Academic Master


The invention of new types of weapons in the early 20th century led to the development in the 1920s of new theories of warfare based on these weapons. Discuss this phenomenon with respect to either tanks or bomber aircraft.

The invention and appearance of novel and different types of weapons in the early 20th century turned away the armies from reliance on horses on the battlefield and the new weapons with advanced technology were routinely included in the warfare journeys to the modern world. Fixed-wing bomber aircraft, tanks, railway guns, gas masks, etc were the technological developments in the arena of military weapons that helped bring the battle lines of WWI to mechanized warfare and stalemate. Italian militarily used bomber aircraft first in 1911 during the Italo-Turkish war in Libya. These fighting machines were aimed to use for ground attacks and reconnaissance. Later, strategic bombers were developed to shoot down the enemy’s planes principally by the British. Similarly, the invention of tanks triggered a series of new warfare theories based on technological weapons and significantly changed the notion of how the war was waged before the 20th century. In fact, the early 20th century witnessed the fastest pace of weapons development for the security of national as well as international territories. In 1914, the following year WWI started, the usage of cannons, mortars, and machine guns was commonplace to directly fire at the target as these weapons were placed on the frontline to spot and range the target. Tanks among all of these primitive weapons were the most powerful land-based weapon that served the concept of safe mobility of troops, continuous track, a large amount of the internal combustion engine, and the protection of firepower. (Hermann, 1997)

To accomplish the purpose, Britain during World War I began the serious developments to invent and launch the tank and use this weapon in the battle. Britain and France created a tank which was first used on September 15, 1916, in the Battle of Somme as a solution to mechanized warfare. At the same time, the French introduced a decisive tool for warfare which was a tank with a rotating turret. Meanwhile, the British military showed its potential by fielding hundreds of tanks in November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai as British tanks broke the Hindenburg Line during that battle. British army thought this new invention of the tank would end the stalemate as a response to the trench warfare on Britain’s Western front and would serve as a mechanized weapon for the warfare. Britain hoped that tanks as the mainstay of ground armies would allow British armed forces to quickly and effectively advance against the German army. The world’s first combat tank was named Mark I and emerged as a decisive technology on September 15, 1916, as a demoralizing weapon that caused terror around the world during the First World War. Since the invention of the tank in the early 20th century, the tank had made history and was symbolized as a weapon of political power, terror, and military strength. The first battle fought with tanks in the First World War inaugurated a new era of warfare in history. Meanwhile, the invention and usage of this fighting machine in the battle served another purpose and were exploited to spread the propaganda about the military power of Britain which first used tanks on the battlefield (Hermann, 1997). In fact, the use of technology during the First World War reflected an effective trend toward the mass-production of military weapons which paved the way for industrialism in warfare. All of the powers of Europe and its colonial empires in the World War I were mobilized to fight the war through all the possible resources of the European society whether it was industry, labor, food production, or finance for the invention of new mechanized weapons towards the military purposes to promote industrialism as this fight gave priority to warfare through mobilizing all the resources of the society to achieve military targets over non-combatant needs and wants of the civilians.



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