Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Article promoted Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:49, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles[edit]

Nominator(s): EnigmaMcmxc (talk)

Per Ian Rose's advise, I am nominating the article for an A-Class review to iron out any remaining issues with the article. The article is currently at GA status. It was recently nominated for FA status, but failed due to a lack of interest, most comments focused on issues within the article that could be fixed. I believe the article meets both A-class and FA criteria. All images contain alt text, there are no disambig links on the page, and all external links are working. The previous FA discussion can be found here. All comments are welcome.

Pending a successful outcome of this review, I will be re-nominating the article for FA status and would invite all reviewers to further comment at that stage.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 19:16, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Comments I'm surprised that this hasn't yet attracted any reviewers given that it's a detailed GA. I have the following comments:

  • The opening para is a bit unclear: I'd suggest starting with a strong and clear statement of what this article was and why it mattered, and then getting into the details of when it was signed, etc, in the subsequent paras of the lead
    • I have made a few changes to the first para. Any thoughts?
  • The para which starts with 'Most of the major battles on the Western Front had been in France' would benefit from a clearer lead sentence which indicates the content of the para (the different views of the British and French)
    • I have added a sentence in per your advise.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 17:17, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
  • What was the make-up of the "Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties"? Was this a group of at least theoretically neutral scholars, or were they diplomats/government representatives?
    • I have added a detail note, noting the legal background of all involved and link to the majority of them. It maybe overkill.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:51, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
  • " having disregarded the repeated explicit decisions of the government" what was the German government's view? Why didn't they reign in Brockdorff-Rantzau or sack him if he was acting contrary to his instructions?
    • I have been searching, but have found nothing that outright states why. What I have found is that everyone seems to be in agreement that he was at odds with the Government, did immense damage while in Paris (with at least one source suggesting that he deliberately withheld information from the Government to the delegation, which resulted in the animosity the delegation received the peace treaty). After which, he resigned and eventually returned to the diplomatic service and carried on this role throughout the 1920s involving a key role in signing the Treaty of Rapallo.
The closest I have came to finding an explanation as to why he wasn't sacked or replaced, appears to be the implication (rather than outright stating so) that the uproar caused by the treaty saved his job: link 1, link 2, p. 144. The following notes that, despite earlier instructions to the contrary, when Brockdorff returned to Berlin the Government agreed with him and resigned in process to the diktat link, p. 73. Any advise? EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 18:44, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
  • " This resulted in a prevailing belief of humiliation among Germans as the article was seen as an injustice, and of Germany having signed "away her honor"" - this sentence is a bit awkward
  • Who were " Binkley and Mahr"? (historians, foreign affairs experts, etc?). This para is also rather long and combines a few different concepts, and would benefit from being split.
    • Partially addressed, it seems I ended editing out who these two were at some point. Both are historians, although I may have gone overboard in describing this.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:46, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
    • Okay, I have split the para. Hopefully in the right place! :p EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 00:03, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "In 1940, French historian René Albrecht-Carrié" - was he writing before the French defeat that year?
    • Based out of New York and writing in March, before the German offensive. I will amend the sentence to reflect the date. Would it be advisable to include his location?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 16:40, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
      • Yes, that would be a good idea given that a pre-May 1940 writer in France probably wouldn't have anything unbiased to say about the Germans. Nick-D (talk) 08:51, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The material on the historiography on this topic is interesting, but the article would benefit from additional material on the political ramifications of Article 231 in Germany: this is discussed at various points, but this material could be drawn together and expanded to make it clearer. Nick-D (talk) 11:58, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I will see what else I can dig up.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 17:17, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I am currently out of town, for the next week, and only able of sporadic editing: I will address this point asap.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:47, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
      • Per your comments here and on your talkpage, I have added a section about the long term political impact. I believe this addresses your point, if not please let me know.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:55, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
        • That works for me, though I'd suggest expanding this ahead of any prospective FA nomination. Nick-D (talk) 11:06, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Support My comments have now been addressed

Support Comments: G'day, good work so far. Just a couple of minor nitpicks from me (sorry, the topic isn't really my forte): AustralianRupert (talk) 12:11, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments mate.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • image licencing looks okay to me, although "File:Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau.jpg" might be better with a more specific licence than the PD-old one being used if possible, although the PD-US seems sufficient;
    • I have just looked at the 'Published outside the United States' section of Help:Public domain. If I am not mistaken, there is no need for PD-old. If there is agreement, I can remove it and leave the PD-US in place?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • watch the way you present emdashes. Per WP:MDASH these should be unspaced (for instance in the lead);
    • I have addressed the one in the lede. Reworded the sentence on the next occurrence. I think that has addressed them all.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • in the References, you appear to mix two different styles: "Citation" and "Cite book". For consistency, I'd suggest just using the one style, although the difference is minimal (use of commas instead of full stops, I think)
    • Done
  • the duplicate link checker tool reported several duplicate links: World War I reparations, Belgium, World War I, Central Powers;
    • Done
  • in the lead, typo: "that that"
  • "In his "well-researched", but highly..." I wonder if this opinion should not be attributed in text, i.e. who described it as "well researched". Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:11, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
    • That is how William Mulligan refers to Fischer's work, although I think that is pretty much the consensus of most historians on his work. In my opinion, throwing in another name would break up the flow of the text. Any suggestions on how to approach this (drop the quotations, but keep the text?)?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Is it necesary to include the judgement? "in 1970, Fischer wrote...."; if your heart's set on adding the judgement by Mulligan, you could put it in a note. Keith-264 (talk) 08:32, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I have removed it. After having a little think about it, its not the best place for it. I removed similar info from the WW1 reps article about AJP Taylor. While Fisher may be controversial, and highly researched, that is something that should be mentioned on his page not here ... I think ;p EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 17:53, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The Background section seems to begin quite abruptly: "In 1914, the First World War broke out". I wonder if the sentence was expanded a little, to provide just a little more context, if it would work better. For instance, what month did it break out, and briefly between whom and why. (Obviously, that could be the subject of a book, but if there was a way to condense that concisely into a sentence or two, it might make the Background section begin a little more smoothly). Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 21:59, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
    • Excellent suggestion. I will start on the tweaks.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 12:56, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I have threw something together, that hopefully covers all bases in a concise manner.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:07, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
      • Looks good to me. I don't think I will get back to view the article for another week after today, so I've added my support as all my points have been discussed/addressed. Good luck with taking the article further. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 20:35, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
        • Thanks very much for the review, comments, and support :)EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:47, 19 May 2014 (UTC)


  • Did a drive-by edit of the references (added issns and oclcs) and altered some from citation to cite book/journal as these ones had red on. I can change the rest to cite book and separate them according to source if desired. Some of the references also appear to have superfluous criteria so I can also blam them. Please revert the changes if necessary. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 13:55, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Just popping in real quick to say thanks for all the comments. I will address them as soon as possible, more than likely starting tomorrow.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:38, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I have addressed some of the comments, the rest I will look at tomorrow. Thanks again everyone.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:46, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Comment I've done a little copyediting and I made suggestions during the peer review, but I'm going to stop there for now. Generally, the article could be a bit tighter and clearer. - Dank (push to talk) 13:49, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

  • CommentsSupport
    • No dab links [1] (no action req'd).
    • External links check out [2] (no action req'd).
    • Images all have Alt Text [3] (no action req'd).
    • Images are all PD / free and appear to have the req'd information (no action req'd).
    • Captions look fine (no action req'd).
    • The Citation Check Tool reveals a couple of minor issues with reference consolidation:
      • Lewis, p. 42 (Multiple references contain the same content)
      • Lewis, p. 43 (Multiple references contain the same content)
    • The Earwig Tool reveal no issues with copyright violation or close paraphrasing [4] (no action req'd).
    • No duplicate links per WP:REPEATLINK (no action req'd).
    • There are some prose issues which I think could be improved:
      • "...This caused a diplomatic crisis resulting in Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia sparking the First World War...", suggest something like: "This caused a diplomatic crisis resulting in Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia and sparking the First World War..."
      • "...within weeks the major powers of Europe were at war divided into two sets of alliances: the Central Powers and the Triple Entente..." this might work better like this (or something similar): "...within weeks the major powers of Europe—divided into two alliances known as the Central Powers and the Triple Entente—were at war..."
      • repetitive " 1918 during the German retreat, German troops..." → " 1918 during the German retreat, their' troops..."
      • repetitive "...arguing instead for a lower sum less crippling to the German economy so that Germany..." → "...arguing instead for a lower sum less crippling to the German economy so that it..."
      • Is there a typo in this quote here: "...understand that compensation will be made by Germany for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allied...", specifically should this be "Allies"?
      • "...a ready audience amongst 'revisionist' writers in France, Britain, and the USA..." Should be "the United States" not USA per MOS:NOTUSA.
      • "...His war time speeches, however...", should be "wartime" shouldn't it?
      • I'm not an expert in grammar but the punctuation here seems problematic: "...The outrage caused by Article 231 created a psychological and political burden that hindered the efforts of the, newly formed, Weimar Republic to stabilize..." (the commas don't seem quite right to me).
      • Inconsistent use of both U.S. and US in article. Anotherclown (talk) 23:11, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for the review and comments. I have made the amendments you have suggested and corrected the reference, comma, and typo issues that you highlighted. I have opted to replace US/U.S. with United States.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 05:21, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Added my support now. Anotherclown (talk) 11:36, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.