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However, what happens if the invention of a weapon with a higher rate of fire, such as a machine gun, comes about?
Suddenly this idea of concentrating men in a slow moving column is rendered utterly useless.
Until the 18 century, the Feudal Tsarism of Russia had little to no interaction with the Western World.
For two and a half centuries this isolated, agrarian state continually lagged one step behind the West in terms of technological capability.
The point remains, however, that the new gunpowder arms did little to change battle outcomes.
Even at the point of introduction, where the innovative side had a monopoly, the decisiveness of impact was at best modest.” Better weapons give no one any specific advantage past an acute period of transition.
Despite such critical advancements in the early 1700s, “only the Russians and Turks continued to issue old, heavy matchlock muskets, to the detriment of their infantry firepower”.
In the Great Northern War, a Russian army, one again severely under-armed with pikes and matchlock muskets, faced off against a superior Swedish force.
Feudal Russia again provides an excellent example of the competitor in technological lag.
Though the study of Russia provides an interesting case in military history, it is no anomaly.
War is a chaotic system, infinitely complex in its variables and conditions, but analysis of recent and historical conflicts suggest that some factors play larger roles than others in the decisiveness of war.
Sixty-five years ago a comparably under-trained and poorly supplied army of peasant Russians defeated the Nazi war machine, the most formidable and professional army in history.
Using improvised munitions and rifles designed in the previous century these inexperienced conscripts repelled elite Panzer tank corps across hundreds of miles, how?
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By a consequence of this nature of warfare, strong leadership was absolutely critical. Massie, the popular American historian and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, in his book on Tzar Peter of Russia, hundreds of thousands of men needed to be coordinated and precisely timed with the rest of the army to deliver a decisive attack .