Joshua DeMars 9.4
(How did WWI change warfare?)
The First World War was a tragedy that no one would have been able to foresee. Not only did it change the world forever but it altered warfare forever. The main way in which the warfare was changed was through the advancement in weaponry.” Each side would be equipped with new age weaponry which would guaranty a lengthy conflict”. The advancements in technology are one of the main factors in the war that cause it to escalate to a level where millions of people of every race age and size, were killed. Every country wanted to gain the upper hand in the battle and that meant thinking outside of the box and coming up with new ways to hurt their enemies. WWI added many different things to the table. This includes guns, aircraft, bomber planes, tanks and chemical warfare. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/wwi-100th-anniversary-incredible-advancement-military-technology-1458635. This video shows some of the many advancements that debuted first in the First World War. All of these innovations were things that added to the devastation that became WWI.
Over the years guns evolved along with the munitions that were propelled by them. To improve upon the original musket rifle things like mechanical reloading and smokeless propellant, “Cordite” was implemented to make a more efficient all around weapon of arms. The rate of fire had also increased by fifteen times per minute, which lead to quicker elimination of adversaries and a more rapid advancement of the warfare.
Another advancement that contributed to the infamous engagement was the invention and implementation of aircraft. The original aircraft were used to observe the enemies positions and advancement to gain information on reconnaissance missions. When they were first produced there was no built in weapons systems on board, meaning that they were not designed to engage in warfare situations. “For all practical purposes the war plane came into being at the end of 1914”. A man named Alexandrovich Kazakov (The original aerial ace), developed other ways to defend himself and attack enemies while in his plane. He carried steel darts with him in order to put holes in his enemies’ wings. He also developed a device that featured a steel hook on long cables that would bring down other planes. Clearly the focus of information had shifted to a greater advancement of weaponry in the air.
Another adaptation of the aforementioned aircraft is the bomber plane. The first genuine bomber plane was designed by the French. It was called the Voisin and was first put to use in august of 1914. After the debut of this new advancement of the plane, other countries quickly caught on a put together their own improved versions of the Voisin. Every country used their bombers in and for different situations in war. Some saved them as a means to put together a counter strike against their enemies. Others found it more suitable to blindside their enemies with attack first. Most commonly bombers tended to attack the areas with the highest concentration of enemy forces. This served as a precursor of the modern day trend of minimal casualties through bombing of territories prior to landing. This is what we see in the smart bombs of today.
The most, fierce of advancements of weaponry would have to be the innovation and use of Tank warfare. Over time the tank tended to become the mascot of the savage brutalities of warfare. Ironically, when it first made its debut back in the battle of Flers-Courcelette on September 1916, it was not a huge success.” It was then used with less success at the battle of the Somme They firstly became stalled and ditched in the trenches that were common in this war. The general that first issued them deployed them before they were battle ready but just their presence on the battle field stunned the German army that first saw them in action. Over the years the tank has become the mainstay of the ground troops and seen as the indestructible force that is the push or the gears of wear itself.
The last and the most dreadful of all weapon adaptations and advancements was the innovation and use of gas warfare. Like the tank, gas warfare was originally deployed by the French, even though the common misconception would have it being invented by Germany, the French were the originators of this horror. Their war debut was in October 1914 during the capture of Nevve Chappelle. There were other incidents of gassing but the most common form was poison gas. The chemicals in the gas were composed of highly concentrated forms of chlorine, which were designed to destroy the respiratory organs in people’s bodies. “The affects of chlorine gas were severe.” It left soldiers lifeless on the battle field in mere moments. When the victim first inhaled the highly toxic chlorine compound, it quickly begins to wreak havoc on all systems in the body that sustain life itself and left them gasping for air. It was unusually cruel way to die, as they clutched on to the remaining moments of life they had left and was something man’s warfare had never seen before.
The WWI era brought about horrors on the battle field that never will be duplicated. Advancements in guns and gun fire as well as many new weapons that had never existed before. Because these new paths of development were created, even newer innovations of these are still being used to this day. More powerful bombs such as nuclear warheads and common chemical warfare in the form of pepper spray, remind us of the newer gadgets that war in the early 20th century brought on the scene.