Category Archives: Military History

Was Ulysses Grant a Butcher?

This post uses a combination of data from a Github repo by Jeffery Arnold that contains a fantastic amount of Civil War battle data and some Wikipedia scraping to generate similar tables. I should note that my casualty results are significantly different than Bonekemper’s because there are large differences between sources of Civil War casualty data. The reasons behind these differences are complex, but the Arnold repo has data from a number of sources. I chose his Wikipedia file because it is easy to check where the data came from. Continue reading

 
Posted in Excel, History Through Spreadsheets, Military History | 7 Comments

Duplicate Drach’s U-Boat Tonnage and Sunk Charts

I am a huge fan of Drachinifel’s naval history channel. The other day, Drach was participating in the Armchair Admiral’s program, during which he presented two charts on the Battle of the Atlantic that I have never seen before: (1) A chart of tonnage sunk by U-boats versus time and (2) a chart of U-boats sunk versus time. The unique aspect of the charts was that the data points were colored based on whether the Enigma cipher was broken at the time and whether centimetric (microwave) radar was deployed. These charts really got me thinking about the impact of technology on the struggle against U-boats. Continue reading

 
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MacArthur’s Photo on Nimitz’s Desk?

Quote of the Day Asking for help isn’t giving up, it is refusing to give up. — Charlie Mackesy I have been reading a couple of books about Admiral Chester Nimitz and his conduct of the Pacific War during WW2. … Continue reading

 
Posted in Management, Military History, Naval History, Personal | Leave a comment

US Navy Ship Numbers Versus Time

My reading and watching lectures on Mahan have motivated me to look at how the US Navy grew and shrank over the years. Fortunately, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) have an excellent page on the size of the US Navy over time. Unfortunately, the data is scattered throughout the page and it must be scrapped so that I can consolidate and graph it. This post is about using Power Query to scrape the data from the page and generate a graph in Excel of the number of active ships in the US Navy over time. Continue reading

 
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US Battleship Fuel Usage

In this post, I will examine the fuel consumption of the three most modern battleship classes that the US deployed during WW2: South Dakota, North Carolina, and Iowa classes. The data is scraped from the Hyperwar website, which is one of my favorite targets for data extraction. In this case, the Hyperwar page contains a set of tables from the US Navy document FTP 218: War Service Fuel Consumption of US Navy Surface Vessels. Continue reading

 
Posted in History Through Spreadsheets, Military History, Naval History | 3 Comments

50 Destroyer Pre-War Base Deal

This post is going to look at the Destroyers for Bases deal between the US and UK. The bargain was an executive agreement announced on 2-Sep-1940 to trade 50 WW1-era US destroyers to the UK for US basing rights in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Newfoundland. I have seen the destroyers described as obsolete, which seemed odd for ~20-year-old destroyers that nominally have 30 year lifetime (typical for most US Navy ships). Continue reading

 
Posted in Excel, History Through Spreadsheets, Military History, Naval History | 1 Comment

US WW2 Torpedo Production Chart Using Power Query

During my readings on the Pacific War, I often see the chart shown in Figure 1. I decided to do a bit of digging and find the source data for this chart in the hope of making a version of this chart that is a bit clearer and easier to use. Continue reading

 
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US Army Air Corp Fighters on Hand During WW2

Many years ago, at the start of my career, I worked with an excellent safety engineer who had served in WW2 as a fighter pilot in Europe with the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). You could tell that flying was the love of his life. Though we were working on naval weapons systems, our lunchtime talks often focused on his experiences flying aircraft during the war. His war service began in a P-47 (Figure 1) and his unit later transitioned to the P‑51 (Figure 2). Continue reading

 
Posted in Excel, History Through Spreadsheets, Military History | 3 Comments

The Amazing de Havilland Mosquito

During the routine demolition of an old de Havilland Aircraft building in 2017, a treasure trove of 20K aperture cards (a microfilmed archive) was uncovered that contained plans for the Mosquito fighter-bomber (Figure 1). These plans have been lost since Mosquito production ended in  1950. Continue reading

 
Posted in History Through Spreadsheets, Military History | 4 Comments

WW2 Fighter Aircraft Fuel Fraction

I recently read a book called Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War that documents the life of John Boyd, a fighter pilot who was critical to putting fighter aircraft design on a firm mathematical footing now called Energy-Maneuvering Theory. He was a key member of the Fighter Mafia, a group of military and industry experts in the 1970s that advocated for a lightweight fighter alternative to the large, heavy fighters like the F-111 and MiG-25. Their concepts played a significant role in the final designs of the F-16 and F-18. Continue reading

 
Posted in Excel, History Through Spreadsheets, Military History | 2 Comments