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Wars and Conflicts Archives - Page 3 of 7 - Themself
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Tag archives for Wars and Conflicts - Page 3

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The Stress of Battle – Part 4 – Op Research on Anti-Tank Combat

This is the fourth part of my review of The stress of battle: quantifying human performance in combat by David Rowland, which is an essential piece of Operational Research on WW2 and Cold War combat operations. Unlike small arms, the effectiveness of anti-armour weapons has changed considerably over the course of the mid-20th century. From non-specialist gunfire in WW1, to high velocity armour piercing in WW2 and then to Anti-Tank Guided Weapons in the Cold War period. This makes the operational research harder to do because the start point needs to be battles where only one kind of AT weapon is in action. Much of the analysis starts with the 'Snipe' action during the second battle of El Alamein in North Africa where data on each of the guns individually was available. 'heroic performance' plays a large factor in the effectiveness of anti-tank guns about a quarter of guns (at…
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The Stress of Battle – Part 3 – Op Research on Terrain Effects

This is the third part of my extended review of The Stress of Battle by David Rowland. It is such a strong piece of operational research that I thought that it would be useful for wargame designers (and players) to understand what the research evidence is for what went on in WW2 battles. Fighting in Woods The data comes from an analysis of 120 battles that took place in woods or forests from the US Civil War to the Korean War. It also applied all the things from the previous research and tried to see how woods differed from combat in other types of terrain. Woods Open Urban Attacker casualties per defence MG (at 1:1 force ratio) Force Ratio Power Relationship Defence is less effective in woods, most likely because limited fields of view mean that the engagement ranges are…
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Stress of Battle – Part 2 – Op Research on Urban Battles

This is the second part of my review of The stress of battle: quantifying human performance in combat by David Rowland, which is an essential piece of Operational Research on WW2 and Cold War combat operations. For this part I thought that I would focus on the lessons on urban battles. Rowland and his team used historical analysis on lots of WW2 urban battles and then compared this to a series of field trials using laser attachments to small arms and tank main armaments in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The approach was to find battles where single variables could be controlled, and then use them to work out what the effect of that variable was on outcomes. Here's an interesting table on how attacker casualties vary by odds and the density of defending machine guns. Interestingly, in successful assaults the…
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Book Review – The Stress of Battle by David Rowlands (Part 1)

Not exactly a book review, more of a synopsis of a great work of Operational Research by David Rowland. The Stress of Battle: Quantifying Human Performance in Combat is the end result of years of work by David Rowland and his team at the Ministry of Defence. Rowland was the father of historical analysis as a branch of Operational Research. This particular work looks at a combination of field analysis experiments in the 1980s using lasers, well documented WW2 engagements and a handful of battles from other wars. Almost every page in it is packed with evidence or explanations of the complex methodology used to ensure that you could get controlled results from an otherwise messy and chaotic environment. If you are playing or designing wargames then this is one of the books that you absolutely must have on your…
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Book Review – In the Face of the Enemy by Ernest Powdrill

In the Face of the Enemy: A Battery Sergeant Major in Action in the Second World War by Ernest A. Powdrill My rating: 5 of 5 stars I borrowed this from the library and liked it so much that I bought my own copy. I found it very interesting because it is unusual for an other rank to write a memoir. Especially one where the author was a battery sergeant major who also had access to the battery clerk's notes. So, much of the 1944-45 campaign is very well documented with grid references for gun positions, ammo expenditure and times of moves. It is a fantastic reference book for WW2 operations of a Royal Horse Artillery battery in self propelled guns. There is also some of the human element to it as well. I was especially moved by the mystery…
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