Watch Innovations of War

The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Century changed the concept of war and the weapons that could be created for it. Heavy machinery, mass production, and engineering advances allowed for innovative armaments that altered the outcome of battles from the American Civil War to the conflict in Vietnam.

Mill Creek Entertainment
1 Season, 12 Episodes
May 5, 2015
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Innovations of War Full Episode Guide

  • Imagine you're a third world dictator with delusions of grandeur. You've spent a good deal of your nation's gross national product on state of the art weaponry. You're thinking that might bring you increased access to shipping lanes or some useful natural resources. One morning you wake up, and see, floating offshore, in perfectly legal international waters a couple of American warships.

  • No single piece of hardware dominates modern land warfare like the tank. Heavily armored, possessing devastating fire power, and highly mobile over broken terrain, it enables commanders to exploit even the smallest enemy weakness.

  • Many believe that it was the ominous sound of cannon fire that heralded the true end of the Middle Ages. The cannon certainly had a major impact in sieges and battles. Initially, they were prized for their ability to destroy stone walls, and thereby end sieges

  • The beginning of the 20th century saw the pioneers of vertical flight resolving many of the problems that kept their crafts from getting off the ground.

  • The first rockets were invented by the Chinese more than a thousand years ago. A byproduct of their invention of gunpowder, rockets were used to add extra flare to fireworks displays. It was inevitable that these far-reaching projectiles would eventually take on militaristic applications.

  • Although fleet or squadron operations continued an historic role, the daring of the individual still possessed the potential to destroy a Goliath. Stealth, deception, and hoax were employed alongside conventional military confrontation. On occasion, the Army's prerogatives became interchangeable with the Navy's. Soldiers attacked ships, sailors raided shore targets.

  • The Civil War is renowned for the introduction and employment of many new weapons, including rifled artillery, machine guns, and submarines. To this list should also be added railroads. The three most important, game changing technologies of the American Civil War were the railroad, the use of the telegraph, and the development of the mini-bullet and the rifled musket.

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