World War 1 is the first war in history that I may say, involved the use of technology and advances in science. The ever famous “mustard gas” was developed by the Germans, and used against the allied forces. Mustard gas is an oily liquid that readily evaporates into a very noxious and toxic gas, and are used in chemical warfare, where it burns the skin and causes very fatal respiratory and lung damages. It was used effectively against bunkers and trenches, where escape was not easy, so the efficiency of the gas is very high.
The Allied forces counteract and produced the first ever effective gas mask, made from very fine activated carbon; it absorbs the poisonous gas, preventing severe damage and effect to the allied soldiers. The drawback of this mask was it reduced visibility and made the soldier vulnerable to sniper attacks. World War 1 was also the setting for the first aerial warfare. Airplanes in the form of biplanes (the first type of airplane, it was very light and it resembled the first airplanes developed by the Wright brothers).
They converted simple courier and transport planes into aerial and bomber planes, mass produced the most efficient design and further improved its applications. The Germans have early aerial advantage against the allied forces because of its high amount of available fighter planes and the ever famous Zeppelin, a large dirigible or flying balloon used in bombarding and raiding Britain. But the German advantage declined starting the mid-1916 because the British forces gained aerial superiority in the Western front. Aside trench warfare; tanks were also first widely used in World War 1.
Light tanks were first manufactured on 1910 and used for small wars and revolts on the British Empire. The Germans also manufactured tanks to cope up with the allied forces. Armored tanks were used later to inflict damage to enemy trenches. Besides tanks, long range artillery was also developed. High powered howitzers and cannons were fired towards enemy trenches and were proven effective against concentrated enemy troops and tanks. On sea, naval warfare was also developed. Large sea vessels carried high powered bombs and can lay siege even to distant enemy camps.
The Germans was the first to use submarines on a full scale war on the sea. They can damage enemy ships without being detected or even seen. The submarine was proven to be effective as patrol on enemy sea territory and can be used as a warning if enemy naval ships were mobilized. The famous German submarine was the U-boat. It was used on unrestricted submarine warfare, in which enemy ships were targeted and sunk, even civilian ships. This unrestricted submarine warfare leads the United States to join the war on 1917.
The reason was because the German U-boat was a risk to the United States trade policies with European countries. The U-boat has sunk the Lusitania on 1915, a British liner en route to the United States. It carried American citizens, and reports were published that Americans were killed during the attack. These angered the United States, thus declaring war on Germany and the Central Powers. World War 1 was not fought only on Europe. The colonies of European nations involved also joined the war. Japan for instance, joined the Allied forces to obtain German colonies on the pacific.
The British expeditionary forces battled the Ottoman Empire on the desert. The expeditionary force led by T. E. Lawrence pushed the Ottoman Empire troops back into Lebanon until its defeat by the Allied forces on September 1918. The Treaty of Versailles ended the war. When the Central powers were defeated, this treaty promised peace all throughout Europe and it was the one who outlined the land and territorial distribution of lands acquired from the Central powers. I was affected by the topic because World War 1 was a very devastating war.
Over 20 million casualties were reported on both sides. May were killed and wounded. I know war was against morality. But sometimes, countries and governments were blinded by their ambitions, mostly to obtain power and territories. As stated earlier, war is inevitable. Although the United Nation exists now, war is still happening. Even now, as I write this article, a war is happening, somewhere out there. War can still be prevented up to a certain extent. Peace talks must be initiated to prevent further conflicts, even if war has already broke up. Living in peace is a very good thing.
I can help to achieve that, in my own little way, by respecting others’ opinion and properties. If every nation on earth can learn that, I am sure war are sure to be found on History books only. No war will happen once again. Respect is the word.
References Andrea, A. J, and Overfield J. H. (1990). The Human record: Sources of Global History. Vol. 2. Boston. Houghton Mifflin Company. Heilbroner, R. H. (1974). An Inquiry into the Human Prospect. New York. Norton and Company. Keilor W. R. (2007). “World War 1”. Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond. Microsoft Corporation