An Analytical Topographical Study of the Battlefield of Antietam
The heroic efforts of solders and the officers that lead them are critical to determining the outcome of a battle; their relative numbers, equipment, and supplies are also significant factors for success. Often, however, the place where they meet--the battlefield--plays a crucial role in success or defeat.
Objective assessment of a battlefield--its opportunities, its limitations, the advantages it offers to one side or the other--is not straightforward; maps can be consulted, high ground noted, placement of roads and bridges considered, but analytical techniques for evaluating these factors are rarely employed.
What follows are some techniques that I use to approach a battlefield's topography. My results are theoretical and not yet complete, nonetheless they form the nucleus of numerical and analytical methods that can be applied to a battlefield.
A very broad outline of some topics I have considered as as follows: