Technological advances in World War II
War is itself a destructive process .The world has already experienced it, twice. The first when WWI occurred in 1913 .The second WWII broke out in 1939. (Eubank, 2004, p. 128) The former was a terrible experience and the latter even more deadly one. Germany’s invasion of Poland is considered as the main event that initiated the war which begin with the triumph of German forces and ended in the defeat of the latter. The causes of German defeat may be what so ever, one aspect to be taken into consideration is the technological advancement. Technology underwent massive modification in itself during the interwar years and still is contributing the society. The large scale research and development urged the society to utilize technology at different levels. There was much technological advancement during this era. Categorically, these advances can be divided as follows. These are weaponry, Transportation and military and strategic advances.
The weaponry experienced a great change during the World War II since the weapons of World War One were obsolete and outdated. They were not as accurate as the weaponry used in this war, and incapable of longer ranges while the weapons used in World War II could mark long distance areas. In World War One, the bolt action fire rifles were used by an average soldier whom had to be reloaded after every shot. In World War Two, the average soldier either carried a semi-automatic rifle or a machine gun The primitive machine guns of World War One were made more accurate, reliable and smaller in size and lighter to handle. Small explosives, such as grenades, were made more deadly and destructive… Soldiers carried high powered rifles with armor piercing bullets and bazookas, which caused terror in the enemy’s camp. This development in the weapon technology completely altered the course of warfare. At the initial stage of war, the anti-tank weapons were not up to the mark so Germany’s blitzkrieg attack of tanks surpassed the allied however, in later stage effective measures against the enemy’s tank attack, were taken into action .Now these were carried behind other vehicles. Torpedoes became more effective and rapid. These were made more reliable to target accurately and used in shallow water. The basic German flamethrower used in World War One was modified into a more destructive weapon.
The second group of advances is Transportation. It can be sub divided into few sub categories.
The Jeep was the popular invention in this regard .This was the basic mode for transporting the soldiers from one area to another .The war tank was also one of the most important mode of transportation used in WWII. Tanks now were made much faster, lighter, and stronger. Tank warfare was very important in World War Two. The Germans surpassed the allied in this warfare however; they were distinctly inferior in every other aspect.
The next group of transportation is the sea vehicles. A special element in the contest between the powers, making that contest global, was the growth of naval power. The radar was an innovation in the navigation field and helpful in enemy detection. The sea power was crucial and the sea power of the allied forces were without question superior than the Germans .Naval Ships had better equipped weapons. Aircraft carriers were very effective. The Germans made an innovation to rocket propulsion, which could target long range missiles. Sonar had just been introduced also Naval technology underwent rapid modification in this era.
The third group of technological advances is in aircrafts. Aviation is another very important aspect in this regard. There were several types of World War II aircrafts. These were fighters and bombers earlier, the Fighters in WWI, were single engine aircraft that were the most used aircraft in the war. The Bombers were small and couldn’t carry big bombs. Also, they lacked long range capabilities. The third type of aircrafts, the Commercial aircraft was relatively new at this time. The bombers were developed as the largest planes ever made until now .The engines used in the aircrafts were developed into more reliable and lighter ones. To deal with the potential health and safety hazard, the aircrafts were made lighter in weight. Aviation industry utilized the radar for the first time which proved to be highly effective in the war. Pressurized bombing was introduced in this war since it was developed for high altitude flight. The American B-29 Super fortress was the first pressurized bomber. It was the type of plane that could carry the atomic bombs. The B-29 Super fortress was a breakthrough in aviation technology.
Military and Strategic advancement
The last kind of technological advancement is military and strategic advances. Officers enjoyed better training prospects than the WWI. They had to keep themselves in touch with the technology so as to keep themselves upgraded with the technology. Radar created a huge impact in both naval and aviation industries .Last but not the least, the introduction of atomic bomb was one of the main technological advancement in this era. (Divine, 1969, p. 310). Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated and converted into cities of rubble due to this invention.
Technology with its myriad of functionalities has evolved as the king maker and superior force, controlling the events during the war and post war era. The rapid pace of technological advancement is for human minds to adapt and capitalize them .Whosoever capitalizes them the best will have an edge over others. Technology isn’t worth anything until it is put into action. Technology advances of World War Two were great. These advances were very influential, not only during the war, but in the future ideas and developments of technology. Many things can be accredited to World War Two technology. These advances probably changed the outcome of World War Two, but they also changed warfare forever.
Eubank.K. (2004).The Origins of World War II. .Harlan Davidson.: Wheeling, IL.
Divine.R.A ed.(1969): Causes and Consequences of World War II.: Quadrangle Books. : Chicago.