Military Technology - Selected Themes

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Military Values

If Only the Politicians Would Stay Out...

The German general Clausewitz once wrote that war is politics continued by other means. War is inherently political; its only practical use is to attain a political goal. Generals will never be allowed to have things all their own way any more than scientists will ever get absolutely unlimited research budgets.

Why the Military Does What it Does

Military attributes all have counterparts in the civilian world; the military differs more in degree than in kind from the civilian sphere.

Ceremony, Rank, and Hierarchy

Uniformity

Discipline and Obedience

Group Cohesion

Training

Gunpowder

Invented in China - rockets and smoke screens

Pre-gunpowder castles in Europe

By 1400's, firearms were more powerful

Iron Cannonballs

Artillery improvements

Stimuli to map-making

Feeding the troops

The First Modern War - The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

Technological weapons and innovations

Other Modern Elements

The Last Ancient War - World War I (1914-1918)

Technology quite advanced

Total failure by generals to revise tactics to meet new technology

Aircraft

The one "modern" battle of World War I

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Created 20 May 1997 Last Update 14 December 2009

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