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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:22 AM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:39 AM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:43 AM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:43 AM
By what criteria are you going to define "effective"? If you want a statistically valid answer, you are going to have to define some measures which can be expressed numerically, and specify the weighting which is to be attached to each criterion.
The result will probably be one of those "league tables" so beloved of governments and hated by most of the educational, medical or other establishments to which they are applied.
Judging by its nil casualty record (as far as I know) and the fact that it never yielded an inch of trench to the enemy, I'd say the War Dept Sausage Factory at Poplar must be a strong contendeer!
On the other hand, you could have started a good debate!
Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:49 AM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:58 AM
That looks like a comprehensive list of your criteria. I'll be delighted to see the results of the analysis when you get them.
I will try and define regions of operations first and separate these out as follows :-
1) Western Front
3) Other Theaters (all the other regions:-Middle East, Africa, etc.)
Then for each theater of operation to apply the following performance criteria in the following way:-
1) Attack, (shock wave or follow up waves, strength of position attacked, season, weather conditions at the time, opposition, strength, geography, rate of attack, planning and support, effectiveness, after action defence, holding of captured positions)
2) Static defence ( location geography
3) Retreat or Rearguard actions
Then define cost per action with regards:
1) Personnel & casualties
2) Equipment losses
3) Material/Prisoners gained
Then possibly a sub section with bravery awards allocated to units (note: maybe officers awards are not the best indicator)
3) Other ranks
Would this help in defining what should be required to define the best British (UK) unit in the three defined theaters of war
Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:32 AM
Are you only dealing with infantry?
Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:07 PM
Sounds a bit like the project at the IWM some years back, run by Peter Simkins and others, designed to evaluate the effectiveness of British Infantry Divisions. Don't think it resolved anything (I might be wrong). It had a name - SHLM, or something similar.
I recall (vaguely) a talk at my local WFA dealing with "successful" divisions (it may even have been battalions). The premise was to look at each large scale attack and assess whether it succeeded completely, aprtially, or failed. I cannot give more details as the talk was so tedious and the graphics so appallingly bad (and impossible to read even from midway down the room)that I may even have nodded off.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:23 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:47 PM
In the British army during WW1 there are many comments on the affectiveness of the Scottish and Irish regiments in the great war, especially from the enemy perspective. Does anyone actually know which regiment statistically was actually the most effective British (UK) regiment during the war?
Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:32 PM
I would clarify what you mean by 'unit'. Unit normally means a infantry battalion or its equivalent in other arms. 'Formation' on the other hand means higher level aggregations of units such as divisions, corps etc.
However a regiment of infantry didn't fight as a regiment (unlike in the French and German armies) but as separate battalions which would be in a number of divisions. To take a typical distribution, the regular battalions i.e. 1st and 2nd battalions of the Royal Blankshire Regiment would be most likely to be in one of the regular divisions. The Territorial battalions would be in the TF divisons e.g. 1/4th, 1/5th battalions in a first line TF division, the 2/4th, 2/5th in a second line TF division. The New Army battalions (e.g. 7th, 8th, 8th) would be in one or more New Army Divisions.
Given that, it is pretty hard to say which is the most effective regiment given that so much depended on the parent formation. If you can adequateley define and measure battalion effectiveness, how do you then aggregate battalion scores into a regimental measure? I'm pretty certain that no one has looked at regimental effectiveness, and that is why the focus has been on looking at formations instead, with the division being the most manageable formation to study.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:09 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:31 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:32 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:47 PM
I'm not sure there is an answer to this question. Can you compare like with like? So many factors need to be taken into account, including terrain, weather, time of year, intelligence gathering and application, enemy dispositions, technology etc etc
Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:49 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:08 PM
Not so, i'm afraid. Units were transferred to and fro on a schedule decided by GHQ . Commanders were allocated tasks and required to undertake them with the resources at hand. Particularly in crucial times, commanders did as best they could. I believe that if it were possible to order the different regiments in some sort of hierarchy, it would have been done long ago.
I think the commanders must have known which units they preferred to use in crucial times to give the best possible chance of success.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:34 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:53 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:04 PM
OK - why not look at it another way? Who did the Germans most fear?
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:13 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:32 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:52 PM
I think people are a bit reluctant to get into the usual bun fight of who done this and who done that.
If it was me in a trench the unit i would most fear would be the one in front of me.
P.S. Everyone knows that the Regiment that the Germans did fear most was The Black Watch.