What weapon changed the face of warfare?

Re: m4

No MERCY said:
I think the machine gun was the greatest invention in modern combat! It lead to many if our American victories. I helped in close and long range warfare. It was the best.
To all the guys that know me srry i've been away so lomg. I went to go mature and learn some things. Thanx.

glad to see you back. :D notice the spellchecker button to the bottom right of the edit box when you are typing? it works.

The greatest evolution that mankind ever made was the evolution from bows and arrows to the use of gunpowder. . .

so I suppose gunpowder and the cannon would have to be my answer :rambo:
In my opinion self-guided missiles (like the towahak, etc.) made the greatest change in modern warfare as you don't have to risk your life anymore like the bomber-crews did in WWII.
The face of warfare is constantly changing. The basic see-saw is between Cavalry and Artillery on one side -- armaments that require large, central authorities to purchase (armored knights, chariots, seige engines, tanks, missiles, bombers, etc.), and Infantry on the other -- armaments that are more "democratic", that can be purchased and employed by "yeomen" (longbows, rifles, swords, RPGs, etc.).

Between Crecy and WWI, Infantry, armed with the longbow, then the rifle, dominated the battlefield. Since WWI, Cavalry and Artillery (bombers and missiles are essentially long-range artillery) have dominated the battlefield. Some will put the fulcrum as late as WWII and some will put it as early as the War of Defense against Northern Agression

Better RPGs (to defeat tanks) and low-cost stand-off delivery systems (to replace Artillery) could tilt the balance back to Infantry.
more specifically The MG42, It is still the most successfull machine gun design in history. Or so I have read I could be mistaken. I know its still in use by the Bundshwer (sorry if that is spelled incorrectly), im form of the MG3.
Well, let's see...
First there was the stick, which eventually was made into the sharp pointy stick, which then was later made into the spear and so on, and so on

Gladius was a nice simplistic design, but it wouldn't have got that far withought the big ass roman shield

Gunpowder, very nice invention lots of things came out of that
Personally I really dislike guns, it's a dishonorable weapon, only takes a monkey with one finger to shoot a gun. Plus you don't get to hack apart your enemies.

I think a bow and arrow should be it for distance combat.
I think gunpowder. Think about everything that has evolved since becuase of it. I base this on nothing but the body count from gunpowder is much higher than without especially since it hasnt been around too long.
1) Bow & Arrow- The bow and arrow started the projectile type of thinking. It allowed armies to engage at much greater range and also protect their own men to a larger degree.

The bow and arrow did in the days of the knights because horses and men could not withstand such an onslaught. Thus, armies had to grow larger and commoners were hired into service and trained as fighters.

2) Rifle- This is the most lasting weapon for infantry warfare. Firing a subsonic or supersonic projectile, the rifle has increased range and is more efficent and mobile than the bow and arrow. No longer were the fired projectiles large sticks, that were awkward and the bow's range dependant on the users muscles, but instead the bullets were light and rifles of the same build fired the same distance no matter who was operating it.

3) Tank and Machinegun- Crediting either above the other might be overstepping slightly. The Machinegun is able to rake enemy formations quickly, but that is useless without the gunner being protected. The tank could serve as both a seige weapon to destroy buildings or using it's machinegun, serve as anti-personnel work as well.

Tanks truely brough mounted cavalry to the end of it's days because cavalry was simply no match for the power and speed of the tank and it's machine gun.

4) The airplane/helicopter- The airplane and helicopter proved another advancement on the battlefield. No longer were troops solely fighting a "2D" battle, but instead now had mastered the 3rd Diminsion, air support.

Aircraft could delivery bombs onto enemy troop formations quickly and accurately. Aircraft could also travel longer distances in a day by virtue of their speed. This allowed for transport craft to quickly move men and supplies overseas or across contenients rather than wait for ships or trucks.

Helicopters could be used for anti-personnel or anti-armor work when equipped with rockets and machineguns. Unlike the airplane, their ability to hover over a target and stitch fire made them another great advantage to have. Helicopters ability to conduct verticle takeoffs on even rough terrain also allowed for commanders in battle to be taken over it from the front lines then placed back down so they had a better understanding of forces around them, as well as they could serve as dust-offs for wounded troops and retreat them to a hospital base, rather than a field medic.
It's not a weapon..........
It's wheel... ;)

To help transporting troops, equipment, and speeding army..... :D
Going from histrory to the the present i'll try to name to the weapons that changed the course of history, of course I may miss some. Although some of the stuff had to do with tactics too and a combination of weapons.

Bow and arrow

Metal weapons

Hoplite Heavy Infantry (Greeks)

Phalanx (Alexander)

Seige Engines

Legoinare (Romans)

The Stirup (this key invention allowed for heavy cavalry allowing the Knight to come into existance.)

The Longbow


The Bayonet

The Cylindrical Bullet

The Machine Gun



The Atomic Bomb



If I were to pick only one device it would have to be the machine gun. Throught history warfare consisted of blocks of men going at each other. The machine gun changed that, you no longer can do that.
Jason Bourne said:
The Nuke, The nuke changed war as we know it

I do not think the Nuke has changed the face of warefair. In 4 years of active duty, I recieved little training on the nuke threat.

Now I can say that the nuclear threat affects who we pick our fights with.