Command became quicker, easier, and more responsive”.In a matter of years the mode of warfare changed completely, generals had to rethink doctrine and soldiers had to rework tactics.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 .
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.Before the 1700’s, wars were fought in the classical sense: seemingly infinite battalions marched in parallel columns in the fog of cannon shots, musket balls, and gunpowder smoke.In this sense, battles were truly fought as chess games, such that commanders would spend hours mobilizing, organizing, and detaching men, cavalry, and artillery into massive segments to be slowly but surely dealt out on the battlefield.The early 1700’s rested on the bridge between two technologically different stages of war.
The first and arguably most important weaponry advancement resulted from the introduction of flintlock rifles.
However, despite an egregious lack of comparable armaments, the Russian army surprised the world and prevailed in several conflicts against modernized Western states.
Serious questions arose concerning contemporary military thought and doctrine.
Massie attributes Russian victory in the face of technological inferiority: leadership and training .
Tzar Peter’s risky decision to lure the enemy into the cold winter of Russia and sever their supply lines reflects dominance in strategy over strength, brains over brawn.
King Charles XII of Sweden had the most modern and well equipped army in all of Europe.