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7 Surprising Technologies From World War I
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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:41:57 PM
Re: 7 Surprising Technologies From World War I
Wow, fascinating piece, Curt (and, I think it might be first one of yours that I've read on InformationWeek. Good timing!). The big notion that was drilled into my head in high school was about how War serves to drive the economy - which of course, ties into the fact that it's motivated by economic concerns to begin with. What it also ties into is the inevitable development of technology that comes with it. In eras gone by, maybe that economic drive was simply in the form of putting people into work (in factories, etc.), but it seems in the modern age it has changed to be the development of technologies that go on to explode into the consumer market after the war.

War breaks all the rules - governments will do anything they can to get ahead, red tape be damned... and that gets things done a little faster. You're right, though - some of these I had no idea about. Of course, it goes without saying that medical technology would be pushed to the forefront on the battlefield, but I'd never seen a picture of such a truck before now, and I wouldn't have guessed that that's what it looked like. At first, I felt a little cheated at your use of the 'wristwatch' (is it technology just because they put a strap on it?), but looking at it now, there's no denying that that simple act had in impact on our technology that we're feeling to this day. It continues to have an impact on our constant obsession with putting wrist-things in our science fiction. How crazy is that?
rmanske53101
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rmanske53101,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 12:39:35 PM
Re:
Sorry, you are not correct.  The Machine Gun and Artillery were the main instruments of death in WWI.  Gas was feared only at the beginning of it's use when it was new.  Once effective masks were developed and tactics how to survice the attacks were developed, gas was more an annoyance than a killer.
rmanske53101
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rmanske53101,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 12:36:23 PM
Re: Tactics Didn't Keep Up
Rob, I must disagree with you comment about trech warfare being old technology.  It was BECAUSE of technology that the trenches were dug in WWI, specifically new technology of the Machine Gun.  Marching (or even running) acorss open, baren land was suicide due to the rapid fire and reliabiliy of the machine gun, making it impossible to go hundreads of yards to attach your enemy.  Nerve gas was developed to counter the trenches as it hung close to ground and stayed in the treaches for days. The Tank was developed to breach the trenches, as well as the Thompson Machine Gun (the Tommy Gun) and pump action shot gun was for close quarters clreaing of the trenches.  Technology made the troops hide for their lives in trenches, then everyone tried to figure out how to breach the trenches to win the battle.  WWI was all about new technologies and how the militaies attempted to adapted to them, and in many cases, didn't do it well.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:22:05 PM
Re: "War: What is it good for?"
@Joe: Yes indeed, war brings innovation in a short time, while peace brings innovation after a lot of time spent. What made WW2 stand out was the use of Radio and Electricity. Probably the most powerful inventions and a step for modern warfare.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:20:34 PM
Re: imagination = reality
@Zaious: Future warfare would either be remotely controlled, or would be a direct nuclear warfare. People share loads of data over the internet, and trapping a countries sensitive data can cause the country's internal government to fall apart through disinformation planting and corruption.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:19:56 PM
Re:7 Surprising Technologies From World War I
You can only understand how advanced a country is in technology if you start a war against that country. Many countries were still advancing slowly. If there wasn't a world war, most countries wouldn't have become what they have today (some became superpowers, and some deteriorated).
ka7ehk
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ka7ehk,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 12:17:56 PM
Technology did not begin with WW1
People forget that one of the advantages that the North had in the American Civil War was the telegraph. That is "new technology", most certainly. But, we are also guilty of gross hubris if we define "technology" only in terms of things electrical. The rocket, the teel blade, armor, the cannon, the trireme, the chariot, the cross-bow, were all examples of new technology directed toward combat. It did not start with WW1 - far from it.

Jim Wagner

Oregon Research Electroncis
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 9:20:01 AM
Tactics Didn't Keep Up
As Curt suggests, the military tactics during WWI didn't keep pace with the technology advances -- trench warfare in an era of nerve gas, advanced artillery, and aerial offensives. In that sense, WWI was like the US Civil War a half century earlier, when lines of men marched forward to face automatic weapons.
zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:51:43 AM
Re: imagination = reality
@HH: 
What about a different mode of war? In that war both parties will be given some system and the one to get access (by cracking) will be the winner. No one dies, no one cries. 

The future warfare will be so tech savvy that it scares me. It will require a mere push of buttons to unleash unprecedented devastation on any place.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
6/29/2014 | 10:54:39 PM
"War: What is it good for?"
As terrible as war is, it's amazing the innovations war can inspire.

Not WWI, but I recently read about how crazy glue was developed/adapted to quickly seal soldiers' wounds on the battlefield in Vietnam.

Warning: You probably don't want to try this at home.  A special formulation is used for medical purposes, and differs from the typical "household" crazy glue/super glue -- which can burn the skin.
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