Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Archive 68

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Contents

Tag & Assess 2007 Top Ten

As of dawn 8 November, the top ten are:

If you have not yet signed up, or have signed up but not yet started tagging, please do so. You have only 53 tagging and assessing days left before the drive finishes!

--ROGER DAVIES TALK 09:25, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Update Nov 13

So far 59 editors have tagged nearly 24,000 articles. The current top ten are:

FayssalF — 3,500
Cromdog — 2,200
Bedford — 2,020
Maralia — 1,750
Roger Davies — 1,750
Jacksinterweb — 1,510
TomStar81 — 1,400
JKBrooks85 — 1,250
MBK004 — 1,028
BrokenSphere — 1,000

If you haven't yet signed up yet, it's not too late to join!

--ROGER DAVIES talk 00:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Whoot! I'm in the top 10! Alright me! (oh, and the rest of you are doing good too ;-) TomStar81 (Talk) 07:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Rank articles: capitalization of title

I have a proposal which should be straightforward, since it follows Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters)#Military terms, but which I know from a previous experience with one article will be controversial.

A while ago, I proposed to move Rear Admiral to Rear admiral. It got accepted in the end, but the discussion and later reopening of it didn't encourage me to continue these moves. However, I feel that for consistency and per the MOS, they should be done. Thus, I propose the following moves:

and all those listed in Category:Military ranks by country and Category:Military rank stubs not already listed here. Targets which are already bluelinks are (in the cases I checked) redirects to the other spelling, so the opposite of what I propose.

I would urge you all to consider that these article are not about e.g. Flight Lieutenant John Smith, but about all flight lieutenants, and what describes a flight lieutenant. Some (most?) of you may be more used to seeing the first form, Vice Admiral James Jones, and therefor have at first the reaction that it should be capitalized, but when you speak about the vice admirals of the US Navy, you don't capitalize, and it is that use we should reflect here (as described in the Mos, and as linked to in the MilHist style guide).

The capitalization of the first capital in the title of an article is standard Wikipedia practice, in articles both the first and second word should be lower case. This also means that the smae capitalization rules have to be used inside the article, in all the ones listed above and in the single word ranks like captain. This is a huge change, and will not be done in one day or so, but I think it is best that formal agreement on the principle is reached before I (or anyone else who wants to help) starts making these changes. This way, editors can be pointed to this discussion to explain easily why it is done and how consensus was reached. Fram 11:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

To me, at least, it's semantics either way. Each of these should have a redirect page going to the other (or vice-versa), so the end result of searching or wikilinking to the article would be the same. JKBrooks85 12:19, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It's semantics, but also consistency. I agree that having a redirect from the other spelling is always good of course, and I don't intend to remove these redirects. Fram 13:22, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
These moves sound eminently sensible. I've noticed a great deal of inconsistency within articles regarding the capitalisation of ranks and these moves would do a lot to help get across the MOS's guidance on the subject to editors. Leithp 13:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I have mentioned this discussion at Wikipedia:Requested moves, so that everyone interested can reply. I have not mentioned this discussion at every article involved, as that would be quite a lot of work, and this is about the general principle. 14:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fram (talkcontribs)

Support. This issue has come up at least one time before, and I think the general consensus was for lower case, but no one got around to renaming the articles. —Kevin Myers 15:01, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose. Military ranks do not use lower capitals and it would be improper to change them all. MilborneOne 15:31, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what you mean here; the ranks are normally capitalized only when given as part of a title (e.g. "Admiral Smith came" versus "the admiral came"), no? Kirill 15:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
MilborneOne: As mentioned above the Manual of Style is quite clear (and correct) on this. Leithp 16:10, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure that the MoS is an authority on this. All I can say is that having been one of the above ranks on the list it was never written with a lower case second noun in any circumstances. So sorry my opposition stands. MilborneOne 17:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The Economist style guide seems to agree with Wikipedia's, and to be honest so do all the military history books on my shelves. "Captain Smith was promoted to the rank of captain in 2007", etc. This doesn't apply to posts, rather than ranks, i.e. "Jock Stirrup holds the rank of air chief marshal and is current Chief of the Defence Staff". Leithp 18:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
This is not true in all cases. As stated below, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is both a rank and a title of a billet in the US Navy. The same goes for the equivelant ranks for the other four U.S. military branches. Neovu79 06:47, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Whenever i have been on bases (Army and Navy) and in the wardrooms (Royal Navy) they have always been written in upper case e.g. Lieutenant Commander. The RN lists them as such on their website [1] as do the Army [2]. I think the capitalisations should stand, though i am not aware, nor have any experience of, the American way of noting their ranks. Woodym555 18:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the Army only does that when using a rank as a title. See this Army article for an example " WO2 Watson is the regimental catering warrant officer of 5 General Support Medical Regiment, based at Fulwood Barracks, while the two lance corporals are based at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)." Leithp 18:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I think I would support the proposal, though maybe the MoS may need a little clarification (I haven't looked at it). In common U.S. Military usage, the rank is uppercased when used as part of someone's title or command position, but is generally lowercased when used in such a way as to not denote a specific individual or command position. It seems to have the same usage requirements as those posted above for the UK officers. "First Lieutenant Frank Zappa was the leader of 2nd Platoon" would be correct, while "Frank Zappa was a member of Alpha Company as a First Lieutenant" would be incorrect, it should be lowercased in this usage. wbfergus Talk 18:37, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
After having time to think and study on this some more, I now think that I would have to Oppose this. As proposed above, (using my comments from yesterday, down below), a rank like "Technical Sergeant" would be changed to "Technical sergeant", which is very incorrect. It may be appropriate for use as a Wikipedia article title that way, but that is all it would be appropriate for. In usage in an article, the case would remain the same for both parts of the rank, as in "Technical Sergeant John Q. Public" or "there were 33 technical sergeants in the squadron". Using mixed case in the same 'title' or 'rank' construct is incorrect usage. wbfergus Talk 14:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not true. Any use of "technical sergeant" at the beginning of a sentence would be capitalized, creating "mixed case" as you call it. "Technical sergeants comprise 20 percent of the squadron" is a correct sentence. Wikipedia articles, by convention, start with capital letters as if the title was the begining of a sentence. —Kevin Myers 14:59, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's a common-sense exception to what would ordinarily be the lowercase rule, where the title or rank is applied to a specific individual. In the example you provided, it would be lowercased, except since it's at the beginning of a sentence, the first word needs to be capitalized. So, in essence, nothing I stated previously was violated. wbfergus Talk 19:56, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, going through the list, we seem to have a number of separate types of articles that may need to be considered separately:
I suspect that much of the debate could be eliminated (as could a large number of permanent stubs) by merging the more obscure and infrequently-used ranks to by-country articles. If we have an overall article along the lines of Flag officer ranks in the Royal Navy, we could easily merge, say, Port Admiral to it and not need to worry about how the title of a separate article would appear. Kirill 18:29, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
After looking into a bit more, i agree with Kirill, we have several different types here that each have their own usage. Some like Vice-Admiral seem to be capitalised more often than not. It all depends on the placing in the sentence. Obviously, as a proper noun before names, it should be capitalised, yet in most cases, when used as a common noun, it is not capitalised. This varies between some publications I think. Reflecting that most of the general ranks and rates should not be capitalised in the article name. The others, i am not sure about yet. Woodym555 18:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Kirill as well, for the country-specific ranks. Pseudo ranks, as titles, should probably remain at their capitalized article, and non-ranks should not be capitalized. Certain ranks, such as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, I think should be treated as titles rather than ranks. Personally I think that ranks should stay at the capitalized title. I suppose this means that ultimately I oppose? --Mukk 18:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with reasoned opposed for individual ones where my general reasoning may be incorrect. A good way of checking usage is to put "a" in front of the title, or to search for the plural. The 1911 Britannica used "masters of the horse"[3], as do some other reliable sources: vice admirals is used in lowercase by the military as well[4], as it is with Cornell University Law School[5], Time Magazine[6] (a whole range of ranks here), and US law (if I interpret this correctly at least)[7]. But, as someone will probably soon point out, you can find examples of the opposite as well. True, but when the real world is divided, we should follow the MoS, and things like the Chicago style guide and most major dictionaries. These all indicate that they should be in lowercase. Fram 20:59, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) You're right, Fram. I think the article names should be changed (though I'm not actually volunteering to do it myself, you understand). Kirill makes a valid point which would remove much superfluous stuff but Fram's core argument remains correct. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 21:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I prefer to see them remain in captial letter form, as I have never met anyone on base who had there rank spelled with lower case letters. Part of my military upbringing, I guess; it just oppose changes to titles when I think them unessicary. (I will respect the majority opinion on the matter though, whatever that ends up being). TomStar81 (Talk) 21:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose: I agree with TomStar81, no military officer would call himself or herself as a Lieutenant general. Besides, if you do uncapitalize, then you run into the problem with particular ranks like Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. These are not only ranks, they are the titles of their respective billets/positions like the Chief of Naval Operations or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Neovu79 05:11, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I too have to oppose this. It's just strange to look at ranks like this in this fashion. Saevurr 06:15, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a question of whether you regard article names as titles (capitalized) or job descriptions (uncapitalized). This is why I thought Kirill's solution was such an elegant one: generic articles on job descriptions (ie "a sergeant is a non-commissioned" etc etc) uncapitalized, with the country-specific titles in country-specific articles. However, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other, and now you've had my two cents/pence, I'll go back to sleep :) --ROGER DAVIES TALK 08:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose
1) To misquote Kirill, We have a number of separate types of articles that need to be considered separately and treated differently. To treat all of the enties in the above list in the same manner is inappropriate. There may be arguements for (and against) "Rear Admiral Fred Smith is a rear admiral", but in any and all cases, "Fred Smith is the Apothecary General" (because it's a title, not a rank).
2) However, I feel that for consistency ... they should be done. - It is unwise to apply a consistent rule to a set of things which, themselves, are not consistent. The rule may not be appropriate/relevant to certain cases, and the results may be inappropriate and/or unpredictable.
3) However, ... per the MOS, they should be done. - The MoS is an evolving set of guidelines, not a set of of rules cast in iron. Sometimes they are not appropriate for some situations.
4) Shouldn't the use and presentation of information in wikipedia reflect the use and presentation of the information in "the real world"? To say "the real world is wrong because it's different from the MoS" seems (to me) to be a peculiar POV.
Etc. Perhaps more later, Pdfpdf 13:14, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Re (4). Yes, of course, it should. Fram's proposal is how dictionaries treat ranks. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 13:25, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Re:Re (4). The dictionary omits special grades all together as stated by Neovu79 above; the Sergeant Major of the Army is not in the dictionary. Saevurr 21:51, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. For example, here's an excerpt from the "rank and hierarchy" entry in the Oxford Companion to American Military History. Note the lack of capitalization:

Officers are ranked as admiral (four stars); vice admiral (three stars); rear admiral ...; captain; commander; lieutenant commander; lieutenant; lieutenant junior grade; and ensign. The five-star rank of fleet admiral was ....

This is an issue that can easily be confused, because one would write "Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz", or "Chester Nimitz was a fleet admiral." Another source of confusion is that many more words are capitalized in Older Works than we would capitalize today. And I think some writers in the armed forces have a penchant for capitalizing Terms whether or not they are Proper Nouns; it's a Government Thing. Reference works like Wikipedia should take a more conservative, scholarly approach and only capitalize proper nouns. —Kevin Myers 16:15, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep. The other issue here is that names are sometimes implicit; according to some style guides, it's permissible (if somewhat uncommon) to write "The Admiral ordered the fleet to turn" as an equivalent to "Admiral Nimitz ordered the fleet to turn", the admiral's name being assumed from context. Kirill 16:24, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a form of capitalization that I've never seen discussed on Wikipedia, but it can be pretty common because it can be used for just about anything. For example, the article on the United States Declaration of Independence often uses a capitalized "Declaration" as shorthand for the entire proper title. To avoid confusion about style issues, it's perhaps better to avoid the practice of using capitalized ranks as a shorthand for a full name and rank. So, instead of "The Admiral ordered the fleet to turn", use "Admiral Nimitz ordered the fleet to turn", or simply "Nimitz ordered the fleet to turn". —Kevin Myers 16:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
True, but you're not thinking into context. The military does not refer to an officer by their last name; it is a form of disrespect. They can not refer to FADM Nimitz as "Nimitz." They would refer to him as "Admiral," "The Admiral," "Admiral Nimitz" or "Sir." Neovu79 04:54, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
In official military documents, perhaps; and certainly in day-to-day military conversation. In historical works, on the other hand, referring to military leaders by last name is quite standard ("Longstreet ordered an attack on the right flank", etc.). I think, for our purposes, we should not feel too bound by the styles adopted in the former context, as the bulk of the sources we use for our articles will be in the latter. Kirill 05:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
It's true that they would be refered to by last name, however you're forgetting the Mr. in front of it, i.e. Mr. Jones. Neovu79 00:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Not in formal academic writing. The normal historical style is "Montgomery ordered an advance"; "Mr. Montgomery ordered an advance" would never appear in a scholarly work. Kirill 01:05, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
True, but how would an officer address or call to another officer? He or she would say "Mr. Montgomery." Neovu79 23:23, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Not in the Army, I think; based only on evidence of watching films, a superior officer in the Royal Navy might address a junior officer as Mr X, but not the other way round - "lower the boats, Mr Christian". A junior Army officer would be Captain Blackadder, or just Blackadder. Cyclopaedic 23:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

People are objecting for a number of reasons, some more valid than others. I would like to say that even singular ranks like "Sergeant Major of the Army" are, even in military documents, just as often capitalized as they are decapitalized. Take a look at this one[8], which has "the former sergeant major of the Army said." and also lists other ranks like "I've been a battalion, brigade and division sergeant major" and "retain his rank of staff sergeant". So it is incorrect that the military never uses lowercase for ranks, or that special ranks like Sergean Major of the Army are always in uppercase( although it would be equally incorrect to claim that they are always in lowercase, of course). I just feel that if our MoS states that they should be in lowercase, and US law agrees (sepcifically for US ranks of course), as can be seen in the ranks listed in this document of the US code[9], [10], [11] (includes some of the titles which led to the oppose of Neovu and others). So we have official documents (laws) agreeing with our (and general) style guides, as used by all major newspapers and magazines. Fram 09:16, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Can you show me any example of "Apothecary General" appearing in lower case?
Similarly, "Chaplain General", and I also expect you will be unable to find a lower case version of "Master of the Horse".
This is because these are not ranks.
I see no value in repeating what Kirill and I wrote above. Until you refine the list into categories, and make separate proposals for each category, I will continue to oppose your proposal; your argument is only relevant to a subset of the members of your list. Pdfpdf 09:49, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
"Andrew Craigie was the first apothecary general of the United States"[12]
Chaplain General: check the first line! But see also page 20 of this book[13], this book review[14], or this article in Time[15].
"Master of the Horse": see e.g. page 8 of this pdf[16], or see this book[17], and note again how it is written in Master of the Horse both in upper-and lowercase.
But anyway, I am not opposed to strike a number of titles from this page, as long as people can agree on what are titles and what are ranks. The intention is that we can agree on what should be done, and if enough people think that we must separate those two categories, so be it. I've added (TITLE) to all those that at first glance seem to be more of a title than a rank, and should be treated separately. I have also struck those from the list, to make clear that these (and other similar titles) are no longer included in this proposal. Fram 10:26, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Pause for a cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer)

Summary:
A lot of words have been typed, and a lot of opinions repeated. Let's see if I can objectively summarise. If you disagree with how I have summarised/classified your words, please alter my summary/classification accordingly:

  • Proposal
    • (Fram): Let's be consistent, and match the MoS too.
  • Comments:
    • (JKBrooks85): As long as it doesn't affect searching or linking
    • (Kirill): We seem to have a number of separate types of articles that may need to be considered separately. (Followed by a number of "I agree with you.")
  • Comments in support:
    • (Leithp): That sounds sensible.
    • (wbfergus): I think I would support the proposal I changed my mind (see comments above or in next section).
    • (RogerDavies): "You're right Fram" - (No supporting argument, just a statement of support)
  • Support:
    • (Kevin Myers): This has been discussed and agreed before. (But nobody actually carried out the changes.)
  • Oppose:
    • (MilborneOne): 1) Military ranks do not use lower capitals. (Followed by lots of comments about various style guides, but not many adressing MilborneOne's statement; those that do address it agree.) 2) I am not sure that the MoS is an authority on this.
    • (Mukk): I agree with Kirill. I suppose this means that ultimately I oppose?
    • (TomStarr81): I have never met anyone on base who had their rank spelled with lower case letters.
    • (Neovu79): 1) no military officer would call himself or herself as a Lieutenant general 2) if you do uncapitalize, then you run into problems with particular ranks and with titles
    • (Saevurr): It's just strange to look at ranks like this in this fashion
    • (Pdfpdf): 1) To treat all of the enties in the above list in the same manner is inappropriate. They are not consistent with each other, so you can't make a "consistent" change. 2) Sometimes the MoS does not cover a situation. 3) To say "the real world is wrong because it's different from the MoS" seems (to me) to be a peculiar POV. (Followed by lots of comments about various style guides, but not many adressing the statement.)
    • (Wbfergus): mixed case usage in the same 'title' or 'rank' is incorrect. It would never be "Technical sergeant", only "technical sergeant" or "Technical Sergeant", depending on the context of usage.
  • Comments I don't quite know how to classify:
    • (Roger Davies): It's a question of whether you regard article names as titles (capitalized) or job descriptions (uncapitalized). ... it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Analysis:
Despite all the text, there are only a few actual points:

  • Let's be internally consistent, and be consistent with the MoS.
  • The things in this list are not consistent with each other - there are a number of different groups. Some groups could use lower case, but other groups never use lower case. At the least, there is ambiguity between "rank" and "title".
  • Independent of what style guides say, the Military do no use lower case. Maybe the MoS is not appropriate for this situation?

And then there's the point:

  • No military officer would call himself or herself as a Lieutenant general.

I hope some of you found this useful! Pdfpdf 11:59, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Very useful, thank you. One point I disagree with. "Independent of what style guides say, the Military do no use lower case. " This is, as far as I can see, not true. This is a military document from 2004[18], found through a sarch on the army.mil website. It uses only lowercase, even for commander in chief. See e.g. table 2.1 in the document. In fact, looking at thissearch on that website, it looks to me that almost all official military documents do use the lowercase when referencing the rank in general (not a person with the rank). Fram 15:04, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The issue here is slightly clouded by the Wikipedia convention of capitalizing the first letter of an article title. Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance, doesn't follow this style and thus articles about generic ranks appear as 'lieutenant', 'admiral', and so forth. This is also how dictionaries handle it. Your point about no military officer calling themself a Lieutenant general (your capitalisation) is correct. It would be "Lieutenant General X is a lieutenant general in the Y Army". --ROGER DAVIES TALK 17:15, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Resumption of discussion

Whilst I was constructing the previous subsection, Fram was busy addressing my personal major objection. I need to reconsider my POV. Pdfpdf 12:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I think this comment needs more discussion:

(Roger Davies): It's a question of whether you regard article names as titles (capitalized) or job descriptions (uncapitalized). ... it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

i.e. Is a rank a title or a job description? My view is: At different times, it can be either, and perhaps sometimes, both. Pdfpdf 12:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

A rank is a job description that can be used as a title :) Even with the ranks that people require uniquely as titles (Master of the Horse, for instance) there can still be more than one holder of the title. This is the same problem that arises when talking about kings of France or about presidents of the United States. Is it the 'Kings of France ruled ...' / the 'Presidents of the United States are elected ...' or the 'kings of France ruled' / 'Presidents of the United States are elected ...'? The Manual of Style is clear on this:
Titles
  • When used as titles (that is, followed by a name), items such as president, king and emperor start with a capital letter: President Clinton, not president Clinton. The formal name of an office is treated as a proper noun: Hirohito was Emperor of Japan and Louis XVI was King of France (where King of France is a title). Royal styles are capitalized: Her Majesty and His Highness; exceptions may apply for particular offices.
  • When used generically, such items are in lower case: De Gaulle was a French president and Louis XVI was a French king. Similarly, Three prime ministers attended the conference, but, The British Prime Minister is Gordon Brown.
I hope this helps. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 17:33, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Looking over the above discussions again, it looks like one point is missing. The capitalization is consistent, whether it be upper or lowercase, it is not mixed, as in "Technical sergeant". It remains consistent in its usage as either "Technical Sergeant" or "technical sergeant", whether used as a title or a PD. wbfergus Talk 18:12, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. That's the point I was making (perhaps poorly) here. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 18:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
So then it would follow naturally that because Wikipedia style demands that the first letter of an article name be capitalized, it should be in all caps? Makes sense to me. Since it looks like either all caps or no caps, and we can't do no caps because of Wikipedia style, we're left with all caps. JKBrooks85 14:49, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not how it works. We have Press but Printing press, not because anyone suggests that they should be alway capitalized like that, but because they follow our technical limitations, while reflecting the correct capitalization otherwise (i.e. in the text, and when used as a second, third, .. word of a title). Similarly, we will have General but Lieutenant general, and "general" and "lieutenant general" throughout the article text, except when we talk about "Lieutenant General Pearson". Thsi is standard practice in Wikipedia, and to object this proposal for that reason should be adressed in the main MoS, not ghere specifically. The question here is if it is correct in an encyclopedic context and considering the MoS Wikipedia currently has (and which is supported by this project), to keep the current spelling (titles and body of articles), or to change them. People have made the remark that a distinction has to be made between ranks and special titles, and so I have changed the proposal. But your opposition is based on a mixture of technical restrictions (title only) with actual style rules (title and article body), which makes not much sense, and is not supported anywhere in Wikipedia. Fram 15:07, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
To restate a point from above that might get lost because I posted it in the wrong place: the claim that something like "technical sergeant" would never used "mixed case" is not correct. Any use of "technical sergeant" at the beginning of a sentence would be capitalized, creating this mixed case. "Technical sergeants comprise 20 percent of the squadron" is a correct sentence. Wikipedia articles, by convention, start with capital letters as if the title was the begining of a sentence. This is not entirely a technical limitation (there's a workaround), but is better understood as a house style. —Kevin Myers 15:21, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Also, just to state something in case people don't realize this. (Pardon me if you all know it.) Just because the first word of an article title is capitalized doesn't mean you have to capitalize it in your link. So, although the article Rear admiral is (correctly) capitalized as such, you can still link with the small case rear admiral without any piping or redirects involved. A little tip for anyone who didn't know. —Kevin Myers 15:31, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining this more clearly (and patiently) than I did. Fram 15:35, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I understand what you're getting at now. JKBrooks85 21:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it's actually a technical limitation and that the Wikipedia software converts an initial lowercase letter to a capital for file storage purposes. For example, although eBay appears as eBay, the file name is actually http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay. The same happens with e e cummings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_e_cummings. --ROGER DAVIES talk 22:49, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
(If you need/want one,) Another is pH, which is actually PH, but doesn't look like it is. Pdfpdf (talk) 00:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Sorry if this question has already been answered, but what would be the problem with the following:

  • All first letters of nouns capitalized for title / rank of specific individuals, including usage of having the title/rank substitute for an specified individual ("Private Jones escorted General Smith. When ambushed, the Private took X action.")
  • All first letters of nouns uncapitalized for generic usage. ("The list had the names of many privates and generals.")

The only grey area I see is if the phrasing refers to the rank/title as "the" for an unspecified individual. ie. "...should X conditions be fulfilled, the president can then declare martial law." Oberiko 16:11, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with that, provided a slightly modified example was provided. Using your example, change "Private" to "Private First Class", so it more apparent that when it is a multi named title or rank, each word is capitalized. wbfergus Talk 20:02, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
This is what is proposed. As far as I see, most editors have no problem with this in the body of articles, but some have trouble with the capitalization of the titles of articles, where the first letter is capped by default (as the first word of a "sentence", one could say). But what Oberiko and wbfergus say here, is what I intended as well. Fram 21:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The example—"Private Jones escorted General Smith. When ambushed, the Private took X action."—is not quite right. MoS says "When used as titles (that is, followed by a name)". The term "the Private" is not followed by a name so it is not therefore being used as a title and should be "the private".
This formula, which is used by the Chicago Manual of Style and most (if not all) newspapers, removes grey areas. In the further example, "the president can then declare martial law" the term is not followed by a name so is therefore lowercase.
--ROGER DAVIES talk 22:49, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I can accept that argument, as I see it both ways and it does keep things simple. If we're going with that, then am I correct in summarizing the following as our positions?
  1. Article title: debated
  2. Title / prefix of individual: upper case (Vice-Admiral Smith)
  3. Substitution for a specific individual: lower case (the general ordered a retreat)
  4. Generic usage: lower case (Smith the vice-admiral)
If that's the case, I'm going to have to side with the article titles being in lower case, as we are discussing the rank / title itself. Oberiko 00:09, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
You've summarised usage very succinctly there. And, yes, the MoS formula does keep things simple. --ROGER DAVIES talk
(I promised myself to keep out of this, but it's too hot outside - 37C/99F).
  • wbfergus: whether used as a title or a PD. - What's a PD please? - PD=Position Description, or title wbfergus Talk 13:11, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually, from the look of this, a "position description" is a "job description" rather than a title.--ROGER DAVIES talk 13:28, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • An example that I'm thinking of would be from somebody I knew once, who went to West Point to be the Command Sergeant Major of the U. S. Military Academy. His title, rank, and position/job description were all capitalized, and for all intents and purposes, the same. wbfergus Talk 13:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • If you look way up above, you'll see the start of a discussion justifying: "Private X and Corporal Y did Z. The Private then did Z." That discussion wasn't completed.
  • Fram: " ... When ambushed, the Private took X action."—is not quite right. - I disagree that it is not quite right. Just like when you say elsewhere "the military do use lower case", and provide examples, there are plenty of examples of the above usage. I would agree with the statement: " ... When ambushed, the Private took X action."—is not consistent with the MoS. - However, as I (and others) have previously said: Perhaps the MoS does not adequately address this situation?.
  • Roger Davies: 1) This formula, which is used by the Chicago Manual of Style and most (if not all) newspapers, removes grey areas. - I do not agree that most (if not all) newspapers use the Chicago MoS. Perhaps "most in Chicago", maybe even "most in USA", but not unqualified "most". 2) yes, the MoS formula does keep things simple, but, unfortunately, any set of rules that avoids dealing with the difficult situations and the outliers will keep things simple. However, they will not address the difficult situations and outliers ...
  • Oberiko: This time I agree with Roger - You've summarised usage very succinctly there. However, as you can see, I only largely, not totally, agree with you on your point 3.
  • Very little of the above addresses the point: "Rear admiral" looks strange/wrong/etc. My POV is that more attention should be paid to: Also, just to state something in case people don't realize this. (Pardon me if you all know it.) Just because the first word of an article title is capitalized doesn't mean you have to capitalize it in your link. So, although the article Rear admiral is (correctly) capitalized as such, you can still link with the small case rear admiral without any piping or redirects involved. A little tip for anyone who didn't know. —Kevin Myers 15:31, 13 November 2007 (UTC) Pdfpdf (talk) 00:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Am I correct in thinking that "most" interested parties would now agree that, as an example, the article about "rear admiral"s should be titled "Rear admiral", and its first sentence should be one of:
  1. rear admiral is ... below [ [ vice admiral ] ].
  2. rear admiral is ... below [ [ Vice admiral | vice admiral ] ].
  3. Rear admiral is ... below [ [ vice admiral ] ].
  4. Rear admiral is ... below [ [ Vice admiral | vice admiral ] ].
(Note: Although visually different, from a mechanistic WP POV, they are all identical.)
I expect most would choose option 4. (My preference is for option 1.) Pdfpdf (talk) 01:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Just to note that I still think that the article title should be Vice Admiral, as is certain common usage in places other than North America. Is suspect contributors like myself who have held a military rank will still despute usage on individual articles whatever the consensus. MilborneOne (talk) 01:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with MilborneOne, however IF I had a second choice, I'd go with number 1 because Title 10 and Title 14 of the U.S. Code of law uses standard article style and does not capitalize any letter in ranks unless it's stated before a name in title form. Neovu79 (talk) 05:57, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Approaching consensus? - Not yet!

So people, where do we go from here? Pdfpdf (talk) 00:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Hard to say, while everybody has presented their own valid arguement, we still do not have a consensus. Neovu79 (talk) 05:51, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Am I correct in thinking that "most" interested parties would now agree that ...
I seem to have misread the the trend; it seems I am wrong in saying: "most" interested parties would now agree.
So, it would seem that there might be (at least) five options under consideration:

  1. Article name: "Rear admiral". First sentence: rear admiral is ... below [ [ vice admiral ] ].
  2. Article name: "Rear admiral". First sentence: rear admiral is ... below [ [ Vice admiral | vice admiral ] ].
  3. Article name: "Rear admiral". First sentence: Rear admiral is ... below [ [ vice admiral ] ].
  4. Article name: "Rear admiral". First sentence: Rear admiral is ... below [ [ Vice admiral | vice admiral ] ].
  5. Article name: "Rear Admiral". First sentence: Rear Admiral is ... below [ [ Vice Admiral ] ].
  6. "Something else" - please add other options to this list.

Pdfpdf (talk) 07:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Pause for thought

If you must go down this route, it should only be after adequate discussion of the options. There has been none. What you have produced is an arbitrary list, which is highly contentious, not least because it does not reflect real world usage and MoS. For instance, option 5 suggests that rear admiral, lieutenant general etc should be capitalised for every usage, which is simply not the case, not even in the military. I also believe that people should first read Wikipedia:Straw polls as the route you have chosen is likely to get very polarised, very quickly. I further invite you to delete the lists of people you wish to "vote": I think it's presumptive and likely to force polarisation.--ROGER DAVIES talk 12:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

PS "Rear Admiral is" is only always correct if you're referring to the name of a racehorse or a prize bull :))) In an article lead, it's generic and therefore takes an article "a rear admiral is the rank immediately below a vice admiral".--ROGER DAVIES talk 12:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, many senior military figures do behave like racehorses and/or prize bulls! Pdfpdf (talk) 13:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
P.S. In an article lead, it's generic and therefore takes an article "a rear admiral is the rank immediately below a vice admiral". - If that's your POV, then please add it to the list Pdfpdf (talk) 13:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not my POV, it's what MoS says: "When used as titles, (that is, followed by a name), items such as president, king and emperor start with a capital letter: President Clinton, not president Clinton ... When used generically, such items are in lower case: De Gaulle was a French president and Louis XVI was a French king. Similarly, Three prime ministers attended the conference, but, The British Prime Minister is Gordon Brown." --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
(Yes, it's supported by the MoS, and, you may be "right", but never-the-less, it's still your POV ... Pdfpdf (talk) 11:32, 20 November 2007 (UTC))
P.P.S. Alternatively, if you don't like any of the options that are there, please create a new one that you do like. Pdfpdf (talk) 14:09, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Dear me Roger, you've completely missed my point. The point of this exercise is was to determine what the options might be, so that we can discuss them. At the moment, there seems to be a large amount of "going around in circles" (yes, I like your racehorse analogy), and as Neovu79 "said": while everybody has presented their own valid arguement, we still do not have a consensus.

  • What you have produced is an arbitrary list - Yes, that's why option 6 says: "Something else" - add other options you wish to vote for to this list. The rest of that sentence is your POV.
  • For instance, option 5 suggests ... - No, is doesn't. It says what it says. You are extrapolating it in directions that suit your POV. If it did say what you are extrapolating, I'd agree with you. (In which case I wouldn't have written it.) But I didn't, and it doesn't.
  • I also believe that ... - OK, it seems that "Straw Poll" is a "Reserved Word" (two actually). I'll change it to say something else. If that too is a "Reserved Word" that you don't like, then suggest something else. You are intelligent enough to know what I'm trying to do. I think you are not assuming "good faith".
  • I further invite you ... - Thank you for the invitation, but I don't accept. These people have stated that this is their opinion. If they disagree with me, they are perfectly capable of removing their name from option 5 and putting it where they want, and no doubt they will.
  • Pull your head in Roger, assume good faith, and stop being so agressive.

Pdfpdf (talk) 13:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I did miss your point (though re-reading what you posted I don't think so) but this is based on the assumption that we need to arrive at consensus. This is not the case, as without consensus status quo prevails. This happens regularly here and the discussion re-opens a while later. I really don't see the need to force the pace on this particular discussion, especially when it now doesn't follows the usual route of asking people to support or oppose a specific choice, with nuanced remarks. Incidentally, I did assume good faith (and still do) but this doesn't mean I think this is a wise course of action :) Here, we have an inadequately discussed and drafted multiple choice option which broadens rather than narrows the issues. An initial discussion about capitalising in article titles has spilled over into and become conflated with capitalisation of ranks/titles in general. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh. I see. Maybe it's my turn to pull my head in.
Mmmm. Well, it seems to me that there are two "status quos"; the general "status quo" which is similar to option 5, and that which is currently on the Rear admiral page.
I really don't see the need to force the pace' - I guess I agree. I guess I was frustrated by the discussion going around in circles not going anywhere.
So, somewhere I asked: "Where do we go from here?". Please advise. Pdfpdf (talk) 14:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
My 2/100 is let's do nothing and put the whole thing on ice until after the New Year :) I see from talk:Rear Admiral that this has been rumbling on for months and a pause will do no harm. I suspect, too, that there is no perfect outcome and whichever way it goes it will look wrong to a substantial minority. Oh—and on your point about discussions going round and round—I share your pain :))) --ROGER DAVIES talk 15:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
(I share your pain - Thank you. I do appreciate that. Pdfpdf (talk) 11:32, 20 November 2007 (UTC))
I think what might help at this point would be to separate out the issue of article titles from the issue of general capitalization. The former offers a much narrower range of choices than the latter, and is really the problem we're trying to get at; I don't think that it's worth extensively debating all the possible permutations of ranks within prose when the choice for article titles is much more limited.
But I do agree that wrapping up this particular round of discussion somewhat and then starting with a fresh and coherent proposal that summarizes the major points from the current debate after a break (I'd say a week or two, rather than a month, but either is possible) may be a good idea. There's no real rush here, I think; if there's a mass renaming to be done, it can be done just as well in the future. Kirill 18:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Kirill: when the topic is revisted, the two overlapping issues (article titles and capitalization within prose) should be dealt with separately. I think that's why there's a lack of consensus thus far: some of us have been focusing on one issue, and some of us on the other. Personally, I don't really care how article titles are capitalized, because this seems like a minor style issue that works either way ("Vice Admiral" or "Vice admiral" are both valid article titles). But I do think that correct capitalization in prose is important in making Wikipedia articles look good. "John Smith was a Captain in the army" is not good, modern encyclopedia writing. —Kevin Myers 01:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
This is pretty much my position. Keep the issues simple and separate. I can live with articles titles whichever way ... though wouldn't like to see capitalization-creep in content.--ROGER DAVIES talk 08:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Keeping the issues separate and simple sounds good to me. Pdfpdf (talk) 09:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So, we're finally reached a consensus! (Unfortunately, not on the topic we were discussing, but consensus none-the-less ... ) Pdfpdf (talk) 09:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
(Clarification: The consensus we have reached is that we have decided not to decide. Pdfpdf (talk) 10:47, 19 November 2007 (UTC) )
Hey, I'm glad with any consensus that is reached, and with the good discussion here. I'll not start changing the text of articles yet, as discussion continues, but to have grammatically and per MoS correct text is a great step forward. Fram (talk) 10:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid not. The concensus that we have is that we have decided to not decide! i.e. There have been no steps anywhere - forward, backwards or sideways. (In my reference to consensus, I was trying to be amusing; sorry to be ambiguous and mislead you.) I'm afraid there is still a group who still do not agree that the MoS has got it right on this topic. As Roger Davies said, it's entirely possible that consensus will not be reached. Never-the-less, splitting the discussion into its two elements is likely to be more successful than continuing going around in circles. (I hope!) Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 10:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, on article names, we could always use the {{lowercase}} workaround which would give us rear admiral without piping. (An elegant solution, I think.) This then gives us a straight choice between rear admiral and Rear Admiral. --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)



Further discussion

Uncomfortable with how the example for this vote is phrased. With a better example, I could more easily decide. Perhaps something like "A rear admiral is one rank below that of vice admiral..." with the various capitalizations. As is, "Rear" is the first word in the sentence, so it would always be capitalized. With an example like that, then I would cast my vote for #1, though #5 does look better to me personally. It is more in line with how I've commonly seen the 'term' used in the military and how my drill sergeants drilled it into me. wbfergus Talk 13:27, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair comment, and I agree. But that wasn't the raw material I was presented with; I'm just "lifting" what's actually there in Rear admiral (which, by-the-way, I don't like.) Remember, this is WP - I'm not god - if you don't like what I'm doing, say so, and change things. If you don't like options 1-5, please make a new option that you do like. and vote for that. Pdfpdf (talk) 13:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Though it's rather long (120 pages or so), perhaps this Army document may help. It's AR25-50, Preparing and Managing Correspondence. wbfergus Talk 13:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Forgot the page. It's page 64 of the manual (or page 73 of the PDF). wbfergus Talk 13:59, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
In otherwords → John Harvey, Jr., Vice Admiral you can have it capitalized and John Harvey, Jr., vice admiral of United States Navy (if vice admiral was used grammatically correct, which it is not in this instance) is not capitalized. Neovu79 (talk) 04:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Workaround:
Incidentally, on article names, we could always use the {{lowercase}} workaround which would give us rear admiral without piping. (An elegant solution, I think.) This then gives us a straight choice between rear admiral and Rear Admiral. --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree it is elegant.
However, I not sure what point you're making about choosing "Rear Admiral" vs "rear admiral".
I was under the impression our discussion was about "Rear Admiral" vs "Rear admiral".
Clearly, I'm confused. Pdfpdf (talk) 14:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The workaround lets us call the article "rear admiral" (no caps) i.e. the generic form. This makes the "Rear admiral" discussion irrelevant (because it was based on the belief that Wikipedia automatically capitalise the "rear" in "rear admiral") and thus enables title use (i.e. "Rear Admiral" Fred Bloggs) via a redirect of "rear admiral". --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:56, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Also, is what you are saying the same as, or different from, what Kevin Myers was saying? Viz:

Also, just to state something in case people don't realize this. (Pardon me if you all know it.) Just because the first word of an article title is capitalized doesn't mean you have to capitalize it in your link. So, although the article Rear admiral is (correctly) capitalized as such, you can still link with the small case rear admiral without any piping or redirects involved. A little tip for anyone who didn't know. —Kevin Myers 15:31, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Pdfpdf (talk) 14:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a different aspect of the same issue. Using the {{lowercase}} template means the articles appear as "rear admiral" etc in category listings and as the article heading. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:56, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow! And I thought it was elegant before I understood what you were proposing. Now I'm really impressed. Is seems to me that this renders a lot of the above irrelevant. (Or have I missed something?)
For example, it seems to me that Fram's proposal is now unnecessary. (Or have I missed something?)
Pdfpdf (talk) 11:44, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I thought this was not supposed to be used unless in very exceptional cases, mainly brand names which are in camelcase, to keep them correct. But for the moment I am not able to find an indication in the guidelines which would show if this is encouraged or discouraged. But anyway, you can turn Rear admiral into rear admiral with the lowercase template, but I don't think you can turn Rear Admiral into rear admiral this way... So it may be a way to convince those people who oppose the renaming solely because Rear admiral looks strange (not my opinion), but it will not help to convince those people who want to have it as Rear Admiral c.s. I have no idea what the opinions are of the people who initially commented, so it is a bit hard to know if the lowercase would bring us to a consensus or not. It is certainly worth pursuing, both to see if it is "allowed", and to see if it would generate enough support here. Fram (talk) 14:58, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
It would certainly simplify matters considerably. Articles would still need renaming though otherwise you'd end up with rear Admiral.--ROGER DAVIES talk 16:44, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to also agree with Fram on this solution. I'd be willing to agree to this proposal, however I am also, within reason, a proponent of conformity. There are houndreds of thousands, if not millions, of pages that do not need to be capitalized either. How do we justify changing these pages without changing the others? Can we really see this as an isolated group issue and not as well an issue with with the other pages in Wiki? Neovu79 (talk) 00:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I would support this workaround/proposal. It would help simplify this one issue of capitalization in Article titles, while the rest of the articles' usage is restricted to proper context of the rank/title and whatever capitalization rules apply then. wbfergus Talk 12:02, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Additional eyes requested

Could I request some additional eyes to drop by Battle of the Plains of Abraham and its talk page to consider a claim by another editor that the article is biased towards the British version of events? I had been waiting for some added comments from the other editor, User:Plains2007, who posted a lengthy screed on the talk page that had some nationalist leanings to it. Somehow, I completely missed the posting of a long, and referenced, new section to the talk page in late October in which the editor presents an alternate article - or, he notes, something that could be merged. To my eyes, it's over-long and gets into some minutiae, and many of the points are already covered in the text, but there may be some sections that could be brought in. I'd really appreciate if some other voices could chime in and take a look. Thanks. Tony Fox (arf!) 22:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the article is Anglo-centric. The French side is simply not reported to the same extent. The solution is to try to give equal weight to each side on a section by section basis. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 23:27, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

New category: Pyrrhic victories

I've created a new category called Pyrrhic victories. This is perhaps the first or second category that I create for Wiki, so I'm not really familiar with the procedure. I'm also not such a big fan of categories, but I created this one because I felt the urge of having a list containing battles won by pyrrhic victories. I find them particular interesting and maybe others feel the same, which is why I believe the category is needed. I haven't worked on the category except adding the WPMH template. First, I would like to know if others feel the same way as I do. It wouldn't be good to start adding the category to the relevant battles and later have it deleted. --Thus Spake Anittas 01:41, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

It's going to be somewhat problematic, I suspect, as the question of whether a victory is Pyrrhic or not is largely a subjective one. (It is, admittedly, likely to be easier to work with than the attempt to create a "decisive victories" category a while ago.) Even the question of which side of a battle won is very much subjective, which is why we don't have categories for any country's victories either. It's not impossible to have something like this—although maintaining it may be more trouble than it's worth regardless—but it would need to have very explicit membership criteria grounded in the evaluations of reputable historians, or you'll wind up everyone putting their own personal list of battles there.
As a purely technical matter, the current category name doesn't constrain it to battles, or even to actual warfare. Something like Category:Battles won by Pyrrhic victories (although that's a bit clunky) would be better, should the category be retained. Kirill 01:47, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
On another note, a List of Pyrrhic victories (there's a crude form in the Pyrrhic victory article itself, at the moment) may be an alternative to a category structure that might be considered. It would lose out on the automatic generation, but would have the benefit of allowing the associated references for the victory's status to be built in to the list. Kirill 01:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, the category would be added to battles that are recognized to have been a Pyrrhic victory, such as battles listed here. If you check the result on any of those battles, you will see that it is counted as a Pyrrhic victory. The function of the category would be to list all such battles, however, if for example the list that I linked to can fullfil that role, then there would be no reason to have the category; so the question is: do we need a category when there is a list to be found? As far as I know, a category gives way for better sortation, etc. if the category is not needed, it should be deleted. --Thus Spake Anittas 01:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
In terms of sorting, a category will sort the battles alphabetically, while an explicit list could do either alphabetic or chronological sorting. Personally, I find chronological lists to be more useful for historic events, but that may be a matter of personal preference. Kirill 02:50, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Since I really don't know exactly what a Pyrrhic vistory is, can somebody please check Battle of Chosin Reservoir to see if one of the recent edits improperly removed that phrase from the infobox? I noticed yesterday that somebody had removed that from the infobox, but without knowing exactly what it meant, I didn't want to revert it (or probably re-add it in by now). Thanks. wbfergus Talk 12:22, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Broadly, a pyrrhic victory is one where the cost of victory is so great that it is victory in name only. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was probably a pyrrhic victory, though may be POV to say so. --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Needless to say, no battle should be described in a Wikipedia article as a "Pyrrhic victory" without citing a reliable source that labels it as such. Some of the examples listed in the Pyrrhic victory article are arguable if not dubious. (It's possible someone has confused Pyrrhic victories with standard costly victories.) I'm guessing that more than a few on the list are uncited as such. The application of the term "Pyrrhic victory" is so subjective that categories are not the proper way to arrange them, because there's likely to be scholarly disagreement on a few of the more interesting examples. An annotated list would be the way to go, where you list the action and briefly describe who has called it a "Pyrrhic victory" and why, and for extra credit, which scholars disagree and why. —Kevin Myers 14:46, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Nachtigall Battalion and Roman Shukhevych

Attention is needed from project members on these two articles. User:Bandurist is using unreliable sources, such as Wikipedia mirror answers.com and the Ukrainian Wikipedia in order to justify their edits to the article. The user is also removing or attributing to "Jewish sources" the well-sourced material on the involvement of the Nachtigall Battalion and its commander Roman Shukhevych in the massacre of Jews in Lviv in July 1941. Beit Or 20:50, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

And the rest?

Most of Europe is now covered by geographic/ national task forces. Is there a case for similar treatment for the remainder, eg, Hungary, Czechoslovakia (as was), Portugal & Ireland? Folks at 137 22:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Those all seem reasonable if/when there's editorial interest. As things are, there aren't many editors working on those topics; so there's no real need to create such narrow groups until someone actually comes forward and wants to participate in them. Kirill 22:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Phan Dinh Phung now open

The A-Class review for Phan Dinh Phung is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 01:42, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Rename a certain battle to charge?

See Talk:Battle_of_Krojanty#Requested_move. One or two more comments would be useful.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 04:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It was initiated by Uncle Ed more than 4 years ago but only got the attention two weeks ago. Anyway, "Charge of Krojanty" sounds weird. I'd have prefered "Action of Krojanty". -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 12:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Assessment drive tool

What kind of script/tool did you use to find all of our articles for the assessment drive?--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 20:37, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

It's a custom-made Perl script. Kirill 02:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for USS Illinois (BB-65) now open

The A-Class review for USS Illinois (BB-65) is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! TomStar81 (Talk) 06:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Battle of the Gebora now open

The A-Class review for Battle of the Gebora is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 13:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

FAC review for A-Class Józef Piłsudski now open

At Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Józef_Piłsudski. Your comments as always appreciated.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus |<span style= talk 17:58, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Afghanistan Timelines

Hi,

I was the originator and author of most of the information in the Afghan timelines from 2000 to 2004. I see that the names of all these articles have been changed to "Timeline of the War in Afghanistan". For example, what was Afghanistan timeline August 2004 is now Timeline of the War in Afghanistan (August 2004).

Although a lot of the information in those timelines deals with the war, there is also a lot of information in those timelines that have to do with democracy, art, health, and culture. It is a misnomer to call them timelines "of the War in Afghanistan". It is really better suited to call them generically timelines "of Afghanistan." That generic title helps cover the other topics covered in these timelines.

I wanted to change these titles back, but I wanted to discuss the matter with you first.

Sincerely, Kingturtle 12:55, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree with your proposal, after looking at List of years in Afghanistan and Timeline of the history of Afghanistan, it would make for more coherence. Even though Afghanistan is one of the most war-torn countries in history, I think that having duplicate timelines for almost every year that it has been at war would be a bit over the top. The last few years have naturally enough not yielded many peaceful events that could be included, but that would be a case of recentism.--victor falk (talk) 01:24, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Christian X of Denmark within project scope or not?

I tagged and assessed Christian X of Denmark as being within the scope of this project as part of the assessment drive, which (theis currently being disputed. Opinions as to whether or not he should be are welcome at the talk page. Thanks. BrokenSphereMsg me 18:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I think this touches on a much broader subject. Should national leaders (either functional or symbolic) be included, by default, within the scope of this project? Were there any individuals who led nations and were not, again as a matter of function or formality, linked to that nations military? Oberiko 19:16, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd think we wouldn't want to include national leaders unless they had some substantial involvement in military affairs; otherwise, we're going to wind up with hundreds of people whose articles have no relevance to us (insofar as there's no discussion of military history in them) merely because they held some suitably high rank on paper.
In this case, I'd suggest that Christian's connection is probably too tenuous to include him. He was the king during a war, granted; but, as far as I can determine, he played no role in military affairs (Denmark not being much of a belligerent in any case). (Compare this to, say, Churchill, who had a highly active direct role in the conduct of the war.) Kirill 19:25, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, OK. A bit off topic this discussion between me and the other editor has sparked a debate as to whether Denmark had a tangential role in the war not; I'm arguing that it didn't, but our respective definitions of what constitutes a state of war and whether or not Denmark was one of the Allies have also contrasted. BrokenSphereMsg me 19:36, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Proposal

I've made a proposal at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council#What to do with WikiProject History--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 23:04, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

External Image Linking

I recall seeing an external image link template on here some time ago. Would anyone happen to know if it still exists? I need to link to this image, but as things appear now its going to get the axe over fair use compliance. TomStar81 (Talk) 08:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

{{Externalimages}} is possibly the one you're thinking of. It's still there and still in use, including in some FAs. Carre 09:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Le Quang Tung now open

The A-Class review for Le Quang Tung is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 13:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

VC recipients

Hi, as some may be aware, my next project is the plethora of VC recipients lists.. I have made a start at List of Australian Victoria Cross recipients and it is featured now. I have started a mock up what i think the nationalities list should turn into. I intend to create large lists such as the Australian and Canadian list for all countries with more than 25 recipients. All the other articles will become merged, then redirected to, a table that i have started in my sandbox. Any comments, arguments against would be welcome. Thanks. -- Woodym555 (talk) 17:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

One thought--if possible, flag two categories of VC awarded for special circumstances. There is the case, such as Leonard Cheshire, where it was (properly) awarded not for one act, but for sustained bravery over a long period of terribly hazardous missions.
Again, if you are going to go to lists or into more background, there have been some interesting criticism of awards. LTC "H" Jones, in the Falklands, is thought by some as recognizing properly when the commander had to lead by example and participate in direct combat, while others criticize him for not staying back and keeping unity of command. A US situaation, not quite the same, was in the early Korean War, where US forces had largely broken down, and MG Dean went out, personally hunting tanks, because it was about the only option left to him.
There is also has been, at least in WWI, a situation where the heroism of a unit is generally of the VC level, and one person, I believe by election, is awarded the medal for the group. The existing VC articles mentions this case. I'll think of an example soon -- was there more than one British or Australian naval officer named Crace? ISTR one getting it, perhaps from Zeebrugge. I'm guessing that convention was not in effect at the time of the Battle of Rorke's Drift Station, the most VCs ever awarded for one small unit action.
Be sure to address the newer thinking of the equivalence of the VC and GC, and that the GC can be awarded for military situations not under direct fire, such as explosive disposal. -- Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 17:34, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Most of that is very hard to factor into lists. The election option is there, I know, i wrote the VC article. ;) I can't think of an example off the top of my head though. We have to be careful of bringing in WP:OR into the lists. The individual recipients articles such as H Jones, would be the place for that discussion and not the lists. The lists need to be revamped in a uniform way, the recipient's articles will be taken on one by one, based on the sources to hand. The Leonard Cheshire incident is the reason why i am resisting linking the "place" in the FLC of the Canadian recipients. I will endeavour to include the GC link in the Leads of the lists. Do you have any opinions on the structure of the lists and my intended plan for the nationalities lists. -- Woodym555 (talk) 17:42, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Just a thought -- would it make sense, given the smaller number of GCs, to combine VC and GC, possibly by country?
In my opinion, no. They are separate awards and should remain as such. The VC is solely a military Honour whereas the GC is for civilians as well. I don't think it would be wise or feasible to merge the two lists. -- Woodym555 (talk) 20:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Just to support Woodym555 comment the two medals are not the same and should not be combined.MilborneOne (talk) 01:21, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree the H Jones incident belongs in an article. If you are just doing lists, forget my comment.
Apologies, but I'm not sure I understand your concern about Cheshire. Are you speaking of not being able to define a specific place where the act took place, other than perhaps "Europe"?-- Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes defining the exact place is difficult. Johnson Beharry for example won his for two acts of bravery on two different days in two different places. I also don't think that the wikilinks add anything to the list. -- Woodym555 (talk) 20:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Not definitively an election, but group mentioned: Stephen Halden Beattie at St. Nazaire. I'm still trying to remember who it was, IIRC Australian, that had been elected in WWI, and was a unit commander in one of the naval battles of Guadalcanal. I thought I remembered Crace, but the only Crace listed didn't receive the VC. -- Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 20:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

FACs

From where I sit maybe four of the FACs we currently have open have sufficent support to close as support, and have been open long enough for people to comment on them at length. Whats the holdup out there? Has Raul654 been on vacation or something? TomStar81 (Talk) 07:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Raul has a lot of things to do, usually he does it every week or whenevr he can. I don't see the problem with leaving them open, it gives them time to get more supports!!! Woodym555 (talk) 15:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep, FAC promotions tend to be on a somewhat irregular schedule. It's not really designed to be a very fast-paced process. ;-) Kirill 16:27, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Featured article review

F-4 Phantom II has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. Snowman (talk) 11:34, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

(I put comments on the talk page but they may belong here. This is a clone)

The section on "Flying the Phantom" seems a little thin. Here would be a thought to address that and other points that have been raised: either add another section at the same hierarchical level, or put in two subheads: "Admired Phantom Characteristics" and "Problems (mostly) fixed". As your "Flying the Phantom" section exists, it really has two paragraphs on one and two on the other. Besides smoke and the gun, some of the other variants were made due to perceived deficiencies. The latter could make a section. The positive pilot perceptions could use more content, to emphasize the good characteristics of the aircraft. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 15:38, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

This should go on the Wikipedia:Featured_article_review/F-4 Phantom II page. See how others have formatted their comments on other WP:FARs. Woodym555 (talk) 15:42, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer review for 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident now open

The peer review for 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 04:28, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer review for Hezbollah

After a lot of effort, this article is going to be an FA. But we asked for a peer review before nominating. Please participate in peer review. As Kirill says all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! --Seyyed(t-c) 12:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Tag & Assess 2007 Top ten

As of noon (GMT), the top ten are:

Bedford — 4,010
FayssalF — 3,500
Cromdog — 2,200
BrokenSphere — 2000
Maralia — 1,750
Roger Davies — 1,750
TomStar81 — 1,520
Jacksinterweb — 1,510
JKBrooks85 — 1,250
MBK004 — 1,046

Two more editors signed up over the weekend. The more the merrier, huh?--ROGER DAVIES talk 14:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Some pretty impressive counts there! :-) Kirill 18:36, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I have just come back as an editor after some time off but I had assessed almost 10,000 articles before I left. Ther was a time prior to the project existing.--Looper5920 (talk) 04:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't suppose you would consider reprising this, would you? :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Le Quang Tung needs attention

A few more editors are needed to complete the A-Class review for Le Quang Tung; please stop by and help review the article! Thanks! Kirill 18:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Battle of Vaslui now open

The A-Class review for Battle of Vaslui is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! --Eurocopter tigre (talk) 19:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang now open

The A-Class review for Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! -- Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:44, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Bangladesh relief effort

Word on ABC-7 tonight is that three USN ships are heading off the Bangladesh to aid with the relief effort. A check of the cyclone article reveals that five ships from Bangladesh are also involved in the recovery effort. I cannot speak for the five Bangladesh ships, but Tarawa, USS Kearsarge, and USS Wasp are bringing roughly 3,500 Marines to aid in the recovery efforts. Since this part falls in our scope me thinks the material will need to be integrated in to the article eventually. For now though it would probably be best for us to keep an eye out there to make sure no vandalism creaps into the articles unnoticed. TomStar81 (Talk) 10:35, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

First word in biographies

In many/some biographies of military men their most senior rank is given as the first word in the article e.g. (Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley). Is there a guideline on this issue? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 16:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

There is a previous discussion on this issue in the archives, if that helps. Leithp 16:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Currently, it is accepted practice to include the retiring rank in the Lead of the article. The Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) is the main place of discussion I think. I know that recently several Admiral of the Fleets were removed fromt the Lead and this was promptly reverted. I am yet to find a solid guideline on military rank though. Perhaps we should add it in to the Bio MOS. Woodym555 (talk) 16:13, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the lead see also Wikipedia_talk:Manual of Style (biographies)#Military_Rank --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 16:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I was one of the users who reverted him and discussed it on his talk page, which led him to post there. I saw the reply and could not see anything to add. Woodym555 (talk) 17:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Including rank as the first word in Wikipedia biographies is an unfortunate trend. Based on the previous discussion linked above, it seems that this was originally more of a British approach, but lately I see it more in American bios. It's a bad idea for a variety of reasons: the person may have been better known for other endeavors, the retiring rank may have been held for only a short time, it privileges the military over other professions, etc. It's better to simply start the article with the person's name, and then give the details of military service in the article itself. —Pvt. Kevin Myers (Ret.) 17:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
It is not compulsory, yet for most their military activities are what define them. Andrew Browne Cunningham, Horatio Nelson are good examples of that. Given that for British ranks at least, they are permitted to use them after retirement, then it would be accurate to include them in the Lead <added>Sentence.<added> It is not valuing them over any other person, it is merely recognising their activities. Dr, pHd, OBE, DBE are all included as well. Woodym555 (talk) 17:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Your reply doesn't quite address the point. No one has suggested that the rank and activities of famous soldiers should not be included in the lead section. The question is, should they be addressed by their rank in the opening sentence? The Manual of Style discourages this approach for other professions:

"Academic and professional titles (such as 'Doctor' or 'Professor') should not be used before the name in the initial sentence or in other uses of the person's name."

In what it describes as "controversial", the Manual of Style does allow articles to begin with "Sir" and "Dame", which seems to me to be horribly biased in favor of European aristocracy. I think we should treat all classes, professions, ranks, and stations with equal objective distance. I realize this is probably a hard sell to my European friends, and so I don't anticipate getting the "Sir" and "Dame" bias fixed anytime soon, but it may not be too late to prevent the military biographies from going down the same path. —Kevin Myers 18:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
(I have amended my response to more accurately reflect my position and to reflect your MOS quote.) Well, personally I think that military ranks should remain. Not for some emotive, flag-waving reasoning, but simply because that is their official name. I can see how it is deemed as biased towards the military, but it would not simply be Europeans with the titles. European aristocracy have their titles and these should be reflected in their first sentence. Most viewers will see the first sentence as the official naming, including all post-nominals and titles, that is at least, what i see it as. Woodym555 (talk) 18:21, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"Titles such as "Sir" and "Dame" are an integral part of a person's name. It's not biased in favour of European aristocracy; it's merely a fact. It's no more "horribly biased" than articles on Americans incorporating "Jr" or "III" at the end of their names in the first line, which look equally weird to us Europeans. As for military ranks, in Britain at least that is how many people were addressed. Until very recently retired military officers tended to use their ranks for the rest of their lives and were specifically granted permission to do so on their retirement (as a look at the London Gazette will confirm). Even men who only served during the world wars and were not regulars often kept their rank - Britain in the interwar period was full of Captain Smiths, Major Joneses and Colonel Browns who had had no contact at all with the forces since 1919. It seems only right and proper that we acknowledge that fact and use the name by which they were known. Academic titles only tend to be used within the academic community, but this was not the case with military ranks, which usually took precedence over all other professional titles (e.g. a civilian physician who had been a major in the Royal Army Medical Corps would usually be referred to even professionally as Major Smith and not Dr Smith). -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I bought this up because I put together a stub on Hans Ernst Karl, Graf von Zieten which I started "Generalfeldmarschall Hans Ernst Karl, Graf von Zieten (1770-1848)" but Generalfeldmarschall was removed by another editor with the comment "Generalfeldmarschall from intro, as it misleading suggests he held that title during the Napoleonic Wars". What seems to be arising from this conversation is that we are dealing with a British American divide on this issue with the Commonwealth somewhere in the middle. Do we need want to formulate a rule on this or just leave it to article evolution? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:30, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Phil, by "Commonwealth" I assume you mean the rest of the Commonwealth? ;-) Anyway, you make a good point; it is one thing to come up with rules for Commonwealth and US biographies, but how do we deal with other nationalities? I think laissez faire may be the only solution. Grant | Talk 14:35, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
To back up for a moment, I'm afraid that Necrothesp's claim that "Titles such as 'Sir' and 'Dame' are an integral part of a person's name" doesn't hold up to scrutiny. For example, although Judi Dench is often addressed as "Dame", she's not billed that way in her movies, and in fact I once heard her tell an interviewer that she didn't like being called "Dame". It's a honorary title and not an integral part of her name. (If it were an integral part of her name, her Wikipedia entry would need to be renamed.) Her Wikipedia biography begins with "Dame" because the Wikipedia Manual of Style for some reason extends a courtesy to "Sirs" and "Dames" that it does not extend to, for example, "Doctors" or "the Reverend", etc.
So the question for our purposes here is: do we extend this special exception for European titles to military officers? The United States is actually no different from Great Britain in addressing retired officers by their rank. Recently I saw a retired general on a TV talk show who told the interviewer to "call me Steve"; the interviewer declined, feeling it improper, and continued to address him as "General." In the US this courtesy is extended in formal situations to military officers, medical doctors, high government officials ("Mister Secretary"), often professors, etc. But of course, none of this — either in the US or the UK — has anything to do with how a Wikipedia article should begin. Sure, we should discuss the person's ranks and honors and how they are addressed, but ideally we should avoid bias by treating everyone equally and extend the courtesy at the beginning of the article to everyone or no one. Personally I think leaving off ranks and titles at the beginning of the article is a more professional, neutral way to go. —Kevin Myers 15:47, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I pretty much go along with that, though in a quick whip through category:United States Army generals reveals that around a third of articles start with title. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:13, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, and it may becoming more and more common, although I believe some of the US Civil War editors have worked in the past to keep Civil War articles from going that route. Probably the strangest case was when the article on actor James Stewart began, for a short time, with Brigadier General James Stewart.... Of course he was a reserve brigadier general and I honor him for his great service, but that was an odd way to start an article on the famous actor. —Kevin Myers 16:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I saw that. Really jarring :)--ROGER DAVIES talk 16:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid, Kevin, that you don't understand the concept of titles. Dame Judi Dench's title is not "honorary" in the slightest. An honorary knighthood is one granted to somebody who cannot use it (i.e. someone who is not a citizen of the UK or another Commonwealth Realm). Her title is substantive - that is, it is an integral part of her name and she is entitled to use it on her passport, credit cards etc. Whether she chooses to use it in her films or in informal conversation or not is utterly irrelevant - she is almost universally known as Dame Judi Dench and that is how she is referred to by the BBC and other respectable British media organisations. And many theatrical knights and dames were billed using their titles in films (e.g. Dame Judith Anderson in A Man Called Horse), although it is not common these days. This subject has been exhaustively discussed elsewhere on Wikipedia.
As to military ranks, if a person was commonly known by his rank then I believe we should use it for the reasons I have outlined above. James Stewart was not, hence we shouldn't use it, but many people, especially in the UK, were. -- Necrothesp (talk) 19:23, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
As the risk of belaboring a secondary issue, you're splitting hairs about titles. Of course Judi Dench's "Dame" is an "honorary" title, in the sense (which I could have made more clear) that it's an "honor" (to use the American spelling) awarded to her -- the Order of the British Empire calls it an "honour" because it's the British honours system. As I said earlier, I don't expect the Manual of Style on this matter to be changed anytime soon, nor do I think it very important; I only brought it up because it touches upon the matter at hand. But I should not have opened this can of worms here, and I regret the digression, especially since it's a concept I "don't understand" (ahem). As you correctly suggest, it's an issue best discussed elsewhere. —Kevin Myers 23:05, 20 November 2007 (UTC), edited 14:17, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps usage should follow what the individual was notable for. If their primary claim to fame was their military service, then include the rank they attained; otherwise, as in the Jimmy Stewart example, it might be noted in the lead, but the lead sentence shouldn't begin with it. Askari Mark (Talk) 19:34, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
So do we want an addition to the Manual of Style? Something about including rank as the first word being optional (if not controversial), and only appropriate if the person was best-known as a military officer, etc. —Kevin Myers 14:19, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Which rank in the armed forces? Their last, or that under which they gain a notable entry in Wikipeda? Also is this just for those holding a commission/warrant? What about Rifleman Thomas Plunkett etc? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Their last. It has never been normal practice to refer to NCOs and warrant officers by their ranks outside a direct military context even when they are still serving. -- Necrothesp (talk) 19:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
What about eras? I notice that the Arthur Wellesley and the John Churchill articles differ. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 21:38, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
No particular reason why they should differ. As soon as Britain had an established regular army ranks tended to be used. They shouldn't be used prior to this (e.g. in the English Civil War era) when ranks tended to be very fluid and were often self-conferred by officers who raised their own units. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Good idea.--ROGER DAVIES talk 14:25, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that seems like a good idea. On a technical point: do we want to work this into the biography MoS or our own MoS? Kirill 15:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Both? --ROGER DAVIES talk 01:35, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, but it should also be considered appropriate if the person was known by his rank even if not best-known as a military officer (as I've said above, this was common in Britain until well into the 20th century). -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Forgive my ignorance, but do you mean that it was commonly used in reference to British citizens or commonly used in the UK regardless of citizenship? Olessi (talk) 16:02, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Commonly used in reference to British/Commonwealth citizens. -- Necrothesp (talk) 19:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with such phrasing being used for British/Commonwealth citizens. I agree it should not automatically be used for people from other states. I commonly edit German-related articles; most German military biographies that I have come across have not started with the highest rank, which is why I changed it at the Zieten article. Olessi (talk) 01:28, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I was the editor who originally removed Generalfeldmarschall from the Zieten article. When I first came across it, the text read "Generalfeldmarschall Hans Ernst Karl, Graf von Zieten (1770-1848) was an officer in the Prussian Army during the Napoleonic Wars." That phrasing suggested to me that Zieten was a Prussian Field Marshal at the beginning of the 1800s. However, he had the ranks of Generalmajor and Generalleutnant during the Napoleonic Wars, and later received the rank of General der Kavallerie in 1825. He was finally promoted to Generalfeldmarschall in 1839 and left active service during the 1840s, during which he became a politician. I agree with the viewpoints of Kevin and Roger. I have no objection at all to including a soldier's highest rank in the introduction, but I disagree with having it be the first phrase in the article. IMO, biographies should begin simply with the individual's bolded name, followed by their dates and notability. Olessi (talk) 15:24, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Cool script for all assessors

User talk:Outriggr/assessment.js is great for assessing articles. You guys doing the assessment drive could use it--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 23:05, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

List of Information Sources

I'd like to start this list with what I think is a good source.--THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 02:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

You all can add some that you find too.--THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 13:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident now open

The A-Class review for 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 13:53, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Referencing the London Gazette

Members of this project may find {{LondonGazette}} useful if they have need of making a reference to the London Gazette. It will help to present such references in a uniform style, and consitent use will also make it easier to maintain these references in future (we currently have the situation where a website upgrade a couple of months ago broke all older references to individual gazettes.

Request for comment on Talk:List of massacres

There are two issues being discussed:

  1. A user proposes to require that any content deletion be put to consensus on the talk page first (but not hold additions to that standard)
  2. Another user proposes renaming the list to "List of Mass Killings".

--Mmx1 (talk) 01:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

50,000

A slightly interesting fact: as of today, we have more than 50,000 articles tagged as part of the project, in large part due to the success of the tagging & assessment drive. :-) Kirill 02:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Holy warfare, Batman, that's a lot of articles! —Kevin Myers 03:06, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer review for Barrage (artillery) now open

The peer review for Barrage (artillery) is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 13:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Input request: Afghan Civil War

Your ideas are welcome at: Talk:Afghan_Civil_War#What_needs_to_be_done.3F. Thanx to you. --victor falk (talk) 18:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer review for Francis Harvey now open

The peer review for Francis Harvey is now open; all editors are invited to participate, and any input there would be appreciated! Thanks! Kirill 02:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review for Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang needs attention

A few more editors are needed to complete the A-Class review for Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang; please stop by and help review the article! Thanks! Kirill 02:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Am I out of line for suggesting a merger here?

Force multiplier AND Force multiplication? I did a fair bit of work on the latter, but thought I needed new glasses when I saw the former was different. Well, actually, I do need new glasses, but that's not the problem here. This is really ugly, even uglier than the proliferation of lists of organizations that don't drop cleanly into categories (e.g., counterintelligence vs. counterterror). Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 06:50, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Merging is definitely a good idea. Much of the content of Force multiplier seems questionable, at best, so a lot of it might be better off simply being dropped. There's a lot of work to be done on the resulting article, in any case; both of the current ones seem to start in media res, in World War I, with no mention of earlier technological force multipliers (e.g. Rorke's Drift, etc.). Kirill 07:22, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit hesitant to call something a force multiplier or a matter of force multiplication if there wasn't a conscious attempt to develop it as doctrine. Rorke's Drift was an example of a disciplined defense and field fortification by an incredibly brave group of men, but what was the conceptual aspect that didn't previously exist? I suppose one could have called the original concept of the Battle of the Crater an early example of an intended new breaching technique, but the execution there made the Germans at Second Ypres and the British at Cambrai look like military geniuses.
Things that did act as force multipliers in the ACW, I believe, included widespread use of the telegraph and repeating rifles. Railroads are a tossup, especially compared with the more scientific use of railroads as a part of mobilization by the Prussian General Staff. Ironclads (with a wave of a tall white hat at Admiral Yi) arguably could be considered such, or at least the initial action by CSS Virginia. The next day's action with USS Monitor was more of a draw, but, in some of the later river campaigns, ironclads became more decisive.
Does a force multiplier have to be a "silver bullet", in the sense that if one took two forces roughly equal in numbers, one having the multiplier and the other not, that the outcome is preordained? How much multiplication is necessary? I'm not suggesting that pre-industrial militaries didn't have things that might have qualified, but I'm not sure that I can readily think of examples that were planned as such. Vauban's fortifications, multiplying the defense, perhaps? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 05:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I think both articles are pretty poor, and both fail to elicit any principle or doctrine of force multiplication. I have heard of a "force muliplier" as a piece of jargon but never of "force multiplication" as a principle. After reading both articles I am none the wiser - all we seem to have are examples of how a force can be made more effective. If that is all that is meant by "force multiplier" it doesn't deserve an article. Neither article is properly referenced so it is not clear whether these terms have any real meaning in military science or doctrine. I would either delete both or merge them the other way round, as I think "force multiplier" is the more meaningful headline, but if we keep the article it needs a lot of work from someone who can tell us the theoretical baseis for the alleged doctrine.

Incidentally, most hits from a Google search on both terms have nothing to do with military usage - many are about mechanical advantage (levers, pulleys etc). Cyclopaedic (talk) 10:06, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and merged. To answer your question about making things more efficient, are you familiar with the limitations of Lanchester's Laws, and attempts to improve battle modeling, such as TNDM (http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/tndm.htm)? The idea of military force multiplication probably is most used in two or three areas: C3I people (and formal gaming & modeling types like the Joint War Gaming Agency), and Special Forces. In the latter, the classic multiplication is raising a company-sized guerilla force with a 12-man A Detachment. In the former, force multiplication begins modestly, but becomes very important when you start thinking in terms of John Boyd's OODA loop (an intellectual force multiplier lets you get inside your enemy's loop), or perhaps some of John Warden's work on the air campaign.
Warden, of course, is updating Clausewitz's concept of centers of gravity, but definitely putting some technological twists into the model. For example, if the center of gravity is the command center of a rigidly hierarchical force, a stealth aircraft can get at it where you'd otherwise need quite a strong force of CAP, SEAD,etc., protecting the strikers. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 00:56, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Name

I came across this article and it seems oddly named. The article is Battle of Petersburg I. I think it should be moved to First battle of Petersburg. Comments? —Preceding unsigned comment added by TomStar81 (talkcontribs) 23:53, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Further discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/American Civil War task force#Roman numerals in battle article names. Kirill 01:16, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup of Swarming (Military)

Did a major cleanup, although there are still things to do. Help is welcome in going through historical examples -- perhaps making them a table as in the primary document -- and being sure all meet the definition of swarming, rather than just being convergent.

It could use naval examples with light craft, especially with the buzz about light boats in the Persian Gulf. Perhaps the Battle of Surigao Strait would serve as a historical example -- the PT's and DD's did swarm and do significant damage; Oldendorf's capping the T was the finishing touch.

Anyone know of a good public domain picture of an RAF Sector Station, or something showing reasonable air defense coordination? I'm afraid more recent displays have symbology that takes experience to read -- maybe that is a point worth making about the kind of soldier needed for swarming

I still don't really grok the article class system, and would welcome information on where this article, and indeed my intelligence and special operations series (also did direct action (military) and foreign internal defense), fit. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:31, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Infobox Military Unit

Where can I find the template for Infobox Military Unit ? Chessy999 (talk) 08:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

At Template:Infobox Military Unit, presumably? Or are you looking for something other than what's on that page? Kirill 16:20, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Competitive intelligence

Does this read suspicously to anyone? To me it sounds like a copyvio, but I would like some other opinions. TomStar81 (Talk) 05:31, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps. I get the first sentence a lot in a Google search, but they might all be mirror sites.--Bedford (talk) 07:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi Tom. I'm not quite sure what you are after. I didn't find an exact match, but Google turns up a pile of stuff which all sounds very similar, and also similar to this WP article. The article sounds like a copy-and-paste "synthesis" where some of the sources have been acknowledged, and others not. Some of the pages I came across that matched some of the sounds-like-a-buzzword phrases are:
http://www.planningskills.com/askdan/1.php
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3937/is_200403/ai_n9358221, and the almost identical:
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-156698/Competitive-intelligence-education-competencies-sources.html
http://www.aurorawdc.com/whatisci.htm
etc., ad nauseum
This Master's Thesis, and its sources, have a familiar ring to them:
http://www.handels.gu.se/epc/archive/00002688/01/gbs_thesis_2002_10.pdf
Creating an Information Exchange Network - Improving the Marketing Intelligence Process; A case study of Volvo CE in Australia
Maria Wickberg & Ausra Zaksaite; International Business Master Thesis No 2002:10; Graduate Business School; School of Economics and Commercial Law; Göteborg University; ISSN 1403-851X
I've copied some extracts as "hidden comments", if you're interested.
Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 08:00, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

What I'm looking for is prrof that the article was copied and pasted from a another source in an intact or nearly intact state (say 95% or more). If this is the case then the article needs to be tagged with {{copyvio}} so that admins can deal with the issue. One of the 10 commandments of Wikipedia is "Though shall not copy and paste an article exactly as it is from a copyrighted source", and from where I stand this article seems to be right on that line. I have found three articles that were copied and pasted exactly from another source, and I do take copyright violations very seriously. TomStar81 (Talk) 10:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)