Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Archive 16

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Future plans

Below is a (possibly not exhaustive) overview of ideas that this project might be able to work on in the future. Some of these have been sitting undone for quite a while, or are currently being worked on; others have only recently been proposed. They are listed in no particular order, but some of the ones at the end may be more far-fetched.

  • Military biographies: Develop {{Infobox Military Person}}. Write structure guidelines for biographies of military commanders (similar to the ones we have for battles and wars). Figure out the category and stub systems for them. Engage in a massive tagging campaign to add project notices. And so forth.
  • Military units: Pretty much the same thing as military biographies above. {{Infobox Military Unit}} is in fairly decent shape, but still needs work before it can replace all of the existing infoboxes used on various unit articles. The project notice tagging here is likely to be even greater in scope than the biography one.
  • Campaignbox review: Currently started (see the navigation template), but hasn't gotten very far. We need to figure out what campaignboxes are missing from the main list and add them, as well as dealing with any redundant or strangely overlapping ones.
  • WWII categories: Currently ongoing (see the navigation template); still needs more input, I suspect.
  • Task forces: We have two that are (sort of) starting up. Ideas for any others would be welcome, particularly any that could be run jointly with another (active) project. Major conflicts and national military histories might be good things to look at.
  • Worklist: Started (see the navigation template), but still needs more work both with rating articles and adding missing ones. We should probably aim to list, initially, several hundred of the "most important" articles to get to a good state.
  • Project award: A nice idea that somebody (Guapovia?) recently brought up is having a project-specific award to hand out (similar to the Aircraft WP's "WikiWings"). Possibly something based on a major historical award (or maybe a Wiki-Marshal's baton?) would work; my own graphics skills are pretty much nonexistent, though.
  • Project collaboration: Possibly a longer-term plan, as it will take some time to set up and get running. A collaboration of the week (fortnight? month?) could work with the numbers we have; it might be particularly useful for getting some of the weaker articles on the worklist up to par.

Obviously, what I've listed will be a lot of work, so we probably shouldn't try do everything at once. (And there's no real reason to rush any of these; we can certainly afford to spend a week or two discussing a coming development before undertaking any major changes).

I'm very interested in any comments, both on the ideas listed above and on any other ideas for the project. Suggestions for the order in which to tackle these and offers of help in particular areas are, of course, quite welcome! —Kirill Lokshin 21:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

We also need a Military Installation category template to match the Military unit one. I am using the Military unit one currently, but it is not an exact match since several information lines are not present. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 02:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Interesting point. Would military installations only include active bases, or can we come up with something usable for historical ones (in particular, castles, fortifications, etc.) as well? —Kirill Lokshin 02:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
We'd need to have several of them if we adopt. We'd have constants like construction time, usage period, size and building materials in a base template and could then have specific ones with additional attributes (for defensive lines we'd have # of emplacements etc.). Oberiko 03:27, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
We might be able to get away with just one if we're careful about how we set up optional fields. It's certainly something for further discussion, however. —Kirill Lokshin 03:41, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Aye, I suggested the Project award. Really, those Civil War articles are crying for some kind of Supreme Medal of Somethingness. :) Guapovia 14:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Any ideas for a good image to use? Should we custom-create something (we'd need a good artist for this, though)? —Kirill Lokshin 00:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Nothing specific. One insignia I really like is a crossed gun and missile, surrounded by laurel leaves: (this is the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force's insignia.). Maybe a crossed sword and rifle on a circular field, surrounded by the words "WikiProject" on top and "Military History" on the bottom? I have very limited photoshop skills; maybe we could farm this out to another wikiproject who do this kind of thing. Guapovia 17:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
How about a Grass Crown? Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 19:05, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Or a Civic Crown, for that matter. The main issue here is getting a nice clean image of one. —Kirill Lokshin 19:07, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I like the Military Cross, but that may be too modern and Commonwealth slanted to represent our coverage. --Loopy e 00:37, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Nice! I'm still hoping we can get a WikiMarshal's baton going, but that's far beyond my graphics editing skills ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 01:15, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
How about a triple chevron... I'll whip something up. -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 05:37, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Here, here! -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 06:09, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Triplechevron gold.png This user is hereby presented with the Military History Grand Award for outstanding contributions to the project and to Wikipedia. -- Sincerely, the Military History WikiProject
This <name to be determined> is awarder to you for lots of nice things.
Nice, although the notice banner is somewhat non-standard (and can we get a better name than the "Military History Grand Award"). Let's see what happens when we use it in a standard award layout:
"Quite nice! Perhaps we could shrink the size down to standard barnstar dimensions, to avoid any unfortunate accidents? ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 14:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, shrink it down. So what shall we name our award? 03:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Anybody else feel like commenting on this award idea? Should we go with the chevrons? —Kirill Lokshin 01:40, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I like the chevrons. Represents 'military', but not any one particular military, or even any particular period. Very nice and simple and more or less universal. Now we just need a name. LordAmeth 11:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
"Distinguished Service Award", maybe? —Kirill Lokshin 17:53, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
That sounds great. But make sure the recipient knows it's from the MilHist project... :D -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 04:14, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Discussion of the new {{Infobox Military Person}} is starting up here; any comments are very welcome. —Kirill Lokshin 00:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I added a subdiscussion below on just this subject. This is a subject that needs a lot of work, so i think it is a good idea to put it by itself.SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 20:59, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

After a rather busy week, some updates on where we stand:

Maintenance work:

  • Tagging! We should aggressively tag all articles and categories within our (expanded) project scope with {{WikiProject Military history}}: units, commander bios, castles/bases/fortifications, etc. Currently, we have about 3,000–3,500 things tagged; I suspect that number could double once we get more coverage in these areas.
  • The worklist is being expanded at a good rate; there are still plenty of articles that need someone to (briefly) evaluate their quality, though.

Development work:

  • The new infobox templates should be in a form that can be used on articles now. I suspect that we'll need to make some more changes, but we won't find out which ones until they've been tested "in the field".
  • I'd still like to get some article structure guidelines (similar to the ones we have for battles and wars) written at least for military unit articles, and possibly for military biographies too. Any volunteers?
  • Some good ideas for a project award have been suggested above. Is this something we want to create? Is there anyone in-project who's good with graphics?

Comments, ideas, and volunteers for anything are, of course, always welcome! —Kirill Lokshin 04:11, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

A thought - perhaps the Collaboration of the Week could be set up in conjunction with the worklist? i.e. only articles from the worklist could be nominated for the CotW. A bit restrictive, but they are fairly important articles. --Loopy e 04:39, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

That could work; we haven't specified any restrictions on adding articles to the worklist, though ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 04:44, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I've written a (very) rough guideline for unit articles at User:SoLando/Units. It needs wider input, but it hopefully fulfils its purpose adequately. As ever, likely in need of copyedit ;-) SoLando (Talk) 07:05, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Looks good so far; but I don't have much experience with unit articles, so take my comments with a grain of salt ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 14:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Hey guys... Let's not forget about military decorations! Anyone wanna whip up an infobox or such for these? -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 03:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Do they really need an infobox? Given how different they tend to be, I'm not quite sure what we would put in one. —Kirill Lokshin 03:49, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Military Installation Categories, templates and Infoboxes

I started this discussion because I started one under Future Plans, and got some interest. in addition, I went looking at existing examples, and found that this is a problem in search of a solution. There is NO coordination for this group of items under the Military heading. I've tagged some of them as Military project Categories, but stopped when I saw how many there are out there, many of them duplicating efforts. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 20:59, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I've started work on a draft of {{Infobox Military Structure}} (with accompanying documentation). I'd appreciate if somebody could come up with more parameters; I'm not quite sure what we need in that regard. —Kirill Lokshin 01:49, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the link to Category:United States Army posts from the project page for the time being. Linking to a single category is not an adequate (or even helpful) form of guideline; we really need to come up with something more substantial before adding it. —Kirill Lokshin 23:14, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Starship Troopers (Nomination)

Does anyone have a problem with me putting this on the "Announcements and open tasks" template? I consider it a classic of military literature, which is on the reading lists of both the US Army and Marine Corps, as well as all of the service academies. However, some people on this project might view it as either science fiction or literature, and therefore inappropriate to a Military history Wikiproject. Anyways, I did it, but feel the need to give my rationale in case of objections. Palm_Dogg 07:42, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

No objections from me; it's not like we're running out of space there ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 14:20, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Infobox development update

For anyone not watching the various template pages:

Any feedback on these templates would be extremely helpful right now, since they are starting to be used, and we should try to work out the major issues before they become too ingrained to change. Comments should ideally be directed to the appropriate template talk page, but may be left here if you don't want to bother ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 03:24, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Spread of this project to The Commons

I've started to plant project tags on suitable categories over on The Comons so that image categories over there can be recognized as important to this project. To facilitate this, and to make the project icon universal on Wikimedia, I converted its format to Image:Waricon.png, and deposited it over on The Commons. That means that it is now available on all the Wikimedia sites. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 20:22, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Great! —Kirill Lokshin 20:38, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

How do we draw the line between fact or fiction?

Recently a fellow contributor (Palm_dogg) brought forward an article (Starship Troopers), and asked if it was appropriate for our WikiProject. Well, I've been thinking. Where do we draw the line between fact and fiction for inclusion into the WikiProject? When I was updating the battleboxes, one of the articles had a battlebox was Battle of the Cowshed. It uses a battlebox, but is it military history? I think not. Does everything that has wars or battles as its theme or plot belong in military history? What about pseudo-historical movies like Troy? Similarly, this question can be asked of many other fictional wars and battles, and I think we should come to a conclusion. -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 05:58, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

If it is based on factual events, as is the case with Troy, then hell yes. In the case of the Cowshed, no. Starship Troopers is much more problematic, though. Clearly it is an important work of military, as well as Science Fiction. Many, myself included, view it as an allegory of WWII and especially the Pacific Theater. So in a way, it is "based on a true story". There is no easy way to resolve this, so let's allow the mobile infantry to pass, but in future let's try and confine our focus to terrestrial conflicts. So, please, no Battle of Helms Deep or Battle Of Endor...for now;>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 06:41, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes yes, let the mobile infantry pass, heh, I'm not saying that Starship Troopers should not be part of military history. But I gave an example, Troy. Is Troy more of an action flick than a work of significance on the historical event - the Trojan War? Alexander? What about fiction in a real-life setting? Some fictional brigade in a WW2 battle? -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 06:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Miborovsky in that allowing fiction into the Project can be a slippery slope. I personally have no problem with allowing things like LotR battles into the project, as they are battles and reflect the same tactics and strategies and such that real battles would, and because LotR is such a major classic. But Troy and Alexander are really just summer blockbuster action movies, containing little to no content of real military history - anyway, without getting into a rant or whatever too much, my point is to say that I see no problem with discussing just about anything here, whether it's Starship Troopers, Star Trek, Star Wars, various alternate histories like Harry Turtledove, but outside of this discussion page, in terms of what's officially on the Project's "to-do" and "have-done" lists, I think only real-life topics should be included. LordAmeth 12:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Still, we just shot down Star Wars campaigns - how then can we justify Starship Troopers, classic or not? Guapovia 13:44, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I think there's a distinction to be made here between actively working on fiction and merely allowing fiction to enjoy the side-effects of our other work. Fictional battles will use our templates (e.g. {{Infobox Military Conflict}} because they happen to be well-suited for describing a battle; I see no reason to object to this. By the same token, we should keep track of fictional campaignboxes; not because we are necessarily working on them, but because knowing they exist may help us in improving our own campaignbox use.
On the other hand, I don't think there's any real need for us to focus our efforts on fictional topics; certainly those tend to have their own (active!) WikiProjects. We can certainly discuss such issues here to a limited extent, but let's try to avoid having this project collapse into WikiProject LotR/Star Wars v2 ;-)
As far as Starship Troopers goes, it is on the U.S. military reading lists ;-) More generally, though, the use of the task list is governed more by space concerns; so long as we don't have many real topics on FAC, for instance, I would have no problem mentioning tangentially related topics, on the assumption that someone in the project may be interested in them. If anyone has any serious objections to this approach, please let me know.
Finally, I should note that any attempt to institute a blanket ban on fiction will cause bloody POV-warring over such things as Battle of Mount Gilboa, and should therefore be avoided if possible. —Kirill Lokshin 14:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we don't want to get a reputation for ruthlessly assimilating all manner of projects, a la the Borg ;-) SoLando (Talk) 19:24, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Something to consider is that these boxes may be used for some future programmatic purpose and you would not want fictional battles or warriors to be compiled into some list of real ones. Perhaps you should consider adding a field such as fictional= or real= to the templates (the former would be easier). This could be used for invisible record-keeping or could produce a subtle change in appearance. Hal Jespersen 15:23, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that's really necessary at this point. We can filter out the fictional ones easily enough by excluding Category:Fictional battles and the like. —Kirill Lokshin 16:05, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I think most fictional battle articles start with "The Battle of x is a fictional battle from...", "The Battle of x, from the novel...", "The Battle of x, featured in the film..." and such, so it is usually clear that it is a fictional battle anyway and using the category avoids any mistaken cross-referencing. --Loopy e 22:14, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

What about legendary wars and battles, such as the Trojan War or the Battle of Badon Hill? Personally, I'm all for extending our jurisdiction into these areas. Sorry, if earlier it seemed I was advocating the recent "Troy" movie. It was good action but poor history, as was the case with "Alexander" and "Gladiator". But historically accurate films such as Waterloo (film), A Bridge Too Far, or Alexander Nevsky (film), should be included. Especially if they are as well made as these three (all masterpieces IMO). We seem to need some criteria here, so how about accuracy, relevancy and importance? By the latter I mean, how important the film was in terms of influence and furthering interest in and study of the subjects it portrayed. With this in mind, let's be more inclined towards older films, which have endured the test of time, over newer "blockbusters".--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 10:46, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think that legendary (or not legendary, depending on your POV) wars and battles have been in scope from the very beginning (see my earlier comment about the difficulties in determining whether somethng is legendary or not). —Kirill Lokshin 14:01, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I Agree fully (big surprise eh;).--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 10:14, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of people associated with World War II

  • I was just curious if any project member has had a chance to review the proposal for the deletion of List of people associated with World War II ? While I don't nessessarily agree with its reasoning, particularly implying the deletion of the "List of people associated with..." series, I thought I would mention it on the talk page if only to hear the projects opinion on the matter. MadMax 12:08, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Infoboxes cleared

  • Just to let everyone know, I've cleared the Infobox sections from the Wanted page however I'm unsure weither those are the remaining articles or if an updated list should be compiled. MadMax 06:03, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Great work! I think that's all of them; certainly any others can be cleaned up as we find them, so there's no real need to keep another list. —Kirill Lokshin 14:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

What about the Navy?

I think the navies have been neglected a bit, maybe the air force as well but I'm more interested in naval history :). I am working on the history of the Royal Norwegian Navy and her old ships. There should be a infobox standard for naval units and navy ships. There are some good infoboxes out there but it would be nice with a bit of coordination.Inge 15:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Naval units can presumably use the regular military unit infobox; are there some particular fields that don't work? (That infobox is in some flux at the moment, so the sooner we can make changes, the better.)
As far as individual ships, I think WikiProject Ships has some; I'm somewhat hesitant to make major changes in that area without consulting them, since I'd like to avoid unnecessarily stepping on their toes. Perhaps a joint task force with them could be useful? (But see the comparable military aviation task force, which was not very popular with WikiProject Aircraft.) —Kirill Lokshin 16:05, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe it's better if we don't do joint-work like this as a task force but send "ambassadors" instead and keep the discussion on their boards. Worth a shot IMO. Oberiko 05:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
That's a bit too bureaucratic and red tape-ish IMHO. Whoever is interested can just hop over there and take a look. I might, too, for some SMS ships... -- Миборовский U|T|C|M|E|Chugoku Banzai! 05:36, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant to convey the " " around ambassador as them being unofficial, working on their own. Just updating/consulting us when they need to. Oberiko 06:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Hello. I've recently created an article on RSTA units in the US Army. I was wondering if someone could come in and help write a section on history of cavalry reconnaissance units in the US Army (RSTA especially), maybe wikify the article a bit, etc. Thanks. SWATJester Flag of Iceland.svg Ready Aim Fire! 17:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I think with a little help this article could easily become a FAC...mainly cause there's next to no opportunity for POV to mess it up. SWATJester Flag of Iceland.svg Ready Aim Fire! 17:03, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

defeat in detail on AfD

The article defeat in detail is being considered for deletion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Defeat in detail. Paul August 23:58, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I think we have defeated this wrong-headed Afd in detail. Damn deletionists...we are supposed to be BUILDING an encyclopedia here, not dismantaling one!--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 11:30, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome, thanks for you're help. And a special thanks to Georgewilliamherbert for his work on the article. Paul August 14:44, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Glad to do it! Maybe we need an "AfD Patrol" to alert us when military articles get put on the chopping block.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 17:17, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe WikiProject Deletion sorting used to do something similar, but is now pretty much defunct. At this point, military articles are quite rare on AFD (and tend to be hoaxes when they do appear), so I'm not sure if a dedicated deletion patrol would be worth the effort. If deletion nominations start to come more often, though, we could certainly set something up. —Kirill Lokshin 17:27, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
The Mathematics project has setup this bot-maintained page Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity, which among other things tracks mathematics article on AfD (via article categorization). Don't know whether something like this would be appropriate here. Paul August 19:29, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Napoleonic Era Task Force

The crest of Napoleon I.

Now forming. We shall be covering the wars of the French Revolution also as well as other, related and contemporaneous conflicts. You don't want to miss a moment of the action! So sign up early and often for a recruitment bonus!:>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 12:06, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Cool! I'll join up. I dont know much about the era, but i'll be glad to learn. The Minister of War (Peace) 14:01, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
By popular request → here we are. —Kirill Lokshin 14:16, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
We will be glad to have you! Interest is the primary qualification....knowledge is secondary;>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 17:13, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

ACW battle names

Two users (or perhaps one with two names?) have been busy moving files around, changing battle names. For example, First Battle of Bull Run is now First Battle of Manassas. (I actually don't object much to that because it is what the National Park Service calls it and we have been using their categorization pretty consisently.) Others are changing the Roman-numeral file-naming convention on multiple battles in the same place. I am more concerned about the file-redirection aspects of this. Bull Run has hundreds of articles linking to it and I don't see evidence that these people are cleaning up after their changes. And while I am happy to revert changes I don't agree with, file moving is very difficult to deal with. Do any of the long-time battlebox, campaignbox, admin folks who put this whole structure together have any comments? Hal Jespersen 16:24, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The general convention has been to avoid Roman-numeral naming in favor of "First", "Second", etc. I'm not quite sure why the ACW battles are different. (Perhaps someone with more experience in that field can comment? Is Roman-numeral naming the accepted way to refer to them in literature?) Having said that, provided the double redirects are fixed, there's no reason to change references in articles following a page move. —Kirill Lokshin 16:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

No, there is no literary convention that uses the Roman numerals. (For that matter, other than Manassas, identifying First or Second in the name is pretty rare, too. Normally this happens only in formal categorization of battles, such as we have here, which is rare in literature. Authors use other devices to differentiate, such as the Siege of Corinth (I) vs. the Battle of Corinth (II).) I had assumed the guys who set this up were following a Wiki-standard naming convention. Hal Jespersen 16:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The ACW was one of the first wars to have extensive numbers of articles on Wikipedia written for it, so most of them predate the development of real naming conventions. I suspect that whoever added the links initially (Brian0918, maybe?) just decided on an approach that he liked and used it throughout. —Kirill Lokshin 17:03, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
For something like the American Civil War, I'd imagine there were probably many battles in the same places within a short time. But for other battles, that happen in the same place many years apart, I've found the year to be the most useful. For example, Battle of Uji (1180), Battle of Uji (1184), Battle of Uji (1221). Just a thought. If they're within the same war, I'd use whatever is most common for that particular war or period's historical literature. LordAmeth 17:38, 10 February 2006 (UTC)