Effectsof Technology on the Second World War
TheSecond World War is touted as one of the most fundamental occurrencesin the history of mankind. Starting as a result of the Germaninvasion of its neighbors in the wake of the Nazi massacres and theannihilation of Jews, the Second World War pitted varied world powersagainst each other including the United States, Japan, Germany,France, Russia and some western countries. It goes without sayingthat the conflict affected the entire world, either indirectly or(mostly) directly. Of particular note is the fact that the conflictinvolved the use of quite heavy artillery in an effort to effect themost damage on the enemy and possibly ensure victory (Chorlton32). This underlined the importance of staying ahead of the enemy asfar as the effectiveness of weapons was concerned. It goes withoutsaying that such a thing could only be attained through constanttechnological advancement. In essence, technology had immense effectson the Second World War.
First,technological advancement allowed for the use of heavier and moredevastating weaponry. It is well noted that technological advances atthis time introduced weapons such as atomic bombs, as well as new andimproved air and sea warfare. Scholars and researchers haveunderlined the big part of atomic bombs in WW2 especially consideringthat the bomb could be used to kill from a long distance (Hecht andCallon 43). Further, the bomb covered extensive areas, therebyallowing for increased annihilation of the enemy. Other forms oftechnology applied in the war included the fighter jets and new seawarfare like submarines and corvette. These equipments not onlycarried bombs that had the capacity to eliminate a large number ofpeople but were also untraceable in the radars (Ford44).
Inaddition, technology in the Second World War had a tremendous impacton the outcome of the conflict. For instance, it is well noted thatthe atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki hugely influencedthe decision by Emperor Hirohito to surrender. As much as there arevariations of ideas pertaining to the moral justification of thedropping of atomic bombs in Japan, there is widespread agreement ofthe fact that it compelled Tokyo to admit defeat and drop its arms(Chorlton47). On the same note, this particular weaponry or technologicaladvancement may have brought an end to the war altogether. Ofparticular note is the fact that Emperor Hirohito had unnecessarilyextended the war through failing to seize opportunities for surrender(Hecht and Callon 59). Scholars have opined that if the United Stateswas more flexible with regard to the demand for unconditionalsurrender through guaranteeing a constitutional monarchy, Japan wouldstill have continued extending the conflict. The devastating losseseffected on the Japanese military and state both in terms of humanlives, equipment and military personnel was enough to bring them tothe negotiating table and surrender (Hamilton44). This was the beginning of the end for the Second World War.
Onthe same note, technological advancements in the Second World Wardetermined the winners and losers in the conflict. Scholars opinethat the key warring powers were Germany, Russia, Japan and Englandor the Great Britain, France among other countries (Chorlton44). However, these countries would continuously gain and loseterritories from and to each other, thereby creating a scenario wherethere was bound to be no clear winners. This was essentially a recipefor conflicts and possibly another world war in the future (Sheehan52). However, the heart-wrenching decision to drop the atomic bombsin Nagasaki and Hiroshima marked a defining moment as far asdetermining the winners and losers in the conflict was concerned. Atthe end of the Second World War, the only two countries that emergedas winners were the United States and Russia or the Soviets (Hamilton49). This could have been impossible without the dropping of thebombs.
Similarly,technological advancements may have reduced the number of victims orthe level of devastation effected on particular countries such as theUnited States while increasing the casualties in others that may havebeen less equipped for the same. This was especially as a result ofincreased capability for surveillance, communication and intelligencegathering (Sheehan55). Some of the equipments devised and used at this time includedthe radars and observation balloons. Some of the uses of thistechnological advancement included intelligence gathering, locatingenemy submarines and artillery spotting, which often prevented anysurprise attack by the enemy. The use of radars gained prominence in1930s after countries realized the need for increased capacity forremote location of enemy ships and crafts (Sheehan57). The use of radar equipments in the warfare allowed for theinterception of intelligence transmissions of the enemy, as well asjam enemy signals thereby denying them communications. Scholars haveunderlined the importance of this technology in determining theoutcome of the conflict, as not only was it used in detecting andcombating the enemy but also changing their strategies, therebyaltering the interactions of the enemies and the manner in which thewar was waged.
Chorlton,Windsor. Weaponsand Technology of World War Ii.Chicago, Ill: Heinemann Library, 2002. Print.
Ford,Roger. Germany`sSecret Weapons in World War Ii.Osceola, WI: MBI Publ, 2000. Print.
Hamilton,John. WorldWar Ii.Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2012. Print
Hecht,Gabriele & Callon, Michael (2009). TheRadiance of France: NuclearPower and National Identity after World War II.NewYork: MIT Press, 2009. Print
Sheehan,Sean. TheTechnology of World War Ii.Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 2003.Print.