Template talk:World War II/Archive 1

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Archive 1

General thoughts on layout

I like it! Looks much nicer than what we have now. And since it takes up much less space, we can maybe even put in some more campaign/operations articles there as well? At least I liked the compact way you could browse the various campaigns in that template so much that I immediately started to look for what major campaigns were missing ;-). But if we add more operations, the first coloumn will probably be too long. So either we just limit ourselves to the ones listed (we'll can't list every battle specific article, anyway), or we could maybe put the "Specific articles" below the Main Theaters, and let the yearly timeline-listing, with all the Campaigns and battles, have its own coloumn, so we could put in some more of the major ones. But, either way, what you have there is IMO better than what we have now. So I'm all for putting it in the article. Shanes 04:03, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Suggestions on additional Theatres/Campaigns

Here are some theathres/Campaigns that we might consider including:

Specific articles:

Not sure where to put this one, but the Siege of Leningrad was also a major thing, with 1 million killed.

But, of course, we have to keep the list somewhat short. We can't include every battle. So, I don't know, really, where to stop... Shanes 04:48, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your opinions, Shanes! I am glad you liked the template. I have worked all night on it, and also on the merge of all previous lists (theaters, campaigns, battles, operations etc.) into a single list: List of military engagements of World War II. Due to this I am now quite exhausted, and don't feel clear-thinking enough to respond to your suggestions; I have to sleep first :). In the meantime, you might take a look on the new list (List of military engagements of World War II); even though it is long, it is certainly not complete (don't remember seeing "Operation August Storm" on it). You might also get new ideas for suggestions for this template. Thanks again, Shanes! Always nice to feel appreciated. I also took the liberty of copying your post on the layout here, under "General thoughts on layout". Regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis 06:17, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
You're welcome. Very nice work, indeed. And the List of military engagements of World War II is very good, too. And I think it makes me change my mind about adding more operations to this article. Your list will do, and is also the more appropriate place to list them all with the link to it here in this template, and then just list the major ones.
But then I instead suggest removing a few of the operations listed now. I sugest removing Operation Bagration, Operation Market Garden and Borneo Campaign as I think they weren't that major to deserve a listing if the template is to be kept short. And maybe drop Warsaw Uprising and Continuation War as well. But I think we should include Battle of the Atlantic under theatres, as it was an important theatre. Regarding August Storm, it was not a minor operation at all, had an important impact on Japan's decision to capitulate, and had long lasting consequences, since Soviet kept much of the territories it conquered in the few days it was at war with Japan. But if the list in this template is to be kept fairly short, I'm fine with leaving it out. You do have it on your longer list, but it's named "Soviet Manchurian Campaign 1945", which is probably a more descriptive name.
I'm btw somewhat skeptical to the term "Atrocities" in the 'Specific articles' section of the listings. It might be me not being a native English speaker and not understanding the word correctly, but to me it seems to be a POV term. Are Strategic Bombings considered atrocities by everyone? And would President Truman have agreed to that the US committed war atrocities when they used the A-bomb? (I know you just copied the term from the WW2 article, so I'm not blaming you or anything). Or maybe the word is perfectly fine, and there's no POV about it. Sometimes I have the wrong understanding of words like that. Shanes 06:56, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Hi Shanes! I have slept enough now...:) I have considered your suggestions and I agree with you completely. I have thought some more myself too, and these are the changes I have now done to the template:


  1. Phony War (interesting but not quite a military theatre)
  2. Operation Bagration
  3. Operation Market Garden
  4. Borneo Campaign
  5. Continuation War


  1. Battle of the Atlantic (added as theatre - it really was a theatre, as it continued during the entire war, I named link "Atlantic Theatre"; do you think it is ok?)
  2. Operation August Storm (added under 1945)
  3. Siege of Leningrad (added under 1941, with notation -1944)
  4. Blitzkrieg (added to specific articles)
  5. Operation Barbarossa (added to 1941 - I think we simply MUST mention this HUGE operation)

Regarding your notes on the term "atrocities" I also am sceptical. As you said I have only copied it from the main article, and this header has been called "atrocities" for as long as I have been a wikipedian (which is not so long, btw). I checked you userpage and saw you are Norwegian; well, I am from Sweden, so we have ourselves a Scandinavian collaboration! I suspect the word "atrocity" sound harsher in our Northern ears. I have checked in Webster's Dictionary for the definition and synonyms, but they were not any better: savage deed, atrocious deed, outrage, horror, villainy, enormity, barbarity, barbarism, brutality, inhumanity, heinousness, savagery. Anyway, I think it is better if we raise the topic of "atrocities" in the main WW2 article - after this message I will post a note on the discussion page. Well, thanks again for you suggestions, Shanes! Feel free to comment on the new template, as always, I appreciate all kinds of opinions. Regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis 20:39, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

I moved the Siege of Leningrad to the civilian&atrocities section, since I think the 1 million civilians killed was the most important aspect of that one, and in my (and I'm sure, most others) opinion it's also very close to fitting the term "an atrocity" as well.
I'd like to put in a few more articles there. I think we should try to get all the most important ones in here, and then strip the whole list under "Specific articles" in the main WW2 article and only leave a link to List of military engagements of World War II under that heading. I believe that was one of the points with this template. But what to keep and what to remove, is of course debatable.... Shanes 01:09, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I have changed my mind and re-added Operation Bagration. I feel it is a real shame to exclude it, since it would diminish the Soviet effort in defeating Germany. It was a huge operation, the "Eastern D-day", incredibly successful and IMO at least as import as D-day. Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 14:38, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Civilian impact and atrocities

This section does not make a lot of sense currently, as it alternates between massive events that contained many atrocities (Holocaust) to a single massacre (Katyn Massacre, which was smaller than many other massacres, like Babi Yar, Paneriai, the Sook Ching Massacre etc.) to an individual unit committing massacres (Unit 731, what about the Einsatzkommando?) to an event of nowhere near the same scale (Japanese American internment), plus a single event with high civilian causualties (Siege of Leningrad). Aside from that, the number of events listed do not match well with the actual numbers of atrocities and impact (see Matthew White's chart). I am going to cut this list down to just a few points, and we can talk about other additions. Unfortunately, this is a war full of atrocities, and it might be best to keep it at as large a level as possible, since the details quickly overwhelm. --Goodoldpolonius2 02:44, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

It's not easy to pick what to put there. But with the list as you now left it, I'd like to remove Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well. It's already listed under 1945 in the timeline to the left (the only dublicated entry), and it too was what I'd call a single event (if that is to be the measure for what not to have there). And the casualties were lower than many other events now not listed. And why do we list the gulags? Are they really considered part of World War II? I believed they were mostly an internal Soviet atrocity. Prisoners were actually released from the gulags during the war (to be sent to the front)) and the gulags didn't keep any POWs to speak of, they were in other camps. Shanes 03:28, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Works for me. As an explaination, I believe that Gulags were added by a number of Polish contributors, just like the Katyn massacre. They point out that many Poles in captured Eastern Poland were sent to the gulags, the number given in the relevant articles were "thousands". I think we can delete. I will do so. --Goodoldpolonius2 03:37, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Good. Yes, this list (new as it is) was based on the long and rather random list of "Se also:"'s that was tailing the WW2 article before this template came along. And "Se also" lists are very prone to uncontrolled and random additions. I hope and think keeping this template tidy will be easyer. It will probably depend on how easy we make it editable for the random reader, i.e. on whether we add Template:Edit to it. We probably should do that to be "Wiki-friendly". I don't know.
On another note, we should make sure that the most notable stuff we remove from this template (or the old list) is wiki-linked to in the article-text somewhere. That way we stay clear of criticism that we are neglecting major events completely. Shouldn't be too hard, though, if an event was reasonably major a good ww2 article of this size should mention it in the text somewhere. But I haven't checked yet. Shanes 04:05, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

A similar template for WWI

I have now created a similar template for WWI, Template:World War I.

I would very much appreciate reviewing, opinions and suggestions on Template talk:World War I!

Regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis 18:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I have now created a similar template for Cold War, Template:Cold War. It needs lot of work yet.
I would very much appreciate reviewing, opinions and suggestions too;). Regads, Szalas
Great! I am truly honored to have inspired it. I will try to help out. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 06:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

New layout

I have changed the layout a bit (comprised bulleting of events/participants), trying to make it more overviewable, since the number of operations had a tendency to make the template IMO a little too big vertically. Nothing has been removed, but I switched a couple of things: (1) "North African Campaign" moved from events to theater "Africa", "Phony War" from events to specific articles, "Eastern front" from events to theaters and "China" (2nd Sino-Japanese war) added as theater. I think that was all.

  • If you think it sucks say so here.
  • If you think it's good please also say so, because I am thinking of making the same changes to Template:World War I, but I want to see the response here first.

Regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 16:00, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Replacing WWIITheatre?

I am a bit uneasy with this template replaced Template:WWIITheatre on all of the pages. One of the main things that jumped out at me is that this doesn't cover the same range, theatre and campaign wise, as the previous one. Additionally, this one has sub-campaigns (Barbarossa, Stalingrad, Kursk and Bagration are all part of the Eastern Front) and I don't see how it's decided which ones to include (why Kursk, but not the Western Desert Campaign etc.).

I would like to revert back to WWIITheatre until a consensous of sorts can be reached. Oberiko 14:26, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Hi Oberiko! I think this new template is better than the old one(s), because of the following reasons:
  1. The contents is less military-focused, since the scope is the war in its entirety (without diminishing the military aspect of course). This will IMO more likely appeal to the average reader who is "not-so-into-military-stuff".
  2. It is meant to include the scope of both previous templates Template:WWIITheatre and Template:WWIIHistory, and it is IMO better to have one template instead of two ( a) making it easier for the article editors, who might forget a template and b) making it easier to overview)
These are only my opinions of course, and I welcome discussions. There seems to be a similar issue regarding WWI (Template:World War I), and my opinions are the same in that respect. But let's start discussing WW2 here, for starters. My regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 14:52, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Forgot to comment on inclusions/exclusions: please see previous discussion on inclusions above. Further discussions on inclusions can be had here on the talk page. Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 14:55, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I think this template should include all the material from the older 'theatre' one. Possibly it should include the old template 'in the middle' - it looked pretty nice. Try to have no empty spaces. Good luck with redesigning.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:14, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for you message, Piotrus. Please say here what needs to be added. Generally, I have been told that templates within templates should be avoided due to server overload, see Wikipedia:Avoid using meta-templates, so we should try to stick to one template. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 02:01, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

New Column

I added a new column on this page. There was an objection on WP:FAC to the length of the main events section. The one problem is that I can't seem to figure out how to make the background the same shade of blue. I hope one of you would be able to do that better. Thanks RENTASTRAWBERRY FOR LET? röck 22:08, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I've fixed it. You accidentally typed an "O" instead of a zero "0". --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 04:52, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Where is this templete suitable?

I see the templete is used in about 4 articles. Where should it be used? I have desire to re-open the Template:WWIITheatre, this templete (and its concept) seems to aim at larger WWII issues. A quick scan suggests these articles could benifit from this templete. Wendell 01:37, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Who entered what year

I don't know why nazi germany is in front of it. Where is the reference and on what criteria is that based on? Japan was at the end entered some 1943? Tripartite is the official axis powers and Japan, germany and Italy were entered168.253.17.22 Stop entering biased and wrong info. What did Germany do to enter the "axis powers" on 1939???? 00:07, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

What the criteria?

What the criteria for a battle to be included here? For example Operation Torch is incomparable with Battle of Korsun and Battle of the Crimea (1944) both in casualities from both sides and in impact on overall war outcome.--Nixer 02:43, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

WWII Portal

Don't you think it is time to convert this ugly template into a decent Portal:World War II? mikka (t) 19:35, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

That is a very good idea, provided that somebody can be found to maintain it. Maybe asking here would be productive? Kirill Lokshin 22:09, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Very good idea. [Steps back as volunteers are called for]. ;-) Andreas 14:02, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, a very good idea. I have thought about starting one a couple of times, but either I haven't felt bold enough, or felt I was not able to maintain it by myself. I think we need at least a couple of dedicated people to join efforts. I am willing to participate, as long as it does not all depend on me :). Regards, Dennis Nilsson. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 23:17, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


What is the criteria for the order of participants?--Will2k 19:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Personally I would prefer an order according to military casualties, but currently it does not seem to be ordered in that way now. See World War II casualties for details. Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 21:21, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Why is Operation Blackcock in the template?

Operation Blackcock seems like an insignificant operation compared to e.g. Crossing of the Rhine, Battle of the Bulge/Ardennes Offensive, or Vistula-Oder offensive. Andries 22:23, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree - it is definitely not significant enough for this list, so I have removed it. I will also add a comment in the article source about adding battles. Furthermore, I have some doubts about the significance of the Dieppe Raid. I know it was a large operation and that it was an "exercise" for D-day (and a major Canadian sacrifice), but compared to the others in the list, I question its importance in the history of WW2. I'd like to hear opinions from others on this. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 22:26, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Totally agree. --Guinnog 11:39, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I also took out the Battle of Manchuria, on the same basis. The article itself makes no assertion that the battle was particularly pivotal. --Guinnog 11:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Should we add key personalities?

Like Churchill, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, de Gaulle, and Roosevelt? Andries 22:37, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it is a good idea, and there is space available under "Specific articles", after "Aftermath". Let's hear what others think of it. Opinions, please! Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 22:40, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Conversion to portal?

A discussion about possibly converting large footer templates for wars—such as this one—into portals has been started here; comments and suggestions would be very welcome! Kirill Lokshin 02:25, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Weapons, Transportation?

Should this page includes the weapons and transportation they uses in the WW2? it could be very helpful for our WW2, weapons and tanks fans ^^ --COMMODORE64 19:00, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Plus under Transportation the Truck & Jeep were very significant (& Railways!) Hugo999 00:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Compression needed!

Gosh, the main events list in the template is getting way too big...and there are quite a few there now, which can't be considered main events. I will remove the following events, as we can't list everything that happened in WW2:

I know I'm being tough, but, in my opinion, the events above are not qualified as main events compared to e.g. Operation Barbarossa, Battle of Normandy and Operation Bagration. Anyway, there is a link in the template to List of military engagements of World War II, which is quite a big one...

Any opinions? My Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 22:07, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I thoroughly agree. Go ahead and prune! --Guinnog 22:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Good idea! Perhaps retain Battle of Crete, as that had an impact on German airborne tactics for the remainder of the war. Are there summary articles for the various theatres? Folks at 137 20:50, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Further removals:

Harsh, but just, in my humble opinion. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 10:14, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

3 entries each year looked fine by me, but now its gone all bloated again. Fornadan (t) 00:19, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I just want to state my view on which events to include, but first we have to consider the following:

  1. A template like this should not contain too many items - it is not the idea to be an exhaustive list of WW2 events
  2. Anyway, there is a link present to List of military engagements of World War II, which serves this purpose and is quite a big one...links are present both under "specific articles" and as "more..." under "main events".

My humble view is that a "main event" should be defined somewhat as "something important, almost crucial, that occurs during a not-too-long period of time". Therefore, in my humble, yet harsh, opinion, the overall importance of the event for the development of WW2 is more significant than the number of casualties during the event, e.g. I feel that Battle of Greece do not qualify. If it would, I am certain there are others which qualify as well, and, again, the template should not grow any bigger. Now, I know the question of importance is very subjective, and one can always argue for or against. But we could keep one thing in mind: before entering a new event in the template, please weigh its importance against the other events present - the new one should almost be able to "kick" an old one out from the list. Furthermore, I think there are discussions concerning a portal here. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 04:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Operation Market Garden, Battle of Coral Sea and Battle of Iwo Jima should be returned to the list. Because Market-Garden failed, the war lasted longer. Because two Japanese aircraft carriers were rendered useless at the Coral Sea (one was badly damaged, the other lost nearly all her aircraft), the Japanese lost at Midway. Because Iwo Jima was captured, thousands of American bomber crewmen's lives were saved because their aircraft, damaged in the bombing raids on Japan, were able to make emergency landings there, rather than being forced to fly all the way back to their own bases in the Marianas Islands. Shibumi2 01:24, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not agree. The events you mention were important, but how much in comparison with the others? Which 3 now present events do you want to delete and replace with your suggested events, in order to keep this template small & compact? Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 14:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

List of Participants

What is the use of the "more..." links on the participants lists? These links are identical to the links under the headlines (i.e. Allies of World War II and Axis Powers, and should therefor be redundant. --Tokle 15:59, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the "more" links exist to refrain users from adding more participants to the template. It is quite long... (oh yes, I forgot, it was a world war...:) Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 01:20, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Optimize layout...?

Have admired this template for some time, but always felt it might be possible to further optimize the space it uses (i.e. leave less "whitespace"). First, though, I've just tried a little reformatting plus moving the "Participants" column to the left-hand side of the template; as (1) it's the longest column; and (2) the flag-to-country links are left-to-right, I hoped this might yield a more stable feel to the template – what do people reckon...?

If, however, the "Theatres" column were removed by (1) moving the Prelude and General timeline sections to (say) the "Main events" column; and (2) listing the Main theatres links horizontally, enough width might be gained to create two columns for the "Participants". The (now longer) "Main events" column could be wrapped around, followed by the "Specific articles". As a result, the "See also" section could be lifted upward. Something like this:

Perhaps not as balanced as it might be, but hopefully the idea is apparent. Thanks in advance for any feedback, David Kernow (talk) 04:32, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Great effort and idea putting the theatres up top. Consider using one of the collapsible Template:Navigational templates with the show/hide functionality, though nesting sub-tables in there may be difficult. If you do think it is important though, I can try to make it work (possibly hand-coded using Wikipedia:NavFrame). Here are some suggestions:
  • Rename Main events to General timeline to get rid of that subheading.
  • The first Specific articles group (with Blitzkrieg, Cryptography, etc), title it Aspects of War or some better name.
  • Give Allies and Axis each its own column, instead of wrapping. I think some whitespace can be sacrificed for clarity.
  • Same with wrapping Main events: Move See also directly below Participants, so Main events has the entire center column.
  • Possibly sort the See also articles into Specific articles: Attacks on North America to theatres? contemporary culture to Aftermath? Pomte 02:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback, Pomte; sorry not to acknowledge and respond to it sooner. Is the below something like what you had in mind...?:

Best wishes, David Kernow (talk) 03:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the late response. That was sort of what I had in mind, but now I realize that it is tedious having to click multiple [show]s in order to navigate. Below is my attempt at making the template compact while showing everything at once. Since column splitting doesn't work outside Firefox, I have manually split the allies and events into 2 columns. This may look crowded on lower resolutions, but a compromise should be made for all the whitespace in higher resolutions. I have put Aftermath under Timeline for the sake of saving space, and got rid of some repeated links, so this may be contested.
Pomte 00:36, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It looks very nice. I'd support this template entirely. ― El Cid 01:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I reckon it's the best yet too. The one adjustment I'd consider/experiment with making is to move the "More information on World War II" box to the left – or, perhaps better, making it the one collapsed element in the template. If the latter, rearranging the space in the lower quarter of the template might then be possible/effective. Thanks for the further development, Pomte!  David (talk) 04:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Here is an update from the recent changes. Widened and got rid of the "More information on World War II" caption in the bulky box. Put Lists in the whitespace under Axis, but is it awkward?
Pomte 05:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The "Lists" section does seem to be awkwardly placed – but at present I can't think of anything that isn't also awkward in some way. I'll see if something jumps to mind tomorrow... The template seems so close to a solution. Regards, David (talk) 02:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Some quibbles over Axis & Allied belligerents:

  1. Was Vichy France part of the Axis? Axis leaning perhaps, but no more than Spain.
  2. Were the Philipines a participant in their own right? I thought they were an American possession at the time.
  3. The article on Egypt in WWII records that Egypt was neutral although Britain had the right to station military forces.
  4. We should be careful to restrict ourselves to active participants. Many more nations declared war to ensure a place in the United Nations.

Folks at 137 18:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Can anyone confirm/refute these observations...?  Regards, David Kernow (talk) 04:04, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi guys, I am feeling bold today so I will change the template and remove inactive participants as Folks at 137 suggested above. I agree with him, we should restrict ourselves to active participants. Furthermore, I think this will benefit the template, which currently is a little monster in size :). Too many participants IMHO, and remember that there are "more..."-links under each coalition which points to much more exhaustive lists. I will document my changes here below. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 16:28, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


I have removed the following participants (reasons given below):

Flag of Egypt (1922–1958).svg Egypt was officially neutral according to Participants in World War II#Egypt
Flag of France.svg Vichy France remained officially neutral during the conflict according to Participants in World War II#Vichy France
Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines was a semi-independent commonwealth of the US according to Participants in World War II#Philippines
Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador was not an active participant according to Participants in World War II#El Salvador
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria was very passive and even changed sides, see Military_history_of_Bulgaria_during_World_War_II#Axis_Powers

Not removed, but questioned:

• I am not sure of the Axis activity of Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg Croatia. I know there were a lot of in-fighting in the Balkans, but I do not know of participation on other fronts. I have read the article Independent State of Croatia and can't make up my mind whether they are to be considered as having been active Axis participants. I'd like to hear what others have to say about Croatia.

I know I have been bold, so if you have any opinions please say so below. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 16:52, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

One quibble: Bulgaria occupied part of Greece - sounds a warlike act! There's almost a category of "switcher": Hungary and Bulgaria were increasingly ambivalent Axis supporters, Finland a v unlikely ally for Hitler (and wound up fighting German forces) and Italy. Vichy also, perhaps. Iraq (in particular), Iran and Afghanistan also flirted with the Nazis. The way in which allegiances changed is interesting. Folks at 137 11:58, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Comment on removal of the Philippines-Flag of India.svg India was not really independent but is included in the template.23prootie 06:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The briefly independent state of Croatia provided infantry units that fought in support of the Germans against Yugoslav partisans (mostly Serbs and Slovenians). They were also supported by some Bulgarian Army units. Vichy French troops fired on American and British soldiers landing in Algeria and Morocco in Operation Torch. There were tens of thousands of Filipino troops and sailors who served with honor beside the Americans. Also many of the cooks on board American Navy ships were Filipinos.
Even though Bulgaria and several other nations changed sides during the war, they did most of their fighting for one side or the other. Therefore they can safely be listed with one side or the other. Hungary, Romania and Finland all provided several divisions of troops that fought against the Russians. In fact, the Romanian Army was as large as the French Army. Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Finland were Axis powers for most of the war. India had its own army, although it mostly had British officers. This is a point of significant national pride for such nations as India and the Philippines. Removing them from the list would be insensitive in the extreme. Shibumi2 01:15, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest as well that Finland be removed from the list as well. Although they were aided by Germany in keeping out Russia after the Winter War, the page makes clear that "Finland was not a part of the Axis powers, but played a part in fighting against the Soviet Union to keep its independence." Being a base for Germany makes them no more an Axis power than France was. CodeCarpenter 19:07, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Canadian Flag

I changed the Candian flag for this template to the new red maple leaf flag (ca. 1967) as many, many more people world wide can identify Canada with the new flag as opposed to a _now_ obscure enign used during World War II. The flags are there to help people who do not know the history of the war to quickly identify the participants. If it is not a flag that is recognized by most people today, it is not useful as a tool to identify the combatants using the encyclopedia today (and I am not including Canadian war buffs). The actual flag used during the war can be identified in the details of the war articles.

If the old ensign was widely recognized today as a Canadian war era flag, then it would be OK (e.g. most everyone today recognizes the war era Nazi German flag with the swastika, which is why it can be used to identify war era Germany... and diplomatically separate it from modern Germany). Unfortunately the Canadian war era flag is not recognizable outside of groups that are well versed in the subject already. So I doubt _any_body who is not Canadian would recognize it as Canadian at all and might miss the entry in the list, which would be bad as Canada was one of the major combatants. In fact, I am sure the majority of Canadians below the age of 50 would not quickly recognize the old ensign that Canada used as a flag during the war (and likely not recognize it as representing Canada at all). As time goes by, this increases. The new flag came into being in the 1960s and so someone even in their 40s or early 50s might not quickly recognize the old ensign as designating Canada as they would have been quite young at the time of change. I missed the Canadian listing at first because I was looking for the flag I recognized (and I am quite well versed in Canadian war history). I identified the old ensign for what it was _after_ I went back over the list again, which defeats the purpose of putting the flag there in the first place.

Theshowmecanuck 21:11, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I moved this topic to the bottom of the page as new topics are normally appended to the talk page - no offence intended. Before changing the flag, it would have been appropriate to seek consensus. The usual paractice in the military history project is to use contemporary flags, eg India, Italy, Germany, USSR and ... Canada. While the old ensign is unfamiliar today, it does, IMO, represent the "old" Canada and its old imperial relationship. I'll publicise this topic and see what consensus arises. Folks at 137 17:54, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I am inclined towards the Red Ensign, which itself looks to be quite notable in history; I don't recall from History class, but see Great Flag Debate. And this is a history template, which should be representative of the period. Although it may slow navigation (only for those who look down the flag column, not those who skim the names quickly), an educational purpose is served by an unrecognized flag being there as well. It should be well-known that Canada was in the war. Pomte 18:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • One of the purposes of the Military History Project at Wikipedia is to promote an accurate understanding of history. It is historically inaccurate to replace the flag that was used during World War II with a flag that didn't come into use until the 1960s, that no Canadian soldier in that war would recognize. Shibumi2 01:06, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Revert back. If we use flags, they have to be the flags of the era that the event took place in. Should Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union be represented by the flags of their modern counterparts? Why Canada and not them? What will we do about nations that no longer exist (like the Ottoman Empire in World War I)? I find your reasoning inadequate, especially when the flag is right beside the name. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Oberiko (talkcontribs) 13:34, 2 March 2007 (UTC).
  • I believe it's not about people who were in the war, or about people who know the history of the war. I am thinking about wikipedia users who are looking to learn about the war. The users live today, and identify countries today. The article on the war has the info. It is obvious that if the nations no longer exist, you use the last available flag. However, I concede that there is merit in showing the old flag if this is a template that is always shown in context of world war II articles where the user should expect to see the historical representation. Theshowmecanuck 16:23, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • On balance, I'd say use the flags from the period, since they're followed by the countries' names. I think only one of these – Czechoslovakia – has changed since that time. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 18:12, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


Would Treatment of Polish citizens by occupiers be a good addition to civilian side of the template?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:44, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Not sure... Maybe not, as there don't seem to be any other "Treatment of Xish citizens" links or the like (i.e. specifically identifying one country's citizens), so adding one such link would imply (many) others to be added as well... Regards, David Kernow (talk) 06:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Manhattan Project relevance?

Would articles related to the Manhattan Project (which eventually produced Little Boy and Fat Man be relevant to this template? The project had in mind as its goal development of a nuclear weapon, which was eventually used. I have not added this to the template. Should it be part of it? AEMoreira042281 15:23, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • For the sake of keeping the template's size under control, I reckon the "Hiroshima and Nagaski" entries (Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) probably suffice, since these bombings were the culmination of the Project; onward links should then be found on that article's page. Anyone else?  Regards, David Kernow (talk) 12:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion re layout

Since {{sisterlinks}} would provide the links given in the rectangle along the bottom of the template, how about removing that rectangle, then filling some of its space with 1943-1944 links to allow the "Lists" section to follow the "Aftermath" links...?  ({{Sisterlinks}} could sit just above the template.)  Regards, David Kernow (talk) 06:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The right-aligned {{sisterlinks}} would create a lot more leading vertical space and whitespace to the left of it though.
I suppose this depends on whether or not it's possible to combine say the sisterlinks template before the main template as a single unit while allowing text to fill the space to the left of the sisterlinks template... I suspect not, but will investigate. David (talk) 12:03, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

POV accussations, and the evolution of infoboxes

Wow, you guys seems to be doing a good job keeping this infobox managable, while retaining it's informativeness. Compared to the infobox at the top of the WW2 article (which was originally very easily edited from the article, as it was a template that took about a dozen or more optional parameters and layed everything out "behind the scenes". This resulted in an edit-war-like condition regarding who should be included/excluded in the list of combatants.

I would ask how the list of involved countries on this template came into being without NPOV getting thrown around. Xaxafrad 17:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Europe or Western Europe

Shouldn't the Main theatres include Western Europe linking to Western Front (World War II) instead of the current Europe linking to European Theatre of World War II? The current link to ET covers the Western Front, Eastern Front (so duplication) and parts of the Mediterranean (so once again duplication).--Caranorn 17:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Link replaced. The general European Theatre of World War II could be kept, but it overlaps with the more specific articles. I guess it should be placed at the very left if someone feels it should be left in. –Pomte 21:04, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

participants list

What principle is used for the order of entries in the participant list.

Right now it's rather confusing, alphabetically the Soviet Union is indeed before the United States, but the United Kingdom should then be moved up one notch. Not to speak of France and Free France before Poland, heck Australia would then be first in the list.

If some kind of weighting for the political role is used (which I'd agree with) then Poland should be bellow the entries for France and Free France. Most sensible would probably be separation into major and minor states (yes that would once again create different disputes) with each group organised alphabetically.

Lastly one could use chronology though at that point one might debate whether the lists should start with China and Japan or Poland and Germany.

Anyhow the current situation seems rather confusing.--Caranorn 13:23, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

SU since 1941

The SU was German ally till 1941. Current template suggests it cooperated with the Western Aliies since 1939 - it didn't.Xx236 11:30, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Though Soviet Union wasn’t member of Axis Powers, it was a clear Nazi German ally from the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 until Operation Barbarossa in 1941.--MaGioZal 08:38, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

But then again the Soviet Union was allied to France and indirectly Poland until 1939 when Poland refused military access in case of war... The reasons for the Hitler-Stalin Pact are too complex to resume it with Soviet Union an ally of Nazi Germany.--Caranorn 12:53, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Serbia added

In a manner similar to Ante Pavelic’s Croatia, Serbia was also governed from 1941 until 1945 by an Axis ally, the Serbian general Milan Nedić. So if Croatia is on the list of Axis Powers, I think Serbia should be there, too.--MaGioZal 08:38, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The Forgotten Army

No suppreses here then. There is no mention of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II, but then the Fourteenth has always been known as the Forgotten Army -- Philip Baird Shearer 17:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Template Update

I've made several changes in template:

  • Listed all countries by the date of entering to WWII and (if date is the same) alphabetically. I think it's the best solution and bring some more info on first sight. China and Japan on first place - fought since 1937.
  • Replaced all flags from hardcoded images to flag templates. Currently all flag icons are in universal format visible in several other templates and articles.
  • Replaced some old GIF/JPEG/PNG images to better SVG ones.
  • Replaced following flags with another versions:
  • Added Soviet Union to Axis list with 1939-1941 date.
  • Added Finland to Allied list because was attacked in 1939 by (then) German ally - Soviet Union. Between 1944 and 1945 fought against Germany in Lapland War. I had problem with date - it should be 1939-1940 and 1944-1945, but I entered the later.
  • Added Russian Liberation Movement with Russia flag to Axis list. Maybe we should consider add it to Allied list - Russian Liberation Army (ROA) fought against Soviet Union, but also was essential force who helped Czechs during Prague Uprising and fought against Waffen-SS units.
  • Added Wang Jingwei Government with Taiwan flag to the Axis list.
  • Removed Tannu Tuva because de facto it was part of USSR and its war effort was insignificant.

Please take look at all these changes - I hope I didn't messed up too much. Piotr Mikołajski 19:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your rationalisations and additions!
    1. Although the USSR signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact and subsequently invaded Poland, did it identify (or should it be identified) as an Axis member...?
    2. Czechoslovakia was dismembered before/during 1939-1945, so perhaps it ought not to be included as a single country...?
Regards, David Kernow (talk) 06:13, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

  • USSR invaded Poland and Finland in 1939 and forced Romania to cede Bessarabia in 1940. Between 1939 and 1941 was important German ally and I think it should be listed as "Axis" country.
  • Czechoslovakia was occupied and divided by Germans but Czechoslovakian soldiers fought against Germans (some pilots in Poland, 1st Infantry Division in France, Czechoslovakian 310-314 Squadrons etc.) and there was recognized Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile. From my POV Czechoslovakia should be listed as single country as de iure didn't ceased to exist.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 08:14, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • In haste – am aware the version I've just left omits Czechoslovakia etc, but posted it before seeing your reply here. Will respond later!  Yours, David (talk) 10:18, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Free India

  • Don't worry, I've fixed that. And I have to say your version is much better and much clearer. I only have doubts about Free India - shouldn't it be set on 1939? --Piotr Mikołajski 10:20, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your patience. Re Free India, I'm going by what I found in the article Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind to which "Free India" redirects; it states that the Azad Hind organization was "founded on October 21, 1943" and that "[i]mmediately after the formation of the government-in-exile, Azad Hind declared war against the Anglo-American allied forces on the Indo-Burma Front...". This, however, may be incorrect – I haven't read or heard about the organization elsewhere – although there is a reference given for the second statement. Perhaps, though, there's evidence elsewhere to the contrary...?  Regards, David (talk) 13:40, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
PS Note also the flag given on the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind page; again, this may be incorrect, but, if not, it might be more appropriate as the flag for Free India, as I think there were other agencies working toward India's freedom that nonetheless did not declare war on Britain or other Allied countries. It may also be more appropriate to describe the entry as "Azad Hind" rather than "Free India". What do you (or anyone else) think...?

It seems there is a lot of mess:

Initially I thought about September 1939 because few Indian leaders opposed decision of India Viceroy about declaring war on Germany. Now I see that September 1939 is wrong date and I think about setting May 1941, currently displayed flag (India) and term Free India as more wide than just Provisional Government of Free India. Piotr Mikołajski 15:00, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Indeed Provisional Government of Free India article doesn't refer to 1941 but using name Free India we cover much more Indian units / movements allied with Axis countries than just Provisional Government of Free India. I think it's the same situation as with Vlasov's Russians - formal Russian government was established near the end of 1944 but Russian soldiers fought against Soviet Union since September 1941. There is no good solution because we can point people to official government or to fighting soldiers. I prefer the second way because soldiers were quicker than officials. Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 06:55, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Okay, have moved the Free India entry to (the bottom of) 1941; my remaining query is whether to retain Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind as Free India's link or switch to Indische Freiwilligen-Legion Regiment 950... I see that Azad Hind is referenced in the latter, so perhaps the switch would satisfy both chronology and relevance...?  Yours, David (talk) 14:10, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks; I reckon it probably is – until further enlightenment arrives!  Best wishes, David (talk) 02:32, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The link to the Indian army unit makes no sense. Armies don't declare war, governments do. So unless there was some government behind the army unit (even a puppet government) then there is no need for a flag. Mercenary armies (which is what the Indische Freiwilligen-Legion Regiment 950 was without a government) are not representative combatants of a government or nation. There were Danish units in the SS, for instance, but no-one suggests Denmark was a member of the Axis. Gurkha's fought for the British, but Nepal was neutral. And so on. It is appropriate therefore to link the flag to the puppet nation, not to army units. --Michael Johnson 00:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

From certain point of view you are right, but all templates are very simplified and not precise:
  1. Look at Soviet Union - de facto it was German ally between 1939 and 1941 but was not Axis country de iure and we have dispute about placing it undex Axis.
  2. Yugoslavia was de iure part of Axis but de facto didn't made any action against Allies and left Axis after few days. We don't link it here under Axis countries.
  3. Vlasov Russians link is placed in 1941 section but from "governmental" POV should be set at least on 1944 if not 1945. Well, from international law POV shouldn't be placed at all because IIRC there was no declaration of war between KONR and Soviet Union.
  4. Thousands Slovakian soldiers fought against Germans in Allied units and during Slovak National Uprising but we don't set Slovakia on Allied side since 1944.
With India we have another problem - it was not fully independent country. AFAIK Indian independent movements were against entering war since 1939 and Subhash Chandra Bose seek for Axis support of Indian independence since 1941. From British POV it was treason, from Indian POV it can be action for independence of country. By linking to this particular unit we show that Indian units existed in 1941. You call this unit mercenary but others can call it the first unit of independent Indian Army - I can't judge that.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 07:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Japanese flag explanation

Any special reason why the naval ensign is used on this template? Fornadan (t) 18:14, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I thought the Japanese flag at the time looked different than the one used today and on the template.--Will2k 19:16, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Kyokujitsuki (rising sun with 16 rays flag) is not national flag but naval ensign, and The Japanese national flag at the time is the same as the present one.-- 11:21, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

This is misleading change and is wrong. See Axis Powers. This is just plain wrong and misleading. This is changed to the correct and official flag. Naval ensign has nothing to do with japanese flag. It's a banner of ships. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Official state flag of Japan during WWII was Japan indeed but Japan use is not incorrect in this particular template. Look at Flags of the World website where is clearly stated that the second flag was: war flag in the Second World War, in which case it would have been used by Japanese soldiers and bases.

In this template we are using war flags, look at Italian ones - there is war variant displayed Italy, not state one Italy.

Of course website mentioned above raises another issue: the army and the navy had a version of the Rising sun flag (Hinomaru) with rays; the naval version was off-set, with the red sun closer to the lanyard side, while the army's version (which was part of the regimental colors) was more centered. Maybe we should change flag in this template to the Army version, but:

  • We don't have image of that flag.
  • Flag icon has 22px width and such difference is insignificant.
  • It's impossible to display two versions at once.
  • Japan - Fact Sheet page on FOTW site says directly about Japan as war ensign.

I hope that Japanese flag issue is now clearly explained with details and proper sources. Piotr Mikołajski 06:29, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Why you want to use a kyokujitsuki flag so persistently?
Even if it is not completely incorrect, It is more exact to use the national flag. Although the design of a rising sun with rays was used also for the army regimental colors, both are different. Don't mix up just because these are alike. Generally, this Japan is recognized as naval ensign. But I do not insist that we should prepare two type of flags. I would say if the national flag is used, all of these problems will be solved.
Primarily, I think it is not appropriate to use a war flag as nationality display. Although you illustrate the example of Italy, all countries are not displayed with the war flag. China is displayed with national flag Flag of the Republic of China.svg,not war flag Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg, Japan should also be displayed with the national flag.-- 18:54, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Short explanation:
  1. We use war flags here because this template is about war. I think it's good idea and WWI template has the same approach.
  2. If there are any missing war flags, we can correct that, like with Taiwan ROC military flag. If you've found another, let me know.
  3. This Japan flag is correct and is much better connected with WWII era than civil Japanese flag. It also makes difference between WWII Japan and Japan now.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 21:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I cannot understand why war flag is used for a nationality display because this is the war template. If there is such agreement, it is regrettable. The Second World War is all-out war, and is unsuitable to emphasize only the military side. I am a Japanese, and I feel sense of incongruity to using kyokujitsuki flag instead of the national flag, people will recognize this flag as a naval ensign. -- 02:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)= 18
Only small part of this template talks about civilians, most is about military actions and that's main reason why war flags are used. Piotr Mikołajski 08:45, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Sooner or later, someone will correct the unsuitable flag distorted by your personal taste. -- 12:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Please use better arguments than ad personam ones. If you have reliable source which says that Japan was Japanese war flag during WWII instead of Japan flag, tell us about it. Wikipedia is encyclopedia and uses reliable sources, not someones point of view. As you could read several lines above, use of Japan flag is supported by the very reliable Japan - Fact Sheet page on FOTW site. Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 20:05, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

To whoever changed the republic of china flag to the national revolutionary army flag, you're wrong. Go check any publications and UN posters from the era and I doubt you'll even find one instance where the army flag was displayed. I mean, just what the hell is your problem? You like being a smart ass or something? Quit messng around with perfectly fine articles. Blueshirts 09:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

We either use war flags on all countries which had them or we use state flags on all countries. As not all war flags are as well known as state flags(for example Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg and War Ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg) it is clear that state flags must be preferred. I agree that war flags look cooler but that is not priority. Btw, Piotr Mikołajski, do not expect to have any credibility if you misquote. Flags of the World quote again, part what you left out is in bold: I believe, but may be mistaken, that the naval flag was also the war flag in the Second World War, in which case it would have been used by Japanese soldiers and bases. Now flag of Imperial Japanese army was identical with state flag: Imperial Japanese Army. Finally one photo: Japanese troops at China.--Staberinde 12:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Civilian vs war flags discussion was started by me yesterday on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history so you can put your comments there. There is no guidelines currently except the old one: In general, the use of flag icons is not recommended.
Second part of your comment is abusive - if I would like to hide any info, I wouldn't post link to the quoted page. Everyone can click, read whole page and discuss without personal attacks. Piotr Mikołajski 13:52, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Its not personal attack, I just said what will happen if you cut quotes like that. In good faith I fully believed your quote, then I checked link as I was interested about details I was very suprized to find missing part of quote.
You presented quote as:
Look at Flags of the World website where is clearly stated that the second flag was: "war flag in the Second World War, in which case it would have been used by Japanese soldiers and bases."
It gets completely new meaning then you add missing part:
Look at Flags of the World website where is clearly stated that the second flag was: "I believe, but may be mistaken, that the naval flag was also the war flag in the Second World War, in which case it would have been used by Japanese soldiers and bases."
You presented it as fact although in reality it is only belief.--Staberinde 14:46, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Let's explain few things:
  1. Editing anything on Wikipedia I assume that my edits will be checked by intelligent people who will check quoted sources and that's why I'm not citing whole websites providing link instead.
  2. I'm not native English speaker and I can make mistakes. That's why I've posted Babel tower on my userpage.
  3. FOTW site was not the only source, look at the Japanese nationalism and Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy articles. Second is far from perfect but I see in both following arguments:
Kyokujitsu-ki (the sun-with rays-flag) or "Japanese war banner". It was the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy; and also, one of best-known Japanese nationalist symbols from the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) to the Pacific War (1941-45). This flag was sometimes also used by the Imperial Japanese Army on land
This ensign was flown on Imperial Japanese Navy ships, and sometimes the army since generally the beginning until the end of World War 2.
The flag has been used in overseas actions since the Meiji Period to the Chinese-Japanese War. When the Kodoha militarist political group took power in 1941, the banner was also used administratively until 1945. When Japan was defeated in August 1945, the flag was banned by Allied Occupation authorities.
I would love to hear good explanation of all above quotes, sources will be welcomed. My English is far from being perfect but I understand that this flag was used by the IJN and IJA units and was administrative flag between 1941 and 1945 too. For me administrative flag is equal to civil flag or state flag - am I wrong? And if this flag was really state flag between 1941 and 1945 can we use it here?
Piotr Mikołajski 16:32, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I suppose you are wrong and your sources are not correct.
  • Although the rising sun with 16 rays design flag was used by the army's regimental colors, both were not same. Look at this website [1]. This is the real regimental colors. You can tell it was differs from naval ensign.
  • First, There is no record that Kodoha faction used the Kyokujitsuki flag as their symbol, and I who am a Japanese do not know it. Secondly, Kodoha faction went to ruin after the failure of coup d'Etat, February 26 Incident in 1936. Thirdly, Kyokujitsuki flag is used as a naval ensign by the current Japanese Navy, JMSDF.
  • Kyokujitsuki flag was never used as administrative flag, it was simply used as military flags. These photographs [2] [3] were taken at the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact in 1940. At the time, Japan used state flag "Hinomaru" not Kyokujitsuki.
-- 05:30, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
You've removed large part of my prevous comment, I've posted it back.
  1. I know that Kyokujitsuki flag is used by JMSDF. I know difference between Army and Navy flag too, I wrote about it earlier.
  2. Unfortunately I don't speak Japanese so I'm unable to decipher content of the source provided by you. I guess that you are unable to read Polish so sources posted by me in my native language will be not very informative to you either.
  3. FOTW and Wikipedia says about use of naval flag by both, Navy and Army units and garrisons. Unfortunately noone posted contrary argument here. Statements without sources are nothing more than statements.
  4. I'm not talking about Kodaha responsible for February 26 Incident but about Kodoha and their later rule during WWII. Looking at Wikipedia articles these two organisations seems to be separate and different.
  5. You are talking about 1936 and 1940. I agree that in 1936 and 1940 Hinomaru flag was used as a state flag but article mentioned by me earlier claims that about 1941-1945 period.
  6. If articles on Wikipedia are not correct you can improve them. These articles are references and are taken by me more serious that your unreferenced claims. It's nothing personal, you can be right with all your statements but I can't verify them by the serious independent external sources.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 07:22, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
You can not use Wikipedia as source. And that FOTW quote was only belief and next quote at same FOTW page already explains that army had its own flag that looked similar but in reality was still different. Another quote from Flags of the World about flag of Japan(importnant part in bold): The symbol in the centre of the "Hi-no-maru" (the Japanese national flag) is the state "Mon" or emblem. It has been the state symbol of Japan for centuries. The flag became the National Flag following the Meiji Restoration in 1868. It never had rays.--Staberinde 09:26, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Can you explain why I can't use WP as source? Because our IP friend "improved" articles by removing parts of it without citing sources? He didn't cited sources for these changes just like he didn't cited sources for support of his point of view here. BTW: could you be so kind and answer on questions asked by me on 16:32, 2 May 2007 (UTC)? I would like to read some sources which explain all those issues. Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 10:16, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about removing your post, I didn't notice it.
  1. If you know both flag are not same, why did you mix up?
  2. Even if you can't speak Japanese, I'm sure you can see the picture. You will understand difference between Army flag and Naval one by visual. It is misunderstanding that the Army also used the Naval flag. WW2 for Japan was mainly naval battle, and Kyokujitsuki is more popular than the Army regimental colors, and both flags are alike. I guess this is why this misunderstanding has occured.
  3. First of all, WHAT IS KODAHA? I have never heard such strange term. Is it Japanese? What kanji is used? Clearly, this term has mixed up with the Kodoha (Imperial Way faction). It seems that kodaha and kodoha are used as another term, but there is no distinction. I think that mere clerical error caused misapprehension. The faction which seized power after the February 26th Incident is Toseiha (control fanction). Hideki Tojo was Toseiha's leader.
  4. I cannot understand your claim at all. Please show the source Kyokujitsuki used as Japanese administration flag from 1941 to 1945. There is no record about it in Japan, even youre "reliable" FOTW.
  5. Above all, even if a Kyokujitsuki assumes that it is a war banner common to a both Army and Navy, it is wrong to use nationality display. Germany, China, Italy should use not a war banner but the national flag. As expected, The Chinese war banner which you have changed was restored immediately by other user. -- 13:18, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Anyone can edit Wikipedia so you can not use it as source for another Wikipedia article. You have presented no real sources that would prove that Japanese Navy flag was also in large scale usage of japanese army or in administrative usage. It is well known fact that Japanese state flag was without rays, same flag was also official flag of Imperial Japanese Army. --Staberinde 13:22, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

As far as I am concerned, Staberinde is completely correct. The question is: what flag best symbolizes the nation of Japan? It is undisputed that the Hinomaru was and is the flag of state for Japan. Ergo, it should be used to represent Japan.
For reasons that are completely your own, apparently some childish obsession with "war flags," you insist on using the Kyokujitsu-ki. Every other user on this discussion page has told you that this is not an appropriate symbol for the entire nation of Japan, because it is in fact the naval ensign. It is therefore more appropriate to represent the Imperial Navy, rather than the entire nation of Japan. There is overwhelming consensus on this issue, and you should respect that consensus. I am frankly amazed that none of the users here have contacted an administrator about your behavior. M Van Houten 00:43, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Soviet Union was not an Axis member in 1939

The Soviet Union is listed as being a member of the Axis powers. This is simply not true, the two sides had no official alliance, and only agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement to partition Poland while the two nations stayed out of each other's spheres of influence. Furthermore, unlike Axis members, the Soviet Union never linked operations, and never retained close relations, and it never officially took part in the Axis anti-Semitic campaign as did European Axis members. The Soviet Union was definately an aggressor beligerant nation in 1939, that was not associated with the Allies or the Axis. Perhaps Cominterim chould be put down as a third faction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

A third faction wouldn't work, but the SU definitely doesn't belong on the Axis list. Operational Cooperation with Germany were minimal (it's never good to have two military forces marching towards one another without even minimal cooperation). In the end this is too complex an issue to resume with the SU being a member of the Axis.--Caranorn 14:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
We don't have third option so we have to simplify entries. We have to remamber:
  • Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939 together with Germany and Slovakia. Many POWs were later murdered by NKVD in Katyn massacre.
  • Soviet Union attacked Finland in November 1939 and Germany helped them with arms trade blockade against Finland. For example Italian fighters couldn't be delivered because Germans didn't allowed transit.
  • Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
  • Soviet Union forced Romania to cede Bessarabia, Bukovina and the Hertza region in June 1940.
  • Soviet Union forced Communist Parties of France and Great Britain to adopt an anti-war position. The Communist parties had to oppose the war, to vote against war credits and to support for desertions from the armies and related actions.
  • Soviet Union was main supplier of raw materials for German war machine between 1939 and 1941.
  • Cooperation between German and Soviet forces was far better that most people can imagine. For example Gestapo cooperated with NKVD agains Polish citizens and Polish partisans who fought agains Soviet occupation till June 1941.
All fact mentioned above mean that between 1939 and 1941 Soviet Union was strong supporter of Nazi Germany. Of course USSR was not de iure Axis member, but was Axis member de facto. It had to be shown to better understand World War II history. If you have better option than placing Soviet Union among Axis countries, please write it. If you have not, I'll bring old version back.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 13:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a definition of something being part of Axis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_Powers). According to this definition, SU never been opposed to "Allies". Which means it is not Axis. I mean, if we keep SU part of Axis here, it is just inconsistent with other wiki definitions. There other option is to change wiki definition.Wikisib 20:38, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

You are right but as I said earlier - all templates are simplified and it's impossible to show all details. Look at these two examples:
  1. Yugoslavia was de iure part of Axis but de facto didn't made any action against Allies and left Axis after few days. We don't link it here under Axis countries.
  2. Vlasov Russians link is placed in 1941 section but from "governmental" POV should be set at least on 1944 if not 1945. Well, from international law POV shouldn't be placed at all because IIRC there was no declaration of war between KONR and Soviet Union.
We can't change referred Wiki definition because it's correct. Maybe we should change name Axis to Axis and supporters? Such name could cover all disputable countries and let us show Soviet Union under this label.
Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 07:54, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
The Soviet Union did not directly support the actions of Nazi Germany. There should be a third section for the communist nations which did not directly share the anti-Semitic extermination efforts of the Axis nations or the democratic aspirations of the Western Allies. Stalin and the Soviet Union and Tannu Tuva should be in a column of their own, as it was obvious that the Allies were splintered with both sides racing to capture Berlin in 1944 to 45 to design their vision of post-war Europe.
Now that I think of it, a third column of "non-aligned" nations should be applied. After all, Finland was in a war with the Soviet Union, without the support of the Allies for three years, before switching to the Axis. In addition, though Japan was an Axis member, it did not declare war on the Allies until 1941, prior to this it was being beligerant in its own independent war on China, which was definately a major part of World War II, but does not directly fall into the Allied vs. Axis line until 1941. —Preceding unsigned comment added by R-41 (talkcontribs)
There is no sense to count Tannu Tuva because it was de facto part of the Soviet Union at this time. There is no place for third column in template too. We have added supporters word to the both sides in templates and it's the best what we could make to fill needs. Piotr Mikołajski 20:30, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I would agree with separation of concepts of "Axis" and "Axis supporters". However, the purpose of this template (in my opinion) is to provide a simplified view of "who-is-axis-who-is-not". So, for simplicity it makes total sense to drop "supporters" from this template and elaborate on then in a separate article like this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_Powers. I suggest not to overload this template with too many details, since this is an "overview", not a comprehensive article. Or we can mention that "there were supporters", and provide link to an article somewhere.Wikisib 19:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Well if its a "who is Axis, who is Allied" than the Soviet Union counts as neither. It was an independent beligerant entity in 1939. It benefited off of Poland's loss, just as Latvia initially did, and it is not listed as an Axis. Since the Axis-Allies identities start in 1937, then under the logic of the Soviet Union case of 1939 in this template, then Poland was a brief Axis member in 1939 for having taken a part of Czechoslovakia. To put it simply, the Soviet Union is not describable as an Axis nation, nor a direct supporter, it negotiated with Germany to bide time to improve its military which had been crushed by the military purges of the 1930s.
As for the case of Romania, Germany probably allowed Soviet takeover of part of Romania in order to improve its relations with Hungary, the former counterpart with German-Austria in World War I, which had territorial aims on Romania after losing territory to it in the war. Both Germany and Hungary were both against Romania initially because of its history of having waged war against Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I and having benefited from Versailles. Thus a Soviet occupation of parts of Romania did not initially concern Germany or Hungary.
This reiterates how complicated things are. Right now I am looking at the template and it has "Axis and supporters", with a long list of flags below this title. It is not clear, who is "supporter" who is plain "Axis". We can easily say that any country which agreed to dissemination of Czechoslovakia is part of Axis, because they were helping Hitler - thus making things even more complicated:). Eventually, we can make Axis and Allies list the same, we just need to dig deeper in old "sins" of governments. I suggest to list "main", "most prominent" Axis\Allies countries, otherwise this is just confusing. Or, if if you opposed to this, at list separate "Axis" and "Axis supporters".Wikisib 23:08, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

The claim that the Soviet Union was allied with Hitler is popular in Western pop-history, and among right-wing Eastern Europeans, but it's completely preposterous. Yeah, the Soviets agreed to partition Poland -- when the alternatives were to fight the Germans alone, without even Polish co-operation, or to let Hitler take ALL of Poland. I mean, the British agreed to partition Czechoslovakia, does that make them allies of Hitler? Stalin tried to expand the SU back into some traditional Russian Empire territories which had been stolen by the Kaiser and then assigned to satellite states of the WWI Allies. It was a nasty bit of business but it was hardly part of a Russo-German alliance. And if supplying raw materials makes you a member of the Axis, sign up Sweden and America while you're at it.

Eleland 16:22, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


I have removed all colonial/non-independent/puppet states and co-belligerent states. I am shocked by some of the "states" that were included, and my basic criteria for removal is that they were clearly not internationally-recognised as independent states. In addition, many of them had little or connection political/geographic to the present states by the same name and/or their military contribution to the war was negligible. In some cases the inclusions were highly insulting (or flattering) to the subject peoples concerned. Grant | Talk 05:19, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, although I think that Slovakkia as signatory of Tripartite Pact should be re-entered. Also Finland as co-belligrent should be also re-entered. I am not sure about Iraq(which can be considered co-belligrent by some standards) and Manchukuo(puppet state but created already in 1932). And Cechoslovakkia at Allied side seems strange because it did not exist during WW II. Also im confused why Tannu Tuva is added but Nepal or Luxembourg are not, so I think that Tannu Tuva should be removed.--Staberinde 08:21, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have now removed Tannu Tuva since it did not contribute significantly to the war. The same objection can be made regarding Luxemburg. While it is true that Czecholslovakia was partitioned before the war, a Czech government in exile was internationally recognised during the war. Slovak Republic (1939–1945) says: "The Slovak Republic was a puppet ally of Nazi Germany..." Furthermore it was imposed on the Slovak people and its policies were eventually rejected by them (see Slovak National Uprising).
"Statelet collectors", as I like to call them, have fun inserting such regimes into templates and other places but they really make a mockery of the notion of independent powers. Grant | Talk 12:43, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I guess Mongolia should also be removed as I really doubt that it had more independence then Slovakkia, and its importance was probably even smaller as Slovakkia actively participated in war(imvasions of Poland and USSR). Still, Finland and Iraq, they definitely do not qualify as puppets. Iraq could be theoretically forgotten because it was quite unimportnant but on other hand Brazil contribution was also not very notable in WW II scale. About Czechoslovakkia, if we have it then Free France and Yugoslav partisans should be also added, but that would bring us to things like Croatia. So I suggest removing Mongolia and Czechoslovakkia and adding Finland, dunno about Iraq.--Staberinde 13:02, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Btw, maybe Axis members who changed sides then defeated sould be also removed from Allies list as for example Italy is not listed.--Staberinde 13:05, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be better to add Italy than to remove all the others.96T 15:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Italy's contribution to the Allied side (post-1943), was negligible, compared to that of Belgium or Norway for instance, both of which had governments in exile from 1940. Grant | Talk 13:37, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that there were a few countries who were major participants; some countries who were active supporters; some countries who were nominal and/or late supporters or entrants; and some who had no involvement. How about distinguishing major participants and "Allies/Axis supporters" (or some such wording), where the former are listed with flags while the latter are listed without (hence using less space)...?  Regards, David Kernow (talk) 01:18, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I included Tuva for completeness but I can totally understand removing it. But Mongolia? It's a largeish country, not a statelet, it contributed troops, and it was recognized as independent. Of course it was a satellite, dominated by the SU in practice, but that's not the same as "not independent" Finally and most crucially Mongolian territory was a launching point for Operation August Storm against the Japanese, Mongolia was right on the front line so it's difficult to argue it wasn't involved.

Eleland 16:37, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

August Storm was all over in a few weeks and (as far as I'm aware) Mongolians did not take part in any Soviet operations against Germany(?) Grant | Talk 12:40, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Grant, I am glad you cleaned that whole mess up. I tried last week, but it was reverted as "destructive". TheGoodSon 15:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Why are some countries mentioned twice? And why are goverments-in-exile included. And about Brazil, Canada and South Africa, why are they included, they're not eve in the front line?23prootie 07:44, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
They're included because they were all active participants. Brazil patrolled parts of the Atlantic and sent a division (Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB)) to Italy where they liberated parts of the Po valley. Canada was critical in the Battle of the Atlantic, lost troops defending Hong Kong and supplied a significant number of forces for the defence of the UK and the Normandy invasion (main battle honours were Normandy, Scheldt, Reichswald and the Rhine crossing). South Africa supplied troops for the 8th Army, the conquest/ liberation of Ethiopia and Madagascar and, besides, plenty of airmen who fought in the RAF. Be pleased to help with any further info, as will others. It's best not to make major changes without either having sources or just checking the facts. Folks at 137 18:58, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering if Ethiopia should be included on the Allies side. Wasn't it a combatant in the African campaigns? 96T 19:16, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Japan in the second world war

How can Japan have entered the Second World War before 1939, if the war started in 1939. Japan was at war with China before WW2, and when the war started, the fighting continued and the fight between the Japanese and Chinese became apart of the war. Japan was not fighting a world war before 1939. TheGoodSon 14:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Iraq and the Palestinian Arabs

In your list of Axis powers, you forget to mention that Iraq in 1941, after a pro-Nazi coup, joined the Axis, as did the Arab in Palestine, led by the pro-Nazi Mufti Haj Amin El Husseini. --Herut 15:18, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Including Iraq would be sensible, except that the template already has established a rule that minor, semi-independent, colonial type nations aren't included. Including the Palestinians doesn't make since because this is a list of state participants and Palestine was a British mandate at the time. Belgians (for example) did far more to help the Nazis with SS volunteers and the like, and many top Belgians were pro-Nazi, but it would be insane to include them.
I'm opening a can of worms by asking this, but do you think that Arab alignment with the Nazis has any bearing on the modern Arab-Israeli conflict? Is this why you think it's important to list them in the template?
Eleland 16:26, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Some myths die hard.
Iraq rebelled simply against British involvement in its internal affairs. That it was supported by German planes was because of what the Germans could gain from an anti-British state in Iraq, not with Iraqi sympathy for the Axis cause, which was negligible.
The Mufti of Jerusalem was used by the Nazis to recruit Bosnian muslims to the Waffen SS Handschar Division. The Arabs of Palestine played no significant part in the war, although some joined the British Arab Legion.
Grant | Talk 03:40, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
And were at least initially intended to join the Palestine Regiment (iirc 50% of the battalions were supposed to be Arab).--Caranorn 14:00, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


This template contibues to improve, but there's a couple of omissions that (IMO) qualify for inclusion - Battle of the Atlantic (critical to the UK's survival and Overlord) and Malta (convoys needed to sustain a critical forward base). I'd add them but they both covered several years, so I'm unsure how the timeline could be adapted. Perhaps the consensus is against me? Folks at 137 20:42, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Grant64 please provide sources now!

For your edit. This is vandalism and doing nonsense if you don't provide sources. 01:59, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Some people keep putting germany in 1939

What is that about. What makes person put germany under 1939. Didn't they (japan, italy, germany) create the "axis Powers" on the tripartite pact. What did germany do to be on 1939? Is that the anti-comintern pact. Stop trying to make germany look militant and extremist and negative, just because of hitler. Need really source now! or all three nations will be put under tripartite pact at first.

Poland, United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada fought against aggressor since 1939. Can you explain who was this mysterious aggressor if Germany entered in 1940? Piotr Mikołajski 06:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
So is Japan invading China in 1937, but that doesn't make Germany join axis powers in 1939. That's not formal, that's just a guess. In that pretense, Japan started axis powers in 1937 02:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
This template talks about World War Two, not about "legal issues of Axis". With your approach all countries mentioned above fought against ghost or another mysterious enemy, because Third Reich joined war in 1940. Look at history of this template and one of my edits - several weeks ago this template had much more sense and was informative, current version brings disinformation and is senseless. Piotr Mikołajski 05:38, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
You're not making sense. Are you saying that Nazi Germany founded Axis Powers? 07:09, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 and refused to withdraw, which is why Britain, France, etc, etc, declared war on Germany a few days later. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 00:53, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Does that mean Nazi Germany founded Axis Powers in 1939 as was suggested in the template? 07:14, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
    • All valid points, put Japan invaded China in Second-Sino Japanese War in 1937. Axis powers "officially" is 1940. The conflicts in asia and europe are territorial and with the help of tripartite, it was "officially" recognized as adversary of the supposed allied powers. If we want to take into account, the smaller conflicts, naturally Japan was the leading Axis power by starting the 1937 invasion of China. Let's look at facts and also read Tripartite Pact. 02:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Putting Germany down as a participant from 1940 just because that's when it signed some alliance or other is absolute madness and seems to me to be a personal crusade of User Everyone else seems happy to acknowledge WW2 began in September 1939 and that Germany was in it! This template simply MUST be fixed to show Germany "entered" the war in 1939. Cedarsave 11:24, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

So, because the "Axis" didn't formally exist until 1940(?), it's argued that the term can't be used for combatants before then (although it's a commonly understood tag for the nations opposing the "allies"). Is that the point? It's a bit fussy. The table seeks to reflect the year in which combatants became involved - not when formal agreements were made. What alternative tags could be used? We could use "Fascist" or "Agressor", but there are probably quibbles with these. Does User have a proposal? Otherwise, I agree that "Axis" is an understood term for a particular group of nations during WWII - I think User is being pedantic. Folks at 137 18:56, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand why Germany is in 1939. My suggestion is put 1937 put Japan, then 1939 Germany. That seems fair. I don't understand this. Who decides Japan wasn't involved in axis powers until 1940? If the same rationale is used to put 1939 Germany, Japan should be put under 1937, right? You get the idea? This whole ordering seems POV and little hypocritical. 00:14, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

I did a few changes to clean up on the combatant side. I removed the list of treaties because the purpose of the infobox is to link to the most important WWII-related articles, and the treaties aren't that relevant. I furthermore removed Vietnam from both sides, because it was a puppet state on the Axis side and a movement rather than a state on the Allied side (such movements are not included in the template, which is why Free France and Tito's Partisans are excluded). I also removed the "disputed" thing, because it is not disputed that Germany entered World War II in 1939, it is a fact accepted by every single source you can find. "Axis" is not synonymous with "Tripartite Pact", it is a term to describe the side that fought the Allies. Note that the countries are sorted after when they entered the conflict known as the Second World War, and it's common knowledge that Germany entered that conflict when it invaded Poland, not when Hitler signed a piece of paper one year later. 96T 21:06, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with 96T's views and action. For me, it comes down to accepted and widely understood names. In the 1930s and early 1940s, there were continental wars: Sino-Japanese from 1937 and a European one from 1939 (which included European possessions in Africa). I don't think these became truly a "world war" until the Japanese attacked the US and European possessions and Germany declared war on the US. That said, I have yet to see a reputable (or other) historian or text that that doesn't quote September, 1939 as its start. User: latest comment confuses me since it seems self-contradictory - clearly I've missed something. OTH, How come Japan at war from 1937, yet China only from 1941?! Folks at 137 04:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)