Would some statistically-knowledgeable folk be good enough to explain the mathematical/statistical reasoning (or, if applicable, the principles which contrave) the following statement by Nobel Physicist Steven Weinberg (writing about books on war, not about physics) in the most recent (Nov. 6, 2003) issue of the "New York Review of Books"? Prof. Weinberg writes: "It should have been obvious that the solution to the U-boat threat was to require merchant ships to sail in convoy. As Churchill later explained in The World Crisis, The size of the sea is so vast that the difference between the size of a convoy and the size of a single ship shrinks in comparison almost to in- significance. There was in fact nearly as good a chance of a convoy of forty ships in close order slipping unperceived between the patrolling U-boats as there was for a single ship; and each time this happened, forty ships escaped instead of one. (This is also the reason that fish of many species swim in schools.)" Putting aside the at best highly questionable (and "scientific"?) parenthetical throw-away remark about "the reason" ascribed to what "many" fish do, and also disregarding for the moment the variable of the role of spying/intelligence, does the Churchill quotation really (accurately) "explain" what Weinberg characterizes as "obvious"? Does Churchill's (and, implicitly, Weinberg's) use of "vast" conflate that word with "infinite" and, conversely, is "vast" itself helpful bearing in mind that, even if a particular shipping route with respect to one specific ship (or one convoy) at one time is not known in advance, the geographical parameters of British (or of U.S. or other "allied") shipping routes was (more or less) reasonably ("probably"?) predictable? (And, BTW, what might Weinberg have been referring to by his parenthetical reference to "many" fish?) Thanks.