Entropy as a principle of war.

This is also not generally accepted as one of the principles of war, but entropy has been a constant throughout military history. In practice, entropy means that after an initial shock, the war or battle will settle down to a steady grind. Once a war gets started, casualty and movement rates become predictable. In combat, personnel losses average a few percent per day per division. Against enemy opposition, even mechanized forces rarely advance more than some 20 km a day. There are exceptions, and the exceptions may win battles. Over the course of an entire war, however, entropy takes over. A technical way to put is “events tend to regress towards the mean.” Don’t let flashy press reports fool you – exceptions tend to get published far more than the day-to-day averages. Commanders who are best able to cope with entropy develop a more realistic and winning attitude.

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Sources: See Principles of War main page

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