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War Games: Simulating Collins’ Theory of Battle Victory

  • Author(s): Fletcher, Jesse B
  • Apkarian, Jacob
  • Roberts, Anthony
  • Lawrence, Kirk
  • Chase-Dunn, Christopher
  • Hanneman, Robert A
  • et al.
Abstract

Collins’ recent theory on battle dynamics is converted into a system of interconnected equations and simulated. Between evenly matched armies, initial advantages are shown to be difficult to overcome due to the numerous reinforcing pathways throughout the model. Morale advantages are shown to lead to quick victories, while material advantages lead to longer wars often won through attrition. A simulation of the Civil War is provided that appears to coincide with historical reality. The implications of these simulations for Collins’ broader theory are briefly discussed.

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