Phalanx Article: What We Have Learned from Doing Historical Analysis

The Phalanx is the quarterly journal for the Military Operations Research Society (MORS). I did have an article in the Summer issue of the journal called “What We Have Learned from Doing Historical Analysis.” This originally was just an aside in an email exchange between Dr. Dean Hartley, Dr. Robert Helmbold and I that Dean Hartley recommend I dress it up and turn it into an article. He arranged for it to be published by the Phalanx. I minimized the clean-up so that the tone of the article remained the same as what I said in my original email rant. I did go through and make nine observations based upon years of doing this work.

The issue is here (Volume 55, Number 2): Phalanx-Current-Volume.pdf (mors.org). It is at the end of the issue in the section called “Last Word.” I think you can access the entire issue even if you are not a member of MORS. The article by itself is here: What We Have Learned from Doing Historical Analysis on JSTOR.

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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. C.A.L: “Research “on the cheap” (usually meaning using secondary sources) ends up costing you more in the long run. If people are going to do analysis from that research, best to get it done well to start with. A lot of our early historical research efforts were underfunded, and as a result we ended up later going back and having to correct them whenever we decided to use the data again. So sometimes when we ended up doing analysis based upon previous research, we ended up going back and re-addressing the original research. This is time consuming…”

    -Yup.

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