Wikipedia:Featured article review

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Reviewing featured articles

This page is for the review and improvement of featured articles that may no longer meet the featured article criteria. FAs are held to the current standards regardless of when they were promoted.

There are three requisite stages in the process, to which all users are welcome to contribute.

Raise issues at article Talk:

  • In this step, concerned editors attempt to directly resolve issues with the existing community of article editors, and to informally improve the article. Articles in this step are not listed on this page.

Featured article review (FAR)

  • In this step, possible improvements are discussed without declarations of "keep" or "delist". The aim is to improve articles rather than to demote them. Nominators must specify the featured article criteria that are at issue and should propose remedies. The ideal review would address the issues raised and close with no change in status.
  • Reviews can improve articles in various ways: articles may need updating, formatting, and general copyediting. More complex issues, such as a failure to meet current standards of prose, comprehensiveness, factual accuracy, and neutrality, may also be addressed.
  • The featured article removal coordinators—Nikkimaria, Casliber, DrKay, and Maralia—determine either that there is consensus to close during this second stage, or that there is insufficient consensus to do so and so therefore the nomination should be moved to the third stage.

Featured article removal candidate (FARC)

  • An article is never listed as a removal candidate without first undergoing a review. In this third stage, participants may declare "keep" or "delist", supported by substantive comments, and further time is provided to overcome deficiencies.
  • Reviewers who declare "delist" should be prepared to return towards the end of the process to strike out their objections if they have been addressed.
  • The featured article removal coordinators determine whether there is consensus for a change in the status of a nomination, and close the listing accordingly.

Each stage typically lasts two to three weeks, or longer where changes are ongoing and it seems useful to continue the process. Nominations are moved from the review period to the removal list, unless it is very clear that editors feel the article is within criteria. Given that extensions are always granted on request, as long as the article is receiving attention, editors should not be alarmed by an article moving from review to the removal candidates' list.

To contact the FAR coordinators, please leave a message on the FAR talk page, or use the {{@FAR}} notification template elsewhere.

Older reviews are stored in the archive.

Table of Contents – This page: Purge cache, Checklinks, Check redirects, Dablinks

Featured content:

Today's featured article (TFA):

Featured article tools:


Nominating an article for FAR

The number of FARs that can be placed on the page is limited as follows:

  1. For articles on the Unreviewed Featured Articles list, no more than three nominations per week and twelve per month.
  2. For all other articles, one nomination at a time per nominator, unless permission for more is given by a FAR coordinator.

Nominators are strongly encouraged to assist in the process of improvement; they should not nominate articles that are featured on the main page (or have been featured there in the previous three days) and should avoid segmenting review pages. Three to six months is regarded as the minimum time between promotion and nomination here, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a radical change in article content.

  1. Before nomination, raise issues at talk page of the article. Attempt to directly resolve issues with the existing community of article editors, and to informally improve the article. Articles in this step are not listed on this page.
  2. Place {{subst:FAR}} at the top of the talk page of the nominated article. Write "FAR listing" in the edit summary box. Click on "Publish changes".
  3. From the FAR template, click on the red "initiate the review" link. You will see pre-loaded information; please leave that text.
  4. Below the preloaded title, write which users and projects you'll notify (see step 6 below), and your reason(s) for nominating the article, specifying the FA criterion/criteria that are at issue, then click on "Publish changes".
  5. Click here, and place your nomination at the top of the list of nominated articles, {{Wikipedia:Featured article review/name of nominated article/archiveN}}, filling in the exact name of the nominated article and the archive number N. Click on "Publish changes".
  6. Notify relevant parties by adding {{subst:FARMessage|ArticleName|alt=FAR subpage}} ~~~~ (for example, {{subst:FARMessage|Superman|alt=Superman/archive1}} ~~~~) to relevant talk pages (insert article name). Relevant parties include main contributors to the article (identifiable through XTools), the editor who originally nominated the article for Featured Article status (identifiable through the Featured Article Candidate link in the Article Milestones), and any relevant WikiProjects (identifiable through the talk page banners, but there may be other Projects that should be notified). The message at the top of the FAR should indicate who you have notified.

Featured article reviews[edit]

Albert Kesselring[edit]

Notified: WikiProject Biography, WikiProject Germany, WikiProject Italy, WikiProject History, WikiProject Military History, WikiProject Law, WikiProject Politics,WikiProject Jewish History, Hawkeye7

Nomination statement[edit]

The article was promoted to FA status in 2009; it does not reflect the most recent scholarship nor FA best practices. The criteria that are the focus of this nomination are: (1.b) comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context; (1.c) well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature; claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources; (1.d) neutral: it presents views fairly and without bias; and (2.a) lead: prepares the reader for the detail in the subsequent sections.

FAs are expected to maintain required standards and this article has not kept up with the times.[1] To start with, the lead contains material that is not expanded on in the article, such as: Nicknamed 'Smiling Albert' by the Allies and 'Uncle Albert' by his troops, he was one of the most popular generals of World War II with the rank and file. This is not discussed further in the article, and is also a selective reading of Kerstin von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, 2009, p. 16, which goes on to state:

During the 1950s, this picture of Kesselring ['Smiling Al', a general with a common touch], which had been presented at his trial, was seized on and embellished by a range of memoirists. Yet when one considers the bloody assaults on whole villages during the Wehrmacht retreat in the summer of 1944, the picture of the 'good general' painted during the trial seems like a travesty.

The omission of Lingen's conclusion results in a non-neutral presentation starting with the lead. Some of the sources used are dated and / or questionable. Specifically, the article utilises Kesselring's memoirs published in 1955 (30+ citations); this source is not independent, not secondary, and in several important respects not reliable. In another example, a 1954 review of Kesselring's memoirs is used to claim that "the memoirs formed a valuable resource, informing military historians on topics such as the background to the invasion of the Soviet Union". This is neither neutral nor comprehensive, as the article neglects later evaluations that connect Kesselring's works to the myth of the clean Wehrmacht (e.g. here: Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution). In any case, the source is being used selectively & some of the content fails verification. To start with, the review is more sarcastic than glowing, and it opens thus:

To judge by their memoirs, German generals led sheltered lives. Most of them agree that under twelve years of Hitler rule they saw no evil, spoke none and did none. The latest to proclaim his innocence is 69-year-old Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Loyal enough by his own admission to "enjoy Hitler's unreserved confidence," Kesselring also proved affable and adjustable enough after the war to assist U.S. Army historians and retain his wartime nickname of "Smiling Al."[2]

Note that the generic "military historians" in the article is actually "U.S. Army historians", from the US Army Historical Division that employed former Wehrmacht generals after the war; the review does not mention the attack on the Soviet Union either. This appears to be OR based on FA nominator's reading of the memoirs.

Further, the article's portrayal of Kesselring's does not align with recent scholarship. For example, the article states: Kesselring became one of Nazi Germany's most skilful commanders. Compare with Robert Citino, The Wehrmacht Retreats, 2012, p. 272: "Kesselring presided over the loss of 415,000 men (...). Even as a limited campaign of delay and attrition, the German defence of Italy was an utter failure." The material, when cited to Kesselring, is often self-serving. Take this passage, for example:

On 11 May 1944 General Sir Harold Alexander, commanding the Allied Armies in Italy, launched Operation Diadem, which finally broke through the Gustav Line and forced the Tenth Army to withdraw. In the process, a gap opened up between the Tenth and Fourteenth Armies, threatening both with encirclement. For this failure, Kesselring relieved von Mackensen of his command, replacing him with General der Panzertruppe Joachim Lemelsen. Fortunately for the Germans, Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, commander of the U.S. Fifth Army, obsessed with the capture of Rome, failed to take advantage of the situation and the Tenth Army was able to withdraw to the next line of defence, the Trasimene Line, where it was able to link up with the Fourteenth Army and then conduct a fighting withdrawal.[3]

Citino, Wehrmacht's Last Stand, 2017, debunks or contextualises this narrative:

  • Citino begins by discussing Kesselring's intelligence failures ahead of Diadem: "More generally, Kesselring completely missed the dramatic redeployment of the Allied forces in Italy"; Wehrmacht was "caught napping", pp. 99-100
  • Details a bungled response: "Throughout it all, we cannot say that Kesselring was particularly active in arranging countermeasures. His initial reaction to Diadem was disbelief."
  • In re: Kesselring blaming a subordinate for the predicament that the Wehrmacht had found itself in: "In fact, nothing would have helped", p. 103.
  • Citino offers a more nuanced analysis of Mark Clark's dash to Rome, describing it as a "non-event of 'Clark's blunder'," because the Germans did not seem to have noticed it at all.

Citino writes about Kesselring's account: he "spends much of his memoirs criticising operational decisions on both sides (except his own, which he deems to be invariably correct)." Kesselring's writings themselves have become an object of historiographical analysis; this is not reflected in the article, not meeting the requirement for being comprehensive and placing the subject in proper context. Parts of the article reproduce the Wehrmacht myth, and Kesselring's self-portrayal brings to mind tenets of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy:

  • It left the burden of preventing the Allied evacuation of Dunkirk to the air force...[4]
  • Kesselring felt that much more could have been accomplished if he had had ...[5]
  • Kesselring was well aware that while this force was large enough to stop the Allies from simply marching in[to Italy]...[6]

No, a war that one starts is not a "burden" and Kesselring was not protecting hearth and home in Italy either; it was an occupied country. Citino 2012, The Wehrmacht Retreats, p. 281 cautions: "We need to write the history of the war year 1943 with a complete absence of romance. The Wehrmacht was not defending the fatherland. It was fighting to hold far-flung conquests it had made in a brutal war of aggression--the very definition of ill-gotten gains."

Where the article does make use of recent scholarship, cherrypicked citations and OR sometimes result in a distorted representation; see the 'Smiling Al' example from the lead above. Another example, in re: the German Operation Axis: Italy now effectively became an occupied country, as the Germans poured in troops.[7] Italy's decision to switch sides created contempt for the Italians among both the Allies and Germans, which was to have far-reaching consequences.[8] The last cite is out-of-context and OR/SYNTH. In the context of post-war prosecution of war criminals, Lingen, p. 81 discusses the "deep contempt felt, especially in military quarters, for Italy's decision to 'change sides' in 1943. The Italian protest [about not being allowed a judge at Kesselring's trial] fell on deaf ears". Lingen does not mention the German reaction, does not equate the Allied contempt with the German murderous actions in disarming the Italian army, nor talks about unspecified consequences. Further discussion of Operation Axis is likewise not comprehensive nor balanced.

The message one takes away here and from the rest of 1943/44 narrative is that atrocities were committed, but Kesselring had nothing to do with them directly. The article does not mention Kesselring's support for National Socialism, his silence on the ejection of Jewish soldiers from the armed forces, and loyalty to Hitler; see Lingen pp. 23, 24 & 27, respectively. Lingen's conclusions that Kesselring "created a myth focused on himself (a myth that resonated during the 1950s) and saw himself as the victim", p. 29, is not reflected in the article.

Here is a sampling of prior discussions where similar concerns were brought up:

I have attempted to resolve the issues by editing the article to add sources and remove Kesselring's self-serving POV. However, most of my edits were reverted on the grounds that "Tweaking the wording is not acceptable. The wording has been carefully reviewed...". Based on the inability to resolve the issues of sourcing, neutrality, and context, and after discussing with the FA nominator [1], I'm bringing the article to community review. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:08, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Note: in preparation for this review, I've consulted the following sources:
    • Citino, Robert M. (2012). The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1826-2.
    • Citino, Robert (2017). The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944–1945. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700624942.
    • Lingen, Kerstin von (2009). Kesselring's Last Battle: War Crimes Trials and Cold War Politics, 1945–1960. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1641-1.
    While there's no requirement that the article is updated every time a new source comes out, the outlines should be within the current consensus, which I did not find to be the case. Lingen is already in the article; I used it to cross-check cited material and to identify potential gaps in coverage.
  2. ^ "Smiling Al". Time. 19 April 1954.
  3. ^ Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Kesselring, pp. 200–209
  4. ^ Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Kesselring, pp. 59–60
  5. ^ Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Kesselring, pp. 186–187
  6. ^ Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Kesselring, p. 161
  7. ^ Blumenson, Salerno to Cassino, pp. 63–64.
  8. ^ von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 81.

Featured article review[edit]

I do not agree that the article does not reflect the most recent scholarship nor FA best practices, but am willing to workshop the issues you raise. I choose to start with the part about Operation Diadem. This issue here is how good a general Kesselring was. I have not read Citino's books; I was under the impression that he wrote popular histories and did not discuss logistics. I have asked the university library to acquire Wehrmacht's Last Stand. In the meantime, I do have a copy of the most recent book on Kesselring, Andrew Sangster's Field-Marshal Kesselring: Great Commander or War Criminal? (2015), based on his PhD thesis (which I also have). In a nutshell, Sangster's thesis is that it is not that Kesselring was so great, but that his opponents, Alexander and Clark, were such poor generals. Neither enjoys a great reputation. Germany and the Second World War (Vol VIII, pp. 1150-1151) does not support the claim of a German intelligence failure, and this seems unlikely when everyone knew that after two attempts, the Allies would make a third the break the Gustav Line. On the other hand, there is no doubt that Kesselring was caught off-balance by the landings at Anzio, having committed his reserves to the Garigliano front, which was precisely what Clark wanted him to do. Germany and the Second World War notes that Kesselring was caught off-guard by the rapid French advance through difficult terrain. It also says: " The American general [Clark]'s ego-centric coup saved the German Tenth Army, at least temporarily" (p. 1153), citing both German and British sources. The text therefore aligns with the current consensus among historians. It could be expanded though. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:49, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Comment. The article contains a significant amount of POV which downplays his status as a war criminal.

Von Lingen describes the post-war situation very persuasively like this "After the war the Federal government bought the release of their war criminals including Kesselring".[1] "In return for Kesselring's death sentence being commuted and release on "health grounds", the Federal government received enough support within Germany to begin making a military contribution to the defence of Western Europe".[2] Veterans began using Kesselring to determine a new narrative of the past that absolved Kesselring of responsibility for his war crimes".[2] The British government, concerned with the growing Cold War, released Kesselring in order to encourage the Federal government to join the European Defence Council and NATO.[3] The British decided releasing a few "iconic" war criminals was a price worth paying for the support of West Germany.[3]

The article using exactly the same source instead says this;

The death verdict against Kesselring unleashed a storm of protest in the United Kingdom. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill immediately branded it as too harsh and intervened in favour of Kesselring. Field Marshal Alexander, then Governor General of Canada, sent a telegram to Prime Minister Clement Attlee in which he expressed his hope that Kesselring's sentence would be commuted. "As his old opponent on the battlefield", he stated, "I have no complaints against him. Kesselring and his soldiers fought against us hard but clean."[4] Alexander had expressed his admiration for Kesselring as a military commander as early as 1943. In his 1961 memoirs Alexander paid tribute to Kesselring as a commander who "showed great skill in extricating himself from the desperate situations into which his faulty intelligence had led him".[5] Alexander's sentiments were echoed by Lieutenant General Sir Oliver Leese, who had commanded the British Eighth Army in the Italian campaign. In a May 1947 interview, Leese said he was "very sad" to hear of what he considered "British victor's justice" being imposed on Kesselring, an "extremely gallant soldier who had fought his battles fairly and squarely".[6] Lord de L'Isle, who had been awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at Anzio, raised the issue in the House of Lords.[7] Szzuk (talk) 10:09, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

The two passages are talking about very different things. The latter is about the imposition of the death penalty; the former is about Kesselring's release from prison. The latter is entirely about the British POV; the former is where it intersects the German one. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 19:40, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Kirsten von Lingen says this about the death sentence in Hitler’s Military Elite in Italy and the Question of “Decent War” (2015):

However, Kesselring’s sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment, partly owing to the eruption of political controversy in London, led by former prime minister Winston Churchill and supported by Field Marshal Harold Alexander. Numerous English politicians deplored "British victors’ justice," church leaders preached reconciliation, and senior British officers raised their voices to praise Kesselring’s military skill. They were all given plenty of media coverage, thus creating the British version of the "upright and fair Italian theater of war." In addition, these men triggered a debate on the very purpose of war crimes trials—a bitter debate that continued to rage in England until Kesselring’s release in 1952. It showed the British victory in court to be a Pyrrhic one, at least with respect to memory politics.

References

  1. ^ von Lingen 2009, p. 2.
  2. ^ a b von Lingen 2009, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b von Lingen 2009, p. 6.
  4. ^ von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 359.
  5. ^ Alexander The Alexander Memoirs 1940–1945, p. 125
  6. ^ von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 130.
  7. ^ von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 131.
  • Nom's comment: The perception that Robert Citino writes popular histories is not correct. Citino specialises in the operational history of the Wehrmacht; he has held a number of academic positions and is a practising military historian who publishes with a university publisher, University Press of Kansas, same as Lingen. To anyone interested in Citino's work, I can recommend his lectures on Youtube, such as on Wehrmacht's campaigns in 1943: "Fighting a Lost War". His writing style is equally engaging.
  • I've obtained copies of the two books of his in question. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:27, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
On Szzuk observation, I also found that Lingen is used selectively and with an apologist bend; the book does not leave this impression at all. I already cited two examples: "Smiling Albert" in the lead and the treatment of the 1943 disarmament of the Italian army, Operation Axis (see #Nomination statement). Another example from the article:
The trials were held under the Royal Warrant of 18 June 1945, thus under British Military Law. The decision put the trials on a shaky legal basis, as foreign nationals were being tried for crimes against foreigners in a foreign country.[1]

References

  1. ^ von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 73.
The language in the article suggests that there was something improper about the trials or that perhaps they were illegitimate. Lingen details several challenges and questions to be resolved (pp. 73-74), but page 73 does not leave the impression of the trial being on a "shaky legal basis". The source is again being misread. --K.e.coffman (talk) 03:34, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Von Lingen says:
The Royal Warrant issued on June 14, 1945, established military courts and laid down the rules of procedure. But it proved more difficult than anticipated to legitimize the jurisdiction of Allied courts, for the legal basis for trying military commanders and commanders-in-chief was also subject to dispute. Which military penal codes should apply - the German ones in force at the time the crimes were committed, that of the country where the crimes took place, or the British one?

Von Lingen, Kesselring's Last Battle, p. 73

I think the article fairly summaries the text. It also makes it clear that crimes were committed. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:03, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

"Smiling Albert" was a name given by the Allies on account of the fact that he was always smiling in the pictures they had of him. (Regrettably, he isn't smiling in any of the pictures in the article.) Given the circumstances, I don't think it was intended as a complement, and likely played to the wartime stereotype of the arrogant German general. You're quite right that it should also be in the body of the article; it will be an action item. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:03, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Kesselring was only responsible for the 1943 disarmament in southern Italy. All I could find in his area was the shooting of Ferrante Gonzaga; but if you have another incident, it can be included. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:03, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. The POV is being supported by the 20+ primary refs and a misreading of Lingen. There are eulogies such as the block quote beginning "Furthermore, we knew that in command of these forces was Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, one of the ablest officers in the Hitler armies." Szzuk (talk) 15:27, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
    It was not a eulogy, it was written by his opponent, Mark W. Clark, and was written in 1950, while Kesselring was not only still alive, but still in prison. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:19, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. In 1937 he was in charge of the Luftwaffe and he cancelled the long range ural bomber program. The lack of a strategic bomber was a major fiasco. This isn't noted, instead the article argues he wasn't really responsible. Szzuk (talk) 10:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    Have you got a good source for this? I originally wrote: Like many ex-Army officers, he tended to see air power in the tactical role, providing support to land operations. He rejected strategic bombing and cancelled the Ural bomber. The current text was written by Dapi89, who knows more about the subject of Luftwaffe doctrine. In what way was the bomber program a fiasco, and what was Kesselrinmg's role? Hawkeye7 (discuss) 11:20, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • They got it for me! Looks very interesting. I will be reading it this week. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:15, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

I see serious problems with neutrality, some problems with the writing, and in the few cases where I checked the sources, more problems.

  • "At the age of 48, he...", this is essentially self-praise translated into Wikipedia's voice.
    Well, we made a big thing about it in the articles on Ernie King, Bill Halsey and John McCain Sr. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Like many ex-Army officers..." contains way too much irrelevant stuff (and extraneous detail is found in other place; this is possibly accretion since 2009, I don't know)
    I'm always loath to remove additions that other editors think are important. In this case, I think it is relevant; it talks of the dictrine of the Luftwaffe, how it differed from that of English-speaking Air Forces, and the influence that ex-Army officers like Kesselring had. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:01, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Kesselring himself "would be shot down"? The war is over y'all: he "was shot down"
    Corrected this one - I was leaving the big ticket items for later in the review. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Kesselring was able to fly solo over the front in his Focke-Wulf Fw 189." -- it sounds like Cary Grant going out on the town, in Monte Carlo or so
  • "Flying his Fieseler Fi 156 Storch to a meeting," Oh! he got a new set of wheels
  • "For the Battle of Gazala, Rommel divided his command in two..." paragraph doesn't become relevant to Kesselring until halfway through
    Yes, the article has lots of bits where the importance becomes clear later. Otherwise I would have to jump back and forth in the chronology. The bits mentioned above about his replacement of Mackensen with Lemelsen, and Allied attitudes towards the Italians pertain to later in the article. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "The Allied invasion of Sicily..." is way too full of insignificant military detail about what plane killed what boat or whatever.
    This can be trimmed back. Will mark as an action item. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Kesselring returned to Sicily by flying boat on 16 July..." more new wheels!
  • "On the Greek island of Kefalonia – outside Kesselring's command – some 5,000 Italian troops of the 33 Mountain Infantry Division Acqui were massacred." Why is this in here? if it is outside of his command, why mention it? Or is it here to suggest that some other dude was much worse than this dude, who so far has only had one Italian commander shot?
    I don't think this is a well-known incident, and goes to what k.e.coffman was talking about. I didn't want to soft-peddle Operation Axis. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "The Luftwaffe scored a notable success ..." (in the bombing by those Stukas of that port): why is that in here?
    Three things: (1) another reminder that Kesselring is an Air Force field marshal; (2) a refute of the claim that he fought a purely defensive campaign; and (3) demonstrates that his intelligence wasn't always bad. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The entire "Actions affecting population and cultural objects" section reads like hagiography. In fact, it reads as if the Nazis are concerned to a great extent with preserving Italy's treasures, while the Allies just go in and bomb the shit out of Rome. I don't doubt they bombed Rome fifty times, but the little footnote, note 5 (which, sad to say, actually constitutes editorial commentary), indicates that the whole "open city" thing (which isn't even ascribed to Kesselring other than by "he supported it") can be seen as a ruse as well. (and there is way too much material on the events in Italy in 1943)
    • That's not all, though, in that paragraph. I wondered about the source of the approbatory "...as far as he was able, attempted...", whether it came out of his memoirs. The note is to Fisher's Casino to the Alps. Whether that source is completely acceptable (it is, after all, a publication by the US Armed Forces, and even an impressive editorial board doesn't mean that one can't question to which extent they participated in the well-known myth making) or not is one thing, but surely any editor can see that the paragraph I just pointed at is not found on p. 290 of that book: the only thing there is the destruction of buildings on either side of the Ponte Vecchio. And this is not unimportant, given content and tenor of these paragraphs.
      This is indeed a major issue, with multiple aspects. The German record on preserving cultural artefacts has to include the theft of artworks by Göring and others. Failure to adequately protect cultural objects is a war crime. It is also true that several times as many deaths were caused by Allied bombing as by German and Italian reprisals. I deliberately didn't mention this, but I guess we need to. (Kesselring denied knowledge of the theft of artworks, but not of the final solution; his mention of often flying over Dachau was removed by another editor as non-neutral.) This goes again to the treatment of Italy as not being an Ally, which is how Kesselring escaped being executed. I'll admit the open city footnote is a bit of an editorial by my Italian collaborator, but it was a war crime to bombard an undefended city. Kesselring was accused of this, and it also goes to the argument about other bombings. The American defence was that there were armament factories in Rome. I will mark removal of the editorial as an action item. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Well, I think I've seen enough: non-neutral and sometimes tendentious writing and at least some examples of poor sourcing. But the kicker is this: Hawkeye7, who should know better, restores the "jolly uncle Albert" to the lead, when the "Later life" section basically shows an unrepentant Nazi who wipes his behind with the orders of the government nextdoor, continues to support the myth of a clean German army, and on top of it defends the Marzabotto massacre. That OUR article calls him happy popular Uncle Albert, touring Europe in an assortment of airplances, and leaves the fact that he was, in fact, an unrepentant Nazi in the very bottom of the article, that is clear enough. I do not think this qualifies as an FA, but one could make some immediate improvement by undoing Hawkeye's unwise revert, to return some sense of neutrality to the lead. Drmies (talk) 00:46, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

If that's the impression you got from reading the article, I think I did pretty well. The term "smiling Albert" is commonly used for Kesselring; almost every reference I have refers to it. (Some mistakenly thought that it was a German monicker rather than an Allied one, so I was asked to correct that impression.) I tried to refute the "clean hands" myth by including details of massacres committed by each branch. Kesselring's administrative authority really only extended to the Heer and the Luftwaffe; the SS and the Herman Göring Division were outside his control. However, he was loath to admit that, and the Yamashita case makes it uncertain in any case. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The impression that I got was indeed that it's not an FA. Is that what you succeeded in? What a strange comment. Here's the thing: no. I am sure that every reference you have also refers to him as a killer, guilty of mass murder. It was your choice to put "Uncle Albert" in the lead, in the very first paragraph. One of the hallmarks of POV is to present a fact out of context at the expense of others, with the goal to skew the reader's perception. You have done so successfully. And I think I have indicated well enough that throughout the article there are bits and pieces whose purpose seems to be to deflect blame in various ways. Certainly it's enough for a POV tag. Drmies (talk) 03:05, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
"Smiling Albert" was in the very first paragraph of the lead long before I started editing Wikipedia. [2] I corrected it by adding the Uncle Albert reference. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:49, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. The article uses the nickname the allies gave him, "Smiling Albert", to convey the meaning he was a jovial character. He was given that nickname because he had a nervous tic that turned the corners of his mouth up uncontrollably. It was an insult, and using an insult to present to the reader the exact opposite is egregious POV. The article is full of it. No work has been done since the start of this FAR. Szzuk (talk) 20:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Patience. I am working on it. There has been a search for new material, and I have read through Citino's books, as recommended by Koffman. I will be making a series of changes over the next two weeks. My internet access is limited at the moment. The article does not use the nickname to convey that he was a jovial character (not that it would make a difference if he was). There was no intention to convey that it was not intended as an insult. I'm really running out of patience with writers who have misunderstood the nickname as being one applied by his own troops instead of the American media. The text needs to be and will be strengthened. Also: a citation for the nervous tic would be greatly appreciated. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:44, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    The sentence "Nicknamed "Smiling Albert" by the Allies and "Uncle Albert" by his troops, he was one of the most popular generals of World War II with the rank and file." implies a relationship between being a popular general and being called "Smiling Albert", which the note clarifying that one was used by the Allies and the other by the Germans does nothing to dispel. I don't think Szzuk's inference is unwarranted or uncharitable; that's certainly how it reads to me too in the context of the article. —Nizolan (talk) 14:42, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Featured article removal candidates[edit]

Place the most recent review at the top. If the nomination is just beginning, place under Featured Article Review, not here.

Music of the United States[edit]

Notified: TUF-KAT, WP:US, WP:MUSIC

Review section[edit]

I bring forth this article to the attention of the community. Music of the United States was promoted to Featured Article status way back in 2006 and it does not meet the current, stricter FA criteria. The article has been through a previous FAR in 2008, started by the article author, that I'm bringing to this discussion because I think that the nominator's concerns were well-presented and still apply to the current article. Also, note the closing admin's ending remarks and that that discussion ended as a "default keep" because no one was interested in fixing the article.

Copying a bit from my talk page notice,

"The most glaring issue is the failure to meet 1.c - claims must be "supported by inline citations where appropriate." This article is severely undercited for a Featured Article, as there are entire paragraphs that drone on without providing a single citation. The entirety of the Diversity section has exactly 2 inline citations, to the same two-pages. There are also lots of citations without specific page numbers like Collins, Morales, Clarke, Werner, Guralnick, etc."

I added 2 citation needed templates back in March, but I couldn't exactly tag the entire article to death. User:DrKay later removed the unsourced text. Speaking on the quality of the sources, it seems that the article relies on a weird mix of reliable sources with some random biographies from Allmusic and the like.

"The article's length at some points is also problematic. The R&B subsection is three times the length of each of the previous subsections on blues, jazz and country. Rock, metal and punk come together in one section (why?), which made me realize that it's not entirely clear how the article is organized. How are the genres listed, is what I mean. Failure of 2.b?
The "Other niche styles and Latin American music" section has 3 unsourced paragraphs. There is also repetition of ideas, like how the reader has to be constantly reminded that the United States is a "melting pot" of cultures - 5 times, to be exact. There is also some POV language and unnecessary name-dropping of artists.

Other thing that has me worried about this artice is the sheer amount of notices on its talk page regarding media files. See this thread for instance. After my notice back in March, another bot came by to "claim" an image, so I think a media review would also be in order. To sum it up because this nomination is getting a bit long this article currently fails 1.a, 1.c, 2.b, 3 and 4 of the Featured Article criteria and does not represent the best we have on wikipedia.

RetiredDuke (talk) 21:04, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

FARC section[edit]

Relatively little commentary so far, moving. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Age of Empires II[edit]

Notified: Giggy, WikiProject Microsoft, WikiProject Video games

Review section[edit]

This article was promoted in October 2008. Over the last eleven years standards have risen and this article has not kept pace and it no longer represents the best we have. There is a lot of unsupported information, POV/opinions and unencyclopaedic input. – SchroCat (talk) 16:28, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

The big issue is the "Single player campaigns" section. These don't seem particularly encyclopedic to me. Best Wishes, Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 16:43, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Some initial thoughts:

  • The campaigns can probably be condensed down to a line or two for each campaign, given that they follow the very real historical events. It’s not an original plot.
  • The unsourced gameplay stuff can be pretty easily trimmed and cited; I think the stuff that would be difficult to cite is the minutiae and that can go.
  • The development section could use a prose edit and seems a little slight given the caliber of game AoE II was, so I’m going to look for retrospectives and the like to fill it out.
  • Anyone care if I straight-up spin out all the Age of Empires II HD stuff? All the DLC info and reception stuff seems like there’s enough content for its own article rather than this one. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 17:03, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I'd certainly co-sign the attempt, especially when maintaining an FA is concerned. I find that game FAs that get ported often start to degrade because of port articles feeling tacked on. - Bryn (talk) (contributions) 18:09, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Ditto from me. Go for it David. --Izno (talk) 18:55, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

FARC section[edit]

Issues raised in the review section largely focused on sourcing. and significant addition of material that has now been spun out. Can folks - @Lee Vilenski, David Fuchs, Abryn, and Izno:...and hopefully others - please comment on progress? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:54, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
At this point, I'd favour to remove. There are subsections (such as Single player campaigns) that are completely unsourced, which wouldn't pass a GA nomination. However, I don't feel like it should be all that difficult to remedy this. Best Wishes, Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 07:53, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I would prefer to remove until such time as the article is worked. --Izno (talk) 13:50, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm still at the remove point. There is still a lot of unsourced material on the page (although it's only a fraction of what was there before) and 101 small, bitty MoS violations within the rather lumpy text. - SchroCat (talk) 19:57, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting folks it needs to remain here for two weeks unless something happens before being delisted. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:33, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment In my attempt to find a source for the Wonders, I came across this. I think it's self-published and thus not reliable, but I found a discrepancy between it and the article; the article contains an unsourced assertion that the Franks' Wonder is Notre-Dame de Paris, while the link above says it's Chartres Cathedral. I have removed the Notre Dame assertion for the time being. I was not able to find any better sources for the Wonders on Google. (EDIT:Even the above website notes that building identification was the best guess of the Heaven Games community. I've removed both identifications in order to avoid repeating Heaven Games's original research.) – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 20:08, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove - Pretty much explained by everyone else that this does not meet the criteria for FA in its current state. GamerPro64 23:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)