Air Battles and Ground Battles --A Common Pattern?

by Robert L. Helmbold

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Mathematical analysis of historical patterns of behavior exhibited in battles with applications for testing complex land combat games. A relationship between the activity ratio and the initial force ratio has been developed for historical land battles. Statistics are based on a sample of 92 historical land combat battles, most of which took place during the 19th century. Using data on the Battle of Britain (which was fought entirely in the air), it is shown that this battle obeyed the same relation between activity ratio and initial force ratio as did the land battles examined. It is possible that the same pattern of dependency is a general characteristic of all armed combat. On the basis of the data now on hand, it is at least a reasonable hypothesis that should be tested further by the collection and analysis of additional data. If the pattern proves applicable in combat situations, it would be of great importance to the understanding of combat dynamics. 15 pp. Ref. (KB)

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