In the period 1914 to present, military technology has experienced major changes with the rise of nuclear weapons during World War II, as well as the evolution of military aviation throughout the period. At the same time, it has seen continuation in the use of infantry weapons, such as firearms and machine guns.
Scientific breakthroughs in the 1930s brought significant changes in military technology, resulting in the creation of nuclear weapons. Prior to WWII, nuclear weapons were nonexistent. It was not until the Manhattan Project that the world of military technology saw a huge game-changer in WWII. In an attempt to counter Nazi German atomic bomb project, U.S. collaborated with Canada and U.K. and produced the first atomic bomb. Throughout history, only two atomic bombs have been used in military warfare— Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended WWII. Moreover, following U.S. steps in advanced nuclear weapons, the Soviet also creates an atom bomb. Of course, with the need to gain the lead over the other, the U.S. creates the hydrogen bomb, adding on to the rise of nuclear weapons. After WWII, the U.S. and the Soviet go head-to-head in an arms race involving nuclear weapons during the Cuban missile crisis; eventually, nuclear tensions were put aside. Today, nuclear weapons have spread in many countries, like North Korea and Israel, via nuclear proliferation. This rise of nuclear weapons was caused by countries at war always trying to one-up their enemies; thus, funds were put in to achieve advancement through research, especially during the Cold War, resulting in a significant change in military technology.
Along with the rise of nuclear weapons, the evolution of military aviation brought change in military technology. The use of military aviation went from lighter-than-air aircraft to heavier-than-air aircraft as heavier-than-air aircraft became more prevalent in the 20th century. WWI saw military aviation rapidly embrace specialization, such as scouts, fighters, and observers. There was an even more significant change in military technology as military aviation in WWII saw profound advancement in aircraft technology, which played large roles in military engagements at the Battle of Britain and the Pearl Harbor attack. Moreover, carrier aircrafts emerged in WWII, proving to be a more potent weapon than battleships. In addition, military aviation evolved with the invention of radar, jet engines, and computers. Today, a country’s military aviation forces are often the first line of defense or the first forces to attack. Likewise, to the rise of nuclear weapons, evolution in military aviation brought changes in military technology as nations across the globe saw the needs to out-perform potential opponents.
Aside from changes with the rise of nuclear weapons and evolution of military aviation, military technology has experienced continuity with the use of firearms. Today, infantry weapons are still currently used. They are used on feet and can be dependent on technology. For instance, the United States has seen intensive use of technology-dependent infantry in the Vietnam War through helicopters to deliver infantry quickly between key locations on the battlefield. Moreover, firearms and machine guns are used during training and military operations. The uses of firearms have long existed since the classical period and are still being used today; their development has spread globally because of the need to protect one’s country.