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War by Numbers

Understanding Conventional Combat

Christopher A. Lawrence

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: Potomac Books
Published: 08/2017
Pages: 498
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9781612349152


War by Numbers assesses the nature of conventional warfare through the analysis of historical combat. Christopher A. Lawrence establishes what we know about conventional combat and why we know it. By demonstrating the impact a variety of factors have on combat he moves such analysis beyond the work of Carl von Clausewitz and into modern data and interpretation. Using vast data sets, Lawrence examines force ratios, the human factor in case studies from World War II and beyond, the combat value of superior situational awareness, and the effects of dispersion, among other elements. Lawrence challenges existing interpretations of conventional warfare and shows how such combat should be conducted in the future, simultaneously broadening our understanding of what it means to fight wars by the numbers.  


Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst and has participated in studies for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. Air Force. He is the executive director and president of the Dupuy Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict. Lawrence is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka and America's Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam.      


"War by Numbers takes the study of military history out of the realm of storytelling and simplistic interpretation into a realm of systematic and impartial analysis of available recorded data. This is an essential book for the theorist, the analyst, the war planner, and the war fighter."—Maj. Gen. Nicholas Krawciw, U.S. Army (Ret.)