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10 technologies that changed the course of history

10: Chariots

technologies that changed the course of history 1The battle chariot is the earliest and easiest type of carriage used by the ancient peoples for both military and civilian purposes. The first battle chariots were built in Mesopotamia starting with 3000 BC. And in China during the second millennium BC

Starting with 1800 BC However, the chariots developed, dropped in weight and fitted with spiked wheels. The top performers were so light that the driver could lift them overhead. The leader, along with an archer, stood behind the horse-drawn cart. Thus, the chariot has become a fast fighting machine. For pedestrian soldiers, chariots became a nightmare – while sharp-bladed wheels were making a bloody road between them, they were hit by the arrows drawn by the archers or were simply crushed by them. The use of battlefields quickly spread from the West Asia and Egypt to India, China, and Europe. Rich states built thousands of chariots, which dominated the Middle East struggles between 1800-1200 BC.

9: Gunpowder

technologies that changed the course of history 2Gunpowder, also known as the black powder (Schwarzpulver) was the first explosive substation discovered by humans and is now only used in pyrotechnics for the production of fireworks missiles.

Once spread, gunpowder allowed the civilized peoples of Europe and Asia to dominate the barbarians. On the other hand, it brought the end of the longest-running empire in history.

Because of the fortifications in his capital, Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire was unbeatable. The three layers of walls made Constantinople the most fortified city. No siege equipment in the world of those times could break through these walls. However, the Turks led by Mohammed II brought 8-meter cannons and with the help of gunpowder, pulled the massive guns to the walls, demolishing them. It marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and the medieval battle style, based on defensive defenses on the fortified castles.

Rifle dust until today’s explosives are discovered is the only explosive material used in artillery or other firearms. In the first half of the nineteenth century, nitroglycerin and dynamite were gradually introduced. Today gunpowder is used only for the production of fireworks missiles.

8. Rifle gun barrelsWhitworth rifle

 

During the American Independence War, colonial troops used the Brown Bess muskets. In terms of a musket with a muzzle-loading smoothbore, the precision and maximum efficiency were very small (50-100 yards or 91. The bullet trajectory of these weapons was not right. The situation would change with the evolution of weapons using polygonal rifling. During the American Civil War, the Confederate troops used Whitworth rifles that had this technology. The effective range of the Whitworth rifle was between 730-910 meters, a big difference from the weapons used in the war of independence.

By adding grooves to the barrel of a weapon the precision is dramatically increased, also the resistance of the gun is not affected.

Groove barrels also revolutionized artillery and naval warfare. The enemy could shoot without seeing each other from great distances.

7. Internal combustion engine

technologies that changed the course of history 4The internal combustion engine has changed the size and speed of wars, from World War I to the present. During the first global conflagration, the machine gunners waited in front of the carts drawn by the horses to bring the necessary ammunition.

During the Second World War, German troops were driving their camps at distances of up to 97 km per day, thus conquering the territory from the Polish border to Moscow in only six months. By the end of the war, one of the first V-2 ballistic missiles could destroy a target 322 km away in just 5 minutes.

Internal rotary internal combustion engines are used on a smaller scale due to high technological problems and lower reliability. The most common type of rotary internal combustion engine is the Wankel engine, but there are other solutions, for example with scissor bits, or with various other systems.

6. Aircraft

technologies that changed the course of history 5An aircraft is any equipment capable of moving through the air to carry out a useful transport and keeping it in the air is carried out by means of other air reactions than those on the ground suction.

Airplanes led the war in the sky. Italy was the first country to use aircraft for military purposes.

During the war for the conquest of Libya against Turkey in 1911, the Italians sent planes to find, pose and Turkish bombing targets. At the beginning of the First World War, Germany, Austro-Hungary, France and the United Kingdom had hundreds of airplanes in the Air Force. Initially, planes were sent only for spying.

In the Second World War, the US bombed Tokyo, killing 80,000 people and leaving another 1 million homeless. Eventually, bomber Enola Gay launched an atomic bomb, killing over 100,000 civilians and injuring many thousands.

5. Radio

technologies that changed the course of history 6At the beginning of the 20th century, radio systems transmitted messages only in the Morse Code. The first attempts to develop an amplitude modulation system for voice and music were demonstrated in 1900 and 1906, but they were not too successful. World War I accelerated the development of radio for military purposes, and in that era, the first vacuum tubes were installed in transmitters and radio receivers. Electronic amplification has been a crucial improvement in moving from an expert experimental practice to a home appliance.

After the war, in the 1920s, commercial radio broadcasting started and became a media environment for news and entertainment.

World War II has accelerated the development of radio for war purposes in air and ground communications, radio and radar navigation. After the war, the television experiments that were interrupted were resumed, so it became an important entertainment environment at home.

To coordinate their movements, pilots, and soldiers communicated by radio. Using the Blitzkrieg, the German army marched through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in just 10 days.

4. Microwave radar

technologies that changed the course of history 7The radar has radically changed both the defensive and the offensive. It was the first personalized view of the enemy. Even during the First World War, surveillance of the enemy involved the stationing of a soldier in the field looking through binoculars and reporting what he saw by phone to his commander.

The radar also changed the face of the naval war. During the Second World War, the German submarines torpedoed British and American ships crossing the Atlantic. But once equipped with radar airplanes, they could spot and bomb the submarines.

3. Nuclear Weapons

technologies that changed the course of history 8For hundreds of years, military theorists have been talking about a weapon so terrible that no one can use it. Finally, everyone agrees that nuclear weapons can not be used. They have, however, been used against people twice.

In 1945, the US launched two atomic bombs on Japan to put an end to their resistance. The use of the bombs marked the end of WWII. The Little Boy, the first of the bombs, contained fissionable uranium, and at the time of the explosion sent a shock wave over Hiroshima, killing 90,000 people. The second bomb, “Fat Man”, contained fissionable plutonium, the explosion killing 35,000 people in Nagasaki.

2. Spy satellites

technologies that changed the course of history 9The US launched the espionage program via the Discoverer satellite, which allowed it to observe the speed at which the Soviets were creating the missiles and to what targets they were aimed at. Discoverer 4, the first US space camera, was launched in 1959 but did not get into orbit, but Discoverer 14 was released in 1960 and transmitted images. But paranoia was reciprocal, with the Americans being watched by USSR`s espionage satellites.

Contemporary spy satellites can do much more than just taking pictures. They can also collect phone, radio or internet signals.

1. Global Positioning System – GPS

technologies that changed the course of history 10The first GPS system, “Jones Live Map,” was invented by J.W. Jones, in 1909. The device was the first automotive guide system consisting of several discs printed with maps that showed the driver the direction by handling special dials. The discs covered 100 miles of well-known roads, mapped by The Touring Club of America. Every 100 miles, the disk had to be changed. Until 1919, the system invented by Jones covered more than 500 US routes from New York to Los Angeles.

It best illustrated this change in the Gulf War, Iraqi’s advantage of fighting on its own land in the desert, being annihilated by the GPS, allowing Americans to move lightly, even at night or during sand storms. Moreover, they always knew precisely the location and position of the enemy.

At the same time, GPS has increased the precision of air strikes. Satellites map targets and guide bombs and missiles, minimizing collateral damage and civilian casualties.

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