Technological Change In World War 1

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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World War One was to be like all the other wars. It was to be a traditional, noble, and victorious moment; all finished by Christmas 1914. In 1918, it finally ended. What was it that drained these powerful nations to their knees? Was it the vast technology that had been developed so quickly under the stresses of the "˜War to end all Wars' or was it that the Home Front had not coped with the psychological impact? The ability to mobilise huge numbers of soldiers and machinery within a limited amount of time is a true testament to the organisation and efficiency of the armies. With the enormous build-up of army strength in the years leading up to World War One, Continental Europe was able to marshal the resources of each nation to be an influential part of the war. Amazing figures of armies consisting of millions of men were utilised in a matter of weeks.

Mass utilisation was a part of the ever-quickening rate of technological change that occurred during World War One. The world was relatively primitive in the technology being used. The war forced all nations to continuously search for that paradoxical advantage that waited hidden to be found. New weapons were quickly introduced, and newer versions of previous weapons were unveiled too. As these new weapons entered into the equation, traditionally vital weapons faded away into obscurity. Machine guns and revolutionary rifles with higher accuracy and longer distances soon removed the effectiveness of lance-armed cavalry. The horse, an indispensable asset of all armies, soon became a nuisance at the Front Lines.

This was a time that had the dangerous mixture of jingoism and militarism. The passion that people had for their nation was incredible and they showed it in their actions. As the men left for...

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