An Independent Effort to Use the QJM to Analyze the War in Ukraine

The QJM is the old version of Trevor Dupuy’s Quantified Judgment Model, as described in his book Numbers, Predictions and War. The Dupuy Institute currently uses and markets the TNDM (Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model), which is Trevor Dupuy’s updated version of the model.

We have recently had various discussions about staffing The Dupuy Institute so as to conduct analysis of various conflicts and potential conflicts around the world and publishing the results for the general public. So far, these discussions have not generated the budget to do so.

On the other hand, even though The Dupuy Institute is not doing this, we have discovered that some other people that are independently doing this. They are using the openly published versions of the QJM for their work (there were updates made to the QJM that were not published). None of this was coordinated with us and we only discovered it through twitter though the account of Jomini of the West at @JominiW

One of his more interesting tweets is that one: 

I have no idea how accurate this map is and have been hesitant to post it before.

The modeling effort being done is by @HM_Schlottman and @HelloMrBond. They summarize their effort as:

Now, it does appear that their analysis is a “paper and pencil” analysis done using that which is derived from Understanding War, vice using the entire model as described in Numbers, Predictions and War.

Just to talk through what they did:

  1. They analyzed a division-sized engagement (33,0000 vs 23,000)
  2. Terrain was given as rugged mixed/urban.
  3. Season was spring-temperate
  4. Defense was “prepared”
  5. Not sure what they did with air superiority, but it appears that they made it equal. Pretty sure that Russia still has air superiority. On the other hand, the Ukrainian intelligence assets are vastly superior (being American), and one of the aspects of air superiority is superior intelligence, so this may be a good compromise selection for now.
  6. They give Ukraine a morale advantage (basically multiplying Russia’s combat power by 0.8), but not a big one. More on this in a subsequent post, as I know someone who is doing a similar QJM based analysis.
  7. They do conclude that combat power advantage lies with the Russians at 1.4-to-1 ratio, which “is sufficient to achieve a breakthrough.”

Now, I always hate to comment on other people using the QJM. First, I am glad to see that they are using it and second, it is an estimation. My biggest fear is that my comments will turn into the “death by a thousand cuts,” masking what I think is otherwise worthwhile effort. But, I do have to make a few comments. Hopefully, they will not appear overly critical.

First, having a force preponderance does not mean a breakthrough. It means the Russians should advance. As they advance, they may achieve a breakthrough, dependent on the depth of the defender and the changing conditions of the battlefield. The model does determine win, lose or draw and rate of advance in kilometers. It does not determine whether there is a breakthrough or not. That has to be determined by the depth of the defender versus the distance advanced, often over several days. Obviously, when the distance advanced exceeds the defender’s depth, a breakthrough is achieved. This usually takes several days. As this development of the battle is often modeled using maps, acetates and grease pencils, then over the course of several days, conditions are likely to change, with the defender either being reinforced, or withdrawing, or other counterattacks or operations developing. This starts getting complex and is where the analyst takes over from the model.

Second, the force strengths for both sides “does not include supporting arms outside of BTGs (artillery, air defense, logistics brigades, etc.).” Well, the supporting material, translated into combat power in the form of supporting artillery and supporting air and drone strikes, is significant. In some battles the supporting air and artillery for an operation makes up the majority of the combat power. Not sure how you model that with any confidence in the current situation, but they do matter.

Third, he used his own combat power formula. So, for example, he made the combat power of a tank equal to “75 troops + their share of supporting weapons.” This is certainly a simplification, but probably one he had to do as researching and scoring all the weapons is a fairly time consuming process. The original QJM has a formula for calculating the combat power of each and every weapon, and then their combat power were modified by the conditions of combat. The TNDM used a revised formula for armor vehicles that we developed by Chip Sayers, the author of this blog post: A story about planning for Desert Storm (1991) | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). He will be presenting at our conference in September: Schedule of the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 6 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Now, there is a wonderfully detailed chart dated 1 May 22 on the right side of their graphic that is worth looking at. You do have to copy the image and blow it up. But it is clear that it is the basis for his strength estimates. It would be nice to get a full explanation of what he is looking at here and what it says.

Anyhow, that is all on the QJM analysis so far. It is looking at a fight around Izium and I gather north of Sievierdonetsk. I gather it concludes that the Russians should be advancing. I don’t see anything here I fundamentally disagree with.

I am assuming that @JominiW, @HM_Schlottman and @HelloMrBond are following this blog. None are known to me, but they are welcome to contact me at LawrenceTDI@aol.com.

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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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One comment

  1. I am in awe of the depth and breadth of knowledge you bring to your blog. Your meticulous research and clear, concise writing make every article a valuable resource. You’ve turned complex historical events into fascinating stories that are both informative and enjoyable to read.

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