Technology of World War One

Essay by jjock86College, UndergraduateA+, February 2008

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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...