Why did Russia always lose so many man in war and why did their morale never break?

Sep 2010
3,538
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
#1
In almost every war the Russians were involved the lose hugh, but realy HUGH amounts of soldiers. My first question why? Was the average Russian general so immense terrible, were Russian soldiers cowards, were the ill-trained, ill-equipped? A combination of all?

Take Borodino, Eylau, Leipzig, Tannenberg, Leningrad, Smolensk, Stalingrad etc etc. All examples of hugh amounts of casualties even for their time.

Second why did the Russian moral never break because of this, except in World War I. Did the 10,000,000 casualties do nothing? How can you sell 100,000 deaths to your soldiers in one battle and still expect them to go on?
 

Spartacuss

Ad Honorem
Jul 2010
7,575
Georgia, USA
#2
You may not agree but, I find a line from Sir Alec Guinness in the movie "Dr. Zhivago" somewhat profound in explanation: "... Our cursed capacity for suffering." It is my perception that the history of the Russian people displays a general acceptance to their lot in life, however miserable under whatever regime, yet robustly demonstrating their appreciation of what is good in their lives.
 
Sep 2011
24,135
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#3
You may not agree but, I find a line from Sir Alec Guinness in the movie "Dr. Zhivago" somewhat profound in explanation: "... Our cursed capacity for suffering." It is my perception that the history of the Russian people displays a general acceptance to their lot in life, however miserable under whatever regime, yet robustly demonstrating their appreciation of what is good in their lives.
I fell asleep watching Dr Zhivago last night, I really wanted to watch it too.:(
 
Jul 2011
2,749
#5
The OP is utter drivel. Russians always lost as many soldier as it was needed except the Second World War when Soviet general were used to using own soldiers as cannon fodder. Moreover Your notes about Borodino and the WWI are mendacious.
 

bartieboy

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
6,616
The Netherlands
#6
The OP is utter drivel. Russians always lost as many soldier as it was needed except the Second World War when Soviet general were used to using own soldiers as cannon fodder. Moreover Your notes about Borodino and the WWI are mendacious.
Except for the during the brusilov offensive the Russian losses in ww1 were also significantly higher than the German losses.

However it should be noted that during the Turkish - Russian conflicts the Turkish death toll was often quite a lot higher than that of the Russians.
 
Apr 2010
719
#7
The russian soldier has a inherent fatalist mentality,right from the time of the serfs.His natural tenacity and distrust for foreigners is high.This makes him very suitable for the defensive.Any who has went up against them has acknowledged this.
Frederick the great before meeting the russians thought they were barbaric rabble of no worth.After the battle of zorndorf[essentially a draw where both sides suffered devastating losses] he changed his view dramatically.Saying
'Its easier to kill the russians than to defeat them'.
Napoleon came around to the same view after borodino.
'The french were victorious,the russians remained invincible'.

But then we see that russia's attempts at aggressive warfare has many times been a failure.Bautzen,austerlitz,tannenberg attest to this.This is because for attack co ordination,discipline,organization,training and efficient command structure is required to be very efficient at which neither russia's rigid command structure nor its peasant sodier has ever been too good at .But the defense [self preservation]which is man's basic instinct is far easier to be found in the basic soldier.
 
Likes: arkteia
Jul 2011
2,749
#8
Except for the during the brusilov offensive the Russian losses in ww1 were also significantly higher than the German losses.
It was a successful offensive on a very difficult spot. Attacker is destined to lose significantly more than defender in such offensive.
 

bartieboy

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
6,616
The Netherlands
#9
It was a successful offensive on a very difficult spot. Attacker is destined to lose significantly more than defender in such offensive.
Yes, that is why I admire this man.

However on different places of the front the commanders were far less capable.
 
Jul 2011
2,749
#10
But then we see that russia's attempts at aggressive warfare has many times been a failure.Bautzen,austerlitz,tannenberg attest to this.This is because for attack co ordination,discipline,organization,training and efficient command structure is required to be very efficient at which neither russia's rigid command structure nor its peasant sodier has ever been too good at .But the defense [self preservation]which is man's basic instinct is far easier to be found in the basic soldier.
It seems the thread is replete of puerile statements. The Russian empire was an expansionist state who had been expanding since Peter I reigning until Nicolas II abdication thanks to a plethora of talented military commanders.