Analysis for Force Ratios using the Campaign Data Base (CaDB) – continued

This is the continuation of our previous post: Analysis for Force Ratios using the Campaign Data Base (CaDB) | Mystics & Statistics (

In that post was a table showing the force and losses differences between battles won by the attacker, the defenders and those that are drawn. Below is a follow-up table, showing the force ratios for all the campaigns:

Force Ratio      Attacker wins   Defender wins *   Draws **   Notes

0.30                    1                                                                  Suomussalmi

0.52 to 0.73        6                         2

0.77 to 1.00        7                         5

1.01 to 1.25      14                         3                            1

1.27 to 1.50        8                         3                            1

1.55 to 1.75        9                         3

1.78 to 2.00       11                        5

2.02 to 2.50       10                        6                             2

2.51 to 2.92         8                                                       1 ****

3.01 to 4.00         8                      4 ***                       1 ****    Loos (3.97) – defender wins

4.02 to 4.94         8

5.79 to 7.33         5

10.00 to 11.21     2




* Removed from this seven engagements coded as “limited action” and “limited attack.” Their ratios were 0.58, 1.51, 2.90, 2.90, 3.58, 6.55, 12.38

** Removed from this 15 engagements coded as “limited action” and “limited attack.”

*** Three World War one engagements (Festubert at 3.01, Chemin des Dames at 3.33 and Loos at 3.97) and First Cassino (US) at 3.12.

**** Gothic Line Stalemate I at 2.58 and Gothic Line Statement II (US) at 3.08


These are slides 19 and 20 of my briefing. Now, I do not make conclusions on this slide in this briefing or even observations, but…. there are a few that could be made looking at this table. First, a three-to-one rule doesn’t really apply. Second, the defender never wins above four-to-one. Third, clearly there are a lot of factors included in these campaigns beyond simple manpower counts, and…. fourth…. you tell me?

The next slide of my briefing goes into the Section III of the briefing:  “Influence of Human Factors on Combat.” This is all drawn from War by Numbers… so… read the book. I will skip that and my next post will pick up at Section IV of the briefing “What is necessary to have a good chance of generating a breakthrough.” Probably do that post next Tuesday.

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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.
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.
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).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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  1. I would like to understand more about how your campaign system works. Is it map based, does it allow for user driven manoeuvre and does it allow for force attrition due to supply, terrain and desertion? Would you have time to give us an overview?

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