Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45 – Daniel Horvath

We did separate the conference in the afternoon and had two presentations given in another conference room. The first one was on Midway and the Aleutians. We did not record that. The second one was a virtual presentation, so we recorded that. It is here: (10) Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944 45: Horvath – YouTube

The link to the 21 slides for that presentation are here: Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45 | Mystics & Statistics (

The link to the 64 slides for the previous unrecorded presentation is here: Presentations from HAAC – Midway and the Aleutians | Mystics & Statistics (


Shebekino is a town in Belgorod province 19 miles (30 km) southeast of Belgorod. It population in the 2021 census was 39,680, down from 44,552 in 1989.

It was founded in 1713 and on 1 June 2023 came under fire from Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian-allied Freedom of Russia Legion is conducting operations in this area, and Russia does not seem to be able to easily suppress them. There may be a 100 or so anti-Putin Russians operating there.

Shebekino is on the Nezhegol River just south of Maslova Pristan. During the Battle of Kursk, which started 4 July 1943, the town was at the southern end of the Seventh Guards Army area of deployment, and they were faced by the German 42nd Army Corps. The 42nd Army Corps conducted feint attacks on the first couple of days of the offensive, and no other significant actions occurred there during July or August 1943.

On the other hand, just to the Northwest, Maslova Pristan was at the center of a bloody German attack of 5 July 1943, where the 320th Infantry Division tried to cross the Donets River in the face of considerable Russian opposition. Even though this produced the bloodiest day of action in July by any German division during the offensive in south, these operations are often left entirely out of some books on the Battle of Kursk.

Anyhow, in my big book on Kursk, I do reference Shebekino some 13 times. The references are on pages 414 (twice), 415 (3 times), 417 (2 times), 494 (3), 495, 548, and 657.

I have never been to Shebekino, but I was at Maslov Pristan in the 1990s. I left one picture in my book of the railroad embankment at Maslova Pristan (page 224 and above) and the road from Maslova Pristan (page 225). 

Some reports:

Attacks on Shebekino triggers criticism of Russian authorities – ISW report (

Freedom of Russia Legion Destroys Russian Tanks Near Shebekino Checkpoint In Belgorod Region | Ukrainian news (


Soviet Propaganda Leaflet, July 1943

Daniel Horvath, the author, has passed to me a copy of a Soviet propaganda leaflet from July 1943. He said it came from a crashed plane in Orel province.

It is the same thing on both sides of the two-sided printed leaflet. Translation: Russian Propaganda Leaflet (2)


A New
Adventure by Hitler

German soldiers!

On the morning of July 5, Hitler again threw you into a senseless offensive. In two days, this adventure in the Kursk-Belgorod-Orel region cost the German troops 314 aircraft, 1019 tanks and several tens of thousands of soldiers, and

brought no success to the Germans.

Soldiers! With the example of your dead comrades you should be convinced:

The offensive means inevitable death!

Yesterday your comrades fell, tomorrow will be your turn for a reckoning. In the two years of war in the East, Hitler has already destroyed 6,400,000 soldiers and officers in this way.

Soldiers! Think of your families! Refuse to attack!

Go into Russian captivity!

The offensive means death!

Captivity is your salvation!

This leaflet is valid as a pass for German soldiers and officers who surrender to the Red Army.

,<The same in Russian>

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

Return-to-Duty (RTDs)

I have never really done any work on RTDs. I have an entire chapter on Casualties (Chapter 15) in War by Numbers, but nothing really on RTDS.

Anyhow, more than one person has asked me about this, so let me outline what I/we know:

1). The rule of thumb Trevor Dupuy developed on RTDs was in his “Handbook on Ground Forces Attrition in Modern Warfare,” September 1986, page 90. It says:

“Finally, there is a general rule of thumb for estimating returns to duty from casualties. For each 100 personnel casualties (battle casualty, disease, or injury) 75 will be returned to duty at the end of 20 days at a rate of five per day between the 6th and 20th days after admission, and 25 will never be returned to duty as a result of death, evacuation to the Zone of the Interior, or discharge. This will vary widely from situation to situation, depending in large part upon the theater evacuation policy.”

It is also in his book Attrition, pages 53-54, stated the exact same way. We still have copies of Attrition for sale: TDI Books For Sale (

2). A report done by several people, including Ron Bellamy, who I have worked with, provides the following table:

This chart is from this report: ADA480496.pdf ( I am indebted to Alex Roslin for this research.

Note that RTDs here is those that are returned within 72 hours. So, 752,396 WIA in WWII. Of those, 20% are RTD within 72 hours (and 2.8% are DOW). For Vietnam 235,398 WIA. Of those, 35% are RTD within 72 hours (and 2.1% are DOW). Note that these RTDs within 72 hours are probably all casualties “carded for record only.”

Note that the wounded-to-killed ratio for the WWII data is 4.94-to-1 or 4.22-to-1 if DOW is counted as KIA vice WIA and 3.36-to-1 if DOW is counted as KIA and RTD is not counted as WIA. The wounded-to-killed ratio for Vietnam data is 6.15-to-1 or 5.33-to-1 if DOW is counted as KIA vice WIA or 3.43-to-1 is RTD is not counted.

For the Iraq/Afghanistan data there are 16,235 WIA. Of those, 51% were RTD within 72 hours (and 2.4% are DOW).The wounded-to-killed ratio is 12.82-to-1 or 9.61-to-1 if DOW is counted at KIA vice WIA and 4.58-to-1 is RTD is not counted.

Now, I suspect some of the figures are skewed by how casualties are counted. In World War I and II, you were counted as wounded if you spent the night in a hospital. In Vietnam at one point the U.S. Army counted 96,900 wounded and maybe 104,000 carded-for-record only, meaning over 100,000 soldiers were not counted as wounded, but were allowed to receive the Purple Heart (my father got one that way). I may need to do a blog post about “carded for record” or WIANE (wounded-in-action, not evacuated).

See our report: “C-1 Combat Mortality: Why is Marine Combat Mortality Less than That of the Army (JCS) (March 1998),” page 19. This was done as a joint project with Ron Bellamy. 

3). Now, where the “rule of thumb” that Trevor Dupuy came from is not known. In an attempt to find them, I pulled up three of the old HERO reports 1) 14. Historical Analysis of Wartime Replacement Requirements (26 July 1966), 2) 48. German and Soviet Replacement Systems in World War II (July 1975), and 3) 86. Analytic Survey of Personnel Replacement Systems in Modern War (Apil 1981).

In the second report, page 24 they do have a table “Table 3. German Replacement Army Strength, NCOs and Men, 1 September 1944” which has a total of 2,137,973 with “convalescents” making up 178.456 of that replacement army strength (8%). On 4 December 1944 (page 45) they show for November 1944 342,000 replacements of which 40,000 are convalescents (12%). And then on page 54 there are four tables, three which show convalescents. The most interesting is “Table 20: Losses and Arrivals, German Field Army. From July 1943 to March 1944.” It shows arrivals by month to the Eastern Front as 930,000, of which 421,000 are convalescents, 478,500 are replacements and 30,500 are FTDs (recruits sent to Feild Training Divisions). For “Other Fronts,” the numbers are much smaller: 24,000 convalescents and 50,000 replacements. What is interesting, but not surprising, is that the number of convalescents increase over time. From July through October 1943 it is 34,000 to 46,000 convalescents for each month, by February and March 1944 it is 60,000 convalescents a month. 

For the Russians (page 90), the Germans estimated that 200,000 Russian convalescents were returned monthly to combat as replacements. The Germans estimated (page 91) that in 1942 ten Soviets armies received 764,000 replacements. Of them, new conscripts formed 56.5% of the total, 22.5% were convalescents, 10% were from labor battalions, 9.5% had been non-combat troops, and 1.5% had formerly had occupational deferments. Over 44,000, about 6%, were former convicts, released from prions and concentration camps. 

For 1 January-31 August 1943 for sixteen Soviet armies the Germans estimated that 89% of the replacements were new conscripts, 9% were convalescents, and 2% were former non-combat and survivors of units destroyed. Also of interest is that the Germans estimated that 28% had training of less than 10 days, 49.6% had training of up to one month, and 22.4% had training of over one month. I will avoid the temptation to equate this with the current war in Ukraine.

A third report indicates that in June 1943, 34,384 Soviet replacements reached units (probably the Bryansk Army Group) facing the German Ninth Army as follows: 82% were new conscripts, 7% were convalescents, 11% were former non-combat. Their training was reported as 26% less than 10 days, 49% up to one month, and 11% were former non-combat.  

Now, none of this actually answers my questions on RTD rates, but I still found it pretty damn interesting.

Finally, there is the report “Analytic Survey of Personnel Replacement Systems in Modern War.” This last report was primarily written by C. Curtiss Johnson (in case he is reading this blog). 

It provides a few snippets of useful data. For example (page 48), it states for the 6695 and 6706 Conditional Companies (U.S. Army, Italy) that between 1 July 1944 and 10 June 1945 the two companies process approximately 12,400 patients, of whom nearly 10,400 were rehabilitated sufficiently to return to unit. This is 84% returned-to-duty.

In the case of the Vietnam War, the 90th Replacement battalion from the quarter ending 31 Jan 1969 through 31 October, processed 172,585 replacements and 175,346 returnees. Not sure this tells us much.

 But this does… to quote (starting from page C-2):

Table 20, based on data compile by the Office of the Surgeon, MTOUSA, in December 1944, shows… the sample included 71,378 patients, 29,727 of whom had been injured and 41,651 of whom were battle casualties. Of the injured patients, 26,174 or 88.05% were returned to duty after hospitalization, 799 or 2,69% died, and 2,754 or 9.26% were evacuated to ZI hospitals. Of battle casualty patients (WIA), 29,860 or 71.69% were returned to duty, 1,130 or 2.71% died, and 10,661 or 25.60% were evacuate to ZI hospitals.

Experience during 1943-1944 showed that 86.69% of injury patients who were returned to duty became General Assignment personnel, and the remainder (13.31%) became Limited Assignment. The same figures for battle casualty patients were 83.89% General Assignment personnel and 16.11% Limited Assignment personnel.  

…The General Board, ETO,… finding may be expressed in tabular form as follows:

Percentage of Returns Correlated to Theater Evacuation Policy

Days after Admission     Battle Casualties (2,090)   Non-Battle Cas. (100,000)

  60                                    50.7                                        90.6

  90                                    59.5                                        93.0

120                                    64.8                                        93.4

Of the total returned to duty, 28.6% of the battle casualties and 5.3% of the non-battle casualties were estimated to be Limited Assignment personnel. While no comparison can be made between the injuries surveyed by the Office of the Surgeon, MTOUSA, and the non-battle casualties surveyed by the General Board, ETO, the data for battle casualties in the two reports can be compared. This comparison shows that the MTO return rate (71.69%) much exceeded the greatest rate reported for the ETO (64.8%) and that the percentage of returned who became Limited Duty personnel was greater for the ETO (28.6%) than for the MTO (16.11%). The probable explanation for the disparity in these rates was the size of the populations surveyed: the ETO battle casualty sample was 2,090; the MTO sample was 41,651.

The Report of the Army’s postwar Replacement Board provides qualitative and quantitative assessments of the replacement value of hospitalized casualties. In Volume V, Annex 14, p. 1, Major General Russell B. Reynolds, who was ACS, G-1, SPA, stresses the replacement value of hospital returnees and comments:

When you sustain 10 battle casualties, you’ll bury 3, evacuate 2 to the US, find 4 suitable for return to duty in branch, and have to retrain, either in a training center, or on the job, 1. In the case of non-battle casualties, for each 10 you’ll evacuate about 4/10 of a man, bury 1/10 of a man, and find 8 2/4 suitable for return to duty in branch, and face a retraining job on 3/4 of a man. 

These numbers may be expressed on a percent basis as follows: of surviving battle casualties, 28.6% will be evacuees and 71.4% will be returnees; of surviving non-battle casualties, 4.0% will be evacuees and 96% will be returnees. It is interesting to note that when these figures are compared to the same figures derived from MTO and ETO data, there is a remarkable degree of correlation. 

The World War II data presented above may be compared to data developed from the statistical records of World War I by Colonel Albert G. Love of the US Army’s Medical Corps in 1931. Love found that in any typical group of AEF disease and non-battle injury (DNBI) patients, 3.70% would die, 7.52% would have to be evacuated (total lost 11.22%), and 88.78% would be returned to duty. For AEF battle casualty patients, excluding gas wounds, 8.12% would die, 29.58% would have to be evacuated (total lost 37.70%), and 61.88% would be returned to duty. The return rates for World War I DNBI casualties are very close to those of World War II, while World War I BC return rate is smaller than the smallest World War II BC return rate (ETO, General Board: 64.8%). The small World War I BC return rate undoubtedly reflects the less advanced medical treatment available in the earlier conflict (notice, for example, the greater percentage of BC patients dying in hospital).

Expressed in terms of AEF theater evacuation policies, Love’s data reveals the following:

Percentage of Returns Correlated to Theater Evacuation Policy

                                               Percentage Returned to Duty

Days after Admission          Battle Casualties        DNBI

  30                                        24.88                            67.40

  60                                        46.17                            81.74

  90                                        55.73                            86.38

120                                        59.53                            87.95   

…The best, most recent set of data on the replacement value of hospitalized personnel is the data developed from the Korean conflict by Frank A. Reister… Reister’s Table 13, p. 14, shows the final disposition of 248,946 US Army patients from division units originating in Korea during July 1950 – July 1953. Of this number 72,961 were battle casualties (WIA) and 175,985 were non-battle casualties. The distribution of final disposition for battle casualties originating in division units was as follows: 2.2% (1,574) died of wounds, 87.9% (64,159) returned to duty, 8.5% (6,239) were separated for disability, and 1.4% (989) wee administrative separations. The distribution of final dispositions for division non-battle casualties was as follows: 0.3% (485) died, 98.6% (173,525) returned to duty, 0.9% (1,625) were separated for disability, and 0.2% (35) were administrative separations.  

The return to duty figures developed by Reister may be compared to the same figures from Love’s compilation and the various World War II sets to indicate the relative increase in percentage of returns in the two admission categories since World War I and to underscore the value of hospital returnees as a source of replacements in future wars.

Bolding is mine. I suspect the bolded sentence was the basis of the Trevor Dupuy rule of thumb on RTDs.

In the end, there are over 140 old HERO, TNDA, DMSI and Trevor Dupuy reports. None that I have looked at clearly show where his “rule of thumb” on RTDs comes from, although it appears to have come from the last report referenced. I do have more old Dupuy files than I have time to look through them. 

4) There is probably more material out there of value. If so, please post it to the comments in this blog.

5) Proselytizing note: I really did try a couple of years ago to get a probably study done on wounded-to-killed ratios and weapon lethality over time. Could never quite get the funding. Not sure why. See: Two proposals on Combat Casualties | Mystics & Statistics (

If someone really wants the answers to these types of questions, then someone needs to start funding proper research.

Presentations from first HAAC – Evaluating German Aerial Photography at the Battle of Kursk, 1943

The second of seven presentations for the third day in the second conference room of last year’s conference was on “Evaluating German Aerial Photography at the Battle of Kursk, 1943″ by Eugene Matyukhin. We cannot post this excellent presentation at the moment.


We had a total of 31 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 nine presentations given on the first day are all here: Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45 | Mystics & Statistics (

The 13 presentations given on the second day (including one that was not given) are all here:  Presentations from HAAC – Urban Warfare | Mystics & Statistics (

The presentations given on the third day include:

First: “Applying the Scientific Method to Military History (using a virtual laboratory)” by Clinton Reilly (Computer Strategies PYY LTD, Sydney, Australia): Presentations from HAAC – The Application of the Scientific Method to Military History | Mystics & Statistics (

Second: “Quantitative Analysis of History of Direct Fire Weapons” by Dr. Alexander Kott of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL): Kott HAAC Hist Weapons Sep2022.

Third: “Quantitative Risk Assessment in Military Decisions” by Dr. Douglas A. Samuelson of the InfoLogix, Inc.: DS_risk_HAAC_09292

Fourth: “The Criticality of Resurrecting TDI & TNDM” by Joe Follansbee (Col., USA, ret): TDI Proposal 22AUG22

Fifth: “The Future of TDI and work of the conference” by Christopher A. Lawrence (TDI): Closing Presentation 

First in second conference room: “The AEF and Consolidation of Gains Operations during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 1918″ by Dr. Christopher Davis (UNCG): Meuse Argonne Offensive Operations

Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45

We did have two conference rooms operating and were running parallel briefings for part of the afternoon. The second briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by the author Daniel Horvath. It is “Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45” (21 slides): Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front 1944 45_DH_2022.pptx


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

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 fourth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. David Kirkpatrick of the University College of London (25 slides):  DKirkpatrick Presentation 19 Jan 22 v2

The fifth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Niall MacKay, University of York (161 slides): HAAC2022MacKay 

The sixth presentation of the first day was given by Jim Storr (32 slides): HA Conference DC Sep 22 V1.2

The seventh and final presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Shawn Woodford (10 slides): 20220927 HAAC-Understanding Dupuy

The first briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by Dr. Michael Johnson (CNA) (64 slides): Main brief

The Battle of Britain versus The Battle of Kursk

I do have a blog post on the Pen & Sword Blog on Aces at Kursk. The book will be released in the UK on 30 August and in the U.S. on 31 October. The post is here: Author guest post: Christopher A Lawrence – Pen & Sword Blog (


Aces at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk – Chapter Listing | Mystics & Statistics (