A similar situation existed in the Confederacy in the early stages of the U.S. Civil War, where it was believed that the material advantages of the North (in terms of industrial capacity, natural resources and sheer population numbers) could be overcome by (if I recall the quote correctly) “the gallantry and fighting spirit of the Southern Gentleman.” The contrary (and ultimately correct) view was expressed by a certain Northerner to a friend he had in the Confederacy: “No nation of agriculturalists has ever defeated a nation of industrialists. You are bound to fail.”
That’s an excellent example. I looked up the Civil War and found that the North experienced twice as many combat deaths as the South. That ratio would seem to partially justify Southern leaders’ faith in their strategy. However, the overall ratio of military deaths was 1.4 to 1. The reason for this is that so many soldiers on both sides died from disease, exposure, and other causes.
Later in the war, the North increasingly benefited from activities which did not necessarily involve a clash between the main Northern and Southern armies. The increasingly effective naval blockade is a good example of this, as are some of the coastal raids the North performed later in the war. The Southern economic collapse which resulted from the naval blockade is still another example. Later in the war, Grant capitalized on the Northern advantage in manpower by sending several secondary forces to invade the South, while the main Southern forces were occupied by their Northern counterparts.