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The scope of the article currently encompasses "ships that engage in combat". However, this discussion about the definition of Warship mentions that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines Warship as (roughly) "ships that are owned by a military, regardless of combatant status". In view of this, should the scope of this title be about "ships that engage in combat" (aka Combatant ship) or "ships that are owned by a military" (aka Naval ship)? —Madrenergictalk 17:10, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Pinging the editors that were involved in the previous discussion to comment and participate. I have also notified WP:MILHIST and WP:SHIPS of this RfC. —Madrenergictalk 17:25, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

  • No, but do mention UNCLOS def. Legal definitions (which vary) are but one small aspect of warfare and in this case warships. I will also note that the UNCLOS definition excludes warships operated by pirates.(talk) 18:15, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Ships that are owned by a military - that is my understanding in line with WP:COMMONNAME. All the sources for over 20 years I've seen in English language published dead-tree (published books, pre-internet era) sources support this. Buckshot06 (talk) 18:36, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@Buckshot06: What is a "dead-tree source" – Epipelagic (talk) 03:02, 22 December 2018 (UTC) Epipelagic hope that's clear now. Buckshot06 (talk) 05:33, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Side comment. I was just wondering about the practical effect of any change to the status quo, so if there is a consensus to change the scope of this article to "ships that are owned by a military" (which is the same scope as Naval ship), then I suggest that Naval ship be moved here, while the current content in this article be moved to another article with an appropriate title (like Combatant ship, which is currently a redirect to this article). No content would be lost to accomodate either consensus, so this discussion should be limited to discussing which of the two definitions this article title should take up, and the reasons why. —Madrenergictalk 19:10, 20 December 2018 (UTC) On further reflection, I think any action on any page moves/mergers/splits should be a discussion best left for later, to avoid sidetracking this RfC.—Madrenergictalk 20:19, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Absolutely no. Read that UNCLOS definition SUBSECTION C. RULES APPLICABLE TO WARSHIPS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT SHIPS OPERATED FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES — in the actual treaty at Article 29, not some Wiki extract (my emphasis):
For the purposes of this Convention, "warship" means a ship belonging to the armed forces of a State bearing the external marks distinguishing such ships of its nationality, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government of the State and whose name appears in the appropriate service list or its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under regular armed forces discipline.
Note that Articles 31 and 32 specifficaly state "Responsibility of the flag State for damage caused by a warship or other government ship operated for non-commercial purposes" further making the distinction between "warship" and other government ships. With regard to U.S. vessels there is a distinction between commissioned ships, legally as well as factually, bearing the United States Ship prefix and United States Naval Ship (USNS). The first may be "noncombatant" auxiliaries but are crewed by military personnel and may be equipped with defensive armament. The USNS ships are purely civilian crewed and are unarmed except for locked away small arms. USS vessels have certain privileges and responsibilities the USNS ships do not. A "hostile boarding" of a USS ship is usually construed as a full "act of war" while something similar with regard to USNS ships might become "just" a very serious "incident" instead. Thus a USNS ship is owned by the Navy but absolutely not a "warship" under UNCLOS. 72.196.202.60 (talk) 19:25, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per Icewhiz. Is anybody seriously going to argue a fleet tug, net tender, or floating drydock (aside an ammo ship or fleet supply reefer, which may or may not be crewed by navy sailors) is a warship? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 09:25, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, why not? They're flagged under the navy and crewed by naval ratings. I'm not claiming they are, but one could certainly make a case for it.
In the UK, the white ensign / red ensign distinction has long been contentious, since WWII convoys (particularly the Arctic Convoys) and the feeling that civilian crews in the Merchant Navy (red ensign) didn't get the recognition afterwards that they deserved. There's also the blue ensign, which has complicated rules for when it may be flown by a civilian ship, carrying a significantly naval crew (I think the Falklands commandeered ships were an example). I think there's also an issue where the Army fly the blue ensign (not white) if they're operating ships. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:44, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Just having a Navy crew does not a warship make, not by any definition I'd accept. A warship is a combatant; what you're talking about are naval auxiliaries. (Yes, that leaves a grey area around AMCs, but I'd be inclined to class them as warships, too.) And an Army crew aboard, IMO, doesn't change that. Do you seriously mean to argue every armed merchantman that sailed in both World Wars was a warship? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 07:46 & 12:25, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Clearly there are several dimensions to this, and most definitions are going to be somewhat narrow, focussing on only one or two. However we're an encyclopedia, not a definition. So we should be broad and cover all of these dimensions; we're not here to define what a warship is, but to describe all the other sourced definitions for them. We then do not try to synthesise an overall supra-definition of this, but we do give a meta-definition ("Sources have included them on the basis of function, design, crewing, flagging, involvement in operations") and we list those component definitions.
As to your specifics, then yes, the AMCs were definitely warships by every measure, except for having been initially built as such. The others would vary. An interesting question is where RFAs, or their US equivalents, fit into this. If you're in the middle of a carrier battlegroup, at war, are you a warship? There are also the Soviet ELINT trawlers; the Pueblo would be seen as one, so does dangling a few fishing nets over them change that? Is HMS Echo a 'warship'? Andy Dingley (talk) 16:34, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The issue should be - what scope are readers going to expect when coming to an article called Warship, not "what are all the dictionary/UN/US/treaty specific definitions?". Warships, I think, to most minds, are ships that were designed to fight. Other types of ships can certainly be in military service, but aren't Warships. A grey area might be armed merchant vessels - not purpose designed to fight - that would depend on how much they had been converted, I suppose. (Hohum @) 16:33, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment – Unfortunately one cannot respond to this RfC with the usual "support" or "oppose", or even a "yes" or "no", because the issue has not been worded in a manner that allows one to do that. Yet some responders have done just that. This makes it confusing to see what is going on. I think the current definition in the first sentence of the article is pretty good as it stands, "A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare". I quibble about "primarily intended for naval warfare". Perhaps it should just be "primarily intended for warfare" or "primarily intended for combat". Some earlier monitors were specifically designed for onshore bombardment, not attacking other naval ships. What about large landing ships, are those warships? They are directed towards land war, not naval war. Aircraft carriers are directed at land combatants at least as much as naval combatants, or air combatants for that matter. I do not agree with Buckshot06's "Ships that are owned by a military". That is the definition of a naval ship, and as Trekphiler points out, includes non-combatant ships such as hospital ships, replenishment ships, hydrographic and diving support ships, and many other types. We also need a definition that sits comfortably with historic warships, such as Greek triremes, maybe even Maori war canoes. The UNCLOS definition should be mentioned somewhere, but only incidentally. That is a rigid legal definition designed to suit the purpose of a bureaucracy, and is not suitable as a general definition for. – Epipelagic (talk) 03:52, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Extended discussion re:peripheral matter

unneeded content
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


Point of information: A (Personal attack removed) editor who has made no contributions to this issue is (Personal attack removed) removing the earlier comments on this page that relate directly to this RfC - Epipelagic (talk) 23:26, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

To archive, or not to archive...

I don't want to distract from this RfC, but why are "Epipelagic" and "Andy Dingley" so hell bent on restoring an entire archived talk page of needless or irrelevant content that goes back 12 years? There is only one discussion that could have have any relevance, and that has already been directly linked to the OP by the editor that posted the RfC (who incidentally thanked me for archiving the talk page). Now I've asked "Epipelagic" after he reverted the archiving (both times), but he refused to answer, and instead decided to post personal attacks instead (ironic ones at that), which so far is his only contribution to the RfC. "Andy Dingley", who hasn't participated in the RfC at all, has suddenly jumped in to tag-team-edit-war with "Epipelagic", and likewise, has offerred no explanation why ancient and completely irrelevant content must be added back to this page. Instead, his only comment is a threat to "take this to ANI". So other than the 31/2 year old discussion, that as it turns out these two were a part of, why does this page need all this content restored? Can either of you (finally) answer that? Please & Thank you - wolf 01:43, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

If you want to archive the rest, I've no objection. But the last discussion is highly relevant here, and should be visible on the same page now to save wasting a bunch of effort. I was specifically pinged because I'd been involved in that discussion but hadn't (as no longer visible) been pinged in the RfC.
Probably the best thing to do now is to add a comment to the relevant section (to stop it archiving) and then let the 'bot do the rest, as and when it feels like it. This is otherwise just a bunch of pointless make work. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:47, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Just leave things well alone Wolf, and drop your pointless drama and silly interrogations. All you are achieving is disruption. You know very well the 12-year old stuff is not an issue. Archive that if you find it tranquillising. Gahrr... what am I doing answering such silly questions? Epipelagic (talk) 03:50, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  1. Ok so we've finally established, from both of you that it's just the final discussion from 2015 that you were after.
  2. But that begs the question; why revert entire page? (Multipe times)
  3. Why even revert the 2015 discussion?
  4. Why not just copy segmemts you need, or the whole thing?
  5. Or, why even bring any of that discussion at all?
  6. Its already been linked, by the RfC creator from the OP to the archive page.
  7. And I gotta ask, what would you do if the whole page had been archived over a year ago, when it should've been?
  8. Still copy the entire page and dump it here? #Or copy the whole discussion here, then do that little trick where you reply to a 2015 comment in that last discussion, "locking it here" as a "current" discussion?
  9. (You do know it doesn't work that way?)
  10. All you should've done is quote from the discussion and link to it, which is what should've happened here.
  11. This 'discussion' we're having mow should have taken place after "Epipelagic"'s first revert was re-archived.
  12. I'm sure we could've worked something out, if Epipelagic could've just layed off the reverts, insults and that attack post. #Epipelagic telling me to "archive the 12 old stuff, as if I hadn't done that already, three times today. Look inward, my friend, before lashing outward.
  13. Also, canvassing Andy to come in as meat-puppet to tag-team edit was not cool.
  14. Andy, I just wish you'd looked before you leapt. If you took a moment to size things up, I don't think you would've reverted, at least not everything.
  15. But, I guess we can consider the matter closed now? - wolf 06:04, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
One month later with no further replies, it would seem so. - wolf 14:53, 20 January 2019 (UTC)