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Major Weapon Advancements Made During World War 2

  1. Mar 9, 2010 #1
    What were some of the major weapon advancements/inventions during World War 2? I'm looking strictly for weapons that were used on the ground, not in the air or sea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    And your thoughts would be what? What is the context of your question? Do you want us to write your term paper for you?
     
  4. Mar 10, 2010 #3
  5. Mar 11, 2010 #4
    No. Why would you assume that? I'm just simply asking for weapons that were used during World War 2 that had a big impact on the war. If you don't have any information helpful to the topic, then don't post.
     
  6. Mar 12, 2010 #5

    berkeman

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    That's not really the best response. A better response would be "I'm not a student, and I'm asking because of xyz." We often get students asking for us to do their work for them, way too often actually. You don't see it that much in the forums because such requests get deleted generally, and the poster is told to repost in the Homework Help forums and to show their effort and work.

    Your original post (OP) could easily have been for homework, and you showed no effort, hence my question. Some clarification from you on your motivation for the question would go a long way towards conforming with the PF rules (the link at the top of the page).

    What do YOU think were the the biggest advances? There's the obvious one of course, but a couple other more subtle ones as well.
     
  7. Mar 12, 2010 #6
    If it was homework I would have posted it in the homework forum.
     
  8. Mar 12, 2010 #7

    berkeman

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    Great, thanks for that. But what is the context of your question?
     
  9. Mar 12, 2010 #8
    nuclear weapons
    rocket technology (from german V rockets)
    first generation jet fighters
    significant improvements in armored vehicles, mainly tanks
    large scale emergence of aircraft carriers
    troop carrier landing boats
     
  10. Mar 14, 2010 #9
    The Germans (as usual) led the pack in inventiveness, but certainly not in pragmatism. Off the top of my head, I can recall that they rolled out the first assault rifle during the war, the StG44:

    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StG44] [Broken]

    This is, of course, a very important development. From what I recall, it didn't work that great for the Germans, but the Russians took the design, tweaked it a bit, and made the AK-47-- kind of an important gun! Americans took the concept, if not the design, and started making assault rifles (eventually culminating in the M16), which are pretty standard issue now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Mar 18, 2010 #10
    One of the biggest changes in the way land battles were fought during WWII was the use of radio.

    In WWI trench lines along the front were connected to HHQ (higher headquarters) via wires and telegraphy. (Behind the lines HQ were interconnected by telephones.) Once troops went "over the top" in an attack, there could be little or no communication between the troops at the sharp end, and those responsible for planning the battle. There could be millions of casualties between when an attack failed and the survivors straggled back, or were pushed back to the original lines.

    In WWII, scouts and reconnaissance patrols could message back information on the location of enemy troops in real time, without having to return to friendly lines. More important, company level commanders could use radios to inform HHQ that the planned attack had failed to survive contact with the enemy--and the generals could either call the attack off and call the troops back, or more usually adjust plans to deal with an enemy unit that wasn't where it was expected to be.

    Look at the invasion of Normandy for dozens of examples of this. And a few, like the Falaise Gap, where inability to change a boundary between US and British troops quickly, allowed German troops to escape. I used to have friendly discussions of that particular issue with a US Army Intelligence Major who thought that Montgomery could not have overcome the British doctrine. My feeling was that he should have "stood up" and taken the risk that his troops might have started shooting at American soldiers as the gap closed. In either case, the issue was the "decision loop." Should Montgomery have let Patton move into "British" areas of the battle before Montgomery could get word back from his field commanders about where they were and agreeing to the changes? Patton knew where the British were from US Army AF planes attacking Germans in the gap. But Montgomery did not have access to similar real-time information.

    Of course, if Montgomery behaved like Patton, and commanded from the front, he would have known where the front was. ;-) That was not British doctrine at the time, and was not how Americans (or Germans) were taught either at the time. But Guderian and Rommel taught Patton, and he was a very apt pupil. The decision loop that mattered the most was with your armor, and if you were with them, that kept it as short as possible. ;-)

    Of course, doing that required radio contact between the general and his headquarters. Staff there could manage all the other details--but getting your armor to where it was needed NOW, was decisive.
     
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