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Modern War Gaming of Ground Combat in the United States Army

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Student thesis

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The impact of operations research on military operations during World War II has resulted in a continuing growth of the application of its techniques to military problems. The partnership of the military and the scientist, which was initiated during World War II, appears to be firmly established and most certain to continue. In seeking solutions to the problems of ground combat, scientists supporting the Army have turned more and more to a new research tool, the war game. In endeavors to perfect war gaming as a research tool, many types of game have been developed, and increasing use is being made of computers. War gaming as a research tool to study ground combat is less than 15 years old and is still in a very early stage of development. The state of the art as it exists today can be attributed primarily to the efforts of the civilian contract agencies supporting the Army. War gaming has not fulfilled initial expectations as a research tool, primarily because of inability to quantify specifically the many factors that contribute to or affect the combat effectiveness of ground units. As a result, war gaming has not been able to produce finite results, only indicators and insights. The uncertainties of war gaming have limited the time and investment that has been put into its development. In the past the results have suffered from lack of sufficient time and personnel to develop models and analyze data and from too few repetitions. Only in the last two years has the Army made an effort to coordinate its war game programs.

Subject Categories:

  • Operations Research
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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