Talk:World War II/Archive Length

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Topical Archive: This archive contains discussions about the length of the World War II article.

About the Length of the Article

I think that this article should be divided into three or four parts or be categorized to correspond with the article size rule. I don't know how anyone can read an article this long and understand every single section. The discussion page is getting very long as well. I'm glad something is done about this but more work is needed. Sr13 17:59, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Divided chronogically, participant-wise, battles etc.? Do you have one in mind? Oyo321 03:19, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I think the length of such a universally important article is good. It is one good, consolodated resource for a highly-researched topic, and simply an interesting subject, which I wouldn't want to have to read thoroughly about via a series of linked pages.

Miketanton 16:41, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

It is World war II. It is big and complicated conflict. There needs to be atleast one article that summarizes it all. Yes its long, but it is justified as WW II was a huge conflict. I agree that there needs to be smaller articles about different parts of conflict. But those articles already exist(European Theatre of World War II, North African campaign, Pacific War etc) So no need to break through opened door. (Staberinde 17:25, 24 September 2006 (UTC))

Wow! Even we break this topic into subtopics, the article is still long. Rather than talking about each specific battle (probably not every single battle is documented), shouldn't we just make a very general summary of the war and create a list of battles from each year of the war? Sr13 08:27, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Why keep shortening this article. It is not so big for such a major subject. For those who have a short attention span, could try to start with a simpler article, and for those who have a slow computer, either be patient or get an upgrade. Wallie 21:09, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the article needs to be shortened. This is not so much because it is too long to understand (though it is) but because by the very nature of things it will keep on growing. Every editor wants to add something to it, and taking things away is going to cause controversy. However it would be good to get suggestions of where we think the article should be cut. Dividing it is not going to help - we will still need an article that covers the whole subject at one pass. DJ Clayworth 17:31, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree strongly. I've been reviewing past arguments on the length of the article. World War II is a very, very complicated war. We still have many mysteries that shroud the war, and we continue to uncover new facts unknown before. When the scale of the war becomes as big as World War II, its inevitable. The length of the article is more than acceptable, and I actually think we should work in adding more information into it. I also wish to set a poll, on whether or not we should lengthen or delete some "unnecessary" sections. Oyo321 04:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


Actually this article is way to short. Covering any part of WWW2 or WW1 would take much more space.

This article is oversized- by toooooooooooooooooooooooo faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!

Do we really need these photos???

150px (((wtf?)))

101st with members of dutch resistance.jpg wow, resistance with army, that will really help me

Rubble, stupefying

Please leave any of your comments in my talk page

Dukakis 22:11, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, sorry, but the normal procedure is to leave responses on the article's talk page. Thanks for showing what you mean, I've just reduced the images to a more reasonable size. I agree with everything you say, except for the the paratroopers -- parachute troops were an important (albeit rarely successful) feature of the war. Grant65 | Talk 04:26, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, aside from seizing vital bridges in Holland in 1940, taking Crete in 1941, protecting the flanks of OVERLORD on D-Day in 1944, capturing the majority of assigned objectives in MARKET-GARDEN,and securing ground on the opposite side of the Rhine in February 1945, paratroops did nothing at all during the war... :-) Michael DoroshTalk 05:39, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I disagree on the Kursk Waffen-SS pic as well, we kind of have to see just who were these 'elite soldiers' on the 'bad guy side' during the -- oh i don't know -- LARGEST ARMORED AND AIR BATTLE in the history of the human race. Yeah.-- 06:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that pic says much about Kursk or the Waffen SS. There are far better pics of both and I would rather have two separate pics than that one. Grant65 | Talk 10:06, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Dukakis, I guess you really want to remove any pictute that does not involve the heroic exploits of the United States, (which incidentally would leave the first three years of the war completely free of pictures)... Grant65, why not put up your better pictures of Kursk? Wallie 21:59, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Battle of Prokhorovka was part of the larger battle of Kursk.

150px Better SS pic (Totenkopf LMG team in action). There you go. Grant65 | Talk 17:34, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I realise that a few people have complained about the length of this article, but:

It looks like quite a lot of people, actually. I can only assume that you are accessing it via DSL, because on a dial-up connection it is obvious that the length is totally unacceptable; I just timed it at over seven minutes to load the page. At that speed, most dial-up users will simply abandon this page and seek their information elsewhere, and that is a tragedy because it really is an important topic. And it is a mistake to think that dial-up users are an insignificant minority. -- 10:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
But if you want to get rid of images, why are you so worried about waiting for them to load? I measure the size of the HTML file to be about 300K, which shouldn't take much more than a minute or so to download over a dial-up connection. Unless you have a very dodgy browser, you should be able to read or edit the text while you are waiting for the images to load or even turn off the images all together. All the images are well labelled, so you can easily pick and chose to manually load ones you are interested in. -- Seth ze 02:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

1) WWII is one of the most significant events in world history (if not the most significant), so it deserves a thorough treatment. I realise we can link to more detailed sub-pages, but I think that having a reasonably good overview of the entire conflict is useful.

OK, but "a reasonably good overview" doesn't require a photograph of diplomats raising a toast, or officers reviewing a parade. It is said "Wikipedia is not paper". True: on paper an image takes the same resources as a few dozen words, on the web an image consumes the resources of not a thousand words, but ten thousand. -- 10:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
The images are all kept in a central repository, so having them on this page doesn't actually consume any additional storage resources. Sure, they can consume additional bandwidth resources, but that's something that a decent browser/cache will minimise. -- Seth ze 02:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

2) WWII is relatively modest in length compared to certain other pages. Here's a table to illustrate my point (word and picture counts are approximate):

Erm, no it isn't! See my analysis below -- 10:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Rank Name Words Size Images
185 Condoleezza Rice 16,077 123,726 27
206 Hugo Chávez 15,436 120,879 16
222 Immigration to the United States 16,696 117,445 4
225 Byzantine Empire 17,584 117,008 22
227 World War II 16,573 116,810 47
Firstly, your "size" column is just the raw text size. The images are much more significant from the point of view of slow downloads, and this article has double the number of images of the "Condoleeza Rice" article, and nearly double "Byzantine Empire"; the others are tiny by comparison. And if we look at the talk pages, we find that "Byzantine Empire" and "Immigration to the United States" both also have complaints about being too long. I don't know if "Condoleeza Rice" or "Hugo Chávez" do or not; I didn't bother to drill into their dozens of archives of controversy and argument. -- 10:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
See my comments above. Not sure why you are waiting for the images to download when you are arguing for them to be removed. Just start reading/editing. -- Seth ze 02:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

3) Pictures (where WWII stands out) are actually useful in longer articles to break up the article and make it visually more appealing. Whilst you may not like some of the individual pictures used, you need to realise that this is a personal preference. I think that each of the pictures you complain about are interesting and/or informative. Seth ze 02:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, they break it up beautifully. With a total page weight of 1.23 MB, more than 12 times the accepted limit, they put lots of nice blank squares all over the page until long after one has given up on it. You need to at least halve the number of pictures, or else shrink a lot of them to thumbnails. Maps would be a good start; you can barely make the small copies out anyway, so you might as well have thumbnails leading to decent sized ones. Then scrap all the potraits, pictures of diplomats and so. -- 10:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
So if we halve the number of images, how does that actually help you? What you seem to be complaining about is that the images are taking too long to download, but there should be nothing to stop you reading/editing while you are waiting or simply turning them off and loading them manually if you're interested in a particular image. The images are in fact thumbnails. You could make them smaller, but that would then disadvantage other users. If you can't read a map, click on it to go to the bigger version. -- Seth ze 02:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, long and influential periods in history, especially ones that redefined society, need long articles. In my opinion, this article barely scratches the surface of WWII. -- THLCCD 03:07, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

121K is certainly not "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LONG" or whatever. The idea that articles lengths need to be based on increasingly rare dial-up connection speeds seems questionable, as well. john k 06:51, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to shorten the article

While there's obviously a lot to say on the topic, I feel that, at 115 kb, this article is simply too long. It should be much more concise, general, and less detailed, in the first instance concentrating on what the term actually means, how it is differently used, and interpreted, and how it has different names and different starting and end dates in different countries. Further it should provide a very general overview about why it started, where, what happened, how it ended, and what its consequences are/were, giving a general clue about its importance and scale.

For instance, what I feel should not be in the article is the actual outlines of battles, campaigns, offensives, names of the Panzer divisions and armies, and all the specific technical, tactical, political, and territorial elements that are in it right now. There's simply not enough room to keep it clear that way, and the information can be dealt with much more effectively in separate articles. Along with it, some of the pictures would go, making it less image-heavy. Preferably, the article should be pruned to something of around 50 kb size, if possible even less.

Do other people kind of agree here? If so, we could try to come up with some decent strategy to tackle this article and make it featured. I've got many more ideas on it but first want to hear whether I'm talking to the walls or not. --Thunderhead 13:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the article is too long, but disagree about your priorities. There is more than enough to say about WWII without adding a polarizing discussion about terminology and different starting and end dates. As far as the military details, try to cut something and you'll see how fast people come out of the woodwork when they think their agenda is threatened or their country's contribution is being downplayed.
Does anyone else think that the Morgenthau Plan section is unnecessary? We don't have space to be talking about plans that weren't really implemented, do we? Haber 18:09, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the postwar section is poor and should be dropped--certainly everything post 1946 can be dropped. The topics involved are very well covered in the Cold War articles. Rjensen 18:18, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

What I was most thinking about is that I'm reading things like

The Gustav line was anchored by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri and Garigliano valleys and certain surrounding peaks and ridges, but not the historic abbey of Monte Cassino, founded in 524 by St. Benedict.
Make sure this goes in the Cassino article, if removed. Wallie 21:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely; it is not my aim to remove any information, just order it differently across the articles. --Thunderhead 20:20, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


In December German relief forces got within 50 kilometers (30 mi) of the trapped Sixth Army before they were turned back by the Soviets. By the end of the year, Sixth Army was in desperate condition, as the Luftwaffe was only able to supply about a sixth of the supplies needed.
The Stalingrad text could be improved. I agree this text could be shortened. The key was that the entire 6th army was encircled and Paulus surrendered with 300,000 others. This was one of the main turning points and key battles of the War, the others being Midway, El Alamein, Britain and D-Day. Wallie 21:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

That's all way too detailed for the main article and should be explained in more specific articles. I myself would probably go too radically about this; I would leave out everything but the most basic plot about the run up, the conquests of '40 and '41, the turning point, and the final defeat of the Axis powers (more or less). Each specification about which exact battles were fought and such, instead all being individually linked to from here, could be explained in a second-level article like European Theatre of World War II, which is very short in comparison to the main article. So it's mainly the Chronology section I'm talking about. --Thunderhead 20:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes the article is full of details that should be omitted in a general overview. I shortened the "Aftermath" to deal only with issues very closely tied to the war itself. Rjensen 20:30, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Please make sure that anything that is "dropped" is not dropped completely and is covered elsewhere. Wallie 21:09, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Valid point, but not one I think we really need to worry much about. There shouldn't be any information here that wasn't already in another article. If there is, it should be removed as not belonging in the overview of the war anyway. --Habap 21:26, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Another danger is which bits do you shorten. Different people have different ideas as to what is important. For example the Battle of the River Plate, sinking the Bismarck and Battle of Britain are probably not of great interest to Americans, but may be to the British. British may not be really interested in the flag raising at Iwo Jima, Anzio or Operation Torch, but these events may have some significance for Americans. Wallie 21:50, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

My idea was not to shorten bits but to simply leave them out, stating them on a second-level article. Right now, important battles are left out and others (undoubtedly perceived by some as less important) are in, so the very danger you're talking about is always lurking, unless you include everything. We could discuss territorial expansion on a broad level in the article instead of trying to mention all the battles. Perhaps it would be something like what is now in the "Overview" section, as opposed to what is in the "Chronology" section. Maybe a bit radical, but it illustrates my point. As that section stands right now, it's just a huge linkfarm with five "main article here, main article there" links per paragraph. Doesn't help legibility much. Could we link to some timeline that in a more structured way has pointers to the specific articles? --Thunderhead 20:16, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I think that Habers and Rjensens trimmings of the Morgenthau section were way to rough and not very thought through. If you want to limit the "Aftermath" to 1945 - 1946, then reach consensus for that first. The Morgenthau plan certainly applies there so no reason to remove it. Especialy if the Marshal plan, which was several years removed from the war is to be included, then we really should include what made it necesary in the first place. The economist Vladimir Petrov writes in Money and Conquest: Allied Occupation Currencies in World War II. from 1967 that it was the U.S. repressive occupation policy against Germany that eventually made the Marshal plan a necessity to help a Europe that suddenly went into a tailspin in 1947. Sure the Russians were even worse, but the U.S. sided more with Russia than with the U.K who wanted more lenient policy.
I think the difference between these three articles says more than I with my limited eloquence and curent lack of spellchecker can. 1 Cornerstone of Steel - 2 Cost of Defeat - 3 Pas de Pagaille! --Stor stark7 Talk 00:27, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
The truth is that Europeans turned Europe into a smoking junkpile, and the postwar recovery was amazingly quick thanks to American aid. I think it's interesting how you're trying to somehow pin Europe's 1946-47 problems on the US and USSR, but that isn't really how it went down. Haber 02:12, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
It's intresting to se how strong your opinions on the matter seem to be. Any referenses to back them up with, or is it just so much talk and wishful thinking? --Stor stark7 Talk 06:59, 24 August 2006 (UTC) (This pdf seems like a good introduction otherwise The Road Ahead: Lessons in Nation Building from Japan, Germany, and Afghanistan for Postwar Iraq) --Stor stark7 Talk 07:03, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Germany's postwar problems were not the fault of the Jews or the Communists. The Germans were hungry because they had killed millions of farmers to the East, and they couldn't sell stuff because the dead farmers were also their clients. They had to absorb millions of refugees and veterans (who were surely screwed up in the head by that point). Hitler's Nero order and decision to continue the war after it was hopeless did far more damage than a few Allied soldiers puttering around, or a musty years-old internal memo that was never really implemented. Haber 21:47, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, can you provide any references in support of your wild claims? It seems to me that you are making stuff up as you go along. And I find your inclusion of the Jews in this discussion to be weasly. Are you weasly trying to make it seem as though I claim the Jews were responsible for the Post war German situation? How very disappointing.
The Nero Decree was never effected, by the way.
Now if you want to learn about the post war German food situation then I can recommend
Or even better: *Várdy, Steven Béla and Tooly, T. Hunt: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe Available as MS Word for Windows file (3.4 MB) Subsection: Richard Dominic Wiggers, The United States and the Refusal to Feed German Civilians after World War II pp. 274 - 288 --Stor stark7 Talk 22:47, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I Believe that we should make a decision now whether we believe that all of the second world war can be encompassed into a single article, in which case it should be done with alot of detail and expected to be huge. The other option is to have this as a linking page to the seperate sections of the war, with small summaries of the sections those links are covering. We can't get a single article that will satisfy the demand for both a very small and easy to read article, as well as that for detailed historical information. The two are at odds with each other. LunaShroom 23:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Why not make a bit shorter version and keep the long version separately? That way you could retain the details, yet make easy-to-read article to those without knowledge about the war: pure lenght of this article scares novices off. 21:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)