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The New Technologies of the World Wars

This will tell you about some of the technological breakthroughs of the World Wars.
by

Dylan Nguyen

on 1 April 2013

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Transcript of The New Technologies of the World Wars

The New Technologies of the World Wars The Enigma Overview The second "New" Technology I'm going to present to you is called, "The Enigma Machine." It is basically a machine that would help either side encrypt or break secret codes. The Enigma was invented by German engineer, Arthur Scherbius at the end of WWI. It was not only one machine. "Enigma" is actually a brand name of the cipher machine. He invented the machine to sell to commercial companies but that didn't work out so well. There have been many models invented, though not all of them successful. The different generations of the Enigma got smaller and more portable. Tear Gas The first "New" technology I'll show you is one of the many poison gases used in WWI. It is called lacrimator, or more common known as "Tear Gas." Not much is known about who invented tear gas or when, but what we do know is that it was first used in WWI. There are a few theories about who invented it, but no one knows for sure. Morse Code The next technology is Morse Code. Morse Code is very famous among everyone but here is how it was used in the World Wars. RADAR There were many important technological breakthroughs in the two World Wars. They either contributed to Nazi Germany's defeat, or the fact that they lasted so long. Here are a few of the new technologies of the World Wars that I thought are worth presenting to you. By: Dylan Nguyen The Enigma was actually used by both sides. It mainly helped the Allies though, as the Germans thought the Enigma code was unbreakable while the British had some Enigmas of their own and used them to break some of the Germans codes that they used the Enigma to make. The British didn't use the machine all the time to prevent the Germans from realizing their ciphers have been broken. This helped the Allies bring an end to the war by breaking German codes and foiled their plans. The Enigma Machine has given birth to many modern devices even today. With all the hackers out there, there must be a device for instantly decoding messages like in spy movies, were the spy plugs his phone into an eye scanner or something and he goes through security with ease. While there might not be anything like that there are probably other products that are used to break encryption codes to bypass firewalls and things like that which the government uses. M R F L O O D R O C K S ! I myself believe that this machine was very useful to the British. It was not at all a flop like some of the other machines. If I were to talk about it from the German perspective then I would say it was a complete and utter failure. The Brits figured it all out without any German finding out. There were many articles that talked about how the Enigma worked and they were pretty complicated. It kinda started group of machines that leads up to modern day code-breaking devices. Any machine that has a good concept and executes perfectly gets an A+ in my book. I chose this because there were many gases used that could kill you, this was used in more of a strategic way. It could blind the enemy while we attacked or we could just use it as a way to disable unarmed hostiles. It was a good idea to use the tear gas in war to distract enemy or break them up. I think this helped both sides because they both used it. After Germans used poison gas on the French at the battle of Ypres, all other countries play the poison gas card and blame Germany for starting it. This all adds up to tear gas being a good weapon that helped both sides. Tear gas is actually still used today in places like the Middle East to keep riots under control and things like that. It might be kind of stronger, but it is mostly the same. I bet tear gas was such a good idea that they haven't had to change it much. Maybe they've upgraded the canister a little bit. Machine Guns The next technology I will be presenting is the commonly known, Machine Gun. The new gun would be able to shoot around 300 rounds per minute, but instead of cranking the gun to shoot, this would be shot with a simple trigger like other guns. It was first designed by Hiram Maxim in 1884. He first offered his creation to the British army but they quickly rejected it. After that, the Germans quickly started making copies of it and by the start of WWI, they already had 12,000 at their disposal. Once again, this is an invention used by both sides of the war. The only difference was that the Germans had a few more than us. It was a good invention that helped Germany last so long but also helped us defeat them. The early ground based machine gun has been modified through the generations and is now the common machine guns you would see today. The huge gun has now become a small, but powerful gun that most every soldier can carry without needing 6 other men to fire it. I think the machine gun was a success but the only drawback with using it was that it overheated quickly and often jammed. They were either water or air cooled. With the water cooled ones you would need a pretty big and steady source of water. If the men ran out, it was not unknown for them to urinate on it to keep it cool. All in all, it was a good invention that defiantly helped both sides. Morse Code was originally created by Samuel Morse in 1836 but also played a major role in the World Wars. The code transfers the alphabet into a series of dots and dashes. This means that messages could be sent through electrical impulses which could be sent long distances. That meant that instead of sending letters or things like that, which takes days, weeks, even months to get delivered, messages could be delivered almost instantly to anyone with a receiver and on the right frequency within up to 100 miles. Like most of the other inventions I've presented, this was also used by both sides during the wars. It would probably be kinda difficult to have only one side use it considering it would be so easy to have the other side figure out how to use the code.It played a vital role as they could send a message for help instantly when needed. Morse Code was a great concept and is sill used today. It might not be as commonly used but is still a great skill to know in case you had no other resources. I believe it was a very good invention, not only because of the fact that it was very quick, but also because the code was simple instead of weird squiggles like English characters are. The series of dots and dashes was ingenious and Morse Code was a great invention. The last technology I will present is RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging) During WWII, battles were won by the side that was first to spot enemy airplanes, ships, or submarines. That is why British and Americans created this technology to give the Allies an edge. The Radars would basically use the same principal that bats use in echolocation. That would allow operators to "see" for miles. The RADAR system was invented by Robert Watson-Watt in 1935. It was mostly used by the Allies during WWII but some of the Axis used it. Obviously, RADAR technology is still used today. I would believe that they use the same technology but with a better receiver crystal. That's why the government is trying to create vehicles that block the pulse so that they couldn't be tracked. Radars played a huge role in the war. Some say that it was RADAR that won the war for the Allies. The war probably would have ended a different way if it weren't for radars. They allowed Ally troops to see incoming enemy soldiers from miles away. That would defiantly give them some time to prepare. To answer the unit question directly, the technological advancements changed the war in a number of ways. For the technologies that were on the German or Axis side, they probably added much time to the war depending on how successful they were. If they were American or Allied, they helped put an end to the World War. The technological side of the war was arguably the most important side. If a country thinks that brute strength could win a war alone then boy are they wrong. Think about it, who would win in a fight, a huge, tough jock with 2 fist, or a nerd with a Gatling Gun. This is how some technologies majorly changed the way the World Wars could have ended up. Referencing Tear Gas The Enigma Machine Guns Morse Code RADAR http://www.umich.edu/~lsarth/RTHf08/HumTechF08IndiProjects/RachelRoppMorse/index.html http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/02/dayintech_0226 http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/machineguns.htm http://www.cryptomuseum.com/crypto/enigma/ http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/poison_gas_and_world_war_one.htm
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