Ron Clifton, on 13 April 2012 - 08:43 AM, said:
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!
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