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Military Technology Selected Themes. Leave the Generals Alone A continuation of political activity by other means. Carl von Clausewitz.

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Presentation on theme: "Military Technology Selected Themes. Leave the Generals Alone A continuation of political activity by other means. Carl von Clausewitz."— Presentation transcript:

1 Military Technology Selected Themes

2 Leave the Generals Alone A continuation of political activity by other means. Carl von Clausewitz

3 Athena and Ares Athena: goddess of Wisdom Usually portrayed as warrior Represents rational, purposeful action Ares: god of War (Combat) Represents irrational action for own sake Represents brutality of combat

4 Pre-gunpowder castles in Europe High curtain walls - defense against scaling Walls could be thin - curtain walls Crenellations - shields for archers Machicolations - "bay windows" Round towers Strong defensive advantage

5 Typical Pre- Cannon Fort, 1200s, Istanbul

6 Pre-Gunpowder Fort, Turkey

7 Bronze Cannon, Istanbul

8 Early Mortar, Germany

9 Wooden Cannon, Germany

10 Cannons and Castles Early firearms crude and weak (1300's) By 1400's, firearms were more powerful Curtain walls thickened, often faced with timber or earth Crenellations and Machicolations removed (voluntarily or by cannon fire) Moats widened

11 Iron Cannonballs Iron is twice as dense as stone and doesnt shatter as easily. Iron cannonballs caused early cannon to burst due to the higher pressures in the barrels By 1450, better gunpowder and metallurgy made iron cannonballs usable

12 Iron Cannonballs Curtain walls replaced by lower earthen structures Round towers modified to triangular to remove "dead spot," then to arrowhead shape or "Oreillon." Final result by 1500 - "star fort."

13 The Blind Spot

14 Oreillons

15 Star Fort

16 From Castle to Fort: Wurzburg, Germany




20 Fortification, Vatican

21 Star Fort

22 Fort McHenry, Maryland

23 Fort Monroe, Virginia

24 The Arms Trade, 1500 Freelance engineers often went from town to town designing forts Same engineers were frequently hired in wartime as consultants by attackers.

25 Fortified Town, Holland

26 Fortified Town, Nicosia, Cyprus

27 Fort Pulaski, Georgia


29 Cannon are no Use if They Dont Hit Anything Gunners Quadrant, 1537 Triangulation-Frisius, 1533 Plane-table, 1551 Cross-staff for elevation Theodolite - Leonard Digges, 1571, first efficient surveying instrument: horizontal and vertical circles.

30 Artillery Survey Tools, 1700

31 Stimuli to map-making Artillery technology Henry VIII seizes church lands, 1536 - stimulus to surveying in England Copper engraving makes better map printing possible Christopher Saxton - national atlas of England, 1579 - first in W. Europe. Maps often made for military purposes, frequently classified

32 Feeding the Troops Early Armies subsisted by foraging for food Problems with local population (Even in WWII there were famines in Holland and Greece caused by Nazi requisition of food supplies) Impractical with large armies Armies had to keep moving because they exhausted local food sources

33 Napoleon offers prizes for better food preservation Nicholas Appert, ca. 1800. Put food in champagne bottles, boiled In 1810 he was awarded a prize of 12,000 francs on condition he publish his method British introduce metal cans Cans in use by 1812 for military and exploration

34 Cans Become Widespread Cans on sale in shops by 1830. Originally upper-class status symbols. (A single can cost 2/3 of a week's rent on a house) No can openers yet! Cans had to opened with a chisel. Nobody knew yet why the process worked

35 The First Modern War The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

36 Technological weapons and innovations Telecommunications Photojournalism Aerial observation (Balloons) Submarines (C.S.S. Hunley) Steam and iron-clad ships Railroads Rapid-fire weapons

37 C.S.S. Pioneer, New Orleans

38 C.S.S. Hunley

39 Other Modern Elements War of maneuver rather than pitched battles; strategic planning First major war in which balance of power described in terms of technology War telescoped 19th century into four years: –Early battles would have been familiar to Napoleon, –Ended with W.W.I style trench warfare.

40 I fear our people do not yet realize the magnitude of the struggle they have entered upon, nor its probable duration, and the sacrifices it will impose upon them... Their [the Union's] resources are almost without limit...They have also a navy that in a little while will blockade our ports and cut us off from the rest of the world. They have nearly all the workshops and skilled artisans of the country....We have no ships, few arms, and few manufacturers. We will not succeed until the financial power of the North is completely broken, and this can occur only at the end of a long and bloody war. The conflict will be mainly in Virginia. She will become the Flanders of America before this war is over...I wish I could talk to every man, woman and child in the State now, and impress them with these views. ---Robert E. Lee

41 The Civil War



44 The Last Ancient War World War I (1914-1918)

45 WWI Technology quite advanced Radio Airplanes Tanks Chemical Weapons Machine Guns Submarines Radio

46 Total failure to revise tactics to meet new technology Mass charges against machine gun fire. Feeling that one more push or more willpower would earn victory. Allies lost more men on the Somme in one day than U.S. lost in Korea. Desperate attempts by soldiers in field to redefine old concepts of courage and valor. Cavalry charges Static trench warfare

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