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Can someone explain why this question is a request "for trivia or basic historical facts" and this "off topic"? I'm looking for guidance on how I might improve it since it's entirely unclear to me where any of the objections to it are coming from.

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The question is worded in a manner where it can invite multiple answers. That is not in of itself a bad thing, but it seems like you were looking for a specific type of answer, and the question is not constructed to elicit specific answers. Also, as was mentioned in a previous answer to this question, it is not entirely clear what you are asking.

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    Specific help in improving it would be appreciated. I'm not sure what's unclear about "What is the source of this claim and how widely is this view held among historians?" The first part proved easy enough to answer (by contacting the author of the book that inspired the film). The second part could be answered similarly: finding some literature or reference with the opposite view and describing the arguments presented there. – orome Apr 8 '15 at 14:28
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    And I'm a bit confused about how this question differs in any substantive way from most of the questions that show as "Related" there. If anything it is more focused and clear (most of those are much closer to "opinion") — and the bulk of the answers to those questions are terrible (almost exclusively armchair generalship or blogging). – orome Apr 8 '15 at 14:30
  • As much as you like to pretend otherwise, it was completely unfocused - the title and the body did not match at all - until the final edit. – Semaphore Apr 9 '15 at 8:58

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