After poking 'YOU ALL' (a Southerner's term) from different perspectives, experience levels and other aspects, I'm posting this message to provide you with some feedback on what I think I have learned, assessed and/or concluded from this experience.
1. Posting on the Nap Series. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the High 'level of professionalism and courtesy shown to me' by the membership. You don't see that very often on the internet these days. My sincere compliments to Mr. Robert Burnham and all the members of his website management team for that!
2. I was also initially surprised by the LOW 'Response to View Ratio' of my postings, which was about ~5% or less, when you factored Me out of the equation. I think that several factors were driving those numbers, to include:
a) My inexperience working on this website, and lack of understanding about the makeup, motives characteristics of the Nap Series clientele/membership itself.
b) Another major influence was the nature of my original postings. Basically, a very large, nebulous, concept & data dump. Although, a significant portion of this, was intentional. Because I wanted to know, "How many members were familiar with and/or used the terms, concepts, methodologies, unique skill sets and analytical tools/techniques that I used every day over the last 30 years." Many of these are unique to those three (3) Apostles (Historians, Analysts & Military) I alluded to from time to time.
c) Granted, I understood and accepted that, approaching you in this manner, would probably result in more people 'sitting on the fence' than responding. I'm sure it did, after seeing the results now. However, I have no doubt this message will reverse that trend. Just know upfront, that there was no malice involved. The Napoleonic Book market is saturated with books, and I am trying to assess the skill sets of the average Napoleonic Reader and the Authors competing in this market.
d) I am disappointed, to some extent, that no one commented or challenged the concepts, analytics and math associated with the Combat Effectiveness Graphs & Metrics that was included in the Word file I used in response to the first person's reply to my original posting. I was hoping to see at least one person respond, so that I could use it to illuminate the importance and value of these analytical tools and techniques. Because the "Science* of War" (which includes Situational Awareness, and many other Human Social & Psychological factors) makes up > 50% of our ability to fully understand Napoleonic Warfare, and its being largely ignored by today's 'narrative centric' traditional Historians. This is why PERSPECTIVE is such an important factor now.
*Note: Science is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the evidence obtained. It's all about the 'Numbers and What they mean!'
3. Finally, I'm going to try to address some of those issues with this final posting.
"COUP d'OEIL, THE THEORY AND DYNAMICS OF NAPOLEONIC TACTICAL OPERATIONS"
The 'Key Focus' of this book is to provide Military Historians and Military Enthusiast with the critical tools and battlefield metrics needed to enable them to perform their own assessment of the actions of Leaders, the dynamics of Napoleonic Combat and influence of Battlefield Terrain & Operational structures, and the influence of Situational Awareness has upon the outcomes of Napoleonic Battles. The wording of the title itself, says it all. Examples:
1. "Coup d'Oeil" from 'Frederick the Great's' Own Definition: "The coup d'oeil may be reduced, properly speaking, to two (2) points, the first of which is, the having abilities to judge how many troops a certain extent of country can contain; this talent can only be acquired by practice, for after having laid out several camps, the eye will gain so exact an idea of space, that you will seldom make any material mistakes in your calculations."
"the other, and by far the most material, point, is to be able to distinguish, at first sight, all the advantages of which any given space of ground is capable. This art is to be acquired, and even brought to perfection, though man be not absolutely born with a military genius. Fortification, as it possesses rules that are applicable to all situations of an Army, is undoubtedly the basis and foundation of this coup d'oeil.
"Every defile, marsh, hollow way, and even the smallest eminence, will be converted, by skilful General to some advantage; two hundred different positions may sometimes be taken up in the space of two (2) square leagues (i.e., 2.4 to 4.6 statute miles), of which an intelligent General knows how to select that which is the most advantageous, & etc."
2. Dynamics: Physics : A branch of mechanics that deals with forces and their relation primarily to the motion but sometimes also to the equilibrium of bodies in motion. It covers the science of the motion of bodies and the action of forces in producing or changing their motion. Combat Units are ALL classified as 'physical bodies'.
A. OPERATIONAL STRUCTURES & BATTLEFIELD ENVIRONMENT
1. Battlefield Operational structures. These structures should be viewed as the boundaries and constraints that both describe the physical means of conducting operations as well as, the extent of which these structures constrain and impose limitations on operations too. Most of these structures are imbedded within the physical & tactical scope of the battlefield itself. They show up in the form of maneuver corridors, avenues of approach (AOA) inter-visibility (i.e. LOS), key terrain, Soldier density and operational time & space relationships (i.e. OP-Tempo).
As you can Observe from Frederick the Greats 3rd paragraph above, this is NOT modern conventions. It’s part of the battlefield operational structures that make up and influence the very nature of warfare itself. A nature that resides only in the 'Human Mind and Experience'.
Thus, any Army, under any contemporary Commander, be it Julius Caesar, Napoleon, or Patton would have to deal with and contend with these very same battlefield structures regardless, of the period of warfare. They are part of that ‘Human Constant,’ that I often make use of in these types of discussions.
“Technology” is the major variable that impacts and affects how Soldiers will actually ‘Move-Shoot-Communicate’ upon that battlefield. As both the ACW and WW1 do illuminate and substantiate the fact that, this Human Constant is somewhat resilient to reacting to technological and/or Doctrinal change.
So, the main take away I want to impart upon you for the moment is: a) that these structures are Not unique to modern warfare and because they are a common factor that exists within the entire warfare continuum, b) that their presence can be used and leveraged for historical wargame design and play purposes, and c) they provide the additional means to reduce rule length and complexity because these structures are both intuitive and common across the entire Warfare Continuum.
2. Battlefield Environment is itself, covers all the physical, sensory and mental states either present or has a direct impact on military Commanders. Thus, physical factors of moving about, observing and communicating are direct (tangible) aspects of it. Whereas, human factors of adjusting for, noise, enemy threats, obscuration, weather and SA (assimilating battlefield data, reports, rumors & unknowns) are not so well refined. Situational Awareness factors include factors and influences on and off the actual battlefield. But probably have a greater impact on the decision making process. Both sides use and benefit from the same detailed analysis that crates the Operational structures I mentioned to you. The process for identifying and creating these Operational structures has been around for over 70 years now and has been institutionalized as can be seen from this page from the doctrinal manual that summarizes the result of terrain analysis
You cannot have a Battle unless you have terrain to fight on. Terrain directly influences planning, operations and combat. Taking the time to perform an assessment of the terrain itself, will provide you with valuable insight into 'How & Why Battlefield Commanders' operated on the Historical Battlefields we write about.
The Modern approach to performing this terrain assessment is depicted immediately below and its Historical (Waterloo) counterpart is below that.
EXAMPLE OF: OPERATIONAL STRUCTURES & BATTLEFIELD ENVIRONMENT Using the 1815 Waterloo Battlefield
In the US Military, the concepts and graphics depicted on this slide above represent what is called Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB). Which is the analytical process and tool that Battlefield Commanders use to identify and assess the 'Critical Aspects' of the Battlefield that this Commander will be fighting on. While the Name is Modern, the concept goes back thousands of years. It's all solid data based upon; Time, Space and Motion limitations and constraints, that are as valid today as they were 300 years ago.
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS (BATTLEFIELD TACTICAL OBSERVATION)©
I am going to use this particular section on 'Observation' to provide You with a 'Glimpse inside the cover of 'Coup d'Oeil' in respects to using just one of the Battlefield Tools (i.e., part of the SA Metrics) that is part of the book, and designed to perform Historically accurate Observation assessment on any of the Napoleonic Battlefields. I've also included an 'Historical Example' involving General Uxbridge's actions to launch his famous Cavalry Charge! @ the Battle of Waterloo, for you to see and assess the 'true value' of the analytical tools I am placing in this book of mine.
B. SEARCH :
The process of visually sampling the search field in an effort to locate or acquire targets. Once an object of interest has been acquired further scrutiny follows these steps:
a) Discrimination: A process in which an object is assigned to a subset of a larger set of objects, based on the amount of detail perceived by the observer, and the application of knowledge of those details sufficient to afford such an action.
b) Detection: The perception of an object image (which may be a target image) as being present at a particular location and distinct from its surroundings.
c) Classification: The determination of whether a detected object is a member of a particular set of possible targets or non-targets (e.g., wheeled versus tracked vehicles).
d) Recognition: The determination that a target belongs to a particular functional category (e.g., a Soldier, a truck, an armored personnel carrier, a tank, , etc.).
e) Identification: The most detailed level of discrimination of particular relevance for military target acquisition, as discussed shortly (e.g., a T-72, T-62, M1, or M60 tank).
NAPOLEONIC HISTORICAL SEARCH CAPABILITIES:
Napoleonic Battlefield Situational Awareness (SA) is directly linked to the ability to 'glean useable information from search data'.
Those five (5) 'Search & Screening' factors above are the tools and means for extracting this information from Human observation data (i.e., Discrimination, Detection, Classification, Recognition and Identification).
Take a moment, using those 5-factors above to evaluate these Napoleonic SA Battlefield Norms taken from one of the periods artillery manuals and you'll see that Our Napoleonic counterparts, indirectly, 'Already Knew About this Intuitively'.
0-250 Yards: “At between 200 and 250 yards all parts of the body are clearly visible, the details of the uniform are tolerably clear, and the officers may be distinguished from the men.”
251-500 Yards: “At 500 yards the face may be observed as a light-colored spot; the head, body, arms and their movements, as well as the uniform and the firelock (when bright barrels) can be made out.”
501-1,000 Yards: “A single individual detached from the rest of the corps may be seen at 1,000 yards but his head does not appear as a round ball until he has approached up to 700 yards at which distance white cross belts and white trousers may be seen.”
1,001-1,300 Yards: “At 1,300 yards Infantry may be distinguished from Cavalry, and the movement of troops may be seen; the horses of Cavalry are not, however, quite distinct but that the men are on horseback is clear.”
1,301-2,500 Yards: “Good eyesight recognizes masses of troops at 1,700 yards: beyond this distance the glitter of arms may be observed.” Limit 2,500m.
NOTE: This data is based on the information presented in B.P. Hughes, Firepower (New York, Sarpedon) 1997 p.26 and A. Nofi, The Waterloo Campaign (PA, Combined Books Inc.) 1993 pp.168-9.
Given the Information & Data above, ALL You need now is a MEASURABLE STANDARD (Numbers) to determine 'IF' the Historical Commander was able to SEE the enemy at any particular moment in Time.
BATTLEFIELD OBSERVATION 'DETECTION' METRICS©:
LOS Point to Point: Probability of Detection:
000-120 meters 99%
121-480 meters 98%
481- 1080 meters 95%
1081-2160 meters 87%
2160-5100 meters 67%
Average 'point to point' LOS distance of observer @ time of target engagement, (on level terrain) was ~550m. Which is directly supported by WWII data.
1. These figures were based upon a 1989 U.S. Army Study conducted by the DCD at Ft Knox, Kentucky and a US Army 'Dirty battlefield' Baseline Test and Report, conducted at the Redstone Arsenal, AL., covering LOS & Observer Conditions (i.e., weather, smoke & etc.), 1990.
WARNING! This Information & Data above has been 'sanitized' and is clearly marked and identified as being 'COPYRIGHT PROTECTED MATERIAL.'
I am sure You can all understand & appreciate why I want to ensure that I protect years of my own hard work. ;^)
However, I am doing so now, with the Historical Example below, to enable You to see and use these actual metrics in order for you to understand, follow and use the analytical logic and tools associated with this particular Battlefield Operating System (BOS).
1. SO,.. "Go ahead, and Make Your own assessment of these types of tools and their value!"
2. Kindly provide me with some Feedback/Comments about Your Experience, if you please!
HISTORICAL EXAMPLE: General Uxbridge's LOS, actions and timelines needed to 'Order the British Heavy Cavalry's Charge' during the Battle of Waterloo 1815.
Uxbridge can Ride (Move): 1) at 210m per minute TROTTING and/or 2) 300m per minute GALLOPING.
Uxbridge's ability to Detect the French Column advancing through the battlefield clutter,@1,200m had an ~87-95% success rate, over a two (2) minute observation period.
US Army research data also established that the vast majority of post-observation, Cdr decisions can be made in 2-minutes or less.
1. Uxbridge's average time to complete all his actions is: ~15 minutes
2. French Columns average time for completion is: ~17.5 minutes
3. Thus, in this case the overall fidelity between these two separate series of actions is roughly ~85%. Not Bad at All.
More importantly, as it relates to the study of military history, the analysis of Uxbridge's Actions demonstrated that they "ARE 100% ACHIEVABLE" within all the battlefield time and terrain factors, constraints and metrics we are aware of today.
I might also be able to help with your 2a)? If we take “understanding the makeup, motives and characteristics of the Nap Series clientele/membership”, the practice of Design Thinking might have some utility? Personas and Empathy Mapping allows us to guide our solutions with a human face, providing focus and coherency. Useful thought experiments, although we need to challenge them if they are not to just become stereotypical or used as tropes. Typical sections are Think and Feel? Hear? See? Say and Do?, concluding with what Pain would they like to be relieved from or benefits they would like to Gain. I’m with George Box when he postulated that all models are faulty, but some of them are useful. I’m sure that military history publishers will already have a number of Personas to cover the market segments and niches in the community. Interpersonally I believe that most of probably span one or more personas. Do you have any initial thoughts or expectations of what personas you were initially anticipating?
Thank you for revealing our role as lab rats! True, the science of warfare definitely has a part to play, and always has, all the way back to Oman’s musket counting. However, mechanistic approaches will only get you so far. Then we are into the art of war. Intuition, leadership, motivation and morale all factor in. In my opinion (and who’s else can I say I truly understand?) we should also acknowledge the role of sheer blind luck. Fogs that lift at exactly the right moment, serendipitous thunder storms, that multitude of random unforeseen happenstances that sometimes upset the scientifically predicted apple cart. I’m very familiar with IPB, from a former life. I’ve also had the (mis?)fortune to operate over the very same ground that I’ve taken part in preparing. As the much repeated homily puts it ‘time spent in reconnaissance is rarely wasted’. IPB is a relatively poor substitute for eyes, ears, boots and belt buckles on the ground. Theoretical Uxbridge speeds are one thing, but the late Richard Holmes got on his horse and rode the battlefield. I’m always fascinated by armchair speculation, but I’ve tabbed from Wavre to Plancenoit, as far as possible following Bülow’s 1815 route. It gives you a perspective you don’t get from the map, or the numbers. I worked in Sarajevo alongside some Operational Analysts who bravely donned some DPM and came to see for themselves. They occasionally punched number into their scientific calculators and shook their heads in disbelief at some of our more traditional approaches. They were also mystified at when the answer to the question “How do you know person X’s troops will achieve this?” came back as “Because I know person X” Unlike real time analysis of course, we know the outcome. Perhaps that takes some of the ‘fun’ out of it?