Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Italian War of 1521

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Italian War of 1521[edit]

Another obscure—but quite dramatic, at points—war; the article is quite comprehensive (perhaps too comprehensive), and, if nothing else, has been cited with abandon. I await your comments :-) Kirill Lokshin 03:05, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Support. The prose seems a bit thick in spots, but overall, this article is top notch. Yet again, I have been made aware of the existence of another obscure European war. Good work. RyanGerbil10 (Drop on in!) 03:42, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    My apologies for any thickness in the prose; my writing style tends towards the overcomplicated and turgid, unfortunately ;-) Kirill Lokshin 03:45, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    Completely understandable, and in most cases, including this one, forgivable. Some topics just lend themselves to such prose, especially my German translations. (Those Germans and their aggulinative adjective clauses :) ) RyanGerbil10 (Drop on in!) 03:50, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Qualified Support. This is quite good. I do have two issues that I would like to see addressed/responded to. The first, which is simple, is that I think this ends a little abruptly; I would appreciate a sentence at the end along the lines of "The fighting would only cease for good in 15XX, when XXXX and YYYY happened...", or whatever would be appropriate, just to give a nice wrap-up feel. The second issue, which may just be a personal preference of mine, is the heavy use of clauses separated by dashes, which seems to break up the text to the point of interfering with smooth readability at certain points; I would like to see the use of such clauses reduced, although it isn't a huge deal either way. In any event, great article. --RobthTalkCleanup? 03:47, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've added a sentence to the end that gives some indication of the rest of the Italian Wars; I didn't want to go into too much detail there, as it's really a subject for other articles. As far as the dash-separated clauses are concerned, please see my response above; I'll see what I can do, but I have a certain predilection for the things ;-) Kirill Lokshin 03:53, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've gone through and removed some of the dashes in favor of other constructions; hopefully that has improved the article somewhat. Kirill Lokshin 04:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    The new end sentence is perfect, and the dash use is now at a level I'm comfortable with. Good work. --RobthTalkCleanup? 04:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Weak Support: There are a few minor issues like an obsolete image tag (Battle of Pavia.jpg) , a few too many red-links, and some copyedit issues. Other than that, there isn't much that you can say against this article. Very nice. --P-Chan 04:07, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've updated the image tag, and will try to fill in some of the redlinks (although I don't expect I'll be able to produce anything but stubs for some of them). Kirill Lokshin 04:11, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've gone ahead and created a few stubs; six red-links left now. Kirill Lokshin 04:47, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I honestly thought you were just going to remove the wikilinks, as opposed to making new articles. Great stuff... and you have my vote.--P-Chan 05:27, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: Very good article. Comprehensive, neat and tight formation. Good job. Tombseye 07:21, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Question: Just a detail, but why are the Swiss mercenaries mentioned as combatant in the infobox? I understand that they did much of the actual fighting, but I would say they were just "in it for the money". I would think that large parts of the other armies were also made up of foreign mercenaries, and they're not mentioned in the infobox. Jeronimo 09:08, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    Good point, since they didn't really pursue their own political goals; I've removed them from the list in the infobox. Kirill Lokshin 10:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    Support Jeronimo 09:51, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support on wheels. An outstanding article! -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 11:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support well-written. Anonymous__Anonymous 11:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Good article. Cvene64 12:30, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now. The thick, choppy writing -- and especially all those dashes -- get in the way of appreciating what is here. I also think more attention needs to be given to the organization of the paragraphs within each section and the introduction of clear leads. For example, the prelude section has numerous themes that are not drawn together, and a single paragraph at the beginning summarizing the overall themes would let you rewrite this in a more coherent way. In addition, the lead tells us who was in the war, but not what sides which country was on, so we enter the article trying to figure out some real basics. We can then figure it out, but it takes some work. Sam 13:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've clarified the lead and added some more summary material to the introduction of the "Prelude" section. I've also further reduced the use of dashes; unfortunately, I'm not sure to what extent the writing can be made less thick without omitting much of the valuable detail here. Kirill Lokshin 15:00, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I won't get a chance to review until the weekend, but will look then. I may take a crack at a section to show how I'd do the "thinning". Thanks, Sam 15:17, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    That would be quite appreciated. I'll try to give it a few more rounds of stylistic editing myself; but I'm at a slight disadvantage, since I know what the text is supposed to say ;-) Kirill Lokshin 15:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
    I think after the last few rounds of copyediting much of the more complicated sentence structure—and almost all of the dashes—have been cleaned up; how does the article look now? Kirill Lokshin 18:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    Make that all of the dashes ;-) Kirill Lokshin 18:49, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    It has come a long way. A lot of good work has been done, yet more is needed. There is a pattern of complex sentences with two thoughts joined together by a comma and the word "and." One or both pharses in the complex sentence has either a lengthy participial phrase ("by which time...") or appositive ("notably that of..."). This results in 3 or 4 thoughts fighting to be heard in a single sentence. A key to finding such sentences is that they usually have many commas. Break them up, and the flow will be much improved. A second problem is that there are many extraneous leads. "However..." is the favorite; "however" usually adds nothing and weakens the sentence. Many sentences also lead with a date, such as "in May" or "by August." There is nothing wrong with this some of the time, but there are simply too many of them. I edited to mix the dates up, putting some at the beginning some at the end. I would change my overall rating from "Object" to at least "Neutral" and probably even "weak support" right now if the only issue were the writing. However, in editing I also realized that this article suffers from being too strictly chronological. I get lost because the narrative moves among the different fronts without explanation. Someone grounded in the geography and time period will follow easily, but the average American reader who opens the front page to read this article will have little idea of what is going on. This article either needs to be organized differently, to separate out the battles on different fronts and to separate the political and military developments where possible, or it needs a section outlining the geography up front and a little more attention within to putting military and political developments in separate paragraphs. It may be that the prelude can be used for some of this. The article could also use a good map showing the major troop movements and battles, but I do not know how hard that will be. I did do some copyediting in the intro and in the "France at Bay" section. Since I have not done the reading, you will want to check my changes. Thanks, Sam 19:54, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    I don't really agree with you regarding geography versus chronology. Unlike more modern wars, warfare during this period did not involve well-defined or distinct geographic fronts; an army would take part in a campaign and then simply disappear from the region. It's my opinion that a chronological structure (which does, in almost every section, treat regions separately, because campaigns generally occurred in a single place) produces a narrative that's easier to understand than a forced split along geographic lines would; the same can be said for attempting to split political points (which, except for the prelude and ending, were only minor details) from the military ones.
    (The geography involved here is that of Western Europe. I think it's unreasonable to have an introductory course to European geography in every war article—the curious reader can simply follow all the links for various places that are already present in the text—and would point out that none of the FAs on such topics do so.)
    I will continue to work on copyediting and improving the wording and sentence structure, however. Kirill Lokshin 20:39, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    Understood on the chronology; I do think historical FAs overwhelming follow a chronological sequence, in many cases to their great disadvantage, but I won't force my viewpoint on you there. Many of them also pull out key thematic elements for separate treatment (see, for example, the Martin Luther article), and establishing those themes can help hold the whole together. It is not the geography of major locations, like Lombardy, Provence or Milan, that worried me, but of Artois and Boccacia, for example. By the way, I'm withdrawing my opposition at this point - in rereading, there are a number of things done better here than other FAs. For example, I think the ability to put the story in broader historical context here is done better than the Martin Luther article, even if that one is better written. Best, Sam 02:26, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    Well, Martin Luther is a biographical article (and on someone quite important in the "big picture" of history, to boot), which goes beyond pure narrative; discussion of the broad themes for this period is probably more appropriate to the base Italian Wars article than each of the individual episodes. But this probably isn't the best place to have a debate on the use of narrative style in general. ;-)
    Fair point about some of the more obscure locations; I'll try to add some explanatory wording when they're mentioned, at least where the actual locations are meaningful. (Did you mean Bicocca, incidentally?) Kirill Lokshin 02:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    Yes, Bicocca. I guess I made my point in a rather ironic way. Sam 03:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've added some brief comments about the general location to some of the more obscure places mentioned. If I notice any other ones that need it, I'll add them too; please let me know if you notice anything that strikes you as needing annotation. Thanks! Kirill Lokshin 03:26, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support A terrific, well-sourced article. Prose could use help in certain spots, but it's not a big enough problem to cause opposition, for me at least.UberCryxic 15:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose I tried reading the article thoroughly before voting but I could not. The writing is too thick at times. Sentences are too lengthy.Also, too many sentences with the following structure ("xxx ;yyy") can be confusing to the reader. A copyedit by someone unfamiliar with the text should be performed. If/when that happens leave me a message on my talk page. Joelito (talk) 18:06, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok I made a copyedit. It should read a bit more smoothly now.UberCryxic 22:42, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Looks rather cleaner now ;-) Kirill Lokshin 00:05, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I have removed my oppose but I will not support yet. It still needs anothe round of copyedit but the article is marvelous as it is now. Joelito (talk) 14:10, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. —Eternal Equinox | talk 01:57, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Well documented, nice description there. You certainly have my vote. TalwinHawkins
  • It's a good article, but one detail left unexplained... what happened to the English army in northern France? In 1523 they've advanced to fifty miles from Paris, but then they just vanish from the record of the war... Shimgray | talk | 12:54, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've added an explicit statement about it. They basically packed up and went home ;-) Kirill Lokshin 15:53, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    As the English were so wont to do... Thanks. Shimgray | talk | 18:46, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. Is there any other battle-piece except the one at the top? May be worth of uploading. --Brand спойт 14:35, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    There are definitely many paintings of the Battle of Pavia, at least, but I haven't been able to find either a decent online image or a hardcopy version that's large enough to scan. I'll keep looking, though. Kirill Lokshin 15:53, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    Comment -- can we get some kind of source, or any information at all, about Image:Battle of Pavia.jpg? Jkelly 18:35, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've added some information identifying the image; is that sufficient, given that it's {{PD-art}}? Kirill Lokshin 19:12, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    I wasn't opposing -- I was mostly just curious, and thought it would be helpful for other readers. Jkelly 22:01, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    Ah, ok. ;-) Kirill Lokshin 22:18, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Very nice. Rlevse 00:01, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support While every article can become a FA, I tend to be more supportive of articles about obscure things like this. Well written, no lists, and of perfect length. False Prophet 02:32, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support This is what I love Wikipedia for, well-referenced detail on some small and unknown-to-me subject. My only question is might it be worthwhile to crop and upload a version of Image:KarlIIIvonBourbon01.jpg with the text below cropped out? (since the image is used purely as a headshot, from what I see) Staxringold talkcontribs 21:02, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    I'm utterly incompetent in terms of image editing myself, but I would be very happy if someone felt like cropping it ;-) Kirill Lokshin 22:17, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    Done! Staxringold talkcontribs 22:56, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
    Thanks! Kirill Lokshin 23:11, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. No war/battle/etc. article should be featured without a proper map.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:12, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    What exactly do you mean by "proper"? The last map in the article is large enough to be usable; are you looking for something with more detail? Kirill Lokshin 05:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    I do have this map, which has a much higher resolution and shows most (all?) of the locations discussed in the article; its only drawback is that the frontier line is shown as of 1559, not 1521 or 1526. Would it be suitable for use here, and, if so, where in the article would it best be placed? Kirill Lokshin 06:28, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    Well, I'd like to see something more modern - like the maps in Polish-Soviet War or Polish-Muscovite War (1605-1618). I.e. different colors for different countries, show borders and various points in the war, show troop movements (arrows) and battles. Even part of the above would be useful: the article doesn't have a map which can tell the reader something instantly, like the maps in the above two articles.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:48, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    Comment. First, this is IMHO absolutely not a prerequisite for an FA (you can even anFA without images so heh). Second, there is a problem with this war: it happened at 35 places at once. Between north Italy, skirmishes on Spanish border and total war in the Flandres... So there is a problem. Either one draws a Europe map with all the places that will be unreadable, either one can try and draw a map of each "offensive", but then you lose the global picture... I would gladly listen for some suggestions of course... :) -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 22:31, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    I'm going to try and draw a troop movement map for at least the Pavia campaign, and possibly the other Lombardy ones, using a portion of the map above as a background. We'll see how it goes ;-) Kirill Lokshin 23:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
    Not ony, as Grafkim pointed out, are those things not required, but the wars which Piotrus directed us to do not actually show troop movements with "arrows," only the borders after certain offensives. There is a big difference in that. Very paltry objection in my opinion. Usually the best maps of the Italian Wars highlight individual campaigns, since to do otherwise would mean to keep redrawing over every line. I am fine with the article as it is because the casual reader gets a good idea about the scope of the war. Otherwise, like Kirill said, stick to one or a few campaigns. Pavia is the obvious choice because it decisively settled the conflict.UberCryxic 02:00, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
    Well, here's what I was able to produce: Image:Pavia campaign (1524-25).png. (French movements in blue, Imperial movements in red). Obviously, I'm not going to be either an artist or a cartographer any time soon; but is this suitable/useful, or is the execution so bad that we're better off not including it in the article? Kirill Lokshin 03:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
    Great job! Can you do any more? Also, what about a map showing important battles or borders before and after? Still, I don't insist we have all those maps. But at least one map which doesn't require enlarging (like those greyish/yellowish old maps) giving user some idea who attacked, from where and to where and such would be nice. I know the articles I mentioned above didn't have all of those maps, but I think they both fullfill the above criteria: you can look at the maps and quickly see what the war was about. Btw, I delayed nominating the PMW for few month until we got the map.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:04, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
    I'll see if I can produce something for some of the other campaigns. Unfortunately, my cartographic abilities are nonexistent, so I'm basically limited to using existing maps as background; in any case, since fighting took place all over western Europe, I'm not sure that an overview map would be comprehensible without being enlarged anyways. (There is a map showing the "after" borders, incidentally, at the top of the "Madrid" section.) Kirill Lokshin 18:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
    I've created Image:Battles in Lombardy (1521-25).png, which shows the locations of battles in Lombardy during the war. I'm not sure if it would really add anything to the article, though; and there is a question (below) as to whether the article is getting overcrowded with images. Is this one worth including?
    In any case, I think I've reached my limits in terms of cartography. I don't have enough detail on the exact troop movements in the other campaigns to draw a believable route map, unfortunately; all I have available are lists of cities attacked and places where armies fought, but no description of how the moved between them. Kirill Lokshin 01:22, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
    Well, I've gone ahead and added this map to the article as well. Further comments would be very welcome! Kirill Lokshin 14:57, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
    Great. Any chance you could do a map with border lines showing pre-war and post-war borders?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:28, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
    My drawing skills probably aren't quite up to the level of producing something accurate enough. (I'm also not sure how useful such a map would be, since not all of the new "borders" went into effect, and those that did were really determined by the outcome of the next war.) Kirill Lokshin 18:31, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I also don't agree that a "proper" map is necessary for an an article to receive "FA" status if the rest of the article meets the criteria. A recent entry to receive FA- Battle of Midway, doesn't contain any kind of a map. A good map is nice, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite. Cla68 17:26, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Nicely done. I like maps, but don't think of them as indispensible. You may want to think about whether you're now a bit heavy on the images with the addition of these maps, though it's a nice collection of images. Sam 17:44, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I could probably remove one of the maps if it's really a problem, but I think there's still enough spacing between the images that it doesn't look particularly crowded. Kirill Lokshin 17:51, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. This article looks really good, although there needs to be more info on the casualties in the battlebox. Mercenary2k 12:35 AM June 20, 2006
    There's no casualty information in the infobox because there isn't enough historical data to arrive at meaningful counts for the entire war. All we have are a handful of figures from indivudial battles, which doesn't account for smaller engagements, sieges, skirmishes, attrition, disease, and so forth; it's my opinion that having casualty information that's substantially incorrect is worse than having none at all. Kirill Lokshin 04:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)