Technology and War

Technology has greatly influenced the way battles have been fought. In the Roman times through to the Gulf war the way wars were fought, together with the advanced technology have completely changed every aspect of war. Roman Times, where they had an extremely basic level of technology compared to modern technology, changed the way tactics in war were fought.

In the Roman times, manpower and limited contact beyond the immediate surroundings made it completely different to the modern way of fighting wars. The Roman wars were mainly fought by auxiliary and legionary soldiers.

The Roman wars were fought on a more local basis between different Empires and in closer distances to each other. These wars were fought to gain power and to take over land occupied by local Warlords. Wars were fought on foot by infantry led by the local Warlords and his nominated leaders. There was more involvement by the leaders in the physical day to day combat of war to the more modern wars like the Gulf War. In modern times the leaders did not participate in the actual combat but more in the strategies.

These wars often went on for very long periods of time and over hundreds of years and were more controlled by a small number of leaders who held the power. In the Roman Times the numbers of Infantry was where the power lay. In the modern Wars like The Gulf War there was more strategy and technology, this was more important than actual army numbers.

One of the biggest differences in the Roman Times to the Gulf war is the equipment that was used. In Roman times each soldier carried a weapon such as a sword, dagger and a shield. They also carried spears, they were not used for killing people but they threw them at other peoples shields and it would get stuck making their shield useless. The way they moved was either on foot or horseback. By the time the Gulf war came on they rallied on guns, chemicals, ships, aircraft and bombs. They moved around much faster and covered more ground by ship or airplane.

Another way the advance in technology has altered the way battles have been fought is the introduction of fire power. In the Roman times they only had a very limited range of firepower such as a catapult, so they had to mostly rely on hand to hand combat skills, and they could only fight within a few metres. In modern times where there are rifles and firearms that can fire up to a few hundred metres you can engage an enemy at a much greater distance. The advancement in the technology on the airplanes capabilities is also of great significance in the later wars.

Roman soldiers had very limited protection from their enemy. They had shields, bodyarmour and a helmet that was made a particular shape to deflect blows from a sword(“The Roman Army”.). Today’s soldier has a uniform that protects him with armour, as well as camouflages him and allows more mobility. He also carries self aids such as bandages, water and even food. Today’s soldiers carry protection in the form of a gun, knife and small explosives and are trained for every emergency situation.

With the introduction of technology particularly in World War II there was more global military conflict that, in terms of lives lost and material destruction, was the most devasting war in history. It involved commitment of entire nation’s human and economic recourses which expanded the battlefields to include all of the enemies territory.
In the late stages of World War II, two radically new weapons were introduced. This technology has changed the techniques of war from then on to the Gulf War and Iraq conflict. The threat of chemicals and weapons on mass destruction will do doubt continue to change the ways of war in the future.

Today’s wars are also greatly influence by the advances in the technologies in communications. The ability to control what your soldiers are doing from a longer distance makes situations a lot easier to control. In the Roman times the only way of contact was by foot and face to face instructions. In modern times the soldiers can be fitted with small radios, mobile phones and computers. These make the planning and execution of battles a lot more effective and controlled. This makes the battle to be controlled from around the world whereas in Roman times control was in the immediate area of battle.

In conclusion it is clear that technology has had a dramatic effect to the way wars are fought and controlled. From changes in weapons to advances in uniform, to the use of man power to the modern day where armies rely on equipment, communication and strategies to win battles.

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