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11563Re: / paroling and exchanging (was: THE BATTLE OF VICKSBURG

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  • carlw4514
    Jun 3, 2002
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      Thanks, that is the first time someone ever explained the math to me that made
      any sense.
      I wonder, though, if the decision was really made on the basis of such slim
      advantage in the face of such woefull consequences.

      --- In civilwarwest@y..., Jfepperson@a... wrote:
      > No, not at all. Suppose I have a 100,000 man army, and
      > you have a 60,000 man army. We fight a battle, and in this
      > battle we both take 1,000 men prisoners, with 6,000 K&W.
      > If we exchange prisoners, after the battle I have 94,000
      > men and you have 54,000 men. If we don't exchange, I
      > have 93,000 and you have 53,000. 93/53 is (very slightly)
      > higher than 94/54, thus the superior force is better off
      > not exchanging.
      > Actually, there is some higher math involved, because
      > one can show that, when making equal deductions from
      > two forces, the smaller force is reduced by the greater
      > fraction. This means an equal exchange policy is always
      > a disadvantage (numerically) to the stronger force.
      > JFE
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