North Korea might have nuclear weapons but the U.S. cannot simply go in and take them out. We are in a very different time now. A small country can be defiant to a super power. Options of effective military strategies are very limited because nuclear weapon makes any possible war with North Korea an annihilation game. Past wars in history often drop us clues of what might be coming in the future. There is value in re-studying one of two major world wars in the last 100 years. We can gain new insights by looking at it from a different perspective. The discoveries may prepare us for what might be coming next.
Military strategies are the focal point when war history is studied. Technology factors have been largely ignored even though they have significantly changed the way we live. It is logical to ask whether these technologies have changed the way a war is fought. In ancient times, generals and soldiers fought with swords and spears. In possible future wars, computers, missiles, and biological/chemical agents will be used. In those kinds of wars, the dominant players would be scientists and engineers. The outcome would be determined by superior intellectual quality and morale one side possesses. So my argument is that traditional warfare strategies have given way to modern technology and scientists and now engineers have become more important than soldiers. World War II is the junction point of the past and future.
To see how the technology played a more and more important role in World War II, four critical battles are picked from different stages of the war to be analyzed. They represent the early stage, middle stage, and final stage. This chronological approach allows us to see the gradual but increasing impacts technology had on the outcome of the battles. The importance of studying the impact of technology on the wars lies in the fact that technologies are created and manufactured by people – scientist and engineers. They are a group of people who are at the higher end of the knowledge spectrum and they think differently than generals and soldiers do. Their roles have been getting bigger in battlefields. By giving them a rightful place in history, we’ll gain new insights.
To illustrate the significance of this new insight, let me cite two examples. Hitler believed too much in traditional military strategies. He mistakenly thought that Germany’s V-2 rocket program was not of much value. His chief scientist Wemher von Braun built the rockets that were capable of attacking London from a far distance. Von Braun was later captured and ended up working for the U.S space program which landed humans on the moon. Another renowned German scientist missed the chance to figure out how to make the atomic bomb. Albert Einstein, who was on Allied side, assisted the US in the building of the atomic bomb which ended the war in the Pacific and saved thousands of US soldiers who would have lost their lives if a traditional battle was fought.