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Logistics in Wars of the Russian State in the Second Half of XV–XVI Centuries

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The traditional view of the military history and the history of warfare as “the history of combats and battles” hides from view of a researcher and less prepared reader the reverse direction associated with rough daily work, which makes battles and combats possible. Unfortunately the problem raised in this article is unexplored in the Russian historiography although the organization and supply of troops in peacetime and war can be considered as the most important, characterizing a level of development and perfection of military machinery and military potential of any state. On the basis of a combination of the wide range of sources, narrative and documentary, the paper deals with issues related to logistics in the Russian state wars in the second half XV–XVI centuries. The analysis concerns to following issues: the ways and means of organizing the supply of troops and their correlation; problems associated with the device convoy; the impact of changes on the political and social structure of the Russian state, as well as in the warfare of the early Modern Time to logistics and others. The author puts the formation of a more or less coherent picture characterizing the content of logistics in the Russian state wars in the late Middle Ages – Early Modern Period. The main conclusion, which comes to the author, is that the traditional picture of the Russian army as not burdened with large baggage and capable to self-sustain based on the principle “war feeds war” requires a critical review and significant correction.

Keywords: Russian State 2nd half of the XV–XVI centuries, warfare, the art of war, wars of the Russian state, logistics.

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