Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Wladyslaw Sikorski

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Wladyslaw Sikorski[edit]

Partial self-nom. A biography of one of the most famous Polish generals and politicians. War, politics, conspiracies...I hope it is interesting :) I tried to keep it as NPOV and objective as possible, especially given the conspiracy theories part, which is rather tricky - I hope I succeeded, if not, well, tell me what to improve. Comments, as always, expected and welcome. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:05, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Support Good article. Could you make sure we always have English first, with Polish translations, where useful, left in second place? Also, there seems to be a bit too much on the controversy over his death. Perhaps most of the info could be placed in a separate article, with only a passing reference here? Good luck with it! jguk 22:31, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I am unaware of any policy that English necessarily comes first and in many cases (e.g., the title of a book that has never had English-language publication) this would be actively wrong. Jguk, is this just your personal preference, or is there some policy of which I am unaware? -- Jmabel | Talk 00:24, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)
      • It's more a case that this is the English Wikipedia, and it's normally better writing to present the reader with something they're familiar with first. There's always Wikipedia:Use English, though that's a naming convention rather than a guideline for the text of an article. Certainly I don't think it's a good idea to assume everyone knows what the word "Sejm" means, for example, jguk 06:23, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • My policy which I have used in my past articles is to use Polish term first if it is used in English and the relevant article is under Polish name, then English/other in parenthesis/italic. In case of Sejm, as it is used in English and the article title is Sejm, not Polish Parliament/Diet, thus any use in article text should be first Sejm (Polish Parliament), then just Sejm. I'd appreciate any comments on this policy if you think it is more confusing then helpful, though. And of course I might have made an error or forgoten to explain some other terms (in case of books without an English translation, I did translate the title, but again, in the above maner). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:22, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

*Weak Object The conspiracy section really needs to be converted to in a coherent narrative form, especially since it forms a major percentage of the text. Surprising also that there is no mention of Sikorski's relationship with one of his most important generals, Stanislaw Sosabowski. Fawcett5 23:20, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

    • Are you referring to the list? While I am usually in favour of minimizing lists in articles, I think that in this case this is an acceptable approach, as this is has a rather logical structure (the most mentioned facts are bullet, bullet, bullet). I feel that if this was merged into paragraphs(s), it would lose some clarity. As for Sosabowski, this is because no source material I read made any significant mention of him (neither does the current wiki article on him). By all means, if you now anything about their relations, do let me know or add this to the article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:22, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Changed now. Is it better? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:41, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support - I withdraw my earlier comments - I have cleaned up the conspiracy section a bit more, and I think it flows better now - but see some html comments I embedded. There is still an issue throughout the article with making the English usage idiomatic, but these are mostly minor problems relating to the use of the definite article, and with sentence structure. I have already started going through and copyediting these. And it turns out there is not too much available on the relationship between Sikorski and Sosabowski. Sikorski did create on 23 September, 1941 Sosabowski's Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade (confirmed by written order 4 October, 1941). This was notable as Poland's first unit of this type Fawcett5 20:10, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • It's not bad, but I see some POV, such as in this sentence: "Sikorski's role, as that of all supporters of the London government, would be twisted and minimized in the official communist version of history, and those loyal to the government in exile were subject to imprisonment and even executions." Minimized is probably fine, but "twisted" seems problematic to me. Everyking 12:05, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • The fact is that Sikorski's role was not only minimized, he was called a traitor and a fool in communist propaganda, and various other lies had been made about him (especially in the Stalin era) - starting from the accusation that he collaborated with Nazis (mentioned in the text). IMHO this falls in the area of 'twisting the truth', doesn't it? How would you suggest we rephrase the sentence? I am open for suggestions. I'd appreciate more POVed examples to fix if you say there is more. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:22, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, I'd suggest spelling out the viewpoint of the Polish communists about him. It doesn't do any good to just say they "twisted" the facts, since twisted has a distinct negative connotation; it's better to explain what they said exactly, presenting the information without overtly judging whether it's true or not. Everyking 12:50, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • Well, twisted is supposed to have a distinct negative connotation. As already mentioned in the article, communists accused him (without any proof) of cooperating with Nazis. Sounds fairly deserving a negative connotation to me. How would you suggest we rephrase it? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • As it appears it is a repeated complaint, I changed it to: his role...would be minimized and distorted by propaganda in the official communist version of history. I hope this is more NPOVed? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:41, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object - Lead section is way too small for an article this size. --mav 17:36, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I have expanded the lead, it has 3 paragraphs now and takes most of the screen. Are you satisfied? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • First para is now a bit bloated, but overall that was good enough to remove the reason for my objection. I'll take a closer look later to see if I can support. --mav 01:36, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. I'm ignorant of the subject matter, but this appears to be a solid treatment. I caught several spelling/grammar mistakes, though, so it's probably worth going over it carefully to polish it up. 1) The "Controversy over his death" section is in bullet point form: this does need to be reworked into paragraphs.2) Are we sure about "Poland, for whose freedom the world had gone to war" .. is that an accurate summary of the various nations' motives for involvement in World War II? 3) "Lech Walesa became the first President of effect retrospectively recognising the legitimacy of the government in exile." ... is it appropriate for a Wikipedia article to judge the legitimacy of this or that historical government? 4) How is he viewed today, in Poland for a hero? Are museums named after him etc? 5) I agree with Everyking's above comment regarding "twisted" — that sentence jumped out at me too. — Matt Crypto 09:54, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • 1) fixed, although I don't think it is a good idea - still, if it is what majority finds easier to read... 2) changed to Poland, for whose freedom much of the world had gone to war, which looks like a less poetic, more factual representation of the facts (after all, UK and France did went to war to honor their defence guarantees to Poland) 3) I am not sure if I undestand your complain here, but the current goverment of Poland (well, all governments after we became independent again in 1990) does recognize the gov. in exile as its legal predecessor, so I don't see it as any kind of POVed judgement, it is a fact 4) yes, he is a hero - your point being? 5) fixed, see above. Anything else? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:41, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Thanks for your fixes. Regarding 4) If he is regarded as a hero in Poland (or elsewhere), then it would be appropriate to mention this in the article, perhaps even the lead section, to clue in people (like me) with little knowledge of Polish history; it's quite useful to report on modern perceptions of historical figures. re: 3) Again, I emphasise my lack of knowledge in this area, but is it really the case that there is no significant view that sees the decades-long communist government of Poland as legitimate? One other thing: 6) "recently declassified" — can we give a date/month/year of declassification, as "recently" is quite unspecific, and will (eventually) become dated. 7) Come to think of it, we could probably do with some more referencing in the "Controversy" section, particularly when citing quotations from people. — Matt Crypto 17:25, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • 3) Long story, could make an article in itself. The communist gov was legitimate, so was the London in exile, current Poland recognised obligations from both of them - however the difference is that London one was a democratic, elected government, while the communist one more of an occupation-like. Communist did not view London one as a legit. After 1990, new independdent Poland does recognize it as such. 4) Well, he was an important hero, but this article is not about him, and he is mention just as a sidenote to Sikorski's gov-in-exile legacy, really. And he has his own article. 6) I am afraid I cannot find the exact date, there have been documents declassified from late 1990s, my source for this (the Time article) although sais 'recently declassified under the 30-years rule' but I can only speculate what was the orginal date from which the rule applied :< 7) by using hyperlinked notes and such? It would be a nice touch, but is it really an objection?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 09:59, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
          • Thanks for the explanations; I'll remove my objection...regarding 4) I meant we should discuss how Sikorski is viewed as a hero; I presume you thought I meant someone else ("this article is not about him"). Re 7) I think that when people are quoted, it's a good idea to try to give a source for the quote. This doesn't necessarily have to be fancy hyperlinked notes -- it could be something like an inline "(Cooper, 1982, p178)" tag, and a corresponding entry in the References section. — Matt Crypto 13:31, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
            • 4) I thought you meant Lech Walesa. I will try to research and adress how Sikorski's perception has changed over the past few years, this is an interesting point. 7) Basically, I agree, although this is very rare on Wiki - something we should adress on a more general scale. I'll see what I can do about it in this article as well. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:04, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. The article is informative, reads well, and is NPOV. It takes complex historical situations that are unfamiliar to much of the world and gives them clarity. It really is one of the better articles on the Wikipedia. logologist 04:36, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)