Most significant technological improvement in each war?




 
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December 22nd, 2004  
Charge 7
 
 

Topic: Most significant technological improvement in each war?


What do you feel was the most significant technological improvement in each war that you care to mention? For the sake of brevity I'll ask you to keep it to four different wars. Please give a short reason why you listed them. I'll start it off:

WWII: The Liberty ship. Not fancy but it allowed the Allies to move a vast amount of critical material in a relatively short amount of time.

WWI: The French 75 breachloading cannon. For the first time artillery could be fired without time consuming relaying of the piece enabling a great amount of uninterrupted fire power.

Austro-Prussian War: The Needle gun. Troops could now load and fire from the prone position. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that making yourself a smaller target helps alot.

The Crimean War: Armored warships. True they were more in the nature of barges than ships but the concept led to the iron clads of the American Civil War and all modern navies today.
December 22nd, 2004  
A Can of Man
 
 
World War I: Combat aircraft. Changed the face of the battlefield forever.

World War II: Atomic weapon. It would go on to define the next 50 years during both war and peace.

Korea: Combat helicopter. Revolutionized combat force mobility.

Vietnam: Guided munitions. Guided bombs first started to appear in Vietnam. Revolutionized air strikes. What used to require entire squadrons of airplanes (and previously, HUNDREDS of B-17s) could be done with a single airplane carrying a single bomb.

Gulf War: Advanced command and control and Stealth technology. Advanced command and control technology meant American commanders could coordinate and communicate faster than their hostile counterparts. This meant every move the Americans made was much faster, less confusing and better coordinated. Imagine chess where you can move 4 steps for every 1 the opponent can take. Stealth technology allowed jets to hit targets without taking casualties, where before such strikes would mean several dozen would be lost.

by the way, nice thread.
December 22nd, 2004  
Charge 7
 
 
This isn't a "you're wrong I'm right" but just a couple observations.

I don't really think the atomic bomb qualifies as a technology of WWII despite the fact that it occurred at the end of that conflict. It wasn't used prevelantly during the course of the war. Most historians place it as the first shot of WWIII. Whether that's wrong or right can probably be put in another discussion.

Also, the Germans had guided missles in WWII. They used a radio controled missle to take out ships in the Mediterranean in the latter stages of the war.

And thanks! I hope to have more good discussions with you all!
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December 22nd, 2004  
A Can of Man
 
 
But guided weapons were still too much in their infancy to be of any real practical use. The fact that they were not used in Korea proves this further.
It was in Vietnam that the guided weapon became a practical weapon.
In fact, World War I isn't the first war that used airplanes. The First Balkan War of 1912 used airplanes, but these were far worse than the ones that would follow in 1914. Not having made a significant impact, I don't attribute the airplane's entry as an effective war machine until the First World War.

To count the atom bomb drop as the first shot of World War III is quite a stretch because Japan would be on America's side for "World War III." In fact, the link between World War I and World War II are also direct, so if you want a link, you would link World War I, II and III into one big massive war, and in fact, throw in all the Balkan Wars as well.
Everything is linked with everything.
The Atom bomb was a product of World War II, which went on to define the Cold War. It was the one thing that all sides were rushing to perfect before the other.
December 22nd, 2004  
Charge 7
 
 
Okay I'll grant you the guided missles, but just can't buy the atomic bomb as the most significant technology of WWII if it comes at the very end. It didn't really affect the the fighting of the war during its duration but rather ended the fighting at all. Not quite the same thing but maybe I'm quibbling. Just a personal belief and not a carved in stone fact.
December 22nd, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Ok I'll bite.

Battle of Adrianople 378 - heavy cavalry for the first time displaced heavy infantry as the prime influence on the battlefield. The beginning of the end of the dominance of the Roman Legion.

Battle of Agincourt 1415 - the English Longbow for the first time disputed the role of the armoured knight as the dominant force on the battlefield, also allowed a far inferior force to defeat a numerically superior force with relative ease.

WW1 - introduction of the tank was one of the major reasons why the stalemate of 3 years of war was broken. Germany, usually well to the fore of military technology, was caught completely by surprise and had little answer.

WW2 - advent of the ground attack aircraft. Employed by all sides in the conflict this variant of air power came of age and was instrumental in both the early German Blitzkrieg victories and the later Allied triumphs.
December 22nd, 2004  
A Can of Man
 
 
The tank came towards the end of the First World War didn't it? Actually I'd say for the First World War, the airplane and the tank might be tied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Okay I'll grant you the guided missles, but just can't buy the atomic bomb as the most significant technology of WWII if it comes at the very end. It didn't really affect the the fighting of the war during its duration but rather ended the fighting at all. Not quite the same thing but maybe I'm quibbling. Just a personal belief and not a carved in stone fact.
December 22nd, 2004  
Charge 7
 
 
The tank was first used in the battle of the Somme in 1916, The war lasted 2 years longer.
December 22nd, 2004  
Charge 7
 
 
[quote="Doppleganger"]Ok I'll bite.

Battle of Agincourt 1415 - the English Longbow for the first time disputed the role of the armoured knight as the dominant force on the battlefield, also allowed a far inferior force to defeat a numerically superior force with relative ease.

You're off by about 70 years and have the wrong battle but the point is well made. You should refer to the Battle of Crecy in 1346 instead of Agincourt.

http://www.archeryweb.com/archery/crecy.htm
December 23rd, 2004  
Darcia
 
Cival War-America-Iron Ships
WW1-Tank
WW2-Atomic Bombs