:26, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

We use the terms Axis and Allies because that is what they called themselves, and that is how they were and are referred to in almost all verifiable English-language sources on the war. Wikipedia can't come up with another name for them - that would be original reseach.
As regards the bias and connotations, I think you may be confusing cause and effect. I would suggest that most people don't think that the Allies were the good guys because the word "Allies" has a positive connotation; rather I think that the word "Allies" has a positive connotation because most people think that the Allies were the good guys. - Eron Talk 15:31, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Did the Churchill/Roosevelt/Stalin side actually call themselves the allies? -- The Serene Silver Star 16:28, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes. For example, in his speech to the House of Commons regarding the invasion of France, on June 6, 1944, Churchill concluded by saying, of the invasion, "Thank God, we enter upon it with our great Allies all in good heart and all in good friendship." I'm not sure that it was ever a formal name - after the January 1942 Declaration by United Nations, "United Nations" was used formally - but it seems to have been used as at least an informal title from very early in the war. - Eron Talk 17:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
My recollection matches Eron's. It would be interesting to learn the origin of the use of the term, though.
Part of the problem, Star, is that "Axis" didn't mean "the bad guys" until afterwards. They choose a name and did a number of things to make it infamous, so it's hardly POV to use the name they had for themselves. --Habap 21:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh and it doesn't actually matter whether the Allies referred to themselves that way. This is an encyclopedia - we use the terms that are generally accepted in the literature rather than making up our own. --Habap 21:07, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, it doesn't really matter. The Allies have been referred to as the Allies for 50+ years. Every book, textbook, pamphlet, or movie written, made, or produced about World War 2 or anything remotely related to it has called them the Allies. As it has been stated above, we can't make up names. American Patriot 1776 01:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, we dont have to have a name for them. Through very careful rewording we can eliminate the need for a generic term for the allied side. -- The Serene Silver Star 12:26, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't make any sense. Why would we go to all this effort and attempt to differentiate ourselves from every other source there is? As mentioned above, there is nothing positive or negative about the words Allies and Axis, they've just become words with positive and negative connotations as a result of the war. Let's say we do change it, what's next after that? No longer being able to call the Germans at the time "Nazis" or "fascists" because of the negative associations those words now have? Would you further change the name of the Grand Alliance since it also has a seemingly positive connotation? What about the Allies of World War I? Would you change the name of the Holy Roman Empire because of the word "Holy"?
Being neutral means to be purely factual and equally representative, not to take political correctness to an extreme so that it can't possibly offend anyone. Oberiko 13:16, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes this is ...not a sensible idea. NPOV is not designed to extend to Nazis and these are in any case commonly accepted terms. I am guessing that Ray may have been speaking from a somewhat tongue in cheek perspective. Badgerpatrol 13:31, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Extra Stuff

Just thinking... overlooking this article... there's alot of topics that have either been resolved or nobody's left a comment on them in over a month... Shouldn't we delete them because they are just taking up space and making this page more confusing? --LtWinters 20:53, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Xaxafrad's additions and my edits

Just to explain my edits of Xaxafrad's additions based on the french article.

1) I removed the reparations issue as this was not a faithful translation and is prone to be misunderstood. The French article essentially talks about unsatisfactory resolution of WWI, which does not just involve German misunderstanding of the reason for reparations...

2) I removed the Spanish Civil War as I don't believe this is generally seen as a part of WWII (it's a precursor war).

3) Added a short explanation for the urge for European Unification, maybe a link to Euro Federalism might have been more appropriate then the EU link I used, but I'm not sure these motivations are fully explained in any article.

4) Added political dissidents/opposition persecution to Atrocities, this is actually how many concentration camps such as Dachau started. Note that other political currents should probably be added (Christian Social(ists) for instance, I'm not entirely neutral in this case).

5) According removal of murder of dissidents... as that's now covered under atrocities.

6) Removal of Napalm as that doesn't seem to have seen much use in World War II. What's really meant is fire bombing, and probably White Phosphorus.

Otherwise just minor changes and corrections.

One question, which language standard is used for this article? I'd assume international, but I find many sentences in later parts of the article using american spelling. I was wondering because of the term labor/labour.--Caranorn 12:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Were you the person that made the introduction a lot longer? If you did than bravo cause it's a lot better than it was... --LtWinters 19:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)