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How did new technologies affect the fighting in World War 2?

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industrializations affect on World war II was that they were able to kill people faster and better and easier without haveing to go through so much work.



In terms of which technologies produces a revolutionary affect on warfare in WW2, rather than just provide an incremental improvement in warfighting capability, I'd go with the following (invented or first used sometime between 1930 and 1945):

  • Invention of Electronic Computation - the most obvious application of this is the huge Cryptographic efforts by the UK/US to break Axis codes. Huge advances in electronic machine computing allowed the Allies to perform previously-unthinkable decryption of enemy messages, which is now seen as one of the most important advantages the Allies held. Less obviously, primitive computers powered Allied naval gunfire directors and bombsights.
  • Radar and Related E&M tech - the invention of a ubiquitous magnetic mine radically changed naval warfare, and the large-scale deployment of radar significantly changed both aerial and naval combat. The proximity fuse was also introduced by the Allies, with very significant impact.
  • Sloped Armor - the introduction of slanted armor plate in the T-34 tank completely revolutionized tank warfare.
  • Prefabrication and Mass Production - while the concept of Mass Production had been refined over the preceding decades, a completely new level of organization, assembly, and deployment based on pre-fab parts and designs radically changed the logistics of warfare, where production by Allied (primarily US) countries outstripped any level previously thought possible by huge amounts.
  • Amphibious Warfare - WW2 was the first time that practical over-the-beach assaults against opposition could take place; a whole raft of new technologies were invented to allow this, from the Higgins assault boat, to the Mulbery artificial breakwaters, to floating tanks, mine-clearing and obstacle removal tactics, and even the dedicated fast troop/assault transport ship.
  • Combined Arms Warfare - what we labeled as blitzkrieg is really the synthesis of several new technologies in an effective new tactic. The combination of armored vehicles, motorized infantry, and aerial support made most combat strategy in European Theater completely unrecognizable to anyone from more than a decade or so before. WW2 is really the invention of true Mechanized Warfare.
  • Nuclear Fission - the major breakthrough that everyone things of: the practical application of nuclear fission as a military weapon.
  • Rise of the Aircraft Carrier - WW2 was the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, and it quickly demonstrated that naval tactics had to change immediately. Aircraft replaced the gun as the prime naval weapon (along with the torpedo). Surface warfare quickly became an almost exclusively aerial contest.
  • Mass Infantry Air Assault - while less successful than other technologies listed here, a whole cluster of ideas resulted in the practical ability to deliver an effective fighting force solely via the air had a major (and still continuing) impact on military strategy.
  • New Generation of Explosives - much more compact, safer, and more powerful explosives, as well as the ready availability of major earth-moving vehicles, changed the field of Combat Engineering in ways not seen since Roman times.
  • Medical Advances - in particular, the invention of antibiotics.
  • Strategic Bombing - the invention (and mass-deployment) of the practical long-range bomber changed warfare from a tactical battlefield, to a strategic battlezone. No longer would fighting be confined to within a few miles of the battle front.
  • The Portable Radio - a very much undervalued and overlooked advancement was the compact radio. The amazing improvement in command and control of the portable (i.e small vehicle and man-carried) radio allowed for the mass use of forces on a level never before seen. Portable radio is what enabled the coordination of such mass forces, without which Mechanized Warfare would not have been possible. It also enabled the use of aircraft, for, without these communications links, aircraft would have been of very limited effectiveness.


As for technologies which would later prove revolutionary, but which arrived either just too late, weren't fully utilized properly, or in not enough quantity to affect fighting, I'd go with:

  • Jet aircraft - a complete revolution in propulsion for aircraft, the full impact of the design and tactics of jet aircraft came just after WW2, first having a real effect in the Korean War.
  • Missiles and Rockets - not properly utilized, and still primitive at the time, rockets and missiles eventually replaced the bomb and gun as the primary offensive weapon of armies, navies, and air forces.
  • Advanced Submarine Propulsion and new Hull Design - these changed the submarine from a primarily surface vessel which could submerge for small periods of time, to the submersible killer which seldom surfaced, these technologies radically changed submarine (and, anti-submarine) warfare in the 1950s and onward.
  • Assault Rifles - these forced a complete redesign of the modern infantry tactics, as well as the logistics to support them
  • Night Vision and other Vision-Enhancing Technology - available only in very small quantities and with limited ability during WW2, the extension of soldier's ability to fight around the clock in all sorts of conditions was revolutionary, but had to wait until the 1970s for its real impact to be seen.
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