Encyclopedia of Military History

Long before the internet, people used to write (and read) encyclopedias. I still have a few in my house, including a Funk & Wagnalls (as in “look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls”). Just saw a twitter post yesterday that referenced Dupuy & Dupuy’s Encyclopedia of Military History: Paul Poast on X: “To identify war outcomes, Stam’s study drew on military histories, notably the encyclopedic volume by Dupuy & Dupuy (cc @dupuyinstitute). https://t.co/oGJR4ZZuNQ” / X (twitter.com)

This was apparently part of a thread Dr. Paul Poast had on coding victories. As he notes, in a “pioneering work on war outcomes by Alan Stam” (Paul Poast on X: “This can be seen by considering the pioneering work on war outcomes by Alan Stam. https://t.co/8R6IY1JQOd” / X (twitter.com)), he drew heavily on Dupuy & Dupuy’s Encyclopedia of Military History. Now, that is gratifying. I am not familiar with Allan C. Stam and his work. In fact, this is the first I have heard of it (I do not get out much). It was first published in 1996. But, as they are referencing Trevor Dupuy’s work, I figured I should at least mention it in a blog post.

Schedule for the Third Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 8-10 October 2024

This is the first provisional schedule for the third Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC). We currently have 25 presentations scheduled by 17 speakers and two group discussions planned. We are looking for more presentations. Each slot is an hour long, so plan for a 45-minute presentation and 15 minutes of discussion.

The conference is at 1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA 22182. This is basically across the street by Tysons Corner Shopping mall and the Marriot Hotel on Route 7. It is right off the Route 7 exit from 495 (the Beltway). It is at the corner of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and Old Gallows Road. It is in the building above the restaurant called Rangos. Parking is in the parking garage next door to it.

Conference description is here: The Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 in Tysons Corner, VA | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Costs, Hotels and Call for Presentations: Cost of the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 -19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Hotels for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Call for Presentations for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

The cost of the conference is $150 for entire conference or $60 a day. This the same as the last two years. Please pay through PayPal (www.paypal.com) to SRichTDI@aol.com. The conference is priced to cover the costs of the conference facility. We are also set up to take credit card payments by phone. Call The Dupuy Institute during working hours at (703) 289-0007.

We are set up for virtual presentations and virtual attendees. We do record the presentations but most have not been published yet.

 

Schedule: Pike and Gallows Conference Center

Updated: revised 16 February 2024

 

Day 1: Analysis of Conventional Combat

0900 – 0930    Introductory remarks – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

0930 – 1030    Studying Combat: The “Base of Sand” Problem – Dr. Shawn R. Woodford

1030 – 1130    open

1130 – 1230    Redux: Quantifying Warfare – Alexandru Filip (Canadian Center for Strategic Studies)

1230 – 1400    Lunch

1400 – 1500    Temporal and Geographic Patterns of Fatal Casualty Rates in WWI and WWII – Sasho Todorov, esquire  

1500 – 1600    reserved (wargaming) – Doug Samuelson (InfoLogix)

1600 – 1700    open

1700 – 1800    Grinch in Ukraine – Carl Larson

 

Evening (1900):    Group Dinner – Rangos

 

Day 2: Analysis of Unconventional Warfare

0900 – 1000    Iraq, Data, Hypotheses and Afghanistan (old) – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1000 – 1100    Native American Wars and Conflicts, 1500-1900 – Dr. David Cuberes

1100 – 1200    The Gaza Death Numbers – Dr. Michael Spagat (Royal Holloway University)

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400   Close Combat Overmatch Weapons (SLAMMER) – Joe Follansbee (Col., USA, ret.)

1400 – 1500    open  

1500 – 1600    Reserved (Jennifer Schlacht, M.A.)

1600 – 1700    Group Discussion: The Next Middle East Wars

 

Evening (1900):    Group Dinner – BJs

 

Day 3: Other Analysis of Warfare

0900 – 1000   open 

1000 – 1100    Reserved (Dr. James Slaughter)

1100 – 1200   The Future of TDI and work of the conference – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400   The Red Army’s Offensive Operations in Ukraine, 1943-44 – Dr. Richard Harrison

1400 – 1500    Critique of Western Wargames of NATO-WP Conflict – Walker Gargagliano

1500 – 1600    open

1600 – 1700    Group Discussion: Russo-Ukrainian War

 

Evening:    Happy hour – Rangos 

 

 

Schedule: Einstein Conference Room

 

Day 1: Poster and Book Room

Opened at 0800

 

Afternoon Day 1: Air Warfare Analysis

1400 – 1500    open

1500 – 1600    Temporal and Geographic Patterns of Fatal Casualty Rates in WWI and WWII (part 2 or overflow presentation) – Sasho Todorov, esquire 

1600 – 1700    open

 

Day 2: Analysis of Conventional Combat – mostly virtual

0900 – 1000    Designing Computer Based AI Wargaming Systems for Simulating and Investigating Historical Battles – Clinton Reilly (Computer Strategies, Australia) – virtual

1000 – 1100    Beaches by the Numbers – Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill (Concordia University, Quebec) – virtual

1100 – 1200   Surveying and Quantifying Naval Warfare – Alexandru Filip

1200 – 1300    Lunch

1300 – 1400    Urban Warfare: Myths and Reality – Dr. James Storr (UK) – virtual

1400 – 1500    Urban Warfare (old) – Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI)

1500 – 1600    open

1600 – 1700    open

 

Day 3: Other Analysis of Warfare

0900 – 1000    Winfield Scott: Architect of American Joint Warfare (LtC. Nathan A. Jennings) – virtual ?

1000 – 1100    The Red Army’s Plans for a Preemptive Attack in 1941 – Dr. Richard Harrison

1100 – 1200    The Impact of Horses on Native Americans – Dr. David Cuberes

1200 – 1300    Lunch    

1300 – 1400   Mass Egress after an IED Explosion: Lessons Learned about Validation – Doug Samuelson (InfoLogix)

1400 – 1500    Political Science Pedagogy in Strategic Studies (A Contrast in Quantified History) – Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill – virtual

1500 – 1600    open

1600 – 1700    open

 

The presentations from all three days of the first HAAC are here: Presentations from the first HAAC – all three days | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Friday, October 11: Tour of a Civil War Battlefield – Antietam: bloodiest day of the U.S. Civil War (and in the Western Hemisphere?). –  we will arrange transport there and back ($20 charge for tour).

The Russian First Tank Army Report from 24 February – 15 March 2022

Referenced this report in this blog post: Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

The actual six pages of the report here, for those who can work in Russian (this is mostly a list of names and then equipment losses):

Last opposed amphibious operation

I have written a paragraph in a book I am working on that states:

It is probably also worth bearing in mind that the last opposed U.S. amphibious operation conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps was the landing at Tang Island in 1975, and since then, no nation has conducted a major amphibious operation against a defended beachhead. There have been no major opposed amphibious operations in the last 48 years.

Now, is there anything I am missing? Has anyone in the world conducted a significant opposed amphibious operation since 1975?

Interesting review of The Battle for Kyiv

Just stumbled last night across this review of The Battle for Kyiv. It is an interesting take on the subject. The reviewer is someone I know.

Draft history in The Battle of Kyiv: The Fight for Ukraine’s Capital by Christopher A. Lawrence – Armchair Dragoons

Now, my nagging suspicion is that it will be a while (decades) before anything other than a “draft” history can be written. Might be more than a few decades to get access to Russian archives. We were not able to get access to Soviet archives on Kursk (1943) until 1993, and that was only by using some round about means and a project budget not available to most historians. We have still not gotten access to Chinese records from the Korea War (1950–1953). So, one is certainly looking at least at 50 to 75 years in these cases.

Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War

One of our more popular blog posts is this one:
U.S. Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in World War II | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Now we were able to do a similar comparison of the personnel losses to tank losses for the Russian First Guards Tank Army from 24 February to 15 March 2022. This came from a captured document released by Ukrainian intelligence. The two pages from that report included below.

What I say in my book, The Battle for Kyiv, page 129-131, is:

The Russian 1st Guards Tank Army was deployed across a wide area of the front from around Sumy to north of Kharkiv. They seemed to achieve rather limited results considering this was largest army and the premier army in Russia. The 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division was involved in the movements past Sumy and Konotop, before being stopped east of Pryluky, 75 miles (121km) east of Kyiv.15 Its losses as of 15 March were reported to be16 killed, 43 wounded, 2 missing and 54 captured for a total of 115 casualties. Its tank losses were considerably higher, with 45 T72B3Ms lost. It lost 85 other vehicles. This division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 2.69-to-1.

The 4th Guards Tank Division was involved in the attack on Okhtyrka and operations north of Kharkiv. Its losses as of 15 March were reported to be 25 killed, 92 wounded, 18 missing, 21 captured for a total of 156 casualties. The tanks losses between its 2 tank regiments were 62 T-80Us and T-80UEs. It lost 58 other vehicles. This division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 3.68-to-1. It was stopped at Okhtyrka, but this obviously was not with high personnel losses, although the tank and vehicle losses were notable.

The 47th Guards Tank Division was involved in operations north of
Kharkiv. The 26th Tank Regiment losses as of 15 March were 4 killed and 13 wounded. Its tank losses were only 8 T-72B3Ms and T-72 B3M2s. The division lost 9 other vehicles. The 7th Reconnaissance Battalion lost 5 killed, 13 wounded, 2 missing and 1 captured. These are not high losses. The division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 2.88-to-1. These appear to be the only two combat units that made up 47th Guards Tank Division.

The 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, which appears to have operated around Sumy, had 7 killed, 28 wounded, 14 missing and 14 captured. The brigade lost 9 T-90s and 21 other vehicles. It had a wounded to killed ratio of 4.00-to-1.

Other army troop losses were 4 killed, 18 wounded, 8 missing and 6 captured along with 15 vehicles lost. Overall losses of the 1st Guards Tank Army, drawn from a captured Russian report released by Ukraine, were only 408 in 3 weeks of fighting. This included 61 killed, 207 wounded, 44 missing and 96 surrendered. This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of 3.39-to-1. There were also two sanitary losses from 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division due to illness. Their total equipment losses were 115 tanks and 197 other vehicles lost for a total of 312. This is 0.86 people killed or wounded for every vehicle lost. There is no strong reason to the doubt this report.

One cannot help but make a few observations about this report. First, personnel losses are lower than one would expect, considering their actions, the Ukrainian claims and their heavy armor losses. It would appear that they did not make much active use of their infantry in combat. Second, the armor losses are significant. Of the 115 tanks lost, it is not known how many were broken down, abandoned or captured. In the Oryx count of tanks lost, around one-third were abandoned or captured. Probably some of these were broken down. One does note that there is less than one person killed or wounded per vehicle lost. Third, the number of people missing and captured is high for the overall casualties. They make up 34% of their casualties. These are not the figures that one would expect to see from a force on the offense. At the Battle of Kursk in 1943, units with that high of losses of missing and captured tended to be defenders who were dislodged and partly overrun. These high missing and captured figures from 1st Guards Tank Army indicates poor morale and mishandling of the units. One wonders if the fearsome 1st Guards Tank Army was still somewhat lacking in capability. It was probably made up of a mix of contract soldiers and conscripts, with perhaps the third battalion in each regiment or brigade being conscripts. As such, most of them would not have been sent into Ukraine because of Russian policies. In the end, the 1st Guards Tank Army ended up taking no significant cities, not even Sumy, only 25 miles (40km) from the border, and never got within 100km of Kyiv.

Their opposition appeared to include the Ukrainian 58th Motorized Brigade in addition to National Guard forces and perhaps other Ukrainian regular forces.

Now. I was intending to include parts of this report in my picture section, was limited as to how many photos I could provide (photo 63):

and (photo 64):

Call for Presentations for the Third HAAC

We are scheduling the Third HAAC in Tysons Corner, VA (just outside of DC) for 8-10 October 2024. Making a call for presentations at this time. Conference will be similar in structure to the previous conference: The Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17-19 October 2023 in Tysons Corner, VA | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and The Schedule for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 – 19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

To offer to make a presentation, just email me at LawrenceTDI@aol.com. The process is informal and we will not be asking for abstracts or papers. We just want you there presenting, so try to make it as easy as possible. 

I will be posting up an initial schedule soon.

Also of interest is the HADSS (Historical Analysis for Defence and Security Symposium) in York, UK on 8-11 July: Weighing the Fog of War (wordpress.com). I will be there. 

 

Measuring Unit Effectiveness in Italy

We are in discussion over revisiting the measurement of combat effectiveness of select units in Italy 1943-1945. This was done by Trevor Dupuy in Numbers, Predictions and Wars (1977) by division using the QJM (Quantified Judgment Model) and was done in aggregate by me in War by Numbers (2017) using simply comparative statistics.

For a little background on page 115 of Understanding War is a chart of German, UK and U.S. units in the Italian Campaign and their CEVs (Combat Effectiveness Values). Their values range from 0.60 to 1.49. The German Hermann Goering Division is the highest rated division at 1.49. This is based upon five engagements. The German 3rd PzGrD was rated 1.17 based upon 17 engagements and 15th PzGrD was rated 1.12 based upon 11 engagements. This was done using the QJM.
 
    For reference, I would recommend reading the following four books:
 
1. Understanding War
2. War by Numbers
3. Attrition (optional)
4. Numbers, Predictions and War (optional)
 
There are two ways to measure combat effectiveness. 1) Do a model run and compared the results of the model run to historical data. This requires 1) a historically validated combat model (there are very few), and 2) confidence in the model. 2) The other option is to do a statistical comparison of a large number of engagements. This is what I did in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of War by Numbers.
 
One can measure combat effectiveness by three means: 1) Casualty effectiveness, 2) special effectiveness (distance opposed advance) or 3) Mission effectiveness. This is all discussed in Trevor Dupuy’s work and in War by Numbers.
 
To date, the only people I am aware of who have published their analysis of combat effectiveness is Trevor Dupuy, me (Chris Lawrence) and Niklas Zetterling. See: CEV Calculations in Italy, 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and his book Normandy 1944 (recently revised and republished). There is also a six-volume quantitative effort related to Operation Barbarossa by Nigel Askey, which I have never looked at. Everyone else has ignored quantifying this issue, although there are no shortage of people claiming units are good, bad or elite. How they determine this is judgment (and it is often uncertain as to what the basis is for this judgment).
 
Now, the original work on this was done by Trevor Dupuy in the late 1970s based upon his data collection and the QJM. Since that time the model has been updated to the TNDM. The engagements used for the QJM validation were then simplified (especially in weapons counts) and assembled into the LWDB (Land Warfare Data Base). The LWDB had around 70 engagements from the Italian Campaign. Since that time we have created the DuWar series of databases which includes the DLEDB (Division-Level Engagement Data Base). See: The History of the DuWar Data Bases | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). We have doubled the number of Italian Campaign engagements to around 140.
 
There are a total of 141 Italian Campaign division-level engagements in the DLEDB. The first 140 engagements cover from September 1943 to early June 1944. There is almost 12 months of war not covered and not all units in the first part of the campaign are covered. With all the various nationalities involved (i.e German, Italian, U.S., UK, Free French, Moroccan, New Zealand, South African, Poland, Indian, Canadian, Brazilian, Greek, etc.), the Italian Campaign is a fertile field for this work. We are looking at stepping back into this. 
 
Units involved in engagements in the DELDB:
 
German:
3rd PzGrD: 25 cases
15th PzGrD: 39 cases
16th PzD: 7 cases
26th PzD: 8 cases
29 PzGrD: 6 cases
65th ID: 5 cases
94th ID: 8 cases
305th ID: 4 cases
362nd ID: 3 cases
715th ID: 2 cases
4th Para D: 3 cases
HG PzGrD: 26 cases
LXXVI Pz Corps: 4 cases
 
12th Para Rgt: 1 case
 
American:
1st AD: 3 cases
 
3rd ID: 19 cases
34th ID: 15 cases
36th ID: 12 cases
45th ID: 20 cases
85th ID: 7 cases
88th ID: 4 cases
 
509th PIB: 1 case
1st SSF: 1 case
 
British:
7th AD: 6 cases
 
1st ID: 9 cases
5th ID: 2 cases
46th ID: 18 cases
56th ID: 24 cases

Losses in the Hamas-Israel War – Day 111

I have not blogged much about the Hamas-Israeli War since the first couple of days of the war (for example, see: Hamas-Israeli War – Day 3 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)). On Monday, 22 January, 24 Israeli soldiers were killed in one day. Twenty-one were killed in a single blast that collapsed two buildings. Previously, on October 31, 16 Israeli soldiers were killed, 11 in a single incident when an armored personnel carrier was hit. 

Total losses for the Israeli armed forces during the offensive into Gaza is 219 (as of 22 January). See: 24 soldiers killed on deadliest day for Israeli forces in Gaza combat | CNN. Wikipedia is reporting a total of 627 service members killed, 556 soldiers, 61 police and 10 “Shin Bet” personnel. Many of those were among the 1,200 killed on 7 October. See: Authorities name 556 soldiers, 60 police officers killed in Gaza war | The Times of Israel.

Just for comparison, Israeli losses in the 1956 War were 172 killed, their losses in the 1967 war were 776-983 killed, their losses in the 1973 War were 2,521 to 2,800 killed, their losses in the 1982-85 intervention in Lebanon were 654 killed, their losses were 559 killed (256 in combat) in the 1985-2000 Southern Lebanese Conflict (vs Hezbollah) and they lost 121 killed in the 2006 Lebanon War (also vs Hezbollah). The Gaza War (2008-2009) lasted 23 days and resulted in 10 Israeli soldiers killed (and 3 civilians). The 2014 Gaza War lasted 50 days and resulted in 67 Israeli soldiers killed (and 6 civilians).

Hamas’ actual losses are harder to gauge. Israel is claiming that they have killed about 9,000 Hamas fighters in Gaza along with more than 1,000 killed during the attacks on 7 October. The U.S. is recently saying they have been attritted by 20-30%. Just to complicate such calculations, it is uncertain what Hamas’ strength originally was. U.S. intelligence estimates Hamas strength at between 25,000 to 30,000 before the war, plus thousands of police and other forces. Israel estimates Hamas at 30,000 or more.

Israel is estimating that as many at 16,000 Hamas have been wounded. The U.S. estimates between 10,500 to 11,700 wounded. This produces some unusually low wounded-to-killed ratios. Israel as reported three days ago to have 190 killed and around 1,200 wounded in their offensive operations, producing a 6.32-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio. See: Hamas Toll Thus Far Falls Short of Israel’s War Aims, U.S. Says (msn.com).

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has said that the total number of Palestinians killed since October 7 is 25,295 (as of 22 January). It is hard to know how accurate these figures are, but MSNBC has made the argument that in the past the Gaza Health Ministry has provided accurate estimates: Casualties in the Hamas-Israeli War | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Regardless, it does seem that a significant percent of the losses are civilians and that civilian killed number in the thousands. With over 40% of the population being under 14 or younger, then over half of those civilians were not of voting age when Hamas was first elected to lead Gaza in 2006 (and it was their last election: see 2006 Palestinian legislative election – Wikipedia). This is just noted in case someone wants to make an argument that these civilians deserve what they are getting. There has also been hundreds of thousands of civilians forced to relocate, and there are not a lot of good places to relocated to in Gaza.

Israel lost over 1,200 killed on 7 October. This included around 799 civilians and a large number of military, reservists, police, etc. Total Israeli civilians killed since the start of this war is 809 (according to Wikipedia). Over 250 civilians have been taken hostage (253 according to Wikipedia), of which 110 have been rescued or released and 38 are confirmed to now be dead (at least three killed by Israel). This leaves over 100 who may be still in captivity. Some of them have probably died (according to Wikipedia there are 107 living captives and 29 dead bodies while CNN reports 104 living and 28 dead bodies).

The U.S., in operations against the Houthis in Yemen, have lost two special forces soldiers. Houthi losses are fairly limited (10 according to Wikipedia).

There is no good solution here. I was of the opinion that the most rational result would have been for Israel to invade Gaza for two weeks, negotiate a hostage release, declare victory and pull out. For lots of reasons, this did not happen. So, the war continues past day 111, with the 800 Israeli civilians killed on 7 October being overshadowed by the thousands of civilian deaths in Gaza. Hamas is slowly winning the propaganda war.

Note the opinion of U.S. 18-24 years olds or “under 35” in various recent polls: Quinnipiac poll shows Israel-Palestine divide across generations, parties – POLITICO and Vast majority of voters back Israel over Hamas: Poll (msn.com).

The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 699

I am back to blogging about the war in Ukraine. My last blog post was in October: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 589 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I also did a few blog posts about the war between Hamas and Israel: Hamas-Israeli War – Day 3 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I then got overwhelmed with 1) travel, 2) conferences (The Schedule for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 – 19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)), 3) presentations, 4) planning (The Third HAAC – October 2024? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)), 5) marketing (Are we the world leader in military historical analysis? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and The History of the DuWar Data Bases | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)) and 6) working on finishing books. There are a finite number of hours in a day.

Anyhow, I did not blog about the lastest Battle of Avdiivka (10 October to present), which was the big story between Day 589 until the end of the year. I gather this Russian attack and stalled out and quieted down. The Wikipedia post is here on subject: Battle of Avdiivka (2022–present) – Wikipedia. My knowledge of the subject does not exceed that, as I simply have not had time to pay attention to it.

I have gotten my book The Battle for Kyiv out, I have been done the (hopefully) final edits on Aces at Kursk. Our current publication schedule is here: Current book release schedule | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I do not know if they are going to release Aces at Kursk by 30 January, but I gather it will be soon.

Anyhow, let’s talk about Ukraine:

Forces involved:

I have been for a while guestimating that both sides had 300,000 to 400,000 regular forces deployed in the field. Recently Russia (Putin specifically) claimed 617,000 in the combat zone. Ukraine counter-claimed that Russian only had 450,000. They have been various claims over times that Ukraine has 700,000 or more forces activated. There is a difference apparently between “activated” and on or near the front line. I have suspected for a while that both sides had roughly equal forces deployed, because if that was not the case, someone would be advancing. We have not seen a lot of advancing for over a year, since November 2022.

Casualties:

There are lots of casualty figures out there. There appears to be almost no factual or analytical basis for most of these figures. Some are absurd (like the Ukrainian claims of Russian losses or the Russian claims of Ukrainian losses). Some of the estimates from various intelligence agencies sometimes also seem high. While lots of people seem willing to hang their hats on these estimates, we actually have no idea how they are constructed and what they are based upon. They might be based upon solid data, or they might not. The intelligences communities have a mixed record. My last discussion on casualties is here: Total Casualties in Ukraine according to CBC | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Here is what we know:

  1. Last Russian report: 5,937 as of 21 September 2022.
  2. Last DPR count (not estimate): 4,176 dead end of 2022
  3. Last LPR report: 500-600 killed as of April 2022.
  4. Last Ukrainian report: almost 9,000 military (21 August 2022) or 10,000 – 13,000 (1 December 2022).
    1. Detailed discussion of this report is here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)
  5.  Current Russian casualty count from Mediazona: 42,284 as of 19 January 2024.
  6. Current Ukrainian casualty count by name from the Book of Remembrance of the Fallen for Ukraine (24 February 2022 to August 2023): 22,233 as of the end of August 2023 (Mediazona count as of 24 August 2023 was 30,698).

Wounded-to-killed ratios are at least 4-to-1. They may be higher. There are claims that the Wagner Group had only a 2-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio. This probably does not apply to the entire Russian Army. Some light reading on the subject of wounded-to-killed ratios: Wounded-To-Killed Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Wounded-to-killed ratios in Ukraine in 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It is also worth while taking a look at Chapter 15 of my book War by Numbers. Wounded-to-killed ratios is heavily dependent on the nature of combat, with a lot of direct fire engagements generating lower ratios while a lot of artillery generates higher ratios. The war has been very driven by artillery fire for most of the last year. Again, look at my book.

Now, not all wounded are seriously wounded. Some wounded are effectively incapacitated, some may recover to be functional but can no longer serve in the military, some are seriously wounded but given enough time can return to duty, some are lightly wounded and will returned to duty within days or weeks, and some are so lightly wounded that they will return to duty within days or that same day. This last group is the carded for record only category used by the U.S. Army in WWII and the Vietnam War. They are usually not counted in wounded statistics (although the USMC does). I may blog in more depth about this later. In the meantime see: Return-to-Duty (RTDs) | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Carded-for-Record in WWII | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Anyhow, the Mediazona is an undercount of Russian casualties. By their own admission in an exchange with them, they say they estimate that their undercount is a factor of two. If that is the case, the Russian casualties can be estimated at least 84,568 killed. This does strike me as a reasonable estimate. There are some who question that and claim that the Mediazona is undercounting by a factor of 3 or 4 based upon their count of Wagner casualties. I am not sure of that argument and its application to the entire set of casualties. I do question any estimated Russian killed count higher than 100,000 and I do challenge those people making such an argument to provide a factual basis for these higher estimates (I seriously doubt they can do that).

I suspect Ukrainian losses are at least 75% of Russian losses. There appear to be two periods in this war where Russian losses were higher the Ukrainian losses. That was Wagner group attacks on Bakhmut and the recent attacks on Avdiivka. There does appear to be a couple of periods in this war where Ukrainian losses were higher than Russian losses. This may have been early in the war, when thousands of Ukrainian prisoners were taken (although the exchange in people killed may have been roughly equal) and during the fall 2022 offensive in Kherson province, although not much had been reported about that. Therefore, if Ukrainian losses are at least 75% of Russian losses we are looking at least at 63,426 Ukrainians killed.

Assuming a 4-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio (which is an assumption, it could be higher, it is probably not much lower), then:

Russian: 84,568 killed and 338,272 wounded.

Ukraine: 63,426 killed and 253,704 wounded.

 

Ukraine still has a few thousand people held as prisoners by the Russians. The UN count of Ukranian civilian losses is 9,701 as of 24 September 2023. These reports include civilians killed in the DPR and LPR. For some reason, they have quit updating these reports. The Ukrainian government provided a list of 10,749 civilians killed by name up through 1 August 2023. The DPR and LPR have provided a count of 1,499 civilians killed.

 That is all for now.