The Division Level Engagement Data Base (DLEDB)

The Division Level Engagement Data Base (DLEDB) is one of eight data bases that make up our DuWar suite of databases: See http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/dbases.htm This data base, of 752 engagements, is described in depth at: http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/data/dledb.htm

It now consists of 752 engagements from 1904 to 1991. It was originally created in 2000-2001 by us independent of any government contracts (so as to ensure it was corporate proprietary). We then used it as an instrumental part of the our Enemy Prisoner of War studies and then our three Urban Warfare studies.

Below is a list of wars/campaigns the engagements are pulled from:

Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905): 3 engagements

Balkan Wars (1912-1913): 1 engagement

World War I (1914-1918): 25 engagements

…East Prussia (1914): 1

…Gallipoli (1915): 2

…Mesopotamia (1915): 2

…1st & 2nd Artois (1915): 7

…Loos (1915): 2

…Somme (1916): 2

…Mesopotamia (1917): 1

…Palestine (1917): 2

…Palestine (1918): 1

…US engagements (1918): 5

World War II (1939-1945): 657 engagements

…Western Front: 295

……France (1940): 2

……North Africa (1941): 5

……Crete (1941): 1

……Tunisia (1943): 5

……Italian Campaign (1943-1944): 141

……France (1944): 61

…,,,Aachen (1944): 23

……Ardennes (1944-1945): 57

…Eastern Front: 267

……Eastern Front (1943-1945): 11

…….Kursk (1943): 192

……Kharkov (1943): 64

…Pacific Campaign: 95

…….Manchuria (1938): 1

…….Malayan Campaign (1941): 1

…….Phillipines (1942): 1

…….Islands (1944-1945): 4

…….Okinawa (1945): 27

…….Manila (1945): 61

Arab-Israeli Wars (1956-1973): 51 engagements

…1956: 2

…1967: 16

…1968: 1

…1973: 32

Gulf War (1991): 15 engagements

 

Now our revised version of the earlier Land Warfare Data Base (LWDB) of 605 engagements had more World War I engagements. But some of these engagements had over a hundred of thousand men on a side and some lasted for months. It was based upon how the battles were defined at the time; but was really not relevant for use in a division-level database. So, we shuffled them off to something called the Large Action Data Base (LADB), were 55 engagements have sat, unused, since then. Some actions in the original LWDB were smaller than division-level. These made up the core of our battalion-level and company-level data bases.

The Italian Campaign Engagements were the original core of this database. An earlier version of the data base has only 76 engagements from Italy in them (around year 2000). We then expanded, corrected and revised them. So the database still has 40 of the original engagements, 22 were revised, and the rest (79) are new.

The original LWDB was used for parts of Trevor Dupuy’s book Understanding War. The DLEDB was a major component of my book War by Numbers.

As can be seen, it is possible to use this database for model development and/or validation. One could start by developing/testing the model to the 141 Italian Campaign engagements, and then further develop it by testing it to the 141 campaigns from France and the Battle of the Bulge. And then, to test the human factors elements of your models (which if you are modeling warfare I would hope you would have), one could then test it to the 267 division-level engagements on the Eastern Front. Then move forward in time with the 51 engagements from the Arab-Israeli Wars and the 15 engagements from the Gulf War. There is not a lack of data available for model development or model testing. It is, of course, a lot of work; and lately it seems that the  industry has been more concerned about making sure their models have good graphics.

Just to beat a dead horse, we remind you of this post that annoyed several people over at TRADOC (the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command):

Wargaming Multi-Domain Battle: The Base Of Sand Problem

Finally, it is possible to examine changes in warfare over time. This is useful to understand it one is looking at changes in warfare in the future. The DLEDB covers 88 years of warfare. We also have the Battles Data Base (BaDB) of 243 battles from 1600-1900. It is described here: http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/data/badb.htm

Next I will describe our battalion-level and company-level databases.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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