Technology Of World War One Essay

1011 words - 4 pages

There were vast technological advances for both the allied and central powers during World War One. Whenever forces from one side of the war would create a new type of weapon, the opposing force would either examine and copy the weapon, or invent a similar one with superior technology. Innovative military technologies and weapons were implemented for all branches of the armed forces (land, sea, and air), however the majority of new developments were used for land based forces. Some of the most important new technologies consisted of machine guns, trenches, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and improved fragmentation artillery.Many of the new technologies created because of World War One were defense mechanisms. Gas masks were produced in response to the invention of gas. The most effective gas used in World War One was mustard gas, named after its yellow-brown color. Mustard gas was a blistering agent that would render soldiers that came into unprotected contact with it unable to fight. When poison gas was first used in the war the only method to deploy it on the enemy was to release it when the wind was blowing towards their trenches. This greatly limited the use of gas as a weapon. It wasn't until later in the war did the armies start using poison gas in artillery shells to solve this problem.At the start of the war, generals and field commanders tried to send orders and tactical commands from their headquarter miles behind the front lines. The orders were delivered by motorcycle carriers riding to and from their posts. It did not take long for the generals to realize a fast means of communication was crucial to provide accurate support from the rear. Radios of the time were too large to be carried by soldiers and telephone lines were easily cut. Aircrafts were then used to deliver messages to the front. They would go on contact patrols and fly over friendly trenches and drop the messages down to the soldiers without stopping to reduce the risk of incoming fire and because there normally was not a safe place to land near the front lines.Communication from the front and rear became more important because of the new artillery that was created that could fire on a target for which it did not have visual confirmation. Artillery was used to barrage the enemy's front lines before a ground advance in attempts to break the enemy lines; however it was not often that the lines were broken. Artillery was also called in to help the advance of assaults on enemy lines. A creeping barrage would try to pace their advance so it would constantly come down in front of their position, creating a blanket of explosions in front of them. Communications were extremely important because of the chance the barrage would land too far in front of their position exposing them to the enemy, or if the barrage was too slow it would hault the advance or even land on their own troops.The increasing number...

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