The history of the Land Forces of the Russian Armed Forces dates back to the princely squads of Kievan Rus. In the battles with the Khazars and Polovtsians, Tatar-Mongol, German, Swedish and other conquerors, the chronicle of the state's struggle for independence was written by blood of Russian warriors.
The brightest page of military history is the defeat of the Livonian order by the Novgorod squad led by Prince Alexander Nevsky on the ice of lake Peipus ("Battle on the Ice") in 1242. Examples of military art and military valor were shown by the Russian army led by the Grand Prince of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy.
On September 8, 1380, the 150-thousandth Horde of Mamai was defeated in the battle of Kulikovo field. Russian regiments pursued the enemy who fled in panic for 50 versts.
The struggle to overcome feudal fragmentation, the formation of a centralized state and the elimination of foreign oppression led to an increase in the size of the army, and the strengthening of the economic and economic way of life created the conditions for the first military reforms in Russia, which were actively pursued by Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible). As a result, improved artillery, mine explosives, hand-held firearms appeared, and the system of manning and military service in the local army was streamlined, and centralized control of the army and its supply was organized.
Along with this, the streltsy army and a permanent guard service were created, and the "outfit" of the artillery was allocated to an independent branch of the army. All these measures to strengthen the army allowed the Russian troops to successfully defend the interests of the state in the fight against numerous enemies.
Peter I made significant changes in the Russian army. He created a regular army with the same type of organization and weapons, a unified system of military training and education, and centralized military administration. During the reign of Peter I, the post of Commander-in-Chief was established, under which a field headquarters headed by a quartermaster general was created, military schools for the training of officers were opened, the service of officers was regulated, and military-judicial reforms were carried out.
Russian army won a brilliant victory over Sweden during the Northern war (1700-1721), in which the main goal of Russia was to return the native Russian lands captured by Sweden.
In the general battle of June 27, 1709 (battle of Poltava) Russian troops completely defeated the Swedish army, which was considered the best in Europe. Russian soldiers showed bravery, fortitude, loyalty to duty, love for the Motherland, and readiness to defend it from foreign invaders.
The further development of military art and multiplication of Russian victories is associated with the activities of the great Russian commander Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov. In the wars against Turkey Alexander Suvorov abandoned the old cumbersome and clumsy battle formations, boldly and decisively using new, more maneuverable and mobile ones. . A vivid example of the triumph of Russian weapons, an example of the defeat of the enemy "not by number, but by skill" are the victories of the Russian troops led by Alexander Suvorov at Rymnik (1789), the storming of the fortress of Izmail (1790).
The Russian army under the command of Suvorov showed brilliant examples of decisive action strategy, shock tactics of columns and loose formation in the Italian and Swiss campaigns (1799).
In these campaigns, many characteristic features of Suvorov's military leadership, high moral and fighting qualities of Russian soldiers - "Suvorov's miracle heroes" were manifested.
The First World War (1914-1918) gave a powerful impetus to the development of military art, strategy and tactics of troops, and the improvement of their technical equipment. Aviation, armored vehicles (tanks, armored cars, armored trains), and rapid-fire weapons are increasingly being used in combat operations. This has a significant impact on combat tactics. Operational art is enriched with new experience.
A bright page in the development of Russian military art, in particular, was the so-called Brusilovsky breakthrough (1916)-the breakthrough of strongly fortified positions of the Austro-German troops by the forces of the south-western front under the command of General from the cavalry Alexey Brusilov.
After a powerful artillery preparation, the attack was not delivered in one direction, as was the rule before, but from four at once, which allowed hiding the direction of the main attack of the Russian troops, eliminating the maneuver of the enemy's reserves, causing huge losses and capturing a strategically important bridgehead…
The experience of the First World War had a great influence on the military construction and organization of the armed forces of all countries participating in the war in the following years, in 1920 -1939. The construction of the army of the young Republic and the development of its military art in those years were carried out taking into account the experience of both the First World War and the Civil war and military intervention in Russia in 1918 -1920.
The Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) was an extremely difficult test for the Land Forces. All the most important combat tasks in the fight against the German-fascist invaders – a cruel, experienced and strong enemy – were solved primarily by Land Forces.
During the war, the Land Forces received significant development. Building up their fire and shock power, maneuverability and combat capability was based on the introduction of new, more effective weapons systems and military equipment, the growth of combat experience of troops, the acquisition of skill by the command staff and the improvement of means and methods of control. All this led to the fact that the Land Forces during the war became first-class in their weapons, unsurpassed in morale and the most advanced in the art of conducting operations and fighting.
The victories won at Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad and Kursk, in Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states, led to the final mastery of the strategic initiative and the liberation of the country's territory from invaders.
As a result of a further rapid offensive, the main groups of fascist troops on the Vistula, Danube and Oder were defeated, which led to the victorious end of the war in Europe, and later in the Far East.
In the battles with the German-fascist invaders and Japanese militarists, the soldiers and officers of the Land Forces showed themselves to be fearless and courageous warriors, showed examples of amazing endurance, inventiveness and bravery. In pursuance of the instruction of the President of the Russian Federation of April 18, 2016, as well as in order to prevent the facts of distortion of the memory of the feat of our people, attempts to rewrite history and de-heroize the defenders of the Fatherland, the activities of the experts of the working group on the selection of documents from the headquarters of formations and military units of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 for their further placement on the Internet portal "Pamyat Naroda".
The first phase of the group's activities were carried out from 1 September 2016 at the Moscow Higher Military Command School of the Central archive of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and was completed ahead of schedule June 1, 2016, the 100th anniversary of the archives service the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.