Three books to be published this year

I have been quiet about the books that I am working on and publishing because some of them have been slower to release than expected.

I have three books coming out this year. The UK hardcover release dates are:

Aces at Kursk: 30 July 2023
The Battle of Kyiv: 30 August 2023
The Hunting Falcon: 30 September 2023

The U.S. hardcover release dates according to are:

Aces at Kursk: 30 September 2023
The Battle of Kyiv: 30 October 2023
The Hunting Falcon: 31 October 2023

So for a brief moment in time I will be pumping out a book a month. I am currently working on two other books (they might be released in 2023) and I have one other listed on (UK) called “The Other Battle of Kursk” with a release date of 16 July 2024. This is the book “The Battle of Tolstoye Woods.” This has been discussed with the publisher and I may get it published in 2024.

Of course, the only way one gets a book done is to ignore everything else. If some people feel I should be responding in a timely manner to their emails or requests, there is a reason I have not been. Sorry. Three books coming out in one year is evidence that there is some validity to that.

Some relevant links related to Aces at Kursk:

Aces at Kursk – Chapter Listing | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

Is this my last Kursk book? | Mystics & Statistics ( The answer is no. I will be working on (and maybe completing) The Battle of Tolstoye Woods in 2024.

145 or 10? | Mystics & Statistics (

So did Kozhedub shoot down 62, 64 or 66 planes? | Mystics & Statistics (

5th Guards Fighter Regiment, 7 July 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (

The 728th Fighter Regiment on 16 July 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (

Soviet versus German kill claims at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

So What Was Driving the Soviet Kill Claims? | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk – Chapters | Mystics & Statistics (

And related to The Battle for Kyiv: most of this blog from December 2021 through April 2022:

December | 2021 | Mystics & Statistics (

January | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

February | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

March | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

April | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

And related to Hunting Falcon:

Award Dates for the Blue Max (1916) | Mystics & Statistics (


Advance Rates in Combat


Advance Rates in Combat:

                Units maneuver before and during a battle to achieve a more favorable position. This maneuver is often unopposed and is not the subject of this discussion. Unopposed movement before combat is often quite fast, although often not as fast as people would like to assume. Once engaged with an opposing force, the front line between them also moves, usually moving forwards if the attacker is winning and moving backwards for the defender if he is losing or choosing to withdraw. These are opposed advance rates. This section is focused on discussing opposed advance rates or “advance rates in combat.”

            The operations research and combat modeling community have often taken a short-hand step of predicting advance rates in combat based upon force ratios, so that a force with a three-to-one force ratio advances faster than a force with a two-to-one force ratio. But, there is not a direct relationship between force ratios and advance rates. There is an indirect relationship between them, in that higher forces ratios increased the chances of winning, and winning the combat and the degree of victory helps increase advance rates. There is little analytical work that has been done on this subject.[1]

            Opposed advance rates are very much influenced by 1) terrain, 2) weather and 3) the degree of mechanization and mobilization, in addition to 4) the degree of enemy opposition. These four factors all influence what the rates will be.

            In a study The Dupuy Institute did on enemy prisoner of war capture rates, we ended up coding a series of engagements by outcome. This has proven to a useful coding for the examination of advance rates. Engagements codes as outcomes I and II (limited action and limited attack) are not of concern for this discussion. The engagement coded as attack fails (outcome III) is significant, as these are cases where the attacker is determined to have failed. As such they often do not advance at all, sometimes have a very limited advance and sometimes are even pushed back (have a negative advance). For example, in our work on the subject, of our 271 division-level engagements from Western Europe 1943-45 the average advance rate was 1.81 kilometers per day. For Eastern Europe in 1943 the average advance rate was 4.54 kilometers per day based upon 173 division-level engagements.[2] These advance rates are irrespective of what the force ratios are for an engagement.

            In contrast, in those engagements where the attacker is determined to have won and is coded as attacker advances (outcome IV) the attacker advances an average of 2.00 kilometers in the 142 engagements from Western Europe 1943-45. The average force ratio of these engagements was 2.17. In the case of Eastern Europe in 1943, the average advance rate was 5.80 kilometers based upon 73 engagements. The average force ratio of these engagements was 1.62.

            We also coded engagements where the defender was penetrated (outcome V). These are those cases where the attacker penetrated the main defensive line of the defending unit, forcing them to either withdraw, reposition or counterattack. This penetration is achieved by either overwhelming combat power, the end result of an extended operation that finally pushes through the defenses, or a gap in the defensive line usually as a result of a mistake. Superior mechanization or mobility for the attacker can also make a difference. In those engagements where the defender was determined to have been penetrated the attacker advanced an average of 4.12 kilometers in 34 engagements from Western Europe 1943-45. The average force ratio of these engagements was 2.31. In the case of Eastern Europe in 1943, the average advance rates was 11.28 kilometers based upon 19 engagements. The average force ratio of these engagements was 1.99.

            This clearly shows the difference in advance rate based upon outcome. It is only related to force ratios to the extant the force ratios are related to producing these different outcomes.


            Also of significance is terrain and weather. Needless to say, significant blocking obstacles like bodies of water, can halt an advance and various rivers and creeks often considerably slow them, even with engineering and bridging support. Rugged terrain is more difficult to advance through and easier to defend and delay then smoother terrain. Closed or wooded terrain is more difficult to advance through and easier to defend and delay then open terrain. Urban terrain tends to also slow down advance rates, being effectively “closed terrain.” If it is raining then advance rates are slower than in clear weather. Sometimes considerably slower in heavy rain. The season it is, which does influence the amount of daylight, also affects the advance rate. Units move faster in daylight than in darkness. This is all heavily influenced by the road network and the number of roads in the area of advance.

            No systematic study of advance rates has been done by the operations research community. Probably the most developed discussion of the subject was the material assembled for the combat models developed by Trevor Dupuy. This included addressing the effects of terrain and weather and road network on the advance rates. A combat model is an imperfect theory of combat.

            Even though this combat modeling effort is far from perfect and fundamentally based upon quantifying factors derived by professional judgment, tables derived from this modeling effort have become standard presentations in a couple of U.S. Army and USMC planning and reference manuals. This includes U.S. Army Staff Reference Guide and the Marine Corps’ MAGTF Planner’s Reference Manual.[3]

The original table, from Numbers, Predictions and War, is here:[4]




                                                                                    Rates in km/day

                                                Armored          Mechzd.          Infantry           Horse Cavalry

                                                Division           Division           Division           Division or

                                                                                                or Force           Force

Against Intense Resistance

    (P/P: 1.0-1.1O)

Hasty defense/delay                4.0                   4.0                   4.0                   3.0

Prepared defense                    2.0                   2.0                   2.0                   1.6

Fortified defense                     1.0                   1.0                   1.0                   0.6


 Against Strong/Intense Resistance

    (P/P: 1-11-125)

Hasty defense/delay                5.0                   4.5                   4.5                   3.5

Prepared defense                    2.25                 2.25                 2.25                 1.5

Fortified defense                     1.25                 1.25                 1.25                 0.7


Against Strong Defense

    (P/P: 1.26-1.45)

Hasty defense/delay                6.0                   5.0                   5.0                   4.0

Prepared defense                    2.5                   2.5                   2.5                   2.0

Fortified defense                     1.5                   1.5                   1.5                   0.8


Against Moderate/Strong Resistance

    (P/P: 1.46-1.75)

Hasty defense                         9.0                   7.5                   6.5                   6.0

Prepared defense                    4.0                   3.5                   3.0                   2.5

Fortified defense                     2.0                   2.0                   1.75                 0.9


Against Moderate Resistance

    (P/P: 1.76-225)

Hasty defense/delay                12.0                 10.0                 8.0                   8.0

Prepared defense                    6.0                   5.0                   4.0                   3.0

Fortified defense                     3.0                   2.5                   2.0                   1.0


Against Slight/Moderate Resistance


Hasty defense/delay                16.0                 13.0                 10.0                 12.0

Prepared defense                    8.0                   7.0                   5.0                   6.0

Fortified defense                     4.0                   3.0                   2.5                   2.0


Against Slight Resistance

    (P/P: 3.01-4.25)

Hasty defense/delay                20.0                 16.0                 12.0                 15.0

Prepared defense                    10.0                 8.0                   6.0                   7.0

Fortified defense                     5.0                   4.0                   3.0                   4.0


Against Negligible/Slight Resistance


Hasty defense/delay                40.0                 30.0                 18.0                 28.0

Prepared defense                    20.0                 16.0                 10.0                 14.0

Fortified defense                     10.0                 8.0                   6.0                   7.0


Against Negligible Resistance

    (P/P: 6.00 plus)

Hasty defense /delay               60.0                 48.0                 24.0                 40.0

Prepared/fortified defense      30.0                 24.0                 12.0                 12.0


*Based on HERO studies: ORALFORE, Barrier Effectiveness, and Combat Data Subscription Service.

** For armored and mechanized infantry divisions, these rates can be sustained for 10 days only; for the next 20 days standard rates for armored and mechanized infantry forces cannot exceed half these rates.


                This is a modeling construct built from historical data. These are “unmodified” rates. The modifications include: 1) General Terrain Factors (ranging from 0.4 to 1.05 for Infantry (combined arms) Force and from 0.2 to 1.0 for Cavalry or Armored Force, 2) Road Quality Factors (addressing Road Quality from 0.6 to 1.0 and Road Density from 0.6 to 1.0), 3) Obstacles Factors (ranging from 0.5 to 0.9 for both a River or steam and for Minefields), 4) Day/Night with night advance rate one-half of daytime advance rate and 5) Main Effort Factor (ranging from 1.0 to 1.2). These last five sets of tables are not shown here, but can be found in his writings.[5]



[1] The most significant works we are aware of is Trevor Dupuy’s ORALFORE study in 1972: Opposed Rates of Advance in Large Forces in Europe (ORALFORE), (TNDA, for DCSOPS, 1972); Trevor Dupuy’s 1979 book Numbers, Predictions and War; and a series of three papers by Robert Helmbold (Center for Army Analysis): “Rates of Advance in Land Combat Operations, June 1990,” “Survey of Past Work on Rates of Advance, and “A Compilation of Data on Rates of Advance.”

[2] See paper on the subject by Christopher A. Lawrence, “Advance Rates in Combat based upon Outcome,” posted on the blog Mystics & Statistic, April 2023. In the databases, there were 282 Western Europe engagements from September 1943 to January 1945. There were 256 Eastern Front engagements from February, March, July and August of 1943.

[3] See U.S. Army Staff Reference Guide, Volume I: Unclassified Resources, December 2020, ATP 5-0.2-1, pages xi and 220; and MAGTF Planner’s Reference Manual, MSTF pamphlet 5-0.3, October 2010, page 79. Both manuals include a table for division-level advances which is derived from Trevor Dupuy’s work, and both manuals contain a table for brigade-level and below advances which are calculated per hour that appear to also be derived from Trevor Dupuy’s division-level table. The U.S. Army manual gives the “brigade and below” advance rates in km/hr while the USMC manual, which appears to be the same table, gives the “brigade and below” advance rates in km/day. This appears to be a typo.

[4] Numbers, Predictions and War, pages 213-214. The sixth line of numbers, three numbers were changes from 1.85 to 1.25 as this was obviously a typo in the original.

[5] See Numbers, Predictions and War, pages 214-216.



The actual paper this was drawn from is here: Advance Rates in Combat

Average Losses per Day in Division-level Engagements on the Eastern Front in 1943

Trevor N. Dupuy, among his 56 verities of combat, states that “Average World War II division engagement casualty rates were 1-3% a day.”[1]

This was based primarily on his research on the Western Front during World War II. For example, just to draw from data from real world experience, the average losses per U.S. division in 82 selected engagements was 1.2% per day in 1943-44. The average strength of these divisions was 14,000. The average loss per German division in 82 selected engagements was 1.8% per day. The average strength of these divisions was 12,000. These engagements were all from the Italian Campaign and the European Theater of Operations (primarily France).[2]

Now for Germany versus the Soviet Union, the loss rates in 1943 were higher for both sides. We do have daily unit records and have assembled them into a series of 192 division-level engagements for the southern part of Battle of Kursk in July 1943 and 64 division-level engagements for the battles around Kharkov in February, March and August of 1943. They show the following statistics:[3]

Battle of Kursk:

                                                            Average Losses:            Average           Average

                                             Cases     Mean     Median             Strength          Force Ratio

Germans attacking               124         0.99        0.78                21,487               1.44

Germans defending                68         0.68        0.52               16,945                0.91

Soviets attacking                    68         3.25        1.67               18,631                1.10

Soviets defending                 124         4.31        3.82               14,930                0.69


Battles for Kharkov:

Germans attacking                 35         0.58        0.48                17,326                2.77

Germans defending                29         0.64        0.50                14,834                0.87

Soviets attacking                    29         2.18        1.56                 17,001               1.15

Soviets defending                   35         5.21        3.05                  6,837                0.36


Slightly different figures will be created using differing selection criteria, but out of the 124 cases of the Germans attacking at Kursk, in only two cases were German losses greater than 3% [4]. They were both cross-river attacks done on 5 July 1943 by the 106th and 320th Infantry Divisions. German losses at Kursk while defending never exceeded 3%. German losses in the Kharkov engagements never exceeded 2% a day.

Soviet losses exceeded 3% per day in 24 cases while attacking at Kursk and exceeded 6% in ten of those cases. Soviet losses exceeded 3% per day in 67 cases while defending at Kursk (in over half the cases) and exceeded 6% in 39 of those cases. Soviet losses exceeded 3% a day in only two cases while attacking at Kharkov and in 16 cases while defending, of which in seven of those cases Soviet losses exceeded 6% per day.



[1] See Colonel Trevor N. Dupuy, Understanding War: History and Theory of Combat (Paragon House Publishers, New York, 1987), page 179.

[2] See Dupuy, Understanding War, page 169. Note that all these WWII engagements were tagged with the note that the data was approximate, more research required. The Dupuy Institute has 282 division-level engagements from the Italian Campaign and ETO that are created from the unit records of both sides. We have not done this comparison using our further developed and more extensive data collection, but suspect the results would be similar.

[3] The data used for this calculation is presented for the Battle of Kursk in a series of 192 engagement sheets in the book by Lawrence, Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorova. This work can be cross-checked by others. The data used for the battles around Kharkov have not been published yet. It might be at some point in the future. The data is currently company proprietary of The Dupuy Institute.

[4] More precise would be to remove all the engagements coded as limited action and limited attack, leaving only those coded as failed attack, attack advances, defender penetrated, defender enveloped and other. In the 124 Kursk cases of the German attacking this would remove 15 cases of limited action, 14 cases of limited attack, and 26 cases where the outcome has not been coded yet. The force ratio is now up to 1.56-to-1 and the average German percent losses are 1.25% while the average Soviet percent losses are 5.83%. Conversely, in the 68 cases where the Soviet are attacking, there are 7 cases are limited action, 9 cases are limited attack and 33 cases where the outcome has not been coded yet. The force ratio for these remaining 19 cases is 1.27 and average Soviet percent losses are 4.05 while the average German percent losses are 0.86.

 In all cases, the mean is calculated as a weighted mean, meaning that it is based upon total strengths compared to total losses. The median is calculated, naturally, by finding the midpoint of all 124 or 68 engagements.


The actual paper this was drawn from is here: Average Losses per Day

Presentations from HAAC – Fitting Lanchester Equations

The third presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Tom Lucas of the Naval Post-Graduate School (49 slides):  Fitting Lanchester equations to time-phased battle data

The two of the databases used for this work were the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base (ACSDB) and the Kursk Data Base (KDB). I was the program manager for both of these efforts.


We had a total of 30 presentations given at the first Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC). We have the briefing slides from most of these presentations. Over the next few weeks, we are going to present the briefing slides on this blog, maybe twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursday). In all cases, this is done with the permission of the briefer. We may later also post the videos of the presentations, but these are clearly going to have to go to another medium ( We will announce when and if these are posted.

The briefings will be posted in the order given at the conference. The conference schedule is here: Schedule for the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 16 | Mystics & Statistics (

The conference opened with a brief set of introductory remarks by me. The seven supporting slides are here: Opening Presentation

It was then followed by a briefing by Dr. Shawn Woodford on Studying Combat; The “Base of Sand” Problem: 20220927 HAAC-Studying Combat

The second presentation of the first day was given by me. It is here (45 slides): Data for Wargames (Summary) – 2

Some Background on TDI Data Bases

The Dupuy Institute (TDI) are sitting on a number of large combat databases that are unique to us and are company proprietary. For obvious reasons they will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

The original database of battles came to be called the Land Warfare Data Base (LWDB). It was also called the CHASE database by CAA. It consisted of 601 or 605 engagements from 1600-1973. It covered a lot of periods and lot of different engagement sizes, ranging from very large battles of hundreds of thousand a side to small company-sized actions. The length of battles range from a day to several months (some of the World War I battles like the Somme).

From that database, which is publicly available, we created a whole series of databases totaling some 1200 engagements. There are discussed in some depth in past posts.

Our largest and most developed data is our division-level database covering combat from 1904-1991 of 752 cases: It is discussed here: The Division Level Engagement Data Base (DLEDB) | Mystics & Statistics (

There are a number of other databases we have. They are discussed here: Other TDI Data Bases | Mystics & Statistics (

The cost of independently developing such a database is given here: Cost of Creating a Data Base | Mystics & Statistics (

Part of the reason for this post is that I am in a discussion with someone who is doing analysis based upon the much older 601 case database. Considering the degree of expansion and improvement, including corrections to some of the engagements, this does not seem a good use of their time., especially as we have so greatly expanded the number engagements from 1943 and on.

Now, I did use some of these databases for my book War by Numbers. I am also using them for my follow-up book, currently titled More War by Numbers. So the analysis I have done based upon them is available. I have also posted parts of the 192 Kursk engagements in my first Kursk book and 76 of them in my Prokhorovka book. None of these engagements were in the original LWDB. 

If people want to use the TDI databases for their own independent analysis, they will need to find the proper funding so as to purchase or get access to these databases. 

The Soviet General Staff study on Kursk compared to Unit Records (part 3 of 3 – Conclusions)

What we did was a simple comparison of the Soviet General Staff study data on the air fighting in the south compared to the daily records we gathered from the Second and Seventeenth Air Armies. What we found was their were minor differences in the sortie counts, but overall that was close to what was reported in the unit records we had.

On the other hand, the reports on casualties was not. There were outrageously incorrect estimations of enemy losses, which is typical of Soviet accounts. But as significant, the reports of their own losses were low. In particular, our count of Second Air Army losses from 5-18 July was 481, their count was 371. This Soviet General Staff study only reported 77% of their losses. Does this mean that if I draw losses reports from the Sixteenth Air Army from the Soviet General Staff study (as I don’t have the unit records), should I “inflate” them by 30%? (the inverse of 0.77).

Added to that, they simply left out the Seventeenth Air Army losses (182 aircraft). It may have been an oversight or a deliberate effort to downplay their losses.

But, just to focus on the Second Air Army losses, the staff study has the total losses for the 5th – 18th as 371: 172 fighters, 31 bombers, and 168 assault. We have the Second Air Army’s losses for 5 to 18 July 1943, taken from their daily reports, as 481 (See Table IV.32 of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka). This includes 248 fighters, 48 bombers, 180 assault and 5 night bombers. So actual losses of the Second Air Army were 30% higher than what was reported in the Soviet General Staff study, or 28% if one leaves out the night bombers.

One does wonder about the process where even the internal classified post-operation staff studies understate their losses (in addition to many other errors). They did have the unit records available to them. In particular, their table is vastly off on the 5th of July when the Second Air Army lost 114 planes and the Soviet General Staff study reports only 78, but it consistently underreports for every single day. They also do not report the losses for the Seventeenth Air Army, which according to our count was another 182 or 221 planes lost (see Tables IV.34 and Tables IV.35). This does argue that the reported losses for the Sixteenth Air Army may be low compared to reality.

In the bigger picture, the Soviet General Staff studies are secondary sources, not primary sources. Furthermore they are secondary sources with considerable bias and errors. They invariably (grossly) overplay German losses and seemed to try to minimize their own losses. Furthermore their narrative of accounts often downplays certain aspects of their operations. They do have be used with extreme caution, as opposed to treating them as somewhat authoritative.

Now, Niklas Zetterling & Anders Frankson offer a similar discussion of the problems of relying on the Soviet General Staff studies in their book The Korsun Pocket: The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944. It is clear that these are secondary sources with biases that must be used with considerable caution.

The Soviet General Staff study on Kursk compared to Unit Records (part 2 of 3 – Airplane Losses)

This is the second part of my comparison of the data provided in the Soviet General Staff study on Kursk that was prepared in March-April 1944 compared to the Second and Seventeenth Air Army records that I have.


            There are one table on losses in the Soviet General Staff study on Kursk that relate to the Second and Seventeenth Air Army. They are provided below. I have broken it into two tables for this blog:

The Air Struggle Along the Enemy’s Main Axis

                             Air          Enemy Losses:

                             Battles   Fighter   Bomber  Total

5 July                       81           71           83         154

6 July                       64           40           65         105 

7 July                       74           44           78         122  

8 July                       65           54           52         106

9 July                       62           49           22           71

10-14 July              152         112           93         205

15-18 July               43           45           27           72

Totals                     541         415         420         835


                            Second Air Army Losses:   

                            Fighter  Bomber  Assault   Total

5 July                       36           15           27           78

6 July                       23           —             22           45

7 July                       24           —             13           37

8 July                       24             1           16           41

9 July                       16             1           15           32

10-14 July                49           14           75         138

15-18 July              (the figures in the line above cover from 10-18 July)  

Totals                       172           31         168         371

            Now, these figures have been discussed before. The losses of the German VIII Air Corps was 111 planes, vice the 835 claimed here. The losses of the Second Air Army according to the records we reviewed was 481 planes from 5 to 18 July: see Appendix IV, Table II.32 (page 1424) of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka), vice the 371 reported here. This report also does not include Seventeenth Air Army claims or losses. The Seventeenth Air Army’s losses were significant (182 planes). So, it does appear that the Soviet General Staff study basically leaves out 292 out of their 663 airplanes losses (44% of their losses), effectively under reporting their air losses by almost half.

       This is concerning, for it does appear that Soviet General Staff study is understating the Second Air Army losses, omitting the considerable losses from the Seventeenth Air Army and of course, grossly overclaiming the number of German aircraft shot down. This was in an internal classified report that was supposed to be an analysis of the battle. Hard to properly analyze if your data is not correct.

The Soviet General Staff study on Kursk compared to Unit Records (part 1 of 3 – Sortie Counts)

Yak-9 at war memorial, northeast of Yakovlevo, Belrorod-Oboyan road

For my on-going Aces at Kursk book I was asked by the publishers to include a Chapter on the air war in the north from 5-11 July 1943. For the original Kursk project we were able to access the Second and Seventeenth Air Army records in the south. We did not attempt to obtain the Sixteenth Air Army records at that time (1993-1995). Therefore I was forced to rely on the Soviet General Staff study on Kursk that was prepared in March-April 1944 for the count of sorties and losses. As the staff study also reported the sorties and losses from the south, and I had the records for the air armies involved in that, I decided to do a little comparison and added a write-up of this to an appendix of the book.

Sortie Counts (I left out the table of the sortie count from Soviet General Staff study) :

          The Soviet General Staff study data on sortie counts is similar to the data we have assembled. The data we have for the Second and Seventeenth Air Armies operations are taken directly from the daily air army reports as drawn from the archives. The Soviet General Staff study may used these same reports, or used higher level reports or other assembled reports for their study. But there are minor differences between ours and their reports, so most likely they used other higher level or assembled reports for their study. For example, we have the Second Air Army flying 1,296 daytime sorties on 5 July. The Soviet General Staff study has them flying 1,274. There are also minor differences the next two days, but the two sets of counts are the same for 8 and 9 July and then vary slightly for most of the subsequent days (except for the 15th and 16th, where they again match). After the 5th, the largest difference is on the 12th, where our reports record 10 more daytime sorties. These are very minor differences. The Second Air Army nighttime sorties match in all cases between the counts we assembled from the air army daily reports and what the Soviet General Staff study reports.

            The Seventeenth Air Army is a little more complex as some of their missions were flown into the battle area while other of their missions were flown completely out of the battle area defended by the Voronezh Front. For the Kursk database project, I ended up reviewing each reported mission as to where it operated and made a judgment as to whether this mission was in the area of the Belgorod offensive or not. It does not appear that the Soviet General Staff study did that. For the 5th through the 16th, their estimate more closely matches with the total number of sorties flown by the Seventeenth Air Army than it does with my lower count of the number of sorties flown in the battle area. On eight of those 12 days in question, their totals matches the total we drew from the Seventeenth Air Army daily reports. The day they most differ was on 7 July when they reported 50 more sorties than we counted. We did re-check the original report and our total is 639. Suspect their number of 689 is a typo. As the Soviet General Staff study may have been drawn from a later aggregate report, there are multiple opportunities for typos.

           On the other hand, in the table we assembled of Seventeenth Air Army daytime sorties we had a lower count for “only those that were in the Belgorod Area or attacked the VIII Air Corps” (see table in Chapter Four). It is consistently lower from the 5th through the 16th, which the worse variance being on the 7th, where we count 588 as valid sorties in the battle area, whereas the Soviet General Staff study reports 689. On the 17th we count none in the area and on the 18th we count 12 sorties.

           Still there are a couple of observations we can make from this comparison. First, is that the Soviet General Staff study reports of Soviet sorties flown is fairly accurate in that it matches with records we have from the Second and Seventeenth Air Armies. This is important to note as we rely on the Soviet General Staff study for the count of sorties for the Sixteenth Air Army.

TDI and the TNDM

The Dupuy Institute does occasionally make use of a combat model developed by Trevor Dupuy called the Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model (TNDM). That model is a development of his older model the Quantified Judgment Model (QJM). 
There is an impression, because the QJM is widely known, that the TNDM is heavily involved in our work. In fact, over 90% of our work has not involved the TNDM. Here a list of major projects/publications that we done since 1993.
Based upon TNDM:
Artillery Suppression Study – study never completed (1993-1995)
Air Model Historical Data feasibility study (1995)
Support contract for South African TNDM (1996?)
International TNDM Newsletter (1996-1998, 2009-2010)
TNDM sale to Finland (2002?)
FCS Study – 2 studies (2006)
TNDM sale to Singapore (2009)
Small-Unit Engagement Database (2011)
Addressed the TNDM:
Bosnia Casualty Estimate (1995) – used the TNDM to evaluate one possible scenario
Casualty Estimation Methodologies Study (2005) – was two of the six methodologies tested
Data for Wargames training course (2016)
War by Numbers (2017) – addressed in two chapters out of 20
Did not use the TNDM: 
Kursk Data Base (1993-1996)
Landmine Study for JCS (1996)
Combat Mortality Study (1998)
Record Keeping Survey (1998-2000)
Capture Rate Studies – 3 studies (1998-2001)
Other Landmine Studies – 6 studies (2000-2001)
Lighter Weight Armor Study (2001)
Urban Warfare – 3 studies (2002-2004)
Base Realignment studies for PA – 3 studies (2003-2005)
Chinese Doctrine Study (2003)
Situational Awareness Study (2004)
Iraq Casualty Estimate (2004-2005)
The use of chemical warfare in WWI – feasibility study (2005?)
Battle of Britain Data Base (2005)
1969 Sino-Soviet Conflict (2006)
MISS – Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets (2006-2009)
Insurgency Studies – 11 studies/reports (2007-2009)
America’s Modern Wars (2015)
Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (2015)
The Battle of Prokhorovka (2019)
Aces at Kursk (2021)
More War by Numbers (2022?)
Our bread and butter was all the studies that “did not use the TNDM.” Basically the capture rate studies, the urban warfare studies and the insurgencies studies kept us steadily funded for year after year. We would have not been able to maintain TDI on the TNDM. We had one contract in excess of $100K in 1994-95 (the Artillery Suppression study) and our next TNDM related contract that was over $100K was in 2005.

Soviet Artillery in Proportion

A miniature wargaming website in the UK came to my attention because he quoted from my Kursk book (actually probably from my blog). The link is here:

Now, this was one of the many asides that I developed during the writing of the book and I felt one of the more significant discussions in the book. I am always concerned that a number of major points in that book were drowned in the 1,662 pages. I am glad he was able to identify and pull that one out.

The quote is in his blog post, but for the battle we estimated that the Germans fired 51,083 tons of ammunition while the Soviets fired 21,867 tons. I don’t think anyone else have made such a calculation.

For the Soviet rocket launchers (Katyushas) they fired an estimated 2,422 tons of ammo, while for the German rocket launchers (Nebelwerfers) they fired 5,916 tons of ammo.

This is subject that probably could be the basis of a complete stand-alone study or book. I suspect if this was the case at Kursk, where the Soviet army had three months to prepare and stockpile, then it is very much an issue for other, especially more mobile, operations.


P.S. The complete quote is also in this earlier blog post:

German versus Soviet Artillery at Kursk