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Borden Battery

Great War or WWII - Greatest Scientific and Technology Advancement

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RobertBr

The suggestion that Aircraft Carriers could be considered made me think of 'Land Ships' but I am not championing either.

 

What I would argue is that the development of vehicles, both wheeled and tracked, in WW1 was significant. In particular it expidited the development of farm vehicles and hence food production in general. The caveat being that food production in the UK was still far behind what it coud have been, and that of the US, at the start of WW2.

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Borden Battery

Yes, I believe the "Landships" or Tanks was a significant unique invention of the Great War, of course, in theory, some might argue for Da Vinci's model.  One could also speculate the tank was just  the extension of the wheeled armoured car plus the tracked agriculture tractor = to the armoured tank.  Of course, someone had to meld these technologies and make it first work - and its first appearance was a unique surprise to the receiving side.

 

Interwar years saw some progress, however, I feel it was perhaps the Russian T-34 which represented the next quantum leap in design and performance with the Germans quickly countering.

 

Borden Battery

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Martin Bennitt

The title of this thread makes me ponder. Developing new ways of killing people en masse should hardly be considered an "advancement", while other processes that save lives -- even though resulting directly from the first -- are desirable. Still other things seemed a good idea at the time and have even been of some benefit but their unchecked and unconsidered use may turn out to be our downfall.

 

Cheers Martin B

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
13 hours ago, Borden Battery said:

in theory, some might argue for Da Vinci's model.

Well, I don't think Da Vinci was any more responsible for the  development of the tank than he was for the helicopter.

Drawing pictures of fanciful machines without any explanation of how such machines were to be propelled or built is the same as a child drawing a picture of a time travelling machine, or a black hole-proof Ford Anglia.

In fact, although he was a great artist, some of his anatomical drawings, technically of great quality, show that he totally failed to understand even the basic function of the heart and the circulation of blood..

If he couldn't grasp that the heart was just a simple four chambered pump, then I am not convinced that he can be credited for development of complex machines.

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Borden Battery

In my opening comment on this thread I ended with the following statement, "Some items to consider; aircraft, submarines, poisonous gas, armoured tanks, electronic communication, mass vaccinations, blood transfusions and critical care, mapping and aerial photography, indirect artillery and machine gun fire, small unit tactics versus line columns and other instances based on your feedback." 

 

There are three discussion threads on three discussion forums.  It is my intent to divide the combined responses into either (1) invented or (2) enhanced by the major wars in the past 100 years.  My hypothesis is that more changed, more often in the Great War and any of the other wars - the combatants, if they survived, would have experienced a profound change by the Armistice.  The comments and suggestions of the three discussion forums form the basis of this friendly little challenge from a scientific museum curator.

 

Elsewhere we have responses which range from reconstructive surgery to the development of stainless steel for exhaust manifolds on aircraft and which are countered by any number of offensive and defensive weapons; the latter is to be expected based on the inherit bias of the war-related discussion forums. The intent was to expand to discussion beyond the normal bias of weapons of war on this Great War discussion forum and others..

 

Borden Battery

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WhiteStarLine

There is an interesting book, freely available for download, published in June 1919.  Written by an American, with a distinctive American slant,

 INVENTIONS OF THE GREAT WAR
BY A. RUSSELL BOND
MANAGING EDITOR OF "SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN,"
AUTHOR OF "ON THE BATTLE-FRONT OF ENGINEERING," ETC.
WITH MANY ILLUSTRATIONS

 

Here is the frontispiece

"Three great inventions controlled the character of the fighting and made it different from any other the world has ever seen. These three inventions were American. The submarine was our invention; it carried the war into the sea. The airplane was an American invention ; it carried the war into the sky. We invented the machine gun ; it drove the war into the ground"

 

The chapters are:


I THE WAR IN AND UNDER THE GROUND . 3
II HAND-GRENADES AND TRENCH MORTARS . 20
III GUNS THAT FIRE THEMSELVES .... 41
IV GUNS AND SUPER-GUNS 62
V THE BATTLE OF THE CHEMISTS .... 85
VI TANKS 107
VII THE WAR IN THE AIR 123
VIII SHIPS THAT SAIL THE SKIES .... 148
IX GETTING THE RANGE 169
X TALKING IN THE SKY 184
XI WARRIORS OF THE PAINT-BRUSH . . . 209
XII SUBMARINES 232
XIII GETTING THE BEST OF THE U-BOAT . . 253
XIV "DEVIL'S EGGS" . 276
XV SURFACE BOATS 298
XVI RECLAIMING THE VICTIMS OF THE SUBMARINES
310
INDEX 339

 

Well worth a read as it is quite detailed and quite specific on the difference between the first appearance of the capability and the contemporary invention that adapted it for WW1.

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Borden Battery

Excellent contribution and I will have to download this - Thank you.  As the museum curator in question is American - this will provide some be nice smokeless "ammunition" from her northern Canadian neighbour.  :)  Borden Battery

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Borden Battery

I quickly skimmed the material in the above book.  Perhaps a bit generic and sentimental and intended more for mild entertainment of a casual reader of the period.  However, it still does list a number of possible inventions to be investigated further.  URL address: https://archive.org/details/inventionsofgrea00bond2/page/n9

Borden Battery

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WhiteStarLine
Posted (edited)

OK, here are 2 more I stumbled on last year when giving a talk to my local astronomy society about 20th century astronomy.  For both, it was the WW1 connection I was unaware of.

 

I've used the Swarzchild fomula for calculating the event horizon of a high mass object (think neutron star or black hold) but what I didn't realise is that Lieutenant Swarzchild was an artillery officer on the Russian Front when he wrote his classic letter to young Dr Einstein saying that he had found a practical use for the recently published theory of relativity.

The below is taken from Wikipedia:

"As you see, the war treated me kindly enough, in spite of the heavy gunfire, to allow me to get away from it all and take this walk in the land of your ideas."

In 1916, Einstein replied to Lt Schwarzchild:

I have read your paper with the utmost interest. I had not expected that one could formulate the exact solution of the problem in such a simple way. I liked very much your mathematical treatment of the subject. Next Thursday I shall present the work to the Academy with a few words of explanation.

Sadly, Swarzchild died of war exacerbated illness that year.


The second innovation relates to the rocket that became famous in WW2 as the bazooka.  Goddard patented a liquid fuel rocket in 1914 and a three stage solid fuel rocket in the same year.  Two days before Armistice he demonstrated the first flight of the bazooka.

 
Edited by WhiteStarLine
Unbelievable - misspelling of each name!

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Borden Battery

Wow - what an interesting (and at least obscure reference to me) on a somewhat radical departure from the Great War.  I will have to look up " calculating the event horizon of a high mass object" so I know what I am talking about with this museum curator.  The inclusion of Einstein is "the cherry on top".

 

I should state, this little exercise with the curator is all in fun.  Borden Battery

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Borden Battery

Here is an interesting 1918 patent which had major implications for the Second World War.  Borden Battery

Dr. Arthur Scherbius

A German electrical engineer who patented an invention for a mechanical cipher machine, later sold as the Enigma machine. He was born in Frankfurt am Main and studied electricity at the Technical College in Munich, and then went on to study at the Technical College in Hanover, finishing in March 1903. The next year, he completed a dissertation titled, "Proposal for the Construction of an Indirect Water Turbine Governor", and was awarded a Doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing.). He subsequently worked for a number of electrical firms in Germany and Switzerland. In 1918, he founded the firm of Scherbius & Ritter. He made a number of inventions, e.g. asynchronous motors, electric pillows and ceramic heating parts; his research contributions led to his name being associated with the Scherbius principle for asynchrous motors. He applied for a patent (filed 23 February 1918) for a cipher machine based on rotating wired wheels, what is now known as a rotor machine. His company also purchased the rights to another patent for a rotor machine from Hugo Koch—patented in 1919. Business was slow enough that the firm was reorganized at least twice in the 1920s. The firm's cipher machine, marketed under the name "Enigma", was initially pitched at the commercial market. There were several commercial models, and one of them was adopted by the German Navy (in a modified version) in 1926. The German Army adopted the same machine (also in a modified version somewhat different from the Navy's) a few years later. He saw none of this as he was killed in a horse carriage accident in 1929. In “Turing’s Cathedral” by George Dyson it is noted that “…a cryptographic machine had been invented by the German electrical engineer Arthur Scherbius, who proposed it to the German navy, an offer that was declined. Scherbius then founded the Chiffriermaschinen Aktiengesellschaft to manufacture the machine, under the brand name Enigma, for enciphering commercial communications, such as transfers between banks. The German navy changed its mind and adopted a modified version of the Enigma machine in 1926, followed by the German army in 1928, and the German air force in 1935.”

https://www.ithistory.org/honor-roll/dr-arthur-scherbius

 

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MKC

The Tank invention: maybe Da Vinci is a bit too far back, but De Mole's invention pre-dates WW1 but just a few years. 

 

Mike

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Borden Battery

Good Morning MKC/Mike

 

Can you post a URL reference to the De Mole's invention as a means for future members to  find it via a topic search?

 

Borden Battery

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Borden Battery

Plastic Surgery was first practiced during the Great War.

 

The Gillies Archives at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup [Under Re-development - Oct 2017]

The Queen's Hospital, Sidcup performed plastic surgery of the face between 1917 and 1925.  The case notes of the British and New Zealand Sections of the hospital, previously recovered by the Archives Curator Dr Andrew Bamji, have recently been relocated to the Royal College of Surgeons, London after a hospital reorganisation.  Dr Bamji continues to maintain the website and is now Gillies Archivist to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).  The website details the hospital history and contains a database of the case notes.  In addition, there is a comprehensive medical bibliography of the Great War and some useful links to sites about the war and plastic surgery. Recently Dr Bamji discovered that the admissions book of the Canadian Section had survived in the Canadian National Archives, and the Canadian page of the patient database now contains full details of all the Canadians treated at Sidcup – nearly 500 in number. In addition, the case notes collection has been digitised by Findmypast.com. 

[CEF Study Group – Updated – Nov 2012]

http://www.gilliesarchives.org.uk  

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seaJane
Posted (edited)

As per my facial reconstruction post earlier. (An Italian surgeon, Tagliacozzi, was practising it in the 1590s but not on such a scale).

 

 

Edited by seaJane

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Borden Battery

Another interesting Great War invention which came as a bit of a surprise.  Borden Battery

 

Sanitary Towels/Wound Dressings to Sanitary Napkins

"A material called Cellucotton had already been invented before war broke out, by what was then a small US firm - Kimberly-Clark. The company's head of research, Ernst Mahler, and its vice-president, James, C Kimberly, had toured pulp and paper plants in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia in 1914 and spotted a material five times more absorbent than cotton and - when mass-produced - half as expensive.

 

They took it back to the US and trademarked it. Then, once the US entered the war in 1917, they started producing the wadding for surgical dressing at a rate of 380-500ft per minute. But Red Cross nurses on the battlefield realised its benefits for their own personal, hygienic use, and it was this unofficial use that ultimately made the company's fortune.

 

"The end of the war in 1918 brought about a temporary suspension of K-C's wadding business because its principal customers - the army and the Red Cross - no longer had a need for the product," the company says today.

 

So it re-purchased the surplus from the military and created a new market.

"After two years of intensive study, experimentation and market testing, the K-C team created a sanitary napkin made from Cellucotton and fine gauze, and in 1920, in a little wooden shed in Neenah, Wisconsin, female employees began turning out the product by hand," the company says.

 

The new product, called Kotex (short for "cotton texture"), was sold to the public in October 1920, less than two years after the Armistice. "

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26935867

 

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Borden Battery

Thanks MKC.  I believe I have a similar Canadian story regarding wireless radio - the Canadian government gave money and support to Marconi instead.  Will find and post it.  Borden

Daylight Savings Time - Did it begin with the Great War?

Interesting little story about Daylight Savings Time. Of course, coming from Saskatchewan we never change our clocks - all the VCRs just flash "12:00" because none of us can program them. :)

From the following source, it appears the Canadians, the British, the Germans, the Americans, the Kiwis and the Romans all have a stake in its history.

Borden Battery

The Germans weren’t the first to propose that the clock fall back in the autumn and spring forward ahead of the vernal equinox. (Benjamin Franklin thought the same back in 1784.) But Germany made it an official policy during World War I as a way to cut back on energy use.

First Used in Canada in 1908
While Germany and Austria were the first countries to use DST in 1916, it is a little-known fact that a few hundred Canadians beat the German Empire by 8 years. On July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario, today's Thunder Bay, turned their clocks forward by 1 hour to start the world's first DST period. Other locations in Canada soon followed suit. On April 23, 1914, Regina in Saskatchewan implemented DST. The cities of Winnipeg and Brandon in Manitoba did so on April 24, 1916. According to the April 3, 1916, edition of the Manitoba Free Press, Daylight Saving Time in Regina “proved so popular that bylaw now brings it into effect automatically”.

Germany Popularized DST
However, the idea did not catch on globally until Germany introduced DST in 1916. Clocks in the German Empire, and its ally Austria, were turned ahead by 1 hour on April 30, 1916—2 years into World War I. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting to save fuel for the war effort.Within a few weeks, the idea was followed by the United Kingdom, France, and many other countries. Most of them reverted to standard time after World War I, and it wasn’t until the next World War that DST made its return in most of Europe.

Who Invented DST?
If you think Daylight Saving Time is a good idea, thank New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson and British builder William Willett. In 1895, Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society, proposing a 2-hour shift forward in October and a 2-hour shift back in March. There was interest in the idea, but it was never followed through. In 1905, independently from Hudson, British builder William Willett suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the 4 Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on each of the 4 Sundays in September, a total of 8 time switches per year.

First Daylight Saving Bill
Willett’s Daylight Saving plan caught the attention of the British Member of Parliament Robert Pearce who introduced a bill to the House of Commons in February 1908. The first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909, presented to Parliament several times and examined by a select committee. However, the idea was opposed by many, especially farmers, so the bill was never made into a law. Willett died in 1915, the year before the United Kingdom started using DST in May 1916. It is not known if he was aware that his idea had become a reality 7 years prior to his death in a small town in Ontario.

Benjamin Franklin, the Father of DST?
Many sources also credit Benjamin Franklin with being the first to suggest seasonal time change. However, the idea voiced by the American inventor and politician in 1784 can hardly be described as fundamental for the development of modern DST. After all, it did not even involve turning the clocks. In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, which was entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, Franklin simply suggested that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning. What's more: Franklin meant it as a joke.

An Ancient Idea
Although modern DST has only been used for about 100 y
ears, ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in comparable practices thousands of years ago. For example, the Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year to adjust the daily schedules to the solar time.

Internet Source https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/history.html

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MikeMeech
On 05/03/2019 at 20:01, Borden Battery said:

Good comments all.  Here is more material on the Sound Ranging - appears to have been an interesting team effort - British, Canadian, Australian and French.  Borden Battery

 

 

Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum

https://www.lermuseum.org/first-world-war-1914-18/1917/flash-spotting-and-sound-ranging-jan-mar-1917

 

"Flash Spotting" and "Sound Ranging": Jan-Mar 1917

 

“In December of 1916, Lieutenant-General Julius Byng, commander of the Canadian Corps, and Major-General Arthur Currie began planning the Vimy offensive operation. Currie grappled with the problem of how to neutralize enemy artillery fire during the assault. In previous Allied operations, enemy artillery had inflicted over half of the casualties suffered by attacking troops. Both Allied and German artillery was primarily employed against infantry entrenchments and troops in offensive and counteroffensive barrages.

 

The most serious obstacle to the tactical use of artillery against enemy batteries was locating artillery positions, which were situated far to the rear of the trenches. Byng appointed Colonel Andrew McNaughton to the new post of Counter Battery Staff Officer and assigned him the task of locating and targeting enemy artillery positions.

 

Colonel McNaughton approached Captain Harold Hemming, a Canadian artillery officer who had been serving with the British 3rd Army. Hemming had been working on a method of locating enemy artillery by observing muzzle flashes and using triangulation to calculate their positions. Hemming had informed his senior British commander about his "flash spotting" technique, but his suggestion had been politely ignored.

 

McNaughton also invited three British scientists to join his staff. The three civilians-Lawrence Bragg, Charles Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin), and Lucien Bull-had developed a technique called "sound ranging" to locate enemy artillery positions. The process involved a network of listening posts equipped with microphones and oscillographs that recorded the strength and direction of sound waves. The time intervals between listening posts were recorded and then triangulation was used to calculate the exact location of the gun. The British General Staff had ignored the work of these three men, who, consequently, were eager to join McNaughton's staff.

 

By the end of March, Colonel McNaughton's team had plotted the location of virtually every German artillery battery behind Vimy Ridge.”

 

 

 

Also, article in The Canadian Army Journal, Fall 2008, A SHORT HISTORY OF SURVEILLANCE AND TARGET ACQUISITION ARTILLERY

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2009/forces/D12-11-11-3E.pdf

 

 

 

Hi

 

Yes, I have seen these comments on line in numerous 'websites' they are also contained to a greater or lesser extent in many books, eg:

'McNaughton' Volume 1, John Swettenham, pp. 78-83), 1968.

'Byng of Vimy', Jeffrey Williams, 1983,p.1 in 2014 edition.

'Vimy', Pierre Berton, 1986, pp. 116-117 in 2012 edition.

'Shock Troops', Tim Cook, p. 35, 2008.

and others.  These are the books generally quoted on the websites. However, in the most part the later books reference the earlier ones, none of the authors, judging by the references and bibliographies, appear to have consulted any of the books that detail the development of 'Sound Ranging' and 'Flash Spotting', eg.

'Report on Survey on the Western Front 1914-18' (HMSO, Official Use Only, but now on-line) Compiled by Col. E M Jack, 1920.  Ch.2 - 'Cross Observation' (Flash Spotting), Ch. 3 'Sound Ranging'.

'Flash Spotters and Sound Rangers' by John R Innes, 1935.

There is also the much later book 'Artillery's Astrologers' by Peter Chasseaud, 1999.  But even that is now 20 years old!

 

Comparing the sources with the comments made in the previous post we have a problem as to the statements such as "The British General Staff ignoring" these techniques.  By the time of the 'Battle of Vimy' this 'ignoring' had for instance included the use of 'Sound Ranging' throughout 1916, improvements to the system by replacing the French type microphones with the improved 'Tucker' types that overcome some (but not all) problems encountered in sound ranging.  Experience led GHQ in August 1916 to decide to increase the number of sections to provide at a rate of one per Corps, instead of being at two sections for each Army.  Flash Spotting had a similar rise, Hemming's design of 'Flash & Buzzer Board' started to be produced from May 1916 and were being supplied to the BEF from November that year.  GHQ had also been producing pamphlets on the subjects the latest issue before Vimy being SS 552 'Sound Ranging', March 1917, and SS 193/3 'Artillery Notes No.3 - Counter-Battery Work' which including Flash Spotting and Sound Ranging.

The training for both Sound Rangers and Flash Spotters had basically been 'centralised' during 1916, 'W' Section (the original SR section it also undertook experimental work) and the 3rd FSC (Field Survey Company) for the latter.  Both of these later moved to GHQ during 1917, initially under Depot FSC .  Also the now commissioned Tucker took command of the Experimental Section with the Overseas Artillery School on Salisbury Plain in November 1916, they also were to 'educate' the artillery in its use. I cannot see much 'ignoring' of these methods by GHQ.  There is much more detail on this subject.

 

Even stranger is the comment on the three 'civilian' scientists who became part of McNaughton's 'team'  (I note from a website that there is a paper that asserts this was one of the first examples of  'Operational Research' but the paper costs as much as a book to download so I have not read it in full, but it does quote Berton as a reference?).  While Bull was a civilian in Paris, Bragg and Darwin were not.  Bragg was a 'Territorial' called up in Aug. 1914, he had been involved in training SR personnel and experimental work while commanding 'W' Section and in March 1917 had moved with this work to Depot FSC at GHQ.  Darwin was in command of 'U' Section, 1 FSC (his brother Capt. W R Darwin commanded 'K' Section, 4 FSC in March 1917), during Vimy his section was supporting I Corps not the Canadian Corps, which was being undertaken by 'L' Section plus 'Y' Section which supported both the Canadians and I Corps on the flank.  SR sections had been in place at Vimy before the Canadians arrived and had been plotting enemy artillery locations so one would presume that McNaughton, as CBSO, would have taken on board the information they had gathered and also have consulted with the commanders of the sections that were supporting his Corps?

 

I can only conclude that the information contained on the websites and in many books is 'odd' to say the least.  However, it would not be the first or last time that information about WW1 that is 'incorrect' has been become 'history' (eg. the Dennis Winter figures on British Pilot deaths in training, there are other examples as well).  However, these statements about McNaughton have been included in television documentaries as well as the published works and websites and the information given has not been questioned (Chasseaud does though).  McNaughton has very fine qualities and he was better than many at handling the new technology and tactics but the statements on SR and Flash Spotting are apparently not true so why have they been propagated, by both academic and popular historians, despite much evidence to the contrary?

 

Mike

 

Edited by MikeMeech

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Michael Thomson

The first tanks and the birth of armoured warfare? 

 

While arguably not the greatest development of WW1, tank warfare has its roots solidly in WW1 and went on to be an extremely significant part of subsequent conflicts which changed the face of warfare.

Edited by Michael Thomson
Addition of a few lines

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Marilyne

Wow... interesting topic... learning a lot of new things here.

There are two sources that I'd like to introduce, that might wield some more info on this topic...

in "A higher form of killing: Six Weeks in World War I That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare ", Diana Preston argues that WWI saw that moment, in these six weeks, in which Mass Destruction started and weapons were considerably developped to keep step with that evolution. She shows the impact it had on the principle of "just war".

What I want to hint at here is that aside of the scientific advancement in terms of "exact science", there is also an evolution in human science that can be seen. There were already some rules in place with regards to the laws of war, but the First World War did a lot to codify these rules and did also a lot to make sure international law, as an evolving thing, grew with it.

And to me, as far as the evolution of the laws of war are concerned, the biggest evolution is after WWI.

The argument for WWII in this matter lays in International Criminal Law of course, although even in this case, Leipzig paved the way.

Another field of expertise in the human science department is the work done on shell shock, now called PTSD. This also started during the Great War and is, I think, too often forgotten.

the second book is in French: Michel Goya's "Du pantalon rouge au char d'assaut: l'Invention de la guerre moderne". It's a reprint of his book "La chair et l'Acier". It's about the evolution of organisation, tactics and doctrine in the French army but also a great deal about the technological advances that go with the evolution of tactics. That link should not be forgotten, although that's not the main issue of the conversation here... but one thing that evolved quite much during WWI and that has not been said here (unless I missed it) is camouflage. the French went to war with their "pantalon rouge" and then quickly realized that the colour was not adapted to the war they were conducting. But overall, I think that the learning curve in matters of material and tactics waas quite steeper in WWI than WWII.

 

M.

 

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MikeMeech
9 hours ago, Marilyne said:

Wow... interesting topic... learning a lot of new things here.

There are two sources that I'd like to introduce, that might wield some more info on this topic...

in "A higher form of killing: Six Weeks in World War I That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare ", Diana Preston argues that WWI saw that moment, in these six weeks, in which Mass Destruction started and weapons were considerably developped to keep step with that evolution. She shows the impact it had on the principle of "just war".

What I want to hint at here is that aside of the scientific advancement in terms of "exact science", there is also an evolution in human science that can be seen. There were already some rules in place with regards to the laws of war, but the First World War did a lot to codify these rules and did also a lot to make sure international law, as an evolving thing, grew with it.

And to me, as far as the evolution of the laws of war are concerned, the biggest evolution is after WWI.

The argument for WWII in this matter lays in International Criminal Law of course, although even in this case, Leipzig paved the way.

Another field of expertise in the human science department is the work done on shell shock, now called PTSD. This also started during the Great War and is, I think, too often forgotten.

the second book is in French: Michel Goya's "Du pantalon rouge au char d'assaut: l'Invention de la guerre moderne". It's a reprint of his book "La chair et l'Acier". It's about the evolution of organisation, tactics and doctrine in the French army but also a great deal about the technological advances that go with the evolution of tactics. That link should not be forgotten, although that's not the main issue of the conversation here... but one thing that evolved quite much during WWI and that has not been said here (unless I missed it) is camouflage. the French went to war with their "pantalon rouge" and then quickly realized that the colour was not adapted to the war they were conducting. But overall, I think that the learning curve in matters of material and tactics waas quite steeper in WWI than WWII.

 

M.

 

Hi Marilyne

 

Yes, camouflage (and deception techniques) became much more important during WW1 especially with aeroplane and balloon observers looking at the 'other side'.  Armies were actually thinking about the problem pre-war but it hit a whole new scale during the conflict.  Interestingly some RFC observers stated that the French 'bleu horizon' uniforms (although they faded to a grey colour and became mud stained in time so rather less visible) were the easiest to recognise when flying low over the battlefield. This was not actually a totally 'bad thing' as it meant the French aeroplane observers could mark their own troops location easier during an attack and give a fairly accurate location to the commanders and artillery even without the infantry lighting ground flares or showing their panels.

 

Mike

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Marilyne

I read this morning that Daylight Saving Time also originated in WWI, as a scheme to save fuel, introduced the first time in 1916 ... and maybe soon to be abolished by this modern world????

Is this true???

 

M.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, Marilyne said:

I read this morning that Daylight Saving Time also originated in WWI, as a scheme to save fuel, introduced the first time in 1916 ... and maybe soon to be abolished by this modern world????

Is this true???

 

No it is not.

Messing around the clocks by government is merely a subtle way for the government to control your life.

With daylight saving, they are effectively telling you that as from Sunday morning you will have to get up an hour earlier than the day before, and in the Autumn, they tell you to stay in bed an hour longer.

And if we are stupid enough to allow politicians to tell us what time to go to bed and wake up, then they really have got total control of our minds.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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