Essay On Technology In World War 1

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The technology used in World War 1 set it apart from previous wars. The course of the war determined the investments of the warring nations into technology and ordinances. Millions died needlessly because military and civilian leaders were slow to adapt their old-fashioned strategies and tactics to the new weapons of 1914. New technology made war more horrible and more complex than ever before. The three main technological advancements where firstly, chemical warfare through the use of poison gas, which burned and blistered skin and destroyed the respiratory system as well as having inflicted widespread fear among the soldiers; secondly, the invention of tanks, which were devised to counter the frustrating, stalemate of trench warfare by providing …show more content…
It re-defined trench warfare as it created an entirely new way of attack. Arguably it was only from 1917 that the tanks were used to their full potential. A great illustration of the tank’s efficacy is the Battle of Cambrai. The deployment of 381 tanks had various advantages: enabling the infantry to cross in otherwise impossible circumstances; flattening barbed wire. (Thus further facilitating the cross into no mans land); and acting as a shield for the infantry. Whilst it is true that the tanks were heavy, slow and difficult to manoeuver, these drawbacks were offset by the fact that they where fairly quiet; with the noise of planes overhead, this allowed them to advance with relative ease undetected. This made them incredibly significant. Especially as the battle of Cambrai was the first time that the tank had been used in such a large task force, which provided a huge sense of surprise and of course …show more content…
Gas warfare, I believe was almost purely a psychological weapon, being one of the least fatal, yet being feared the most. It was very effective on occasion, but in hindsight, wasn’t renowned for its accuracy nor its casualty and fatality rate which was very low. Although this was the case, I still believe that its significance cannot be overlooked in any way; as overall, mentality itself was hugely significant in ww1. The tanks, also being another very morally boosting (or if they were on the other side very much the opposite) weapon, was a lot more significant in the ways that it was designed to function. Its overall shear amplitude and enormity combined with its innovations created a masterpiece of ww1 technology which effectively broke stalemates and redefined warfare. Finally, the machine gun, which I think was the most significant innovation of the First World War due to its pure power and rate of fire making it an incredibly efficient weapon firing, at the beginning of the war, between 450-600 rounds per minute. This rapid fire not only worked more effectively as a defensive weapon than any other but also earned its due respect from the attacking soldiers and again created pure fear in the opposing trenches. Although the machine gun also became a more attacking weapon, which for future wars to come was a massive leap in

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