During the 20th century war, technological advancement leading to innovations in the mass production industry was entirely focused on upgrading military and weaponry technology. The new 20th-century technology became the primary reason that caused many casualties as the trend used more deadly weapons in successive conflicts. However, accelerated technological development led to the adaptation of tools that were important in solving specific military needs. This tools included machine guns, aircraft, tanks and submarine.
One of the most crucial technological advancement was the improved machine gun whose military potential was recognized and used mainly by the year 1914. Machine guns allowed soldiers to rapidly fire bullets at the enemies at the rate of 400 to 600 rounds per minute and allowed them to dominate the battlefield by causing many deaths. As the war proceeded, lighter models with oil and water cooling mechanisms were produced (McLean, 2020). Machine guns would also be mounted on different types of vehicles, aircraft and ships. The machine gun became a devastating weapon that contributed to the production of casualties and the success of wars.
In overcoming the artillery force of the adversary, aircraft became effective reconnaissance technology of locating the position of the enemy so that to make attacks more precisely. In 1916, the use of planes became a deadly business as direct clashes became frequent between enemy aircraft which was facilitated by the fitting of machine guns (McLean, 2020). The effectiveness of air war was confirmed by 1917, which led to the creation of separate airborne corps that worked independently instead of using ground army command (The Learning Resource). In 1918, the 1st aerial division was created by the French army and comprised of fighter planes and bombers. The innovation led to the intensification of aerial bombing due to the development of twin and four-engine aircraft that had the capability of carrying more massive weapons.
Although the concept of tanks began in the 1890s, the use of armoured and all-terrain war vehicles became more effective in 1917 as a response toward the problem of trench warfare. They were used by combining the intense power of firing with protection from the firing of enemies hence enabling soldiers to move closer to the trenches of enemies (Ogorkiewicz, 2020). Based on the caterpillar locomotion system, it allowed tanks to move on any terrain and were equipped with machine-gun installation. The subsequent technological advancement in 1918 provided the tanks with the ability to fire in all directions, making it a highly effective attack weapon (The Learning Resource).
The sue of submarines played significant military roles during the First World War as both the German and Britain navies attacked their enemies in 1915. These two countries prioritized the war at sea as they depended on imports. The success of Germans in using submarines to intercept supplies led to other sides developing and using several response weapons. In 1918, the development of an ultrasound detection system by the French significantly improved the outcome of targeting the German U-boats by combining it with increased efficacy of weapons, for instance, machine guns and missiles (The Learning Resource). These innovations led to tragic outcomes, mostly destroying the submarines of Germany.
The improvement of military weapons due to technological advancement led to the use of more deadly weapons and success at warfare. These weapons included machine guns that fired rapidly to defeat the enemy, aircraft that helped in locating the position of the enemy, tanks that enabled closer intrusion to the enemies and submarine detection systems that prevented piracy.
McLean, A. Torrey. (2020). WWI: Technology and the weapons of war. Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, NC Museum of History. https://www.ncpedia.org/wwi-technology-and-weapons-war
Ogorkiewicz, M. R. (2020). Tank, military vehicle. https://www.infoplease.com/us/military/world-war-i-weapons-and-technology#:~:text=Airplanes%20and%20submarines%20were%20used,chaos%20during%20World%20War%20I.
The Learning Resource. Technological and Scientific Progress during the First World War. https://www.reseau-canope.fr/apocalypse-10destins/en/theme-based-files/technological-and-scientific-progress-during-the-first-world-war.html
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