World War II
What technology was developed during World War II, and how has the technology developed during World War II impacted the world today?
Technology played a key role in determining the outcome of World War II. The high military demand for more advanced technology acted as a catalyst for the development of technology in the interwar years of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Scientists and Engineers alike poured massive amounts of research and development time into supporting the war effort, and more advanced technology was developed at an alarmingly rapid rate. One notable fact about technology in World War II is that World War II is the first war in which many military attacks were designed specifically to sabotage the research efforts of the enemies. In the bombing of Peenemünde, the Eighth Air Force executed a bombing run to destroy hydrogen peroxide that was being used to fuel the V-2 Rocket. Another example is the Norwegian heavy water sabotage in which a group of Norwegian soldiers destroyed a heavy water plant to inhibit the Nazi development of nuclear weapons (heavy water or, deuterium oxide, can be used to produce nuclear weapons). Yet another example is when Niels Bohr, a brilliant Danish physicist who understood and even contributed to the discovery of atomic structure, was evacuated from German-controlled Denmark and brought to Britain in 1943. The allies made all of these efforts to deter Nazi Germany from further developing much-needed technology, and this shows just how important technology and the research of technology was during the War.
Almost every type of technology was utilized in the war, but the most notable technological advances involved five main categories: Weaponry, Industry, Medicine, Communication, and Transportation. More advanced weaponry came in the form of magnetic detonating torpedos, “Tank destroyer” missile rounds, jet fighters, jet bombers, V1 autopilot bombs, proximity fuzes for shells and rockets, HEAT anti-tank warheads, aiming utilities for guns, and napalm. Plastic explosion devices such as C2 were also developed in this time.
Still more weapon developments came in the form of industrial advances. Many car factories significantly lowered the number of cars being manufactured and focused instead on the creation of guns, tanks, jets, and ammunition in order to better support the war effort. The stamping, riveting, and welding of guns were all new techniques that came into use during World War II and revolutionized the creation of guns. Design and production methods had advanced enough to manufacture weapons of reasonable reliability such as the PPSh-41, PPS-42, Sten, MP 40, M3 Grease Gun, Gewehr 43, Thompson, and the M1 Garand rifle. World War II also marked the dawn of the semi-automatic rifle, and more importantly, the dawn of the assault rifle. These new rifles were much more accurate than other firearms of their time, and proved especially lethal. Although modern day military forces don’t use the same weapons as they did in World War II, they do still use variations of the assault rifle. The idea of the assault rifle developed in World War II has stood the test of time, as assault rifles are still the most effective form of infantry weaponry due to their balanced weight, firepower, accuracy, and stopping power.
In terms of advances in transportation, aircrafts, vehicles, and ships were all tremendously improved. This category of technology was one of the most important factors in determining the outcome of the war. The Jeep was invented in World War II. It was used firstly and primarily as a basic troop transport vehicle, although after the war it became popular as a public transportation vehicle too. Tanks were also created not only as a source of extreme firepower, but also as armored transports. By the end of the war, the allies had developed their own personal brand of tank that transported troops through areas under...