The Winning Tactic: Russia's Long-Term Strategy in Wars

Mason Riverwind

Updated Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 11:19 AM CDT

The Winning Tactic: Russia's Long-Term Strategy in Wars

A History of Struggles and Victories

Russia has a long history of facing initial struggles in wars but ultimately emerging victorious. This pattern can be attributed to the attrition of the enemy's resources, a strategy that has proven effective throughout history. Let's delve deeper into the factors that contribute to Russia's ability to turn the tide in wars.

Russia's abundance of resources has played a crucial role in its success on the battlefield. The vastness of the country has allowed Russia to have resources to spare, giving them a significant advantage over their adversaries. These resources have been essential in sustaining their military efforts and outlasting their opponents.

One key strategy employed by Russia is the tactic of retreating and stretching the enemy's supply lines. This approach has been particularly effective during the harsh winter months when the enemy's forces often freeze to death. By strategically retreating and forcing the enemy to extend their supply lines, Russia has been able to exhaust their opponents and gain the upper hand.

While Russia has a history of triumphs, there have also been significant challenges. The Mongols posed a formidable threat due to their rapid traversal of vast open lands. However, it's important to note that the circumstances were different back then, and Russia has evolved its strategies over time.

During the Winter War, Stalin's attempt to invade Finland failed due to poor infrastructure and challenging terrain. This initial defeat forced the Soviet Union to reassess their strategy, leading to eventual victory. It highlights the importance of adaptability and learning from past mistakes.

World War II presented another setback for Russia when they were caught unprepared for the initial invasion. A significant portion of the Soviet military industry fell into enemy hands. However, the Russian emperor's refusal to surrender and the harsh winter conditions ultimately led to the failure of Napoleon's invasion.

Russia's size and lack of technology in earlier wars made it difficult for invading armies to sustain themselves. The Russian emperor would often flee east, burning down farms and taking supplies, leaving the enemy struggling to find sustenance. This strategy of denying resources to the enemy played a crucial role in Russia's success.

Russia's involvement in protracted land wars requires a marathon approach rather than a sprint. Their ability to outlast the enemy has been a key factor in their victories. However, it's important to note that in major or defensive wars, Russia's slow mobilization process, due to its large population spread over a vast area with poor infrastructure, can present challenges.

It is worth mentioning that Russia has a pattern of overestimating its military capabilities and underestimating its neighbors' willingness to fight in wars of aggression. This has led to some setbacks in the past, highlighting the importance of accurate assessment and strategic planning.

The aftermath of Russian wars often leaves a devastated landscape, with little value remaining. This has resulted in the maintenance of forever wars or proxy conflicts, perpetuating the cycle of conflict and instability. Corruption within the Russian military also plays a role in this cycle, as it hampers the effective utilization of resources and leads to the repetition of the same patterns in future wars.

While it is true that Russia has won wars through attrition and strategic planning, it is essential to recognize that this is not a universally true statement. Russia has also experienced quick victories and defeats. Factors such as technology levels, geography, and the specific circumstances of each conflict greatly influence Russia's ability to succeed on the battlefield.

For further discussion on this topic, the sub r/AskHistorians is recommended. Additionally, the YouTube channel Perun, particularly the video "How Corruption Destroys Armies," provides valuable insights into the impact of corruption on Russian military capabilities.

Russia's ability to win wars is a result of a long-term strategy that involves attrition and the effective utilization of resources. While their initial struggles may be misleading, history has shown that Russia has the tenacity and adaptability to emerge victorious.

Noticed an error or an aspect of this article that requires correction? Please provide the article link and reach out to us. We appreciate your feedback and will address the issue promptly.

Check out our latest stories