User talk:Paul Siebert

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Welcome! Hello, Paul Siebert, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! Arnoutf (talk) 20:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

belated greetings[edit]

I've become somewhat of a sloth the last couple of years, so just noticed your return, very happy to see you back. All the best to you and yours. --Goldsztajn (talk) 14:07, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, Goldsztajn. I am happy that you are still active too. By the way, in close future, I will probably need a consultation from you regarding some technical questions. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:30, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
Happy to help if I can...older, but not necessarily wiser these days.--Goldsztajn (talk) 10:03, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

My bad![edit]

Sorry about reverting past your edit in European theatre of World War II, it got caught up in me trying to fix another problem (The revert was aimed at the IP, not you or the other registered editors). It was a good addition and I didn't mean to remove it. Captain Eek Edits Ho Cap'n! 21:26, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

No problem :) --Paul Siebert (talk) 15:07, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Assistance request[edit]

Hello Paul Siebert,

May I have your opinion on Grylev, A. N. : Dnepr, Karpaty, Krym. Osvobozdenie Pravobereznoj Ukrainy i Kryma v 1944 g. 1970 which have been recently added to the article Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive?

I'm dubious of the claim made by Grylev that the harsh winter hindered the Red Army's advance, as claimed by Tai3chinirv7ana diff while still being victorious. This reminds me of German post-war apologetic historiography, see K.e.coffman excellent webpage, Brutal Winter. Also some claims of casualties and equipment losses seems highly suspect, and in stark contrast to recent studies. Regards Wildkatzen (talk) 11:16, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Wildkatzen, I see no problem with the statement about the effect of harsh winter: the Red Army was by no means immune to that factor. I also see no parallelism between the apologetic German historiography, which attributed their own defeat solely to the harsh winter, and the Soviet historiography that claim that the victory was achieved despite a harsh winter. By the way, according to modern historical data, in 1912, Kutuzov's army in Russia suffered from the cold weather at the same extent as the army of Napoleon, and it sustained comparable losses. However, it would not be apologetic to say about that (although it would be apologetic to claim Napoleon was defeated by "Gen. Frost": he lost his army primarily due to terrible logistics, and that happened long before the winter started).
With regard to the rest, I agree that the book written in 1970 during post-Khruschev's censorship conditions is hardly a good source for figures, and if more fresh data are available they should be used instead. However, I am not sure the fresh sources based on German data are good for Soviet losses.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:33, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi Paul, thanks for the reply. I didn't mean to draw doubt about the Soviet victory during the harsh winter, but I do find that some of the explanation given, could've been straight coming from exculpatory narratives. My point is that the attrition and losses experienced by harsh meteorological conditions applies to both, the attacker and defender and is not limited to one side. Or was it really praticular difficult for the Soviet AF to deploy their aicraft under these conditions? By the wording used, the German AF was apparently unaffected and only the Soviet AF had these glaring issues. It seems to be an excuse for the high losses during the offensive, even though in 1944, the Soviet pilots definitively fought on equal terms. The poor maintenance and reconditioning affected the Soviet AF much more than unavailable airfields because of mud as it was claimed. And supply lines on the German sides were also generally poorer as they mostly relied upon horse-drawn for transport and movement of heavy equipment.
Well, I'm fine with using Russian sources, but Tai3chinirv7ana dismiss the use of recent studies diff based on German sources aswell. Is it possible that Grylev used Müller-Hillebrand book from 1956 for his work? That might explain the difference of the Divisions destroyed. Much of Hillebrands figures are estimates and based on memoirs and distorted German POV. Which why I don't recommend it either. Wildkatzen (talk) 22:48, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Wildkatzen, to the best of my knowledge, harsh weather has more impact on advancing forces than on retreating ones, because they are moving in the area where infrastructure is mostly destroyed. The same can be said about air forces: retreating Germans just relocated their plains to their own airfields that already had all needed supplies, whereas advancing Soviets had to use severely damaged airfields captured from Germans or to build new ones, and to deliver fuel, parts etc. That looks obvious.
With regard to German sources, please, keep in mind the following general aspect. During the Cold war era and even after that, the Western scholars had a full access to German archival materials and to ex-Wehrmach generals, so lion's share of the information about Eastern front was obtained from Germans. In contrast, due to Iron Curtain, and due to ideological and language barriers, the information from the Soviet side was almost unavailable. As a result, the whole history of the Eastern Front is written from German perspective, and that happened not because Western scholars are biased, but because the sources they have are intrinsically biased, and another point of view was unavailable to them. In addition, the German sources, where everything is meticulously recorded and documented, look much more trustworthy than Soviet ones. However, that is not always the case. Let me give you just two examples.
First, tank losses. When you read German books about tank losses, you may be surprised by the astonishing ratio of German and Soviet tank losses. Usually, it is attributed to better quality of German tanks (German "medium tank" Panther was just 2 tonnes lighter than than late Soviet IS-2 "heavy tank") and better training. However, another reason was the difference in the methods of calculation of losses. According to Germans, a tank was not considered lost if it had been evacuated into a repair facility. Even if the tank is totally destroyed and irrepairable, but the Germans had managed to transport it to a repair shop it was not considered as lost, just damaged. However, when we look at the number of operational tanks at every concrete date, we see that the number of losses was much greater. In contrast, the Soviets considered every severely damaged tank as lost, and this approach was reasonable, taking into account that their tanks were much cheaper.
Second, it is generally believed in the West, that the Soviets were the initiators of the Soviet-German rapprochement in 1939, and that belief is based on the report about the meeting of the German state secretary with a Soviet ambassador Merekalov in April 1939. According to this report, Merekalov came to the secretary and, after some unimportant introduction expressed his concern about the state of Soviet-German relationship, and after that added that the Soviet side would take needed steps to their improvement. However, the Merekalov's own report about the same meeting, which was declassified only in 1990, gives a totally different picture: Merekalov had a very concrete goal: to request that Germany, which captured Czech Skoda military plant, took all needed steps to allow Skoda to fulfill the contract they signed before Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany, because the USSR already paid money for that. That was a very hard meeting, and at the end Merekalov said few general words about the needs to improve relationships, which, obviously, was just a politeness. What was the reason for this discrepancy? Obviously, a chief of German foreign ministry, Ribbentrop, was a sincere Russophil, who wanted a full alliance with the USSR, and his subordinates wanted to show to their boss that they are making progress in that direction, and their reports were written in such a way that their boss would be pleased. In contrast, Merekalov had no need to shift accents in his report: his boss, Litvinov, requested him to figure out the state of Skoda contract (the telegram from Moscow is available), and Merekalov did that. However, Western historians didn't know about that, and during 50 years after the war his books implicitlty reflected Ribbentrop's vision.
In connection to that, due to the unintentional pro-German bias of English historical literature, it is always good to use good quality Soviet sources to somewhat dilute this bias. By saying that, I do not mean Soviet sources are better, they just biased in n opposite direction.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:59, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Kyiv vs Kiev[edit]

Hello, I am new to the realm of Wikipedia content editing, but I saw that you made a change in the post on Kyiv (Kiev) recently. In adding to the discussion, I would recommend having the main title of the page called Kyiv, with Kiev being secondary. While Russian is a major language in Ukraine, only about 8 million Ukrainians speak Russian as their mother tongue.

Furthermore, Ukrainian is the official language, and many Ukrainians, especially since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, have been trying to get western media outlets to use Kyiv instead of Kiev. However, some argue that Kyiv will confuse the readers. I think a great way to start getting Kyiv into more mainstream use is through Wikipedia, since many individuals get surface level information.

As an experienced editor, I would hope that you would consider this request.

If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer!


Pkop1 (talk) 01:18, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Pkop1, please, read talk page discussions (we have had at least three during the last year). Briefly, "Kiev" should stay because it is a standard English word (like Prague, not "Praha", the "Hague", not "den Haag", Vienna, not "Wien", Rome, not "Roma"). The fact that English "Kiev" coincides with a Russian name transliterated to the Latin alphabet is misleading: "Kiev" is not just a transliteration of Russian "Киев", it is an English word.
With regard to "official", Wikipedia is based on good quality secondary sources, whereas official documents are primary sources.
And, by the way, Wikipedia's goal is not a popularisation of new trends, the goal is to adequately represent a status quo, and currently "Kiev" is an English dictionary word, whereas "Kyiv" is a transliteration of the official Ukrainian name. We do not popularise "Moskva" (instead of the English "Moscow") or "Köln" (instead of English "Cologne"), why should "Kyiv" be an exception?--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:30, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for your prompt response. That makes sense about the other translations and that Kiev is an English word.

-keep up the good work! Pkop1 (talk) 04:50, 21 May 2019 (UTC)