Tuesday, August 1, 2017

War By Numbers

Christopher A. Lawrence of the Dupuy Institute has published the book ‘War by Numbers Understanding Conventional Combat’.

Available from Potomac books and Amazon.

War by Numbers assesses the nature of conventional warfare through the analysis of historical combat. Christopher A. Lawrence (President and Executive Director of The Dupuy Institute) establishes what we know about conventional combat and why we know it. By demonstrating the impact a variety of factors have on combat he moves such analysis beyond the work of Carl von Clausewitz and into modern data and interpretation.

Using vast data sets, Lawrence examines force ratios, the human factor in case studies from World War II and beyond, the combat value of superior situational awareness, and the effects of dispersion, among other elements. Lawrence challenges existing interpretations of conventional warfare and shows how such combat should be conducted in the future, simultaneously broadening our understanding of what it means to fight wars by the numbers.

Table of contents

Preface                                                                                          ix
Acknowledgments                                                                         xi
Abbreviations                                                                                xiii
Understanding War                                                                        1
Force Ratios                                                                                   8
Attacker versus Defender                                                             14
Human Factors                                                                             16
Measuring Human Factors in Combat: Italy 1943-1944               19
Measuring Human Factors in Combat: Ardennes and Kursk       32
Measuring Human Factors in Combat: Modern Wars                  49
Outcome of Battles                                                                       60
Exchange Ratios                                                                          72
The Combat Value of Superior Situational Awareness                79
The Combat Value of Surprise                                                   121
The Nature of Lower Levels of Combat                                      146
The Effects of Dispersion on Combat                                         163
Advance Rates                                                                            174
Casualties                                                                                   181
Urban Legends                                                                           206
The Use of Case Studies                                                            265
Modeling Warfare                                                                        285
Validation of the TNDM                                                               299
Conclusions                                                                                 325
Appendix I: Dupuy’s Timeless Verities of Combat                       329
Appendix II: Dupuy’s Combat Advance Rate Verities                  335
Appendix III: Dupuy’s Combat Attrition Verities                            339
Notes                                                                                            345
Bibliography                                                                                  369


  1. Is there any comparison about battle value of 2 million German bulk infantry soldiers in Eastern Front versus marine soldiers of 15 U-boats in Caribbean/East coastal USA in early 1942?

    Or how about primitive Eastern Front land warfare versus US Navy/USN advanced air-sea warfare during Battle of Marianas?

    Was there actually any really decisive land battles in WW2 and was land warfare "vital" at all?