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The Technology of War

 전쟁 기술

1 Introduction




1 Introduction

Technology may be defined as the application of knowledge to obtain a physical effect by means of an object. It may also be defined as the object itself and as the knowledge required to design, produce, and employ the object. The technology of war encompasses the entire range of weapons, equipment, structures, and vehicles with which man has armed himself specifically for the purpose of fighting his fellow man. It also includes the knowledge required to construct them, to employ them in combat, and to repair and replenish them. (see also military technology)

The technology of war may be divided into five categories. Offensive arms harm the enemy, while defensive weapons ward off offensive blows. Transportation technology moves soldiers and weaponry; communications coordinate the movements of armed forces; and sensors detect forces and guide weaponry.

From the earliest times, a critical relationship has existed between military technology, the tactics of its employment, and the psychological factors that bind its users into units. Success in combat, the sine qua non of military organizations and the ultimate purpose of military technology, depends on the ability of the combatant group to coordinate the actions of its members in a tactically effective manner. This coordination is a function of the strength of the forces that bind the unit together, inducing its members to set aside their individual interests--even life itself--for the welfare of the group. These forces, in turn, are directly affected both by tactics and by technology.

The influence of technology can be either positive or negative. The experience of the ancient Greek hoplite infantrymen is one example of positive influence. Their arms and armour were most effective for fighting in close formation, which led in turn to marching in step, which further augmented cohesion and made the phalanx a tactically formidable formation. The late medieval knight offers an example of the negative influence of technology. To wield his sword and lance effectively, he and his charger needed considerable space, yet his closed helmet made communication with his fellows extremely difficult. It is not surprising, then, that knights of the late Middle Ages tended to fight as individuals and were often defeated by cohesive units of less well-equipped opponents.

This article is about the physical artifacts of war, the objects used in combat and in supporting the application of military force. The article is divided into two parts. The first traces the development of military technology by historical period, from prehistory to the 18th century. The second part discusses individual weapons or weapon systems as they have been developed since the 18th century.

A full treatment of the actual waging of war--including discussions of strategy, tactics, and logistics--is found in the article WAR, THE THEORY AND CONDUCT OF . The social sciences of war, such as economics, law, and the theory of its origins, are also covered in that article. For a military history of World Wars I and II, see WORLD WARS .

Warfare requires the use of technologies that also have nonmilitary applications. For descriptions of the propulsion systems used in military vehicles, ships, aircraft, and missiles, see ENERGY CONVERSION ; for the manufacture of explosives, see EXPLOSIVES . The principles of radar, and its military applications, are covered in RADAR . For the principles of aircraft flight, see TRANSPORTATION .


This article contains the following sections:



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