Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Main page Discussion News &
open tasks
Academy Assessment A-Class
Contest Awards Members

Invasion of Poland#Misconceptions[edit]

The whole section reads like an apologetic piece from some former member of the Polish Army.

  1. The list of misconception itself: The first two are valid entries, popular stories making the rounds about his war specifically, the others are just tidbits about the war that should be addressed in the proper sections of the article. Or not at all in the case of the supposed quick surrender: The same is said after any surprisingly quick victory.
  2. The horse bit reads a bit apologetic, but is fine. It's a bit mixed up and could be restructured a bit. (cavalry in Poland - cavalry elsewhere - instances during the war)
  3. "Lost to all operational causes" sounds fishy. Was there a hurricane swapping planes out of the sky? Was the Luftwaffe (mostly unexperienced) losing a lot of planes to mechanic failures? Only shot down/damages planes matter here.
  4. The section on the quick surrender sound especially apologetic. Why does the Romanian Bridgehead matter? I'm sure the Germans had a number of fine plans in the drawer that, when executed, would have won them the war. Only they weren't. It's history, not speculative fiction. The bit that Poland never surrended is a joke: Neither did Germany after the war. Polond stopped existing, there was nobody around in a position to sign any surrender notice, or to continue the war. The part that resistence continued is also misleading, that's apples and oranges. Accepting this definition of "war", most wars of the 20th century are still going on.
  5. The section about Blitzkrieg belongs in Blitzkrieg, not here.

I think a section like this might be useful, if it's brought to WP standards.- (talk) 10:32, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Except that Germany in 1945, unlike Poland, did not maintain an army in the field. Poland's army, the defeated state of the nation notwithstanding, remained in the field until the end of the war, with contingents ultimately fighting on every major front in the European war. That is why the Romanian Bridgehead is significant. As to the section itself, it should probably be in the article although parts could be rewritten if required. Public perception of the Polish Campaign is rife with misconceptions. Reading the section, I encountered every one of those false assertions in my earlier years, and it was only the removal of the stifling grasp of communism that allowed less distorted accounts of the campaign to finally emerge. (talk) 06:23, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Much better alternative to the horse section.- (talk) 10:43, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Another better description.- (talk) 10:48, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I commented on this in the article's featured article review back in 2009, and agree that presenting this material in this way isn't really satisfactory. Nick-D (talk) 10:50, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

@ I'll tag it for POV, and see about fixing it later today. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 12:03, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

  • @Nick-D: I wouldn't take this post too seriously considering the low-brow and highly partisan language of the IP: from Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany, especially in Talk:Invasion of Poland. We don't know who the IP is. The article needs work, but so does everything in Wikipedia. Perhaps the "invasion of Poland" is not the best place to promote the greatness of the Wehrmacht. I have no idea what kind of 'neutrality' you're looking for? The Invasion of Poland#Misconceptions is actually very well referenced (as oppose to sections mentioned by you at the Featured article review). The article needs to be improved for English grammar and clarity; however, the citations there originate from reputable English sources confirming the facts quoted. Historian R. J. Overy in his book The air war says: "Luftwaffe had lost 285 aircraft with 279 damaged against a loss of 333 Polish aircraft" (end of quote). Overy does not say that the Luftwaffe had lost those planes "to all operational causes..." Google search reveals that Overy never used this phrase in his book even once. Template WP:NPOV dispute is inappropriate. There's nothing "apologetic" about explaining the complex workings of a major historical event. Poeticbent talk 15:20, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Source cited: The air war, 1939-1945 by R. J. Overy, Stein & Day, 1980
Had a little tidy-up, the misconception section seems misconceived (ahem!) giving undue weight to matters better integrated into an Analysis section. A couple of books seem to have fallen off the bibliography, which had some authors out of order. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 16:20, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
@Poeticbent: I don't know who you are either, and alluding to where the IP geo-locates without engaging with their substantive criticisms is awful. I agree with Keith that to the extent that this material needs to be covered, it could easily be integrated into other sections rather than presenting a rather self-pitying and POV pushing agenda. Nick-D (talk) 21:52, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
  • This seems to be somewhat similar to a Criticism section, which should be avoided in most cases (see WP:CRIT essay). -Fnlayson (talk) 22:25, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
If there is any POV it's the German one, both the horses vs. tanks and destroyed planes stories were spread during and after the war and both were false. German propaganda was and is powerful and accepted - as we can see here - by many people in the West, who despise everything Polish.
If the text will be moved to separate page German propaganda about the invasion many readers will not read it and they will still believe German propaganda. The German propaganda is based in Germany, in German books, German museum and universities, so yes, many German editors repeat their German stereotypes. We don't discuss the facts of 1939 war only but the propaganda description of the war, spread by Western historians who don't read Polish to understand Polish documents.
The Polish Army did relatively well comparing every other army till December 1941.
The problem of Blitzkrieg isn't anti or pro-Polish, it should be moved or removed.
The bit that Poland never surrended is a joke - that such opinion isn't rejected by allegedly neutral editors is a joke.
I believe that the text said that an equvalent of an armoured division had been destroyed, not a specific division. But yes, the quoted source Bekker, Cajus should be replaced by an academic one.

Xx236 (talk) 10:24, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Claiming that German museums and universities are currently spreading anti-Polish propaganda is Germanophobic if anything. I guess there must be some grand, anti-Polish conspiracy in the Western academia.--Catlemur (talk) 17:31, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
My memory of the discussions which preceded the FAR was that the editors involved in the article preferred to see the article delisted from FA class than to remove or fix what multiple other editors were pointing out was not FA-standard material excusing away the Polish defeat. From the above conspiracy theory it looks like that the same attitude survives. I suggest removing this section outright. Nick-D (talk) 07:12, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Disagree. The misinformation about cavalry and planes on the ground are somewhat resilient and specific to this war, they should be mentioned. Since mentioning non-information in the article text might be awkward and misleading, an section seems to be the better choice.- (talk) 09:48, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Interesting: The German article contained a bit describing the superiority of the Luftwaffe, sourcing it to a dissertation from a German university. I've asked for better sources, let's see how this turns out...- (talk) 10:10, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Single source within the dissertation is a "unpublished study" of Göring's adjudant. Yeah, right.- (talk) 10:17, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

@Poeticbent, @Xx236: Thank you for your help! Your statements are evidence that the section as it currently stands is indeed much more than just information, it is propaganda and has no place in an encyclopedia.

  • I've seen some low blows on Wikipedia, but the partial dox is the quickest and lowest deterioration of a discussion I've seen. Completely unwarranted, even if I had nothing useful to say at all. You should be ashamed of yourself. (@Nick-D, thanks for your support. No thanks to anyone else who let this slip by.)
  • The statement that I wanted to "promote the greatness of the Wehrmacht", as if all Germans want to do this, is either another sign of racial or national bigotry, or meant to be an insult. Which is it?
  • I mentioned that the cavalry and the planes bits are "popular stories making the rounds about his war specifically". How is this turned around to the statement that Nazi propaganda is still "powerful and accepted", using my statement as evidence ("as we can see here")?
  • The claim that modern German books and museums still spread Nazi propaganda is wrong and libelous.
  • If there was still any doubt, my aborted quote about the surrender makes it clear that Xx236 has no interest in the truth. My remark was clarified in the very next sentences, which he left out.

AGF has limits, and I think we are past those limits. Both editors have not only shown their bigotry throughout their statements, but also their willingness to distort the truth to get their story in a WP article.- (talk) 09:48, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Note that there is a tradition of anti-polish bigotry in British state propaganda, similar to its anti-Soviet propaganda, which frames people inconvenient to the state's interest as far away and of strange habits not applicable to Britain (like democracy). Portrayals of Poles as brave but backward warrior types, sometimes unsporting with it, can be found in the film Colditz, where the British collude with the Germans to prevent the murder of a Polish informer and in The Battle of Britain where they can't speak English but can shoot down Heinkels.... The legend of charging tanks with cavalry is analogous to stories of "fuzzy wuzzies" (sic) charging machine-guns with swords and spears and has an echo in Corporal Jones wanting to fix bayonets ("They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring! They don't like the cold steel!"). A contemporary version has Middle Eastern types being bloodthirsty savages, who are cruel, superstitious perverts, planting booby traps and suicide-bombing civilians. I suggest that this could be borne in mind, when trying to communicate with people who want to explode myths and seem to get carried away when questioned. Keith-264 (talk) 10:21, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I would support deleting the section. It's unencyclopedic as it stands. Some of the material could probably be used elsewhere. Srnec (talk) 22:47, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Comments & observations -- I think a middle ground is possible here. On the one hand, the writings of the German generals in the post-war period were highly influential in how the Western perceptions were shaped about the "war in the East". For example, here's the passage from an earlier version of the article on Lost Victories by Manstein (since redacted):
Manstein alleged lack of a clear military doctrine: "The Polish General Staff did not possess its own tradition of generalship shaped by long experience. On the one hand the Polish temperament was more disposed towards attack than defence. It is fair to assume that the mind of the Polish soldier was still coloured, at least subconsciously, by romantic notions from bygone days. I am reminded here of a portrait I once saw of Marshal Rydz–Śmigły painted against a background of charging Polish cavalry squadrons. On the other hand the newly founded Polish Army was French-taught."[1]


  1. ^ Lost Victories..., p. 41
Manstein's memoirs were translated into English and widely read both in the U.K. and the U.S. I wonder if the legend of the "charging cavalry" can be traced back to these types of writing.
In popular culture, some apologist / revisionist tendencies can be observed to this day. See, for example, a recent spate over the German miniseries Generation War, which appeared to put forth (among other ahistorical things) the notion that Poles were bigger anti-semites than the Germans. Some of this post-war mythology is indeed present in Wikipedia, as the reflection of today's popular English-speaking culture: for example, the propensity to refer to the Invasion of Poland as the "Polish Campaign" or the photo captions that described German troops "entering Poland" on the day of the invasion, both of which I find to be POV.
On the other hand, the works published by Germans historians of the present time are highly reliable and exhibit the highest standards of professional integrity and insight.
In summary, I think better sources are needed to either dispense with this section, or keep it, based on reliable historiography. K.e.coffman (talk) 07:34, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
I proposed in my initial post that the section should be kept, but slimmed down. Is that the sort of middle ground you have in mind?- (talk) 09:14, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry, the article in the German Wikipedia still contains Nazi propaganda. Nothing I could so about it. Maybe someone else will give it a try?- (talk) 10:11, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

The so called "Nazi propaganda" is a German PhD from 2005 which cites an unpublished study by Bernd von Brauchitsch of July 1945 and a book by Martin van Crefeld et al. .--Assayer (talk) 18:56, 17 October 2016 (UTC)


@WP:MILHIST coordinators:

Hey soldiers. Just notifying all troops about the existence of WikiProject Tanks. I just created it, be sure to come over to rifle it out. Much of it is based on WP:MILHIST, but hey, it could be classified as a child project? Send some tankers over to help too.

Best regards on the field of warfare, 😃 Target360YT 😃 (talk · contribs) 09:44, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

I think I just burned my retinas on your colour scheme. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:10, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Make the main color green instead of yellow. It's the most common tank color and it won't make me feel like this: UNSC Luke 1021 (talk) 13:14, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
@GraemeLeggett: @UNSC Luke 1021: Owch, ok! 😃 Target360YT 😃 (talk · contribs) 13:50, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Just a note that we have a military land vehicles task force which covers this topic. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 13:53, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes we do. We also have an Incubator for projects such as this one, and as it so happens we have a tank group in there already. TomStar81 (Talk) 22:28, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Though it didn't seem to take off Nick-D (talk) 07:38, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Tanks seldom do GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:29, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Imagine, a flying tank! How awesome! Face-grin.svg Target360YT (talk · contribs) 03:09, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
@Target360YT:.... actually I have seen flying tanks, but only simluated. When I worked for British Aerospace, we had various simulation systems that mostly were set up for mid-range missile defence, and the simulators (not the real kit) tended to assume certain parameters such that gravity = 0 because it makes it easier to simulate the planes snd missiles etc flying around without having to worry about gravity in every equation.
But unnfortunately, for land vehicles this tended to mean that rather than stick on the ground they would fly up in the air because exactly nothing was sticking them to the ground any more. And because of various other parameters, such that a tank doesn't really have much ability to bank, roll or pitch, it would not only fly up in the air but spin around its centre of inertia while doing so, as the guidance equations desperately tried to get it back onto the ground again. It was quite amusing to watch. We stuck them back on the ground with a bit of... welll... we stopped them flying up in the air, but it was quite amusing to see them do it on the simulator, this was one of those well you know those 3D things you get at amusement parks? A dome that was 360 degrees in the azimuth and 180 in the elevation, so if we hadn't stopped them they would have probably ended all up at the North Pole or something. We had about twenty projection cameras doing the rest of the world simulation and these tanks would start spinning up into the air. Tanks shouldn't do that. I did propose that proper British tanks should stay glued to terra firma but naughty foreign tanks should be allowed to spin up to infinity, but I didn't get far with that proposal. Si Trew (talk) 07:49, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
@SimonTrew: Mother of Goodness... 😃 Target360YT 😃 (talk · contribs) 02:12, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Simon Trew, thanks for the laugh!! Seriously, Brig Richard Simpkin in the 1980s and Ralph Peters in the 1990s (The War in 2020) have both seriously proposed flying tanks/lo-hover armoured helicopters - imagine a Wing In Ground-effect vehicle armoured version of the Mi-24 and you'll get an idea of how formidable such a vehicle could be. Could have er, taken off, pardon the pun, if the Central Front confrontation had continued for a longer period. There's a passing reference to a 'Challengers-must-fly' believing officer also in Beevor's Inside the British Army. Buckshot06 (talk) 10:13, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

It goes back further than that; during WW2 the British used a winged version of the Tetrarch during the Normandy landings, dropped from bombers and gliding in behind German lines. (It didn't work; because they had to be light enough not to drop like bricks, they were hopelessly outgunned.) Russia still operates a version of the BMD-1 equipped with retro-rockets, allowing it to be dropped from a bomber, land and go straight into action, although I don't believe this variant has ever seen combat since during the invasion of Afghanistan—the only Soviet or Russian war in which they might have proved useful—special forces seized Afghanistan's airports on the first day allowing equipment to be flown in normally. ‑ Iridescent 10:41, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
The Tetrarch used in Normandy were delivered in Hamilcar gliders. However, according to Wikipedia, the British, along with many others, had played with a winged tank design Monstrelet (talk) 10:50, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Cloud cover query[edit]

Is there a conversion for 8/10ths cloud or is it still in use? I've looked in Template:Convert et al. but no luck. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 12:05, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Cloud cover has been measured in oktas since the late 1940s, but tenths are still used too. There's an imprecise conversion table in this book but since cloud cover would have been measured by eye in WWII, precise conversion may not be meaningful, and perhaps not necessary? — Stanning (talk) 13:59, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, I assumed there'd be a decimal or %age measure. Tenths it is. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 16:59, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Unsourced US military images tagged for deletion[edit]

G'day all, I have just been wading through Category:All Wikipedia files with unknown source and have found that there are a few images of US military personnel (including a couple of Medal of Honor recipients) and other subjects that may be deleted if not sourced in the next few days. Is anyone able to help find sources for these? I suspect that a few of these would be PD-US due to being military photos, so it should be possible to keep at least few of them if we can find the sources. Here is a list of the files that I found have been tagged:

Thanks for your time. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:26, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

|USMC Historical Division ought to have some of them. lovkal (talk) 10:32, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Is "diesel" capitalized?[edit]

I've never seen us capitalize "diesel" as in "diesel engine." But is it wrong to do so? Kendall-K1 (talk) 01:20, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Not wrong, but not usual. "English writers do not usually capitalize the eponyms “shrapnel” (Henry Shrapnel, 1761-1842), “diesel” (Rudolf Diesel, 1858-1913), “saxophone” (Adolphe Sax, 1814-1894), “baud” (Emile Baudot, 1845-1903), “ampere” (Andre Ampere, 1775-1836), “chauvinist” (Nicolas Chauvin, 1790-?), “nicotine” (Jean Nicot, 1530-1600) or “teddy bear” (Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1916)." [1] - (not an RS). But then, Bunsen burner. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:28, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
"Capitalize words named after geographic locations, the names of major historical or geological time frames, and most words derived from proper names. Note: The only way to be sure if a word derived from a person’s name should be capitalized is to look it up in the dictionary. For example, "Bunsen burner" (after Robert Bunsen) is capitalized, while "diesel engine" (after Rudolph Diesel) is not. Also, referring to specific geologic time frames, the Chicago Manual of Style says not to capitalize the words "era," "period," and "epoch," but the American Association of Petroleum Geologists says that these words should be capitalized. I choose to capitalize them, as those who write in the geological sciences should by convention."[1]. So I would say no, but I suppose its up for debate. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 02:48, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Not to mention the Van de Graaff generator, Faraday cage, Clarke orbit, Peter principle or the long list of things named after Leonhard Euler. But László Bíró gets no respect. I thought it had something to do with the word becoming a generic, but I could be wrong. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:57, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Islamist Terrorist attacks RfC[edit]

There is a discussion ongoing at List of Islamist terrorist attacks on whether to add the July 2016 Nice attack to the list. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:12, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Would it not? ISIS said that it was connected to the attacks, which is a group that supports (albeit highly skewed) Islamic beliefs. I would say yes in this case. UNSC Luke 1021 (talk) 12:01, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Infobox military conflict bullet points[edit]

I have put together a proposal regarding use of bullet points on Module:Infobox military conflict, at Module talk:Infobox military conflict#Proposal re: Result parameter - bullet points. Should this be of interest, please chip in. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:32, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Neal Dow[edit]

Hello! I hate to beg for a review, but would someone here mind checking out Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Neal Dow/archive1? Dow was an American Civil War general, among other things, which is why I thought members of this Wikiproject might be interested. I normally don't solicit reviews, but it's been languishing for months and I'd hate to see it fail for lack of attention. Thanks very much! --15:17, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

New WWII List[edit]

{{Knight's Cross recipients in the Bundeswehr and Bundesgrenzschutz}} is in the process of being deleted, but the information has been turned into a list (currently found in my userspace). I am looking for opinions on whether it should be moved to the Article space or deleted. Please voice your opinions at the talk page. Thank you. Primefac (talk) 03:30, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Date ranges[edit]

Note: A change from a preference for two digits, to a preference for four digits, on the right side of year–year ranges was implemented in July 2016 per this RFC.

Since we use them a lot, you might be interested [2] regards Keith-264 (talk) 07:57, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes, but note from the RFC closing statement: "when space is at a premium, such as in tables or infoboxes, two year date styles may be used". So "1939–45" is just as acceptable as "1939–1945" in those areas. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 08:17, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't know any infoboxes that are so cramped (apart from the ones full of fatuous bullet points, that is) but for me it's always been an aesthetic matter. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Page ranges[edit]

The date ranges thingie reminds me... I keep running into a couple of editors who persist in changing page ranges like pp. 567–568 to pp. 567–68. Does anyone know if there is a guideline or policy somewhere on this? Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 09:14, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

I understand that both are acceptable provided it's consistent within the article, so people shouldn't be arbitrarily changing from one (consistent) style to the other in a given article. The most recent discussion, which put arguments for both styles, is here. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 11:20, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Type 95 Ke-Nu rail tank?[edit]

Our List of Japanese armoured fighting vehicles of World War II includes a redlink to "Type 95 Ke-Nu Rail tank". A Google search (as far as I can see) only brings up Wikipedia and forum pages that could well have a WP origin. Did such a tank exist? Alansplodge (talk) 15:18, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Zaloga, Armored Trains p 24 describes a Type 95 rail tank but calls it a So-Mo, or So-Ki for the convertible version. [3] Kendall-K1 (talk) 17:06, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
The Type 4 Ke-Nu is a variant of the Type 95 Ha-Go. I find no evidence of a Type 95 Ke-Nu existing. Samf4u (talk) 17:19, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I may remove it from the list and add it it to the "Variants" section of the Type 95 Ha-Go using User:Kendall-K1's reference when I have a moment. Thank you both for your efforts. Alansplodge (talk) 09:48, 22 October 2016 (UTC)