Fitting firepower score models to the battle of Kursk data
Lucas, Thomas W.
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This thesis applies several Firepower Score attrition algorithms to real data. These algorithms are used in highly aggregated combat models to predict attrition and movement rates. The quality of the available historical data for validation of attrition models is poor. Most accessible battle data contain only starting sizes and casualties, sometimes only for one side. A detailed database of the Battle of Kursk of World War II, the largest tank battle in history, has recently been developed by Dupuy Institute (TDI). The data is two-sided, time phased (daily), highly detailed, and covers 15 days of the campaign. According to combat engagement intensity, three different data sets are extracted from the Battle of Kursk data. RAND's Situational Force Scoring, Dupuy's QJM and the ATLAS ground attrition algorithms are applied to these data sets. Fitted versus actual personnel and weapon losses are analyzed for the different approaches and data sets. None of the models fits better in all cases. In all of the models and for both sides, the Fighting Combat Unit Data set gives the best fit. All the models tend to overestimates battle casualties, particularly for the Germans
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