A weapon simply means a device or a tool that is used to inflict injury upon opponents. It is used with application of effort manually or through electronic automation for the purpose of attack or defense in war. It could also be aimed at rendering the enemy’s weapons powerless by destroying their weapon with a superior gadget (Anthony1988). The simple force that is applied produces such a magnified effort that is capable of causing injury along the directed path. In the ages, weapon takes many forms on a chronological annul of history depending on technological advancement and discovery update in applied science.
Most weapons used are designed purposefully to perform a particular task by the manufacturer in an engaging war or execution plan where there is no war. The simplicity of weapon model can appear in form of a club or taking form of a ballistic multipurpose missile with such a huge destructive capacity. Philosophically, there is an interesting side to the definition of the material weapon. Weapon is often metaphorically described as any means through which damage can be executed upon intended opposition party (Anthony1988). This means we could have a psychological weapon, a social weapon and other non physical tools.
In more modern times, there has been development of non-deadly weapon by the paramilitary or security men for a mere incapacitation of targeted subject. Its advantage is found useful in a situation where criminal activities is rarely involved or to prevent accompanying damage to property and physical environments when used. In this study, we shall demonstrate how events over time led to technological advancement in weapon development from historical lane, paying more emphasis from the middle ages to the present days. Brief Review of Historical Weapons
Figure 1: Picture displays arrays of bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools (Anthony 1988). About 5 million years ago, a researcher in the University of Southern California demonstrated that chimpanzees communities are first to use “spears” as a weapon (Rick 2007). Following this is the use mystery is the deduction that primitive hominids must have equally used “clubs and staves” s weapon of war within their community (Craig 1776). The evolution of conflicts among man in fight for supremacy began with the use of modified primitive weapons used by hominids.
Man also used this weapon to hunt in a wide bush for possession and the driving away of wild inhabitants of the deep forest. In the early years of human history is found the use of axes fashioned with strong stones as weapons to make attack. The archeologist discovered the use of earliest cache camping “wooden spears known as schoninger speere” (Hartmut 1997). This is dated to as far back as four hundred thousand years ago. The stone fashioned axes were soon replaced by fire-hardened materials around.
Bow and arrow is comparative recent and dated to about sixty thousands years back The use of wooden darts is dated to the era of mid-Paleolithic age (Jill 2007 ). Weapons used in The Middle Ages (Early 19th Century) Figure 2: A Cannon in Ancient London The middle age is also known as the medieval era. Historical advancement in weapons can be categorized into inventories on weapons not in prehistoric existence and inventories in terms of modifications on the existing weapons for a better performance. Dominating the desire for advanced weapons was born out of the need for faster, more fulfilling and deadlier weapons.
Middle ages weapon by far is a show of development military technological advancement over the ancient weapons. The significance of this development is in the improvement in the force applied in relation to the destructive measure achieved. Weapons are now developed to perform a closer specific action without unnecessary invasion of large volume of land. This was a major revolutionary record in the history of military achievements in the middle ages. Over the use of armed chariots and spoke wheel which lost importance in the fourth century, the medieval period was characterized with the use of two weapons.
The middle age weapons development was noted for knights and cannon. Knights, an evolved technological advancement over ancient cavalry, are heavily armed horse ridden soldiers with developing military operation that negates the use of castle. There was development of large caliber gun powder called cannon. Cannons had a more technologically advancement in historical findings (Jill 2007). A form of cannon is a heavy artillery weapon that is large enough to required mounting for firing. It is used on a warship and tracked vehicle.
It is also more recently used, it is a rapid firing gun mounted on aircraft during air combat. Historically, medieval weapons are indeed a true evolution over what has been in existence earlier. Weapons are made with technologically skilled military personnel themselves who have witnessed the need for exact perfection over outdating weaponry tools. Ever since this inventory time, human being cannot forget the importance of paying close attention to weaponry industries in the role of killing. Most early technological advancement in weapon is in the area of rebranding metallic tools (Jill 2007).
Steels crafting provides advancement over iron tool in that there is advantage of pliability, durability and more sharpened edges that kills faster with minimally applied effort. The prehistoric use of simple weapons like sword and catapults during personal fight evolved into a refined iron alloy (steel) in producing some materials and others like arrows and axes. Still an advancement of steel is the melting process that increases steel characteristic qualities to give increasing satisfaction of flexibility and light-weighted weapons.
In middle ages of history, the little sword of prehistoric tools was not left over in the technological advancement that evolves over time in weaponry. There is stronger building materials for sword, the attached blade now has sharper edges and less likely to brake or bend in fierce use and above all, there exist flexibility in swinging to the direction of desired target to kill (Rick 2007). As part of a community war pride in the middle age was the possession of technologically advanced sword of a caucus over the order. Second to this is the experience of man power in their usage over time.
The shaping took change into wide flat bladed sword with a guarding close to the handle. These were the technological advancement that caught up with sword in the middle age era. Others include the sharp pointing end that made it potent when forcefully thrust on an enemy at a distance before close contact. During the advancement, there was also the arrival of “bastard sword” in the fourteenth century. The potent weapon can be maneuver with a single hand, having a narrower and sharply pointing end that accomplished ultimate killing at a distance thrust.
Evolutionary advancement was also recorded for bows and catapults. Producers became more proficient in crafting suiting tool that can increase swift killing thus, making advancement over older fashion (Rick 2007). The trend was historical advancement in the production of crossbows to a later substitution with long bows. More inventory techniques increase the production speed in order to outrun enemies’ arsenal and armory. The success of technological advancement is also in the place of speed and accuracy.
The deadlier catapult was also part of the discovery credited to advancement in technology. Examples were “ballista and mangonels” advancement with the evolution of “trebuchet”. The trebuchet is a medieval siege engine with a sling attached to a wooden arm for flinging large stones with great projectile. Some version could be that effective as to throw over three hundred pounds or stone. With the increasing requirement by war men, trebuchet indeed was a significant advancement over catapults in the middle age by lifting the older approach in castle war with more siege capturing.
Weapons in the Pre-Modern Age The rebirth of weapons into modernized tools is peaked in the invention of sophisticated firearms. There was notable advancement in the approach to battle field with the production of early guns and rocket-propelled weapons. The advancement here is such a resounding one as it touched the basis of energy transfer. Firearms qualitatively improve over other previous weapon in that the energy is not transferred by the tensile string or weighty object but by simple particles – gunpowder or other combustible explosives.
The rapidity of energy transfer is also remarkably outstanding over earlier weapons. There is no time lagging in recoiling requirement when compared to primitive weapons. Firearms were markedly used during 16th to 19th centuries where there were several moments of ongoing conflict among nations. Notable conflicts that result into war during this era were proliferation of many European nations in the establishment of empires without official ceding. Some of the newly formed European federation survived with the won battle aided by evolution of firearms.
Firearm continually received efficient development with more effortless triggering ignition to initiate firearm shot. Another beneficiary of technological advancement during early modern age is the U. S. Civil War against proliferated Federation of United State. This war featured the use of machine gun and ironclad warship. Up till today, these tools still find their relevance in the military armory. Armored ships also advance in the substitution of fueling with fossil fuel. These age equally witness rifle development over sword.
This invention was an icon in the revolutionary history of military technological advancement quest. Shortly we enter the industrial age where we had advancement in the escalation of aircraft and armored tanks. There was not a significant improvement on the land combat weapons. Technological Improvement of Weapons in The Modern Age Figure 3. Soldier handling Machine Gun The beginning of 20th Century was welcome with cruel war between India and French where there is virtually absence of mechanically driven weapon for rifle weaponry.
This era is often referred to “The Age of Rifles” since the least weapon used in battle field is reduced to rifle. Foot soldiers used rifle and canon for combat. Furthermore, there was the introduction of more mechanized weapons like machine gun with high capacity to shoot at distance. Other notable technological advancements in this era were aircraft carriers supplied for naval warfare. The evaluation of weapon inventories with important chronological event in this period would make one conclude that World War I heralded a full industrial revolution.
More so, weapons modern proliferated at a higher rate with skilled technology without compromise on standard. The evolution of biotechnology also birthed chemical and biological weapons during this age. The availability of motor vehicle is also significant in the record of technological advancement since this aid weapons’ maneuvering during war as opposed to footing in the earlier centuries. Ever since the time of World War II, the evolution of more mechanized and sophisticated weapons set a standard for the rest of military advancement. This poised the invention of atomic bomb during this time (1939 to 1945).
Post World War II Technological Improvement on Weapons The immediate war post WWII was cold war. During this period, the technological advancement peaked with the nations boosting of nuclear power that can destroy the world within few seconds. The drive continues in the invention of weapons of mass destruction and counter weapons. Another recent technological advancement in weaponry is the introduction of ballistic missile known as Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). There was also the development of hydrogen bomb and other war missiles.
Despite many conflict of interests, the basis of existing peace among nations is sometimes traced to mutual possession of these nuclear power and ICBM by the two powerful war giants. There exist an atmosphere of peaceful comport since a breach in peace could lead to proportional destruction. The peak of technological advancement in the invention of nuclear weapons almost made its discovery useless since the achieved destruction through them is highly non specific at targeted enemy. It use could return the world back into the historic era where economic crisis dealt on the world sequel to WWII destruction.
The proposed loss with the use of nuclear power would be rather more devastating. It is vital to further point out the invention of computerized weapons few years back. It aids precision and accuracy of target. Two notable ones are “precision-guided munitions and computer-aided tank rounds”. Furthermore, the present modern age with ICT and other developments in the 21st century, helped improves on night vision through goggles gadget that is technologically powered to see clearly at night like day vision. This is important among land combatant in a strange environment.
Identification of target at long distance is equally now possible with the weaponry tools of high technological surveillance gadget and automated aerial. Modern communication enhancement also contribute immensely to effective coordination of weapons and controllers, hence, Information technology advancement has brought tremendous improvement to weaponry (U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment 1995). In conclusion, chronological history of weapon technology improvements from the Middle Ages to the present day has demonstrated vast growth in man search to possess power and protect it with unending weaponry development every century.
It is not unlikely for technologist to soon invent the mother of all advancements in weapon engineering considering the need for competitive possession of power and acquisition of protective gadgets with the most sophisticated version in a dynamic global village. Works Cited Anthony, Isaac. Understanding Physics and Weapon of War (1988). New York: Barnes & Noble. p. 88. Hartmut Thieme. Lower Palaeolithic hunting spears from Germany. Letters to Nature. Nature 385, 807 – 810 (27 February 1997).
Hind, Edward, My Magazine: Being a Series of Poems, Tales, Sketches, Essays, Orations, Etc. ,: The Present Age – An oration J. and H. Clarke, London, 1860. Jill D. Pruetz1 and Paco Bertolani, Savanna Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, Hunt with Tools”, Current Biology, March 6, 2007 Medieval Weapon History – An Evolution in Killing. Site Available at: www. medieval-castle-siege-weapons. com Pijush Roy, Paul, Akshoy, Sanchayan Mukherjee. Mechanical Sciences:Engineering Mechanics and Strength of Materials (2005). Prentice Hall of India. p. 215.
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