The broad subject has come up again in another thread
, wanted to move discussion here.
As discussed there, Oxford University has a site
with easy access to historical height data.
One idea for exploring: impact of higher Canadian/Aus/NZ living standards on Empire unit's performance in WW1. Each Dominion had significantly greater average height than the UK. I don't know a ton about WW1 but it seems likely that the training/doctrine of Imperial units was fairly consistent across UK-Dominions (even if varying by among units of national contingent)? If so, that might be a good candidate to isolate the effect living standards (proxied by height) ----> raw human material capabilities -----> military system ------> combat effectiveness. The Canadian/ANZAC seem to have been the shock troops of Empire, seemingly of higher combat effectiveness than British. Seems a decent candidate to isolte the effects of raw human factors from human factors added by military systems.
Also saw a few old posts related to the issue of UK/US relative combat effectiveness, also raised in the other thread, whose discussion is more appropriate here:
Mori wrote: ↑
06 Jan 2021 14:35
TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑
06 Jan 2021 03:06
Can you cite any military analysts who claim the British forces were better? I'm sure there are some but I seem to be doing all the work here...
Thanks for asking. There are comparisons of British vs. American during the NW Europe campaign where British do significantly better.
A couple of cases:
- post-Market-Garden fight in Western Holland. The 7th US Arm Div fails at capturing an objective, then British take over and do better (operation Constellation). This is for example discussed in Buckley's Monty's Men
- post-Bulge fight to reach the Roer river: British operation Blackcock (16-26 January 1945) vs. US advance to the Roer river dams (5-10 February 1945).
The Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers a few times this year but the Dodgers are the best team in baseball while the Cubs were awful.
Can anyone cite a broad, large-sample study finding other than that British combat effectiveness was lower than American in WW2?