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Sunday, 3 November 2019

David Rowland's The Stress of Battle: Quantifying HumanPerformance in Battle for Historical Analysis and Wargaming

by David Roland
Editor: John Curry
This is one of the classic works on historical analysis of combat by David Roland as part of his work in the Ministry of defence. It was widely recognised for its pioneering research on combat.
The book starts by summarising development of UK MoD historical analysis from studies in the 1970s. The development in the 1970s, of pulsed laser weapon simulators enabled real-time force-on-force exercises to be conducted and monitored. Analysis of these exercises, allowed advice to be given on more realistic combat modelling, and in particular human behaviour and reactions, underpinning operational effectiveness, force structures and equipment procurement studies.
Using quantitative Historical Analysis (HA), it was possible to extend to comparisons between the levels of effectiveness between simulated and real combat and to establish basic combat degradation estimates, one weapon class at a time. The effects of suppression, surprise and shock, were also quantified. The result of this research shed new light on infantry combat, armour v anti-tank weapons and heroism on the battlefield.
The large number of diagrams make the analysis clear and although the book is based around statistics, no in-depth maths is needed to understanding the conclusions.
The book has been published by the History of Wargaming Project as part of ongoing efforts to document the development of professional wargaming.


  1. Hi John! Is this the same version of the book published by TSO? I have that one and am just curious if there is any other content. Thank you!

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