Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history

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Afghan War dead[edit]

So it has been often cited that WP:NOTMEMORIAL should apply to all servicemembers, except those who meet WP:SOLDIER and other notability criteria, if they died. This had lead to the deletion of list of dead, and biography articles, even if it could be argued WP:BIO1E, and WP:GNG. Then I came across this article: Siri Skare. Case for PROD, or a reevaluation of past consensus?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:18, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

She's likely to be notable for being both the first female Norwegian military pilot, and her death - both would have received significant coverage in the Norwegian media, I imagine. Nick-D (talk) 07:58, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Her death was all over the national news at the time, yes. There was also quite a bit of coverage in the media of other Scandinavian countries. A quick Google search also shows that there are also more recent news articles and television documentaries on her. That the article could be written better is not a reason for deletion.
The fact that she was the first female Norwegian military pilot should be enough by itself. I find that that she is mentioned in at least three books, in connection with her RNoAF career (including the fact that she was not allowed fighter aircraft training, due to her being a woman). Manxruler (talk) 13:10, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Overlooked the first female... fact. That being said it could be argued that many servicemembers who died in recent conflicts have received significant coverage (national) by multiple non-primary reliable sources, but whose article have been deleted. They don't even get a redirect per WP:BIO1E.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:50, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Why would this person's death be notable, compared to the killing of tens of thousands of Afghans? It seems spurious and undemocratic to me. Keith-264 (talk) 18:06, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
The stastic can be verified, but how many afghan individuals (not as a group) have received significant coverage from multiple reliable sources? Very few I would imagine. Same cannot be said of the several thousand coalition service-members who have died, most receiving sufficient to pass WP:GNG.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:35, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I think that there's a moral dimension to this, I hope it's not ignored.Keith-264 (talk) 20:20, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I think it's important that if this pilot were considered to pass the notability criteria, it would be primarily on the basis of her being the first female military aviator from her country, and not simply because she was someone who died in the conflict. —  Cliftonian (talk)  19:48, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
The morality isn't the issue here, Keith, it's whether this pilot meets notability criteria or not. This applies equally to anybody who died in any conflict on any side. —  Cliftonian (talk)  20:24, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I would agree with others that her death probably doesn't make her notable but her status as Norway's first female military pilot certainly does. -- Necrothesp (talk) 23:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Still the original question stands, if a subject passes WP:GNG, but the subject is notable for their death (thus falls under WP:BIO1E), but the event which their death is associated with remains notable (such as the Battle of X? (for instance the Battle of Benghazi (2012))) should that subject's biography article be redirected to the event? Also if the subject is given in-depth coverage long after their death, even if the coverage is about the subject's death, is that person than notable beyond BIO1E given that the death meets WP:PERSISTENCE?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:40, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Remove from review[edit]

I'd like to re-submit LIM-49 Nike Zeus to FA, is there a way to close the A-class review? Maury Markowitz (talk) 21:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

@WP:MILHIST coordinators: Nick-D (talk) 10:23, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
There's no MilHist banner on the talk page. Do I need to add one with A-class=fail for the bot to work properly?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:21, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Assistance need to prevent a flame war on Frederick Corbett[edit]

User amended the biography of Frederick Corbett without citation to claim that his Victoria Cross forfeited in 1884 had been restored. I amended the article noting that no forfeited VC had been restored. I added the following explanation on the talk page. “I have deleted the words ‘the medal was never formally reinstated to Pvt Frederick Corbett, his name was restored to the Roll of Recipients. It is correct, therefore, that the award of VC should always be appended to his name’. The ‘Roll of Recipients’ refers to the 1953 War Office list of recipients which lists Pte Frederick Corbett and the seven other recipients. This roll is an ad hoc publication of the War Office in which Part 1 lists all recipients prior to the First World War in alphabetical order. At the end of the list is an endnote stating ‘the undermentioned whose names are included in the preceding list, forfeited the Victoria Cross under authority of the Royal Warrant quoted in each case’. The War Office list is not the ‘registry’ specified in the VC warrant. The names were not restored to the 1953 War Office list since all eight names were included in the previous alphabetical list issued by the War Office in 1920 with the identical endnote. Since special warrants on the dates specified in the 1920 and 1953 War Office lists were issued for the eight forfeited awards and the names were erased from the ‘registry’ specified in the VC warrant the proper procedure has been carried out. The only change other than grammatical errors in the 1920 revised warrant was to include the requirement for both exclusions and restorations to be gazetted. There has been no gazette notices indicating any award has been restored and no 'official' support for the writer’s opinion that the post nominal ‘VC should always be appended to his name’. Anthony Staunton (talk) 15:10, 23 March 2015 (UTC)” Assistance is requested on how to prevent this issue getting out of hand. Anthony Staunton (talk) 09:58, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi Anthony, Can you please add references to the article to that effect (to the extent that it's possible to cite a negative, so to speak)? I've reverted the stuff you mention as it appears to be WP:OR and added a reference to support the material about the forfeiture itself. Nick-D (talk) 10:22, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your efforts but a flame war has broken out. I have included references and comments relating to the subject of forfeited VCs on the talk page for Frederick Corbett. They can be added to the article when things are calmer. Note that the flame war has spread to Valentine Bambrick. I think it is time for moderators to intervene and I am unsure who they are. Anthony Staunton (talk) 11:35, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Neither of these men appear on the list of VC recipients buried in UK. See list of here. REgarding other "restorations" (not of graves but reversal of sovereign decision, see this example, re Edward S. John Daniel VC, and the refusal to restore the award concludes with this statement: "...the restoration of forfeited awards may only be made on a petition to the Sovereign from the former recipient himself. In Daniel’s [sic] case this is not possible. Furthermore, as your proposal relates to events so long ago it is considered inappropriate to reverse the decision made in 1861 by Queen Victoria". Perhaps the warrior involved in the flame war has mistaken the VC grave restoration project for a project to restore the award itself to men who had forfeited it for various reasons? auntieruth (talk) 16:04, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
    • I just deleted something added by at Valentine Bambrick because it had no reference and I thought it was probably just the opinion of the person that wrote it. Now I see this is being discussed here I hope I haven't done something incorrect. Mongoose Army (talk) 05:51, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Why is this material being inserted into an individual biography? I think it would be better as a section in the main VC article. Otherwise you'll need to cut and paste into all the relevant biographies. Kernel Saunters (talk) 20:30, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
      • In accordance with Kernel Saunters and in sticking to the main subject of the article, I have removed the non-Corbett information (the George V quote etc) from the article. Buckshot06 (talk) 22:20, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Equiment identification needed[edit]

Which type of tank is this: File:OSCE_SMM_monitoring_the_movement_of_heavy_weaponry_in_eastern_Ukraine_(16544235410).jpg? --Ysangkok (talk) 15:00, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

They're not tanks at all, but rather 152 mm 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled artillery.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:16, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Pretext or trigger event guidance[edit]

Hi all at WP:MIL, do you have any guidance essays on best practice for describing the triggers for a given conflict? At WP:IPCOLL, we have this issue on many articles, which often include weasel wording subtlety favouring one side's explanation over the other. For example:

  • 1948 Arab–Israeli War: "On 15 May 1948 the ongoing civil war transformed, by definition due to the Israeli Declaration of Independence of the previous day, into an inter-state conflict between Israel and the Arab states. A combined invasion by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, together with expeditionary forces from Iraq, entered Palestine - Jordan having declared privately to Yishuv emissaries on 2 May it would abide by a decision not to attack the Jewish state."
  • Six-Day War: "...tensions became dangerously heightened. As a result, following the mobilisation of Egyptian forces along the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel launched a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields on June 5."
  • Yom Kippur War: "The war began when the Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions in the Israeli-occupied territories on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, which also occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan."
  • 2006 Lebanon War: "The conflict was precipitated by the Zar'it-Shtula incident, although it was reported afterwards that Ehud Olmert's government had been planning an attack on Hezbollah, months before this incident."

There is an active discussion on a related point at: Talk:Arab–Israeli_conflict#The_Arab_statements_bellicosity.

Any existing guidance would be helpful here, as these discussions can be tiresome and a "best practice" would help greatly.

Regards, Oncenawhile (talk) 21:58, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I support Oncenawhile call. Ykantor (talk) 05:54, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I haven't read anything on Wikipedia about the zionist occupation that isn't biased against Palestinians and doesn't have edits not conforming to the bias reverted by return of post. I support any effort to be impartial but think it would take the censorship of every edit to achieve.Keith-264 (talk) 06:51, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder[edit]

Could some air-minded editor please review this one at GA? It has been queued since the start of the year. Hawkeye7 (talk) 07:48, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Robert Vaughan Gorle[edit]

An editor is posting unsourced POV and OR statements on article Robert Vaughan Gorle. I've removed this once - editor is ignoring and replacing material. It seems he is a family friend of the recipients family and is insinuating theft allegations. The VC is in the Lord Ashcroft VC collection and was purchased privately so this is a serious allegation that is total OR. Can I have some third party input please. --Kernel Saunters (talk) 17:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm on it.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 18:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

AfC submission[edit]

Draft:The Royal Waggon Train seems like a good start. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 18:36, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


There is currently a huge backlog at the requests for B-class assessment page. Could someone pls clear this backlog soon, since I am pretty sure it is disrupting the contest.--Tomandjerry211 (talk) 22:23, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Two points for discussion[edit]

I'm interest in having a discussion with the project concerning the following two points:

  • Some years back the consensus for the Iowa-class battleship articles was to merge all the pop culture material into the class page. Lately though, the consensus appears to have swung back the other way, so I'm putting this here for discussion on whether the current consensus should be altered to allow for pop culture references in the actual ship articles rather than in one collection on the class page, and
  • Lately I've seen that some ship articles here that lack the ending id for the ship (ie CG-56, DDG-108, CVN-88, etc). According to WP:SHIPNAME, that is technically the correct way to name these ships since there is only one ship by that name, however in the interest of clarifying here I wanted to see if anyone else would be interested in adopting an all or nothing style approach so as to keep the names and the id letters/numbers in the articles so as to avoid confusing editors with what would be on first glance two different naming styles.

I'm open to input on either of these two points, but where I stand at the moment is that we can let the pop culture stuff back in the ship articles provided the material can be sourced, and that we should keep the name and letter/number combo for the ships here to avoid confusing the editors even if there is only one ship to have used a name. TomStar81 (Talk) 06:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

On point the first, I think that cited and notable pop culture appearances of specific ships would be best at the specific ship articles, while class articles would have stuff that is more general (with the proviso that really strong sourcing talking about the pop culture appearance(s) would be required). Happy to be overruled on this, as in most cases my approach to pop culture is "kill on sight".
Re point 2: I'm not entirely sure what you mean... do you have an example to show the class? -- saberwyn 07:25, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Here's an example: to get the article about the battleship Missouri, you need to type in USS Missouri (BB-63), because the "BB-63" tells the computer that you are looking for United States Battleship #63. Accordingly then, to get the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, you should have to type in USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) to tell the computer to find United States Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier #70, but at the moment the article is not located at USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), its located at USS Carl Vinson. What I am suggesting is that in the interest of uniformity ships should be at (prefix) (name) (id letters/numbers) so that new editors don't get confused over which style to employ. TomStar81 (Talk) 07:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
There are a number of USN ship articles that have been moved recently to titles without the hull classification numbers. I think it can be argued that USN hull classification numbers are so well-associated with the ship names that they should be included in the ship article titles in all cases per WPCOMMONNAME. I'd support moving the pages back to include the hull classifications. - BilCat (talk) 08:07, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
On the naming convention, I think you are right on using the Pref,Name,ID format. It seems on the face of it to be more scholarly and is technically correct, the best kind of correct. Ideally I think, if one types in Carl Vinson you should get the man, with a link to the ship or a disambig page if more than two things named that have articles. Typing in USS Carl Vinson should lead you to USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) through an automatic redirect. As in, move the current page to the page with the id, and redirect USS Carl Vinson to it.
On the pop culture issue...why not both? Why are they mutually exclusive? Right now I'm working on Historical examples of flanking maneuvers. Each battle certainly has it's own page, but someone interested in flanking generally rather than the Battle of Cannae in depth will still find the article useful as a primer. Couldn't both formats be useful, for someone interested on pop culture for a particular ship, and for someone else interested in pop culture regarding ships generally? Timothyjosephwood (talk) 08:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
This isn't strictly accurate. Scholars and academics, unless they are writing for a government, will almost always drop the IDs at the end. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
That's true, but reference works always use them. I think that we're a bit closer to Jane's Fighting Ships than we are to popular histories, so the IDs are the better of two imperfect options. Nick-D (talk) 09:20, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
It's worth pointing out that Nick isn't strictly correct - Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships does not use hull numbers in section titles - see for instance any of the unique American designs (such as USS Ranger on page 102). It does list the hull number in the table (which is analogous to our infobox) but not in the header or in the text itself. Parsecboy (talk) 11:58, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Pre-disambiguation is always a bad idea, and it's contrary to policy. A number of the articles I moved did not have redirects coming from the primary location - as I think we can agree, the vast majority of our readers won't know what the hull number for some random Arleigh Burke destroyer, and will probably just type in USS [Name of the ship] - we ought not be making it harder for readers to find these articles. Ed has pointed out WP:PRECISE, which requires us to use as short a title as possible to identify the topic of the article - USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is no more precise than USS Nimitz, since there is only one ship by that name and there will be no confusion - (CVN-68) is useless fluff. Parsecboy (talk) 10:17, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Where disambiguation isn't required, I'd certainly agree with that. Nick-D (talk) 10:24, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I will comment below regarding hull/pennant numbers. On references in pop-culture, if there is a pop-culture reference to a specific ship in a class that is real, the reference can be included in the article specific to the ship. However, if there is a pop-culture reference to a fictional ship in the class, than IMHO, it should be in the article about the class.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:35, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Exactly my thoughts. Currently, a pop culture item about the Iowa class is limited only to the class article. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:06, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

On hull/pennant numbers[edit]

TLDR, as a general reader, what's easier: USS Nevada (BB-36) or USS Nevada (1914)?

@TomStar81: Why should a general reader with no knowledge about warships know that they would need to type in (CVN-70)? Unlike dates, this is useless gibberish for non-specialists. Worse, we only have the id letters/numbers with American and British/some Commonwealth ships. An argument for consistency falls flat when only a minority of countries use them. Now:

  • With American hull classification symbols, it's a lot of unneeded fluff in the title, and WP:PRECISE forces us to drop it (unless another ship shared the same name, obviously).
  • With British pennant numbers, they're reused. If you can honestly tell me what ship HMS Ark Royal (91) is without looking or guessing, I'll give you a cookie. Not a single person can argue that pennant numbers are helpful to a general reader when they type a ship name in the search bar.

So given that it's pretty apparent that we've been perpetuating a system that is completely useless to helping our readers, I'd actually like to turn this conversation into one about getting rid of these symbols entirely and, for consistency across Wikipedia, using launch dates as disambiguators. We already do this for ships that predate hull numbers, and such a system would be far easier to navigate for our readers, who (a) are why we are here and (b) again, typically have little to no specialist knowledge about ships. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:19, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Pennant numbers are ambiguous and often reassigned; USN hull classification numbers are generally unique within the USN, and rarely reused whole. They make a much better natural disambiguation than launch dates. If you can tell me the launch date for the USS Carl Vinson, without looking of course, I'll give you two cookies! :p - BilCat (talk) 08:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Given the likely readership for these articles on en.WP, now and in the future, is it a reasonable trade-off to accept the clutter? (I don't know, but that seems to be the question.) Tony (talk) 08:35, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @BilCat: Pretending for a moment that there was more than one ship named for Carl Vinson, what do you think would be easier for a reader to understand in the search bar: USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), or USS Carl Vinson (1980)? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:40, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
As I recall Ark Royal was an invicible class V/STOL carrier in the Royal Navy, misnamed from her two sisters for sentimental reasons. As for Carl Vinson, I'll wager 19... Damnit :/ I know Nimitz was 1975, and I know Lincoln is the carrier closest to my age, so I think Vinson is either late 70s/early 80s, or mid 90s. As for the greater issue here, yes I am open to discussing the entire matter, but I do want to remind everyone that regardless of what course we decide to take its gonna be a lot of work to rename or reclassify all the ship articles. Simply food for thought. TomStar81 (Talk) 08:50, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Amusingly, you've proved my point with Ark Royal and the uselessness of pennant numbers. :-) The article I linked to is on the WWII carrier. Like Vinson, a launch date in the title (for ships that need disambiguation) would be consistent across all navies and more comprehensible to our readers.
A lot of work isn't a problem; we have plenty of time to move them! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that this would be easier for our readers: the launch dates of ships is seriously obscure. I've had an interest in the Royal Australian Navy since I was about 9, and I don't think that I could name more than a handful of commissioning years. And the RAN isn't a very big or complex navy. Hull/pennant numbers are easier though, not least as they're painted in huge characters on the sides of the things and are visible in most photos ;) - and of course, that's what their purpose is. Nick-D (talk) 09:22, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Something to consider - the vast majority of our readers won't know to type in a hull/pennant number or a launch date into the search bar. They'll just type in "HMS Ark Royal", and either go straight to the index page, or they'll use the auto-fill to find possible matches. Which is more helpful to non-experts trying to find the WWII Ark Royal in the auto-fill drop down - a list of articles with (91), (R07), and (R09) as dabs, or a list of articles with (1937), (1950), and (1981) as dabs? Parsecboy (talk) 10:08, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, this is exactly the point I've been trying to make. Thank you. In addition, only a few navies in the world use hull numbers. To use them for only some ships in the world makes our titling system inconsistent Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:57, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately I seem to have come very late to this rather lengthy discussion; however, from reading only the last bit that caught my eye I'm for pennant numbers. I say this because 1) I agree most people won't know the year the ship was launched but may well see the pennant number in a photo painted on the side of the ship; and 2) it is probably the closest to WP:COMMONNAME for most ships (although I guess that might well be a debatable interpretation). Anotherclown (talk) 11:02, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
In lew of the fact that we are debating here I'd say that is an accurate interpretation :) TomStar81 (Talk) 11:10, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem doing away with pennant and hull classification disambiguators in article titles when disambiguation is not required. But, when disambiguation is required and the navy to which the ship belongs has assigned a unique disambiguator then we should use that disambiguator; especially when that unique disambiguator can be found in referenced sources.
It would seem that WikiMedia would know that HMS Ark Royal, being a ship index article, should be listed first in the search box dropdown but as it is, the order when I type 'hms ark' is HMS Ark Royal (91), HMS Ark Royal (1914), HMS Ark Royal (R07), HMS Ark Royal, HMS Ark Royal (1608). At the dropdown list order is different: HMS Ark Royal (91), HMS Ark Royal (1914), HMS Ark Royal (R09), HMS Ark Royal (R07).
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:16, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

No one should forget that U.S.N. hull numbers change. Take a reader, one knowing little about U.S.N. terminology looking for a ship, Valley Forge, granddad was on and another looking for dad's ship of the same neme. That "granddad" was WW II or Korea and the dad was Vietnam era. Granddad's notes and papers were about CV-45. The one searching for dad's Vietnam era ship is looking for LPH-8. Same ship, different eras, classifications (in between there was CVA-45) and "lives" involved. Either reader, typing in whatever era information they have, being directed to the article USS Valley Forge (1945) gets what they need.

Hull numbers in titles are probably not the best way to go. Making sure accurate index pages and redirects exist takes a bit more work but serves the reader better in my view. Any naval vessel may be in and out of commission—and my other pet peeve here is the idea every U.S.N. ship or floating thing is U.S.S. and tagging titles with that improperly—and have one or several classifications with associated hull numbers over an operational life span. Ships are launched only once. Where we have a launch date that is the fingerprint. All the rest can go into the article and is best indexed and redirected. As for "expert" arguments? DANFS, even if the NHHC digital site is an abysmal mess after the redesign, uses a numerical sequence rather than hull number in its titles, hard copy and soft. I'm looking at an old hard copy copy right now. Agate, that is all. Then "Originally classified AM-78, Atate became PYc-4 . . ." so the oft referenced naval authority itself does not use hull numbers in titles. A launch is a unique event. Classifications and resulting hull numbers are bureaucratic changes of how Navy sees the ship's function, done with a stroke of a pen and paint job. Names, appearance ("granddad's" Bon Homme Richard and "dad's Bon Homme Richard) and even tonnages have changed for similar reasons. The one constant is the date that hull met water the first time. Palmeira (talk) 13:36, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I haven't given it much thought, but I must say from personal experience, that when looking for a particular ship I am usually looking for a ship of a given time period and I rarely find hull numbers useful in pinpointing a ship. Gatoclass (talk) 13:58, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Often it takes a lot more than even name and hull and date to untangle a mess. One may have to throw in builder and builder's records. One I recently found: Two yachts named Columbia built for the same person that got turned into naval vessels and a DANFS error: USS Wasp (1893) (Not built 1898 when commissioned, but 1893) and HMCS Stadacona. Like J. P. Morgan later with his several Corsair yachts, Joseph Harvey Ladew, Sr. lost one to the Navy and immediately ordered another that got tangled with the first, even in DANFS. Palmeira (talk) 14:59, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
On the subject of search, I suspect that the average reader would be looking for a ship associated with a period or conflict: eg looking for an HMS Triumph that took part in the First World War. In such a case they would tend to find the ship neither by its pennant nor year of launching in the article name but from the snippets shown in the search results for "HMS Triumph Second World War" or by reading the index list at HMS Triumph. And therefore the disambiguation use is - for readers - not an issue. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:30, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Which is why good indices and redirects are critical for readers. For people editing, as noted above, considerable care in defining just which hull they are dealing with goes beyond grabbing a name and hull number. Palmeira (talk) 14:59, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @GraemeLeggett:, sure, but this change isn't for the reader who types in "HMS Triumph Second World War," this is for the one who types "HMS Triumph" and is forced to go to the disambiguation page because they have no idea what (N18) means. Why should we make people go through a second page just to hold to an obscure naming system, especially when someone could much more easily recognize (1938) in the dropdown menu? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 15:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
While the year of launching probably isn't that useful to general readers, it does pin point the ship in time, so that a reader can tell if the ship participated in WW1, or whatever. Pennant numbers, like hull numbers, sometimes change over time; forex I think that the RN added a flag superior R to the pennant numbers of its WW2 carriers that previously used only a two digit pennant number during the war, so there was apparently an earlier naming dispute over the proper pennant number for use in the title of the article on HMS Illustrious (87). Hell, I am a specialist and I can't keep straight which HMS Daring is which using pennant numbers. So let's change over everything to launch year as the clearest disambiguator we can use. Although we should probably set up ship index pages for the pennant numbers for use in ship ID.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:45, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Tossing another spanner into the works. Suppose a ship was launched by Country A as Alpha, and had an entirely uninteresting carrier under that name. Then suppose that Alpha becomes the property of Country B, was renamed Beta, and then went on to have a notable carrier under that name. Further suppose that there are other ships named Alpha and Beta so disambiguation is required. Because our exemplar is notable as Beta, but didn't exist as Beta when the physical hull met the water for the first time, how should this ship be disambiguated?

Trappist the monk (talk) 15:28, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

What the actual title of the article in this case would be is a judgement call, but as long as there are redirects in place to allow readers to figure out what ship they want to look up, I'm not particularly concerned about article titles in the sense that you're talking about.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:45, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
There you have another advantage of launch year even if it is only to keep ourselves straight in the indices and redirects going to the right place. Whether named Phoenix or General Belgrano that hull never got "launched" again. So if we even had ten ships by each name the launch year is a good fingerprint. And that holds even more with vessels that may have mixed commercial, naval, other naval and commercial again histories. We can be sure many floated in and out of dry docks, got sold, rechristened, sold/loaned re commissioned in someone's navy and sold commercial and even rebuilt. It applies even if hull sections were added for drastic length/tonnage change. Assuming we do a good job of making sure a launch name/date does actually apply to a hull (there are a few cases where that can get crazy) that is as close to a single, permanent ID as we get. Palmeira (talk) 16:14, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
With warships I'm perhaps a fairly-well-informed-general reader. Faced with a drop-down, I find the pennant disambiguators next-to-useless (unless the letter prefix gives a useful clue) and almost always choose the List page, where the dates will usually send me in the right direction. Much better to have the initial year for starters (and avoid all the problems of multiple pennant/hull numbers for the same ship. Davidships (talk) 22:12, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about other countries, but I can tell you about Australia. As in most areas, there is an international agreement. The RAN allocates its pennant numbers from blocks allocated to Australia in Annex B of the Call Sign Book for Ships (ACP113). The RAN likes to give ships of the same name the same pennant number. So the new HMAS Hobart is going to have the same pennant number (39) as the old HMAS Hobart. Which pretty much makes the pennant numbers useless for disambiguation purposes. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:44, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Also late to the discussion here. IMHO, if there is but one ship with a given name, per WP:COMMONNAME a pennant number, hull number, or commission year is not needed, and the article be named ship name (ship), as it is often named after a subject). However, if there are multiple ships with the same name a disambiguation page should exist, and then the pennant, hull number, commission date should be used. Now the question is which is more common, and which would be jargon? With disambiguation, COMMONNAME already doesn't apply fully, as for instance what is most commonly referred to as Enterprise is entirely specific to the context. Is it the USS Enterprise CV-6, CVN-65 (or in a more 1960's era CVAN-65), or the fictional NCC-1701 or NCC-1701E? Therefore, the question is what is the most common form of disambiguation? Should NCC-1701 be Enterprise (2245), while the Space Shuttle Enterprise than be Enterprise (1976), and CV-6 be Enterprise (1938), and the first HMS Enterprise be Enterprise (1705). This would standardize Enterprise across a wide range of nations and fictional and non-fictional.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:35, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

There is another disambiguator that could be used, IMO number. That is a constant whatever name/pennant number etc are used. Would only work with vessels in service from the mid 1960s onward though. Of course, redirects could be created in the form of IMO 1234567890 to ship articles, but that is probably a discussion for WT:SHIPS. Mjroots (talk) 08:58, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
This isn't really my bag but the other day I had occasion to look up some ships to wikilink and the only things that helped were the names and a disambiguation page. On reflection, anything technical and analogous to a code number, isbn or bar code is strictly for the aficionado. I doubt that anything different would be workable for a lay person like me so if that's the criterion, better information in disamb pages is the only thing that's going to be an improvement. Keith-264 (talk) 09:12, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Let's leave the imaginary star ships out of this to play in whatever universe they live in and deal with this world now. For reasons stated above I definitely support the use of launch year, not hull or pennant numbers, to distinguish ship article titles. What we have to ensure is a target identifier for accurate linking from indices and redirects where additional information clearly distinguishes which ship of a commonly used name is which. Keith-264 is right on that. Disambiguation pages can contain sufficient detail for even naval novices to find the most likely ship of interest. For most users a mass of hull or pennant numbers is of little use. The idea that USN hull numbers are static and clearly identify a ship is simply not true as they do change for the same ship, sometimes both in classification alpha and in the number itself. So, which to use in the title gets us into that first or longest or most notable stuff. No ship is launched twice. That is closest to a clear target identifier, a "fingerprint" addition to name for a page title that the more detailed indices a non specialist can read to identify the correct ship article and be one click away.
Good disambiguation index pages are critical when we get into articles about auxiliaries, where names cross commercial and naval service and both commercial firms and military recycle names. Things can get very confusing particularly when some people mix up even whether the ship was USN or WSA or Army as I've run across multiple times here. A quick example is USS Monterey (some are worse) in which you have commercial and "Navy" names with USS being attached, even by news sources and particularly veteran "recollections" about their passage overseas, to ships that were never Navy at all. Untangling some of that will take indices with more detail than even date and hull number. When a reader uses that detail the click needs to take them to the right ship article page. That is the real issue. Palmeira (talk) 14:28, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue CVIII, March 2015[edit]

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