Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/A-Class review

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Requesting a review

To request the first A-Class review of an article:

  1. Please double-check the MILHIST A-class criteria and ensure that the article meets most or all of the five (a good way of ensuring this is to put the article through a good article nomination or a peer review beforehand, although this is not mandatory).
  2. If there has been a previous A-Class nomination of the article, before re-nominating the article the old nomination page must be moved to Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Name of nominated article/archive1 to make way for the new nomination page.
  3. Add A-Class=current to the {{WPMILHIST}} project banner at the top of the article's talk page (e.g. immediately after the class= or list= field).
  4. From there, click on the "currently undergoing" link that appears in the template (below the "Additional information" section header). This will open a page pre-formatted for the discussion of the status of the article.
  5. List your reason for nominating the article in the appropriate place, and save the page.
  6. Add {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Name of nominated article}} at the top of the list of A-Class review requests below.
  7. Refresh the article's talk page's cache by following these steps. (This is so that the article's talk page "knows" that the A-class review page has actually been created. It can also be accomplished in the 2010 wikitext editor by opening the page in edit mode and then clicking "save" without changing anything, i.e. making a "null edit". )
  8. Consider reviewing another nominated article (or several) to help with any backlog (note: this is not mandatory, but the process does not work unless people are prepared to review. A good rule of thumb is that each nominator should try to review at least three other nominations as that is, in effect, what each nominator is asking for themselves. This should not be construed to imply QPQ).

An article may be nominated a second (or third, and so forth) time, either because it failed a prior nomination or because it was demoted and is now ready for re-appraisal. There are no formal limits to how many articles a single editor can nominate at any one time; however, editors are encouraged to be mindful not to overwhelm the system. A general rule of thumb is no more than three articles per nominator at one time, although it is not a hard-and-fast rule and editors should use their judgement in this regard.


The Milhist A-Class standard is deliberately set high, very close to featured article quality. Reviewers should therefore satisfy themselves that the article meets all of the A-Class criteria before supporting a nomination. If needed, a FAQ page is available. As with featured articles, any objections must be "actionable"; that is, capable of rectification.

If you are intending to review an article but not yet ready to post your comments, it is suggested that you add a placeholder comment. This lets other editors know that a review is in progress. This could be done by creating a comment or header such as "Reviewing by Username" followed by your signature. This would be added below the last text on the review page. When you are ready to add comments to the review, strike out the placeholder comment and add your review. For instance, strike out "reviewing" and replace it with "comments" eg:

Comments Reviewing by Username

Add your comments after the heading you have created. Once comments have been addressed by the nominator you may choose to support or oppose the nomination's promotion to A-class by changing the heading:

Support / Oppose Comments reviewing by Username

If you wish to abstain from either decision, you may indicate that your comments have been addressed or not addressed. For instance:

Comments Reviewing by Username addressed / not addressed

This makes it easy for the nominator and closer to identify the status of your review. You may also wish to add a closing statement at the end of your comments. When a nominator addresses a comment, this can be marked as {{done}} or {{resolved}}, or in some other way. This makes it easy to keep track of progress, although it is not mandatory.

Requesting a review to be closed

A nominator may request the review be closed at any time if they wish to withdraw it. This can be done by listing the review at ACRs for closure, or by pinging an uninvolved co-ord. For a review to be closed successfully, however, please ensure that it has been open a minimum of five days, that all reviewers have finalised their reviews and that the review has a minimum of at least three supports, a source review and an image review. The source review should focus on whether the sources used in the article are reliable and of high quality, and in the case of a first-time nominator, spot-checking should also be conducted to confirm that the citations support the content. Once you believe you have addressed any review comments, you may need to contact some of the reviewers to confirm if you have satisfied their concerns.

After A-Class

You may wish to consider taking your article to featured article candidates for review. Before doing so, make sure you have addressed any suggestions that might have been made during the A-class review, that were not considered mandatory for promotion to A-class. It can pay to ask the A-class reviewers to help prepare your article, or you may consider sending it to peer review or to the Guild of Copy Editors for a final copy edit.


If an editor feels that any current A-class article no longer meet the standards and may thus need to be considered for demotion (i.e. it needs a re-appraisal) please leave a message for the project coordinators, who will be happy to help.

Current reviewsEdit

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Battle of Van BurenEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Hog Farm (talk)

Battle of Van Buren (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

My 96th good article, this one is another example of the Confederates being incompetent in Arkansas. Hindman's Confederates are falling back across the mountains during a nasty Ozarks winter, and stop at Van Buren. The officer put in charge of watching the roads north had previously gotten in trouble for being negligent, so it should perhaps be no surprise when his Texans come running into Van Buren one morning chased by Union cavalry. Hindman brings up reinforcements who content themselves with shelling a town full of both Union troops and their own civilians, while Union cavalry chases down Confederate steamboats trying to escape. Meanwhile, the Confederates tasked with evacuating supplies and burning what could not be taken panic and torch everything. Hog Farm Talk 14:11, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

Image review the flag image is said to have been published before 1927 but I don't see where that is supported. Under us copyright law distribution is required to count as publication. Putting the image on a website would count but not waving it around. (t · c) buidhe 19:48, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
I can't imagine that whoever produced the flag back in the 1860s had any thought of copyrighting the work, but I've removed the image, buidhe. Alternative images would be one of the fort at Fort Smith, of one of the types of cannons referenced in the article, or I could try to dredge up an image of Blunt/Herron/Hindman from an old book, whichever would be viewed as most relevant. (oldest image I can find for Van Buren itself postdates the battle by 25 years). Hog Farm Talk 20:12, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
The map section looked a little weird, with the bits of border at the top and left, so I recropped it very slightly. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.8% of all FPs 16:09, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
I've added a photograph of a wartime commissary building at Fort Smith that I took myself. Hog Farm Talk 02:09, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Source review—pass: sources look ok. Checks done on Bearss 1967. "Hindman retained a field command under Holmes and pushed the troops under his command into northern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri." -> the source doesn't use the term field command, but I'll assume it's obvious. Fixed pagination for one of the refs but found no other issues. (t · c) buidhe 01:43, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

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Sieges of Berwick (1355 and 1356)Edit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Gog the Mild (talk)

Sieges of Berwick (1355 and 1356) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

A supplement to one of Edward III's many invasions of Scotland. GA a little while ago and possibly sufficient to become A class. Gog the Mild (talk) 22:49, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Image review—pass for the map in "Fall and recapture of Berwick town", it might look better using {{maplink}} as this would de-emphasize modern boundaries. (t · c) buidhe 23:14, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

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Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Cplakidas (talk)

Excubitors (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Starting back in 2008 (!), I've gradually expanded this article on a late Roman imperial bodyguard unit, that became one of the elite regiments of the middle Byzantine army, and brought it to GA last year. It is, AFAIK, the most comprehensive treatment of the subject, covering the history, organization, and commanders of the unit. All these topics are divided into early and late periods, as the Excubitors underwent a shift in their role. I will attempt a FAC in due course, and am eager to get some additional reviews here so as to improve this article further. Constantine 20:47, 5 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Image review—pass (t · c) buidhe 21:59, 5 April 2022 (UTC)

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Arthur PhillipEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Knightmare 3112 (talk)

Arthur Phillip (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

I am nominating this article for A-Class review because I'd like to get it to FA and at the peer review it was recommended nominating here first Knightmare 3112 (talk) 02:42, 25 March 2022 (UTC)


I'm surprised this review hasn't attracted more interest - you might want to advertise it at WT:AUSTRALIA. I'd like to offer the following comments:

  • "Serving under Captain Michael Everitt, Phillip also served" - bit repeditive
    • Re-worded those couple sentences to not use serve so much
  • The second para of the lead should make some note of Phillip's policy towards and relationships with Indigenous Australians
    • Noted the initial policy and relationships with the Indigenous Peoples
  • "Like his predecessor, Lord Germain, he turned to Phillip for advice" - the original advice doesn't seem to have been noted in the article?
  • "Phillip, with Lieutenant Philip Gidley King, took charge of the 64-gun HMS Europa" - this is confusing. Stating what King's role was will clarify it.
  • " employed him to spy on the French naval arsenals at Toulon and other ports" - what did this involve?
  • Why was Phillip selected as the first governor of NSW?
  • "whose preference, it was to be supposed, would be requisite at all times" - over complex
    • Re-worded, that was a direct quote from Hunter's book
  • The second para in the 'Voyage to Colony of New South Wales' section is currently unreferenced
  • There's a 'clarification needed' tag
  • "An annual service of remembrance is held at the church around Phillip's birthdate by the Britain–Australia Society." - needs a reference
  • The first two paras of the 'Legacy' section are unreferenced
  • There needs to be a broader discussion of the historiography covering Philip than just his ADB entry.
  • "Sam Neill in the 2005 film The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant and David Wenham in the 2015 mini-series Banished" - needs a reference
    • Added references for both

Nick-D (talk) 08:09, 17 April 2022 (UTC)

Knightmare 3112 ? Gog the Mild (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
Gog the Mild what? Knightmare 3112 (talk) 13:22, 2 May 2022 (UTC)
Have you responded to Nick-D's comments? Thanks. Gog the Mild (talk) 13:30, 2 May 2022 (UTC)
Not all of them as I don't currently have access to offline sources Knightmare 3112 (talk) 14:16, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

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Foreign volunteers in the Rhodesian Security ForcesEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Nick-D (talk)

Foreign volunteers in the Rhodesian Security Forces (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

This article discusses the role of the almost exclusively white volunteers who fought for the Rhodesian cause in the country's Bush War during the 1970s. They were generally motivated by a mix of racism, anti-communism and a desire for adventure, with few having a deep commitment to Rhodesia. While the Rhodesian government actively recruited volunteers, it didn't trust them and they often received a hostile reception from their Rhodesian comrades. The opponents of the Rhodesian regime regarded them as mercenaries, and were sceptical about western governments' lacklustre efforts to block their recruitment.

I started this article earlier this year as part of a burst of editing on the Rhodesian Security Forces. It's slightly patchy in parts, but this reflects the limited sources (as noted by the most recent works on the topic, the literature is thin and at times unreliable, and no-one even knows how many volunteers there were). Given the limited sourcing, the article may be one of the most comprehensive works on this topic. The article was assessed as a good article in February, and has since been expanded and copy edited. As a result, I'm hopeful that the A-class criteria are now met. Thank you in advance for your comments. Nick-D (talk) 07:05, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

Comments Support from Indy beetleEdit

The Rhodesia area is long overdue for some improvements. My comments:

  • A little more explanation in the background about why the Rhodesian government issued the UDI (to avoid majority rule, also an intro to Rhodesian Front ideology here would be suitable) and why guerillas fought the government (to overthrow the minority government) would be nice.
    • That's a really good suggestion, and I've added a couple of paras on this topic noting also the appeal of the RF's ideology in the UK and US. Nick-D (talk) 07:04, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
  • the Rhodesian government had a strong preference for whites If the reasons for this are known, this should be made explicit.
    • The source doesn't say, but I think that it should now be obvious in light of the summary of the RF's ideology. Nick-D (talk) 07:04, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
  • White people and black people should be linked up here closer to the background, not further down in the article.
  • I'm sure the anti-communism motivations of some of the foreign volunteers had to do with opposing the ideologies of the Zimbabwe African National Union and Zimbabwe African People's Union. I'm sure the Rhodesians played up the possible communist sympathies of their opponents for their own political advantage, but if these volunteers were offered the opportunity to fight communists it should be mentioned to what extent such opponents were actually communist, or what communist backing they received.
    • Added. They exposed Marxist beliefs and were supported by Communist countries, but were mainly motivated by nationalism. Nick-D (talk) 07:04, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Is it known why the black ex-Flechas joined? Were they seeking a career future after political fortunes turned against them in Mozambique? Were they actively recruited by Rhodesia or simply accepted into its ranks after fleeing Mozambique?
    • The source doesn't say. The reason almost certainly will have been that their lives were in extreme danger had they stayed in Mozambique. Nick-D (talk) 07:04, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
  • In the "Numbers of volunteers", there is inconsistent punctuation with regards to the bulleted list.
    • Fixed, I think? Nick-D (talk) 06:48, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Also clarifying whether these writers offering these estimates were academics, Rhodesian officers, journalists, etc. would be nice.
  • More potential force estimates seem to be found here.
    • Thanks, added Nick-D (talk) 06:48, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Foreign volunteers who openly expressed extreme racial views were deported. Is it known why? Were they viewed as liabilities?
    • The source doesn't explicitly say, but this would have been due to the Rhodesian government's attempts to portray itself as not being racially extreme, which the background section now notes. Nick-D (talk) 07:15, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • The security forces rarely discussed the foreign volunteers. I'm not exactly sure what this means. Top brass didn't like bringing it up in internal meetings?
    • With journalists - tweaked. Nick-D (talk) 07:15, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • The nationalists argued in their propaganda Since the distinction is not made earlier, it might be best to qualify this as "black nationalists" or something else to clarify who these people were aka the Zimbabwean nationalists opposed to Rhodesia. Disregard if the distinction is explained earlier on in the article.
    • Should be OK with the expansion of the lead Nick-D (talk) 06:48, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • The Portuguese government banned Rhodesian recruitment in the late 1970s, but was unable to enforce the legislation. I presume an an aftereffect of the Carnation Revolution? This unexplained seems at odds with In 1976 Portuguese officials offered 2,000 white soldiers who had served with UNITA in Angola unless those officials were being rogue.
    • Fixed - the source says they were former officials. I imagine that this lines up with the Portuguese government being unable to enforce its laws against citizens serving in other countries. Nick-D (talk) 10:03, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Is it known what happened to these people at the end of the war? Were they sent home? What did the new Zimbabwean government (both transitional and Mugabe's government) think of them?
    • The British agreed to leave them in place during the interim period as part of the negotiations for the Lancaster House agreement. Mugabe ordered that any that still remained when he took power be dismissed - added. I was struggling to find information on this, but and some creative Googling returned useful stories. Nick-D (talk) 00:55, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Does White mention any memoirs published by foreign volunteers themselves?
    • No she doesn't. Nick-D (talk) 10:03, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

-Indy beetle (talk) 07:56, 18 March 2022 (UTC)

  • @Indy beetle: thanks for these excellent comments, and your edits to the article. I think that I may have now addressed the comments. Nick-D (talk) 10:03, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Support promotion, good work! -Indy beetle (talk) 15:32, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

SR and IR by BuidheEdit

  • Image: the one image meets some of the NFCC criteria but not all of them. I think it's potentially replaceable with free content as an ad placed in a US newspaper in the 1970s would be public domain in the US unless there was a copyright notice, which was rare.
    • I haven't seem any sources which say that the Rhodesians advertised in American newspapers, only magazines. The image here is particularly interesting, as it's the subject of a newspaper story and an example of the ads targeting British people (who made up the majority of volunteers). Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
    Magazines and newspapers published in US are the same for copyright—the ad would need to incorporate a copyright notice to be eligible for copyright protection. It's hard to make a case for this specific ad meeting NFCC if public domain ads are available because this ad (and British ads in general) doesn't seem to be discussed in the article text. (t · c) buidhe 08:50, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
    I don't agree with you, to be frank, as I think that the fair use claim is fine given this illustrates how the Rhodesians targeted their main source of recruits and the article notes this campaign. It turns the National Library of Australia has a full set of Soldier of Fortune editions, so I'll check them out next weekend to see what I can find. This should get me yet another funny look from the librarians! Nick-D (talk) 10:33, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
    @Buidhe: The NLA has the 1978-79 editions onwards, none of which had ads for service in Rhodesia unfortunately. The closest was an ad for a T-shirt glamorising mercenary work in the country. There were also lots of ads for Nazi memorabilia, conspiracy theories and other fringe movements: weird magazine! I've added some more material to the article on the leaflet that's depicted, which I think helps establish its significance. Nick-D (talk) 07:17, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Sources: most of the sources look fine but I would not cite parliament records for anything but what was said in Parliament. Also, I'm not sure I can verify "As part of the negotiations that led to this agreement, the British government made a commitment to not remove foreigners from the Rhodesian military prior to the election".
    • Reworked this to attribute it to the politician responsible. I think that the verification is clear - the minister was asked about "foreign troops or mercenaries" in Rhodesia and replied stating that "There are persons of various nationalities serving with the Rhodesian forces, as there are with the Patrotic Front forces. The Government made clear during the constitutional conference that there would be no purge of the forces of either side during the interim period". Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
  • With the estimates of the numbers of volunteers both in the body and the lead, it could be made more clear which estimates are of those serving in the Rhodesian army at one time versus the cumulative number of foreign volunteers that had participated in the conflict.
    • Unfortunately the sources aren't clear on this: I've described what they've said, which notes that most sources refer to this as a point in time figure. I suspect the underlying problem is that historians haven't been able to access the relevant Rhodesian archives, as noted in the article. Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
"Ellert 1999, p. 130. Harv error: this link doesn't point to any citation." (t · c) buidhe 00:50, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
Fixed. Thanks for this review. Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 3 April 2022 (UTC)

Gog the MildEdit

  • Infobox: the instructions for Template:Infobox militant organization state that "Country" is for the "name of the country in which the organization was founded and active."
    • Yeah, but that doesn't seem to work in this context. The volunteers were citizens of other countries who gave their allegiance to Rhodesia. Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
That will be the case for many "militant organisations". You are using the infobox inapropriately by trying to work in information it was not designed to convey and probably confusing readers. the "name of the country in which the organization was founded and active" is Rhodesia, possibly adding (now Zimbabwe).
I don't think it's that bad, but have taken this out Nick-D (talk) 07:13, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Size: the article consistently uses 2,000 while the infobox has 2000. Is there a reason?
    • Nope - fixed. Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • This is very thinly illustrated. Nothing else which could be used?
    • Unfortunately not. This era and the obscurity of the topic mean that I haven't been able to find any PD images. Rhodesian works from the 1970s are still under copyright in Zimbabwe and the US, and the various images on Commons are either irrelevant or have dubious copyright claims. Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Cite 69, pp. error.
  • On a first skim I can find almost nothing in the article on military operations which the volunteers engaed in, which seems a little odd. I may come back to this.
    • This reflects the sources, unfortunately, which don't discuss this. The war is tricky for historians to describe, as it was years and years of escalating numbers of generally very small unit actions. As the foreigners seem to have topped out at 10% of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, I suspect that it's hard to identify battles where they played a prominent role. The French company might have been an exception, but it turned out to be a gang of criminals rather than a fighting force. I've added a bit more on the role of the Rhodesian Light Infantry which might help. Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Lead: first sentence, could "military" be specified?
  • "It is not known how many foreign volunteers served in the Rhodesian Security Forces". This seems the wrong way round. Should a reader not first be told that Rhodesian Security Forces contained foreign volunteers?
    • Yes, that reads better - done Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • "The volunteers frequently received a hostile response from Rhodesians in the units they were posted to". One gathers from this that they were integrated rather than separate units. Perhaps this could be mentioned in the lead?
    • Good point - done Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Suggest "It was illegal to serve with the Rhodesian Security Forces in many countries" → 'In many countries it was illegal to serve with the Rhodesian Security Forces '.
  • "regarding Rhodesia". You have already stated that only Rhodesia is being considered earlier in the sentence.

More to follow. Gog the Mild (talk) 17:39, 21 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Thank you. Please note that I'm going to be out of town for the next week, but will follow up on the further comments when I return. Nick-D (talk) 10:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)
  • "an illegal Unilateral Declaration of Independence". Why the upper case initial letters?
The fact that UDI is in caps doesn't - according to the MoS - mean that what it is short for should necessarily also have. Eg because ASAP exists I would not consistently capitalise every use. You are not talking of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (for which a case for initial caps can be made) but a unilateral declaration of independence (for which it can't).
  • "The white minority government of the British colony of Rhodesia". Perhaps locate Rhodesia in the text? Maybe even add a location map?
    • Good idea: done Nick-D (talk) 11:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Background: The first sentence of the first paragraph concerns events in 1965. The first sentence of the second paragraph events from the 1950s and 1960s. A reader may find them easier to follow if they were in chronological order.
  • "the development of African nationalism over the 1950s and 1960s". Perhaps "over" → 'during'?
  • "a policy of appeasement". Who was purportedly being appeased? International communists?
    • African nationalists, supposedly - added. Nick-D (talk) 11:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
  • As a complete aside, I cannot help but think of Tom Sharpe's ironic dedication of (from memory) "Dedicated to the fine men of the South African Police Force and their struggle to uphold western civilisation in southern Africa". He was deported.
  • There seems to be a lot on the Rhodesian Front, and little on the more general African de-colonisation - peaceful or otherwise. Possibly flag up how odd Rhodesia's race-based government was - one of only two in the world.
    • This largely reflects the sources noting that the key factor that drove foreigners to fight for Rhodesia was the kind of ideology the RF had adopted - as a result, there's a need to explain what it was. There were a bunch of other white minority governments other than South Africa worldwide at this time - the Portuguese in various parts of Africa, the British in Hong Kong, etc. Rhodesia's key difference was the RF's rather odd political ideology. Nick-D (talk) 11:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "However" is used six times - not necessarily excessive, but you may wish to review.
    • Got rid of a few Nick-D (talk) 11:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "The guerrillas began to gain the upper hand from the mid-1970s". 1. Perhaps mention explicitly that they engaged in military operations. 2. When did these commence?
    • Done - I've expanded the summary of the war to couple of short paras. Nick-D (talk) 07:13, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "Shortages of white manpower were a persistent problem for the Rhodesian Security Forces. While most of the security forces' personnel were black, the Rhodesian government had a strong preference for whites." Perhaps swap the order of these sentences.
    • Good idea: done Nick-D (talk) 02:32, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "The expansion of the military, increasing battle casualties and a decline in the white population caused the shortages of white personnel to worsen over the 1970s." This leaves a reader, this one anyway, wondering why the white population declined. Maybe a quick mention in line. or else a longer footnote?
    • Due to emigration - added. One of the many interesting things about the Rhodesian Bush War is that a sizable proportion of the white Rhodesians left the country as a result of it. Nick-D (talk) 02:32, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "As part of its response to the shortage of white manpower, which also included increasing the numbers of conscripts and the periods they were obliged to serve for, the Rhodesian government began seeking white volunteers from outside the country in 1973." This sentence seems a little complicated. Perhaps 'In response to the shortage of white manpower the Rhodesian government increased the number of men liable for conscription and the periods they were obliged to serve. In addition, from 1973 it began seeking white volunteers from outside the country'?
    • Much better thanks Nick-D (talk) 02:32, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "offered a rank in the Security Forces." Why the upper case S and F?
  • "they were paid at lower rates than white Rhodesian soldiers." This may read better if "Rhodesian" were deleted.
  • "An exception was a group of almost 200 French military personnel who enlisted together in 1976." Is anything known of their pre-Rhodesian background? One is curious as to how 200 men came to join up together.
  • "white soldiers who had served with UNITA in Angola." Perhaps give a reader some idea of what UNITA was? And why 2,000 of its soldiers were suddenly looking for new jobs.

More to follow. Gog the Mild (talk) 16:52, 22 April 2022 (UTC)

  • "Most foreign volunteers for the Rhodesian Security Forces did so as a result" is not grammatical.
    • Yep, it's pretty bad! Fixed. Nick-D (talk) 02:32, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Would it be possible to give an idea of the total size of the Rhodesian Army?
    • Done, by expanding this to a short section. It's a tricky question to answer as the size of the Army increased considerably during the 1970s and it had lots of reservists so the total numbers of active personnel fluctuated by quite a bit. It seems that the army was pretty huge for much of 1978 and 1979, and I've given a point in time figure that illustrates this. Nick-D (talk) 07:13, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "South African journalist Paul Smurthwaite separately reported". I am not sure that "separately" adds anything.
    • Not having this makes it read like they collaborated, when they didn't Nick-D (talk) 07:13, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "but estimates range as high as 2,000". Is this their estimate? If not, whose?
    • They don't say unfortunately - they're surveying the literature in a non-scholarly book. Tweaked to clarify this. Nick-D (talk) 07:13, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
  • The last bullet point seems to contain three separate estimates, which may benefit from being split.

More to follow. Gog the Mild (talk) 17:27, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

  • "British citizens were banned from joining the Rhodesian Security Forces". Banned how. Was it made illegal? Reading on, apparently not. I get the impression that the British government made vague noises that they would rather this not happen, rather than "banned" it.
  • "were immune from prosecution." This has a technical legal meaning, which I don't think applies here. Perhaps rephrase?
  • "Carter Administration". Should that not be a lower case initial a?
  • "He also wrote a novel". Does it have a title?
  • "During the play the former volunteer slept with the niece of one of the main characters and threatened the other, an ex-soldier who was recruiting mercenaries to serve in southern Africa, with a gun." I don't see the relevance of this fictional event to the article.

And done. Gog the Mild (talk) 16:23, 1 May 2022 (UTC)

Apologies for the slow response here: My one week trip unexpectedly became a two week trip. I'm grateful for these comments, and will respond over the next few days. Nick-D (talk) 10:14, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
Apologies again: I've been unwell for most of the last week (confirmed not to be COVID, but it knocked me off my feet). Nick-D (talk) 01:40, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
No worries. I have gone through your comments to date and commented on one, the rest seem fine. Note that I will be away from the internet from c. 21-31 May. Gog the Mild (talk) 17:03, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Comment by CPAEdit

Will do this at the weekend. Cheers. CPA-5 (talk) 00:44, 19 May 2022 (UTC) « Return to A-Class review list

Witold PileckiEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Piotrus (talk)

Witold Pilecki (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

I am nominating this article for A-Class review because it has recently passed a detailed GA review, and I think it is ready for the next step. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:11, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

  • Drive-by Well, firstly, some of those missing page numbers need to be resolved. Secondly, why are there all those citations in the lede? See MOS:LEADCITE. -Indy beetle (talk) 23:54, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
    @Indy beetle Missing pages added, and the citations are there since information was challenged (mostly by an now-indef banned editor) and IIRC it is allowed to have cites in lead for content that has been challenged (with citation needed templates) in the past? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:09, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Oppose article repeats debunked myths about the subject. (t · c) buidhe 05:51, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
    • @Buidhe: Could you elaborate for our benefit? I'm only mildly familiar with the subject. -Indy beetle (talk) 08:24, 18 March 2022 (UTC)
      Yes, what do you mean Buidhe, please elaborate. - GizzyCatBella🍁 13:00, 18 March 2022 (UTC)
      Indy beetle A key issue is that the article says as a fact that "In 1940 Pilecki volunteered to allow himself to be captured by the occupying Germans in order to infiltrate the Auschwitz concentration camp". This narrative (at a minimum) is contested in Reliable Sources (including two cited in the article: Fleming and Cuber-Strutyńska; the latter states that "the commonly used expression [volunteer] only partially corresponds with the facts", especially considering "the form and circumstances in which Pilecki was assigned the task did not give him many possibilities of refusal"), so it should be rephrased or presented as disputed. The legacy section mostly just lists a bunch of works about him, without going into other issues that should be covered, such as myths and falsehoods promoted by admirers, how he became famous, etc. (t · c) buidhe 14:17, 18 March 2022 (UTC)
      This claim raised earlier by a sock-puppet of a banned user has been discussed and debunked [1]. Anything else? - GizzyCatBella🍁 15:50, 18 March 2022 (UTC)
      @Indy beetle A single scholar (Cuber-Strutyńska, cited in the article) questioned whether Pilecki can be called a volunteer (it is a description of him widely used in 99% of RS), later, IIRC, a similar question was raised in the book review (Fleming). It's a valid question to what degree he was pressured to volunteer, actually, which is why this is already discussed in the article ("Pilecki had been nominated to infiltrate the Auschwitz concentration camp... Włodarkiewicz said it was not an order but an invitation to volunteer, although Pilecki saw it as a punishment for refusing to back Włodarkiewicz's ideology. Nevertheless, he agreed, which subsequently, years later, led to Pilecki's being described in numerous sources as having volunteered to infiltrate Auschwitz."). As GCB pointed out, this was discussed before, on article's talk page (Talk:Witold_Pilecki/Archive_2#After_discussion,_WP:APLRS, note that the discussion was significantly tainted by involvement of said sock of, sigh, Icewhiz). The consensus, per vast majority of the RS, is that it is common to describe him as a volunteer. I mean, several of the monographs dedicated by him are even explicitly titled The Auschwitz Volunteer, The Volunteer (book), Il volontario, and Ochotnik do Auschwitz. It's a pretty fringe POV to say that he didn't volunteer, and to claim that a POV of a single, academic article 'debunks a myth' is quite unfair, to say the least. We have dozens of academic sources which call him a volunteer, and two minor ones which discuss if this is correct (only one in depth, IIRC). As for "myths and falsehoods promoted by admirers, how he became famous", I think we do discuss the latter (Garliński's work and subsequent, even summarized in th lead and discussed in the Legacy section in more detail), and don't think the former is discussed in depth in any reliable sources I've seen, but if they exist, anyone is welcome to link to them and preferably improve the article using them. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:05, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
      @Indy beetle - the article does not repeat any "debunked myths" GizzyCatBella🍁 13:13, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
    What is the current reputation of the Institute of National Remembrance in the scholarly community? I remember some kerfuffle from a few years ago about it being politicized. Can we trust it as a source? -Indy beetle (talk) 22:28, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
    Yes you can. - GizzyCatBella🍁 06:11, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
    @Indy beetle I think the article on the Institute is up to date and discusses the 'keruffles'. It has been politicized and received some criticism, it was IIRC discussed at RSN too, and the current consensus is that it is still reliable. Realistically, most criticism is related not to what it does but what it doesn't do (i.e. that it is not doing much investigation of the crimes committed by Poles on the Polish Jews). That's unfortunate, but as to research it does there is not much criticism I am aware of (again, outside of people saying 'but you should research more important topics like x'). Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:12, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
    Also, the article is stable and has been stable for months (it was disrupted few month ago by a now-banned sock). If it had big problems, it wouldn't be stable enough to pass the recent good GA review. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:14, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

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Oswald BoelckeEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Georgejdorner (talk)

Oswald Boelcke (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Oswald Boelcke has been dubbed "The Father of Aerial Warfare" because of his pioneering of aerial tactics, his development of the world's first aerial tactical manual, and his role in founding the Imperial German Air Service. The fighter squadron he founded, trained, and led, Jagdstaffel 2, produced 25 flying aces; Jasta 2 aces were often transferred to lead other squadrons. When Boelcke was killed in a midair collision, he was the leading ace of the First World War with 40 victories. Boelcke and his protege, Manfred von Richthofen, were the two leading German aces of the war. The Dicta Boelcke tactics manual is still used to train fighter pilots.

Comments by MisterBee1966Edit

The entire section "Awards and honors" is missing citations. Some of the awards are referenced in the main body of the article, but not all. I believe that every single entry requires a reference, otherwise the section has to be removed or scaled down. MisterBee1966 (talk) 08:28, 13 March 2022 (UTC)

  • The two cites given are the source for this section; they were copied from a list on page 147. I do not see any point in listing the same citation a dozen times in a row. Are repeated duplicate cites a necessity for A Class?Georgejdorner (talk) 04:44, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Well it is unclear to me if the two citations refer to the Order of Bravery, 3rd class and the Honors only or to all awards in that section. Until this is clearer my vote is not to promote this article. Why are the (de:Boelcke-Kaserne (Koblenz)) Boelcke Barracks in Koblenz not mentioned? MisterBee1966 (talk) 11:12, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
      • I have supplied an identical repetitive cite for every award. Does that satisfy?Georgejdorner (talk) 19:22, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
      • I found no mention of the Coblenz barracks in my research. Certainly a cited addition to the article would be welcome.Georgejdorner (talk) 19:28, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
        • You may also want to go to google maps and search for Boelcke, next to the Boelcke Baracks, a number of streets named after him also pop up MisterBee1966 (talk) 19:59, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
          • I must beg your indulgence for my lateness. I am dealing with some medical issues just now. I have researched Google maps, and will update ASAP.Georgejdorner (talk) 07:05, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
            • Still researching. Search is complicated by the fact Oswald is not the only Boelcke honored.Georgejdorner (talk) 23:19, 27 March 2022 (UTC)

What about the rescue ship Boelcke, see de:Boelcke (Schiff)? You can also find reference to this ship online. Cheers MisterBee1966 (talk) 10:15, 6 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Alas, I am monolingual. And given the errors in the previous two 'Google translates' in this article, I am not inclined to trust it. Nor did I find a reliable source with 'Google search'.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:22, 7 April 2022 (UTC)
    • Have you checked the book "The Naval War in the Baltic, 1939–1945" by Poul Grooss, ISBN 978-1-5267-0002-5? You may also look into "Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945: Spezial-, Hilfskriegs-, Hilfsschiffe, Kleinschiffsverbände" by Erich Gröner or "Rettungsaktion Ostsee 1944/1945" by Martin Schmidtke. Cheers MisterBee1966 (talk) 04:53, 12 April 2022 (UTC)
      • The Grooss book has been ordered via Interlibrary Loan; it may take some weeks to show up. I have preserved the German language sources on the article's Talk page for the use of German speaking editors.Georgejdorner (talk) 01:39, 22 April 2022 (UTC)

Comments by Hawkeye7Edit

Drive-by from HFEdit

  • I'm concerned about some WP:TONE issues in the article. I don't think phrasings such as "On 9 August, Immelmann pounced on a French machine" or "Their early combat sorties relied on the naked aggression of headlong solo attacks upon unwitting enemies"
    "pounced on" replaced by "attacked".Georgejdorner (talk) 20:27, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
    Rewrote "naked aggression" sentence. Supplied more reliable cite for less dramatic statement. I might add, that the original cite from Head is a bit too subtle and ambiguous, but still true.Georgejdorner (talk) 22:23, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
  • "as he was killed in action[101] before the Nazi Party was founded." is probably WP:SYNTH. The cited page of Kershaw's biography makes no mention of Boelcke; and the google books snippet of the bit from Head at the beginning of the sentence doesn't seem to say why he wasn't associated with the Nazis. I can't check the citation to VanWyngarden but it appears to be about his death. So this appears to be associating a statement that he wasn't Nazi-associated to a statement about when he died to a statement about when the Nazi party was formed, creating a synthesized statement not supported by any of the sources individually. We can't play cause-and-effect guessing games. Hog Farm Talk 16:04, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Indeed, I was trying to show that since Boelcke died in 1916 and the forerunner of the Nazi Party was not founded until 1918, it is absurd to portray the ace as even a proto-Nazi. There is considerable discussion upon Boelcke and the Nazis on the article talk page, as there was an editor who wanted to blame Boelcke for Holocaust deaths in barracks named for Boelcke.Georgejdorner (talk) 20:33, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
    • I was innocently ignorant of WP:SYNTH until now. I do find it interesting that the editor who was so insistent that a Nazi concentration camp is Boelcke's legacy seemed to use synthesis to make her point. Without that, the claim that Boelcke died before the Nazis came to exist is unneeded. In the meantime, I am looking for a source for the origin date of the Nazi party. (Boelcke's death can be cited from a number of sources; the one used was most convenient.)Georgejdorner (talk) 21:40, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Re Head: "He was one of the few German heroes of the Great War who was not tainted by later association with Nazism."Georgejdorner (talk) 18:56, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
      To clarify, I never suggested that Boelcke was a Nazi, which obviously can't be true because of the chronology. But notable structures named after him should be mentioned in the article, whether used admirably or not (its use does a disservice to Boelcke, I agree, but WP:NOTCENSORED). (t · c) buidhe 06:27, 28 March 2022 (UTC)
      • To clarify your clarification: The Head quote above was a response to Hog Farm's failure to find information. It had nothing to do with structures named after Boelcke. That particular discussion already took place at great length on the article's talk page.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:57, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

Comments Support by ConstantineEdit

Interesting subject, will review over the next few days. As a first comment from a quick perusal of the article, the lede uses the form "Father of Air Fighting Tactics", while the actual cited appellation is "the father of air combat". Constantine 16:15, 19 April 2022 (UTC)


  • Be consistent between using World War I or First World War.
  • Link 'observer', 'World War II'
    • Linked 'aerial observer'. Linking World Wars smacks of MOS:OL.Georgejdorner (talk) 04:59, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • It is about providing a link to the main articles, not about explaining common terms to readers, though. Constantine 07:56, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • I do not believe that anyone would read up on a WWI ace without knowledge there was such a war. Nope. That's an overlink.Georgejdorner (talk) 05:46, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
          • Again, this is not about awareness of the war, but ease of access to the parent article for more details. But agree to disagree. Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
  • awarded the Pour le Mérite, add something to the effect that this was Germany's highest award for gallantry.
  • Present day -> Present-day
  • After a month's holiday leave spent on a military inspection tour of Turkish facilities add when this was, to provide context; the last date mentioned is October 1916, whereas this was before that.
  • Boelcke was picked to lead one of Germany's first fighter squadrons, Jagdstaffel 2 (Fighter Squadron 2) ditto, e.g. add 'in September 1916'.
  • During the short time before his death, Boelcke became the world's leading fighter pilot, scoring 21 more victories while commanding Jagdstaffel 2. Somewhat redundant, perhaps 'While commanding Jagdstaffel 2, Boelcke became the world's leading fighter pilot, scoring 21 more victories'.
    • Light rewrite should settle these three issues.Georgejdorner (talk) 04:59, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Early years

  • near the Junkers factory In view of what Junkers later became, this is a neat coincidence, but is this otherwise notable?
  • Boelcke never did become very large; I don't know why one would expect him to be very large, but 1.70 was above average for Germany (and likely the rest of the world) at the time. Perhaps 'Boelcke was of moderate height'?
    • As I am excessively tall (1.95 meters), I do tend to misjudge. Correction made.Georgejdorner (talk) 05:30, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • Still reads odd to me, as it inadvertently implies that he should be large, but wasn't. Just 'Boelcke was of average size. In later life, he was described as being about 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 meters) tall.' or similar should suffice. Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
  • a rather daring Alpinist...His charisma made him...made him memorable specifically? This smells more than a bit of MOS:PUFFERY.
    • Head, p. 39: "He loved the sport and quickly became 'a skilled and fearless climber'....
    • Head, p.40: "They (other boys) admired him as the best athlete in gymnastics, and they submitted willingly to his leadership."
    • If puffery there be, 'tis not by me.Georgejdorner (talk) 05:49, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • No doubt, but then quote him directly, or tone it down. Since we can be pretty certain that Head did not interview all the boys who 'submitted willingly to his leadership', we are safe in assuming this is a bit of hero worship slipping through. Constantine 07:56, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • To me, it reads like an assessment by a teacher. Nevertheless, I have rephrased it.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
          • It still contains some descriptions that are clearly subjective. 'Rather daring' is an evaluation that cannot be measured or verified. It is an opinion, and must be attributed, not presented as fact. Likewise about him being popular or memorable on account of his appearance. It is likely that these are true, but we should distinguish the voice of the biographers from that of Wikipedia. Constantine 09:47, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
            • Rewrote sentence on Alpine skills.
            • However, his early leadership skills foreshadow his future military role. I have toned down the rhetoric.Georgejdorner (talk) 17:48, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Which leads me to Werner 1942/2019. I have occasionally read some Nazi-era books, the wording is anything but sober and objective, and I suspect Werner wrote his book to lionize Boelcke and get more German youths to join the Luftwaffe, rather than as a scholarly biography of the man. I suggest treating it with extreme caution as a source on Boelcke's character.
    • Head was the major text I used. I checked his footnotes to insure I was not reusing Werner, etc without realizing it. Same with other supplementary sources. I might add that I have such loathing for the Nazis, I dislike writing about any of them.Georgejdorner (talk) 05:49, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • Fine, just as a word of caution. Constantine 07:56, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • Yeah, keeping the bullshit detector running is important while using any sources.06:01, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
  • could move its adherent up the social ladder 'adherent' reads odd. Perhaps 'would provide opportunities for upward social mobility'?
  • Link 'Kaiser', 'airship', '1916 Olympics' (and note they were to be held in Berlin)
    • Linked 'Kaiser', 'airship', '1916 Olympics'. Linked '1916 Olympics.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:46, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
  • had the audacity again, editorializing. And, for the record, not so odd: Willy was a pop star for his time, and petitions to the monarch are as old as monarchy itself.
    • At 10 years old, Boelcke was not quite yet a pop star.Georgejdorner (talk) 05:49, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • By Willy, Kaiser Wilhelm is meant. Constantine 07:56, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • You have completely confused me with the pop star reference. Though I have scant experience with monarchy, I doubt that many ten year old children write to emperors. Only the audacious ones.
          • Not that important. My point is that Kaiser Wilhelm II was very much a celebrity during his day, with photos of him in his various outfits, tours of cities and factories, the media following on his every move and utterance. We often forget this in light of WWI and its aftermath, but he was for a very long time a sort of 'people's monarch'. Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
            • Oh, okay. They don't teach such facts in American schools. Thank you for the enlightment.
              • Nor in Greek or German schools, so don't worry :). Constantine 20:20, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • but once his parents were apprised of the opportunity by the belated reply letter, they objected Why? This contradicts their views as established in the previous sentence.
    • This is baffling, but according to sources. I found no reason for their actions. I can only speculate. Mom wanted him closer to home?Georgejdorner (talk) 06:00, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • Whoops! Found out parents wanted Oswald to finish his education.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:08, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Entry into military service

  • in Metz, at that time a German town elaborate a bit, or remove the last part. Most people don't know where Metz is, or why it should not now be a German town.
    • Serves me right for copying from a source without understanding it.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:08, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Perhaps link 'swordknot' to Unteroffiziere mit Portepee?
    • Perhaps. But it seems to be a distinction with no real difference.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:46, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • The point is that for most readers, "swordknot ensign" is not a term they will have encountered before, and it merits explanation. Constantine 08:03, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • The actual point is, I do not understand "swordknot ensign".Georgejdorner (talk) 06:10, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
          • 'Swordknot ensign' is the literal translation of Fähnrich mit Portepee. However, since this was removed and simplified, I just suggest adding the German term (Fähnrich) and the translation in parentheses, for consistency in dealing with ranks. Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
            • Upon rereading the source, I am presented with the info he was first commissioned as ensign, then promoted to swordknot ensign before further promotion to Leutnant. So is swordknot ensign an intermediate rank between ensign and Leutnant?Georgejdorner (talk) 18:01, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
              • To be honest I am not an expert on the minutiae of German rank distinctions. What I know is that a Fähnrich ranked as a senior NCO, but was effectively a sort of officer candidate, so he had the right to carry the officers' sword knot (Portepee). I would hazard a guess that the 'promotion' mentioned in the sources is his taking the exam that gave him the right to wear the sword knot? Don't quote me on that, though... Constantine 20:20, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
                  • Source does not mention Fahnrich. I have opted for 'ensign', although many readers will be unfamiliar with the term. Ah, well, time to grow the vocabulary.Georgejdorner (talk) 22:08, 10 May 2022 (UTC)


  • Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches. The German Empire never referred to itself as 'deutsches Kaiserrreich'. That is a descriptive/historiographic term to distinguish the pre-1918 'Imperial' German Reich from the post-1918 republican state. I have a hunch that this does not reflect an actual title, but is descriptive.
    • This is one of several English terms for the German air force. Others are 'Fliegertruppen ' and 'Imperial German Air Service'. Are you requesting a change? If so, to what?Georgejdorner (talk) 06:46, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
      • I mean that the German term is very likely wrong/anachronistic, in that it is descriptive rather than the actual formal name. I suggest simply "the Fliegertruppen (Flying Troops)". Constantine 08:03, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
        • Thanks for enlightening me. I have replaced the term with one more easily comprehended by English-speakers.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:33, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
          • The term Fliegertruppe is still used later on, but nowhere explained before. Perhaps something like 'a transfer to duty with the German Army's aviation troops (Fliegertruppe)'? Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
            • Fixed. Added explanation of usage when term first occurs lower down.Georgejdorner (talk) 18:21, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Will continue very soon. Constantine 18:50, 2 May 2022 (UTC)


  • His new assignment brought him friendship with Max Immelmann how?
    • Fellow Saxons assigned to same unit.Georgejdorner (talk) 06:55, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
      • Added that they were in the same unit, per your explanation. Constantine 09:43, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
  • I would suggest moving the header 'Advent of the flying gun' to before Roland Garros of France's Service Aéronautique
  • de-bolden M.5K/MG
  • explain and translate the acronym IdFlieg on first occurrence.
  • Anthony Fokker is linked twice in the same section, Metz has already been linked before.
  • Until recorded his experiences in July 1916 something missing here.
  • 'Abteilung' in military context means 'Detachment' or even 'Battalion' (for artillery and technical services), not 'Department'.
  • but it fell behind French lines by 'it' you refer to the plane shot down, but it is not clear; the last thing mentioned is the Fokker.


  • In the caption for the Pour le merite, link the VC and MoH.
  • an upcoming offensive against the French. I think the Battle of Verdun is sufficiently known and notable that it can be mentioned by name (e.g. 'the upcoming offensive at Verdun')
  • headquarters of Crown Prince Wilhelm clarify that this was the Prussian crown prince, since Germany had a few of them, and there was also the CP of Bavaria as a prominent front commander (and in this article).
    • 'Prussian' inserted. I'm on lookout for Bavarian CP.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:38, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
  • the usual tactics of pointblank fire are nowhere before mentioned or otherwise explained
    • Last sentence, Creation of Jagdstaffel 2: "I only open fire when I can see the goggle strap on my opponent's crash helmet." That's a pretty vivid example of his tactic of point-blank fire.Georgejdorner (talk) 20:52, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Nieuport 11s. plural is unnecessary
  • link 'pusher aircraft', 'Hauptmann', 'Turkey' to Ottoman Empire, 'Auftragstaktik', 'Somme offensive', relink 'Constantinople' to Istanbul, link air superiority, Bulgaria; unlink 'Feldflieger Abteilung'
  • since 'the emperor' is the previously mentioned Kaiser, I suggest using the latter for consistency
    • I think I changed this even before I got this far down the list.Georgejdorner (talk) 18:33, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • that the officer in combat knows best which tactics will succeed I would rephrase that to something like 'that the officer in the field knows best which tactics to employ in order to achieve a set goal'.
    • I'll stick with text as written. Strategy has a goal; tactics are only military tools.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:11, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
      • That is incorrect. There are tactical objectives just as much as operational or strategic ones; tactics and strategy are different levels of warfare. The essence of Auftragstaktik is that the higher-ups set the goal/objective, and the officer tasked (hence 'Auftrag') with achieving it is allowed to choose how. This, IMO, would not be understood from the current phrasing by anyone unfamiliar with the subject. Constantine 11:31, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
        • Rather than offer my counter-arguments, I have removed the term on the grounds that it is obscure enough the average reader won't miss it.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:16, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • The dicta were published capitalize and italicize 'dicta'
    • Dicta is also an English word.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:11, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
      • But a) here it refers to a specific work, and b) I very much doubt the average reader who hasn't had Latin at school knows it. Constantine 11:31, 7 May 2022 (UTC)
        • Yes, the term was originally Latinate before being adopted by both German and English speakers. The question here is, which language we are using when we use 'dicta'/Dicta?
          • Judging from the POV of the average reader, I think it is easier/less confusing to just refer to Boelcke's work, hence Dicta. To anyone who doesn't know the meaning of the term, dicta simply looks like a typo error. Constantine 20:20, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • He held... to a minimum 'He kept... to a minimum'
  • Link and italicize German ranks in the caption of the photo with Buddecke and von Sanders, and relink Turkey to Ottoman Empire
    • And make the caption about 80% links? No, but I did italicize the ranks because they are German language.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:23, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
  • the acronym Jasta should always be capitalized as it is a German term
  • 'Lieutenant General' is not quite the same as Generalleutnant. For accuracy and consistency, I suggest sticking to the German ranks.
    • Indeed, some ranks have no English/US equivalent. Changed.Georgejdorner (talk) 04:01, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Crown Prince Rupert as above, not that he was CP of Bavaria.
    • Source says Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. Different guys?Georgejdorner (talk) 04:21, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
  • visiting Wilhelm clarify that this is his older brother, not the Kaiser
  • Why were there so many pilots at Kovel?
    • Wilhelm Boelcke's air unit was stationed there, as I have now noted.Georgejdorner (talk) 04:01, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Please use {{lang|de|}} for German terms
    • ??
      • Per MOS:FOREIGNITALIC, instead of adding italics with ''foreign word'', wrap in the template like this: {{lang|de|foreign word}}. This allows automatic text parsers/readers and even your browser to distinguish the language foreign terms are in. Constantine 11:31, 7 May 2022 (UTC)


  • The 336 victories the jasta scored during the war came at the price of 44 casualties Are we talking about all Jastas or only Jasta 2?

That's it for a first read-through. I am not an expert on the subject, but the article appears to be quite comprehensive. The tone is rather sympathetic to its subject, but, with the exceptions noted above, I don't think it is biased. A nice read. Constantine 20:42, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

@Georgejdorner: my comments have been addressed, so I am happy to support. Well done! Constantine 10:18, 15 May 2022 (UTC)

HF (take 2)Edit

Aside from my drive-by comments above, I'm going to try to give this one a fuller review Hog Farm Talk 23:20, 6 May 2022 (UTC)

  • "Boelcke never did become very large; he was of average size. In later life, he was described as being about 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 meters) tall" - recommend just removing the "never did become very large" and note that he was of average size and listing the later life height
  • I'm a bit concerned about some of the phrasing here - "rather daring Alpinist", "had the audacity", etc. I suspect that what's going on is that many of the sources are in more of the "fanboy" tier of military biography, the writing style of those sources is coming into the article. I don't think some of the items like that are necessarily encyclopedic tone.
    • I've rewritten the Alpinist remark. I still believe it was daring for a ten year old child to write his emperor.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:05, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

ready for WWI section, pausing for now. Hog Farm Talk 23:36, 6 May 2022 (UTC)

  • "The Eindecker were limited to be flights when pilots were not on reconnaissance missions in their two-seaters." - I'm not sure what exactly the second half of this is suppose to be saying - the meaning is pretty clearly that you weren't suppose to take the Eindecker over enemy lines, but this seems to be a really convoluted way of saying that. At a minimum, I think "in their two-seaters" can be lost
  • "In the glare of German publicity, Wintgens had claimed five victims, Boelcke two and Immelmann one." - so I guess "Boelcke won his first individual aerial combat on 19 August 1915 forcing down a British plane" doesn't count here, with the July 4 and August 9 victories in the count?
    • Congrats, you have caught your fanboy. While Prof Werner relates the 9 August combat, later historians do not list it.Georgejdorner (talk) 22:13, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "On 1 November, the day after his sixth victory, Boelcke was awarded the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern" - no detail about victories #5 and #6? He's at 2 at the end of August we're told at the end of the prior section, and he got two more in September, but it just skips to after 6?
    • Do you expect all 40 victories to be individually covered in this article?Georgejdorner (talk) 22:31, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
      • I don't think it would be useful to give all in detail, but at least something like "He scored two more victories in [timeframe]" would be useful. Hog Farm Talk 03:44, 9 May 2022 (UTC)
        • I did not think it useful, either. That's why I limited my mention of victories to those I considered significant.Georgejdorner (talk) 23:45, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
  • "Immelmann duplicated the feat six days later" - is "the feat" the award or six victories? If it's the former, I'm not sure this is the best phrasing as Immelmann didn't award himself the honor, so he didn't really duplicate it actively.
  • "On 5 January 1916, the winter weather finally improved enough for flying." - we weren't told that it had gotten bad enough to prevent flying earlier that winter
    • Indeed, the source does not give a date for the onset of foul winter weather.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:05, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Isn't it a bit of an anachronism to refer to Turkey instead of the Ottoman Empire at this point?
  • "Its eight maxims seem self-evident, but Boelcke was the first to recognize them." - this seems like a touch of editorializing
    • Most folks reading the maxims would find them self-evident. No one codified them until Boelcke. Where's the editorial in that?Georgejdorner (talk) 21:05, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

Ready for "Into battle" Hog Farm Talk 00:07, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

  • That's it to this point. Will return later to insert the foreign language templates.Georgejdorner (talk) 22:39, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
  • I'm unsure of the use the Google maps knowledge panel to demonstrate existence of something - it's been found in a few AFDs of places in the US that turned out to be non-existent that the knowledge panel sometimes scraped Wikipedia. I'm also not convinced that the streets/buildings/etc are necessarily worthwhile to mention if the only source is the Google maps thing; there are surely countless bars and businesses named after Boelcke.
    • MisterBee1966 suggested the use of google maps. I used the maps because info on Boelcke's legacy is scant.Georgejdorner (talk) 23:41, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
      • While it's one thing to use that for streets or military barracks, how do you determine that the clubhouse is significant just based off on the Google maps? This would almost certainly be challenged at FAC if you were going to take it there. Hog Farm Talk 13:38, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
        • I am not particularly keen on these listings, either. I included them to prevent MrBee1966 from vetoing this promotion. I have also clarified that the club is a military officers club on the perimeter of a military installation. Mt google search turned up no other bars/lounges, and I would not list them if it did.
        • If there should be an objection during the FAC, I'll ditch these listings.Georgejdorner (talk) 21:17, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
  • That's mainly it from me; I'm not assessing the sourcing because I'm not familiar with most of it. Hog Farm Talk 23:59, 9 May 2022 (UTC)

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Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Buidhe (talk)

Sayfo (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

This article is about the lesser-known sibling of the Armenian genocide. I am thankful for an extensive GAN and hope to get it to FAC, but it may need further polishing to make its subject matter understandable to a broad audience. (t · c) buidhe 23:28, 18 February 2022 (UTC)

Support Comments by Ichthyovenator

  • The name debate is a bit bothersome when writing articles and while Assyrian seems to be most common, I presume people who identify as Syriacs, Chaldeans or Arameans do not call this the Assyrian genocide. Is it worthwile to note this or is "Assyrian genocide" far more predominant than any alternative name (since that and Sayfo are the only given in the lead)? Ichthyovenator (talk) 11:20, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
This is a good point, but of the possible variations "Assyrian genocide" is the only name in common use: 448 results on Google scholar compared to 16 for "Chaldean genocide", 20 for "Syriac genocide", 10 for "Aramean genocide". In the article, I try to use sectarian identifications or failing that "Assyrian" for East Syriac and "Syriac" for West Syriac populations, following the use in reliable sources. (Most Chaldeans lived outside the areas affected by the genocide.) (t · c) buidhe 11:42, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, makes sense. Ichthyovenator (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Is there a reason for not having an infobox (as in Armenian genocide, The Holocaust, Holodomor, Greek genocide etc.)? Ichthyovenator (talk) 14:05, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
    I don't think it would benefit the article. Most possible parameters are too complex, vague, or unknown to summarize easily in infobox format. (t · c) buidhe 15:28, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
  • The article mentions that the 250,000 and 275,000 figures seem to be exaggerations and that they are impossible to verify. Are there any lower scholarly estimates for a total death toll? I notice for instance that the article on the Armenian genocide includes a death toll of "600,000–1.5 million" which is quite a wide range. Ichthyovenator (talk) 14:05, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
    There are no such estimates to my knowledge. (t · c) buidhe 15:31, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Since the Ottoman Empire was organized by religion, Ottoman officials referred to populations by their religious affiliation rather than ethnicity when I wrote most of what's currently at History of the Assyrians I incorporated that the Armenians were organized into the single Armenian millet despite some interreligious differences per Donabed (2019), p. 118; not sure if that's accurate but either that should be mentioned here or what I wrote needs to be changed.
    • I believe both these things are true. Originally, the Armenian millet included all Armenian churches as well as the Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic Church, and Church of the East (per Gaunt and Suny), and several others. In the nineteenth century some of these churches obtained their own millet. I think I have read somewhere that Assyrians/Syriacs were sometimes known as Ermeni because of their association with the millet, which may explain why some were targeted for being "Armenians" in 1915.
Ah I see; yes, makes sense. Ichthyovenator (talk) 10:29, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
  • distinguish themselves from the official religion of the Byzantine Empire since this was in 410 the Western Roman Empire was still around and presumably both halves of the empire followed the same form of Christianity - I would change this to Roman Empire but Byzantine is not technically incorrect. Ichthyovenator (talk) 17:03, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
    • Done
  • I was unfamiliar with the term "gendarmerie" - suggest linking and/or explaining it in the text
    • Done
  • for a written promise that the Assyrians would not side with Russia or permit Nestorian tribes to take up arms against the Ottoman government This is the only spot in the article where "Nestorian" is used as a descriptor for the people/religion; maybe it should be replaced since Nestorianism states that In modern religious studies, this label has been criticized as improper and misleading.
    • Rephrased
  • contained 104 pages of its 684 pages about the fate of Assyrians: would not devoted 104 out of its 684 pages... be the more usual phrasing? Could be wrong on this.
    • Done
  • resolutions passed by the parliaments of Sweden (in 2010); ← replace this semicolon with a comma.
  • In 2001, the National Security Council (Turkish intelligence agency) commissioned a report on the activities of the Assyrian diaspora. - this is interesting but I don't understand its relevance to the "denial and justification" section.
  • I've noticed that both "Sayfo" and "Assyrian genocide" are used interchangeably in the text (and not only in quotes) - is there a reason for this (otherwise one of them should probably be used consistently). Ichthyovenator (talk) 16:43, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
    Fixed the two points above and replaced almost all uses of "Assyrian genocide" with Sayfo to be consistent. I wonder if you would take a look at an IP's comments at Talk:Sayfo#Two_different_meanings_for_"Assyrian"? I am not entirely sure how to resolve this or the best way to refer to victims of the genocide collectively. Thanks so much for your comments! (t · c) buidhe 16:58, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
@Buidhe: No problem! It was a fascinating (albeit horrific) read. When it comes to a collective name I really don't know; there is really no possible option that will satisfy everyone. At History of the Assyrians and Assyrian continuity I used both terms more or less interchangeably. The IP is correct that "Syriac Christian" plays into religion more than ethnicity but I have seen it used as a name for the (ethnic) group as well, such as here. Its use has also been criticized because it's a shorthand for "Syriac-speaking Christians and not all Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syriacs/Arameans speak Syriac. Among "Assyrian", "Syriac", "Aramean" and "Chaldean", "Assyrian" is the most prevalent one as a designation for the entire group, such as here, but I think you're right in using the other names in cases where church affiliation is known. Ichthyovenator (talk) 01:03, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

With the comments above addressed and after having reviewed the A-class criteria I think this definitely fulfills them, so supporting. Though it's worth looking into, I don't think the somewhat inconsistent use of names holds this back - they are inconsistent in WP:RS as well. Ichthyovenator (talk) 13:45, 14 March 2022 (UTC)


Will review at some point over the next couple days. Hog Farm Talk 19:05, 4 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Recommend in-text attribution for the lengthy quote at the beginning of the worsening conditions section
    • Done
  • "The Assyrians of Hakkari and Persia resisted conscription into the Ottoman army" - so were the Ottomans trying to conscript Assyrians from the neighboring country of Persia into their armies?
    • That's the implication in the cited source, which is not unreasonable since the Ottomans were recruiting beyond their borders, but I can't verify it in other sources so I took it out.

More to come later. Hog Farm Talk 16:33, 6 April 2022 (UTC)

  • "As a result, Haydar Bey, the vali of Mosul" - Gloss vali, it's evidently some rank of official but not entirely clear of what magnitude
    • Fixed by using "governor"

Should be studying for the CPA exam, but I don't really want to do that right now, so I'll finish off this review and listen to some red dirt country.

  • "In late September and October 1914 the attacks were on a large scale and once the attackers came close to Urmia; many Assyrian villages were attacked" - I'm not sure this is quite grammatical - I suspect either the semicolon should be a comma, or the "and" after "scale" should be removed
    • Rephrased
  • "The Persian government refused to allow the return of Assyrians who had fled as requested by the United Kingdom" - not 100% clear - did the UK request that the Assyrians would return to Persia, or was the UK requests Persia to refuse to allow the return?
    • Clarify, the former
  • Provide language of work for Hellot
    • Done
  • Sources look fine for reliability
  • Did not assess image licensing, as there's several images I don't feel competent to try to sort out the licensing on

Hog Farm Talk 17:24, 8 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Thanks so much for your review! Good luck on the exam :) (t · c) buidhe 21:37, 8 April 2022 (UTC)
    • Support with the caveat I don't feel qualified to comment on the nomenclature used for the topic. Hog Farm Talk 22:18, 8 April 2022 (UTC)

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List of British deception formations in World War IIEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): EnigmaMcmxc (talk)

List of British deception formations in World War II (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Another in the series of lists dedicated to British formations during the Second World War. This lists all the armies, corps, divisions, and independent brigades (there was a lack of information to provide a full account of all notional brigades. When known, they are listed within the note for the bogus division they were assigned to) formed for deception purposes. The deception efforts of the war are not my specialty, although I have tried - based off the various sources - to provide a general overview of the various order of battle deception efforts and how they were conducted to provide context to the list. The list has been given the once over by the guild of copy editors. I welcome all feedback to whip this into A-Class shape.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 18:57, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

Image review—pass
  • File:Bantam.png — could you add the source of the information in the image description?

All images look OK for licensing (t · c) buidhe 19:09, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your source review. I have overhauled the commons page for this image, including source info and PD-UK Gov.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:24, 14 February 2022 (UTC)
  • Comment I believe if the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–45 html versions or other sources are carefully searched, they will provide a reference for the fact that the New Zealand Division in Egypt was retitled "2nd New Zealand Division" and the Maadi base camp notionally became "6th New Zealand Division" under the "Cascade scheme" (don't search for 'Operation Cascade,' use 'Cascade scheme.') Buckshot06 (talk) 19:52, 15 February 2022 (UTC)
Ah. I inserted a reference for this from another source some time ago. From 2nd New Zealand Division: Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, 'New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches 1911–1991,' 1995, Part One, 50, 158 (Appendix I). Buckshot06 (talk) 19:55, 15 February 2022 (UTC)
Ah-ha!! Exact description at, down to numbering of imaginary infantry brigades and Field Ambulances. If memory serves correctly at Thomas & Lord above in Part One there is a full list of notional imaginary units and subunits. Buckshot06 (talk) 20:07, 15 February 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for that. I have added in a note, after the mention of there being New Zealand deception formations, which outlines the NZD->2NZD and the training camp as examples of the NZ contribution to Cascade. I have also added Thomas and Lord in a new further reading section. I have not added all mention of NZ formations, as that probably should be in its own article (or grouped together with other CW deception formations).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 18:46, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
As this list only covers armies, corps, divisions, and independent brigades, there's no other NZ formations to list. If your scope includes other Dominion/Colonial formations like 10 African Airborne, 6 Div should just be added to the main listing,maybe after or before 10th African Airborne Division. As an aside, I was interested to read 3rd Armoured Division was to be formed (in reality), but was cancelled; there's only one gap in the armoured divisions sequence, 4th Armoured Division. Have you ever heard anything about that? Buckshot06 (talk) 19:06, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
Amended: actually 6 NZ Division would fill the gap nicely between 5th Armoured Div and 7th Division (Cyprus). Buckshot06 (talk) 19:09, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to come back here. Looks like you found List of Allied deception formations in World War II‎ that I started work on just after this conversation. As you have noticed, the list includes the NZ deception formations. I have - for real and deception - included the African formations within the British Army lists as they appear to be an extension of it rather than part of their own army ala the Indian Army, the Canandian Army etc.
Unfortunately, so far, I have not found anything yet about a potential 4th Armoured Division.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:19, 20 February 2022 (UTC)


This article is very interesting, and in good shape. I have the following comments:

  • The 'background' section would greatly benefit from sub-headings
  • "double the number of forces" - bit awkward
  • "Deception formations was not limited to British forces" - ditto
  • " MI5, the British security service, had eliminated the German spy ring" - I think that there may have been multiple spy networks?
  • The background section should note that the German intelligence services were pretty bad at estimating enemy force levels. They got Soviet strengths disastrously wrong throughout the war, and the Soviets also ran very effective deception campaigns as well.
  • Watch out for over-use of phrases like 'notionally'. See the 5th Airborne Division entry, for instance.
  • There's a fair bit of over-linking various deception units in the entries on divisions
  • What did maintaining the 70th division on the OOB involve?
  • Have any authors commented on whether the British created too many deception units, or ran significant risks in creating this many? Inflating their army by this much or so long seems to have been rather risky. Nick-D (talk) 06:32, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
EnigmaMcmxc ? Gog the Mild (talk) 16:29, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

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Battle of the BlacksEdit

Instructions for nominators and reviewers

Nominator(s): Cplakidas (talk)

Battle of the Blacks (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Another in a series of articles on the history of the Fatimid Caliphate. The so-called 'Battle of the Blacks' was an event that marked the end of the Fatimid army as a fighting force, effectively ended the Fatimid Caliphate by removing its last source of armed support, and established Saladin as the ruler of Egypt. It was effectively the first major test of him as a ruler, and shows a ruthless side of him much at odds with the romanticized version current in popular culture. This is a recently written article, just promoted to GA. I hope to get this to FA eventually, and above all, to ensure it is accessible to a non-specialist readership, so any criticism or suggestions for improvement are welcome. Constantine 19:26, 11 February 2022 (UTC)

  • Image review—pass (t · c) buidhe 00:10, 12 February 2022 (UTC)


Will review. Hog Farm Talk 07:45, 20 February 2022 (UTC)

@Cplakidas: - ping me once Gog's comments have been addressed and I will review then. Hog Farm Talk 22:11, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
Hi Hog Farm, Gog's comments have been addressed. Cheers, Constantine 12:05, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

Will start now; sorry for the delay, have gotten quite a bit busier lately.

  • "and other pro-Fatimid elements" - recommend blue-linking Fatimid to an article about the Fatimids here. Because Fatimid army is redlinked, the reader never really has a link to explain the Fatimids for them
    • Good point, done.
  • Link majordomo in the lead and the body
    • Done.
  • "and even publicly humiliated when Saladin the palace on horseback (hitherto a privilege of the caliph)" - missing a word?
    • Fixed.
  • "and the strike at Saladin's forces from the rear while he was facing the Crusaders" - is "the" necessary?
    • Typo for 'then'. Fixed.
  • I really think that the historiographic discussion of the truthfulness of the claimed conspiracy should be at least introduced in the section discussing it - it's presented almost as fact initially, but suggested to be false later.
    • That is a very good point. I have moved the relevant portion of the last section to the end of the section about Mu'tamin's conspiracy.
  • The lead directly states that Saladin ordered the execution of Mu'tamin, but this is only implied in the body
    • Have rephrased slightly, but I think this is evident; Saladin's men would never touch the palace majordomo, and then bring his cut-off head to him, without the explicit orders of their master.

Having to stop after the Mu'tamin's conspiracy section, will finish this off soon. Hog Farm Talk 05:14, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

  • "Gatimid troops rose in revolt in Qus under their commander, Abbas ibn Shadhi, while other areas of Upper Egypt were in turmoil due to the restiveness of the Bedouin and the presence of fugitive black African soldiery." - presumably this revolt was crushed, right?
    • Clarified.
  • "At least some of the black African and Armenian troops may have been retained in service, however, or have been left unmolested in or near Cairo, as they are mentioned during the abortive pro-Fatimid conspiracy of 1173, when the conspirators hoped to use them to seize Cairo in Saladin's absence on campaign against the Crusaders.[51][52][53] Following the discovery of the affair and the execution of its leaders, these troops were banished to Upper Egypt" - this is presented as fact here, but then stated to be dubious later? Again, I think there's a better way to meld the old claims with the modern doubts of accuracy
    • As above, I've added the relevant portion right after the summary of the conventional/primary narrative. I also clarified Lev's view about the actual motives of these events.

Not familiar with this subject matter or with the sources, so I can't really dig into this one too deeply. Hog Farm Talk 07:01, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Hi Hog Farm, thanks for the review. I have tried to address your comments above. Especially since you are not familiar with the subject, I'd like to ask whether you could follow events at all, or whether additional context or clarifications might be in order. Constantine 12:52, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
Hi Hog Farm, a small reminder :) Constantine 18:34, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
Non-expert support. I think the conspiracy section is much improved. Hog Farm Talk 02:09, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

Support from Gog the MildEdit

I will do a little copy editing as I go. Let me know if any of it causes issues.

  • The two bullet points under Result seem to clutter the infobox. And contradict the template instruction "this parameter may use one of two standard terms: "X victory" or "Inconclusive"."
    • Hmmm, it is a bit cluttered, but the outcome of this battle was not merely a military victory of Saladin; it was followed by the killing of most of the surrendered black troops, and resulted in a major political victory. This should be reflected somehow, or not?
      Not. "this parameter may use one of two standard terms: "X victory" or "Inconclusive"." seems pretty clear! I mean, a little fudging is one thing, but you're trying to work a paragraph in. Gog the Mild (talk) 16:38, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
      Guilty as charged. Fixed this.
  • "Saladin's rise to power" What rise to power. Where? To a position, or just as a generalissimo?
    • Good point, rephrased
  • "the new vizier relied chiefly". Could the vizier be named and/or linked?
    • Saladin was meant here, but obviously not clearly enough. Explicitly named.
  • Link Kurdish, Turkish, Isma'ili,
    • Done.
  • No link for Mu'tamin al-Khilafa?
    • Added.
  • "justify Saladin's move against the Fatimid troops". How was executing the palace majordomo a "move against the Fatimid troops"?
    • Well, not sure this can be easily explained in the lede: Mu'tamin, as the chief black palace eunuch, had close ties with the black troops, and the black troops, forming the bulk of the Fatimid army, would obviously play a major role in Mu'tamin's planned betrayal of Saladin. Modern historians OTOH suspect that whatever the reason for Mu'tamin's execution, Saladin sought and welcomed the confrontation with the Fatimid troops, so as to get rid of them. The whole conspiracy was possibly a manufactured story.
  • "only to be driven [back?] ... The black troops and their allies appeared to be winning". This appears to be a contradiction, or at least confusing.
    • Rephrased.
  • "the burning of their quarters". "quarters" can be ambiguous in this context. Maybe 'barracks', or 'living accommodation'?
    • Settlements?
  • Suggest replacing "black" with 'black African' throughout. (Optional.)
    • Good suggestion. Done.
  • "This culminated in the restoration of Sunni dominance over Egypt and the deposition of the Fatimid dynasty in September 1171, and the establishment of Saladin's own Ayyubid dynasty in its place." too much happening here. Can we split it into two sentences?
    • Good suggestion. Done.
  • "His troops numbered a few thousand". I am unclear as to what constitutes "his" troops. As opposed to the large number of soldiers in the area who, I assume, were not.
    • Good point, rephrased.
  • "and himself a Sunni leading a Sunni army, at the head of a nominally Isma'ili state". Mention that Ismailism is Shia, and that Sunni and Shia are the main divisions of Islam.
    • Hmmm, rephrased to that it doesn't require too much exposition (hopefully).
  • How does "important symbolic figures, sources of legitimacy, and in command of enormous financial resources" equate to "virtual powerlessness?
    • Because they were not at the head of the administration, nor of the army. The vizier exercised that power. The Queen of England also has these attributes, but her political power is almost nil, apart from a vague authority and deference that she might command. Same with the last Fatimid caliphs: in theory revered, in practice they had about enough power to determine what they would have for supper.
  • "In the meantime, Saladin gradually began distancing himself from the Fatimid regime: he introduced the name of Nur al-Din in the Friday prayer after that of Caliph al-Adid, relegated the latter to a ceremonial role and even publicly humiliated him by entering the palace on horseback (hitherto a privilege of the caliph), and began openly favouring his Syrian troops, awarding them military fiefs (iqṭāʿ) for their upkeep, while withdrawing similar fiefs from the Fatimid commanders." A long sentence, which makes up the entire paragraph.
    • Good point, done.
  • Article: "Mu'tamin made contact with the Crusaders, inviting them to invade Egypt." Is this the same report that "Modern historians have questioned the veracity of"? (Lead.)
    • Yes.
  • "firing stones". Do you mean 'throwing stones'? Or were they fired by siege engines or firearms?
    • Definitely not firearms at that time. Replaced with 'throwing stones and shooting arrows'.
  • "There they set fire to the quarter". The whole quarter, or just the barracks?
    • 'Barracks' is a poor term, I've replaced it with 'homes'. The troops lived there for generations, in normal houses with their families. Nothing in common with modern-day barracks.
  • "preventing them from flanking their pursuers". You what? How does one flank a pursuer?
    • By doubling back from the side alleys and attacking the pursuers from the side. Here Saladin's troops did the opposite.
      I think this needs some further explanation or rephrasing. ('preventing them from easily turning on their pursuers'?)
      • Have explained it a bit further.
  • "There the blacks were attacked and killed by Turan-Shah." Yet the lead says "most who survived the massacre" and the article later "Only a fraction of the black troops escaped". I can see a couple of ways how this could have happened, but perhaps not be so definitive in the main article?
    • Good point. I've tried to rephrase a bit. Apparently not all blacks at Giza were killed, not all black troops in Cairo were at Giza, and not all black Fatimid troops were in Cairo.
  • "the other black eunuchs". Was Mu'tamin a black eunuch? If so, could we be told at first mention.
    • Oops, added.
  • "with pursuing them and killing them. Over the following months, Saladin pursued his phasing-out". "... pursuing ... pursued ..."
    • Done

Gog the Mild (talk) 18:03, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

Looking good. A couple of responses to your responses. Gog the Mild (talk) 21:48, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
Hi Gog the Mild, I've addressed the final outstanding issues. Anything else? Constantine 09:03, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

Source review - PassEdit

The sources all seem to me to be appropriately reliable and I can see no formatting issues. Gog the Mild (talk) 16:46, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

CommentsSupport by CPAEdit

  • Could you remove the first (short) paragraph in the lead?
    • Merged with the one after.
  • "The Battle of the Blacks or Battle of the Slaves was a conflict in Cairo" Was this a slave revolt? If so maybe change conflict into slave revolt?
    • No. Slave soldiers are not the same as slaves. The name derives from the term 'bought slaves' for the Black troops, since they were indeed purchased as slaves before entering military service.
  • "caliphal palaces and the palace of the vizier" --> "aliphal palaces and the palace of the Vizier"?
    • these were buildings associated with the offices, not the individuals holding them.
  • "sort of representative and champion of their interests.[23][22][26]" Switch the refs here?
    • Done.
  • "were joined by other Fatimid troops and ordinary Cairenes.[16][22][26][23]" Same as above?
    • Done.
  • "waiting to see who the caliph would support" --> "waiting to see who the Caliph would support"?
  • "to target the caliph's pavilionéµ" --> "to target the Caliph's pavilion"?
  • "who believed they had been fighting in support of the caliph" --> "who believed they had been fighting in support of the Caliph"?
  • "Africans were attacked and killed by Turan-Shah, with only a few surviving.[35][32][36]" Switch the refs here?
    • Done.

That's anything from me. Cheers. CPA-5 (talk) 18:22, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

Hello CPA-5, thanks for taking the time. I've addressed your points above. On capitalization, I admit I admit I am confused by its rules, but MOS seems to prefer uncapitalized except when coupled with the holder's name. Constantine 19:13, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) Ah, if only it were that simple. Also when the title is used as a stand in for a specific, individual holder. Gog the Mild (talk) 15:18, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
@Gog the Mild: thanks for the clarification. @CPA-5: Done. Constantine 18:08, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
@CPA-5: a small reminder. Constantine 11:48, 14 May 2022 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Support. Cheers. CPA-5 (talk) 00:32, 19 May 2022 (UTC)