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Friday, December 24, 2010

Operational Research in World War II

Operational Research (O.R.), also known as Operations Research or Management Science (OR/MS) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Nowaday, operational research are used widely in many industrial and management sector across the world especially in Britain. The modern field of operational research arose during World War II.

During the Second World War close to 1,000 men and women in Britain were engaged in operational research. About 200 operational research scientists worked for the British Army. One of them is Patrick Blackett who worked for several different organizations from Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) to the Navy, first to the Royal Navy's Coastal Command, in 1941 and then early in 1942 to the Admiralty. Blackett observed that there can be few cases where such a great operational gain had been obtained by such a small and simple change of tactics.

Early in the war while working for the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Patrick Blackett set up a team known as the "Circus" which helped to reduce the number of anti-aircraft artillery rounds needed to shoot down an enemy aircraft from an average of over 20,000 at the start of the Battle of Britain to 4,000 in 1941. Blackett's team at Coastal Command's Operational Research Section (CC-ORS) included two future Nobel Prize winners and many other people who went on to be preeminent in their fields. They undertook a number of crucial analyses that aided the war effort.

CCORS analysis include the analysis losses suffered by convoys depended largely on the number of escort vessels present, rather than on the overall size of the convoy, color of aircraft used by RAF Coastal Command to hunt and destroy submarine, the trigger depth of aerial delivered depth charges (DCs), changed from 100 feet to 25 feet to efficiently sunk and damaged submarine.

Later Bomber Command's Operational Research Section (BC-ORS) was established to analyze a report of a survey carried out by RAF Bomber Command on all bombers returning from bombing raids over Germany over a particular period to make certain where to put the armour on the bomber. On land, the operational research sections of the Army Operational Research Group (AORG) of the Ministry of Supply (MoS) were landed in Normandy in 1944, and they followed British forces in the advance across Europe. They analysed, among other topics, the effectiveness of artillery, aerial bombing, and anti-tank shooting

source : Wiki, PHPSimplex

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