Over the last 300 years the worldhas seen many changes. The development of militaries has drastically changedwith the development of advanced weaponry, causing a shift in tactics and furtherdevelopment of war technology. We will be looking specifically at the similaritiesand differences in warfare between the late 18th and early 19thcenturies, the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and alsothe late 20th and early 21st centuries. Inlate 18th through early 19th centuries, the age of riflesand the new doctrines, strategies, and tactics that accompanied the riflemovement was in effect. The changes in warfare during the late 18th andearly 19th century, caused super powers to spread their imperialistictendencies through colonization against weaker nations.1 Bigger powers with highly-trained andeffective fighting forces were able to conduct swift and crushing victories byusing the matchlock and flintlock muskets, artillery, and of course gunpowder.
Thesethree new weapons of warfare required armies to improve their warfaretechniques because civilization were getting slaughtered on the battlefieldusing old warfare tactics. There were new organizational approaches in order tomaintain a professional army while perfecting the use of gunpowder in artilleryand rifles which sparked the “New Model Army” which was created by a band ofsoldiers under strict organizational structure.2″Armies could alsonow utilize artillery as an effective ranged means to demolish their enemies.Infantry on horseback developed into equally effective killers as “Dragoons”,armed with muskets and sabers, providing a fast-moving and powerful offensivebattlefield piece.
In all, the efficiency of an organized assault, defense oreven retreat was now taking over the place of the rag-tag approach of simplerunning and bashing into one’s enemy with piercing or blunt objects. It isnotable that swords were still a part of the modern battlefield but solelyutilized for extreme close combat (as were musket-butts). Soldiers would standshoulder to shoulder in formation, allowing one line to shoot, kneel and reloadwhile the second line fired over the heads of the first row.
The soldiers, inresponse to the battlefield superior barking commands, could also form stoutdefensive boxes, ensuring that all of their flanks were covered from enemypenetration from any angle…”3 Thistype of warfare would last into the late 19th through early 20thcenturies. During this period a new kind of warfare was born, industrialwarfare. Here, we see a rise of nation-states, which is important because itsparked the movement towards larger forces, including navies, and massproduction of equipment for their forces.
This led to the production of thesteam engine, which was the entire driving force behind the industrialrevolution. It was “the power source of the vast increases in production anddevelopment” during the late 19th century.4It also increased the mobility of industrial weapons and changed the way “humanswent about killing one other.”5In the beginnings of the 20th century, the railway aided trooptransport and mass infantry attacks the machine gun was created.”There had beengreater change in weapons in the second half of the nineteenth century astechnological progress was applied to the needs of warfare.
The light fieldgun, based on the French 75 mm gun, was standard equipment and could fire up to20 shells a minute. The breech-loading rifle remained the standard weapon forthe infantryman together with the bayonet, which was to be used for closequarters fighting. The machine gun,capable of firing up to 600 rounds a minute and used as a mobile reserve offire for infantry, was in common use. It greatly strengthened the position ofdefenders and was capable of inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers.”6Also during this time, there wererapid developments at sea with navies. Armor plating emerged, the rotating turret,and all big gun ships with steam turbines which made massive leaps intechnology.
Inlate 20th through early 21th centuries, there were only twomain types of warfare left standing. Nuclear warfare and conventional warfare. 1 https://www.militaryfactory.com/battles/18th_century_warfare.asp2 https://www.militaryfactory.com/battles/18th_century_warfare.asp3 https://www.militaryfactory.com/battles/18th_century_warfare.asp4 http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/general/articles/effectofindustrialization.aspx5 http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/general/articles/effectofindustrialization.aspx6 http://www.dhahranbritish.com/history/C3_warbeg20.htm