Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Archive 7

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New portal

I've created Portal:War to present a cohesive facade to the various war-related projects. Any comments, suggestions, ideas, or offers of help would be extremely welcome. Kirill Lokshin 01:19, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Compound Warbox colours

After thinking it over, i agree the colours dont make sense. But perhaps we can make some sense of it in another way. We could, for example, do it historically, having different colours for different wars (still avoiding pink :-) ). Or are there other options?

Well, I'm quite content with having all wars use the same color(s); but if anyone can come up with a more complicated scheme that isn't completely incomprehensible to someone who hasn't read the project page, I'd be willing to consider it. Unfortunately, it seems like any real discussion of the question needs input from more people; I'm planning on an extensive round of {{WikiProjectWars}} - tagging Saturday, and that may get some more eyes here. Kirill Lokshin 13:36, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

At Wikipedia:WikiProject Battles, the battlebox started out with a colour scheme, but it had a number of disadvantages: (1) created extra work for the editor writing the battlebox; (2) the colours looked horrible or clashed with some or all of Wikipedia's various skins; (3) a campaign which strayed over a boundary between colours had half its battles in one colour and half in another. So we took out the colours. Gdr 18:11, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed on colour schemes...Not a good idea. Tried it, didnt work...too much of a pain. I even know of examples such as HERE where battleboxes were not added due to dislike of the colour.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 06:52, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps its time to cut the color box then. At the moment it just invites contoversy for no end ie why is Turkey not in Europe etc (which IMO it is).Dejvid 15:31, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Project tagging and categories

I've just finished tagging some 250-ish war articles with {{WikiProjectWars}}, going through the sub-categories of Category:Wars in the process. It is, quite frankly, a total mess; wars can be filed under a number of different, completely unrelated sub-categories.

I propose to institute a twin-branch category scheme (similar to the one used by WP:BATTLES):

              |                                   |
   Category:Wars by country          Category:Wars by type

Wars by country will contain "Wars of France", "Wars of Germany", etc., while Wars by type will be a parent for the existing "Guerrilla wars", "Civil wars", and other categories.

Under this scheme, every war will be somewhere under "Wars by country", and optionally under "Wars by type", if it fits into one of those categories.

Obviously, major wars will have their own, dedicated categories to hold related articles (e.g. Category:World War I). I'm open to ideas as to whether the category, or only the individual war article, should be included in the "Wars by country" scheme in these cases. Kirill Lokshin 19:38, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Yeah i noticed the mess too. This categorisation makes sense, although we risk doing double work with Category:Military History of the ... (I have seen at least US and GB).
What type of wars do you envision? National wars & Civil wars seem no-brainers, Guerilla wars comes a close second, though it's a tricky nomer. One-sided wars or something?
For sake of good housekeeping, I suggest we keep the top category devoi of articles if we can avoid it. Perhaps we'll have to add some categories depending on what we encounter.
War-stubs should also be a sub-category imho (ties in with discussion below). --The Minister of War 07:34, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok, so we have Wars by type and Wars by country...what about Wars by time period? (such as were are discussing now over on WikiBattles) Then even wars which don't fit easily into the other two cats can still be sorted chronologically.
As for types, how about Border wars? Undeclared wars? Naval wars? Sorry to make your task more complicated...I blame Kirill:>--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 05:51, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Cenepa War

Could someone who knows more about hte war than I do check out the dispute there. Thx. Falphin 02:23, 17 October 2005 (UTC)


I see a {{war-stub}}'s been created, though it lacks a category (it just feeds into the same cat as mil-stub, presently), nor was it proposed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals, as is customary. (Well, supposedly...) I only see about 22 "wars" in the mil-stub category, so this would be pretty small (though I'm inclined to wink at almost any way to get the rather large and ad hoc mil-stub cat down to side). It's been suggested at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Discoveries that this could be instead fed into {{battle-stub}}. Another point to consider is matters in-between: campaigns, operations, etc. Alai 00:32, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, yes, i started up the {{war-stub}}. Noticed there were quite a few wars undocumented, and thought the stub might serve nicely, especially as {{mil-stub}} is so dominated by modern weapons and such. I expect there will be few stubs, but enough to make a list, start checking it twice, and see who's naughty and nice. The idea was to document all wars asap; that should be a much more viable goal than documenting all battles, or all military-related topics. Mil is just too broad, battle too specific (and too many!).
I didnt link it to any articles yet (though there are some clear candidates), because the scope of the stub needs to be clarified first - you beat me to it posting it here, though i dont doubt that this stub should exist.
Personally, i think the tag should only be used for articles pertaining the War itself, no campaigns, no battles. Basically, only the articles on which we would also use the warbox. This way, only the most important articles will be flagged, and hopefully expanded asap. A secondary reason to include it on pages with the warbox, is because a warbox on a small article sometimes looks plain silly. However, if somebody does see a large warbox, but a small article, they will hopefully be inspired to add to the article rather than attack the idea of a warbox. The goal is to make large articles with warboxes rather than small ones without.
Alternatively, we could broaden it to campaigns and invasions and the like (one step above battles, or even including battles). This would certainly take a larger chunk out of mil-stub, but the larger case-load would probably be documented much slower.
Apologies for putting the stub online before proposing it on WP:WSS, i wasnt aware it was customary (Kirill notified me it was, so i wanted to propose it today). I must say, for an encyclopedia without rules, Wikipedia sure seems to have a lot of red tape! As somewhat of a newbie, its impossible to tell what to post where - everything has its own page and everything is anarchic! There really should be a table of contents or something - but thats another topic! :-) --The Minister of War 07:19, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Using {{war-stub}} on campaigns strikes me as a bad idea; for example, is the Battle of Normandy a battle or a campaign by those rules?
As I understand it, the new warbox will be able to replace the existing {{battlebox}}, and would therefore be added to everything in Category:Battle stubs anyways; I think we can safely use {{battle-stub}} for our tagging needs.
(Which, again, brings me to question the need for keeping the projects separate. We're in a position to share stub types, share infobox templates, and, to an extent, share categories. What, then, is the benefit of having two projects [with all of the associated costs, i.e. splitting of labor, no central place for discussions, etc.] versus just merging this project into WikiProject Battles?) Kirill Lokshin 10:38, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't see why we can't replace the 'battle-stub' with 'war-stub' on all the pages. There's no need for stubs to be so finely categorized; they can all go under 'war-stub', I think. As for merging the projects, I don't see why not. Our goals and topics covered are very closely related, and I get the impression (though I may be mistaken) that the WP:Wars has only a handful of contributors. Combining the projects would result in more compatibility standardization between the warboxes and battleboxes, and between the colors used to represent different parts of the world, and in other ways as well. But, of course, I wouldn't want to impose that sort of thing upon the creators (or primary heavy contributors) of WP:Wars - ultimately, I think it should be up to them. LordAmeth 11:08, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
If we agree to use a single stub type, the name of the stub is merely an issue of semantics (albeit a significant one, since changing the category a stub uses requires updating every article that uses that stub tag).
For full disclosure, the (active) contributors of WP:WARS are basicaly myself and The Minister of War; I'm basically in favor of a merge, but I asked for some outside opinions to make sure we weren't just working in an echo chamber here :-) Kirill Lokshin 13:11, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I agree there is substantial overlap, maybe even enough to merge. But i'm not so sure. The focus of this WP, in my view, is to categorise wars, tag them with a new warbox, and improve the coverage of wars. (with the stubs). Personally, i believe this is a far broader approach than on Battles, where the focus is strictly on specific details for troop strength, maneuvers and the like. Because of this, we would probably be able to attract a broader range of interested members, as Battles requires specialistic knowledge and Wars does not.
Sure, we could merge with Battles, but we would (in practice) probably be working somewhat apart anyway. I agree that there definitely needs to be standardization between us, and i intend to stay active for Battles. In practice, i very much doubt there will be any difference whether we merge or not, other than that it looks more "tidy" (and that Kirill and I will get out more ;-) )
Concluding, (while writing this) i guess i think its silly to keep war inside battle, when (a) battles usually occur within wars rather than vice versa (b) there is substantial work to do On War (c) there is already a WP:WARS which will otherwise be empty and not attract any potential members (d) Battles is very specialistic. Agreed, starting a WP with two (and a half) members is also somewhat silly, but my guess is this will change once we really start. On second thought, I'd call it ambitious rather than silly. The Minister of War 18:26, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
There is, in both projects, a range of articles requiring both general and specialized knowledge; the general contributor can do fine work on World War II, but probably not as much on Third Italian War between Charles and Francis. Similarly, Battle of Stalingrad is easier to work on than Battle of Bicocca. I remain convinced that both subjects can be specialized to an equal degree.
The real issue in this discussion is not the writing of articles; that tends to be done by the individual editors in the projects, and will continue regardless of what the title of the project page is. The administrative overhead of having two projects rather than one (and, in particular, the resultant inability to have a single, centralized place for discussions to occur), is rather more significant.
In other words, I see both projects as being part of a "WikiProject Military Conflicts" that ranges from small battles through campaigns to wars and "meta-wars". I think that, rather than attempting to somehow divide this continuum into separate projects, we would be better served by having a single group, whose purview would extend through all of military history; this seems, to me, easier than having two projects but forcing them to work as one.
Thus, in conclusion, I am in favor of formally merging the projects (meaning not only working as a single group, but also an actual merge-and-redirect of the relevant pages). I see no reason why all of the work on wars could not occur (and occur more easily, with more participation) under a "Battles" project, so long as the project page makes clear that wars are also included. Kirill Lokshin 18:42, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm. Good points, but I still kind of disagree.
I agree that the implicit "mother-project" is Military History. With that in mind, i can certainly see both Battles and Wars (and the vague vaccum in between) definitely belong together. However, i still find it very counterintuitive to combine both in Battles. Secondly, i do think a "War" group would attract more people, because the goals of battles is very specialised. I can attest myself that i was kind of intimidated by the to-do list there (though being stubborn and an easy learner decided to join anyway).
Perhaps we should just rename to Military History? The Minister of War 19:25, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the to-do list here is short only because we haven't done anything yet :-) Once we're farther along, more specific tasks will come up, naturally making the list appear longer.
On the other hand, we seem to be arguing semantics here. I'm of the opinion that the advantages of having a single project outweigh the disadvantages of having its name be somewhat incorrect. Your point (if I have understood it correctly) is that a correct name is more important than the number of projects; alternately, do you mean that we should have both Military History and Battles, or that Wars and Battles should both be merged into Military History (which is a good idea in theory, but, I think, would require far too much work to be feasible). Kirill Lokshin 19:44, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I meant the to-do list on Battles. It is so incredibly specialised, i wasnt sure i should join the group, because there seemed to be nothing i could contribute in. On Wars, though, i feel its easier to feel you can contribute, and perhaps others will too.
Thus, actually i do indeed think that the naming is very important. Combining them in one Military History project would indeed be my preference, but that just seems a ridiculous amount of work.
There seems to be one main (and admittedly large) advantage in merging, which is a centralized group discussion. Personally, I think we will attract people fast, once we start off putting the warboxes everywhere (especially on US and UK wars). People love them or hate them, so discussion will certainly abound. Until then, we can easily regularly ask Battles for some input, i dont see any trouble in that. We're both going to stay members there too right?
I hate to say it (mainly because i dont know how we'll come to an agreement on this one), but apart from being able to discuss with Battles (which we can do anyway), there seems to be little point in merging imho. Especially if we merge under a misnomer which will possibly intimidate new contributors. The Minister of War 09:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

(Scrolling back to the left; that's way too many colons to type.) While I see your point, I still have two major concerns:

  1. While the two of us are part of both projects, there's no guarantee that future members of WP:WARS would also join WP:BATTLES, or even be inclined to work together with them. I would particularly like to avoid a situation where we make changes to the warbox-... templates that break their (admittedly theoretical at this point) use as a battlebox replacement. We definitely don't need any animosity between the projects.
  2. Unlike most battles, many war articles are quite prominent and heavily edited. While placing new warbox templates on them may bring us new members, it will likely also result in significant resistance to what will be viewed as the private development of two editors; if the projects were merged, I suspect this would be less common, since the templates would be (rightly or not) seen to have the backing of the rather more sizeable Battles project.

It may be, of course, that my concerns here are unfounded, but I think it's best if they are, at the least, open for discussion. Regardless of how valid they are, I see three distinct things we could do at this point:

  1. Merge WikiProject Wars into WikiProject Battles. This addresses my concerns, but I get the impression that you don't like this idea :-)
  2. Merge both WikiProject Wars and WikiProject Battles into a meta-project (presumably named WikiProject Military history). This is possible, and not all that much work; the main stumbling block would be getting consensus for the merge among the members of WP:BATTLES, who are rather more numerous than what we have here. If you think this is, generally, a good idea, we can try proposing such a merger there.
  3. Keep the projects separate. This would bring us back to the original point of the discussion: would we adopt {{battle-stub}} (and the new stub types currently being discussed at the Battles project) or insist on having a separate {{war-stub}} (presumably over the objections of the stub-sorting people)?

What are your thoughts on this? Kirill Lokshin 13:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

You're right, those are major concerns. I think they are (unfortunately) very well-founded, and share them. I guess that my idea is: lets give it a shot. We dont know yet what the extent of those problems will be in actuality, though they might indeed become prominent. Still I cant help but think we'll be picking up enthousiastic members in no time - maybe thats naive, but then thats what i am.
Out of your three options, (mes compliments for your ability to sort things out so clearly), option number 2 is by far my most preferred option. I think it would be more tidy (i'm that kind of person), and would certainly adress both concerns above. My concern is that this would be a hassle both finding enthousiasm within Battles, and perhaps retagging everything (though we can change the template, though that again is not tidy :-)).
My second choice would be to try it out. If merging in MilHis (or thereabouts) is not feasible/possible, i say we try it out and see if we can enthuse other members. Though i clearly prefer option 2.
If we would continue within the Battles name, i wouldnt be too thrilled, no. Its untidy, unclear, and avoids risks rather than taking them and finding out if we could do better. I'd say its the last option: if all attempts at something better fails, we can always revert to this option.
I wonder what you think of option two. Is it easy to implement? Is it worth it? What say you? --The Minister of War 20:53, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Option 2 is quite certainly my personal preference (I'm still undecided whether I prefer 1 or 3 if it fails, but that's not really relevant at this point), since it resolves all of the issues we've been having quite neatly. Implementing the merger would be fairly trivial, and requires no re-tagging; we would simply #redirect {{WikiProjectBattles}} to {{WikiProject Military history}} (and similarly for {{WikiProjectWars}}).
The major stumbling block, quite obviously, is getting general approval for the merger. While I'm actually somewhat optimistic that the idea will be positively received, I'm concerned that a great many of the members don't frequent the project page; perhaps we could notify them individually and hope for the best (I'm slightly tempted to post a "If you don't object in a week, we'll do it" message, but I don't think it would be worth the acrimony). At the very least, we can try proposing it and waiting to see the reaction; the worst that could happen is everyone laughing at our naivete :-) Kirill Lokshin 21:12, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

My feeling is that WikiProject:Battles is essentially there to show interested editors how to "organize data in articles about Battles" and I don't think it should be expanded beyond that basic purpose, which it now does pretty well. That said, I think most participants, myself included, are actually most interested in military history in general, or a particular period or style of warfare, rather than just battles but WP:Battles has become the defacto home for military history enthusiasts. Just my thoughts. Geoff/Gsl 02:59, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Do you think it would be worthwhile, however, to rename WikiProject Battles to WikiProject Military history (with the added result that the guidelines on how to "organize data in articles about Battles" would become a section of the project page, together with a similar section on wars, rather than the entire page)? Kirill Lokshin 03:03, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I can see the merit in broadening the scope of the Battles project. Creating a new WikiProject in the hierarchy would just be another set of pages to watch and would lead to disjointed discussions. Geoff/Gsl 11:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

The Urge To Merge

Hi again and Well met fellow warriors! Personally, I'm all for combining our forces via merging WP:WARS with WP:BATTLES. Building a concensus on the merge should not be as big a problem as building one on what we should call newly merged project. Towards this end, WikiProject Military history should do nicely. So basically, I agree with your above conclusions. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply change the name of WP:BATTs, merge this project into it (which should'nt be a problem since most everyone here is a member of both), and increase its scope. Please let me know if I can do anything more to help--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 06:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

These two projects should be merged. The destinctions between them are paper-thin. Wars have battles, battles are part of war. People die in both, & wars would be nothing without battles, & battles wouldn't exsist without wars!! People from both projects could contribute, or already have, to either project. They're basically the same. My vote is to merge. Spawn Man 07:28, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Somewhat important note: I've attempted to summarize the above discussion into a semi-formal proposal at WikiProject Battles. If anyone sees any major point I've missed, please feel free to add them there; in any case, any further comments should be directed to that page in order to keep discussion in one place. Kirill Lokshin 12:56, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Back to war-stub, for one moment...

I hope I'm not jumping the gun, but I've proposed at WP:SFD that war-stub be renamed (and implicitly broadened), to mil-hist-stub. Battle-stub would stay separate, as a sub-(stub-)category, as would WWI-stub and WWII-stub. Alai 04:43, 22 October 2005 (UTC)