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Military history WikiProject Distinguished Service Award
K.e.coffman
 
Editor of the Week
for the week beginning November 11, 2018
His superlative contributions to military history have made a most significant impact on the project's content. He works continuously removing neo-Nazi apologia from multiple articles. He is the editor most largely responsible for tackling the Clean Wehrmacht myth to the extent that it has impacted articles. Note this essay in which he cogently outlined the problem and how to deal with it
Recognized for
tireless efforts at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history
Notable work(s)
A multitude of World War II History articles and related topics
Submit a nomination

Contents

ContributionsEdit

I'm interested in the history of World War II and related topics. Some of the articles I am contributing (or have contributed) to include, in no particular order:

HistoriographyEdit

Books and publishing housesEdit

HistoriansEdit

World War II historyEdit

Fringe theoriesEdit

Awards and kudosEdit

Awards from WikiProject:Military HistoryEdit


An honorable mention in the Military History Newcomer of the Year 2015 vote:

  The WikiProject Barnstar
For "diligence and work on checking into unsourced claims and non-NPOV language of World War II and Waffen-SS related articles," I have the honor of awarding you this WikiProject Barnstar as an honorable mention in the Military History Newcomer of the Year 2015 vote. For the Military history WikiProject, TomStar81 (Talk) 02:33, 22 December 2015 (UTC)


  Military history reviewers' award
On behalf of the Milhist coordinators, you are hereby awarded the Milhist reviewing award (1 stripe) for reviewing a total of 1 Milhist article during the period April to June 2016. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:31, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Keep track of upcoming reviews. Just copy and paste {{WPMILHIST Review alerts}} to your user space


  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your efforts during March Madness 2017, I hereby award you this barnstar. Thank you for your contributions. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:58, 2 April 2017 (UTC)


Community awardsEdit

  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Nice work, both with Rommel myth and Waffen-SS in popular culture MainlyTwelve (talk) 04:59, 17 April 2016 (UTC)


  Your Milhist work is really impressive, especially Rommel myth. Keep up the good work! GABHello! 23:39, 2 May 2016 (UTC)


  The WikiChevrons
I believe a massive congratulations are in order for your nearly single-handed efforts to create the Rommel myth article. I am so incredibly happy to see that verdammt "humanitarianism" section eliminated from his article. Keep up the good work correcting the Nazi romancer bias! —Noha307 (talk) 17:28, 20 April 2016 (UTC)


The Desert Fox

Thank you for quality articles such as HIAG, Waffen-SS in popular culture and Rommel: The Desert Fox, for uploading book covers and other images, for diligent reviewing, for fighting unsourced facts and POV, and for "I enjoy contributing and engaging with other editors", ---Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:25, 29 June 2016 (UTC) you are an awesome Wikipedian!


  The Editor's Barnstar
Your comments on the Afd desk are quite insightful, and the amount of research you do to support your comments is commen(t)dable! Great work. Good job! Lourdes 03:57, 6 September 2016 (UTC)


  The Barnstar of Diligence
For your ongoing efforts in employing academic rigor to validate Wikipedia pages related to WW2. It is appreciated by many more people than you realize. Obenritter (talk) 21:28, 10 December 2016 (UTC)


  The Barnstar of Diligence
For removing alternate history. scope_creep (talk) 10:21, 17 October 2017 (UTC)


  The BLP Barnstar
For your edits on Ahed Tamimi, Thanks! Huldra (talk) 22:08, 3 March 2018 (UTC)


  German Barnstar of National Merit
On behalf of WikiProject Germany, I want to award you this for your immense work in Nazi Germany, namely the preservation of truth and Wikipedia guidelines. Wear it with pride! ...Somewhere on your humongous userpage, anyhow. Vami_IV✠ 05:59, 16 May 2018 (UTC)


  The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For excellent work in going above and beyond to preserve simple military facts. scope_creep (talk) 13:26, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

"Super Awesome User Page" AwardEdit

...I just spent half an hour browsing your user page. In the past I had been bothered by how WWII articles seemed to praise the German side, for skill, valor, etc, etc, but I had no idea of the extent. I am utterly impressed, and I thank you for improving Wikipedia. Jd2718 (talk) 23:35, 4 March 2017 (UTC) (Copied from my Talk page: Permalink.)

Notes of appreciationEdit

Problematic WWII contentEdit

This is just a portion of what other editors and I have encountered and fixed so far; the list would be far too long to enumerate everything. Click on the diff to see the '"Before and After" text:

Alternate History DepartmentEdit

High Moral Fiber Sub-departmentEdit

 
Scorched earth: Photo taken by Wehrmacht propaganda company; original 1943 caption reads: "Russia. Burning houses / huts in village".
  • The Scorched earth article highlights Albert Speer's role in "defying Hitler's order to destroy Germany's infrastructure"; more representative image provided instead (see right).
  • "Manstein was one of the very few high-ranking German field commanders who had the courage to confront Hitler about military strategy by putting his views into perspective, spoke objectively, and refused to be browbeaten". In Lost Victories, by self-proclaimed "Hitler's Most Brilliant General".
    • Credulity-straining prose: "According to Manstein, any low or high ranking Wehrmacht field commander who dared to openly argue or criticize Hitler right to his face resulted in an immediate dismissal and probably a court martial for insubordination or treason". Begs the question, why did Manstein retire in peace? Also in Lost Victories.
  • Self-serving concern presented in Wikipedia's voice as moral indignation: a Corps commander "made a strong but futile protest" to the OKW about Commissar Order. Let's not forget that it was his units that were "shooting unarmed Russian prisoners" and, if anything, it's testament about how widespread the murders were, that the general was so concerned for his own troops:
  • "Soon the Russians will get to hear about the countless corpses lying along the routes taken by our soldiers, without weapons and with hands raised, dispatched at close range by shots to the head. The result will be that the enemy will hide in the woods and fields and continue to fight--and we shall lose countless comrades.}}
— Did he resign in protest? No. Order his subordinate units to stop the practice? No. Not a single Corps commander did. In Joachim Lemelsen.

Humanitarianism Award ShowcaseEdit

Deserves its own subsection:

False Equivalence Sub-departmentEdit

Co-located Obfuscation DepartmentEdit

The Wehrmacht lives onEdit

 
Same badge is used by the Bundeswehr, we are informed.
  • Wikipedia claims "continued tradition" between the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr: diff, even proving a picture of the current symbol:

The tradition continues (though with an edelweiss pin of different design) among current Gebirgsjäger-qualified personnel in the Bundeswehr (common German military soldiers wear a beret rather than the Bergmütze mountain cap used by mountain, ski, and Jäger units). Mountain troops' uniform jackets also bear an edelweiss emblem ovoid sleeve patch.

In Wehrmacht mountain troops badge.

Luftwaffe ResurgentEdit

Deserves its own subsection:

  • Finally took on Erich Hartmann, after a discussion at Neutral point of view/Noticeboard: permalink and how many reverts?

"Expand lead with material from the article"Edit

Deserves its own area, as this is quite a common occurrence that the lead would focus on minor details and omit what the subject is notable for:

Outstanding Achievements in EuphemismiaEdit

  • Nazi bomber pilots never "bombed" anything; instead, they:
  • Another bomber pilot who actually never bombed anything, let alone civilian targets:
  • ...flew numerous missions against British ports and industrial centers at London, Coventry and Portsmouth". From the same diff: "...attacked airfields, railway stations as well as tank and troop concentrations in the Proskurov and Lvov areas". As editor Roches put it: "The German bomber pilot only ever hit military targets while the Allied "terrorists" only ever hit churches, hospitals and orphanages" (diff).This proof of this (aka the truth) lives on in Wikipedia. In Siegfried Barth.
From: Despite JG 2 scoring its 2,000th kill in January 1944, the ongoing defensive operations against the USAAF bomber offensive took its toll on the Jagdgeschwaders, JG 2 being no exception; Many novices and replacement pilots were killed through the first half of 1944, and more importantly the ever fewer experienced and irreplaceable Experten were also being lost.
To: Successful USAAF operations over Germany led to many novice and replacement pilots being killed through the first half of 1944; more importantly, the experienced pilots were also being lost.
Note the undertones of the "defensive operations" against the Allied aggressors with their "bomber offensive" (here's a term I've yet to see used to describe any of the German units) . Plus, "continually bombing" into "operating sorties against...". In Jagdgeschwader 2.
  • Likewise, only the British conducted "bombing campaigns", while Germany simply defended its borders: "with the country at war", "defended against", and "the Third Reich", as usual. Another instance of "Reich", with "defence attached: diff. See: Defenders of Fortress Europe (yes, there's a WWII book with this name). In Carl-Alfred Schumacher.
  • A new variant of the "Polish Campaign", "fighting in [[Polish September Campaign|Poland]]": diff. In Wilhelm Bittrich.
  • "...offensive against Poland..." instead of "invasion of Poland"

Victim of History StudiesEdit

German: Opfer der Geschichte Abzeichen:

The Tide of War
As the war turned against Germany,
[the unit] was forced to operate
deeper and deeper in the German heartland,
finally staging out of East Prussia
by the end of the war.
In rather POV article on Jagdgeschwader 51.
  • "For this act, Hitler condemned him in absentia and his family to death. His wife and daughters were arrested in Berlin and Denmark. They were, however released at the end of the war. Lasch was to remain until 1953 in a Soviet labor camp in Workuta, but was released in late October 1955 when, as a result of to Adenauer's Moscow visit, the remaining German prisoners or war were released."
I would say that Hitler's henchmen were not very effective (or may be this did not happen as described?) Also corrected "prisoner of war" to "war criminal" as the generals had by that point been convicted. In Otto Lasch.
  • Event the opportunist Andrey Vlasov gets a treatment as an "anti-communist" who "tried to unite Russians opposed to [[communism]] and to the [[Soviet Union|Soviet]] leader [[Joseph Stalin]] with the goal of fighting with [[Nazi Germany|Germany]] to liberate Russia. The volunteers...". Said "volunteers" were mostly recruited from POW camps where they were more likely to die than to stay alive. In Russian Liberation Army.
  • Even nations are victims of history: 50 to 70 million people are dead worldwide, the entire continent of Europe lays in ruin, and the article is complaining that Poland got a raw deal with its new western territories. According to the editors, they were in insufficiently tip-top shape: diff. In Territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union.

Investigative Sub-committee on Abuses of Victor's JusticeEdit

Closely related to the above, this section focuses on the implementation of unfair and uncalled-for victor's justice:

Apocrypha Sub-departmentEdit

Apocryphal nicknamesEdit

I'm going to start collecting nicknames of various military figures, as this appears to be a theme.

  • We've seen "Lion of Vilna"; "Lion of Yelnya" and now "Lion of Sebastopol". In Otto Hitzfeld, which also includes one of the "Who Killed JFK" investigative reporting sections:
  • "Otto Hitzfeld's nomination was rejected by Major Joachim Domaschk on 30 April 1945 and commented: "This is not a nomination!" (Only leadership and organisational achievements, no personal bravery) he additionally noted: "missing in cauldron AOK 11". The nomination was thus assessed as insufficient as well as postponed according to AHA 44 Ziff. 572...." More at: Otto Hitzfeld#Notes.
  • Yet another "Lion", this time "Lion of Cherkassy". In Theo-Helmut Lieb. Inquiring minds want to know where this is being sourced from, as the nicknames are unlikely (?) to be part of these generals' service records.
  • We learn that this general's
"nickname among the troops and his fellow officers was der kluge Hans ("Clever Hans"). This nickname was acquired early in his career, partly in admiration of his cleverness and partly as a pun on his name (klug is German for "clever"). The "Hans" component came not from any of his given names but from Clever Hans, a horse which became famous for its apparent ability to do arithmetic."
In the section "Opposition to Hitler", nonetheless. In Günther von Kluge.

Gulag / Allied Treachery Sub-departmentEdit

Mountains-out-of-anthills Sub-departmentEdit

Ignorance Sub-departmentEdit

Alternate timelineEdit

  • An SS functionary who died in 1936 nonetheless had been a member of the Waffen-SS (which did not yet exist at this point): diff, with ornamentation. In Richard Arauner.
  • A startling discovery: this SS functionary served "Germany" (not even West Germany), "until 1959", while also having been tried for his crimes and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment / 15 years. Note the notation: {{flag|DE}} <small>(until 1959)</small>. In Georg Lörner.
  • A couple of "alternate history facts":
  • Even WP:AFC occasionally contain alternate history narratives, such as this draft on a Cuban-Romanian artist: As Stalinist influence increased [in Romania], Darié and his family fled to Paris in the 1930s". This actually came from the source, but has the editor never heard of the fascist Iron Guard? "Stalinist influence" would have been applicable after WW2, not before it. In Draft:Sandú Darié.
  • Werner Kempf was the only German general who managed to reach Kursk during the Battle of Kursk. In Werner Kempf, which qualifies as a double entry as the photo of him "at Kursk" is dated June 1943, before Citadel even started.
  • Heinz Guderian was nowhere "near Kiev" on 20 August 1941, before the Battle of Kiev even started. In any case, PG 2's pincer closed well east of Kiev, so Guderian was probably not close to Kiev for the entirety of the battle. In Operation Barbarossa, which almost faithfully reproduces the original propaganda caption: "The general is always in the front line. Here he visits the command post of an armored regiment in order to convince himself of the planned course of the advance!" See also: "leads from the front lines, with a jovial, caring attitude".
  • In an imaginary timeline, the Polish Underground State was part of the Soviet Operation Bagration. If only! In Operation Bagration.
 
Spectators are dressed too warmly for July in this misdated photo.

"Ah, partisanen!"Edit

  • The article on a Nazi ghetto subscribes to the "Jew-Bolshevik-Partisan" construct:
During the Red Army's rapid retreat, on 5–7 August 1941 the Waffen SS massacred as many as 11,000 Jewish men of Pińsk aged 16 to 60,[3] due to reports of Soviet guerrilla activity in the area.[4]
Nazi conspiracy theories indeed connected Jews to the "partisan threat". However, the murder of Pinsk Jews in August 1941 had nothing to do with partisans, whether real or imagined. An aside: by the time this massacre occurred, the Wehrmacht had controlled the area since 4 July, and in any case, the source used does not make this connection. Could also possibly qualify under "Debasement of victims"; disturbing diff, in Pinsk Ghetto.
 
"Jewish welcoming banner", instead of "election notice"
  • More of the "Jew-Bolshevik" construct, now via a hoax caption: Jewish welcoming banner for the Soviet forces invading Poland. In the background the Catholic Church of St. Roch in Białystok (Soviet photo). Actual scene: "Yiddish election notice to the People's council of Western Belarus, Białystok, taken during first days of German occupation in July 1941". Took two tries to get there: part 1; part 2. In Białystok Ghetto. Also qualifies under #Alternate timeline, as the caption is misdated by two years, 1939 (presumably) vs 1941.
    • This caption is quite silly because Soviet soldiers most definitely did not read Yiddish (if they were literate at all). Unless this "welcoming banner" was intended for the "Jew-Commissars" "sucking the blood" etc. etc. Compare with a poster from the Russian Civil war era: [1].
    • Plus in History of the Jews in Poland: [2], and over at Commons: [3].
 
Who knew that a few "vegetable oil tanks" can be so destructive?
In the same breath, the article informs us that the unit "recorded the killing of 1051 civilians and alleged partisans for the loss of 24 dead and 65 wounded" & that "the reported casualties from the operation were light with 2 men killed and 10 missing compared to several hundred dead partisans". Not a lot of combat was going on. "General Wiejerew" comes from the Alternate Linguistics Department, or likewise copied from Nazi apologia. In 1st SS Infantry Brigade.

"Fourth branch of the Wehrmacht"Edit

Starting a new section with examples of Waffen-SS (and even SS) being "the fourth branch of the Wehrmacht":

Hall of fameEdit

The achievement was celebrated in the Werhmachtbericht (an OKW press release, aka unadulterated Nazi propaganda) as follows:
Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
1 October 1944 (addendum) Bei der Niederwerfung des Aufstandes in Warschau haben sich die im Verband des SS-Obergruppenführers und General der Polizei von Bach unter Führung des Generalmajors Rohr kämpfenden Verbände des Heeres, der Waffen-SS und der Luftwaffe durch Härte und kühnes Draufgängertum besonders ausgezeichnet.[1] During the suppression of the uprising in Warsaw, fighting forces of the Army, the Waffen-SS and the Luftwaffe under the command of SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Police von Bach under the leadership of Major General Rohr have particularly distinguished themselves by showing toughness and audacious recklessness.
In Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski; the said mention required four (!) tries to remove.
  • "Infobox military biography" seriously needs "Known for" and/or "War crimes" section. In this case, the massacre at Babi Yar was listed under Battles/wars. Yes, slaughtering defenseless civilians, away from the front lines, is a "battle". In Walther von Reichenau.

Three Wehrmacht alibisEdit

Taking the lead from Jonathan House's lecture on the mythology of the Eastern Front. House is David Glantz’s co-author on When Titans Clashed: "The Three Alibis"

#1: "That idiot Hitler!"Edit

During the autumn of 1941, his offensive on Moscow was delayed by [[Battle of Kiev (1941)|orders from Hitler]] with whom he disagreed sharply. Soon, German troops found themselves delayed by bad roads and mud {{sfn|Guderian|1952|p=245}} and then suffering from the winter cold, one of the major factors that led to the failure of [[Operation Barbarossa]].
The Red Army wasn't apparently "one of the major factors". And let's throw Greek-tragedy vibe into the mix: This marked the end of his ascendancy. diff-link. In Heinz Guderian.

#2: "Brutal Russian winter"Edit

#3: "Endless waves of men and tanks"Edit

Another favorite alibi of the former Wehrmacht generals; to quote Friedrich von Mellenthin, these waves "eventually submerged the superior Wehrmacht, like the stones in the ocean" (or something to this effect

Dubious unsourced claims and POV languageEdit

 
Articles in this section bring songs by Sabaton to mind. And look, there's even a tank on stage!
 
Nazi propaganda poster; the headline reads: "German soldier is fighting for Europe", aka "romantic heroicisation of the German army fighting to save Europe from a rapacious Communism".[1]

"Bled itself white" & more poetic languageEdit

The I Was Not a Nazi PolkaEdit

See: "The 'I Was Not a Nazi' Polka" by The Chad Mitchell Trio:

...Adolf who?
- Adolf Hitler!
- Should I know him? Is he a folksinger?
Said "anti-Nazi" credentials include playing jazz at a party and overhearing a conversion about the "evacuation" of the Jews. Despite frowns at his jazz performance, he's invited back for another party! In the article about 1957 West German movie Der Stern von Afrika, which the allegedly "bull shit" source (James Chapman) describes as "a "whitewash" that presented an "acceptable face of wartime heroics" in West German films of that period. The film did not portray Marseille's Nazi convictions, instead presenting his a rebel in trouble with his superiors". In Der Stern von Afrika.

Surrender? Never!Edit

  • Why always "captured" and never "taken prisoner" or "surrendered"? In Hans Boeckh-Behrens and dozens, if not hundreds, of other articles.
    • Even in section names: "Italian front and "capture". Perhaps it is just a "Germanised" turn of phrase, but it reads rather POV: i.e. Germany was not defeated; instead, it was overrun by "overwhelming masses of Allied men, tanks and aircraft" and its soldiers never laid down their weapons and surrendered, but were "captured"? In Gerhard von Schwerin.
    • The German forces "surrendered" but the general was "captured". That does not make sense. In Werner Sanne.
  • This German general was "captured" while the caption to the infobox photo is "Hitter and corps commander Gollwitzer surrender to Soviet forces". Moreover, the article states that "his division was encircled and forced to surrender". Seriously. In Alfons Hitter.
  • In this instance, I was thinking "finally, a general surrenders!" But no, in the very next sentence, we get "capture" again. And another frequent reference: "released from captivity", as well. In Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben.
  • Here, we are apparently to feel sorry for the general whose army had been "decimated" before he assumed command. He was subsequently "captured", through no fault of his own. In Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller.
  • A new variant: "was made a prisoner of war", not "surrendered". I'm pretty sure I've seen this construction & the odd passive voice elsewhere. In Joachim Fest.

Alternate geographyEdit

"Unneeded iconography"Edit

That's a catch-all section for a variety of totemic symbols that often fill articles to the brim, with foreign language unit names, unnecessary translations, and visual depictions of much intricate detail.

 
The Knight's Cross shown here is literally "larger than life"—a fitting metaphor.
 
Use Wikipedia to learn how you can achieve the "correct wearing of this Nazi badge."

Alternate ethnography and geopoliticsEdit

"Annihilation of Mobile Group Popov"Edit

This deserves its own subsection:

Selective empathyEdit

Appropriate quote from The Myth of the Eastern Front: "Little if any sentiment has been extended [by the Americans] to the families of the 8 million Red Army soldiers who died fighting the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, or the 22 million civilians killed by these military organizations and the killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen", that worked closely with the army formations. "With a forty-year head start", the predominance of the German account "hardly remains a mystery".

 
Original caption: "The great expanse of Russia made controlling a front line difficult." D'uh, war is not a rest cure. Also vaguely suggestive of the "endless waves (...) submerging the supposedly superior Wehrmacht" (see Panzer Battles).
 
German women washing clothes at a cold water hydrant, July 1945
Special subsection: Korsun–Cherkassy PocketEdit

Battle of the Korsun–Cherkassy Pocket seems to have the higher proportion of "selective empathy" than most:

  • A photo caption: "The great expanse of Russia made controlling a "front line" difficult" -- boo-hoo.
  • "Hell's gate", "exhausted", "could advance no further", "the 'answer would be in the form of continued, bitter resistance'", "but even this effort", "trapped forces", "using its last reserves", "5th SS Panzer Division 'did more than any other to ensure the continued survival of Gruppe Stemmermann' ...", "rescuers", probably more in the rest of the article.
  • Same article: why are German forces always "trapped", and not encircled, surrounded, etc? Not sure how many times I've encountered this already.
  • How tragic: St Manstein could not pull the units "back to safety".

"Desperate defensive battles"Edit

 
German troops are "defending" a random field.

Language schoolEdit

WP:MemorialEdit

Starting a new section as a reflection of WP:MEMORIAL, in a literal sense:

The left side bears the insignia.[2]
Hauptmann Hauptmann
Hans-Joachim Marseille Hans-Joachim Marseille
Inh. d. Eichenlaubs m. Schwertern Recipient of the Oak Leaves with Swords
u. Brillanten zum Ritterkreuz and Diamonds to the Knight’s Cross
Der höchsten Ital. Tapferkeitsmedaille The highest Italian Medal of bravery
in Gold u.a. Auszeichnungen in Gold and other Awards
Geb. 13 December 1919 gef. i. Derna i. Afrika 30 September 1942 Born 13 December 1919 killed in Derna in Africa 30 September 1942

References

  1. ^ Smelser & Davies 2008, p. 191.
  2. ^ Wübbe 2001, p. 395.
  • Wübbe, Walter (2001). Hauptmann Hans Joachim Marseille— Ein Jagdfliegerschicksal in Daten, Bildern und Dokumenten [Captain Hans Joachim Marseille— A Fighter Pilots Fate in Data, Images and Documents] (in German). Schnellbach, Germany: Verlag Siegfried Bublies. ISBN 978-3-926584-78-6.
Cited to yet another small-time, extreme-right publisher Verlag Siegfried Bublies [de]. In Hans-Joachim Marseille.

Enemy in the cross-hairsEdit

Starting a section for capturing the moments of glorification of military violences:

  • 18 instances of "enemy" removed, including multiples in the same sentence. The prose that showed up in quotations (from the participants of events) was exactly the same: "enemy this", "enemy that". In Hans-Joachim Marseille.
  • Image included in the article with original caption (diff):
 
The crew of the Boeing B-17F-5, shot down by Naumann on 30 July 1943.
Let's celebrate the accomplishments of this pilot by showing the people he presumably killed! In Johannes Naumann.
 
Memorial to John Dundas.
What could be more appropriate and more sensitive to the war dead? In Rudolf Pflanz.

Debasement of victimsEdit

 
Original caption: "...[[Czesława Kwoka | a fourteen-year-old Polish girl, deported as forced labour]]..." - instead of Czesława Kwoka
  • Victims are anonymised, while perpetrators are presented in excruciating detail, especially for the lead. In this case, the name of the probable victim is "hidden" via piping, while the Nazi party's name is listed and linked twice: [[National Socialist German Workers Party]] ([[Nazi Party]]). We also learn the subject's obscure rank (with translation): "[[Rottenführer]] (Section Leader)". In Josef Blösche.
  • More anonymising of victims (see right), in World War II: diff (Czesława Kwoka was also originally "sent" to Auschwitz, not deported). My edit was later replaced with ...[[Czesława Kwoka|Polish girl deported]]..., but let's have more pictures of military action!
  • A hoax caption, presenting victims as (almost) perpetrators:
 
Alleged date: 1943; actual date: 1944, after camp's liberation.
To put it more charitably, this could just be plain ignorance. But the poses are too casual and the subjects are too well dressed; you don't need to be a historian to see that. In Janowska concentration camp. Also over at Commons:
The "SS officer" and the date are event purpotedly sourced to "U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum".

100% unadulterated Nazi propaganda (aka Wehrmachtbericht)Edit

This section is quite large due to the amount of effort that was involved around the Wehrmachtbericht transcripts (OKW press releases).

The processEdit

To illustrate the scope of the project, I did the following, starting soon from the time I joined MILHIST (Nov 2015):

  1. was greatly puzzled as to what the heck this thing was and why the text blocks were getting so much space, including in original German, and prominently housed in their own sub-sections: sample;
  2. rewrote and expanded the Wehrmachtbericht article  ;
  3. attempted to engage editors on related talk pages (which was ignored);
  4. initiated removal discussions on three Talk pages including Manstein, Erwin Rommel and Erich von dem Bach-Zalewski (salient quote: In this case [the transcript] may have included euphemisms for criminal actions, but it may equally have been referring to bravery in combat against armed fighters of the Home Army) emphasis mine; pls see, for example: Wola massacre;
  5. observed the resulting blowout: [Name redacted], (...) repeatedly restoring the content that two different established users took out and calling their edits vandalism to boot is definitely a no-no. So be warned that a block might be looming if you insist in continuing your behaviour;
  6. conducted a search for sources as to whether it was a military commendation as alleged (could not find any)
  7. initiated a discussion at the NPOV noticeboard, which may have helped sway one editor’s opinion, and
  8. am now finally able to proceed with removal of these OKW press releases (aka “historic testimony” the wording of which "is accepted at GA and FAC levels". (Apparently not any more, as 11 editors have supported the removal, at the NPOV noticeboard and various Talk pages).

Wehrmachtberichte: The Essential CollectionEdit

These have already been removed from articles and are being preserved here for archival purposes.

"Endless waves of tanks and men" & "Asiatic hordes" (see Panzerschlachten):

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
29 November 1944 Deutsche Truppen haben zusammen mit den verbündeten ungarischen Streitkräften unter dem Oberbefehl des Generalobersten Frießner seit dem 29. Oktober dem fast ununterbrochenen Ansturm von 61 Divisionen und 7 Panzerkorps der Bolschewisten und Rumänen standgehalten.[1] German forces together with the allied Hungarian armed forces under the command of Colonel General Friessner have since 29 October withstood the almost continuous onslaught of 61 divisions and 7 armored corps of the Bolsheviks and Romanians.

Destroyed "1,754 tanks" and won a "full defensive victory":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
18 February 1944 In den schweren Kämpfen im Raum von Nikopol haben ostmärkische, bayerische, rheinisch-westfälische, sächsische, mecklenburgische, pommersche und ostpreußische Division unter dem Befehl des Generals der Gebirgstruppen Schörner und der Generale Brandenberger, Mieth und Kreysing in der Zeit vom 5. November 1943 bis 15 Februar 1944 in Angriff und Abwehr starke Durchbruchsversuche der Bolschewisten mit blanker Waffe verhindert und ihnen hohe Verluste zugefügt. Dabei wurden 1754 Panzer, 533 Geschütze, zahlreiche andere Waffen und sonstiges Kriegsgerät erbeutet oder vernichtet und 56 feindliche Flugzeuge durch Infanteriewaffen abgeschossen.}}[2] During heavy fighting in the area of Nikopol, between 5 November 1943 and 15 February 1944, the divisons from Ostmark, Bavaria, Rhineland-Westphalia, Saxony, Mecklenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia, under the command of Mountain Troops General Schörner and generals Brandenberger, Mieth and Kreysing, with offensive and defensive actions, prevented strong Bolshevik attempts to break through with blank cartridges, and inflicted heavy losses upon them. Thereby 1754 tanks, 533 artillery pieces, numerous other weapons and war material were captured or destroyed, and 56 enemy aircraft were shot down by infantry weapons.
30 November 1944 In der zweiten Abwehrschlacht in Kurland haben die unter dem Oberbefehl des Generalobersten Schörner kämpfenden Verbände des Heeres und germanischer Freiwilliger der Waffen-SS wiederum einen vollen Abwehrsieg errungen.[3] In the second defensive battle in Courland, units of the army and Germanic volunteers of the Waffen SS under the command of Colonel General Schörner, again won a full defensive victory.

This one is interesting because it describes the "heroic death" of Henning von Tresckow, who, according to linked article, had killed himself to avoid exposure of his involvement in the 20 July plot. "Invading Bolsheviks" goes without saying:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
24 July 1944 Zwischen Brest-Litowsk und Grodno sowie nördlich Kauen scheiterten Durchbruchsversuche des Feindes am zähen Widerstand unserer tapferen Divisionen. In einigen Abschnitten warfen sie die eingedrungenen Bolschewisten im Gegenangriff zurück.
In diesen Kämpfen fanden der Kommandeur einer Kampfgruppe, Generalleutnant Scheller, und der Chef des Stabes einer Armee, Generalmajor v. Treskow, in vorderster Linie den Heldentod.
[4]
Between Brest-Litovsk and Grodno and north of Kaunas, enemy break-through attempts failed because of the stubborn resistance of our brave divisions. In some sectors they threw back the invading Bolsheviks in the counterattack.
In these battles, the commander of a combat unit, Lieutenant General Scheller, and the Chief of Staff of an Army, Major-General v. Tresckow, found a heroes death at the front lines.

More "Bolsheviks" & "defensive victories":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
8 June 1944 Bei den Kämpfen im Raum von Jassy haben deutsch-rumänische Truppen unter dem Befehl des rumänischen Generals der Kavallerie Racovita, des Generals der Panzertruppen von Knobelsdorff sowie des Generals der Infanterie Mieth, hervorragend unterstützt durch starke deutsch-rumänische Kampf- und Schlachtfliegerverbände, in harten Kämpfen die Bolschewisten aus tief gegliederten, zäh verteidigten Stellungen geworfen und die eigenen Stellungen dadurch bedeutend verbessert.[5] In the battles in the area of Jassy, German and Romanian troops under the command of the Romanian Cavalry General Racoviță, General of Panzer troops von Knobelsdorff and the General of the Infantry Mieth, superbly supported by strong German-Romanian bomber and ground-attack aircraft units, have thrown in fierce combat out of their deeply structured, tough defending, positions, the Bolsheviks, and improved our positions significantly.

A fighter wing claims "8,000 victories":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording English translation
4 May 1944 Das unter Führung von Oberstleutnant Nordmann stehende Jagdgeschwader "Mölders" meldete seinen 8000. Luftsieg.[6] Fighter wing "Mölders", under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Nordmann, reported its 8 000th aerial victory.

This one did even better! (10,000 "arial victories")[dubious ]:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
3 September 1944 (addendum) Das auf allen Kriegsschauplätzen bewährte Jagdgeschwader 52 erzielte unter Führung seine Kommodore, Eichenlaubträger Oberstleutnant Hrabak, seinen 10 000 Luftsieg.[7] The on all theatres of war well proven 52nd Fighter Wing under the leadership of its Wing Commander, Oak Leaves bearer Oberstleutnant Hrabak, achieved its 10 000th aerial victory.

See "Panzer ace":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 15 May 1942 Die Sturmgeschützabteilung 244 hat bei den Kämpfen im Osten am 14. Mai 36 feindliche Panzer vernichtet. Von diesen Panzern hat der Oberfeldwebel Banse (sic) allein 13 abgeschossen. [8] The Assault Gun Battalion 244 has destroyed 36 enemy tanks in the fighting in the east on 14 May. Of these tanks, Sergeant Banse alone has destroyed 13.

Dubious ("smashed seventy enemy divisions"):

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
12 May 1944 Bei der gestern gemeldeten Zerschlagung des feindlichen Brückenkopfes am unteren Dnjestr haben die unter Führung des General der Infanterie Buschenhagen stehenden Truppen sieben feindlichen Schützendivisionen sowie Teile einer Artillerie- und Flakdivision zerschlagen.[9] In yesterday reported destruction of the enemy bridgehead at the lower Dniester, troops under the leadership of General of the Infantry Buschenhagen have smashed seven enemy infantry divisions[dubious ] and parts of artillery and anti aircraft divisions.

Almost poetry:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording English translation
6 April 1944 Verbände des Heeres und der Waffen-SS haben unter dem Oberbefehl des Generalobersten Weiss und unter der Führung der Generale der Infanterie Hoßbach und Mattenklott nach tagelangen harten Angriffskämpfen durch die Pripjetsümpfe bei ungewöhnlichen Geländeschwierigkeiten den feindlichen Ring um Kowel gesprengt und damit ihre Kameraden aus der Umklammerung befreit.[10] Units of the Army and the Waffen-SS have, under the High Command of Generaloberst Walter Weiss and under the leadership of Generals of the Infantry Hoßbach and Mattenklott, after days of harsh fighting through the Pripyat Marshes at rough terrain, broken the enemy ring at Kowel and by that our comrades were freed from the clutch.

Wehrmachtbericht haiku(TM) based on the preceding entry:

Fight for freedom
Units of the Army and the Waffen-SS
After days of harsh fighting
Through rough terrain
Broken the enemy ring, and by that
Our comrades were freed from the clutch.

(c)2016

"5,500 enemy tanks destroyed":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
26 July 1944 Im Abschnitt einer Armee wurden in der Zeit vom 14. Bis 23. Juli 553 feindliche Panzer abgeschossen. Hierbei hat sich die hamburgische 20. Panzer-Grenadier-Division unter Führung des Generalleutnant Jauer besonders ausgezeichnet.[11] In an army sector, 553 enemy tanks were destroyed in the period from 14 to 23 July. There, the Hamburg 20th Panzer Grenadier Division under the command of Lieutenant-General Jauer has particularly excelled.

This one at Alexander Löhr was a monster: 7,500 characters worth of Nazi propaganda, aka "historic testimony". In Erich von Manstein's case, it was almost 7,000 characters worth.

More of Panzerschlachten & "sacrificial battles":

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
31 August 1944 (Addendum) Im Südabschnitt der Ostfront hat sich das XXX. Armeekorps, unter Führung des Generalleutnants Postel mit der 306. Infanteriedivision, 15. Infanteriedivision und 13. Panzerdivision in aufopfernden Kämpfen gegen überlegene überlegene feindliche Kräfte heldenmütig geschlagen.[12] The 30th Army Corps under the leadership of Generalleutnant Postel together with the 306th Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Division and 13th Panzer Division fought heroically in sacrificial battles against superior forces in the southern sector of the eastern front.

Woah! Deserves a Wehrmachtbericht haiku(TM):

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
29 June 1942 Unter Führung des Generals der Kavallerie Lindemann haben Truppen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS, dabei auch spanische, niederländische und flämische Freiwilligenverbände, hervorragend unterstützt durch die Luftflotte des Generaloberst Keller, nach monatelangem erbitterten Kämpfen unter schwierigsten Wetter- und Geländeverhältnissen diese feindlichen Armeen zunächst von ihren rückwärtigen Verbindungen abgeriegelt, dann immer mehr zusammengedrängt und heute endgültig vernichtet.[13] Under the leadership of General of the Cavalry Lindemann, troops of the Army and Waffen-SS, including Spanish, Dutch and Flemish volunteer units, excellently supported by the Air Fleet of Colonel-General Keller, after months of bitter fighting under difficult weather and terrain conditions, these hostile armies, were first sealed off from their communication and supply lines, then crowded together more and more, and today finally destroyed.

United for Europe (extended)
Troops of the Army and Waffen-SS
Including Spanish, Dutch and Flemish volunteers
After months of bitter fighting
Under difficult weather and terrain conditions
These hostile armies were first sealed off
Then crowded together
More and more
And finally destroyed.

Much poetic language going on, including "defending" an occupied city:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 17 April 1940 Bei der Verteidigung von Narvik fiel der Führer der Zerstörer, Kapitän zur See und Kommodore Bonte, in heldenmütigem Kampf gegen britische Übermacht. Rund zwei drittel der Besatzungen der beschädigten und nicht mehr gefechtsbereiten Zerstörer, die ihre Munition restlos verschossen haben, wurden in die Verteidigung Narviks zur Verstärkung der im dortigen Raum eingesetzten Heerestruppenteile eingegliedert.[14] The leader of the destroyers, Captain and Commodore Bonte, was killed in action in a heroic struggle against British supremacy in defense of Narvik. About two-thirds of the crew of the damaged and no longer combat-ready destroyers, their ammunition expended completely, were incorporated in the defense of Narvik to reinforce the army deployed in the vicinity.

Red links, suggesting that articles for these subjects should be created:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 6 July 1941 Rittmeister Niemack, Führer einer Aufklärungsabteilung, die Oberleutnante Freiherr Maercken und Buchterkirch in einem Panzerregiment, sowie Oberleutnant Ritz in einem Schützenregiment zeichneten sich durch vorbildliche Tapferkeit aus.[15] Rotamaster Niemack, leader of a reconnaissance unit, the first lieutenants Freiherr Maercken and Buchterkirch in a tank regiment, and Lieutenant Ritz in a rifle regiment distinguished themselves through exemplary bravery.

How were the battles victorious if the pilot was killed?

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Thursday, 10 July 1941 Hauptmann Balthasar, Träger des Eichenlaubes zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, der mit 40 Luftsiegen an den genannten Erfolgen der Luftwaffe hervorragend beteiligt war, fand in siegreichen Luftkämpfen am Kanal den Heldentod. Mit ihm verlor die Luftwaffe einen ihrer tapfersten Jagdflieger.[16] Captain Balthasar, bearer of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, who with 40 aerial victories exceptionally contributed on these already mentioned successes of the Luftwaffe, found a hero's death in victorious aerial battles at the channel.

Nazi propaganda's version of WP:CRYSTAL:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 15 February 1942 Die Verluste der britischen Luftwaffe bei See- und Luftgefecht im Kanalgebiet am 12. Februar erhöhen sich auf 49 Flugzeuge. Mit dem Abschuß von weiteren feindlichen Flugzeugen in diesen Luftkämpfen ist zu rechnen.[17] The losses of the British Air Force in sea and aerial combat on 12 February increased to 49 aircraft. It is assumed that further enemy aircraft will be shot down in these aerial battles.

Somehow, the "freedom of Europe" was being sought deep in the Soviet Union, almost in Asia:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Monday, 5 October 1942 Bei den Kämpfen an der Don-Front fand der Kommandierenden General eines Panzerkorps, General der Panzertruppe Freiherr von Langermann und Erlencamp, Träger des Eichenlaubs zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, am 3. Oktober 1942 in vorderster Linie den Heldentod. Seite an Seite mit ihm fiel der Kommandeur einer ungarischen Division, Oberst Nagy, im Kampf um die Freiheit Europas.[18] In the fighting on the Don front the commanding general of an armored corps, General of Panzer Troops Freiherr von Langermann und Erlencamp, bearer of the Oak Leaf to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, met an heroic death on 3 October 1942 on the front line. Side by side with him fell the commander of a Hungarian division, Colonel Nagy, in the struggle for the freedom of Europe.

References

  1. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 350.
  2. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Volume 3, p. 37.
  3. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Volume 3, p. 352.
  4. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 174.
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 121.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 95.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 231.
  8. ^ The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, p. 141.
  9. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 101.
  10. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 74.
  11. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 176.
  12. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 226.
  13. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 180.
  14. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 114.
  15. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 608.
  16. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 613.
  17. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 35.
  18. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 309.

Recent developmentsEdit

But no, we were not quite done. There have been additional discussions and attempts to restore the Wehrmachtberichte in a different form.

  • Salient quotes:
  • "The fact of the matter: it isn't vandalism. You can't start deleting editor's comments/edits on talk pages" &
  • "You don't delete things without discussion. Have you learned nothing yet? Dapi89 (talk) 20:40, 2 January 2017 (UTC)"
  • "I understand that today, the community believes that the verbatim Wehrmachtbericht transcript should not be part of the Wikipedia articles, unless the wording is addressed and commented by other secondary reliable sources. I am not challenging the consensus at this moment." -- thank God!
  • Pleased that the article that I rewrote came in handy: "I think the difference is that whereas the Wehrmachtbericht was "the daily Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) mass-media communiqué and a key component of Nazi propaganda during World War II", the London Gazette was (long before the concepts of mass media or propaganda were thought of), and to some extent still is, an official report of acts of government."
  • "I don't quite see the point of quoting the daily communiqué verbatim, as its information content is virtually nil. More so, the claims often don't have any foundation in fact and would necessitate profound cross-referencing and double-checking."
  • "You can't really compare the two works: the Gazette was, and remains, a way for bureaucracies of a country with a system of generally honest and open government to publish official notifications. In contrast, the Wehrmachtbericht was part of the propaganda machine for a totally dishonest government."
  • Salient quotes from the sole "Keep" voter: The category is useful in identifying how and why the the Wehrmachtbericht was used. it is helpful to researchers in identifying the type of mentions and And I would strongly object to removing mention of this source in the articles, or in removing the transcripts. Note: That ship has already sailed :-)
  • Sample quote from a "Delete" voter: Trivial; where someone is mentioned is hardly notable except in the rarest circumstances (such as the Bible). I don't think that the German war reports merit such rarity. Closed as "Delete", 6 to 1.

Rommel: "Gentleman warrior, military genius"Edit

Borrowing the title form a Der Spiegel article, this section is dedicated to Erwin Rommel:

"Not accused of war crimes"Edit

  • Rommel was apparently a great humanitarian, simply because he did not have POWs shot out of hand. (That was an achievement vs the Eastern Front; still that did not make him a "humanitarian", i.e. "a person promoting human welfare and social reform", per definition).
  • Continuing with "Rommel as humanitarian" theme, editor insists on keeping "ancient and bad references for the chivalrous nature of North Africa fighting.
  • Dubious distinction and a weasel phrase that a unit was "not accused of war crimes", according to a 1950 source.
  • The Rommel legend, in full bloom: "He was noted to never have committed a war crime during his military service. He also supported the Stauffenberg 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. He was found guilty of treason...", with the last two things demonstrably wrong, and the first one an obfuscation ("noted for not being a criminal" is a dubious honor). In Wehrmacht.

HeroicsEdit

  • The word "exploits" used non-ironically.
  • Rommel is sent to Italy to "prepare a defensive line", not to participate in Operation Achse. Also, "his disagreements with Hitler reached a new level" -- this disagreements were over military matters, and moreover, Rommel appeared to have been wrong. (emphasis mine)
  • More gushing from Liddell Hart: "Awe for his dynamic generalship developed into an almost affectionate admiration for him as a man". For real.
  • The saviour Rommel: "If given more time, he may have succeeded." -- If only he had a bit more time to reenforce the Atlantic Wall, he would have "succeeded"! And succeeded at what? Repelling the Allied invasion? That's quite a bit of conjecture going on. The statement is cited to "effusive and uncritical" biography by Ronald Lewin. (Side note: The book appears to borrow design elements from the best traditions of the colonial war literature, with an intertwined palm tree and swastika embossed on the cloth cover.)

ComplainingEdit

  • Great edit summary: "Tweak WP:Peacock text, including implication that the situation was somehow unfair to the Germans".
  • Rommel ungentlemanly blames his subordinates for his own failings, while Basil Liddell Hart gushes.
  • Excellent example of Rommel's insubordination and opportunism, which appears to be presented as a point of pride in this note: "Quote from Rommel: I had maintained secrecy over the Panzer Group's forthcoming attack eastwards from Mersa el Brega and informed neither the Italian nor the German High Command. We knew from experience that Italian Headquarters cannot keep things to themselves and that everything they wireless to Rome gets round to British ears." (emphasis mine)

Random mythologyEdit

References

  1. ^ Rommel 1982, p. 85.

Special mentions, including FA/GA articlesEdit

Otto Kittel (GA article)Edit

An article sourced almost exclusively to Wehrmacht "guru" Franz Kurowski:

Warning: Fan fiction ahead
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
    • Kittel claimed his first victory on 22 June 1941, the opening day of Operation Barbarossa. Kittel took time to amass his personal tally of aerial victories. By February 1943, he reached 39 kills, relatively insignificant when compared with some other German aces. A large number of his Soviet victims included the IL-2 Shturmovik aircraft, leading the German Army to call him the "Butcher Killer", a nickname they had given to the tough Shturmovik.[1] -- military statistics cited to a non WP:RS source, odd language about "took time to amass" etc
    • Edith had travelled into occupied Soviet territory near the front line to marry Kittel.[2] - not notable
    • His comrade, and a member of the flight, Herbert Broennle, advised him to hide after landing, to travel only by night and use a compass on a heading of 255 degrees (north-west) which would take him to Stayara Russa, towards JG 54's base behind German lines. Broennle himself had been shot down under the same circumstances in 1941, and had experience. Kittel ran for the nearest forest after landing. Several Russian women and children saw the crash from two houses nearby and came running out. No men were in sight. When Kittel got to the forest he found he had left his emergency rations behind, having only chocolate bar with him. He continued through the forest, able to move through the forest during the day unseen, resting often. Needing to eat, he raided several empty houses and found clothes but no food. Determined to find food, and now looking like a Russian peasant, he passed through several Soviet checkpoints looking for something to eat.[3] -- potentially unverifiable
    • His Bf 109 suffered damage and Kittel returned to base, resisting the urge to chase more and risk his life. His motto was to get back in one piece and avoid risks: "Take the safe route and avoid ill-considered and wild offensive tactics".[4] -- military statistics and potentially unverifiable statements about "resisting the urge" etc
    • In the end that alone produced success. Risking himself for a single victory was not Kittel's way. Within two months his tally had risen to 17. Sometime in May 1942 Kittel claimed a further two victories, one bomber and one fighter, in a single mission. During the combat he became involved in a dogfight with two experienced opponents. Using clever tactics, the Soviet fighters tried to force him into a trap; one chasing the other in an attempt to cut him off. Kittel's aircraft was fired on several times and hit. However, he managed to escape, in the process shooting down one of the enemy fighters.[5][6] -- military statistics and potentially unverifiable statements about "not Kittel's way" etc
    • Every now and again an enemy aircraft would be sighted and shot down, but Kittel was frustrated. The ground crews kept up his spirits.[7] -- potentially unverifiable/non-notable statements about "frustrated", "spirits" etc
    • (Wing Commander) Hannes Trautloft congratulated Kittel and said the following: "I have instructed that you're no longer to be assigned as wingman. Instead you're to be sent on freie Jagd [combat patrol] on your own whenever there's an opportunity."[8][9] -- not notable / potentially unverifiable
    • Kittel, in particular, was pleased. The Fw 190 was an ideal interceptor against the tough and heavily armoured Shturmovik, his favourite target. At this point, Kittel's victory tally climbed rapidly.[10] -- not notable / potentially unverifiable ("pleased", "his favorite target")
    • His comrade, and a member of the flight, Herbert Broennle, advised him to hide after landing, to travel only by night and use a compass on a heading of 255 degrees (north-west) which would take him to Stayara Russa, towards JG 54's base behind German lines. Broennle himself had been shot down under the same circumstances in 1941, and had experience. Kittel ran for the nearest forest after landing. Several Russian women and children saw the crash from two houses nearby and came running out. No men were in sight. When Kittel got to the forest he found he had left his emergency rations behind, having only chocolate bar with him. He continued through the forest, able to move through the forest during the day unseen, resting often. Needing to eat, he raided several empty houses and found clothes but no food. Determined to find food, and now looking like a Russian peasant, he passed through several Soviet checkpoints looking for something to eat.[3] -- potentially unverifiable

References

  1. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 268.
  2. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 299–300.
  3. ^ a b Kurowski 1996, pp. 292–296.
  4. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 277.
  5. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 277–280.
  6. ^ Weal 1996, p. 16.
  7. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 281.
  8. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 285–287.
  9. ^ Kurowski 2007, pp. 67–69.
  10. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 288.
Saga continuesEdit
Epic edit summaries from involved editorEdit
GAREdit

Heinrich Bär (FA article)Edit

More semi-fictional accounts:

  • Sources that list him with 221 aerial victories include Luftwaffe Aces by Franz Kurowski.[1]
  • Hermann Göring's personal dislike of Bär, coupled with Bär's insubordinate character and lack of military discipline, deprived him of this award.[2]
  • His first sight of a Junkers transport aircraft changed his mind and convinced him that he should become an aviator.[3]
  • Incidents like this are testimony to his often blatant disregard for higher authority, a trait that frequently landed him in trouble.[4]
  • He suffered back injuries while bailing out, but managed to walk back to the German lines; his wounds necessitated a lengthy hospital treatment.[5]
  • Thus began a comradeship which outlasted World War II.[6]

References

  1. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 122.
  2. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 103–105.
  3. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 73.
  4. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 103-105.
  5. ^ Kurowski 1996, pp. 83–87.
  6. ^ Kurowski 2007, p. 70.
  • Morale of the group soared following his appointment. He was considered the unofficial leader of the group and the best officer in the entire Geschwader.[1]
  • it is believed that Göring disliked Bär for his insubordinate character and strong Saxon dialect, which Göring was known to detest.[2]

26 total citations.

Erich Hartmann (GA article)Edit

A GA article built on:

Hans Waldmann (fighter pilot) (GA article)Edit

Article built almost entirely on the Lanserhefte work by Gerhard Bracke:

  • Gegen vielfache Übermacht—Mit dem Jagdflieger und Ritterkreuzträger Hans Waldmann an der Ostfront, an der Invasionsfront und in der Reichsverteidigung [Against Manifold Supremacy—With the Fighter Pilot and Knight's Cross Bearer Hans Waldmann on the Eastern Front, on the Invasion Front and in Defense of the Reich] (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany. 1997.,

– published by militaria and right-wing publisher VDM Heinz Nickel [de].

Walter Ohmsen (GA article)Edit

Special mention for using the term "Fortress Europe" non-ironically:

  • Ohmsen was the first German defender of Fortress Europe to sight the invasion force. His battery engaged in heavy fighting and subsequently Ohmsen was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes)... (emphasis mine)

According to the linked article, "Fortress Europe (German: Festung Europa) was a military propaganda term used by both sides of the Second World War."

Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz (GA article)Edit

The collection of material that I gathered here reads like a mini-version of my user page: Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz/1: "led from the front"; "destroyed 2,700 tanks in 4 hours"; "received a move out order while at lunch"; "rose to fame"[according to whom?]; Victim of History nominee (in both wars); joined the NSDAP, but strictly for reasons of civic duty; etc.

According to a source deemed reliable for a GA article, the subject "destroyed 105 Soviet tanks in 30 minutes, with just four Panzers of his own.

Joachim Helbig (GA article)Edit

The GA / A-class article is largely based on fringe sources: Franz Kurowski, two works published by a German right-wing publisher, and a self-published source.

GAREdit
  • Via editor Roches: "That is absolutely classic Luftwaffe propaganda; the German bomber pilot only ever hit military targets while the Allied "terrorists" only ever hit churches, hospitals and orphanages."

GA / FA ReassessmentsEdit

"Heart of the romancing ethos"Edit

The section heading borrows language from The Myth of the Eastern Front to describe the material put out by J.J. Fedorowitz. This section will be used to highlight examples that perfectly align with the book's analysis.

Paratroop forcesEdit

  • Fallschirmjäger (World War II): the elite paratroop units are of special interest for romances, with better weapons, better training and daring raids.
    • WP:OR, citing verbatim supposed "commandments" (war-time propaganda) of these units and using two non WP:RS websites as sources.
    • Five (!) links to reenactor groups; two links to "weapons and uniforms" and a link to fan page, all in one External links section.
    • Plus the usual unsourced content full of awe for these units that still needs to be cleaned up.

Waffen-SSEdit

These elite units (better equipment, higher strength) are fascinating to those how romanticise Nazi Germany's war effort:

  • Hubert-Erwin Meierdress: This is from a Talk page, when someone asked "What is his significance?", but deserves replicating almost in full (comment is from 2010): "Herbert-Erwin Meierdress held off a major Soviet Counteroffensive {why capitalise "counteroffensive? so that it sounds more significant?} and saved German forces from complete encirclement {can an encirclement be incomplete?} using just 120 men, 30 of whom survived. He was awarded the Knights Cross for his actions, and his story was published in the SS Magazine DAS SCHWARZE KORPS. {dubious honor} German propaganda would have been all over this, and Meierdress would have been a known hero of the Reich, even more so as his career progressed. This man saw ferocious combat {poetic language} on the Eastern-Front and nearly survived to see the end of the war. His decorations include the Wound Badge in GOLD [...], {this is notable how?} Tank Assault Badge, {another totemic badge} Iron Cross First and Second Class, the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross (as previously mentioned), with Oak Leaves (a separate award for another act of valor in combat equal to that of the one in which he received his first Knight's Cross, awarded to him personally by Adolf Hitler on 5 October 1943). {dubious honor} [...] So needless to say, his resume speaks as to why he is significant." (emphasis mine) Compare Oct 2015 version and now, March 2016.
  • This is rich: peacock on weasel on peacock: "Helmut was one of the heroes of the 1941/42 Winter war, in the same category as August Dieckmann, Otto Baum, Georg Bochmann, Hinrich Schuldt, Otto Kumm, Wilhelm Bittrich and Hermann Fegelein". Here's more from the very next sentence: "Born in 1909, Dörner soon reminded his superiors of his true potential, winning..." Just keeps on giving: "he and his battalion soon established a reputation within the Army Group North as a crack unit. No end in sight (still the same article). Finally, the end. In Helmut Dörner.
  • "Total casualties amongst the Waffen-SS will probably never be known", the article intones, with much pathos, while Rüdiger Overmans has provided exactly such an estimate. The other set of numbers listed was citing to HIAG's successor Wenn Alle Brűder Schweigen ("When All Our Brothers are Silent"). Cue pathos. In Waffen-SS.

"Eagles of the Reich"Edit

 
A representative "Eagle of the Reich"

Luftwaffe articles are generally filled to the gulls with romantic notions of "aces", "hunters" and Experten (aka the Knights of the Third Reich), so I'm starting a dedicated sections devoted to this area of Wikipedia.

  • The report highlighted that he "has excelled in action as a fighter pilot" and that "during 449 combat flights, he has 97 kills because of his audacity". The report further described Beißwenger as having "good leadership talent" and being "positive as a National Socialist". In Hans Beißwenger.
  • Is it typical to include GPS coordinates indicating the spot where the pilot died, as well as where he is buried? diff. In Walter Oesau.
  • Deserves replicating in full, with the language of "kills", "dispatched", "personal total", "Assi" (nickname); "emerged as one of the top aces", etc.:
Battle of Britain
JG 2 took part in the Battle of Britain, operating Bf 109Es over the South Coast of England and the English Channel from bases in Cherbourg and Normandy. Major Helmut Wick emerged as one of the Battle’s top Luftwaffe aces, claiming 31 kills for a personal total of 56, before being killed (MIA) in action versus Spitfires of No. 609 Squadron in November 1940. Wick was seen to bail out successfully but was not found by German Air/Sea Rescue attempts. The Spitfire who dispatched him was immediately shot down by Oberleutnant Rudolf Pflanz. Ofw. Schnell, Ofw. Machold and Olt. Hans "Assi" Hahn also claimed heavily during this period, with 16 kills each. Some 42 JG 2 pilots were killed or made POW during the Battle.
Also present: "defense of the Reich" (italics in the original). In Jagdgeschwader 2.
  • Cannot quote them all; pls see diff, with "built a fearsome reputation", "skill and determination", "Allied bomber crews dispersing in fear", etc. In Jagdgeschwader 26.
  • Poetic: "East of Waluiki the duo observed a Russian air base teeming with Russian fighters. Beckh threw his aircraft into combat against a large force of LaGG-3s that appeared in the skies. While shooting down at least two Russian fighters, ... diff. Also present: Charkov. Well, at least it's not Charkow. In Friedrich Beckh.

Special mention: 55th Bomber WingEdit

Round One
  • Who said that fighting for "victor's justice" was going to be easy? Had to do essentially the same edit for NPOV twice; the first one was reverted with the edit summary: "erroneous to say there is anything wrong with the tone". Let's play the NPOV bingo:
    • "the crew bailed out but were later found by advancing German forces to have been shot in the head. Two of the men were found at the local Commissar's house".[citation needed] -- cn tag removal for Allied Treachery Sub-department
    • "The vast expanse of the front" -- selective empathy
    • "the severe winter" -- brutal Russian winter
    • "Charkow" -- alternate linguistics
    • "bore the brunt of Göring's supply plan" -- double! selective empathy and that idiot Hitler (or his stand-in, Goering)
    • "the meagre 90 tonnes of supplies" -- Golgotha of the 6th Army
    • "[[6th Army (Wehrmacht)|German 6. Armee]] " -- totemic value of German-language unit names
    • "celebrated their 10,000 mission" -- enemy in the crosshairs
    • "Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes holder Oberfeldwebel Willi Nemitz" -- double! language school and totemic value of German-language award names
    • "Most notable during this year was the completion of KG 55's 50,000th mission" -- enemy in the crosshairs
Round Two
Round Three

Still on the same article, see: Talk:Kampfgeschwader_55#Neutral_POV. Prior edit summary from the same editor: reverted all edits by Coffman; vandalism, removing sources, baseless accusations on pov. For realz.

"His nose is long and straight"Edit

 
Seems appropriate to decorate this section with recoloured images of the noses being "long and straight", courtesy of Commons user "Ruffneck88". (Gee, I wonder what 88 stands for in this context.)
 
The colour job is pretty creepy here.
 
These steely blue eyes!
 
A bonus SS-man, appropriately displaying Nordic character.

The diffs come from alt-text content associated with the main portrait of the subject of the article:

In Karl-Gottfried Nordmann, a GA article. See also: Talk:Hans-Ulrich_Rudel#Intricate_details.
See also, for an extra helping of WP:NAZIFANCRUFT:
Let's see if these two take.

U-boat loreEdit

 
This "colourised" image is downright creepy; courtesy of the same Ruffneck88 over at Commons.
  • The U-boat wiki content is where you can spot a romancer quite easily.
    • Herbert Werner: "widely regarded as an outstanding personal memoir" is cited to amazon.co.uk, and the article is basically a retelling of said memoirs, which the historian Michael Hadley describes as a "willful distortion".
    • From the Talk page of Herbert Werner, with punctuation, capitalization, etc: "IMHO Excellent article: I have recently read this excellent book by Herbert Werner,and imho this article is a very good outline of his book.Iron Coffins has in the past had its detractors,BUT i have spent a fair while doing my own research and the book is pretty accurate, the parts where it does suffer are essentially numbers ie of ships sunk ect,however it must be remembered that the Nazis AND the Allies both "cooked" their official books when they considered it in their interests,so its quite likely Werner was looking at "factual" books as HE saw them....One aspect that is often dismissed by the people who rubbish his book as "fiction" is the mine laying operation of Chesepeake Bay VA,this DID happen as werner has described it can be followed at UBOAT.NET the boat was U-230 and the dates all correspond its worth also noting Werner NEVER claimed to be the skipper on this boat,however the inconsistancy was in the number of mines dropped he says twenty four the OFFICIAL records say eight, either way IT HAPPENED it was not fiction,....."

Tiger I tank and other wonder weaponsEdit

"The Golgotha of the 6th Army"Edit

The "tragic losses" and standing fast in the face of adversity are common themes, especially in the Battle of Stalingrad narratives:

Imaginative awardsEdit

This apparently non-existing badge is presented in three "grades":

  • [[Wound Badge|Navy Black Wound Badge of 1939–1945]]
  • [[Wound Badge|Navy Silver Wound Badge of 1939–1945]]
  • [[Wound Badge|Navy Gold Wound Badge of 1939–1945]]
The edit summary of the edit that removed these entries was: "There was no such thing as a 1939-1945 Navy Wound badge". In Orders, decorations, and medals of Nazi Germany.

Perfect distillation of a "WP:Memorial" articleEdit

  • Johannes Kümmel -- a WP:Memorial with
    • reverently preserved nickname: "The Lion of Capuzzo" (uncited)
    • memorial photo (literally: photo of awards being held by the commanding officer at the subject's funeral);
    • list of medals and badges;
    • list of battles not discussed further in the article;
    • ubiquitous pulp writer Franz Kurowski in bibliography;
    • dubious web sites in external links
      • including to romancer favourite Achtung Panzer, for more memorial content: Johannes Kümmel: Der Löwe von Capuzzo / The Lion of Capuzzo. Ah, now I get where the nicknames come from.

You can't make this stuff up!

October 2016 update: Somebody has come along and interfered with this showcase article; edit summaries:

Here's the article as it was reviewed above: Janury 2016.

Gallery: Nazi Germany in colour!Edit

All images come from the Commons upload log by User:Ruffneck88. The selection is presented strictly for educational purposes and does not imply an endorsement of such activities.

Generals, Panzers, and aces—oh myEdit

A distinct case of Wehrmacht & Waffen-SS hero worship is on display here, even including German collaborator Stepan Bandera (bottom right):

Nazi fancruftEdit

The fascination seems to extend to the SS and Nazi Party leaders, along with various forms of Nazi iconography:

"Debasement of victims" (in pictures)Edit

A more disturbing selection. Who would want to colourise / glamourise depictions of atrocities, victims, and the war dead?

Authentic colour photographyEdit

Compare & contrast section, for actual colour photography from World War II:

See alsoEdit

Problematic sourcingEdit

Neo-Nazi sources, re-enactor websites, abuse of RSEdit

Imprints potentially not known for rigorous worksEdit

  • Selbstverlag Florian Berger – WP:SELFPUBLISH by Florian Berger
  • Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall – imprint of writer Klaus D. Patzwall
  • R. James Bender – imprint of Roger Bender
  • NeunundzwanzigSechs Verlag – imprint affiliated with Kurt Braatz
  • Motorbooks International – Imprint for motoring enthusiasts, as described on the web site: "Motorbooks is among the world's leading transportation publishers, offering books created by motoring's top photographers and writers." This area apparently includes panzers. (Although Max Hastings looks legit.)
  • Brown Books Publishing – history is not listed under 'genres', except for 'corporate histories' :-)
  • Truppenkameradschaft der 3. SS-Panzer-Division - 3rd SS Panzer Division's veterans' association (as appears in 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf); the author also wrote for HIAG's Der Freiwillige]
  • J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing -- an imprint for Waffen-SS/Wehrmacht guru authors
  • Schiffer Publishing -- an imprint for Luftwaffe romancing literature
  • Merriam Press -- an imprint for Waffen-SS/Wehrmacht guru authors, including Richard Landwehr
  • Amber Books (?)
  • Osprey Publishing – Mixed bag: 'mostly an illustrated publisher', but also puts out solid military history, especially on the operational side.
  • Stackpole Books – Mixed bag: published memoirs/popular histories by former high-ranking Waffen-SS members Kurt Meyer, Willi Fey, Hubert Meyer, along with scholarly works such as Rommel Reconsidered (which I read).
  • Arcadia Publishing/History Press (?) – "We are the largest publisher of local and regional content in America."

POV-titled sourcesEdit

"In Good Faith"? Via J.J. Fedorowicz

  • Huseman, Friedrich (2003). In Good Faith: The History of 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division: Volume 1, 1939–1943. Winnipeg: J.J. Fedorowicz. ISBN 0-921991-74-6.

Yes, let's re-use the SS motto for a book title! In Heinrich Sonne

  • Schneider J. W. Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977

Here's another "Loyalty" one, from Gordon Williamson (writer), who seems to be only slightly less prolific vs Franz Kurowski. In Joachim Peiper.

  • Williamson, Gordon (1995). Loyalty is my Honor. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International. ISBN 978-0-7603-0012-1.

Alternate geography, as Kharkov is located in Ukraine, and some historians don't even call it a "victory" (see: Third Battle of Kharkov#Aftermath:

  • Nipe, George M. Jr. (2000). Last Victory in Russia: The SS-Panzerkorps and Manstein's Kharkov Counteroffensive—February–March 1943. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-76431-186-7.

List of articles with major sourcing problemsEdit

Cleaned-up articlesEdit

Here are some of the articles already copyedited to remove above issues; further improvements are welcome:

Recommended readingEdit

Here are two excellent books that cover the topic of historical revisionism in the coverage of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS. They do an excellent job of explaining why and how these myths took hold, and why Wikipedia (for example) is such a fertile ground for messages that romanticize the two organisations. The book by Smelser and Davies even quotes from Wikipedia; it's both sad and (unintentionally) hilarious to read:

References

  1. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 107.
  2. ^ Kurowski 1996, p. 96.
  3. ^ Zaloga, Steven (2015). Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-1437-2. pp. 3–4

Potentially problematic sourcesEdit

For a general overview, see:

"Extreme admirers"Edit

  • Jean Mabire: Known for far-right extremist views; per French wikipedia: Jean Mabire is "the specialist" of "rehabilitation of Nazism" taking the form of a presentation of the SS men as heroic and exemplary men." Per MacKenzie, Mabire "reproduces in large part the HIAG version of the Waffen-SS at war". Mabire focuses on French Waffen-SS troops and has written "a dozen" unit histories.[1]
  • Richard Landwehr "More radical guru", with 14 books, most of them having to do with Waffen-SS and, especially, its foreign volunteer units. Some of the books are self-published; some in Shelf Books (UK) or Bibliophile Legion Books (US). Incl. "very-much-romanticized" renderings (cover art and inside). 14th Waffen-Grenadier Division (1st Galician) - "clearly revisionist."[2]

Uncritical and / or apologist sourcesEdit

See: Waffen-SS_in_popular_culture#Popular_history, including:

  • Paul Carell
  • Franz Kurowski (also as Karl Alman)
  • J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing#Select publications
  • Schiffer Publishing
  • Antonio Munoz: Specializes in various non-German ethnic groups that fought with the German army, who "needed their valiant tales of heroism retold to a public largely unaware of these men and their sacrifices." He has benefited from a close relationship with Landwehr and Siegrunen, which started in 1980s. Served as a contributing editor to Siegrunen and launched his own journal Axis Europa. Exhibited professional commitment in the quality of his research and acknowledged war crimes and crimes against humanity by the German army, which separates him from Landwehr. Shut down Axis Europa in 1999 to focus on book publishing via his imprint Europa Books, which as of 2008 had 25 titles.[2]
  • Carlos Jurado: Like Munoz, served as a contributing editor to Siegrunen. Also worked with Mark Yerger and with Ray Merriam, whose press, Merriam Press later published Siegrunen monographs.[2]

Revisionist and / or dated German-language sourcesEdit

Known right-wing publishersEdit

OtherEdit

HistoriansEdit

Revisionist historiansEdit

Historians in need of English Wiki articlesEdit

My allegedly problematic bahaviourEdit

Select sub-sections:

"Deletionism"Edit

"Nazi hunter"Edit

New: "Coffmanising"Edit

NOTE: My "deletionist" activities can be observed via this handy AFD tracker. My AfD nominations only: link. My PROD log is at User:K.e.coffman/PROD log. My CSD log is at User:K.e.coffman/CSD log.

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

Bibliography and further readingEdit

 This user received the Editor of the Week award.