Since ancient times an army required significant logistical support to carry out any kind of sustained military campaign. In ancient Rome, an extensive network of roads was constructed to facilitate not only trade, but to allow Roman legions to move quickly to where they were needed, and for the supplies needed to sustain military operations to follow them in turn.
In the late 1700's French general, expert strategist, and leader Napoleon
Bonaparte would note that, "an army marches on its stomach," referring to
the extensive logistical network required to keep an army fed, and therefore
able to maintain its fighting capacity. For the French, their inability to
maintain a steady supply train to its forces fighting in Russia, and the
Russians' decision to burn their own land and infrastructure to deny it from the
invading forces, ultimately defeated the French.
Nazi Germany would
suffer a similar fate when it too overextended its logical capabilities during
its invasion of Russia amid Operation Barbarossa. Once again, invading armies
became stranded without limited resources before being either cut off and
annihilated or forced to retreat.
And in modern times during the Gulf
War in the 1990's an extended supply line trailing invading US forces coupled
with an anticipated clash with the bulk of Saddam Hussein's army halted what was
otherwise a lighting advance many mistakenly believed could have reached Baghdad
had there been the political will. The will to conquer was there, the logistics
to implement it wasn't.
The lessons of history however clear they may be,
appear to be entirely lost on an either supremely ignorant or incredibly
deceitful troupe of policymakers and news agencies across the West.
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