War by Numbers

Understanding Conventional Combat

Christopher A Lawrence

Publication date:
August 2017
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612348865

Dimensions : 255 X 180 mm
In Stock


• Conventional combat capability has been a feature of the current growth of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levans (ISIL) and has returned as a threat in Eastern Europe
• Much of what has been developed in the past on the theory of warfare is not based upon quantitative analysis, but is instead based on case studies of history of personal experience
• Lawrence provides a rigorous understanding of warfare, which is extremely important in a profession where errors of judgement can result in loss of lives
• The author has over 20 years of experience in the field and has worked on warfare studies for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff, and the U.S. Air Force

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.


This is a fascinating foray into the world of military predictions, by utilising data from past battles to quantify the impact of different factors such as troop quality, surprise, weather, whether attacking or defending, terrain, and so on.
Miniature Wargames - Chris Jarvis