Talk:Technology during World War I

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The last annonymous user addition regarding chemical warefare in the 20s & 30s seems irrelevant to the topic. Since the article is confined to WW I as prescribed by the title, it shouldn't contain more than a passing reference to dates beyond that. Thoughts? I will come back in a couple of weeks to resolve this issue, as I am currently pressed for time researching my internal assessment essay. =P [[User:Consequencefree|Ardent]] 08:20, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New name[edit]

I have renamed this article from "Technological escalation during World War I" to Technology during World War I. This was done of the following reasons:

  1. The new name is more concise
  2. There was no general technology article for WWI
  3. To make it more corresponding to WW2 articles - the tech article here is called Technology during World War II.

I have fixed all redirection issues (i.e. "what links here").

I know I have been bold, but I hope most of you agree that the new name is better.

Regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis 22:55, 5 September 2005 (UTC) Good job :) Dandin1 02:01, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, ideally it would be "in WWI" rather than "during", which rather suggests that civilian technology should be included, but it's not a big priority. Cyclopaedic (talk) 22:18, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


Was active sonar in use in WW1? If it was I doubt it would have been very effective. -- 12:16, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Without a source in front of me, I'd say no; as I recall, echoranging didn't appear until the '20s. Even the crude hydrophones were better than nothing, & tactics like dropping a bag over a periscope & smashing it with a hammer were, believe it or not, tried. Trekphiler 17:14, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

An earlier century of warfare[edit]

I rewrote this:

"infantry rifles, rifled artillery and hydraulic recoil mechanisms, zigzag trenches and machine guns, and their application had the effect of making it difficult or nearly impossible to cross defended ground. The hand grenade, already in existence —though crude—developed rapidly as an aid to attacking trenches."

to this:

"infantry rifles, rifled artillery and hydraulic recoil mechanisms, zigzag trenches and machine guns, and their application had the effect of making it difficult or nearly impossible to cross defended ground. The hand grenade, already in existence —though crude—developed rapidly as an aid to attacking trenches. Probably the most important was the introduction of high explosive shells, which dramatically increased the lethality of artillery over the 19th Century equivalents."

And I rewrote this:

"war. Once enemy"

to this:

"war, in tactics reminiscent of 14h and 15h Century siege warfare. Much as in the case of castles, once enemy"

I'm basing it on Dupuy's Evo of Weapons & Warfare & Numbers, Predictions, & War; Dyer's War; & Ian Hogg's Fortress. Trekphiler 17:14 & 17:20, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Something stupid in the air[edit]

I added, "Indeed, the very appearance of aerial reconaissance over the front has been blamed for the trench stalemate." and, "(In the British case, there were also concerns they might undermine morale, effectively encouraging cowardice.)"

I rewrote:

"Blimps and balloons helped contribute to the stalemate of the trench warfare of World War I, and the balloons contributed to air to air combat among the aircraft to defend the skies for air superiority because of their significant reconnaissance value."

to this:

"By inhibiting the enemy's ability to move in secrecy, aerial reconaissance over the front can been blamed for the trench stalemate, as well as to the development of fighter aviation and air combat, in the persistent struggle to maintain, or blind, surveillance."

I base it on these sources

  • Aces: A Story of the First Air War, written by George Pearson, historical advice by Brereton Greenhous and Philip Markham, NFB, 1993. Argues aircraft created trench stalemate
  • Morrow, John. German Air Power in World War I. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.
  • Winter, Denis. First of the Few. London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1982.
  • Johnson, James Edgar "Johnnie", AVM, RAF. The Story of Air Fighting. London: Hutchinson, 1985.
  • Hastings, Max. Bomber Command. New York: Dial Press/J. Wade, 1979.
  • Harris, Arthur T., Sir, RAF. Bomber Offensive. Don Mills, ON: Stoddart, 1947.

Trekphiler 18:20, 8 December 2006 (UTC) (If anybody's wondering, I've read them all...)

Those are some good edits, Trekphiler! My only thought was to tone down the certainty of "aerial reconnaissance over the front can been blamed for the trench stalemate." I'm sure many historians would disagree with placing all the blame for the stalemate on aerial reconnaissance.
Now here's a follow-up project for you: How'd you like to add a few of the books you list here and the above section to the "References" section of the article? Adding all of them might be excessive, but a few that you think are the best references would be good. You can see how the current books listed there are formatted when you go to edit the section. If you can include the ISBNs for the books you list, that would be great; doing so makes it easy for readers to look up the book online. When I'm adding book references, I usually get the ISBN by searching for the book on Amazon; that way I can enter the ISBN via copy & paste. KarlBunker 18:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

B Class review[edit]

Downgraded to Start class from B, especially as one of the [[WPMILHIST}} criteria was already shown as not met. Citations are very poor, and I also have serious doubts about some of the content. There is much discussion of tactics rather than technology, particularly in the Command and Control, Mobility and Attrition sections. Although many innovations are mentioned, neither the actual technologies nor their impact are covered in any depth. Cyclopaedic (talk) 22:18, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

first light machinegun[edit]

"The Lewis Gun was the first true light machine gun that could in theory be operated by one man." Why doesn't the Madsen count? Designed in the 1890s, operated by Russia as early as 1905, lighter than the Lewis, box magazines, shoulder stock, bipod...? Boris B (talk) 10:24, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Artillery main article[edit]

Is there a main article for WW1 artllery? It is often described as an artllery war (certainly artillery was thought to be the battle-winner for much of it). I'd have thought there should be an article on WW1 artillery but I can't find one. Kid Zed (talk) 16:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Kid_Zed

Naval warfare[edit]

The naval warfare section actually says little or nothing about technology - it is largely history and tactics. Cyclopaedic (talk) 08:18, 13 August 2009 (UTC)


This doesn't sound very neutral to me, and since there is no citation offering proof, it might bear rewording:

" was apparent that whatever the gains in prosperity and comfort due to technology applied to civilian uses, these benefits would always be under the shadow of the horrors of technology applied to warfare." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

POV for Poison Gas section[edit]

"Although it sometimes resulted in brief tactical advantages and probably caused over 1,000,000 casualties, gas seemed to have had no significant effect on the course of the war."
this is the last sentence of the poison gas section in this article, and seems very opinionated to me. alex3yoyo 18:03, 11 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alex3yoyo (talkcontribs)

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