Talk:World War II/Archive 44

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Archive 40 Archive 42 Archive 43 Archive 44 Archive 45 Archive 46 Archive 50

City bombing in the war crime section

I am wondering if allied city bombing should be included in the war crimes section. There was nothing at the time which detailed city bombing as being a war crime, and there has been no decisive agreement among historians that it was criminal. Putting it in the war crime section as it is suggests it was a war crime, a view not supported by many historians, though a popular rallying cry for the extreme right in Germany. Regardless, at the very least I feel that the sentence should be modified to show it is suggested by some to be a war crime, in order to point out it is not an agreed upon view. Wokelly.

in that case every single belligerent with a significantly Air Force would have to be listed, even the Italians bombed London and it wasn't done as a joke. I don't see the German Ultra right claiming the bombing of Warsaw as high comic relief and I see no reason to start humoring fringe groups or fanatics.Tirronan (talk) 23:20, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Add the last battle of ww2 in Europe!!! Between Yugoslav partisans and HOS (Croatia)

The Battle of Odzak Was the last battle of World War II in Europe. Between Yugoslav partisans and HOS (Croatian Armed Forces) from 19. april to 25. may 1945.


Even Croat wikipedia has it: http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitka_za_Od%C5%BEak —Preceding unsigned comment added by General Canic (talkcontribs) 19:28, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be no article for one. Why not be bold and create it? --PlasmaTwa2 20:09, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

the beginning to the end

world war II began in 1939 when poland was invaded. the poish could ot hold the germans and fell quickly.one by one small countries tried to fight hitlers forces, but were all invaded easily. then battles wth britan began like the battle of britan and the battle of dunkirk.then in 1941 the desert battles in afrca started.but the dark morning of december 7,1941 came.the japanesse attacked the united states with their planes like zeros and sumbarines.most of americas ships were destroyed there were only 3 carriers at sea one of them was USS Enterprise.the americans lost 2,400 men most of them were from the explosion of the Arizona which a bomb wet down her funnel and blew up.the Americas were outraged and immediatly declared war so did britan.but like in Europe one by one territories of US, britan, and Philipians were tooken by japan as the war in the deserts of africa raged on. A major battlecame for the Japan. it was the small island of midway.but unfortunetly japan suffered a heavy lost and were embaressed and the same thing happened in coral sea a less major battle but still important.then the battle of stalingrad began. after hitler lied about a treaty between russia and germany. about half of russia was tooken over.outraged,russia attacked stalingrad. stalingrad waas a city that was controlled by germany in russia.but Van paulases, a german general,men were diey from frostbite and could not retreat but finnaly von paulas surrendered instead of doing suicide. then finnaly africa was finally tooken over. but it was time to move toward italy. but first they had to take over sicily which was easily tooken over. when the made it to italy the italians over threw mussolini and made peace with the allies but then in 1944 D-Day came and was a heavy casualities. but the allies won.then after lose after lose the germas gave up in 1945 same thin for japan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikidude36 (talkcontribs) 15:13, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Arbitration -- POV-bias

An arbitration application has been accepted by the arbitration committee concerning POV-bias at military history project] Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Military_history_POV-bias

There's also some interesting related talk at Reliable Sources Noticeboard: [[1]]

Communicat (talk) 18:10, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Accepted by ArbCom: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II. If you have evidence regarding the alleged anti-Soviet bias by the military history project, or of behavioral problems here or at Aftermath of World War II, you may wish to submit them at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II/Evidence. --Habap (talk) 21:19, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Millions were persecuted under "ant-Soviet propaganda" laws, many of them died. Quoting Soviet propaganda is immoral, like quoting Goebbels.Xx236 (talk) 09:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC) Progress Publishers is a POV article, it suggests the the Publishers were publishers, no, they were a propaganda unit.Xx236 (talk) 10:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

This isn't the place to discuss it as the book hasn't been used as a reference in this article. There's a discussion at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Talk:Aftermath of World War II and it appears that Communicat intends to raise it as part of their statements in the arbitration case. Nick-D (talk) 10:15, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you are right. This article doesn't quote any Soviet book.Xx236 (talk) 10:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Advances in technology and warfare section

This section does not mention things like German research into swept wings, tailless aircraft, and guided weapons. I would also like to point out that the Germans did not avoid tank-agianst-tank battles (that was the americans), they simply knew that there were other ways of winning, which more often than not were faster or easier. In addition, tanks that are designed only to kill other tanks are not tanks but tank destroyers. In short, the section needs revising by someone with more detailed knowledge. 81.187.148.35 (talk) 15:45, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Too Blue

Someone needs to delete some hyperlinks in the article. There's too many. Almost anywhere that you click you are sent to a different page. Only truly important hyperlinks should be in the article.JoshE3 (talk) 17:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Proposed changes

Chumchum7 (talk · contribs) added the following changes to the article today. As per the normal procedure given the article's prominence and the ongoing discussion of their proposed changes to the lead, I think that it would be best to discuss them first. I've reverted the changes and am posting them below to start a discussion. Nick-D (talk) 07:03, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Addition to the end of the para starting 'In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact':
After the War, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Information Bureau defended the Pact in Falsifiers of History. Current scholars including Niall Ferguson, Timothy Snyder, Laurence Rees and Nechama Tec have described the relationship between the Soviets and the Nazis at this time as an "alliance". [1][2][3][4]
I'm not sure what the relevance of Stalin's defence of the pact is here as the wording is unclear, and the second sentence implies that all 'current scholars' regard this as being an alliance, which I doubt is the case. I agree that the article should note that, whether officially or not, the pact was effectively an alliance, but it would be better just to state that this view exists and there's no need to cover whatever Stalin's self-serving propaganda publications claimed (the article doesn't cover the propaganda claims of other participants in the war). Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur, too much detail for a lede. --Habap (talk) 13:40, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Nick-D wrote "I agree that the article should note that, whether officially or not, the pact was effectively an alliance" - there appears to be WP:CONSENSUS on this.-Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
That said, Snyder's Bloodlands (2010) never makes the qualification "effectively". It uses the phrase "Nazi-Soviet alliance" as standard, at least 50 times in the book, and still counting. Snyder is a mainstream, Yale historian (FWIW Tony Judt endorsed Bloodlands as "the most important book to appear on this subject for decades" ). Snyder says the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was directly parallel to the original Hitler-Mussolini Axis; there is no reason, he says, to call one an alliance and the other an effective alliance. This is scholarly continuity from E. H. Carr, who saw the Munich agreement as a cause of Nazi-Soviet rapprochement. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:53, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
The info-box lists the Axis member and co-belligerents based on two criteria: (i) they were officially at war with some Ally, or {ii} the Allies considered them as the Axis' co-belligerent. The USSR does not fit these criteria, because it was officially neutral, and it was not a target of the attack of any Ally. Therefore, listing the USSR on the Axis side would be misleading. With regard to the word "alliance", let me remind you that, whereas the USSR was the true member of the anti-Axis military alliance, it is listed in the Pacific War infobox only because it officially joined the war in August 1945.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Additional sentence at the start of the para which begins "Following the invasion of Poland and a German-Soviet treaty governing Lithuania"
From December 1939, the Soviets provided the Nazis with a naval supply base at Zapadnaya Litsa, code name 'Basis Nord', relocated to Jokanga Bay in April 1940.[5]
I think that this is too much detail for what's a very high level article - I assume that this is covered and linked through at least one of the sub-articles linked in this article. Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur, too much detail for a lede. --Habap (talk) 13:40, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
It's too much detail for the lede certainly but it is not being placed into the lede. Currently the article does not mention Basis Nord which is pretty notable, and I don't think there's an obvious link to a sub article that discusses it either. This one, IMO, is fine.radek (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
To my mind it is notable because reliable sources apply this fact to support our description of Nazi-Soviet relations point above. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, these facts really shed additional light on the Nazi-Soviet relation. The question is, however, are these details notable enough for this article? IMO, they aren't.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Change to coverage of the Finnish-Soviet Winter war:
The resulting conflict took over 150,000 lives and ended in March 1940 after Britain and France prepared for war against the Soviet Union, which then accepted Finnish territory in return for peace.[6]
This suggests that the USSR ended the war only due to the threat of Western intervention, which doesn't seem to be the case. The Oxford Companion to World War II, for instance, credits the end of the war to the Finns suing for peace after substantial international aid failed to eventuate (it states that they actually rejected the Anglo-French assistance) and Stalin wanting to end the war to give him freedom to maneuverer and because he was concerned about what the British and French intended to do. Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, the intention is not to suggest the USSR ended the war only due to the threat of Western intervention, but to add the notable fact that Britain and France readied for war against the Soviet Union. I agree sources say the campaign on the ground takes pride of place, at the same time sources show Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War were instrumental to the course and outcome of the war. I don't have the sources to hand right now, but am trying to get hold of them. Either way, the planned intervention is notable and rewording of the line may indeed help. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
As a rule, the article devotes no attention to non-realised plans. For instance, the story about failed tripartite alliance and about failed Axis-Soviet talks has not been included into this article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


Addition to the middle of the para beginning 'Following the invasion of Poland and a German-Soviet treaty governing Lithuania,':
In April and May 1940, the Soviets murdered 21,768 Allied Polish officers at the Katyn Massacre, of which around 8000 had been taken prisoner of war during the Soviet invasion of Poland.[7][8][9][10]
I'm all for including this. It's currently mentioned in the 'Casualties and war crimes' section, but given the lasting political implications of the crime it makes sense to include it here as well. Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Nick.radek (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Snap.-Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Again, it is not clear for me why execution of these Poles deserves a mention whereas mass killings of other POWs or civilians by various parties are not.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
On further consideration, I'm convinced by Paul's arguments and have struck my above comment. Nick-D (talk) 09:17, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
In terms of ethnicity, there is absolutely nothing about a massacre of Poles that deserves a mention more than any other group. Events such as the Babi Yar Massacre and Massacre of the Acqui Division are no less notable as massacres per se. The issue is that reliable sources such as Allen Paul (1996) put huge emphasis on the significance of Katyn in WW2 because it was a mass murder by an Ally of an Ally. Then Rees (2009) emphasises Katyn for the extraordinary pressure it put on British-Soviet-American relations. Babi Yar and Acqui were investigated and there were prosecutions, but this isn't the case for Katyn. Paul writes of the added significance that Katyn was a feature of the Nuremberg Trials with the Soviets alleging it was Nazi War crime. The Brits and Americans declined to support the Soviet motion but declined to prosecute. Paul says there is nothing quite like this happening in the history of WW2. Further sources give Katyn prominence among the WW2 rifts between the Western Allies and the Soviets used to explain the origins of the Cold War. -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:31, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Per Rees (2009) p.182 "the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union was to be tested - almost to breaking point - by the discovery of a crime that the Soviets had committed three years before, in the spring of 1940." -Chumchum7 (talk) 16:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Addition to the end of the above para:
On June 26, 1940, the USSR issued an ultimatum to Romania, demanding immediate cession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Within days, the Soviets invaded, after which the Romanian Army reported around 43,000 troops dead or missing.[11] The Soviet Union consolidated its territorial gains of 1939 and 1940 with the strategy of mass deportation; from September 1939 to June 1941, the Soviet Union violently deported an estimated 1.5 million Allied Polish citizens (52% Poles, 30% Jews, 18% Ukrainians) to Siberia and other Soviet regions.[12]
Agreed, though the reference for the second sentence (A Question of Honor. The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II which seems to be focused on a group of airmen, and not the events in question) is weak and should be replaced. Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
On further consideration, the second sentence is problematic - the 'Allied' is confusing for starters (as Poland wasn't allied to the USSR) and it's probably a bit out of scope located in the coverage of the war's main campaigns and events (the article doesn't mention the German mass deportations and mass killings as part of the coverage of the fighting either, or the Japanese massacres, or many other other broadly comparable events). It might belong in the war crimes section. Nick-D (talk) 10:56, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
The jist is correct but it needs to be written and sourced better.radek (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Nick that addition of this then leaves a hole for Japanese and German killings and deportations. This is a world war, a total war, and as such it should every major aspect of warfighting should be included. We must add German, Japanese, and Soviet mass deportations and killings - this was essential part of war-fighting strategy in WW2. By the same token, Allied bombing of civilians in Germany and Japan should be added if it is absent. All of this can be concise.-Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Please, read the "Impact" section. The links to relevant articles are already there.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
New para before the para beginning 'The Axis expanded in November 1940 when Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact':
In August and September 1940, the Nazis and Soviets conducted a joint operation, in which the German auxiliary cruiser Komet was escorted by the Soviet icebreakers Lenin and Joseph Stalin from the Norwegian Sea to the Pacific Ocean where it attacked Allied shipping and took part in German attacks on Nauru.[13]
I don't think that this is sufficiently important to be included in this article - as above, it should be covered in the other articles this article links to, but a sortie of a single ship isn't all that important (we, rightly, don't cover Spanish assistance for German U-boats and the Irish government granting airbases and overflight rights to the Allies for instance). Nick-D (talk) 07:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
This one goes along with the Basis Nord edit. Basically I think something about the general sub-topic should be included in the article. Basis Nord appears to be a better candidate as it's noted in more sources. Both of these are not necessary in a general article such as this but one of them - or preferably, a general statement which then links to the relevant sub-article - should be in.radek (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree the two edits can be merged into Basis Nord plus general statement. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
The Basis Nord article says that it had mostly symbolic importance. We cannot afford a luxury to waste the article's space for symbolic steps.--Paul Siebert (talk) 11:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Nick-D, thanks for an excellently constructive response. Apologies, I wasn't aware there is normal procedure specific to this article and would have followed it if I'd seen guidance to that effect. If there is such a note I didn't see it, I'm as blind as a bat - if not, lets put the note up there. Could I ask you to italicise and number the pieces of text you have posted above? It will be handy for discussion. Cheers -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:33, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

I would think that rather than including these details in the lede, we should state that there was Nazi-Soviet cooperation and include information in the appropriate sections, or leave it to the sub-articles (even if it means we have to go to the sub-articles and include it ourselves.) --Habap (talk) 13:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, these passages are taken from the appropriate sections, they're not for the lede.-Chumchum7 (talk) 14:14, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, it doesn't matter. These details are not sufficiently important even for the main article.
  1. "After the War, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Information Bureau defended the Pact in Falsifiers of History. Current scholars including Niall Ferguson, Timothy Snyder, Laurence Rees and Nechama Tec have described the relationship between the Soviets and the Nazis at this time as an "alliance". " Not only Stalin, but also Carr, as well as many other scholars, including contemporary ones (Gorodetsky, Carley, Roberts et al) see the roots of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the Munich agreement and the failure of the collective security system, so the USSR simply had no (or saw no) alternative to the pact with Hitler. However, I doubt this article is a good place for the detailed discussion of that.
  2. "From December 1939, the Soviets provided the Nazis with a naval supply base at Zapadnaya Litsa, code name 'Basis Nord', relocated to Jokanga Bay in April 1940." What was a strategic importance of this base? How concretely did that change the situation in the North?
  3. "The resulting conflict took over 150,000 lives and ended in March 1940 after Britain and France prepared for war against the Soviet Union, which then accepted Finnish territory in return for peace." Post hoc non propter hoc. In actuality, the peace treaty was signed independently of the British and French plans.
  4. "Within days, the Soviets invaded, after which the Romanian Army reported around 43,000 troops dead or missing." I tried to find a confirmation of that fact in English literature, however, I couldn't do that. Most sources mention just an ultimatum, an neither hostilities nor casualties are mentioned there. More importantly, concrete casualties numbers are not included even for much more important military operations. You should read the article carefully to edit it in accordance with the overall article's style.
  5. "The Soviet Union consolidated its territorial gains of 1939 and 1940 with the strategy of mass deportation; from September 1939 to June 1941, the Soviet Union violently deported an estimated 1.5 million Allied Polish citizens (52% Poles, 30% Jews, 18% Ukrainians) to Siberia and other Soviet regions." Since deportations, executions, arrests and even the start of the Holocaust are not mentioned in this section, it is not clear for me why the Soviet actions should be included. This section is called "Course of the war" and, accordingly, is supposed to describe only military and political development of the events.
  6. "In August and September 1940, the Nazis and Soviets conducted a joint operation, in which the German auxiliary cruiser Komet was escorted by the Soviet icebreakers Lenin and Joseph Stalin from the Norwegian Sea to the Pacific Ocean where it attacked Allied shipping and took part in German attacks on Nauru." Currently the article describes only one naval operation that included a single German ship, namely sinking the German flagship Bismarck. Was the role of the auxiliary cruiser Komet comparable with that of Bismark?
  7. @ Nick-D's "... given the lasting political implications of the crime it makes sense to include it here as well." These lasting political implications are limited only with tensions between the London Poles and Stalin. In addition, since this execution was the only execution mentioned in this section (not even subsection), that implies that all other murders (even if we leave the Holocaust beyond the scope, several millions of civilians were killed in Eastern Europe during that war) were not so important.
My general conclusion is that these edits reflect mostly Central European POV and, therefore, are regionally biased.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:28, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
"London Poles" as opposed to which "Poles"? The ones with green skin and 13 legs?Xx236 (talk) 11:49, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Paul Siebert, I have a genuinely respectful and well-meaning request. In the interests of our collegiality and continued cooperation I would like us to both make a commitment to being very careful about using words such as 'bias' and 'POV', especially in connection with Central and Eastern Europe: a subject that is notorious at Wikipedia for its bespoke DIGWUREN sanctions, which are employed because editors have used frankness and boldness over tact and consultation. With the best will in the world, it is possible for editors to take words like 'bias' and 'POV' very personally indeed, and answer back by scrutinizing the same editor's POV and bias, starting a whole cycle of rising scrutiny and allegation. All editors have a perspective, without exception. You and I have worked well together before (sanction records indicate we might be relatively reasonable editors) and I'd very much like to continue that standard. I'm happy to disclose that I know the central Europe region well, but no better than north America or western Europe. It is my American and British sources (not Central European sources) that say WW2 started in central Europe, they say central Europe is where the Holocaust took place, they say central Europe is the location of the biggest land campaign in history, and the location of the decisive front and the decisive battles in the European theatre of WW2. It is right that we should be thorough in sourcing and entirely accurate about the region, provided other WW2 theatres aren't neglected. I've looked at the Central Europe issue here, but I can reassure you that doesn't mean I'm not going to look at issues in other regions of WW2 as well. Let me take the opportunity to thank you for your continued vigilance at this article, which does maintain quality. Long may our fruitful cooperation continue. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure I agree. I see no problems with the terms "bias" and "POV", because if we will start to avoid these terms, Wikipedia may become biased and POV charged. I see no problems with frankness and boldness, provided that all parties behave honestly (you do belong to this category of editors): you may put forward frank and bold arguments in attempt to convince the opponent, provided that you are ready to accept his arguments if they appear to be stronger.
With regard to the Central European issue, I see no bias in the claims that "that WW2 started in central Europe, that central Europe is where the Holocaust took place, that central and Eastern Europe is the location of the biggest land campaign in history, and the location of the decisive front and the decisive battles in the European theatre of WW2." That is simply true, and by saying that you make no biased statement. However, to equate the roles of Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR in the outbreak of the WWII, to equate the crimes committed by these two regimes against foreign citizens and to equate Nazi and Communist ideology is definitely a POV that is predominant mostly in post Soviet Central European states, and, therefore, is a regional POV.
In any event, I am ready to collaborate with you in future, for instance, I expect you to propose the changes in the "Axis advances" section about Romania and the Baltic states. --Paul Siebert (talk) 14:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Paul, you write, "However, to equate the roles of Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR in the outbreak of the WWII, to equate the crimes committed by these two regimes against foreign citizens and to equate Nazi and Communist ideology is definitely a POV that is predominant mostly in post Soviet Central European states, and, therefore, is a regional POV." I haven't done that, and I haven't done any equating. This remark could be interpreted as jumping to conclusions about my attitude as an editor, or else a good faith mistake. I repeat that the reliable sources I've used are British and American; I don't accept their analyses should be conflated with some stereotype of what Central and Eastern Europeans tend to think. For the time being, I am not going to frankly and boldly accuse you of political bias and POV, in the interests of collegiality. I'm kindly asking you a second time to desist from remarks that I honestly find unhelpful. In the military there's an old saying that goes "Salute the rank, not the man." In WP, it goes more along the lines of "comment on the material, not the user." We need to reach consensus, not level accusations at each other. I also hope we've learned enough lessons from history not to make stereotypes about a group of people, and the way that they think. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

The only my remark about your attitude was that I believe you are a bold, frank and honest editor. All other remarks just outline what, in my opinion is mainstream view and what is a regional POV. By saying that, I do not imply that these views (on the roles of Hitler and Stalin, etc) are shared exclusively by Central European authors. What I mean is that such views are not mainstream outside Central Europe. Let me also point out that that my conclusion is also based on the Western sources written by English speaking authors (American, British and Jewish).--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:55, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
PS. To say that someone's edit is biased is exactly what is described as "comment on a contribution, not a contributor". Everyone can make wrong or biased edits. The difference between an editor making biased edits (we all do that frequently) and the biased editor is that the former genuinely desires to create both factually correct and neutral content (so s/he is always ready to fix his/her mistakes), whereas the later tries to push his/her POV by any possible means. I never implied you belong to the later category.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:12, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

To get back to some of the original questions-I don't see how you can call Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia allies. Yes, they worked together on many issues and helped each other out, but so did Weimar Germany and no one would call Weimar a Soviet ally. Hitler and Stalin were clearly still competing as well as cooperating. Both countries continued to clash over a number of issues such as German arms sales and economic agreements with Finland, German and Italian arbitration of the Romania/Hungary issues at the Vienna awards, jockeying for position in Yugoslavia, etc., etc. This is not to say they did not cooperate--Germany's sale of the cruiser to Russia, Russia sale of much needed raw materials to allow Germany to bypass the Allied blockade of Germany, etc. etc., bu that doesn't make it an alliance. I also agree given the broad spectrum of a general World War II entry, something has to have a major effect on the war to get a mention. I'm also not convinced that there was an actual war between Romania and the USSR before the German invasion in June of 1941. As I recall, the USSR demanded the territory and the Romanians asked the Germans for advice and were advised to give it up which I believe they did without a shot being fired by either side.Xatsmann (talk) 01:56, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Xatsmann, thanks very much for joining in. The issue is that a large number of verifiable, reliable sources refer to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as allies. Whether we editors can or cannot see how one calls them allies is considered by Wikipedia to be original research. Somehow we have to reconcile it. -Chumchum7 (talk) 14:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
By the way the phrase "Nazi-Soviet alliance" is often used by sources to emphasise how badly the British and French messed up at the Munich Agreement by excluding Stalin, effectively pushing Stalin and Hitler together. Niall Ferguson (2006) is adamant that Nazi ambition and the failure of Western appeasement is the main cause of WW2; at the same time he writes on p.367: "in 1938 the Western powers could consider the Soviets as potential allies. By 1939 Stalin was Hitler's ally." The term "Nazi-Soviet alliance" is not his prelude to blaming the Soviets for WW2, nor is it his start point from which to extrapolate that Nazi crimes can be equated with Soviet crimes. He's a mainstream, Harvard historian, one of many who describe the Nazis and Soviets as allies in the period 1939-1941. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:16, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
To be exact the Soviets exterminated more people than the Nazis (mostly before the war), influenced Germany around 1932 helping NSDAP, WW2 was a part of Soviet world revolution. The Soviet crimes inspired Adolf Hitler several times. It's elementary knowledge. Why almost anyone here swears that he rejects the truth? Some kind of Soviet conspiracy? Many Western people believe still that France and UK were world powers in 1939, they weren't. Which parts of The Soviet Story are wrong? The ones rejected by Russian "historians"?Xx236 (talk) 11:57, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Xx236, thanks very much for joining in. My chief proposal is that this article lede should accommodate the several mainstream, verifiable, reliable sources that state the Soviets and Nazis were allies for a time during WW2. If you search my username in the archive box above, you'll see I've gone to the trouble of extensively quoting and referencing these sources. All of them are British and American academics, including a Jewish American academic. They're not fringe or nationalist. I agree that generalization is necessary in the lede, but not to the point of inaccuracy. WW2 is a highly complicated event that cannot simply be reduced to "Axis v. Allies". The sources reflect this. On this talk page I am soon going to tweak the lede to accommodate these sources, per strict Wikipedia policy and guidelines. -Chumchum7 (talk) 14:04, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
To be exact, one has to discriminate between extermination and mass deaths resulted from other reasons (famines, deportations, diseases, etc.) Without any doubts, the mass death in the USSR do not fit the definition of "extermination". Re "The Soviet story", it is hard to tell if it contains more correct than wrong facts and opinions. Thus, the Watson's views on Engels are definitely fringe, Suvorov's views are not taken seriously by mainstream western historians (British and American), the number of victims has been taken from the works of Rummel and Co, and are inflated beyond any reasonable limits (I can provide mainstream non-Russian sources if needed, however, all of that belongs to another talk page), too much attention is devoted to the examples of Nazi-Soviet collaboration, and the examples of the opposite (e.g. Spanish Civil war) are completely ignored. This film is a very good piece of propaganda (Ījabs, Ivars (2008-05-23). "Cienīga atbilde: Soviet Story" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. http://www.lv.lv/?menu=exblogi&sub=&type=full&id=44), and, consequently, must be treated with cautions.
@ Chumchum7. Whereas the lede is supposed to reflect what the main article says, you can include the statement about German-Soviet alliance only if the main article devotes considerable attention to that. Currently it doesn't, and I don't see how can it do that taking into account that strategic significance of Nazi-Soviet collaboration (by contrast to the Soviet neutrality) was minimal.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:22, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

re: " I don't see how can it do that taking into account that strategic significance of Nazi-Soviet collaboration (by contrast to the Soviet neutrality) was minimal". Is this personal opinion? Because it appears that the several mainstream, verifiable, reliable sources I've presented see the strategic significance of Nazi-Soviet alliance as maximal. If we cannot move forward in accommodating these sources, RFC at MILHIST or elsewhere, plus other consensus-building initiatives, maybe become helpful options. One way or another, we have to settle this in a constructive manner. -Chumchum7 (talk) 22:00, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Moreover let's not imagine the proposed changes are will be more radical than they need be. For example, I've made this edit [2] for accuracy (AFAIK Italy and Japan were not at war with Britain and France in 1939, so it is wrong to say it was Axis v. Allies from the start). Similar gentle additions can be made. For example:

"During 1939 to early 1941, in a series of successful military campaigns and political treaties, Germany conquered or politically subdued much of continental Europe, while its ally [7+ references to choose from here] the Soviet Union also occupied or invaded several European countries."

That also reflects the article. -Chumchum7 (talk) 22:31, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

No. It is not a personal opinion. That is an attempt to summarise what the article says. Regarding the strategic significance of the alleged Nazi-Soviet alliance, it is not clear for me what is the reason to characterise it as major (if I am not wrong, under "maximal" you meant "major"). Try to separate the effect of Soviet neutrality from the results of the Nazi-Soviet collaboration, and what will you get? Soviet-German economic cooperation? It was more beneficial for the USSR than for Germany, and, according to Erickson, had no decisive impact on pre-Barbarossa Axis war effort in Europe. In addition, such collaboration didn't make the USSR a German ally: for instance, in 1939-40 the US provided Japan with oil she desperately needed for its war efforts in Asia, however, that didn't make the US a Japanese ally. Northern naval bases or Komet cruiser? It had only symbolic effect. What else? Regarding occupation of the Baltic states etc, the USSR acted independently, and, according to Hitler, in violation of the Nazi-Soviet pact.
The only serious example of Nazi-Soviet cooperation is Soviet participation in occupation of Poland. Had Stalin refused to enter "his" part of Poland, this part would become a base for Polish resistance, because, according to the secret protocol, the Germans could not enter this territory. However, I suspect that that would just lead to escalation of the Soviet-German conflict and earlier outbreak of Soviet-German war.
In any event, the edit proposed by you is not acceptable and misleading, because a reader would conclude from this sentence that in 1939-first part of 1941 the USSR did participate in WWII as a German ally, and that it was doing that by conducting a fill scale hostilities on German side. Since that is a pure nonsense, such edit is not acceptable.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:54, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
PS. I agree that expansion of Soviet territory deserves mentioning, however, to do that neutrally we have to add something like this:
...much of continental Europe, while the formally neutral Soviet Union also expanded its territory via a series of annexations and as a result of the Soviet-Finnish war."
--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:06, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
PPS. Re "AFAIK Italy and Japan were not at war with Britain and France in 1939" Italy declared a war on France on June 10, 1940. Similarly, many British expected the USSR to declare a war on Japan immediately after Dec 7, 1941 (because Anglo-Soviet alliance was a real military alliance, by contrast to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact), however Churchill and Stalin decided together that all parties would benefit if the USSR focused on the European theatre of war.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:17, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
The word "officially" is problematic, as we've discussed before - I recall you agreed the word could change. "Nominally" is less loaded, and more accurate: one talks about nominal GDP rather than official GDP for this reason. Also, I agree that any ambiguity in the line should be addressed, and can be, with a qualifying clause: "During 1939 to early 1941, in a series of successful military campaigns and political treaties, Germany conquered or politically subdued much of continental Europe, while its ally [7+ references to choose from here] the Soviet Union also occupied or invaded several European countries while nominally remaining outside the wider conflict.
On the subject of Nazi-Soviet relations itself, Wikipedia obliges us to accommodate the many reliable sources which use the term "Nazi-Soviet alliance" and variations thereof, because the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth — whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true. Explicit counter-theses (as opposed to what we editors think might be an opposing scholarly view) can also be included, also succinctly.
Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:35, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
'Nominal GDP' is a GDP figure not adjusted for various factors (normally inflation), and not term used to indicate that there's anything wrong with the data. The same convention applies to other economic indicators (eg, 'nominal' versus 'real' unemployment rates, etc). Government official statistical agencies are pretty much the only source of GDP figures. Nick-D (talk) 09:36, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that's understood. The word official itself is problematic. All kinds of things are official, depending on who runs the office. Am guessing you understand my concern. Thanks again, -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:45, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I was being pedantic (I have an economics degree) - the term 'official' is generally too vague to be meaningful and can be easily missunderstood. Nick-D (talk) 09:58, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"pure nonsense" - Wow! The problem is that your story is "pure nonsense" for me. Would you please to be so kind to use less emotional words? Xx236 (talk) 10:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

A threshold is not only verifiability, but also neutrality: whereas at least equal amount of scholars does not describe the USSR as a German ally (see, e.g., G. Roberts' works) we cannot ignore their opinion. In connection to that, if the USSR and Germany were real military and political ally, what the (failed) Nazi-Soviet talks in Nov 1940 were devoted to? Your problem is that you mix colloquial (or allegoric) usage of the word "ally" with a very concrete term "a military alliance". The countries may be considered the allies if they advance common goals and to secure common interests. However, in the context of a war, the term "Allies" implies that the countries are the members of some concrete military alliance and wage a war against some concrete common enemy. An example of a double usage of the word "alliance" can be found in the Roberts' "Stalin's War". The chapter in this book devoted to the German-Soviet relations in 1939-41 is named "Unholy Alliance: Stalin's pact with Hitler". However, nowhere in this chapter did Roberts describe the USSR and Germany as the allies: in actuality he speaks about the failed attempts to improve relations between these two states, which could lead (but didn't) to some political and military alliance. In other words, although Roberts uses the word "alliance" allegorically (referring, probably, to the Holy alliance), he meticulously avoids to use this word in the chapter's body, because that would be simply incorrect.
Regarding your new wording, it is hardly a progress. Since the conflict was generally limited with Europe, the words "while nominally remaining outside the wider conflict" are meaningless: the proposed wording means that both the USSR and Germany waged a war in Europe as the allies, whereas Germany was also involved in some hostilities outside this area. Although the later statement is true, the former is not. The Soviet actions in Finland, the Baltics and Romania do not allow us to speak even about any coordination of these steps with Germany. In addition, in all cases except Eastern Poland and Finland we can speak about forceful annexation, not about "occupation" or "invasion".
One more example (which I already provided, although you totally ignored it): the USA and Britain are described as the allies. However, when did USA become a British ally? Only after the war had been declared by the USA on Germany, which thereby became a common British and American enemy. That was later formalised in the Grand Alliance. In connection to that, please explain with what country the USSR and Germany were at war officially and concurrently? There were no such countries in 1939-45. However, your wording implies that there were. That is why the edit proposed by you is absolutely misleading and is not acceptable.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 12:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
PS. Your attempt to implicitly accuse me in synthesis is hardly acceptable. Synthesis means combining the sources to draw a conclusion not explicitly stated in any of these sources. I do not combine the sources. With regard to "counter-theses", I would say that the sources used by you better fit this definition: they question the fact of Soviet neutrality and put forward the counter-thesis that the USSR and Germany were the allies. Therefore, this counter-thesis can be mentioned - but only in a context of a wider spectrum of sources, and in more specialised article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 12:55, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

re "Your attempt to implicitly accuse me..." Take it easy. There was no attempt, nothing implicit, and no accusation. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I do take it easy, don't worry. My only objection is that your reference to WP:SYNTH is neither relevant nor correct, and I have already explained why.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

If we discuss who was who's ally - why Poland and Soviet Union are branded as allies? They were enemies 1939-1941 and almost enemies since 1943 until Poland was occupied like enemies of the Soviet Union. Soviet - Nazi division of Poland was more important for the Soviet government than the alliance, even in 1941. Xx236 (talk) 12:39, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

In 1939-41 they were not enemies officially (although they were de facto), however, the USSR (as well as, e.g., the US) was not an Ally during that period. With regard to 1941-45, I have no idea what are you talking about: Wojsko Polskije fought in the Eastern Front along with the Soviet troops. Other Polish troops were fighting in the West along with other Western Allies. Of course, a disagreement existed between Stalin and other Grand Alliance members about post-war government of Poland, however, that didn't make Poland and the USSR real enemies.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:38, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
"I have no idea what are you talking about" - so you admit, you don't have any slightest idea about the subject.

Poland had a government and Soviet Union didn't accept the government, murdered its officers, soldiers, clerks and officials 1939 - 1945, with lesser intensity 1941-1943, when the SU was the weakest. Its true that Stalin created his "Polish" army with Polish soldiers and Soviet officers, the same a number of German communists supported Stalin making Germany Soviet ally, didn't they? The Polish soldiers (some of them Belarussian or Ukrainian) were mostly victims of Soviet crimes, including the future Communist Wojciech Jaruzelski, deported to Syberia, whose father died there. Later men from Easter Poland were drafted and expelled, Lublin Poland was terrorized in 1944 by NKVD and Red Army, who liberated some of the prisoners making place for new ones in Majdanek concentration camp [3] and Lublin Castle.Xx236 (talk) 11:46, 22 November 2010 (UTC) "Other Polish troops were fighting in the West along with other Western Allies" - many of them also lost their homes in Eastern Poland, were lucky to survive Soviet persecutions and were manipulated by the "Allies", so they sometimes revolted, eg. several Polish crews refused to participate in the bombing of Dresden, when they understood the idea of the "Alliance". After the war many "Allies" were murdered in Poland, Stanisław Skalski was sentenced to death but liberated after several years in prison. Xx236 (talk) 12:25, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Please, provide reliable sources that confirm that there was a state of war between Poland and USSR in 1939-45. You may also provide a source that confirms that the Poles were mistreated by the Western Allies.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The SU invided Poland in 1939 and occupied the whole country in 1944-1945, withdrawing its troops around 1990, it's rather standard knowledge. As the result of the "non-war" the SU occupied Poland. Xx236 (talk) 10:07, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The request for reliable sources is entirely right, and takes us back to earlier in the discussion: about how to accomodate the many reliabe sources that describe the Nazis and Soviets as "allies" 1939-1941. The sources state it, over and over again, and yet there is strong resistence to this content being included in the article. Once multiple reliable sources are indeed brought forward to back up content in our article, and there is still lack of acceptance of this content on the talk page, some sort of WP:DR process needs to be applied to build WP:CONSENSUS. My initial thought is that helpful ways of making progress may be a vote, a WP:3O or a WP:RFC. Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:26, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Of course, if you will be able to provide sufficient amount of reliable sources that state that the USSR was a German military ally, and that it was not neutral during 1939-early 1941 (obviously, except a short local war with Finland), and it was at war at least against one of the Ally, the characteristic of the USSR as a German ally must be added into the article. However, the edits proposed by you would give a totally distorted picture, because even the sources you refer to contain none of these statements. I suspect, most sources you refer to mean a political alliance. The latter, by contrast to a military alliance is rather vague term. Yes, Molotov-Ribbentrop pact contained some implicit statements that gave Germany or the USSR a free hand to attack a third party, so some sources interpret it as a kind of political alliance. However, it is not sufficient to claim that the USSR fought on the German side as co-belligerent of the military ally. Moreover, it would directly contradict to other sources that state that during most part of this period Hitler was contemplating and even openly preparing an attack of the USSR, whereas Stalin considered the German attack as imminent. --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
PS Although it is incorrect to call the USSR as a German ally, the fact that some sources described Nazi-Soviet relations as an "alliance" is indisputable. We therefore can add few words on that account in the main article. Something like that:
"In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.[14] Formally a non-aggression treaty, it had some traits of an alliance.(add a couple of references from your list here) Its secret protocol gave each party the rights, “in the event of a territorial and political rearrangement,” to “spheres of influence”...."
--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:18, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

The references in question are much more straightforward. Per WP:NOR we cannot extrapolate ifs and buts from these sources; nor allege the sources are incorrect, nor that the sources don't really mean what they say, without bringing further sources. These are unequivocal:

(1) "Stalin was Hitler's ally" (Ferguson)
(2) "the war as it actually happened, with all of its atrocities, began with a German-Soviet alliance." (Snyder)
(3) "Stalin and Hitler were allies." (Tec)
(4) "The Nazi-Soviet alliance of August 1939 was “cemented in blood”, Stalin said approvingly." (The Economist)
(5) "The Soviet Union was an ally of the Nazis" (Rees)
(6) "Stalin was Hitler's ally" (Mosier)
(7) "Hitler and Stalin were allies" (Huffington Post)

This is a mainstream, world view of the War. As we've agreed, the Soviet occupations and invasions in the early phase of the War will be included in the lede, and in that context, these sources support the use of the phrase "Nazi-Soviet alliance" and variations thereof. I disagree that the use of the phrase deludes the reader into thinking that Britain was at war with the Soviet Union in 1939. Afaik Britain wasn't at war with Italy in 1939 either. You're entitled to dispute the phrase "Nazi-Soviet alliance" for whatever reason, that is your right - but please bring reliable sources that might be used to qualify or hedge the phrase in our article. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
On that note, and to reflect the reliable sources above, I'm standing by my "During 1939 to early 1941, Germany conquered or politically subdued much of continental Europe, as its ally [7+ references to choose from here] the Soviet Union occupied or invaded several European countries while nominally remaining outside the wider conflict." FWIW I'm certain this content is an accurate reflection of the sources. Some kind of WP:DR may be required if there is still disagreement. Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:27, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

It will delude. The Pact of Steel signed in between Germany and Italy in 1939 explicitly stipulated Italian participation in the war on the German side. The fact that Italy hadn't joined the war against Poland or Norway is quite explainable: there were no physical possibility for Italy to contribute into this war. However, to be honest, British and French war efforts were also purely symbolic during this time. One way or the another, neither Italy nor Britain declared a war on each other for purely technical reasons, however, the article III of the Pact of Steel directly stipulated Italian participation in prospective war, so Italian declaration of the war on France and Britain in the case of German aggression was inevitable. Britain knew that, and treated Italy accordingly. By contrast, neither Germany nor the USSR had any obligations to provide any military support to each other in any case. Although they were considered as effective allies during some short period, the analogy with Italy is totally incorrect.
By contrast to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the text of the Tripartite Pact contained the explicit clause about mutual help in the case of future war by all political, economical and military means. Accordingly, immediately after Japan joined the war, Germany and the US declared the war on each other (because Japan was a military ally of Germany, as it was stipulated by the Tripartite Pact). Nothing of that kind happened in the case of the USSR in 1939.
The quotes provided by you (some of them were written by political journalists) represent the examples of inaccurate use of the word "alliance". By speaking about alliances in a context of war we imply the military alliance. There were no military alliance between the USSR and Germany, so your wording is not acceptable.
And, finally, by writing that we would ignore a vast amount of literature that tells about mutual distrust and tensions that were growing up between Germany and the USSR in 1939-41, about extensive preparations for a war made by both sides during that time.
As you probably noticed, I agreed that the fact that some sources, including the mainstream ones, refer to Germany and the USSR as the allies (whereas many others do not) should be added into the main article, and I already proposed concrete wording. That would be correct and will not mislead the reader (by contrast to the edit proposed by you).--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:53, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Interesting arguments on both sides, However the USSR invasion of Poland and its occupation is historical fact, then it was annexed. While the treaty was a non-aggression pact, they in fact acted as Allies for the propose of invasion/occupation/annexation as in fact the Soviets did and Hitler fully intended to since Mien Kanpf. You are quiet correct neither side had any trust in the other whatsoever and fully intended on betraying one another as soon as time and ability to act allowed. That does not mitigate the fact that they acted like allies over Poland.Tirronan (talk) 23:15, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
You probably meant "the allies", not "the Allies"? They acted as co-belligerents (and, in addition, the USSR de jure as a "co-belligerent without a bellum"), not like the allies. I presented exhaustive evidences of the lack of any coordination between Germany and the USSR during the most critical days of the invasion. And, importantly, they didn't act as the allies during other invasions or annexations. Therefore, it would be incorrect to apply the term "allies" to describe Germano-Soviet relation in 1939-early 1941 when in actuality they were de facto (although not de jure) co-belligerents during few weeks in 1939.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:48, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Reliable sources are being refuted, contrary to WP:V. Next step WP:RFC. -Chumchum7 (talk) 16:05, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Last call for other eds to chime in on this before I try some fresh consensus-building initiative. -Chumchum7 (talk) 23:30, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
USSR and Germany agreed to be co-belligerents in Poland, and they became enemies afterward. Never allies. Neither state would have defended the other against outside attack. Binksternet (talk) 23:55, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Binksternet, thanks for chiming in with your point about co-belligerence. Just an FYI, recent studies have shed extra light on the Nazi-Soviet relationship, which is what I am trying to accommodate somehow. Stalin is on the record as assuring Ribbentrop that the Soviets would come to Germany's aid if necessary. Here is Laurence Rees, 2009, P.31: "The fact is that for the time being Germany does not need foreign help," said Stalin [to Ribbentrop] "and it is possible that in the future they will not need foreign help either. However if, against all expectations, Germany finds itself in a difficult situation, then she can be sure that the Soviet people will come to Germany's aid'" ...Stalin's statement still shows how far he might have been prepared to go in pursuit of his alliance with Hitler, and it remains, given what was to happen later, an enormously embarrassing comment for him to have made. If you have sources that contradict Rees here, please post quotes and lets see how we can include both views. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Generally speaking, the M-R pact and related agreements between Stalin and Hitler are characterized in scholarship using the word "alliance." PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 22:39, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I've transcribed many quotes onto this talk page that show scholarship using the word "alliance", and there are plenty more sources to draw on. -Chumchum7 (talk) 20:32, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
By using the word "alliance" in the article about the war we imply "military alliance". There were no military alliance between Nazi Germany and the USSR. Yes, some sources sometimes did use the word "alliance" to describe Soviet-German relations, however, other sources discgree, and none of them called MPR a military alliance. One way or the another, we cannot call the USSR and Nazi Germany "allies" in this article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:05, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Making agreements regarding control of territory, supplying war materiel, transmission of radio signals to support invasion, these are all properly part of what reputable scholarship terms an "alliance." You seek to artificially restrict "alliance" and then contend it does not apply. Certainly Hitler and Stalin were allied until circumstances changed--Stalin overstepping (from Hitler's viewpoint) the intent of spheres of influence, and Hitler then invading the USSR. There is no reason not to use the proper term in this matter. PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 01:10, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Re "agreements regarding control of territory". Cannot agree. The agreement was that the parties do not interfere into the another party's activity within its sphere of influence. That does not constitute an alliance.
Re "transmission of radio signals to support invasion". In actuality, Germany didn't request to transmit the signals to support invasion: the request was to transmit a signal "for urgent aeronautical experiments"; of course, the real reason behind the request was a secret de Polichinelle, however, the fact that this reason had not been officially disclosed (and was satisfied only partially, btw) demonstrated that neither Germany nor the USSR considered themselves as military allies.
Re "supplying war materiel". You probably meant not materiel, but "materials" (the USSR provided Germany mostly with raw materials needed for its war industry). However, the USA did the same for Japan during first years of SSJW. That didn't make the USA a Japanese ally, and, similarly, massive economic aid to the UK didn't make the USA the British ally before Dec 1941.
Re "There is no reason not to use the proper term in this matter." Firstly, there is no consensus about the proper term. Secondly, double negation in your statement demonstrates that you do not understand how WP works: the term is used when there is a reason to use it, not when there is no reason not to use it. The reason is that many (if not majority) sources do not consider them as the allies.
I understand that your joined the discussion only recently, so it is quite natural that you missed some part of it. To avoid repetition of the arguments that have been already presented here, please, re-read the previous discussion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:50, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Correct on materials. I recently re-read the article on the Axis powers, there's a fairly complete list of agreements which scholars point to indicating an alliance. The question is not whether some dispute the term alliance, but whether that is the predominant scholarly view. There will always be some form of dissent in representing history: it is a false premise to contend that because there is not "consensus" (i.e., some disagree) that "alliance" is not a fair and accurate representation of the term as used to refer to the relationship--for a certain period--of the USSR and Germany. Our personal POVs of alliance or not are not material here. PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 02:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
What about other two? How can occasional transmission of the word "Minsk" (by a single radio station) constitute an alliance? What relation delimitation of the spheres of influence has to an alliance? Please, take also into account that delimitation of spheres of influence implies that both parties agree that their interests are different (and even somewhat conflicting), whereas an alliance ("an agreement or friendship between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests") implies some common goals and interests the party agreed to pursue.
One way or the another, if you want to make changes in this summary style article, the most correct way (per guidelines) would be to make the change in the List of military alliances article (which lists only two WWII time alliances (the Allies and the Axis) and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact article (which does not characterise the pact as an alliance), and only after that to propose to change this article accordingly.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:48, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Please can someone post and reference quotes from reliable sources, overtly disputing the accuracy of the credible Western academics who use the term 'alliance'. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:42, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Again, the word "alliance" should not be mixed with the term "military alliance". The word "ally" has several meanings, and is sometimes being colloquially used to characterise relations between the states that are not "military allies", but just cooperate. However, by characterising the USSR as German ally in the article about the war we would create a wrong impression that it was a Greman military ally. If you want the word "ally" to be in the article, you (per WP:BURDEN) must provide reliable sources that clearly characterise one of 1939-41 Soviet-German treaties as a military alliance (MRP was was not a military alliance, according to Roberts, Gorodetsky and many others), and demonstrate that the USSR was officially at war with at least one of the Allies. The sources that just use the word "ally" are not sufficient for that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:56, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Apparently the Anglo-French alliance did consider the Nazi-Soviet pact in effect made Moscow the de facto ally of Hitler, if not de jure. So much so that they even planned a strategic bombing campaign against the Soviet Union called Operation Pike, only to be aborted after the Fall of France. --Martin (talk) 21:46, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
The plans to bomb Baku initially had been developed in 1927, before Hitler's coming to power. Regarding the Pike, the goal of this bombing was to destabilise a Hitler's economical partner, not a military ally. In any event, we do not discuss here the plans that had never been implemented, otherwise we would have to discuss the Soviet idea of collective security system in Europe, Soviet attempt to save Czechoslovakia in 1938 and the failure of Soviet attempts to create a real ("ironclad", according to Carley) military alliance with France and Britain against Hitler.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:22, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

[*]I disapprove of consolidating the list to merely Big 3. China and France should be included as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Phead128 (talkcontribs) 05:04, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Commanders and leaders

Per the discussion above in the William Lyon Mackenzie King section and discussion with Paul Siebert, I officially propose that we reduce the list of commanders and leaders to either of these possibilities:

1. Reduce the number of commanders and leaders to three on both Allies and Axis sides, as such:

Allies:
Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
United States Franklin D. Roosevelt
United Kingdom Winston Churchill

Axis:
Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Empire of Japan Hirohito
Kingdom of Italy Benito Mussolini

This is due to the overall war effort of both sides being mostly controlled by these six leaders. As leaders of the six largest powers in WWII, they had the ability to dictate the direction of the war effort. While some may argue for the inclusion of the leaders of China and France, it is undisputable that these six countries had the most influence in the war.

2. Reduce the number of commanders and leaders to the commanders and leaders of the three largest Allied and Axis nations, as such:

Allies:
Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov
United States Franklin D. Roosevelt
United States George Marshall
United Kingdom Winston Churchill
United Kingdom Alan Brooke

Axis:
Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Nazi Germany Wilhelm Keitel
Empire of Japan Hirohito
Empire of Japan Hideki Tōjō
Kingdom of Italy Benito Mussolini
Kingdom of Italy Ugo Cavallero

Although, Some due confuse the ideas of commanders and leaders. Leaders such as Stalin or Hitler are sometimes foolishly classified as commanders or have other commanders compared to them. This idea is very false, this dictators had many responsibilities and one of them was military actions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nic11130 (talkcontribs) 19:04, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

This idea is due to the fact that the name of the section is "commanders and leaders". As such, military leaders should deserve mention, but to keep the amount of leaders limited, again we should limit the names included to those of the six nations that are bolded in the participants section.

Of course, for both of these proposals there will still be the "and others" links to both sides' respective pages. Hopefully this will help limit the amount of edit wars on the template. I have been around here a long time and seen a lot of edit wars on the WWII template (and participated in a few myself), but hopefully this will help limit them. --PlasmaTwa2 00:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with option 1. Continuing to include the military commanders is silly as these men were under the direction of their government. It's also misleading to portray Zhukov, Kietel and Cavallero as having equivalent roles to Marshall and Brooke and Tojo was Japan's Prime Minister, not a military leader. Nick-D (talk) 00:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The purpose of the second option is not to compare each of the military leaders to each other, but to just list the most important military commanders of the six nations. Obviously Cavallero is not on the same level as Marshall, but he was the main military commander of Italy. I was not sure of the military leader of Japan, and just kept Tojo because he was already on the template and I didn't want to have to find it. :P Nevertheless, I agree that option one would be the superior choice. --PlasmaTwa2 01:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that the list should be 4:2, adding China to the allied list and removing the relatively insignificant Italy (if Italy, than why not France, Poland, Canada?). With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 01:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

The problem with China is the same as Italy; if China, why not France? The way I have always seen the leadership of WWII is this: UN Security Council (five members) < Four Policemen (four members) < Big three (three members). While China (and France) was a significant power, it was not as strong as any of the members of the big three. Compared to the leaders of the big three, the leader of China was relatively restricted in the control he had over the overall war effort. In the case of Italy, they were the third largest player on the Axis, and their strength is closer to Germany and Japan's than it is Finland. --PlasmaTwa2 01:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The argument you use to eliminate China and France (their relative strength in their alliance) can be used against Italy to a similar degree of success. Italy is clearly a second-tier power. Than, why Italy if not France? With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 12:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, a 4x2 system is simply too unbalanced for a template on an article with such traffic. Adding China and removing Italy could (and would, from what I've seen) promote edits that would remove China, add Italy, add Italy and other Axis leaders, etc. A 3x3 limit is best because it limits the template to the most important leaders. No one is going to argue that Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill had more power and sway during the war than any other Allied leader, just like there is no arguing the same for Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini. --PlasmaTwa2 01:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The answer on the question about Italy is simple: this country was the first fascist state, so, despite its comparatively moderate military significance its political and ideological significance was enormous. By including China we open a Pandora box, so the list will gradually start to inflate.
To summarise, the option #1 is the optimal solution.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:49, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Italy, however, is clearly a second tier power; surely, if China and France are not included, neither should be Italy. It's military, political and economic significance pale in comparison to the big boys; militarily Italy was largely impotent against the Allies, politically they required Hitler's support and were still knocked out of the war early, economically even Canada produced more war-material as far as I remember, due to the relatively backward Italian economy of the time. With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 12:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, comparing Italy to Allied countries is irrelevant. Italy was easily the third-biggest power and was considered to be alongside Germany and Japan. Mussolini was well known around the world and featured in a lot of Allied propaganda. Germany, Japan, and Italy all signed the Triparte Pact. Therefore, Italy was one of the three major Axis countries and worthy of conclusion. China, France, Poland, Canada, etc. may have had larger contributions, but their contributions to the Allies are not comparable to the big three. --PlasmaTwa2 16:36, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I prefer list 1 and concur with Plasma on the Tripartite Pact being a seminal reason to include Italy on the Axis. --Habap (talk) 17:13, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I believe this will be as strong of a consensus as we will get here. I read four supports and a (slight?) oppose for option one, so I will edit the commanders and leaders section of the template to be 3x3. --PlasmaTwa2 18:20, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Why is Zhukov on the list? Keitel, Marshall and Brooke were chiefs of staff; Zhukov was not. Vasilevsky would be a better choice. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:09, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
    Put my vote down for option 1. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:20, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd suggest the Marshal of the Soviet Union, Konstantin Rokossovsky, over Zhukov and Vasilevsky, or else Rokossovsky + Zhukov (in terms of war effort, the USSR rather deserves a double weighting). -Chumchum7 (talk) 19:20, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The idea was to name someone equivalent to Marshall or Brooke. Now while Marshall was COS for the whole war, Brooke is only the best known of the three wartime CIGs. He is not the best-known British field marshal; that would be Montgomery. Rokossovsky is well-know; but he was not chief of staff, and Zhukov was only for a short time in 1941. Vasilevsky was chief of staff from 1942 to 1945. The other candidate would be Antonov, who was chief of staff from 1945 to 1946, who met with Brooke and Marshall at Yalta and Potsdam. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Take a look at Marshal of the Soviet Union, which suggests the title is comparable to COS. And as a pieace of trivia, possibly evidence, the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 gave pride of place to Rokossovsky + Zhukov, parading on black and white stallions, respectively. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it is nessesary to include China in the infobox, since many major scholars state that the war started in 37 and given the fact that the chinese were heavily engaged for the entire length of the war with more soldiers in theater than the majority of the allied powers. To not inlude China in the infobox is a western POV.XavierGreen (talk) 01:35, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Many major scholars also consider the war to have begun in 39. The Second Japanese-Sino War was a different war entirely until 1941. We aren't excluding China or diminishing its contributions to the war effort; its flag is still on the infobox in the fourth position, above of France. However, for the sake of balance, it is simply better to include the three major Allied leaders of the war. It is not POV to say that the Soviet Union, United States and United Kingdom were the larget contributors to the war, as practically any scholar will tell you. Likewise, it is not POV to say that Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill were the three largest leaders, as they were the three who most often met in international meetings to discuss the war and post-war world. China is included in the infobox, but Chiang Kai-shek isn't because he simply was not important enough and because, as I stated earlier (after several years of being involved with this infobox), having a 4x3 commanders list will invite people attempting to add their own countries. --PlasmaTwa2 03:41, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The Chinese fielded more troops in theater than any other allied power excepting Russia, and took more casualties than every allied power excepting russia combined. The ROC was equal in importance to the US in the Pacfic War and out fielded all of the allied forces combined there. People will continue to try to add more names regardless of how many are already there.XavierGreen (talk) 04:55, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The United States also participated in Europe; China did not. It was also not until the US entered the war that the Pacific War began to turn in favour of the Allies. Like I said, China is already recognized as an important country because it is fourth on the country list. Why can't we leave it at that? According to the List of World War II conferences, Kai-shek participated in one conference. Meanwhile, the three Allied leaders on the template participated in several. There is consensus for 3x3. --PlasmaTwa2 06:17, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist chinese were more heavily engaged in the Pacific War than any other power. If they had not fought, the war in the pacific would have had a very different turn of events. They had more of an impact on the pacific theater than any power other than the United States. As for conferences Stalin wasnt involved in many of them as well, so why should we leave him in while removing Chiang Kai-shek? China was the Russia of the Pacific War, to leave them out is absurd.XavierGreen (talk) 22:06, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Comparing the Soviet Union and China makes no sense. Not only did the Soviets suffer more losses, they are generally considered to have played the most important role in the defeat of Germany. Not only that, the threat of the Soviets was a major role in the surrender of Japan. I also don't have to mention that they emerged from the war as a superpower. Kai-shek had to form a truce with the Communists in order to fight the Japanese, and hypothetical situations are not something to base an argument on. Even if Stalin did not participate in several conferences, he still participated in five times as many as Kai-shek did, and there is a reason they call it the "big three". As I have said, China is not left out of the infobox. To limit the infobox in order to remove unneccessary cluter is not a violation of POV. --PlasmaTwa2 22:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, no one is talking about removing China, but rather about not adding Chaing Kai-shek. If we add him, shouldn't we also add Mao? If both of them, then why not the leaders from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Rumania, Bulgaria, Finland, etc.? 3x3 keeps it simple - the Big Three vs the Tripartite Pact. Any more than that is a slippery slope. --Habap (talk) 23:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── ::Habap sums my fears up perfectly. To be more specific, however, the addition of Kai-shek will inevitable lead to arguments for de Gaulle, as it has in the past, and then after that we will likely return to the same edit warring that has plagued the template for three+ years. --PlasmaTwa2 04:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC) Just so we're all on the same page, this section is entitled to indicate discussion about whether or not to include certain commanders and leaders in the infobox - this is not the place to discuss country flag inclusion or removal per belligerent status. A parallel discussion is continuing at the Template's own Talk page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:WW2InfoBox . I can't see anyone proposing to remove China itself from the infobox, some people are saying Chiang Kai-shek should be removed. For what its worth, my vote is that both Chiang and China should stay, anything less would not reflect the strategic reality of WW2 and would indeed be Eurocentric. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I am all for option 1. An infobox's point is to give compact overview not to list every detail. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 09:46, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

[*]China should be included, along with Chiang Kai Shek. It's ridiculous to assume that the world revolves around the Big 3, and contributions from China are not equal to the Big 3. China is as important as the Big 3 in bringing down Japan in the Pacific theatre.Phead128 (talk) 05:17, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Japan was victorious in China even in 1944 (Operation Ichi-Go). More importantly, the fate of Pacific theatre was decided in Europe, and after Allied victory over Germany Japan was doomed (the opposite was not true, btw). Contribution of China into tying down Japanese land forces was considerable, however, much smaller Yugoslavia was tying down about the same amount of German troops. In terms of political power China also cannot be compared with the members of the Big Three.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:32, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Copyright violations

We need to check for copyright violations, since it turns out that some of the contributions Communicat has made to talk pages and articles are direct quotes from Stan Winer's Between the Lies made without attribution, constituting copyright violations. I found two in his WP:RSN comments and a couple in Aftermath of World War II. I have the October 2004 version in PDF and there is one version available via snippets on google books. Oh, this is frustrating. --Habap (talk) 16:31, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Churchill's photo

Although I fully agree that the UK was a key Ally, is it correct to show only British leader and only British people celebrating the victory? In my opinion, by doing that we create an impression that it was predominantly British victory, which is both incorrect and non-neutral. In my opinion, the photograph of the Nuremberg trial (e.g. this File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27798, Nürnberger Prozess, Verhandlungssaal.jpg) would be more adequate and more informative illustration.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:17, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

A photo of events in Asia would probably be better still given that the other photo of this section is of the main Allied commanders in Europe. File:Shigemitsu-signs-surrender.jpg, File:Surrender of Japan - USS Missouri.jpg, File:Japanese surrender (AWM 019296).jpg and File:IMTFE defendants.jpg (the last showing the defendants at the Tokyo War Crimes trial) would be suitable (for example). Nick-D (talk) 10:26, 29 December 2010 (UTC)