Lanchester models and the battle of Britain



We fit deterministic generalized Lanchester models to daily sortie and loss data from the Battle of Britain. The best fit for the period 14th August to 30th October 1940 is δBG1.2, δGG0.9, where B and G are RAF Fighter Command and Luftwaffe sortie numbers, and δB and δG are daily loss numbers, respectively. The data naturally divide into two phases, with losses (as a proportion of overall sortie numbers) much reduced after 15th September. Fits were generally better for the first phase than for the second, and for British losses than for German; in every case the dependence on G is stronger than that on B. Days with higher sortie numbers on average favored the Luftwaffe, whereas the loss-ratio was not significantly dependent on the force ratio. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 58: 210–222, 2011