Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/June 2013/Op-ed

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Anchors Aweigh for the Majestic Titans

By TomStar81 et al.
Battleships and other big gun naval vessels once formed the backbone of naval might for the world's global powers. In the aftermath of World War II, the aircraft carrier displaced the battleship from its position of primacy.

On June 17, Operation Majestic Titan turned four years old. This special project, arguably the most successful of the four special projects currently running under the Military history Project's umbrella, began humbly with a few good editors working principally on European (mostly German) and U.S. fast battleship articles and has since evolved in size and scope to include everything judged to be related to battleships and battlecruisers. As we turn four, it seems only appropriate to take a look back and see what it is we have accomplished and what we still have left to do.

In June 2009, Operation Majestic Titan was officially incorporated to better coordinate the interests of the battleship editors who had grown over the course of the years, and to provide the editors and the interested with a place to come and work on any battleship or battlecruiser they had an interest in. The project took its name from the Titans of Greek Mythology, who were said to have been greater even than the gods. Despite being more powerful than the Olympian gods, the Titans lost a ten-year war to the Olympians, and were subsequently banished, an outcome echoed by the battleship and the aircraft carrier, the latter of which replaced the former in the aftermath of World War II.

The German battleship Bismarck, one of a growing number of non-US battleship and battlecruiser subjects to attain featured status. Improvement of European and Japanese battleship and battlecruiser articles has helped Operation Majestic Titan move away from a US-centric quality article count.

According to the earliest available quality article count in the project page's history, we had at the time of our founding 23 FA-class articles, 12 A-class articles, and 19 Good articles, along with approximately a dozen editors actively involved.[Note 1] The largest collection of quality articles on or relating to the battleship/battlecruiser articles were usually on ship or ship classes of the United States, with other European nations accounting for the remaining quality content, and our home page was far less organized than its current incarnation - in fact, the page was originally a brief summary of the long term goal of the project and a large list of the battleship articles in question that needed to be worked on to get up to FA status.

As we turn four those early statistics have given way to more complete collection of materials to be covered and more meaningful numbers among both the editor base and the quality content. Our present scope has grown enough to allow for the subdividing of Majestic Titan into five separate but interconnected phases that will help ensure that, when completed, our special project lacks for nothing in detail. With this subdivision of the work into phases we have also gained a more accurate picture of where we stand and where we still have left to go. At the time of this writing our project currently has 93 FA-class articles, 8 Featured Lists, 23 A-class articles, and 198 GA-class articles. Our membership has gown to include more than 30 editors, all of whom have an interest in big gun ships. Our phase 1 progress (which is related to the improvement of the battleship and battlecruiser ship and ship class pages only) currently has more than 50% of these ship articles at our above GA-class, while a short term goal of ours to have at least 20% of our total articles at FA-class currently stands just short of 95% complete. Our home page has also undergone a major facelift, becoming less a running list of work yet to be completed and more a welcome page with an explanation of the work to be done and sub pages which include the five phases or our project, a showcase of our quality content, and our Battleship Portal (which includes battlecruiser-related material as well).

Can we do it? Certainly! Will we do it? Definitely! Can you help? Absolutely!

Our quality content has also shifted from being largely US-based to being more global in make up as well. Battleship articles rated at our above GA-class have drifted from being largely United States oriented to being a mix of German (both Imperial and Third Reich) and Japanese, while Germany has taken the clear lead in battlecruiser content with the passage of the Featured Topic Battlecruisers of Germany in September 2010. This was and remains a major milestone of Majestic Titan, marking the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of national battleship and battlecruiser featured topics that will one day form the back bone for the largest Featured Topic on Wikipedia. We also stand on the precipice of our next major milestone, the completion of a 63-article Featured Topic Candidate covering all of the world's battlecruisers. In addition to our quality content, we have also expanded to include a Facebook page.

As work continues on Phase I of Majestic Titan members are looking ahead to the upcoming phases. When the ships themselves are entirely at FA-class editors will shift to Phase II, which covers battleship and battlecruiser weaponry, then from there proceed to touch on Major Historical Highlights, Biographies, and Miscellaneous material (defined as anything not immediately covered by the proceeding phases). While the bulk of the active work is presently concentrated on the individual ship and ship class articles, editors are welcome and encouraged to work on any area of interest they presently have. In particular, as the subsequent Phases come online we will need more assistance with collecting, tagging, assessing, and improving articles in these yet-to-activated phases. As always, we could use an extra set of eyes and hands to help out, so if you are interested don't hesitate to lend us a hand. Of particular note is that those whose work on battleship and battlecruiser articles been beneficial to the project are eligible to receive the the Titan's Cross, a unique award created specifically for Majestic Titan participants to recognize their efforts in helping us improve battleship and battlecruiser articles.

  1. ^ At the time of the project's founding there was no official membership list, and the project page was originally located in the userspace before the decision was made to move the special project to its current location as a subsection of the larger Military history Project. For these reasons, it is not exactly clear how many people identified themselves as a part of the project at the time of its founding, however it is known that roughly 12 editors had been particularly active on battleship pages around the time of Majestic Titan's incorporation.
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  • WPMILHIST is one of the most impressive WikiProjects in all of Wikipedia and Majestic Titan is a great exemplar of that fact. I hope the wider community of readers become aware that the spectacular content put together by task forces like Majestic Titan are a small number of editors dedicated to creating serious academic content. I congratulate the members of OMT for their contributions. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:18, 12 July 2013 (UTC)