My gripe over sources in TG videos (WAH 69)

Related to the latest WAH episode.

Thanks to JD who helped me out in my critiques.

TimeGhost should really use primary sources in these videos. Don’t just quote them from secondary sources:

If you’re going to be a historian of World War II, you should lean more to military and primary documents, not books written by civilians with a limited understanding of military matters (or in the video’s case, an Army colonel far removed from the Italian front) decades after the fact.

Not to say all secondary sources are bad (I suspect TG hasn’t fully quoted D’Este who’s actually fairly competent), but still.

The military documents, catalogues and analyzes everything it does. Many (not all) civilians aren’t aware of this unless they’ve made themselves familiar with the military and their resources.

Rhetorical question: Do you know what Patton means by “Leavenworth,” and why he says this?

JD: If they don’t know the answer, then they don’t deserve to be cataloguing WW2. If all they know of Leavenworth is the prison (if they even know that), they shouldn’t be relating military events with authority.

To clarify for the uninitiated, what Gen. Patton stated here was that the tank maneuvers that day were executed so well that they will be taught to future generations of officer leadership. Hence Leavenworth.

Here’s more from Patton’s diary (for some context):

On Biscari:

Notice in Patton’s tone (and Bradley’s) – they’re not so thrilled over what happened that fateful day.

The point is: Don’t go for sensationalism.

Many TG videos are, broadly speaking, sensationalist summaries from books written decades after the fact, without doing any sort of corroborating research. I’ve noted this in their Hollywood video and in their video on U.S. Army racism last year, and so did @obiwanbul on Bulgarian affairs in an older WAH episode, among others.

The worst part about all of this is… Biscari did indeed happen. The Americans committed a terrible crime.

The sensationalism, especially around Patton’s role in the whole ordeal, was very unnecessary.

And also, do better research by consulting or at least crosschecking with primary sources. The quality’s gone down significantly.


Great post Norman, thank you for sharing this. The work product is ‘history’, the truth is known, not dubious. I too have had concerns for the way TimeGhost presents it’s material-it’s clear the due diligence is incomplete and has an ‘agenda’.


Yes, the main problem, if you have to fund your efforts by success of getting an audiance, to avoid that. But I want to thank you personaly for your effords to provide us sources day by day about media covering in allied media and axis propaganda and more.


History is academic profession, though first hand evidence is useful, you also have to account for bias.

The idea only military people should write history of military action is ridiculously naive at best.

Your gripes appear more that you are unable to seperate history of the US from yourself and take criticism of the US personally.

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Indeed, but you should also apply it to secondary sources, not just primary sources. And in this current climate of rather extreme revisionism, one must be extremely careful to not let their own biases override the truth.

Not what I said. D’Este’s actually a pretty competent historian (importantly a military historian, i.e., he’d know a screwup like Biscari if and when he saw one). The thing is, you have to cross-check a secondary source with a primary one. It gets complicated when both sources are wrong, but still, it’s always worth a try to at least cross-check.

What part of this sentence did you not understand?

I can be critical of America (importantly, actions of individual Americans) when it’s fully deserved. Biscari was one such case.

But don’t take emotional manipulation and the twists of ideologues as self-confirmation of the evils of any nation. It cheapens the genuine tragedies and wrongs of said nations. That’s the real danger with sensationalism.

And, as I have said in the past, you don’t have to be overly defensive of TimeGhost to know something’s wrong.


I haven’t watched any TG since the infamous WAH episode, but I definitely agree with the sentiment about lack of first-hand research.

Even when I was watching the regular episodes, I noticed that often times we would have long stretches where “According to author X…” and a summary of what X says. Or, worse off, it will just be a long stretch where they just read what Author X wrote without adding anything new to it. This is like me making a video about chapter 1 of Lord of the Rings and just reading the chapter. Its almost toeing the line of copyright infringement.

On that note, I just got an idea. Next year is the terror bombing campaign against Sofia civilians. Since we know that Sparty thinks Bulgaria is bad, but that the USA is also bad, how will this event be handled?

A) Bulgaria is bad, so it deserve it.
B) USA is bad for bombing civilians.
C) Completely ignore it because Author X didn’t mention it in his book.


History is history…Truth is truth.

Professor Hitler was a teacher of history… twisted truths… half truth… and lies-his motivations were corrupt and ultimately a world tragedy. Question historians/professors who present partial truths and face them with it… and dig deeper for their real intentions-they are never ‘good’.

A tip of the hat to Norman.


Worse are the people who will take such half baked truths as facts and will not bother to dive deeper is to investigate “But… is the really the case?” and will ravish and drown them in praise (or maybe it is the Youtube comment algo pushing positive comments first) for telling the “truth” and then go and tell their friends/family/etc the same “facts”. So the “facts” spread from one person to two, two to four, four to eight and so on.

Naturally, the question arises how do you detect someone is telling you half-baked truths?

And (I am 90% sure about this one) generally criticism is shot down in their comments. For eg : Norman’s Breen’s Anti-semitism Comment. In that case they can’t complain about how youtube for “silences” them while they themselves silence criticism.


I agree with the previous replies: Although the videos have increased in length over the last year (see figure below), the quality has gone down. In addition they are working on D-Day 2023 at the same time which will also consume time and resources which they, as it currently is, don’t (seam to) have.
Mainly as now @Spartacus and Indy are researching and writing the episodes themselves and have hardly any time left to do other things (or at least that’s what I assume based on their Instagram accounts and comments of the TimeGhost forum).
I think that the war has grown so much (and it will become even bigger) that it may be time to have additional historians writing parts of the weekly WAH and Week-by-Week videos and hence also researching these parts, so the growing war can be shown in it’s fullest content!


Great points… we know that truth in real time or ‘topics of the day’ are extremely hard to sort out-particularly when media platforms have their own goals and agendas. , comments and…trolls.

But, events 80-90 years on… can easily be reviewed using multiple sources and the facts, within reason, put on the table.

Beware of the historians that pick and chose their ‘facts’ to meet there messaging and intentions (its not history).


Another thing I found rather annoying (as implied in my posts above) was TimeGhost quoting primary sources from secondary sources.… when the primary source itself is right there for free online (e.g. Molotov’s telegram to Poland in 1939)


What is “Leavenworth”? I ain’t an American so I don’t know.


It’s not just the prison.

It’s also this:

  1. That wasn’t said.
  2. First hand accounts from experts are about the best kind of data you can get.
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Accounting for bias doesn’t mean you get to apply your own.

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What agenda would that be?

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D) It is all Belka’s Fault. (An ace combat joke )

In all seriousness. I personally think it is going to be Bulgaria bad as Boris brought Bulgaria in WW2 but he is dead, so… Bulgaria good? USA is more bad for bombing civilians and USA is racist too! USA and axis no difference.

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And it is just not this one.For eg in WAH 43, Sparty skips out a bunch of stuff just to make it as Indian National Congress good, British bad. Here is a quick rundown, in 1937 Provincial Elections are held in 11 British Provinces and the INC wins 8 provinces. Then on 3 September 1939, Lord LithLithgow declares war on Germany without asking anyone… no seriously, anyone. Not the legislative council, nor congress, nor the excecutive council. The congress views this as betrayal that they were not consulted and they all resign on September 26 which the British view as Betrayal, that the Congress did not give it’s support in it’s time of need and things keep spiraling down from there. (Again… waaaaaaay oversimplified). There is no mention of this in that episode. ( I do plan to make one on that episode… but I am lazy. So expect it in one year or so)

Further more, in the WAH 67 one he basically blames it on Linlithgow for not providing food to the bengalis and let them starve (I can’t find the transcript button, because youtube changed their layout again) which is contrary to evidence. Read this for further info (credits @nicholasrusson_58993 )

And the source is using is probably Hungry Bengal: War, Famine and the End of Empire, (I can’t tell because they have stopped updating their sources after 1941) which is from a Bengali Author. The only problem is that Bengalis are more inclined towards their own state and may make up evidence or select evidence. Disclaimer : No, I am not being racist here.

What has become more and more evident is that they change stuff they don’t like. For eg :

  • Bulgaria deported jews which is waay more complicated (check this out post by obiwanbul for more info WAH 055 Betrayed its own principles )

  • America was very racist. It was but not to the extent they have said and so on.

Look, none of us are rooting for them to fail. It is OK to make mistakes, we are humans after all. But one should acknowledge their mistake, learn from it and not do it again. All that we ask from Timeghost to not push an agenda but tell actual history.


Disagreeing with the sources used in a particular video, or what topics are covered vs not covered (and how much - which is restricted by the time constraints of the weekly videos) is fine. But it’s not proof of an agenda.

I agree that uncritically quoting the NY Times description of the aftermath of the bombing of the Ruhr is a questionable editorial decision. But for that to be evidence of an agenda it would need to be part of a reoccurring theme of TimeGhost being Allied aerial bombing campaign apologists. Which would be the opposite of pretty much every one of their videos on the subject. The bombings are covered primarily through the War Against Humanity sub-series (rather than the main week-by-week series) for goodness sake.

One video is certainly not proof that Sparty is biased against the Bulgarians.

Maybe you could make a case for TimeGhost being overly critical of the British overall. Maybe. But they’re hardly alone in being critical of British colonial administration.


Read Keegan, Shirer, Ambrose, Parshall, Sledge, Spector and Weinberg as a short list…then circle back and tell this forum that the Zoot Suit Riots belong in the telling of the human tragedy known as WW2.

You won’t… it doesn’t,… no arguing…