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Wikipedia as a source?

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by mikebatzel, May 6, 2010.

  1. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

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    Yes I can agree with this. But more responsible Source, You have heard of historians constantly eagerly arguing there point of View, on historical facts.:rolleyes: as contradicting each other.

    On Wikki if I see a Quote and know it's correct I don't need to verify the source since I've already been informed. Plus same account could of been written by 10 different historians with their Personal point of View, therefore ten different sources with same info. I used Wikki but I also Provide other sources even though they state the same thing or accounts dates +++.

    The Only thing I believe in is Archive Documents transcripts as personal accounts, War O.R. Diaries or documents that are on Archived Records.

    Books are Written and interpreted by the Writer Just like War History is Usually written by the Winners. And as Operation Ultra and other US Secret documents are being realised and discovered that will put many world renowned Historians books into question, as It's already and has since first written. Therefore don't always believe what you read it might not be a correct assessment. I've read enough books on Normandy and articles with incorrect, wrong dates, events+++++ info.

    Like seeing a documentary on the Somme By A big Historian as hes describing the Battle and you see footage of Vimy, Ypres+++.

    Maybe that's one good reason we have WWII Forums By making Threads More detailed information is provided to determine the Facts of the events of WW II
     
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Member

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    Hi Biak,

    Barnes and Noble will indeed take a self-published book, as they did from this forum's own Zwingli:

    Against The Odds, Leslie Trotter Zwingli, Book - Barnes & Noble

    when she wrote her father's memoirs as the captain of a Pathfinder crew in WWII. Authorhouse is the king of the "self publish" market.

    As far as using wikipedia as an only source goes, I would quote Sean Connery in "The Untouchables" and say "it would be like bringing a knife to a gunfight"
     
  3. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Guys I still remember the days when alot of so-called "bibles" of warships info stated things like the USN fast BB's had 16"-18" belts when in fact they had only about 12.2" belts(though steeply sloped) . Or Breyer's "Battleships & Battlecruisers" showing the Iowa's with an external belt versus an internal belt. Or Janes anyone?

    Richard Frank's "Guadalcanal" (first class I must say) but states that Washington hit Kirishima with 9-16" shells but some recent research along with examination of the wreck shows that Kirishima may indeed have been hit by upwards of 20-16" instead. Norman Friedman is a very,very good source on US ships but sometimes Friedman doesn't even agree with Friedman.

    History is not "was" but "is" and we'll continue finding surprises from WW2 for years to come.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    While I use Wiki quite a bit seeing it as the sole source in a book would set off all sorts of alarm bells.

    By the way Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors has a lot of personal accounts by and of sailors on the DD's and DE's involved in the battle off Samar.

    A good use I've found for wiki that hasn't been mentioned by the way is coming up with better search strings to plug into google or your search engine of choice. Sometimes a single word or number can make all the difference in the world.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wiki is like Time Magazine, always in a rush to get the info out there, but weak on making sure they have the correct info.
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Wiki is good as both a starting point and as a quick reference. I think of it much like a "coffee table book." It has pretty pictures and some useful general information but, if you want detail look elsewhere.
     
  7. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Member

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    That is an awkward mouthful which doesn't say much at all, at worst it suggests the writer didn't read any of the quoted books rather than simply cut and paste the Wiki list and add to that whatever people might have suggested. Ugly...
     
  8. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Gentlemen. As it turns out, the book in question has failed my expectations at every opportunity. The book covers every US destroyer that was sunk during the war, including those sunk by German U-boat before official US entry. What each chapter provides information wise is not worth paying for. One would be much better off reading through the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, provided free on several websites. As to the Wikipedia reference at the beginning of the books Bibliography (which besides the above quote, contains only another two sentences) It seems to my untrained eye that Wikipedia may have been used to flesh out the rather straightforward wording of DANFS.

    The part of the book that got me exited was interviews with survivors of those destroyers. This too was highly disappointing. The best interview provided in the book, was by the neighbor and close Friend of the author. This only provided five or six paragraphs. Most of the others were quotes taken from books written by the survivors of the ships in question. When this occurs, the author notes that he got the information from another book, but never mentions the name of the books. No chapter includes more than a single "survivors story".

    I'm not sure how many books the survivors of the USS Hoel wrote, but I was under the impression that there was only one. Searches for the book the author does mention that the survivors wrote, did not provide results. Since I have a book written by the survivors (Kongo and Hoel Off Samar), I can only assume that the author mis-quoted the title of the book.

    Save your money, There is nothing in this book that you can not get off the internet for free. Indeed, It is my belief that the author did no more than internet research and a couple of phone calls in the preparation of this book.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Thanks for the report Mike. My guess is that the author saw an easy way to cobble together a book. I guess we were right to be mistrustful of a book that lists Wiki as its main source. Sorry you wasted your money.

    By the way, have you read Max Kennedy's Danger's Hour? I found it readable and interesting.
     
  10. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Spending my money on books, regardless of how good or how badly written it is, is never a waste, but thats just my opinion. I found no information contained within to be incorrect, just readily available for no charge.

    I have yet to read Danger's Hour, though it looks like a good read.
     

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