Stevens-Henager 1_Technologies of War_Carver by DonaldQuixoteC


									Technologies of War
The reasons humans have gone to war with each other are as varied and are as many as are the wars
that have been waged themselves. Countries and peoples have fought for land and power or for
freedom from oppressors; for reasons of self-defense or for the want of resources to grow their own
economies, seemingly all viable reasons have been levied as worthy enough to risk the life and death of
its citizens.

Whatever the reason or purpose, the goal of war has forever been the same; one must win. To
accomplish this goal the technologies of war have been studied and improved upon from the first time
prehistoric humans picked up a rock or a stick to fend off predators or each other.

Medieval Advancements
Different weapons were needed for different situations.
For example, a sharp blade has always been handy in
personal combat but as feudal knights in Europe
developed full plated body armor that could effectively
shield a person’s body from slashing weapons the
emergence of more mace like clubs and axes designed
to crush through or pierce the armor became prevalent
on the battlefield.

However, just one concept has done the most for the
advancement of weapons technology than has any other conceptual idea. That is the principle of
negating an enemy’s threat from a distance.

Roman Advancements
                                              Roman legions used javelins to great effect, throwing
                                              them at advancing enemy masses to eliminate as many
                                              as possible before hand to hand combat ensued, and
                                              the famous Greek warriors of Sparta used the
                                              technology of elongated spears in cohesion with a
                                              battle formation called a phalanx to keep their enemies
                                              at the greatest distance to them as possible. But the
                                              most effective means of long range combat of the
ancient and medieval world was the bow and arrow.

European Advancements
The English long bow was the most efficient and fear weapon of this class, partly because of the soldiers
who used them. The long bow’s great advantage was its outstanding range granted it by its large size
and by the burly men who wielded them.
As enemies were neutralized at greater and greater distances the advantages of this type of combat
became apparent. It not only allowed for and enemy to be defeated but it also allowed for a
commander’s own fighting men to be spared.

                                         As European explorers ventured into the orient they brought
                                         back to the western hemisphere the recipe for gunpowder. As
                                         firearms began to develop simple peasants could be armed
                                         with a weapon capable of de-horsing a knight, as well trained
                                         and deadly a professional solider as could be found.

                                         The technology of firearms developed rapidly and within a
                                         century of the renaissance great European empires had been
                                         built upon the back of gunpowder and its ability to hurl
                                         projectiles, both small and large, across the open fields and
                                         seas of battle.

                                        Becoming incessantly deadly, small arms have continued to
                                        develop and offer to the armies of the earth the capabilities to
                                        cause great destruction. But in keeping with the initial concept
                                        of putting distance between oneself and the enemy, nations
have developed increasingly devastating weapon systems that far exceed the destructive force of a
single firearm.

The impact of weapons of mass destruction has yet to be seen in any continued use by men among men.
By doing so, however, man may have advanced the technology of weapons to the point of creating their
own destruction.

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