Weapons Races

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Weapons Races is a military television documentary series examining the development of various new military technologies and how their evolution impacted tactics and strategies used in warfare since the High Middle Ages, but focused mainly on film since World War I. It is an eight-part series exposing the most significant weapons races to transform modern warfare, from the original concepts that overturned military thinking to the most advanced versions of each weapon in service today. Whether it's a new idea such as radar, or a series of breakthroughs producing a dramatic new weapon like the jet fighter, in each case it shows that enemies have to react with their own countermeasures - creating a competitive arms race.

The series is shown on the Military Channel (now AHC) in the U.S. and UKTV History.

Each episode looks at particular military development – or "race" – through a succession of historical developments and the responses by the various rivals of the day, displaying them against the ideal requirements necessary to engineer the new technology successfully. All eight episodes use mixed examples where applicable with such mentions like the Revolutionary submarine Turtle and the CSS Hunley, but most mentions and examples are from modern warfare where ample film archieves exist, dating mainly from the First World War (1914–18) up to the recent Iraq War (2003). A varying panel of military or military history experts provide commentary and highlight key developments including Lloyd Clark (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) and Bruce Gudmundsson (US Army War College). These panelists analyze the information and talk about it on the show.


  1. The Race for the Jet Fighter
  2. The Race for the Battle Tank
  3. The Race for Radar and Stealth
  4. The Race for the Nuclear Bomb
  5. The Race for the Strategic Bomber
  6. The Race for the Strategic Ballistic Missile
  7. The Race for the Nuclear Submarine
  8. The Race for the Aircraft Carrier

DVD release[edit]

The Region 1 DVD collection of three discs was released June 21, 2011. It has a listed running time of 400 minutes. The Amazon Standard Identification Number is ASIN: B004SI5VV8.