Decision in Battle

Breakpoint Hypotheses and Engagement Termination Data

by Robert L. Helmbold

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback107 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

The validity of breakpoint hypotheses is of interest to the Air Force because such hypotheses are imbedded in several models presently used to evaluate weapon systems in terms of the effect of air-delivered munitions on the course of a land combat engagement. This report investigates a popular assumption regarding the relationship of casualties to the decision to terminate a battle — the assumption that a military force gives up the battle when its personnel casualty fraction reaches a certain level, which may be either a fixed quantity or one determined on a probabilistic basis. Theoretical implications of a basic breakpoint hypothesis are developed, and these are quantitatively compared with casualty-fraction distribution data from various investigations of land combat. Tentative observations are offered regarding future attempts to resolve the problem of decision in battle.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.