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World War I Within the Context of Military Revolution Essay

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Updated: Oct 10th, 2021

Overall, military revolution can be defined as a drastic change in strategy and tactics. This term usually involves a great number of aspects, such as innovations in technology, doctrine, and organization. To a certain degree, military revolution reflects changes within the society such as political and economical. War itself has always been an inseparable part o human life, According to Andrew Krepinevich, there have been ten military revolutions in the history of mankind (Krepinevich, p. 1). Among such landmark events, it is quite possible for to mention the invention of gunpowder weapons or nuclear bomb.

In this essay, we are going to discuss the World War I within the context of military revolution, in other words how it influenced the development of military doctrine in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The main peculiarity of the World War I is the advent of the so-called “three-dimensional conflict”, which means that the combat is held also in the air. Naturally, air forces were not so extensively used in the World War I and many military officials were very skeptical about this such innovation of air force, nevertheless even at that moment it was a revolutionary breakthrough (Bailey, p. 140).

Another typical feature of this military conflict is the simultaneous use of various arms, aimed at disorientating the opponent. According to this doctrine, artillery and air operations should be synchronized in order to achieve maximum result. Certainly, such technique is not unprecedented, but we cans say that the World War I eloquently proved that such tactic is the most efficient one. To substantiate this statement, we can analyze the so-called Brusilovs Offensive in 1915. The commanders skillfully coordinated the artillery attack with the movement of other forces( Bailey, p. 145).

As regards this military operation, it is also worth mentioning that that intelligence was attached primary importance. Brusilovs attack would have never been so successful if it the targets had not been so carefully reconnoitered. Overall, we can say that this war stimulated the development of intelligence and counter-intelligence in many countries.

As far as planning of military operations is concerned, it should be taken into account that they are conducted on a very large scale. At first, such statement may seem to be a hackneyed truth. However, the real purpose of such tactic is to disorientate the opponent. The brilliant example of such military operation is Brusilovs Offensive. According to the modern histories, this attack began at 50 sectors of the front simultaneously; that caused havoc among German forces (Bailey, p. 147).

If we try to analyze military revolution within the context of new technologies, we can easily mention a great number of examples. First, it is the advent of aviation. German government effectively employed Zeppelin as an expedient means of collecting information. Secondly, we can say for a fact that World War I was the first time when chemical weapon was employed (though it was officially protected). German forces used mustard gas against British soldier in 1917(Krepinevich, p. 3).

Moreover, the use of submarines for military purposes first took place in the World War I. Although even at that moment, this idea seemed unreal and dangerous. However, since that time, superpowers such as the USA and the USSR has always placed emphasis on the development of submarines.

Thus, having analyzed the innovations that took place during the World War I, we may arrive at the conclusion that this military conflict had a strong influence on the development of military strategy and tactics. First, we should mention, the combined use of different forces such as land, naval and air forces. Secondly, the World War I proved the whole significance of intelligence.

Bibliography

  1. Bailey, Jonathan B. A. (2001). The First World War and the Birth of Modern Warfare. Cambridge, UK: New York.
  2. Krepinevich, Andrew F. (1994). Cavalry to Computer: The Pattern of Military Revolutions. National Interest, no. 37 : 30-42.
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