Why Was Technology Important In Ww1

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War is described by many as the engine of change, stimulating the growth of many new innovations. Within less than a year of the war starting, old-fashioned traditions of warfare were radically transformed by the wealth of new innovations that were stimulated by the conflict. But how significant were these innovations? I have chosen three areas to examine which I think are particularly relevant: planes, tanks and artillery. Air combat gained immense publicity; air aces became celebrities and national heroes. Did they actually live up to their reputation? Many generals stuck their noses up at aircraft. “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value” said Marshall Ferdinand Foch, but is his view justified? One of the main innovations…show more content…
Technologies developed before the war had huge impacts. Trains and tanks further extended the war due to the speed that rations could be sent to the front line, which could make or break battles. Artillery especially was highly significant it is just that they were innovated greatly before WW1 and the innovations during WW1 did not increase the performance (this is evident as the French 75mm gun was developed in 1897 and was still used in WW2). It is just that many of the technologies innovated during the war were not that significant. We looked in depth into tanks and planes and the innovations associated with them and realised that they both had very little effect on the course of the war. Some might point out that planes were vital for reconnaissance and therefore very significant. This is wrong because the idea of reconnaissance was thought up before WW1 and by definition is not a technological innovation but a tactical one. A lot of other technologies fall into this category of being new innovations in WW1 but having very little effect on the outcome. Flamethrowers were very dangerous to the operator and cumbersome, so it was not in anyway enough to be an effective war winning weapon. Gas was innovated a lot and new more dangerous types were innovated and used initially to great effect, but all sides quickly developed countermeasures to neutralize the effects. Arguably the most significant technology was barbed wire, which again was created before WW1 but was first used as an instrument war then. Almost all innovations in WW1 revolved around breaking through the wire. For example tanks were attached with hooks to remove wire; gas was not effected by barbed wire so was initially a good solution. The list goes on but without barbed wire WW1 would have been an entirely different beast and I don’t think this is true of any technologies innovated during WW1. This further reinforces the point

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