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The following is an archived discussion of the DYK nomination of the article below. Please do not modify this page. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page (such as this nomination's talk page, the article's talk page or Wikipedia talk:Did you know), unless there is consensus to re-open the discussion at this page. No further edits should be made to this page.
The result was: promoted by Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:54, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
ALT2:... that Winston Churchill suffered from recurring attacks of depression, which he termed his "black dog"? Source: Roy Jenkins, Churchill (2001), page 819. London: Macmillan Press. 978-03-30488-05-1.
ALT3:... that Winston Churchill struck up a friendly correspondence with his namesake, the well-known American novelist? Source: "Mr Winston Churchill presents his compliments to Mr Winston Churchill, and begs to draw his attention to a matter which concerns them both" ()
Overall: I am going for ALT 0; but if the promoting coordinator prefers, ALT 1 also meets all of the requirements and is, IMO, sufficiently hooky. Gog the Mild (talk) 21:11, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
I prefer Alt 0 by far, but while it is stated in the lead (uncited), I can't find a clear statement with a cite at the end of or within the sentence concerned within the article. (Or set of cited statements.) Could you lead me a little here? Or tweak the article? Great work on getting it to GA by the way. Gog the Mild (talk) 21:11, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
Hello, Gog. My apologies, I did just lift that fact from the lead where it had been stated as a summary of his parliamentary career. I think Gilbert does state the totals but I don't have that book at present (out on loan) so I've found relevant mentions in Jenkins' biography and added a summary statement in the narrative after Churchill stood down at the 1964 election (see Winston Churchill#Retirement: 1955–1964). Hope this is okay. If not, I'll withdraw ALT0 and promote one of the others. Thanks very much for doing the review. No Great Shaker (talk) 05:55, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
No problem. I was happy about the sourcing, but needed the "immediately after the statement" bit. Now done. Thanks. Gog the Mild (talk) 11:40, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
As an outsider, Alt 0 is incredibly dull. Everyone in the world who has ever of Churchill knows he was a politician. Big whoop. And all of these hooks are overly wordy. I think a the best of the lot would be for a shortened version of ALT1:... that Winston Churchill was a keen amateur bricklayer?. Short, simple, and unexpected. That is how you catch people's attention, which is the entire point of a "hook". And strike all the extraneous metadata from the caption: it's entirely sufficient for the sake of the hook just to say "Winston Churchill". --Animalparty! (talk) 04:40, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
Very good points but, while the world knows he was a politician, do they know for how long? 62 years in the Commons is remarkable and five constituencies is possibly a record. I agree about the caption but have left the date and I'm shortening ALT1. Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 07:08, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
I think ALT1 is a better hook too. I didn't even know about his non-political interests so learning about him having an interest in bricklaying is quite surprising. Narutolovehinata5tccsdnew 07:10, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
The status is that I have approved both ALT0 and ALT1 and left it for the promoting coordinator to choose the one they prefer/consider hookiest. (While expressing a personal preference for ALT0, for whatever that is worth.) Gog the Mild (talk) 18:36, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
@Gog the Mild: please add some kind of tick so the bot will move this to the Approved page. Thanks, Yoninah (talk) 12:51, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Yoninah, I can see one there on several of my devices! But I have added a couple more. Let me know if they don't show. Gog the Mild (talk) 15:21, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
@Gog the Mild: yes, they show, but I meant adding one to the bottom of the thread since there were a lot of posts since your original tick. Thanks, this is definitely approved! Yoninah (talk) 15:41, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Well, I came by to promote ALT1 to a non-image slot because it is so bland, but now I see that No Great Shaker overwrote the hook, making it impossible to follow this discussion. (Please don't do that again. Just write your new hooks as alts.) Here is the original ALT1 hook, followed by the shortened version:
(Sorry about that, Yoninah. Didn't know the process. Will bear it in mind. Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 11:02, 15 September 2020 (UTC))
Personally, I like knowing something different about Churchill. I prefer ALT1-1. @Gog the Mild:: did you approve the original hook or the edited one? What do you think of the original? Yoninah (talk) 18:55, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Why has ALT3 been struck? I had no idea there was also a novelist named Winston Churchill and found that very interesting, surely many others would not know that either and it gives the other Churchill some main page exposure. Gatoclass (talk) 05:20, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Conversely, he has been widely criticised for some wartime events, notably the 1945 bombing of Dresden, and in recent years his imperialist views and certain comments on race have led many to question his legacy.
I know it's the lead, but many readers only go to the lead. We should do better than this. At the very least, I suggest widely is removed. And what exactly does question his legacy mean? His legacy is what it is. Arcturus (talk) 11:26, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Hello, Arcturus. You are right. The use of "widely" is POV and the last bit, a recent edit, is a gross exaggeration. I've removed both as per your request. Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 16:21, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Hi No Great Shaker. Thanks for that. It reads better now. Of course there is another "widely"; the paragraph in question starts with it. However, taken as a whole with the statement it introduces, the assertion is so obvious that I think it's beyond challenge. Arcturus (talk) 10:11, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
The 1945 bombing of Dresden was a result of general bombing policy formulated by the War Cabinet and the Imperial General Staff and whilst Churchill was a member of the War Cabinet he had no more direct involvement in the bombing of that city than any of the other members. And it is a curious fact that few of the critics of Britain's bombing policy ever have a harsh word to say about the Nazi, Italian and Japanese bombing policies.
Whilst Churchill's views may have appeared racist he had at least travelled the world and had contact with various peoples, which is more than some of his critics had. Such views were held by many people at the time, of all races. Get over it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 11:31, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
@No Great Shaker: just a friendly ping to let you know what I made some further adjustments to this sentence to try and remove remaining weasel words. Jr8825 • Talk 17:21, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
There are RS that connect Churchill's policies with the Bengal famine of 1943. There is no mention on this page. Shouldn't it be mentioned here? LK (talk) 10:37, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
This has been discussed several times (see also the talk page archives) and consensus is that the article adequately deals with his imperialist views and his comments on race. The article has undergone a formal review and no changes were recommended in that area. You say there are RS which support your view but the fact is that the vast majority of RS do not even mention a connection with the famine while others point out, as the article itself does: Efforts were hampered by disordered conditions in Bengal and Bihar, not least the severe cyclone which devastated the region in October 1942 and, with vital rice imports from Burma curtailed by the Japanese, led ultimately to the Bengal famine of 1943. The issue has not been ignored and the coverage is sufficient – more than that goes into WP:UNDUE territory. No Great Shaker (talk) 13:04, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes, what about it? A newspaper seeking readers. The article relies on authoritative sources like Jenkins, Gilbert, Addison and several others. The topic has not been ignored and several editors have agreed in past discussions that the coverage is adequate and in compliance with the majority of sources. No Great Shaker (talk) 15:58, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
The text in this article does seem a bit out of sync with the lead of Bengal famine of 1943, which describes British policies, a lack of action by the Churchill cabinet (refusal of food imports) and natural disasters, then notes that "the relative impact of each of these factors on the death toll is a matter of controversy", whereas the current wording here seems to imply the cyclone was solely responsible: "the severe cyclone which devastated the region in October 1942 ... led ultimately to the Bengal famine of 1943." I don't see an issue with adding an extra clause or short sentence to the end of the existing paragraph, perhaps something along the lines of "British wartime policies, and the restriction of food imports by Churchill's cabinet, exacerbated the famine, although their relative impact on the death toll is a matter of controversy." There are a plenty of academic references in that article that could be used to support such a sentence. I think the response of the Churchill government is noteworthy (as the famine is often cited as being one of the worst failings of the British Empire) and in this context seems to be a pretty major event within his premiership. I haven't looked through previous discussions on this talk page about this, however. Do you still think this would be UNDUE No Great Shaker? Jr8825 • Talk 20:02, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Hello, Jr8825. Personally, I think a sentence along the lines you have suggested would be fine. Given that it is, as you say, a matter of controversy, it is important to strike the right balance because we have seen before that certain people (including known block evaders) are seeking to blow the thing out of all prooportion. Please go ahead with your proposed change. Thanks and all the best. No Great Shaker (talk) 21:13, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Done. I've included the suggestion I offered above pretty much verbatim. Perhaps better wording can be found. Jr8825 • Talk 00:50, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Hello again, Jr8825. I think your wording is fine, especially as it expressly states "wartime policies" because that is the key point here, and you have added that it is a matter of controversy. Well done. All the best and keep safe. No Great Shaker (talk) 16:12, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
The next two sentences talk about his convalescence and the impact on his recurring depression. There are a lot of newspaper sources because it was a big story at the time, but we have to put it into perspective as one event in a very long and highly eventful lifetime without venturing into WP:UNDUE and with regard to the WP:LENGTH constraint which this article has laboured under. No Great Shaker (talk) 16:05, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Hello, all. Does anyone know of a definitive list of Churchill biographies which are books about his whole life rather than works on specific aspects, essays, articles and the like. The blurb for the 2018 book by Andrew Roberts says there have been over 1,000 "studies" but the ICS accounts for only 62 "biographies" to the end of 2000 – obviously there have been more since then including Jenkins and Roberts. I don't think we can accept a figure of 1,009 without access to a full list and without a clear definition of what Allen Lane meant by "studies" as it is termed here by "The Spectator". Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 13:07, 7 November 2020 (UTC)
Currently, in relation to the controversial issue of chemical warfare in Mesopotamia, the article states that: "After British troops in Iraq clashed with Kurdish rebels, Churchill authorised two squadrons to the area, proposing that they be equipped with mustard gas to use against the rebels". The two references given are Martin Gilbert's Churchill: A Life and R.M. Douglas's journal article 'Did Britain Use Chemical Weapons in Mandatory Iraq?' in The Journal of Modern History Vol. 81, No. 4 (December 2009). I don't have Gilbert's book to hand but I do have Douglas's article and I believe that the current wording, in placing emphasis on mustard gas is misleading. On page 861 Douglas makes only one mention to mustard gas:'Gilbert [in the 4th vol. of his multi-volume biography] briefly noted Churchill's desire that the RAF experiment with mustard gas bombs to find out whether these could 'inflict punishment on recalcitrant natives without inflicting grave injury on them'.'.
Later on (p.874) Douglas writes that Churchill was literally just pressing Trenchard to continue experiments work on bombs containing mustard gas. He wasn't authorising their use per se although depending on how the experimental works went it might have been authorised at a later date. In fact at the time of the 1920 insurgency the weapons Churchill was referring to did not yet exist. This is a bit different to how the article currently phrases it, which implies Churchill sent RAF squadrons with mustard gas so that they could use it against rebels.
Douglas is actually clear that the only gas Churchill authorised for use in Iraq during the 1920 insurgency was SK tear gas. To quote: 'The use of gas shells in Iraq albeit containing tear gas rather than poison gas, was indeed sanctioned by the War Office [i.e. Churchill’s ministry] during the emergency of 1920. The decision to do so was taken by Churchill alone, who neither consulted nor even in formed his ministerial colleagues – no doubt in view of the certainty that they would have strongly opposed it [emphasis added].' (p.874).
I'd like to edit the article to make this clearer, although I appreciate that it is a controversial issue so I thought I'd make a comment here.
@CaledonianinSurrey: I have Gilbert's Churchill: A Life to hand. It says "On August 29 he suggested they [the two air squadrons] should be equipped with mustard-gas bombs 'which would inflict punishment upon recalcitrant natives without inflicting grave injury upon them'". At the very least I think we should include the quotation, as you say the current wording is somewhat misleading. DuncanHill (talk) 12:49, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
@DuncanHill: Fair enough, happy for the quote to be included along with a clarification of R.M. Douglas's article. Given that we are only adding a sentence or two max I don't think the greater clarification would weigh the article down with too much detail. I would also add that the bombs were at that stage experimental and had not been developed. I can't edit the article yet but happy to do so in a few days when my account is old enough/has made the requisite number of edits. CaledonianinSurrey (talk) 16:27, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
@CaledonianinSurrey: I'll add the quotation now - I don't have the Douglas article, and it sounds like you've got a good understanding of it so if you could add a bit about that when you can that would be great. DuncanHill (talk) 16:32, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
Explain why Randolph objected to Churchill receiving the dukeship in more depthEdit
Does not explain properly, confusing the reader to why he would turn down a dukeship. Under Later Years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 22:18, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
You should refer this point to Randolph's article. It is sufficient here to give Winston's reason for declining the title, which was Randolph's objection. Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 15:30, 18 December 2020 (UTC)
This topic appears to be notable (see here); but is a pretty short article (only one paragraph long), and I can't really see how it could be expanded to be a fully-fledged standalone article (reason #3 at WP:MERGEREASON). The information in this current article can be easily merged to Winston Churchill#Artist, historian, and writer, where the one paragraph here could simply be inserted there. Seagull123 Φ 23:11, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
Support There is nothing to merge really, the page has no information at all. Chhandama (talk) 03:46, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
This article has seven subarticles spanning periods of his life, and it is possibly the worst attempt at splitting and summary style I have ever seen on wikipedia. Each subarticle has essentially the same headers and paragraphs as the main article, except the paragraphs in the main article are a bit shorter as details have been trimmed but many sentences are still identical. A reader looking at both the main article and subarticles would be frustrated by the duplication. If the concern is that the main article is too long, the splits already attempted should be done properly. This was likewise done poorly, as a subarticle should not be a mere three sentences. I support a merge since a separate page is not warranted here at this point. Reywas92Talk 19:59, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
If there's "nothing to merge" then a merger cannot be done. Obviously what we have here is a stub – a foundation for further expansion. As the parent article is already too large, expansion is best done at the child article, where there is plenty of room for growth. I shall be starting such expansion shortly, to demonstrate. This !vote will then be obsolete. Andrew🐉(talk) 10:17, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose and Require @Reywas92: to stop jumping the gun. I oppose as the main article is too long. I particularly oppose the action of @Reywas92: in going ahead with undoing all the splits while the discussion about one of them is ongoing. That action does not demonstrate collegiality and should be undone. DuncanHill (talk) 20:10, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
First, the Churchill as painter page was created five years ago, and is not connected to the poorly performed splits of this summer. Second, I only undid one of them with examination of the level of duplication, the shortest and easiest one with the least of a length issue, so go away with your "all the splits" crap. Edit summaries like this one are false. This edit did not "summarise this section", rather it just trimmed it, leaving significant overlap and duplication. The May 2020 size of the main article was 267k, and post-"split" was 201k, yet the six new subarticles created total 171k, showing just how much redundancy there is. Reywas92Talk 20:25, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
So not undoing all the splits, only one that hadn't been discussed here? If you think the splits could be done better, then do them better. If you think the main article is not too long, then you are simply wrong. The excessive length of the article has been discussed before. It is profoundly unhelpful for you simply to ignore that. DuncanHill (talk) 20:37, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Oppose per Andrew and Duncan. The parent article is far too big and that is why we agreed on the subsets. The painting article is currently a stub but it has enormous potential for expansion, especially if anyone utilises the excellent book by Mary Soames. I've not seen the other two works mentioned but I gather they are both very good sources and there is no reason whatsoever to assume that the article will be a stub indefinitely.
Also, I entirely agree with Duncan that Reywas92 needs to get a grip and stop shouting the odds. Most tiresomely, I have already seen this behaviour elsewhere, when someone has corrected him or pointed out that he has misunderstood something. His actions in regard to Winston Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer were completely out of order and a waste of Andrew's time, but thanks are due to Andrew for resolving the problem (and the sensible change of title). The subsets last summer were created after discussion here and, while the method may not have been the ideal one, it was the practical one at the time as the initial content in each subset needed to be the same as in the parent article, because we were not seeking to delete the content, only to relocate it. Some editors have already amended the subsets and they will in time become more fully developed as, like the painting article, they all have plenty of scope for expansion.
Comment: I proposed this merger, and I just wanted to elaborate on a few things mentioned by other editors here. Some people have suggested that the Winston Churchill page is already very long - I agree - but the article "...as painter" isn't long at all - merging the two would probably end up with about 3 more sentences in the main article (plus references), which I don't think is adding much at all to the main article. Others have suggested that the "painter" article could be expanded, which if it could be/someone were willing to do so, would of course be great! I just don't know if it could be or not, as it's been in its current state for 5 years since it was created, and I don't know if much more could be written on the subject (maybe someone could enlighten me?) If it's not going to be expanded imminently, perhaps it could be merged into the main article until it can be properly expanded? Also, I have no clue what's been happening with other merges/redirects/splits to Churchill-related articles: so I just want to state that my proposal here was not informed by/related to what people have been discussing here. Seagull123 Φ 16:55, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Hello, Seagull123. I don't think anyone has a problem with your proposal which is fair enough, even though three of us are opposing it, and you certainly had nothing at all to do with the other sub-articles. The painting article could be expanded significantly, especially using the Soames book that I have seen (but don't possess) while I understand the other two books named in the article are good accounts. It would be interesting to see what Andrew and Duncan think about a temporary merger. Thanks and all the best. Stay safe. No Great Shaker (talk) 17:09, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
I've kick-started an expansion of Winston Churchill as painter which is still a stub, to be honest, and with no real structure as yet, but the additional biographical sources (e.g., Gilbert, Jenkins) have much more to say about the subject and so far the specialist sources have barely been touched. There is definitely potential for substantial expansion and I'll add bits as and when I can. No Great Shaker (talk) 06:56, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
I made a start on expansion too but didn't reach the point of saving. I'll integrate my additions now. I have more ideas but will implement them in small chunks to minimise conflict.
What was especially interesting was to review the edits that had been made since I started the page. These were mostly useless or quite wrong – changing the date 1915 to 1955, for example.
Why not have one article for Churchill as writer, historian and painter? None of those articles are very long and clearly the writers of the main article here think there is a thematic link since we have this section 'Artist, historian, and writer'. LastDodo (talk) 10:49, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
This is not a bad idea but I think I would prefer to keep them separate because all three have expansion potential. Also, I think Churchill as a historian should be treated in isolation because the subject-matter of his general writings was very broad (and included fiction), whereas his historical works have major importance in their own right. No Great Shaker (talk) 14:32, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
It's a bad idea because that's not how the main sources treat the topic. Combining some elements would then encourage improper synthesis. And, in any case, it would be significant effort without any obvious benefit. There is no necessity or need to reduce the number of pages because, per WP:NOTPAPER, "there is no practical limit to the number of topics Wikipedia can cover ... Splitting long articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic...". Andrew🐉(talk) 15:10, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
Weak support there isn't much on the page, I think a typical page of this size related to a person isn't justifiable enough to remain independent. Having said that, the Russian language article is incredibly well structured and detailed. If volunteers are willing to translate it to the English then I will strongly support an Oppose to merge. --Jf81 (talk) 15:48, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Churchill as the "caretaker on the job" – in reality, he loved laying bricks.
Churchill is one of the famous persons who have been associated with cigar smoking, and cigar is one of the well known accessories of his public image. But there is not even a single word about his habit of smoking, which brand of cigars was his favorites, how long he was smoked is he quit from this habit or so. It's really interesting and awkward --Baris365 (talk) 13:47, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
That's a good point. Note also that Churchill had red hair but that's not so well known because he lost most of it when he was young. And he was a notable wearer of a variety of distinctive clothes and accessories such as hats, the siren suit, dressing gown or even nothing at all. But we'll have trouble getting this into the article here because it is already too big and other editors tend to be stuffy about such details. I have already got my hands full with Winston Churchill as painter but will try to give this some attention too. Andrew🐉(talk) 14:25, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I Don't think this is just a "detail" about Churchill by the way.--Baris365 (talk) 13:54, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
If you look at the famous "Roaring Lion" image in the infobox, the reason why Churchill looks so pissed off is because Yousuf Karsh took his cigar from him before taking the photo. No Great Shaker (talk) 15:26, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
True story."By the time I got back to my camera, he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. It was at that instant that I took the photograph." Martinevans123 (talk) 15:37, 12 January 2021 (UTC)