Russia has boasted throughout its war history of having an indestructible ally who protects it from all enemies: General Winter. Also called General Winter or General Frost, the Russians have always greatly respected those months between October and April because they have given glorious war victories to their Army. The Russian winter, to which they have given the rank of general, has made them win great battles and has given them an enviable military prestige. For this reason, numerous authors have dedicated political speeches, essays and works of art as tributes to this illustrious, combative and immortal character.
Now, already beginning October, Russia once again trusts its great general. But Ukraine will fight, among other reasons, because the climate is the same and it wants the high command in its army.
The invincible General Winter is so because, among other reasons, while in countries like Spain the worst winter record can be calculated at 20 degrees below zero, in the Eurasian country, low temperatures can reach from 30 degrees below zero from Moscow to 69 degrees below zero.
In a study of the winter wars in Russia, Allen F. Chew argues that General Winter has been a “substantial contributing factor”, although not decisive, in the military failures of Napoleon’s and Hitler’s French and German invasions, respectively, of Russian lands. In this regard he points out that Napoleon’s army was already suffering significant attrition before the winter, due to lack of supplies, disease, desertions and war casualties. For its part, the Hitlerite Wehrmacht had already suffered more than 734,000 casualties and was running out of supplies in November 1941, before the arrival of winter.
But there are not only those cases of victory of General Winter: in the Great Northern War (1700 – 1721), before the invasion of the Swedish army of Carlos XII to the territory of the Tsar Peter the Great, the Russians strategically fled their cities and allowed the advance of the enemy, who found himself in the middle of an unknown nation and with the worst winter of the 18th century falling mercilessly. The deadly weather and lack of supplies greatly depleted the Swedish army, reducing it by half.
Also, during the Russian North Expedition of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, both sides, the Allied forces and the Bolshevik Red Army, knew or quickly learned the principles of winter warfare and applied them wherever possible. Both sides, however, had their resources stretched thin, and at times one side or the other suffered severely from unpreparedness, but Allen F. Chew concluded that winter provided neither combatant a decisive advantage.