Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jan 2021 17:53

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
07 Jan 2021 09:16
Ah, the grim reality of nirvana...sorry for encouraging you to rake that up.
Sorry, but after yesterday I'm not too keen on encouraging others fantasy idea of how the world really works.
Sorry, that should have been DOD-sponsored "Military Effectiveness Books" - see the new introduction to Mil Effectiveness Vol. 3 - p.xi by Murray and Millett.
"Sponsored" in this case means paid for, not endorsed. Trevor's work was "DOD=sponsored", but never endorsed by DOD. CAA never embraced or endorsed Trevor's work, even though they did pay him, often poorly and usually late.
Thanks. I'll ask Chris Lawrence via the TDI Blog.
Chris' employment at DMSi predated mine by about 18 months. However, I'm sure he'll be happy to go into his basement and search through about 30 or 40 linear feet of HERO/DMSi records looking for the evidence you need.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 Jan 2021 18:25

histan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 14:55
I don't know if you are aware of the book
The Stress of Battle: Quantifying Human Performance in Combat by David Rowland
Hi John,

Yes, I've got that one - must have another look at it.
histan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 14:55
The shock aspect of military activities was regarded as significant because this has always been an element of military doctrine and in particular Soviet doctrine.
Indeed, that's a subject that Martin Samuels discusses at length in his recent book Piercing the Fog of War which, once I got past the first chapter, I quite enjoyed despite the odd repetition and the choice of Rommel as a case study. As if we need any more about Rommel!

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 Jan 2021 18:30

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jan 2021 17:53
Sorry, but after yesterday I'm not too keen on encouraging others fantasy idea of how the world really works.
I can imagine. 8O
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jan 2021 17:53
"Sponsored" in this case means paid for, not endorsed. Trevor's work was "DOD=sponsored", but never endorsed by DOD.
Fair enough, but every contractor I've ever met has had one eye on the next contract! And I'm sure academic historians are similarly focused at where the next research fund is coming from. :D
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jan 2021 17:53
However, I'm sure he'll be happy to go into his basement and search through about 30 or 40 linear feet of HERO/DMSi records looking for the evidence you need.
Gee, that sure would be swell of him. :wink:

No worries, I'll just have to keep going back to Kew (when it opens again, sigh...).

Stay safe and I hope you have a peaceful evening, :thumbsup:

Regards

Tom

Richard Anderson
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jan 2021 18:51

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
07 Jan 2021 18:25
histan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 14:55
I don't know if you are aware of the book
The Stress of Battle: Quantifying Human Performance in Combat by David Rowland
Hi John,

Yes, I've got that one - must have another look at it.
Given all the SLAM slamming that goes on, you might also want to look for Rowland's “The Use of Historical Data in the Assessment of Combat Degradation.” The Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 38, no. 2, 1987, pp. 149–162. As Trevor once said, in that work Rowland "demonstrated that Marshall’s assessment of the inefficient performance, or non-performance, of most soldiers in combat was essentially correct."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 Jan 2021 18:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 09:43
Note that it's practically certain that Germans were shorter and smaller than Americans on average; from that I am reasonably confident they had IQ deficits caused by nutritional effects that underlie both physical and intellectual characteristics.
Practically certain? On average? Reasonably confident? Hmmm, it's hardly an overwhelming case, m'lord!

Apparently, or so I am told, where you went to Skool might have something to do with how klever you turn out to be as well.

Was it Corelli Barnett who suggested that although the Battle of Waterloo might have been won on the playfields at Eton the British Empire was certainly lost by the excessive concentration on the Classics by British Victorian public schools.

Anyway, I'm off to take in some extra calories in the hope that it will make me smarter. :D

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 Jan 2021 20:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jan 2021 18:51
Given all the SLAM slamming that goes on, you might also want to look for Rowland's “The Use of Historical Data in the Assessment of Combat Degradation.” The Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 38, no. 2, 1987, pp. 149–162. As Trevor once said, in that work Rowland "demonstrated that Marshall’s assessment of the inefficient performance, or non-performance, of most soldiers in combat was essentially correct."
Neither of them ever visited a pub in Aldershot on a Saturday night when the Parachute Regiment were based there then!

Thanks, I'll see if I can drum that up from somewhere. Chapter 6 in the book is titled "Heroism and Combat Degradation" so may cover much the same ground. Rowlands talks about the "SLAM slamming" too and appears to sympathise with the school who point to the subjective nature of SLAM's work but concede that he appeared to have stumbled upon 'a profound truth'.

Regards

Tom

histan
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by histan » 07 Jan 2021 23:10

Tom and Richard
You need to look at Chapter 3, where he quotes from work undertaken by Lt Col Lionel Wigram in Sicily.
This is the source of the finding that in every platoon there were "six gutful men who will go anywhere", with "twelve sheep who will follow a short distance behind if they are well led" but there are also "four to six who will run away".
It's in this chapter that he compares the results of the historical analysis with that of Marshall and the data they were getting from exercises and trials.

Land warfare not really my subject but as I recall I was given a free copy when it came out in 20006 and skimmed it to get at some of the obvious insights.

Regards

John
PS sorry Tom, I should have known you would have had a copy!

Mori
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Mori » 08 Jan 2021 17:04

histan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 23:10
This is the source of the finding that in every platoon there were "six gutful men who will go anywhere", with "twelve sheep who will follow a short distance behind if they are well led" but there are also "four to six who will run away".
I have read this or similar statements before, and I've always wondered what would happen if, out of each of 4 platoons, you would select the "six gutgul men wo will go anywhere" and group them into a single 'gutful-platoon'. In said 'gutful-platoon', would you still observe the 25/50/25 split, like there are six "super-gutful men", twelve followers, and four to six "gutful-before-but-run-away-now"?

Aber
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Aber » 07 Mar 2021 13:26

Mori wrote:
08 Jan 2021 17:04
histan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 23:10
This is the source of the finding that in every platoon there were "six gutful men who will go anywhere", with "twelve sheep who will follow a short distance behind if they are well led" but there are also "four to six who will run away".
I have read this or similar statements before, and I've always wondered what would happen if, out of each of 4 platoons, you would select the "six gutgul men wo will go anywhere" and group them into a single 'gutful-platoon
You get a Para or Commando platoon...

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Thoddy » 09 Mar 2021 13:50

there are men that objectively cannot shoot at other men.
"Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!"

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 13 Mar 2021 21:15

Interesting discussion, all. Lot of questions raised here, and some thoughtful (and entertaining) responses. Thanks

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 13 Mar 2021 21:29

Thoddy wrote:
09 Mar 2021 13:50
there are men that objectively cannot shoot at other men.
There are also those who are a little too eager to do so, as well. "Cadmus soldiers" I've read them described as...

"war criminals" would be a more recent interpretation.

Generally, one would shouldn't conscript either group for combat duty.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Oct 2021 18:42

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?
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Oct 2021 02:24

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Oct 2021 18:42
. The Canadian/ANZAC seem to have been the shock troops of Empire, seemingly of higher combat effectiveness than British.
As someone who has read extensively on NWE 1944-45 I can categorically state I have never come across any official claim/evidence that specific nationalities in The Commonwealth Armies were considered 'shock troops'. Even the Guards Units were not considered in any way better (other than in social status) than regular Army formations. There were Units that could lay claim to such a title but it had nothing to do with what country members of the Unit belonged too.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Oct 2021 18:42
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.
Good example of how One nations sport (baseball) can be anothers childrens/girls game (rounders).

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Oct 2021 09:38

Michael Kenny wrote:As someone who has read extensively on NWE 1944-45 I can categorically state
As someone whose post raised Dominion vs. British performance in WW1, not 1944-45, I can categorically state that I raised Dominion vs. British performance in WW1, not 1944-45.

Here's Lloyd George on the actual issue:
The Canadians played a part of such distinction [during the Battle of the
Somme] that thenceforward they were marked out as storm troops;
for the remainder of the war they were brought along to head the
assault in one great battle after another. Whenever the Germans
found the Canadian Corps coming into the line they prepared for the
worst. War Memoirs, v.6
---------------------------------------------------
Michael Kenny wrote:Good example of how One nations sport (baseball) can be anothers childrens/girls game (rounders).
We also pad up like hemophiliac children to play our tackling games, unlike most of the former Empire:

Image

...I'm all for making fun of America but let me know when you have something relevant to the question I raised.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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