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Encyclopedia > Russian Winter
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The Russian (or Soviet) Winter is a common name of winter in Russia. It lasts for 5 months, from November till the end of March, and is known for its low temperatures and transportation difficulties, and also because of its role in military events on Russian territory. Common nicknames for the notion are General Winter and General Snow. Yet another one was "General Mud", see "rasputitsa". Image File history File links Stop_hand. ... State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Soviet republics Area  - Total  - % water 1st before collapse 22,402,200 km² Approx. ... The rasputitsa (Russian: распу́тица) is the twice annual flooding of Belarus, western Russia and the Ukraine. ...


The average and minimal temperatures in Russian regions differ. In Yakutia the winter is most severe, with the lowest temperature around -55°..-60°C (around -67°F). In the European regions of Russia (west to Ural mountains) the winter is more european-like, with average temperature rarely fallig lower than -15 C; however, sometimes it is much colder: for example, the winter 2005/2006 showed temperature around -25°..-30°C in Moscow in January, during the whole month. In Russia this period of the year is called the Epiphany frosts and has been known for its low temperatures for centuries. One of the factors for these temperatures is the climate, that is continental. The other factor is Russia's geography: it lies mostly inside the polar circle, and is as northerly as Canada, but with little open water inside to store the sun's energy. For example, in the Altai region in August the day temperature is higher than 20°C, but at night it can fall down to 0°..5°C. Older people say the winter temperature in Russia has increased over last 10-20 years. The Sakha (Yakutia) Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Саха́ (Яку́тия); Yakut: Саха Республиката) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). ... Moscow (Russian: Москва́, Moskva, IPA: ) is the capital of Russia and the countrys principal political, economic, financial, educational and transportation center, located on the river Moskva. ... John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ as Angels look on in wonder in an Eastern Orthodox icon of the Theophany This article is about the Christian feast. ... A continental climate is the climate typical of the middle-latitude interiors of the large continents of the Northern Hemisphere in the zone of westerly winds; similar climates exist along the east coasts (but not the west coasts) of the same continents, and also at higher elevations in certain other... The polar circles is a name for the Arctic and the Antarctic Circle. ... The Altai Republic (Russian: ; Altay: Алтай Республика) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). ...

Medieval Russians used skis to facilitate transportation during their winter campaigns.
Medieval Russians used skis to facilitate transportation during their winter campaigns.

The severity of Russian winter is often linked with Russian military victories. In the Great Northern War, Charles XII of Sweden invaded the Russia of Peter the Great. The Russians retreated, burning everything in their wake, leaving no supplies. This particular winter happened to be the most brutal winter of the 18th century, so severe that the salt water port of Venice froze. Charles' 35,000 troops were decimated, and only 19,000 were left after that winter. The Battle of Poltava in 1709 sealed the end of the Swedish Empire. Image File history File links Pokhodmoskovityan. ... Image File history File links Pokhodmoskovityan. ... The Great Northern War was the war fought between a coalition of Russia, Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland (from 1715 also Prussia and Hanover) on one side and Sweden on the other side from 1700 to 1721. ... Carl XII, Karl XII or Carolus Rex, (June 17, 1682 – November 30, 1718), the Alexander of the North, nicknamed in Turkish as Demirbaş Şarl (Charles the Habitué), was a King of Sweden from 1697 until his death in 1718. ... Portrait of Peter by Paul Delaroche Peter I (Russian: Пётр I Алексеевич or Pyotr I Alexeyevich) (Peter Alexeyevich Romanov) (9 June 1672–8 February 1725 [30 May 1672– 28 January 1725 O.S.] [1]) ruled Russia from 7 May (27 April O.S.) 1682 until his death. ... Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venexia) , the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto and of the province of Venice in Italy. ... The Battle of Poltava (or Pultowa) was a battle between the armies of Peter I of Russia and Charles XII of Sweden on 28 June (new style 8 July) 1709, the most famous of the battles of the Great Northern War. ... Sweden between the years 1611 and 1718 is known as the Swedish Empire. ...

Charles Minard's graph showing the strength of the Grande Armée as it marched to Moscow and back, with temperature (in Réaumur) plotted on the lower graph for the return journey. -30° Réaumur = -37.5° Celsius
Charles Minard's graph showing the strength of the Grande Armée as it marched to Moscow and back, with temperature (in Réaumur) plotted on the lower graph for the return journey. -30° Réaumur = -37.5° Celsius

Napoleon's Grande Armée of 610,000 men invaded Russia, heading towards Moscow, in 1812. The Russian army retreated before the French and again burnt their crops and villages, denying the enemy their use. Napoleon's army was ultimately reduced to 100,000. His army suffered further, even more disastrous losses on the retreat from Moscow. According to an American military study, the main body of Napoleon's Grande Armée, initially at least 378,000 strong, "diminished by half during the first eight weeks of his invasion, before the major battle of the campaign. This decrease was partly due to garrisoning supply centres, but disease, desertions, and casualties sustained in various minor actions caused thousands of losses. At Borodino on 7 September 1812 - the only major engagement fought in Russia - Napoleon could muster no more than 135,000 troops and he lost at least 30,000 of them to gain a narrow and Pyrrhic victory almost 600 miles inside hostile territory. The sequels were his uncontested and self-defeating occupation of Moscow and his humiliating retreat, which began on 19 October, before the first severe frosts later that month and the first snow on 5 November."[1] Download high resolution version (988x565, 87 KB)Minards graph showing napoleons advance into europe (1885) This map by Charles Joseph Minard shows the advance of Napoleons army into Russia. ... Download high resolution version (988x565, 87 KB)Minards graph showing napoleons advance into europe (1885) This map by Charles Joseph Minard shows the advance of Napoleons army into Russia. ... The degree Réaumur is a unit of temperature named after René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, who first proposed it in 1731. ... A degree Celsius (°C) is a unit of temperature named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1744), who first proposed a similar system in 1742. ... Napoleon I of France, by Jacques-Louis David. ... La Grande Armér (in English, the Big, Great or Grand Army) is the French military term for the main force in a military campaign. ... The March on Moscow The invasion commenced on June 23, 1812. ... Moscow (Russian: Москва́, Moskva, IPA: ) is the capital of Russia and the countrys principal political, economic, financial, educational and transportation center, located on the river Moskva. ... The Battle of Borodino (September 7, 1812 (August 26 in the Old Style Russian calendar)), also called the Battle of the Moskova, was the largest single-day battle of the Napoleonic Wars and arguably the greatest battle in human history up to that date, involving nearly quarter a million soldiers. ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... 1812 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A Pyrrhic victory (pronounced pirric) is a victory which is won at too great a cost for the victor. ...


Under Hitler, Germany attacked and Soviet forces withdrew into the steppe of Russia to acquire time and stretch the German army. Industries were dismantled and withdrawn to the Ural mountains for reassembly. The Soviet forces held off the Germans outside Moscow and defeated them at Stalingrad in the bitterly cold January of 1943. As for the Battle of Stalingrad, the winter did not contribute any hindrance to the German armed forces. Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Supreme commander: Adolf Hitler Supreme commander: Josef Stalin Strength ~ 3. ... Map of Ural Mountains The Ural Mountains (Russian: Уральские горы = Урал) also known simply as the Urals and as the Riphean Mountains in Greco-Roman antiquity, is a mountain range that runs roughly north and south through western Russia. ... Insert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus Hermann Hoth Georgy Zhukov Vasily Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilevsky Strength German Sixth Army German Fourth Panzer Army Romanian Third Army Romanian Fourth Army Hungarian Second Army Italian Eighth Army 500,000... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Insert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus Hermann Hoth Georgy Zhukov Vasily Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilevsky Strength German Sixth Army German Fourth Panzer Army Romanian Third Army Romanian Fourth Army Hungarian Second Army Italian Eighth Army 500,000...


The argument of the Russian winter may be partly mythologized. Failed invaders liked to exaggerate the significance of weather conditions in their failures. According to the meteorological records, the 1812-1813 winter was milder than usual. During WWII the only cold winter was in 1941-1942, and the Wehrmacht had no supplies, such as winter uniforms due to the many delays in the German army's movements. Hitler's plans also miscarried before the onset of severe winter weather; he was so confident of a lightning victory that he did not prepare for even the possibility of winter warfare in Russia. Yet his eastern army suffered more than 734,000 casualties (about 23 percent of its average strength of 3,200,000 troops) during the first five months of the invasion, and on 27 November 1941, General Eduard Wagner, the Quartermaster General of the German Army, reported that "We are at the end of our resources in both personnel and materiel. We are about to be confronted with the dangers of deep winter." German cavalry and motorized units entering Poland from East Prussia during the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Wehrmacht (help· info) (Defence force) was the name of the armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945. ... November 27 is the 331st day (332nd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ...


The Russian winter has not always been the only factor that stopped invaders of Russia. No invader has won a war against Russians on their territory, since the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1223. This may be more a function of Russian military training, military strength and national character, as a consequence of the many invasion attempts throughout Russian history. The Mongol Invasion of Rus was an invasion of the medieval state of Kievan Rus by a large army of nomadic Mongols, starting in 1223. ... // Events August 6 - Louis VIII is crowned King of France. ... Joseph Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov salute a military parade in Red Square above the message Long Live the Worker-Peasant Red Army—Loyal Sentinel of the Soviet Borders! The military history of the Soviet Union began in the days following the 1917 October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. ...


References

  1.   Chew, Allen F. (1981), "Fighting the Russians in Winter: Three Case Studies" Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. CSI.

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In the European regions of Russia (west to Ural mountains) the winter is more European-like, with average temperature rarely falling lower than -15 C; however, sometimes it is much colder: for example, the winter 2005/2006 showed temperature around -25°..-30°C in Moscow in January, during the whole month.
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