The 3:1 Rule

A Viable Tool?


  • Dylan Motin Kangwon National University



3:1 Rule, Force Ratio, Historical Data, Breakthrough Battle, Combat Power


The 3:1 rule has a long history and has been used or criticized by scholars and military alike. The present article attempts to test of the 3:1 rule against historical data. It investigates the validity of the rule, whether expressed in terms of men, tanks, artillery, or combat power, by using and expanding data of past battles. Contrary to what has been stated by numerous researchers and by official publications, this study comes to the conclusion that the 3:1 rule has little applicability. This result has major implications concerning military planning and warfighting.

war history




How to Cite

Motin, D. (2020). The 3:1 Rule : A Viable Tool?. Journal of Advances in Military Studies, 3(1), 23-34.