Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history

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CfD nomination of Category:Alumni of Royal Military Academy of Belgium[edit]


Category:Alumni of Royal Military Academy of Belgium has been nominated for mergingwith Category:Royal Military Academy (Belgium) alumni. You are encouraged to join the discussion on the Categories for discussion page.

"420 Collaboration" to improve cannabis/marijuana articles, including MILHIST topics[edit]

Cannabis leaf 2.svg

You are invited to participate in the upcoming

"420 collaboration",

which is being held from Saturday, April 15 to Sunday, April 30, and especially on April 20, 2017!

The purpose of the collaboration, which is being organized by WikiProject Cannabis, is to create and improve cannabis-related content at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in a variety of fields, including: culture, health, hemp, history, medicine, politics, and religion.

WikiProject Military History participants may be particularly interested in the following: Category:Cannabis and the military.

For more information about this campaign, and to learn how you can help improve Wikipedia, please visit the "420 collaboration" page.

---Another Believer (Talk) 14:30, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
In particular, we could use MILHIST help expanding the new topic Cannabis and the United States military (maybe DYK eligible with some expansion? I'll post ideas on the talk page). I also suggest a couple possible redlinks:
Just a few suggestions for topics that could be engaging! Please feel free to add suggested redlinks, either here and/or at Wikipedia:WikiProject Cannabis/Redlinks Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 23:22, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Since we have three US-based articles, I created Category:Cannabis and the United States military as a subcat, so we could really use some coverage of other countries to flesh out the main cat. Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 07:05, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
In particular, combing through this source could be really enlightening: "The Marijuana Addict in the Army," War Medicine 6 (December 1944): 382- 91 Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 08:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Created a template to help lay out the fledgling subject:

Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 04:54, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

General Aircraft Hamilcar[edit]

Can someone repair footnote 23 please? I don't know how that type works. ThanksKeith-264 (talk) 20:38, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Thanks muchly. Keith-264 (talk) 07:50, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Flexible defense[edit]

(Slightly edited version from what I wrote on its talk page): It feels like there could be WP:OR/WP:SYNTH issues with this article. Could it please receive expert review with that in mind? This indicates Clausewitz as originator, and a gsearch indicates that the Germans were implementing what is termed "flexible defense" during WW1 (using pillboxes vs trenches). Doctrine may have developed, and/or there may be a different term for this article's topic in English. Thanks, ~Hydronium~Hydroxide~(Talk)~ 03:39, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Some thought needs to be given to the title. A Google search seems to turn up items related to Flexible response, a different doctrine altogether.Monstrelet (talk) 16:41, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Seems to be redundant to Defence in depth, and probably ought to be merged there. Parsecboy (talk) 16:45, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
It will need quite a bit of work, as that is a pretty poor offering. I've been back to the article and removed some non-encyclopedic language (drowning in a sea of blood indeed) but could do with a native English speaker giving it a once over for grammar. I would suggest the Arpad line section may be a bit POV because of the sources used and would benefit from a look from an Eastern front specialist Monstrelet (talk) 17:00, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
looking at the duplication of text between the article and Arpad line, it seems to be tackling subject from largely Hungarian viewpoint, possibly with a bit too much enthusiasm for its effectiveness. I suspect the Arpad line article needs similar treatment to iron out the grammatical and idiomatic issues. GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:06, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Category name[edit]

Category:Military historians specialising in tank development and/or warfare is a new category I came across. Apart from aid in populating it, could anyone suggest a better phrasing. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:11, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Well, how about: Category:Military historians specialising in armoured warfare; I realize this is the British spelling. However, I believe it would include development, warfare and tactics of AFV's. And certainly, Steven J. Zaloga, should be included in the cat. Kierzek (talk) 17:51, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I was bold and went with category:historians of armoured warfare. Fitted 'historians of fool pattern I found in other cats. And any historian of armoured warfare is going to be a historian of military. GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:14, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good. Cheers, Kierzek (talk) 18:20, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
will do for moment, I'm sure. Added R. P. Hunnicutt as another definite member of cat.GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:40, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Help needed with badly translated article[edit]

Dear colleagues, earlier today assessed 13th General Field Marshal Count Lacy's Belozersk Infantry Regiment and is really badly translated from Polish (I think). Need help from an experienced editor with knowledge of the Imperial Russian Army to improve it. Thanks, DPdH (talk) 12:38, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Maneuver warfare article[edit]

I've just stumbled across this Maneuver warfare article. I initially noticed how extremely poorly referenced it is, and that @Sasuke Sarutobi: tagged it back in 2013 for reading more like an essay than an encylopaedic article, but there has been little development since then. IMO, however, I get the feeling that there might be a whole lot of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH going on and that the article is just a raggedy collection of examples of military manoeuvers that were used in various wars rather than a description of what "manoeuver warfare" might actually involve. I was almost tempted to flag it for AfD, mainly to generate some opinions than actually delete it, but I see it has been around for about 12 years and has a few hundred links to other articles, despite its very poor state. As I have no books on the subject of "manoeuver warfare" I'm just dropping this link here for anyone who might be interested in taking a look and prepared to clean-up or reference the content. I would have thought that based on what this links to that it would be a more important topic and central to the theoretical aspects behind military history, such as engagements and campaigns. — Marcus(talk) 08:02, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

I've removed some nonsense claiming that the Western Allies favoured attritional warfare rather than Maneuver warfare in the Second World War (the exact opposite was the case, though it obviously didn't always work out) and that the concept was not adopted by the US military until John Boyd invented it - the range of stuff he gets credited with on the internet is always startling. Nick-D (talk) 00:38, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Funnily enough, I suspect Attrition warfare is a problematic article also, since whole sections and most paragraphs are completely unreferenced. Seems a lot of MilHist articles that deal with warfare theory rather than actual events are under-developed and tend to go a bit wild due to lack of interest from the project. All this OR/SYNTH comes from passing armchair historians adding their 2c, methinks. — Marcus(talk) 04:31, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
There's another substantial chunk of text putting Boyd into AirLand Battle but really nothing to mark whether it actually had influence or not. And Patterns of Conflict is very much self-referenced. GraemeLeggett (talk) 07:07, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Nuisance edits[edit]

Vijay rath is adding troop numbers to infoboxes without citation, despite requests that he desist unless he can show that the divisions were at full strength so that the troop number can be adduced by multiplying the number of divisions by the establishment. Perhaps interested editors can take a look Battle of Messines (1917) (here for example) and form a view as to the propriety of his edits? I have a conflict of interest. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 08:07, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

I have left a warning on the editor's talk page. Nick-D (talk) 09:19, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I get the impression that he's in enough trouble already, which is a pity. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:56, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Take a look at this user's talkpage. He has received numerous warnings for disrupting editing patterns before and his user page that states "I am the best".--Catlemur (talk) 19:13, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I believe that this user perceives himself/herself to be a bit of a gnome, but the ratio of positive gnoming activity to disruptive activity isn't particularly in their favour. With only just over 300 edits at this juncture, and no attempts to communicate with other editors, it's telling. There's something about the declaration on the user page and the calibre of editing that has long since made me suspect that the user is (very) young. Whatever the circumstances, WP:COMPETENCE appears to be the central issue. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:16, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

harvnb vs sfn[edit]

Could an aficionado of the harvnb system explain its advantages over sfn and when it matters? Recent edits in some Normandy 1944 articles have been done as harvnb but seem to have been more trouble than they're worth. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 08:55, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

A strictly personal opinion as a non-aficionado of either (!)...
Sfn advantages: automatically dedupes (I find it really handy for articles in an early stage of development, when multiple editors are playing with text etc.) But... if you have multiple references to different works supporting sentences (e.g. a sentence referenced by a combination of Smith 1990, p.8, James 2009, p.12, etc.), sfn will give you multiple, separate in-line citation footnotes, which rapidly starts to read in a rather unwieldy, awkward way.
Harvnb advantages and disadvantages: pretty much the reverse. More of a pain in the early stages of an article's evolution, but I find it a more effective template when dealing with complex sets of citations in well developed articles, where it allows you to combine them easily into a single in-line footnote. Hchc2009 (talk) 09:33, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
You're a lot more aficion than me. ;o) The harvnbs in the Battle of Villers-Bocage article also live inside ref /ref citations which seems unnecessarily complicated and the worst of all worlds. With help from a kind editor I found {{sfnm|1a1=Playfair|1y=2004|1pp=299, 253–298, 331–340|2a1=Greene|2a2=Massignani|2y=2002|2pp=230–231}} quite helpful in combining sfns, which I've been experimenting with. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 10:35, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
You mean bundled citations? Personally I don't like those, as they make the sourcing harder to follow in the text (it's common to realise that "citation [23]" is that old classic text, Melly on Concertinas in the RN and thus eyeball it whenever it's used, without having to study the floating balloon text or following the links). You can bundle with either set of templates, but whether one ought to is another question. Andy Dingley (talk) 08:10, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
For the last few years I've been moving Great War articles etc to B class only, since there are so many to do. I'm looking forward and recondite matters like this seem more worth thinking about than hitherto. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 07:44, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I do not know harvnb but I find Template:Sfnm works fine for multiple references. Dudley Miles (talk) 08:38, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi Keith-264, in Battle of Buna–Gona, you will see that sfn has been used for the most part but there are some uses of the harvnb. This was a case of situations where the former didn't work. Do a search to find instances. These are largely attributing a source that has been quoted in another source - with much thanks to AustralianRupert for finding this work-around. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:50, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it was working with you on that article that gave me the idea that there was a way to limit the number of citations at the end of a composite sentence, so thanks for that. I take Dud's point but I don't envisage doing to to every multiple reference, just having it in my bag of tricks. It's something I wish on myself, because I'd rather not put citations within sentences; I think that there is an optimum but not a perfect solution for such contradictory preferences. This discussion has been most helpful, thank you. (I had that George Melly in the back of me cab once....)Keith-264 (talk) 16:15, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Advice on writing an article[edit]

Can anyone here who has created an article before – from scratch – about a land battle (just a single one-day engagement, not a full campaign) explain how they went about writing it, in terms of describing the chronological events regarding its participants, the engagement, outcome, etc? I'm thinking of writing about one soon, just a minor engagement, but I can't seem to wrap my head around how to actually construct it in such a way that it would not come across like an essay. Thanks. — Marcus(talk) 09:18, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

I start in a sandbox with an infobox, put the big headers in (Background, Prelude, Battle, Aftermath), something in the bibliography so it's like a giant template and them fill it in. Here's User:Keith-264/sandbox5 one I've been procrastinating over. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:28, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I reviewed various land battles. Like Keith, I'd recommend Background (why the battle occurred, what the wider war was, what sort of technology was involved, who the commanders were); Prelude (something to explain how the forces actually got to where they were, possibly a bit on the geography of the battle site etc.); the battle (the day or days itself); aftermath (the "so-what", what happened next in the campaign); and sometimes a bit on Historiography or Legacy (how have historians argued about it, has it appeared in films, etc. etc.) Hchc2009 (talk) 09:36, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you both for the replies. — Marcus(talk) 09:56, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest a monkey see, monkey do approach. Take a look at a well written article and try to emulate it.--Catlemur (talk) 09:48, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
That wouldn't work. It's not how it looks on completion, but how it was built that interests me. I'm looking for ways to approach the writing process; the means that lead to the end result. — Marcus(talk) 09:56, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Content guide

"The article can be structured along these lines:

  • The background. Why did it take place? Which campaign did it belong to? What happened previously? What was the geography of the battlefield?
  • The prelude. What forces were involved and who were the commanders? How did they arrive at the battleground? Was there a plan?
  • A description of the battle. What tactics were used? Which units moved where?
  • The aftermath. Who won, if anyone? What were the casualties? Was there a pursuit or followup? What happened next? How did the battle affect the course of the war?"
  • You could start by copying a short article into a sandbox then taking out the text, maps and photos so all that's left are the headers and an empty infobox. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 10:29, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
    • G'day, Marcus, I agree with the advice above regarding the sections. My process for writing a battle article from scratch (as opposed to expanding an article that is already start class or so), is possibly a bit different to others. I work offline using a Word processor and I tend to write the Battle part first, with a tactical (boots on the ground) focus (I usually sketch the battlefield in some way on paper first), then I work the Aftermath, focusing on casualties and what happened next. After that, I work on the Background, trying to clarify the terrain based on what I wrote in the Battle section, who the main actors were, and then trying to clarify what had happened previously in the campaign with a bit more of a strategic view. Finally, I work on the images, lead and the infobox. After the article has sat for a while (so that my mind has cleared a bit), I try to find some historiography or analysis. That's my process anyway. Probably a bit of a weird way of writing, to be honest. Anyway, good luck with your article. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:32, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I've mainly created or drafted biographical articles for Wiki to-date or written about very short snippets of events, which are as simple as detailing the chronological events in order. But with battles I'm finding it trickier to consider because most battles involve several focal points, actions going on in several different places at once but all of equal importance. Trying to structure an article to cover the full ground with equal measure sounds awkward to put onto paper. If a battle were a simple sequence of events it would be easy enough, but since many are a muddle of affairs I find it's a bit trickier to write as linear text. — Marcus(talk) 10:50, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I do it like you except backwards, leaving the Battle section till last.... The best thing I ever did was decide to keep description and explanation separate, which (mostly) keeps anything controversial (historically or among editors) in the Analysis section of the Aftermath. Other peoples' edits in the rest of the article then tend to be typographical, grammatical, wikilinks and expansions. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 10:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it is important to get your head around the source material. The more sources, the more important and difficult this can be. I like to make notes of quotes, important events, critical issues and like with notation to page and source. This reference is dynamic. It can be further added to as the draft grows and you revisit material. I also cross off material as it is used so that I can review what material has or has not been used. I then like to outline a structure and establish a timeline of events to give a loose structure to the article and work out what is going to go where. Good articles will give a general guide to structure and most simple battles (but not all) will adapt to the format most generally used. It is like writing an essay but for section headings. Because of this, sections can often be written discretely. A good source might have a general outline that you might wish to follow or adapt. It is then a case of filling in the blanks - writing sections/sub-sections. Every article will be different and I work on sections in an order that becomes apparent - not necessarily chronologically or the order of the headings. It is then a case of linking all the headings so there is continuity and checking that all the points I found significant in research have been included (or are no longer as significant as I first thought). It is then about final proofing and polishing. A good break between drafting and review is always a good idea - otherwise you have preconceptions about what you think you wrote and not what you actually wrote. It is good to workout about referencing format and other templates early. Ref tags are ok for a short article with 10 or 20 citations but the sfn template with a bibliography is superior for a larger article and where multiple references are cited multiple times. It saves a lot of re-work if these things are done in progress. If you work in a sandbox, you can add references as you go but it can slow down the process. If you draft in word, I suggest parenthetic footnotes in the word draft as these can be easily edited to sfn format when pasted to a sandbox. I also insert double question marks in text as a note to self when I don't want to break the flow but I need to get an actual date or the like or do a fact check.  ?? is easy to search for and is not used for anything else. Doing a search for ?? then becomes part of my proofing process. Everyone is different. Hope this helps. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:58, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I think Keith-264's "skeleton" is a good start. IMO, you need to be guided by what the sources say. That is, how much info do you have to play with? You need to beware throwing in the kitchen sink, just because you can; that's a sure sign of somebody who doesn't really understand the subject... You need the journo's "5 Ws", obviously: where are they, who are they, why are they doing it (& why there), when is it, what happens (&, IMO, why it didn't go differently, if it could have), & what follows from it. IMO, tho, the thing that makes a great page is, it tells me why: not just that Monty fought Rommel at el-Alamein, but why there, why then, & why the outcome was how it was (including why Monty didn't pursue more aggressively). It also means looking pretty far afield at consequences, tho, everything from fuel supplies to limits on truck or rail transport to intel (& its use in interdiction) to command failures (disagreements between air & ground commanders, frex, or between ground COs): the tale of the breakout from Normandy would be incomplete without the sniping between Patton & Monty; the story of North Africa, without British use of Ultra to interdict supplies & Rommel's reading Black to balance inferior numbers & the German-Italian friction (or outright conflict). Best advice I can offer is this: when you're done, read it as if you know nothing about it; does it explain who's who, what's what, so forth? Then consider as an expert: does it insult you for being simplistic or shallow? If you can satisfy both (& it's no mean feat, to be sure), you've got a good page. (OK, stepping down off the soapbox, now. ;p )  Metatron who you callin' a douchebag? 12:56, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Than you both for your thoughts on the matter. — Marcus(talk) 13:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Why is good, except that it's opinion so open to question. I wouldn't want to be associated with journalism either, I aspire to reportage but your list of whys reminds me of the Model Coherency Spider, a heuristic for organisation design and analysis. Keith-264 (talk) 13:19, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
One to think carefully on is "legacy". This is the continuing impact of the battle beyond the campaign or perhaps war in which it was fought. Not all battles really have anything to go into the category but some continue to resonate through time. These battles can see mythologising and they can see revisionism which should be at least mentioned in the coverage. Sometimes this long shadow means it is worth mentioning the appearance of the battle in popular culture (the modern English perception of Agincourt is heavily influenced by Shakespeare's play Henry V and the films made of it, for example) but proceed with caution to avoid a long list of trivial appearances in console games or popular literature Monstrelet (talk) 14:43, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Battles like Gettysburg, Waterloo, or Rorke's Drift spring to mind. The battle I've chosen has no lasting legacy as a whole like any of those, but does have a notable or unique feature about it which may hold a legacy of its own accord. We'll have to see. Thanks. — Marcus(talk) 21:46, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh, go on, give us a clue....;o)Keith-264 (talk) 06:54, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

RfC on the notability of flying aces[edit]

In the past, we have kept articles on flying aces simply because they were flying aces. Category:British World War I flying aces illustrates perfectly how many articles exist simply for this reason; most of these 481 gentlemen would not qualify for articles for any reason other than their status as an ace. Recently two articles on German airmen have been nominated for deletion on the basis that the criteria on WP:SOLDIER do not include being an ace: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hugo Broch and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Erich Handke. The latter is unusual in that he was not a pilot, but a radar operator, a member of a two-man crew of a night fighter. Instead of individual aces being nominated at AfD and separate discussions being had for each, it would obviously be more appropriate if we could have a more general discussion as to whether or not being a flying ace gives one inherent notability, as this has certainly been claimed in the past. So, I pose the question:

Should holding the status of flying ace (generally accepted as having five or more aerial victories) be generally considered to give a presumption of notability for the purposes of WP:SOLDIER? And if so, do the 'back-seat' crew (i.e. those not flying as pilots) in two-man fighter aircraft qualify as aces if they have shared in at least five victories? -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:33, 24 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Neutral for now. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:33, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP:SOLDIER isn't a "presumption of notability", it's a list of of circumstances in which it can reasonably be presumed that sufficient reliable sources will invariably exist so deletion discussions will serve no useful purpose. While most combat aces, at least in North America and Europe, will have sufficient coverage in the media to justify being kept, this isn't a hard-and-fast enough rule that one can presume the sources will always exist. ‑ Iridescent 15:57, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
    • WP:SOLDIER: "It is presumed that individuals will almost always have sufficient coverage to qualify if they..." Meeting the criteria is, therefore, to all intents and purposes, entirely a presumption of notability and is usually taken as such in AfDs. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:01, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support ace pilots (and Weapon systems officer backseaters as long as they have reliable tallies) - I would probably set a threshold of around 5 in the post-WWII age. in WWII and WWI I would set a threshold of around 10 (just because there are so many, wouldn't object to 5 as well). Flying aces meet SOLDIER(4) - "Played an important role in a significant military event such as a major battle or campaign;", as they destroy significant material and personnel. A single kill of a modern fighter - is a 100 million dollar affair. Kill 5? Half a billion. In addition being a flying ace usually creates notable coverage - as several books on aerial warfare list aces and detail aerial encounters - as a simple google-book search shows - [1], in addition to TV / war films - even when we don't have access (or don't find) to all the sources a significant kill count usually means there are several sources. If one has reliable sources verifying a high enough kill count - that should be enough for a stub.Icewhiz (talk) 15:59, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Leaning principled support but leaning pragmatic oppose - It is pretty easy with to find numerous articles about American flying aces during and after the wars in which they were involved. I don't find the Burnley collection to be as useful for British aces, but maybe there is a better UK equivalent. I'm not aware of an equivalent in German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Irani, Iraqi, Indian, Pakistani, etc. To me, if there is a reliable source that a pilot is an ace, that implies to me that there are multiple sources discussing the individual's exploits, and they can be presumed to pass GNG. I think this presumption only holds for pilots, but also might hold for senior officers of especially successful squadrons. Anyway, in my experience, I'd say that being an American ace implies an individual is very likely to be the subject of multiple independent newspaper articles. I think it is a reasonable generalization that this would be true for other nationalities. If the main concern is to preserve non-American articles where cannot be used to support notability, then I'd say this addition is reasonable on principle. However pragmatically, WP:SOLDIER is not always well received at AfD, and expanding inclusiveness in the essay could reduce how well regarded the essay is. Smmurphy(Talk) 16:04, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - If a flying ace has indeed "played an important role in a significant military event such as a major battle or campaign", there is almost certainly going to be significant coverage in reliable sources discussing their actions. You can't presume notability for having destroyed x amount of enemy forces (see also WP:NRV), but if the ace has indeed done something to warrant notability then sources that support notability are always necessary. Also, WP:SOLDIER doesn't come ahead of WP:GNG. Alcherin (talk) 16:15, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support ace pilots (and Weapon systems officer backseaters have reliable secondary sources to support claims of notability. If in doubt, search PMML's collection at TeriEmbrey (talk) 16:34, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose SNGs have limited traction across Wikipedia and I would prefer these flying aces qualify under GNG rather than stretch the credibility of this WikiProject to create a presumption of notability. I also worry that flying aces today will lead to tank aces tomorrow. I don't want to change how MILPEOPLE reads right now. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:44, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. What does played an important role in a significant military event such as a major battle or campaign mean? Is shooting down 10 not important? or 20? What about 50? This issue has been triggered by one editor, who has attacked German airmen specifically. Most of these articles go back over 10 years. K.e.Coffman nominated a German fighter pilot with 132 victories for deletion. A tally that surpasses pilots of all other nationalities and places that particular individual in the top 30 aviators of all time. We should not be discussing with a flying ace is notable under these circumstances. Broch had 81 or 82 victories - only one non-German pilot bettered this. Broch was a member of a unique fraternity. Dapi89 (talk) 16:53, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Yes, it is the whole point of being an ace. I can just see the arguments when one ace gets deleted and another gets kept based on nothing more then he got a lot of coverage in (say) the American press.Slatersteven (talk) 17:08, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Pretty much per Slatersteven. Being an ace IMO is prima facie notable (even for pitters...). TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:45, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:SOLDIER is not policy and does not / could not elevate any topic to the status of "inherent notability". Whilst it talks of a presumption of notability, where this cannot be proven to exist the topic is not notable per WP:GNG. As such I see little reason to amend it when it holds no weight anyway. If an ace has "significant coverage" in reliable sources they will pass the notability test under the GNG and warrant an article, and if not then the reverse is the case. Anotherclown (talk) 20:56, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:Soldier is a starting point, a presumption towards notability based upon expected prominence in war. As an assumption that sources probably exist it is valid, and up to a point it's worth continuing with an article and accumulating those sources. Like the hardboiled policd detective asking his boss for another 24hours to close the case. But if the sources are not forthcoming, then GNG which is a core policy that cannot be locally over-ruled takes precedent and notability is not shown, then 'poufff' and the case crumbles. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:11, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Flying aces invariably have significant sources, and attract interest from both readers and writers. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:14, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - means being a flying ace should be considered as sufficient for presumed notability under WP:SOLDIER. This doesn´t say that individual cases couldn´t be further screened in detail. ...GELongstreet (talk) 21:20, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I think by nature, they are celebrated, and as such tend to have more information about, which is a no bad thing. scope_creep (talk) 22:12, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support that aces should have a presumption of notability with regards to WP:SOLDIER. TomStar81 (Talk) 22:18, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support As already mentioned above, it provides a starting point and will often be a lead-in for further research. The fact is that, until recently in WW2 historical research, there has been far less reliable information available in English on German & Russian aces, as opposed to the Western Allies military. When there is that sufficient information to put together a reasonable article, it should not be censored out of Wikipedia on a technicality. I do acknowledge this shouldn't be reason to start creating vast numbers of stub articles, but if someone has the information they should feel welcome to share it. In looking through Wikipedia on other category biographies, I can fairly quickly find a number of articles on seemingly far more innocuous people. I don't understand why military personnel are being subjected to such rigorous editorializing. Philby NZ (talk) 22:30, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose -- wrong venue; the discussion would only result in WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. For wider community input, the RfC should really be held at Wikipedia talk:Notability (people). K.e.coffman (talk) 22:37, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose First of all it should be kept in mind that the "ace" is merely an image, a myth. The term "flying ace" originated with French WW I propaganda, and was picked up and expanded particularly by the US Air Service and its propaganda. (On that see Linda R. Robertson: The Dream of Civilized Warfare: World War I Flying Aces and the American Imagination. University of Minneapolis Press, Minneapolis 2003, esp. pp. 87-113.) As historian Peter Fritzsche put it: "To this day, myths opposing the individual, distinctive combat of the aces to the industrial mass war on the ground remain deeply embedded in Western folklore." (A Nation of Fliers: German Aviation and the Popular Imagination. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 1992, p. 64.) To assume that the notion of an "ace" implies notability is an attempt to circumvent WP:GNG. Wikipedia considers the enduring notability of persons and events. But the articles on many "aces" are based almost exclusively on routine news reporting. To pick random examples: Michael Gonne is based almost exclusively the London Gazette from 1918. i.e. a primary source. The same is true with James Belgrave. Johann Lasi features virtually no source. It seems fair to assume that only a fraction of those hundreds of "aces" have received significant coverage by multiple reliable secondary sources independent of the subject. It should be clear that by definition propaganda is not neutral and does not qualify as a reliable secondary source. It's actually closer to WP:SPIP. Sure, there is information collected by avid admirers of "flying aces", who recount every combat mission in minute detail. But Wikipedia articles are supposed to be summaries of accepted knowledge regarding its subject, not indiscriminate collections of details. It takes only few devoted Wikipedians to create hundreds of stub and start class articles. But it takes significant coverage outside Wikipedia to assume notability. And, yes, if you accept the myth of the "flying ace" as an indication of notability, there is no reason to discard the notion of a "tank ace", an "infantry ace", a "sniper ace", an "artillery ace", a "close combat ace" and so forth. There is a certain kind of literature, not of the reliable kind, to be sure, which endorses these "aces" and of course war time propaganda features these "heroes". --Assayer (talk) 22:48, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I think WP:SOLDIER is fine the way it stands. Changing it to support a specific agenda is the wrong path.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 00:56, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
    • I'm not aware that any agenda is in play here. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:10, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WikiProject Military history should not be allowed to override WP:GNG. If somebody wants to do that then this is the wrong venue, as K.e.coffman already pointed out. Carlotm (talk) 08:42, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Being an ace is notable. As for back seat and gunners, if the article is well sourced and not just a 2 line blurb, they should be kept. L3X1 (distant write) 12:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support — Wikipedia should be as inclusive as possible. Globally, there is a large interest in the subject of flying aces. Wikipedia provides a good platform for quality controlled information. Exclusion from Wikipedia would create a vacuum for other platforms and media with potentially less quality control. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:10, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

  • "What does played an important role in a significant military event such as a major battle or campaign mean? Is shooting down 10 not important? or 20? What about 50?" (Dapi89)
    What this means is that significant coverage in reliable sources is expected to exist simply because they have played an important role in a major battle/campaign (such as by shooting down high numbers of enemy aircraft), and therefore even if these reliable sources are not actually cited yet, they can be assumed to exist per WP:NEXIST. However, this RfC has set the bar at five kills (being an ace), which I would strongly oppose. You're right in that where the line should be drawn is pretty arbritary, so on this I think it's best to actually remove point 4 from WP:SOLDIER altogether, because it is too ambiguous, and anyone undeniably important to a major battle/campaign will almost certainly satisfy one of the other WP:SOLDIER criteria and/or have received enough coverage to justify notability under the regular notability guidelines. In the case of Hugo Broch, I would expect that given the significance of shooting down 82 enemy aircraft, then significant coverage in reliable sources of his exploits will exist, but given that reliable sources with significant coverage to support notability seem to not exist per K.e.coffman's attempts to find some, then WP:NEXIST no longer applies. As for Erich Handke, what is cited on the article now looks like enough significant coverage to justify an article per normal WP:GNG. The ultimate test is whether reliable sources (w/ significant coverage) to support notability can be shown to indeed exist to support an article on an ace, and if these can reasonably be shown to not exist then their notability cannot be proven. Alcherin (talk) 20:19, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
    • @Alcherin - they do exist. Koffman is not familiar with the literature or the subject. And I am more than happy to assist in building the article.
  • I'm always sceptical of biographical guidelines which argue that because 'x' was 'y' they're notable: this leads to nonsense like WP:NACADEMIC (in which totally obscure academics are declared notable on totally subjective grounds, leading to endless puff piece articles and associated AfDs). In my experience, flying aces tend to be notable as there are good quality books which provide useful levels of biographic detail on pretty much all of them, often as smallish encyclopedia-style articles. But that's covered by WP:BIO. I'm sure that there are some aces who are not notable - for instance, significant numbers of US Navy pilots shot down five or more Kamikazes in 1945, but this hardly seems a great achievement given that the Japanese aircraft were crewed by barely trained pilots: is there really significant coverage of these USN pilots? Nick-D (talk) 22:31, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I find the argument it's just a propaganda term problematic, so we should look for sources" and interesting one. By it's very nature a propaganda figure will get a lot of coverage in as given nations or sides press. Even if we ban (and there is no policy reason to do so) all press reporting at the time as "primary" we are still going to have a situation where (as was pointed out above) one of the most successful aces in history might not be notable based purely on the side he fought for. That raises real concerns for me as this then creates a very Americcentric encyclopedia.Slatersteven (talk) 08:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
    • @ Slatersteven, couldn't agree more. In fact, one editor even tries (and fails spectacularly) to argue that there is no such thing as an "ace"! Dapi89 (talk) 09:57, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm rather mystified by those saying that we should not amend WP:SOLDIER because WP:SOLDIER doesn't mean anything. If this is the case, then (a) why do we bother having it, and (b) why do those who meet its criteria invariably get kept at AfD? And yes, they do invariably get kept at AfD, despite protestations that meeting the criteria of WP:SOLDIER does not equal a presumption of notability. We have a clear conflict here between dogma (WP:SOLDIER is irrelevant because only GNG matters) and practice (WP:SOLDIER is the accepted standard for notability in this sphere and those who meet its criteria are almost always kept at AfD). -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: A few responses have suggested that Subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs) are subordinate to GNG. Wikipedia:Notability, in its third paragraph, currently indicates that GNG and SNGs are parallel (and both are guidelines, as is WP:NOTABILITY itself, rather than policies). Wikipedia:Notability (people)#Military_personnel currently links to WP:SOLDIER for military personnel. If GNG is to trump SNGs, then WP:NOTABILITY needs amendment, and that would require an RFC there. ~Hydronium~Hydroxide~(Talk)~ 12:30, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Meaning "or the criteria outlined in a subject-specific guideline listed in the box on the right"? WP:Soldier is not in that list so it could be held that this subject specific guideline is subordinate. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: what is significant is achieving multiple aerial victories in combat, not the term "ace" itself; with that said, it is concerning that some of these articles on Air Force pilots are sorely lacking as to RS cited detail; certainly there should be information which can be found and used for coverage on such pilots in order to provide readers with an article of substance. Kierzek (talk) 13:17, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment WP:SOLDIER should be a corollary of WP:GNG in the field of military personnel. It should not supersede, circumvent or contradict WP:GNG. It should also be noted that the proposal has a large aim. It is designed to declare any fighter pilot with more than 5 "kills" notable, regardless of any coverage in any sources. That means several hundred of stand-alone articles of stub and start class standard, most likely based on unreliable sources like contemporary newspaper reporting, regardless of the extent of the coverage.
Propaganda itself has become subject of historiographical study. Therefore it is unlikely that there are no secondary sources on "the most successful aces". Not counting the wealth of special interest literature, there is in fact a vast deal of research upon German wartime propaganda,
I am concerned, however, that AfDs seem to inflate the number of "the most successful aces". As to my understanding "the most" implies a single person, whereas by using the phrase "one of the most" it has been watered down and become a weasel word par excellence.--Assayer (talk) 15:09, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • CommentI've been reading with interest. What worries me is that we are in danger of inconsistency of approach. We don't count as notable every gallantry medal winner but only those who won the highest levels. Being an ace didn't guarantee that one of the highest gallantry awards would be made - something more extraordinary/notable was required. For consistency it seems a similar approach to our guidelines should be made - has the recipient been considered especially noteworthy among aces by peers or later scholars, perhaps leading to extensive press/propaganda coverage or a higher gallantry award, do they go on to do other notable things (command, testpilot, astronaut, politician etc.).Monstrelet (talk) 15:57, 25 April 2017 (UTC)


Could someone have a shuftie at the redirect at WP:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2017_April_24#Cavaliers-Warriors_rivalry. Essentially doing it on nominator's behalf. Si Trew (talk) 03:33, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

This is about US basketball. MILHIST connection unclear. Monstrelet (talk) 10:24, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Military history content on Wikiquote[edit]

Per Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request#Military History I started the Wikiquote article q:Ciro Paoletti. Can any of you locate the sole copy of the following book in King's College London and look if it contains any similar bibliographical essay:

Please take this as a request to join Wikiquote as a regular contributor as well. Solomon7968 13:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)