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Technology Caused And Ended Wwi Essay

1757 words - 7 pages

By December 1914 the First World War had reached a dilemma on the western front that neither the triple entente nor the triple alliance had expected. The war had reached a stalemate, a state where both sides are so evenly balanced that neither can breakthrough against the enemy. The advances in Technology played a big role in creating the stalemate through strong defensive weaponry such as Machine Guns and Artillery, this caused ‘trench warfare’ (Hetherton, Greg. "The Technology of War"). Trench war is when troops from both sides are protected from the enemy’s firepower through trenches. Many advances in technology also attempted to break the stalemate throughout the war with tanks, gas and aircraft, these however failed. Eventually the stalemate was broken through a combination of improved technology, new strategies and the blockading of the German ports.
Creation of Stalemate
The stalemate on the Western front had developed by December 1914 because of the new advances in defensive weaponry where both sides had developed lethal weaponry like the machine guns and artillery, which subsequently led to trench warfare. The Machine Gun was a very dominant weapon in the First World War. It could kill hundreds of men a minute due to its rapid firing rate of 600 bullets a minute. However the machine guns that were used in the First World War weighed between 30kg – 60kg, would require a four to six operators and could heat up extremely quickly; clearly not very effective as a offensive weapon (Duffy, Michael. "Machine Guns.") Machine Guns were only effective for defense as they were extremely heavy, required a lot of ammunition a needed to be fixed into the ground. This made it severely difficult to attack and move with machine guns. Artillery was even deadlier as a defensive weapon and was one of the most important weapons of the First World War as it was the cause of the majority of human losses. The artillery ranged from field artillery to heavy and long range artillery that could fire long distances and would trap the enemies in their trenches. The Trench Mortar was also a very effective weapon in the war, which was a “tube” that would fire at a vertical angle (higher than 45 degrees) and could therefore be fired within the safety of the trench, unlike artillery. All these new advances in technology made trenches almost impossible to attack yet also kept each side trapped in their trenches. The deadly weapons would also fire at the supply lines, wearing down the enemy’s resources. Artillery and shells would also create huge craters in No mans land making it hard for soldiers to advance and attack. Barbed Wire was another successful advance in technology that was placed in front of the trenches and prevented troops from charging and attacking at trenches. These advantages may have been successful in a short term; however the advances in technology left both sides with strong defensive weaponry to defend their trenches. At the same time there were no...

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