The Military and Industrial Revolution of Our Time

The Military and Industrial Revolution of Our Time

The Military and Industrial Revolution of Our Time

The Military and Industrial Revolution of Our Time

Excerpt

We are at present in the midst of the greatest military revolution of all times. It actually began in the final phase of the Second World War with the explosion of the atom bomb over Hiroshima, but it is only now, in the fifties--and it will be still more so in the sixties--with the hydrogen bomb and intercontinental rockets, and with the increasing adaptation of nuclear war-heads to all kinds of military weapons, that we are beginning to understand its real scope. However, in this book we propose to deal with this military revolution only in so far as it results in decisive world political and foreign- political changes.

There have already been periods in the history of the world in which the discovery of new weapons and new means of waging war fundamentally changed the shape of armies and, indeed, the whole art of war. Not only that, but they were so far-reaching that they even changed the very stratification of society itself. The outstanding example of this was the discovery of gunpowder and its application to the waging of war. However, in earlier times the changes brought about in this way were spread over much longer periods; and, above all, the weapons, etc., in question first had to be tried out in actual warfare before there were any decisive consequences.

For example, when gunpowder was discovered there was at first very little change in the situation, and it was not until it was practically applied to the waging of war and had brought those who so used it their first decisive military successes that it then led to changes in the forms of military organisation which existed in feudal times, because the bullet, as propelled by the explosion of gunpowder, penetrated even the very strongest armour. The changes thus made necessary in military organisation by this new technique of waging war now contributed very considerably to the process which was breaking up the old feudal order of society.

In short, in those earlier times a revolution in military methods had first to prove itself in actual warfare; only then did the consequent far-reaching changes begin to operate . . .

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