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What were the differences between World Wars 1 and 2 in terms of science and technology?

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2006-07-10 16:21:11
2006-07-10 16:21:11

Many of the weapons that would prove to be elemental in WWII got their baptism of fire in WWI. Airplanes, tanks, and submarines are just some of the examples. Generally, if an idea practiced in WWI was successful, it was carried on and improved upon in WWII. Some exceptions include the war blimp, poison gas, and dreadnaughts all of which were either found to be ineffective during the war or were simply rendered obsolete by other scientific developments. What does separate the two wars however is the speed at which technology advanced during the war. During WWII, science, especially in Germany, the USA, and Japan skyrocketed as the major powers rushed to try and build superior weapons to those of their enemies. These developments led to long range rockets, jet fighters, massive increases in tank technology, the assault rifle, the dominance of carriers on the high seas, and at the very end of the war: the atomic bomb. The way I look at is that in WWI technology dictated the course of the battles because tactics simply hadn't caught up yet. By WWII, either other technologies had enabled old tactics to reemerge (for instance tanks reintroducing the idea of cavalry) or better yet, tactical thought had adapted to technology and now technology was scrambling even faster to catch up. Hope that helps somewhat.

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