How Did the Development of Technology Affect World War 1? Essay

1331 Words Mar 10th, 2012 6 Pages
Technology greatly affected the way in which wars were fought, especially in World War I. The inventions of the repeating machine gun, the development of poison gas, and the introduction of the first tanks caused armies to fight using the bunkering method. This allowed men to huddle in trenches along what are called skirmish lines and throw, lob, and fire by other means weapons to cause damage while men were protected by about 4 to 5 feet deep earth. This caused men to fight in rear or echelon columns behind tanks can basically caused defensive fighting tactics resulting in drawn out protracted battles.
Technology was the single biggest factor in WW1 being waged the way it was.

Military strategy had yet to fully understand how to use
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A short list would include: the practical submarine, machineguns, mass quantities of long-range artillery, effective hand grenades and mortars, and barbed wire. Lesser-known technologies which weren't as immediately apparent in impact, but still had a noticeable one, were: the diesel engine, motorized vehicles (primarily the tractor, not the automobile/truck), steam turbines, advances in field medicine, and improvements in many chemical processes (most noticeably, the introduction of smokeless powder for firearms, and radically more effective high explosives).

The impact of the aforementioned "pre-existing" technologies varied according to how they were used. Technologies like the submarine, diesel engines, and steam turbines were accompanied by radically new (and innovative) ideas on how to use them - WW1 proved the place where these new ideas were first employed, and they often resulted in a revolutionary new fighting style. Other technologies, such as the machine gun, barbed wire, heavy artillery, and smokeless powder, were simply incorporated into the existing military mindset, without the accompanying re-examination of their potential impact. This set of technologies had been previously employed in a variety of smaller wars (primarily in colonial and non-European settings)

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