Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Battle of Blanchetaque/archive1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The following is an archived discussion of a featured article nomination. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the article's talk page or in Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates. No further edits should be made to this page.

The article was promoted by Laser brain via FACBot (talk) 5 June 2019 [1].

Battle of Blanchetaque[edit]

Nominator(s): Gog the Mild (talk) 11:02, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

A battle from the Hundred Years' War. The English army was trapped by the French in an area stripped of food. At Blanchtaque the English escaped by fighting their way across a tidal ford of the River Somme, against a French blocking force. Two days later the English fought and heavily defeated the main French army at the Battle of Crecy. I hope that this is ready for FAC, and I would be grateful for any and all suggestions for improvement. Gog the Mild (talk) 11:02, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Support from PM[edit]

I reviewed this closely at Milhist ACR and consider it meets the Featured criteria. Well done on this. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Support by CPA-5[edit]

As someone who reviewed this one in an ACR I think it meets the featured criteria. Cheers. CPA-5 (talk) 15:54, 6 May 2019 (UTC)


- are appropriately licensed. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:45, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Comments Support by Cas Liber[edit]

Having a look now...

  • I am a neophyte in this area but do we really call it a "Chevauchée"? I am surprised there is not some English analogue....
We really, really do, odd as it sounds. This from Google Scholar gives you an idea of how widely it is used; eg, note "Cyber chevauchee" and Sheridan and Sherman's activities referred to as chevauchées just in the first six hits, of 9,000.
  • I'd probably add "French noble(man)" before Godemar du Fay to clarify who/what he is...
At which point? The lead, or in the article, where he is already tagged as "an experienced French general" at first mention?
  • ... source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages - see, to me "monarchy" to me is an emphasis on the type of government rather than the government itself. I'd never use it to describe a kingdom except that of the UK really. Why not, "kingdoms" here?
To me it is a matter of nuance. The "dispute" was more one between the two dynasties over the control of the kingdom of France, than one between the two kingdoms per se. But it is a nuance which will no doubt bypass most readers, so I have changed it.
  • .... which was to last 116 years. - I don't think this is needed here. The previous segment is sufficient.
  • ...and the main force would accompany Edward to northern France or Flanders - awkward as Edward is the subject at the beginning of this sentence. How about, "and he (±himself) led/took the main force to northern France or Flanders"
Changed, although IMO it makes the sense slightly less clear
  • In early 1345, the French anticipated, correctly, that the English planned to make their main effort in northern France - sounds odd as we've just used "Early 1345" in the previous bit. I'd suggest dropping the time here as it is obvious it is about the same period.
Good spot. Dropped.
  • ...while Edward attended to diplomatic affairs. - err, sounds a bit vague...what was he doing exactly? If it was simple better to just say what it was.
Well, yes, except it wouldn't. A messy, ongoing situation on which whole books have been written. There is almost no limit to which I couldn't expand it and still leave questions hanging, but I have given it a go.
Yeah that's enough and helps a lot Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:16, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • When it sailed, probably intending to land in Normandy, it was scattered by a storm... - this flows awkwardly. How about, " Although the army intended to land in Normandy, it was scattered by a storm..."
Tweaked. See what you think.
  • During 1345, Derby led a whirlwind campaign through Gascony - "whirlwind" comes across as a tad informal to my ears.
I am honestly struggling to think of another word. I am probably fixated, any suggestions? (He captured over 100 towns and castles in three months; serious modern scholars have variously described the campaign as: "superb and innovative tactician"; "ris[ing] to the level of genius"; "brilliant in the extreme"; "stunning"; "brilliant". I would like to communicate some of this in as few characters as possible.)
Yeah I see your point - it does convey it as succincntly as possible - ok don't worry Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:16, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • ....and gave the English possessions in Gascony strategic depth - umm, what does this mean?
I have Wikilinked it. I should have anyway. Me bad. Does that help?
  • "enormously superior" to any force the Anglo-Gascons could field - why use quoted words here? Can we reword without needing something to be in quotation marks?
Gone. (You are not the first assessor to comment on this sort of thing. I am trying to break my life's habit of quote marking even individual words, but am finding it difficult.)
  • Meanwhile Edward was raising a fresh army in England and the largest fleet ever assembled by the English to that date - the switch from active to passive verb here makes it sound odd. How about, "Meanwhile Edward was raising a fresh army (±in England) and assembled the largest English fleet to that date" actually strike that, I think it would flow better as "Meanwhile Edward was raising a fresh army and assembled a fleet of over 700 vessels - the largest ever in England to that date"
Excellent thinking. (This got picked on at both GAN and ACR and I think that I was hesitant to do anything radical to it.) I have changed your suggested wording slightly. Is it ok?
  • The English "achieved complete strategic surprise" and marched south - can we reword so we don't need quotes?
Fixed. (No idea why I left it - exactly the same quotes were picked up in a previous FAC.)
  • The greater pressure of the English forced the whole melee onto the French bank of the river. - I suspect "whole" is redundant here...

Concluding, most of it reads well, just a few clangers (listed above) that it would be much better with fixed Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:18, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Cas Liber, thanks for stopping by, and for your insightful read. Your points above all addressed. Gog the Mild (talk) 15:59, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

SupportComments from Tim riley[edit]

Just spotted this. Shall look in tomorrow, I hope. Just booking my place for now. Tim riley talk 21:48, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Nothing of any great importance from me. Minor quibbles about the otherwise first-rate prose:

  • "out-manoeuvred" – the OED doesn't hyphenate the word.
Silly me. Corrected.
  • "melee" – the OED prescribes mêlée
Damn foreign diacritics. I shall, of course, bow to the preferred wisdom of the OED. Done.
  • "entrepôt into northern France" – if entrepôt means what I think it means, and what our linked WP page says it means, I don't think it can be "into" – just "in".
My shorter OE (a mere 2,500 pages) does not give this meaning, but it is very nearly as old as me [!] and who trusts Oxford dictionaries anyway. Advice welcomed.
I was using entrepôt in the sense of the third usage here ("A point of entry for people"), where it gives a quotation of "an entrepôt into …" The GAN assessor requested the Wikilink, and I can see how it may mislead.
Having mentioned the point I am entirely content to be corrected and go with your preferred usage. Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "including all of the military officers" – Fowler describes the unnecessary "of" in such constructions as an Americanism. Gray (Practical English Usage) and Fowler both go for the shorter form, which here would be "including all the military officers"
Later: I wrote the above when away from home and bookshelves, with only the 2nd edition of Fowler to hand. Back at GHQ I see the current (4th, 2015) edition says – I paraphrase – do as you bloody well like. I mention this but will, for myself, stick with the 2nd edition.
I believe that I have commented before on my unconscious penchant for Americanisms. Thanks for picking this up. Corrected.
Even later: By all means let us not be au goût du jour.
  • "assembled over 700 vessels" – some style guides insist on "more than" rather than "over" for relational quantity with numbers. A bit of a superstition, I think, but I generally comply just the same. I merely mention it for your consideration.
Appreciated. Changed over-hastily to meet an entirely justified concern of the GAN assessor's. Your suggestion is more felicitous. Changed.
  • "to transport it - the largest English fleet" – en-dash rather than a hyphen wanted here, according to the MoS, in a rare outbreak of good sense.
See above re haste. Corrected.
  • "disembarking an army other than at a port" – "other than" looks rather odd to me. Might "except" be more natural? Just a thought. Ignore ad lib.
I hope that you won't mind if I feel that "other than" flows more naturally and communicates my meaning marginally better, for all of its admittedly unusual construction.
Placet. Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "many ships deserted" – the meaning is crystal clear, but can inanimate objects actually desert?
My shorter OD suggests that it can. It has a "hand" or a "regiment" deserting.
OK. If you're happy with it that'll do me. Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "They also captured" – if "They" refers to the the English fleet, is there a case for internal consistency by treating "fleet" as a singular noun, as you do for "army"?
An overwhelming one. What a polite way of saying: "Gog, you're being an idiot."
Now would I say such a thing? (Answers on a postcard, please.) Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Poissy, 20 miles from Paris, having left a 40-mile wide swath of destruction down the left bank of the Seine to within 2 miles of the city" – earlier and later you give metric equivalents of miles. One can have too much of a good thing, but if I correctly read the MoS (MOS:CONVERSIONS) we are enjoined to give equivalents for all miles/kilometres.
We are, we are. Although only at first mention of any given distance. CPA-5 keeps me on the straight and narrow in this regard, bless them. So two of the distances you mentioned converted.
  • "On arriving at the river, it was discovered" – the participle dangles a bit, perhaps. Particularly as we're at the start of a paragraph, might it be better to say something like "When the English arrived at the river they discovered..."?
Fair point. Done.
  • "a disorderly melee" – as above (OED). (And, now I think about it, can one have an orderly mêlée?)
Diacriticed. My shorter OD gives a single definition: "A mixed fight between two parties of combatants, a skirmish." I understand (arguably incorrectly) that in a military context mêlées are allowed to be orderly. If you care to stoop to lesser authorities than the OED I could give examples?
No need. If you want an example of a disorderly mêlée, have you ever been in the Athenaeum on Boat Race night? Neither have I. – Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Having moved into contact at walking pace, casualties were few" – another dangling participle? I think the intended meaning is that the soldiers (not just the casualties) had moved into contact at walking pace. But I don't press the point.
Not impossible, all those arrows and bolts you know, but no, not what was meant. Tweaked.
  • "Abbeville, 6 miles away" – another place where you cruelly confuse kilometre fans by not providing a translation of the obscure English term "6 miles".
Readers who are not aficionados of the exotica of the English language should now be less confused. (The convert template has an option to convert into rods, but I resisted. Aren't I good?)
Wot, no parasangs? Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Tim.Sadly not. Although checking I found perches. I shall have to work that into an article at some point. Gog the Mild (talk) 15:45, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "So the English were able to resupply; Noyelles-sur-Mer and Le Crotoy in particular yielding large stores" – if you're going to use the absolute construction (and very elegant it can be), the semicolon must be a comma.
Oops. Comma'ed.
  • "entrepôt into" – as in the lead.
See above.

I'll look in again with a view to supporting once these minor points are addressed. As always with articles in this series, I have enjoyed the read and learnt a lot. – Tim riley talk 08:29, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Good afternoon Tim and thank you muchly for your usual comprehensive demolition of my miserable use of English. All of your points above addressed.
Gog the Mild (talk) 14:36, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh, get off! All [of] your prose is among the best I regularly see in these hallowed halls. I'm sure you could find just as many tweaks to suggest in any of my attempts (blatant hint). I am very happy to support the elevation of this article to FA. It seems to me balanced, comprehensive without going into excessive detail, widely and well referenced, and a cracking read. – Tim riley talk 15:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)


Couple of prose remarks.

  • "out manoeuvred"---one word or hyphenated.
Could you fight it out with Tim riley? See "'out-manoeuvred' – the OED doesn't hyphenate the word." above.
Just spotted this. So much for the alleged excellence of my prose: what I was trying to say is that in the OED it is one, unhyphenated, word. I've removed the space. Tim riley talk 08:33, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "was defeated at the"---space.
Oops. Well spotted. Done.
  • (re. hyphenation, all the "south west"s etc.)
Are you suggesting that "south west" etc, should be rendered as 'south-west' etc? If so, then can I point out that not hyphenating in such cases is a perfectly acceptable practice in all variants of English. I offer in evidence South Western Railway; South Western School District; South Western Highway; South Western Railway zone. These are each from a different continent - to establish common usage, including one from the US. If that's not what you are suggesting, apologies and could you elaborate?
@Gog the Mild: Hyphenate when adjectival. Cheers, ——SerialNumber54129 06:14, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: Whoops. Done. Gog the Mild (talk) 10:25, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "richest land"---historians usually refer to lands, unless in a purely geographical sense.
Fair point. Amended. (I note that I am also inconsistent, having referred to "richest lands" in the lead!)
  • Battle of Blanchetaque.jpg: the alt text has an extraneous comma (and "Medieval" doesn't need to be uppercase, although I don't suppose it particularly matters for a screen reader).
The alt text only has one comma and it is supposed to be there. It separates the two attributes of "image of knights and bowmen in hand to hand combat" as is usual in a list.
Have I mentioned French sources before?
I believe that I can recognise a rhetorical question when I'm asked one.
Although not in French, presumably.
¿Que? Gog the Mild (talk) 10:25, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
(Possibly) back tomorrow :)

——SerialNumber54129 18:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi SN. Good of you to look this over. Your points above addressed and I await a possible further installment in an excited state of quantum uncertainty.
Gog the Mild (talk) 18:48, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Hullo SN, were you done here? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:25, 27 May 2019 (UTC)


Absolutely fascinating piece about the run up to Crécy – one of the major battles of Europe – and I thank you for covering it. Very scant fare from me, but for what it's worth:

  • "unexpectedly threatened with the loss of his Flemish allies": is it worth a brief footnote to say what his woes were? (or, second best, a link to something we may have to cover it) – I won't push the point if you decide not to, but I don't like leaving question marks in people's minds.
Ah. Even that amount of detail is only there at the insistence of an ACR assessor. There is almost no end to the level of detail I could add, each one begging more questions. Think of it as trying to get two series of Game of Thrones, with 50 years back story, into a footnote. Sadly there is nothing on Wikipedia on this. I would love, seriously, to give more detail; but it would just get more and more off the point. IMO this unsatisfactory compromise is probably as good as it gets. Can you live with it?
If it's going to be too much detail to sensibly go in, then yes, no problems. - SchroCat (talk) 09:50, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "to that date[18][19] The..." missing full stop
Whoops. Done.
  • "landing in Normandy Edward": I normally eschew commas after opening clauses, but I feel that one may be warranted here, just to avoid the obvious gangster name of "Normandy Edward"
 :) Done.
  • "left a 40-mile -wide (60 km) wide":1. Need to lose the space on "mile -wide"; 2. Can you either tweak the template or just put into plain text so that "(60 km) wide" reads as "(60 km-wide)"
Mr Riley was insistent re the CONVERT template. Tweaked. (Sloppy proof reading by me.)
  • Speaking as an ignoramus, is there a difference between knights and mounted men-at-arms? You have in the lead "the longbowmen but were in turn attacked by English knights", but it looks like it may be the mounted men-at-arms who did that, or maybe I'm just reading it wrong in the fog of war...
No, they mean the same thing. There is a tendency for some historians to use knights when speaking of mounted, as opposed to unmounted, men-at-arms. I was just trying to bring a bit of variety to the prose, and both are Wikilinked. Probably best if I standardise as men-at-arms. What do you think?
Sounds good. As long as it's consistent then no problems from me. - SchroCat (talk) 09:50, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "2,000 French soldiers were killed": you give us this info twice in quick succession. The first ("reported to be as high as 2,000 killed") can be culled
Done. I have no idea how I missed that.

Only a couple of these definitely need to be dealt with as mistakes, the others are for consideration. I do hope this means you'll be bringing Crécy to FAC at some point too? Cheers – SchroCat (talk) 20:07, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Crecy :)
Excellent - I look forward to seeing it!
Many thanks SchroCat. Appreciated. Your points addressed above, two with queries.
Gog the Mild (talk) 21:01, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Very nice piece. From a prose point of view this covers the FA criteria as far as I am concerned. I am not a subject expert, so can't comment on completeness, reliability of sources etc. - SchroCat (talk) 09:50, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Sources review[edit]

  • No spotchecks carrried out
  • All links to sources are working
  • Format: No issues; the refs and sources are consistently and uniformly presented.
  • Quality and reliability: The article is comprehensively sourced, and the sources appear to meet all the requirements for quality and reliability per the FA criteria. Brianboulton (talk) 21:55, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Query to coordinators[edit]

@WP:FAC coordinators: Apologies if I am doing my impatient act again, but it looks as if this one may be winding up? If so, would it be permissible for me to nominate the next in my queue? Thanks. Gog the Mild (talk) 20:29, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Sure, go ahead. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:36, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.