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John Laurie
Mr. Williams
Omnibus III
The Effect of The Industrial Revolution on World War I
World War I was a war the likes of whih the world had ne!er seen. "he ombatin#
nations $ossessed armies that were bi##er% better e&ui$$ed% and more mobile than an' the world
had e!er seen. (attles had ne!er been fou#ht on suh a lar#e sale% and wea$ons had ne!er had
the sheer destruti!e $ower that was e)hibited on World War I battlefields. *What%+ we mi#ht
ask% *aused this sudden re!olution in warfare,+ -e!eral $ossible answers readil' $resent
themsel!es. .erha$s the ombatants were more determined than e!er before. /fter all% the' were
fi#htin# for the sur!i!al of their nations0 Or $erha$s the ombatants were riher than e!er before.
"hat seems likel' enou#h. Or $erha$s the ombatants were le!erer than e!er before% surel' that
must be it. 1owe!er% none of these widel'2held theories% !alid thou#h the' ma' seem% are
aurate. "he kin#s of the anient world% in all of their determination% wealth% and raftiness%
ould not ha!e mustered fores of man' millions of soldiers0 "heir armies numbered $erha$s
twent' or thirt' thousand men% and the' rarel' suffered sta##erin# asualties. What did make
World War I a new kind of war was the re!olution in industr' that ourred durin# the late
18003s. "he re!olutions in te)tiles% trans$ortation% metallur#'% mediine% and hemistr' ushered
in the de!elo$ment of an alto#ether new t'$e of arm'4 an arm' built for a sin#le $ur$ose5 the
utter annihilation of the enemies3 abilit' to make war. Without the ra$id de!elo$ment in i!ilian
tehnolo#' that ourred durin# the late nineteenth entur'% World War I would ha!e been a war
like all other wars that had ome before. /rmies of mar#inal si6e would ha!e slowl' worn one

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another down with mediore wea$onr' until a $eae arran#ement was reahed that in!ol!ed
$a'ment of a monetar' sum to the !itor and an a#reement that the essation of hostilities was in
e!er'one3s best interests. 1owe!er% this was learl' not the ase. /rmies of millions of men
battled with terrif'in# wea$ons% stri!in# to brin# about the unonditional surrender of the enem'0
"he re!olutions in the te)tile industr'% the metallur#' industr'% the trans$ortation industr'% the
medial industr'% and the hemial industr' sul$ted the 7irst World War.
"he most re!olutionar' harateristi of World War I was the sale on whih it was
fou#ht. "he sheer numerial ma#nitude of the armed fores de$lo'ed b' the ombatin# nations
was a thin# 'et unheard of. 8erman' de$lo'ed ele!en million men. 7rane3s arm' numbered
ei#ht million. "he 9ussian fore onsisted of a sta##erin# si)teen million trained soldiers. (ritain
sent ei#ht and a half million men to the battlefield.
"his inrease in the si6e of armed fores was
a result of !arious de!elo$ments in industr' that made it $ossible to su$$l' and train lar#er
numbers of soldiers. 1owe!er% no one sin#le de!elo$ment in industr' re!olutioni6ed World War
I. "here were man' im$ro!ements in industrial tehnolo#' that aused the emer#ene of this
new warfare.
"wo of these notable de!elo$ments must be onsidered in tandem with one another5
im$ro!ements in a#riulture and im$ro!ements in mediine. "hese two ombined resulted in a
derease in a!era#e mortalit' rate and an inrease in a!era#e life e)$etan'% and the result
follows naturall'5 the world $o$ulation be#an to inrease e)$onentiall'. 8lobal :han#e% a
$ubliation of the ;ni!ersit' of Mihi#an% sa's% <In the de!elo$in# world% the death rate has
dro$$ed% more or less ontinuousl'% sine the start of the industrial re!olution.<
John "erraine
sa's in his book White Heat: The New Warfare% <"he most im$ortant harateristi of the war
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 21.
;ni!ersit' of Mihi#an 8lobal :han#e .ro#ram% *.o$ulation 8rowth O!er 1uman 1istor'+% ;ni!ersit' of
Mihi#an% htt$5//$o$/human@$o$.html

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was its sale. "he mass $o$ulations had arri!ed.+
-ientist Ari MLamb sa's% <"he birth of the
Industrial 9e!olution would alter mediine and li!in# standards resultin# in the $o$ulation
e)$losion that would ommene at that $oint.<
Cue to these massi!e $o$ulations% it beame
$ossibl' to assemble armies of millions of men0 (' the 'ear 1>13 9ussiaDs $o$ulation amounted
to1E1 million% /meria had >F.F million iti6ens% 8erman' had nearl' EG million inhabitants%
/ustria21un#ar' had o!er F1 million% 8reat (ritain BF million% 7rane had 3G million% and Ital'
had 3F and a half million.
/s "erraine sa's% <"he mass $o$ulations bred the #reat armies.< War
as the world knew it had han#ed fore!er.
/nother of the *industrial dri!in# fores+ that allowed for the reation of suh lar#e
armies was the re!olution in te)tiles that ourred durin# the late nineteenth entur'. .rior to this
$oint in histor' it had been a #ar#antuan task to lothe an arm'. 1owe!er% with the inte#ration of
new in!entions into the $roess of te)tile $rodution% out$ut inreased dramatiall'. One suh
in!ention was the s$innin# Henn'. "his $artiular mahine was in!ented b' James 1ar#rea!e in
1GEB. It automated the $roess of s$innin# threads with whih to wea!e fabri on a loom.
/nother in!ention that re!olutioni6ed the te)tile industr' was Admund :artwri#ht3s $ower loom.
:artwri#ht $atented his in!ention in 1G8F% and b' 1830 two $eo$le ould o$erate four looms
One of the most strikin# e)am$les of the inrease in out$ut and effiien' that
resulted from the de!elo$ments in te)tile tehnolo#' is that of Alias 1owe3s sewin# mahine. In
18BE 1owe demonstrated that his new sewin# mahine allowed him to reate a dress in the same
amount of time that it took fi!e skilled female seamstresses to sew the same #arment. With his
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 21.
Ari MLamb% *"he Aolo#ial Im$at of "he Industrial 9e!olution+% Aolo#'.om%
Ibid.% 21.
Melinda Watt% <Iineteenth2:entur' Auro$ean "e)tile .rodution<. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Iew
Jork5 "he Metro$olitan Museum of /rt% 2000K. htt$5//www.metmuseum.or#/toah/hd/t)tn/hd@t)tn.htm

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in!ention% te)tile out$ut was inreased fi!e2fold0 "his was the iin# on the ake. Iow not onl'
were the $roesses of s$innin# and wea!in# re!olutioni6ed% but the final ste$ of sewin# the loth
into a #arment was automated0 "hese new de!elo$ments allowed the belli#erents to lothe their
armies effeti!el'. /rmies of un$reedented si6e suddenl' s$ran# into bein# as a result of these
Jet another im$ortant harateristi of these lar#e armed fores was their mobilit'.
Mo!in# millions of men from one $lae to another was no eas' task0 "he re!olution in the
trans$ortation industr' made $ossible the mobili6ation of armies of suh lar#e si6e. One of the
de!elo$ments in the trans$ortation industr' that allowed for the mo!ement of armies of suh
#reat si6e was the railroad. While the steam $owered loomoti!e was in!ented before the
industrial re!olution% it was $o$ulari6ed durin# this time. (etween 18F0 and 18G0 Auro$eDs
railroad trak milea#e had inreased from 1BF00 to G0000.
(' 1>1B it had inreased to 180000.
7renh #eneral Jose$h Joffre said <I in $artiular onentrated m' attention u$on the im$ortane
of the railwa' trans$ort of troo$s durin# the ourse of o$erations% and I had alread' arri!ed at the
on!ition that in a modern war of masses the true strate#i instrument of the :ommander2in2
:hief would be the railwa'<
. 8eneral Joffre onduted a series of e)$eriments in!ol!in# railwa'
usa#e in the militar'. In 1>11% he suessfull' mobili6ed nearl' four million men in si)teen da's.
"he 8erman fore suessfull' mobili6ed one and a half million men in ten da's. "hen the
Auro$ean ombatants be#an usin# newl' de!elo$ed hi#h &ualit' steel to build railwa's% and the
railroads were made e!en more effeti!e. "he new rails were muh more durable than the
outdated iron models. One e!idene thereof was the inrease in their a!era#e life s$ans. With the
Jakson -$iel!o#el% Western Civilization: Fourth Edition Comprehensive Volume =(elmont5 Wadsworth/"homson
Learnin#% 2000?% EEB.
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 2B.
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 22.

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inor$oration of steel rails% the a!era#e duration of usa#e of a sin#le rail inreased from two
'ears to ten% a fator of fi!e0 /lso% the new rails were inredibl' stron#. "he' were a$able of
su$$ortin# a wei#ht of u$ to se!ent' tons% while the older iron models ould onl' su$$ort ei#ht.
"he effia' of the railroad was $ro!ed be'ond the shadow of a doubt. 1owe!er% the bi##est
$roblem with railroads was readil' ob!ious to the obser!ant e'e. "he railroad an onl' take 'ou
where there are rails. /s :olonel 8.7. 1endersen said% <<9ailwa's in war are #ood ser!ants but
bad masters.<
"his neessitated the de!elo$ment of a !ehile that motori6ed the #a$ between
the railhead and the battlefield.
"he (ritish had the best #ras$ of the need for !ehiles that ould o$erate inde$endentl'
of the terrain. "he internal ombustion en#ine% in!ented in 180G b' 7ranois Isaa de 9i!a6
$ro!ided a solution to this $roblem in motori6ed !ehiles. (' 1>11 the (ritish si)2di!ision
A)$editionar' 7ore $ossessed 1200 Lorries5 the first truks. "his was nearl' three times as
man' as all fi!e armies that made u$ the ri#ht win# of the 8erman fore that attaked (el#ium.

"he 8ermans e!entuall' au#ht on to the ad!isabilit' of fosterin# a res$etable2si6ed fore of
motor !ehiles after s$endin# man' arduous hours marhin# from the railwa' stations to the
battlefields. (' 1>1B it was said that the 8ermans $ossessed F0000 motor !ehiles.
"he utilit'
of !arious mehanial forms of trans$ortation was uni!ersall' ae$ted% and the !ast fi#htin#
fores that battled durin# World War I were soon a$able of more ra$id mo!ement than the
world had e!er seen.
"he final distin#uishin# harateristi of World War I armies was the state of the art
e&ui$ment that the' utili6ed in ombat. Inno!ati!e de!elo$ments in metallur#' made it $ossible
to reate wea$ons far su$erior to an' that the world had e!er seen. One suh im$ortant
Ibid.% 1E.
Ibid.% 2F.
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 2E.

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inno!ation was the diso!er' of aluminum. While aluminum had been diso!ered fift' 'ears
before the industrial re!olution% the $urifiation thereof was so im$ratial and diffiult that $ure
aluminum ost 1200 dollars $er kilo#ram. 1owe!er% in 188>% a hemist named :harles Martin
1all diso!ered a more $ratial method for the $urifiation of aluminum whih in!ol!ed
runnin# an eletri urrent throu#h naturall' ourrin# om$ounds that inluded aluminum and
se$aratin# the hemial bonds therein. 1e was awarded a .erkin Medal for his work% and this
eletrol'sis $urifiation method beame the tehni&ue utili6ed b' aluminum industries
"he de!elo$ment of this li#ht% ri#id% and ine)$ensi!e metal led to the reation of a new
branh of the arm'5 the /ir 7ore. In 1>00 :ount 7erdinand Lon Me$$elin built the LM21% a
re!olutionar' new airraft. -ome $eo$le mistakenl' all the LM21 a blim$. 1owe!er% this is
inorret. "he reason that so man' $eo$le ha!e heard of Me$$elin3s airshi$% while so few ha!e
heard of the true *7irst /irraft+ =a blim$ hristened La 7rane?% is that its desi#n was a trul'
re!olutionar' im$ro!ement on the non2ri#id blim$ desi#n. Me$$elin3s airshi$ was four hundred
feet lon# and full' struturall' sound. "his was beause it was what we all a *ri#id airraft+.
"he blim$s that e)isted before the LM21 were sim$l' air filled balloons that $ossessed sha$e onl'
beause of the #aseous bubble inside the loth air sak. Me$$elin3s airshi$ $ossessed sha$e
beause of the aluminum su$$ort struture within the shi$. "his dis$ersed the outward fores
a$$lied to the shi$ aross the entire struture% and thus made the entire raft muh more sound.

"his in turn allowed for the diameter of the airshi$ to derease and for its len#th to inrease
without the fear of the balloon foldin# in two. "his shift from the football sha$ed airshi$ to the
$enil sha$ed airshi$ #reatl' inreased the aerod'nami a$abilities of the mahines% allowin#
-. Coole'% *"he Ce!elo$ment of the Material2/da$ted -trutural 7orm+ =(.-. diss.% Aole .ol'tehni&ue
7ederale de Lausanne% 200B?% 1F3.

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them to tra!el more &uikl' for lon#er distanes.
With the in!ention of the 6e$$elin% the world
at lar#e went air2tra!el2loo$'. "he 8ermans $artiularl' beame obsessed with the idea of
airraft usa#e in warfare.
While at first the new 6e$$elins and air$lanes were onl' used for
artiller' diretion as o$$osed to ombat% b' the end of the war both fi#hters and bombers battled
hi#h abo!e Auro$e for su$rema' of the skies.
Jet another si#nifiant metallur#ial de!elo$ment durin# the industrial re!olution was
the im$ro!ement of the &ualit' of manufatured steel. .rior to this $eriod% the $roess for iron
smeltin# had likewise been re!olutioni6ed% resultin# in a new hea$ metal alled $i# iron. "he
differene between $i# iron and steel was the arbon ontent in the metals. .i# iron ontained
four $erent arbon% whereas steel ontained one $oint fi!e $erent arbon. .i# iron3s arbon
ontent aused it to be !er' hard% 'et brittle and im$ossible to work with in its solid state. "his
neessitated the $ourin# of molten $i# iron into a ast in order to $ut it into a useful form. While
this was $ratial for thin#s suh as annonballs or ast iron fr'in# $ans% it did not allow for the
reation of lar#er or more intriate obHets4 this t'$e of work re&uired a more malleable metal.
"his neessitated the remo!al of some of the arbon from the $i# iron. ;$ till this $oint the
remo!al of arbon had been ahie!ed b' a dan#erous and time2onsumin# $roess alled
$uddlin#. .uddlin# onsisted of heatin# the $i# iron to immense tem$eratures until the arbon
started to o)idi6e. "he refined arbon had a hi#her meltin# $oint% and therefore formed solid
lum$s in the molten mass of low &ualit' iron. "he lum$s were remo!ed% and hammered into
sheets b' the $uddler. "his 'ielded what was alled wrou#ht iron. "he $roblem with wrou#ht
iron was that its arbon ontent was too low. "he o)idation $roess in $uddlin# remo!ed too
muh of the arbon and aused the metal to beome o!erl' soft. It was neessar' to somehow
Ibid.% 1F3.
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 2G.

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reate a refined metal that was hare enou#h to withstand $ressure and hold an ed#e% but fle)ible
enou#h to hold u$ under sudden shoks. "his metal was steel. 1owe!er% steel was hi#hl'
im$ratial to for#e. "he $roess was len#th' and tedious. Wrou#ht iron bars and $owdered
haroal would be la'ered in la' bo)es and heated for se!eral da's. "his would allow the
arbon in the haroal to dis$erse throu#h the iron. "hen the iron bars would be remo!ed and
broken into $iees and re$laed in the la' bo) in the fire. "his allowed for #reater dis$ersion of
the haroal. "he bits of wrou#ht iron would then be melted down in an enormous !at. "he
e)ess haroal bits would be slou#hed off b' the addition of a s$eial flu). "he resultin# metal
was alled ruible steel% and was suffiientl' stron# and fle)ible to hold an ed#e and 'et not
shatter4 howe!er it was im$ratial to make in lar#e &uantities due to the diffiult smeltin#
$roess. "he mass $rodution of hea$ steel was finall' made $ossible in 18FE b' the An#lish
hemist 1enr' (essemer. (essemer in!ented a *on!erter+% a $ear sha$ed ree$tale with holes
in the bottom. "his !essel was filled with molten $i# iron and om$ressed air was inHeted into
the base of the ontainer b' wa' of the small holes. "he o)'#en remo!ed arbon from the metal
beause of the ra$id bondin# $roess between these two elements. "his $roess was su$erior to
the $uddlin# $roess beause it allowed the metallur#ist to ontrol the amount of arbon that was
remo!ed b' ontrollin# the amount of o)'#en that was inHeted into the on!erter. Within
minutes the $i# iron ould be on!erted into hi#h &ualit' steel. "he (essemer $roess finall'
made the smeltin# of steel $ratial. "he $roess took a minute fration of the time of $uddlin#
or ementation% and used absolutel' no fuel e)e$t for the small &uantities of o)'#en that were
inHeted into the on!erter. 1i#h &ualit' steel in lar#e &uantities was now a!ailable for the
#eneral $ubli.
Jose$h -$oerl% */ (rief 1istor' of Iron and -teel .rodution+% /nselm ;ni!ersit'%

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"his allowed for the onstrution of hi#her &ualit' artiller'.
When steel was first used to
build field artiller'% the #uns would burst due to the low &ualit' steel used in their onstrution.
1owe!er% with the im$ro!ements in the &ualit' of manufatured steel due to the work of
in!entors suh as (essemer% the new steel #uns beame the norm for militar'.
One a#ain we must onsider multi$le tehnolo#ial ad!anements at the same time.
Im$ro!ements in e!er'thin# from o$tis to steel to om$uters led to a s$rint of tehnolo#' in
na!al de!elo$ment. "he first im$ortant de!elo$ment in na!al tehnolo#' was the in!ention of
the modern battleshi$. "hese #i#anti raft dis$laed thousands of tons of water and arried a
!eritable arsenal of wea$onr'5 hea!' sin#le shot swi!el #uns% medium aliber artiller'% and
smaller full' automati #uns bristled from the sides of these behemoths. "he new armaments on
board the !essels led to a marked han#e in na!al tatis. ;$ till this $oint% ironlad warshi$s had
losed with the enem' in order to rake his dek with the faster firin# 'et lower aliber #uns. "his
method was the norm sim$l' beause the hea!ier #uns were suffiientl' inaurate to make lon#
ran#e duels a waste of time and ammunition. 1owe!er% with the in!ention of new state2of2the2art
o$ti ran#e finders and the use of mehanial om$utin# de!ies% battleshi$s ould duel eah at a
ran#e of ei#ht kilometers% a stunnin# fi#ure0 "his e!entuall' led to the remo!al of all smaller
aliber #uns and #a!e birth to the <all bi# #un< battleshi$. Man' belie!ed that due to these new
de!elo$ments the na!' was to be a nationDs #reatest militar' asset. Lord 1anke' of (ritain said
<M' belief in sea2$ower amounted almost to a reli#ion.<
While not all Auro$eanDs shared
1anke'Ds 6ealous enthusiasm% the world at lar#e admitted that a nation re&uired a tehnolo#iall'
ad!aned na!' to be taken seriousl'. 1owe!er% due to the !ast number of resoures that went
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 10% >F.
John "erraine% White Heat: The New Warfare =London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82?% 3E.

Laurie 10
into the reation of a sin#le battleshi$% the' were essentiall' non2e)$endable and thus
im$ratial. "he da's of the battleshi$ were numbered.
While the battleshi$ ma' ha!e ushered in the na!al arms rae% it was soon rendered
obsolete b' smaller and &uiker !essels. "he en#ines that $ro$elled the hea!' battleshi$s alon#
at fifteen knots ould easil' $ro$el a smaller raft at twent'2fi!e knots. "his% ombined with the
fat that e!en a small !essel ould onei!able $ossess an enormous a$ait' for fire$ower led to
the shift from lar#er and slower !essels to smaller and &uiker models. "he first were the (ritish
Creadnou#hts% whih essentiall' rendered all lar#er and slower mo!in# !essels obsolete. Martin
Lan :re!eld sa's in his book% Tehnolo!y and War% <Just as the mi#ht' dinosaurs had been
ousted b' smaller% more a#ile mammals% so the umbersome steel monsters would ha!e to #i!e
wa' to swarms of muh smaller raft. "hese would run irles around battleshi$s and% after
sinkin# some and ausin# the rest to sta' in $ort% en#a#e on ommere raidin# on an
un$reedented sale.<
"hese faster !essels $osed a #reat threat to behemoth battleshi$s% but
there was a #reater threat still that arose durin# this time5 the submarine.
;$ until this $oint na!al ombat had been !er' strai#htforward. On land the enem' was
not readil' !isible. "roublesome% hill' terrain ould make battles ner!e2rakin# thin#s. "here
was a ertain seurit' in knowin# where the enem' was4 and u$ until the mid to late nineteenth
entur' this had been a lu)ur' enHo'ed b' na!al a$tains. "he field of battle was an unbroken%
flat% blue e)$anse on whih it was im$ossible to hide. "he enem' was readil' !isible% and it
remained to the in#enuit' of the a$tains to outmaneu!er them or outsmart them in order to win
the da'. 1ow different indeed was na!al ombat when the enem' ould be lurkin# an'where
beneath the wa!es% alwa's waitin# to strike. "he submarine $osed a new threat. Ceath ould
ome swiftl'% silentl'% and without warnin#. "hese new rafts were also rendered e!en more
Martin Lan :re!eld% Tehnolo!y and War =Iew Jork5 "he 7ree .ress% 1>8>?% 20G.

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effeti!e b' the de!elo$ment of the diesel en#ine% in!ented in 18>2 b' 9udol$h Ciesel. "his
inreased their radius of ation and to$ s$eed b' a si#nifiant mar#in. "heir effia' was further
im$ro!ed in 18>F when the #'roso$e was ada$ted for diretional tor$edo ontrol. "he lar#e and
lums' battleshi$ was trul' rendered obsolete% re$laed b' &uiker destro'ers e&ui$$ed with
lar#e to midsi6e artiller' and submarines with tor$edoes.
We ha!e now been $resented with the fats. Let us at this $oint disuss whih are to be
ontested% and whih are #enerall' a#reed u$on. It is lear that the Industrial 9e!olution was a
atal'st for militar' de!elo$ment. "hat is ertainl' a#reed u$on. Iumerial !alues suh as the
railroad trak milea#e in Auro$e or the $o$ulation of 7rane in 1>1B will ertainl' not be
dis$uted. "he' all ome from re$utable soures% and an be easil' ross heked b' e)amination
of other sholarl' te)ts. What will be ontested is the de#ree to whih the Industrial 9e!olution
im$ated World War I. Was it the $rimar' ause for this so2alled <re!olution in warfare<, Or
does it $ossess onl' seondar' im$ortane4 ha!e I o!erem$hasi6ed its si#nifiane, We shall see.
What onstitutes a war, War is an o$en onflit between two o$$osin# nations or $arties.
What then% are the !ital elements of a war, Iations with fi#htin# fores. "herefore% to
re!olutioni6e war% one must either re!olutioni6e nations or re!olutioni6e fi#htin# fores. Whih
aused World War I% a re!olution in nations% or a re!olution in fi#htin# fores, Let us onsider
this intri#uin# &uestion obHeti!el' in order to determine the !alidit' of the statement% <"he
Industrial 9e!olution was the most im$ortant fator in the re!olution of all thin#s militar' that
was seen durin# World War I<. "his is !ital in order to $ro!e one side or the other of this issue to
be !alid or in!alid.
While obHeti!e obser!ation of a ontro!ersial $oint is often assumed to be a len#th' and
arduous task% we need not look far for our answer in this $artiular ase. "he !er' $hrase <a

Laurie 12
re!olution in the nature of a nation< is somewhat bi6arre. It does not rin# true. :an the one$t of
a nation be <re!olutioni6ed<, :learl' not0 The Amerian Herita!e "itionary of the En!lish
#an!ua!e defines a nation as <a #rou$ of $eo$le or#ani6ed under a sin#le #o!ernment<. Were the
belli#erents in World War I not% then% on!entional nations, :learl'% the' were0 "o su##est
otherwise% as m' o$$onents mi#ht do% is absurd0 (ritain% 7rane% 9ussia% 8erman'% and all other
ombatants of e!en moderate si#nifiane were t'$ial <nations<% Hust as the' had been nations
hundreds of 'ears $rior to the 7irst World War. Iothin# in the definition of <nation< had
han#ed. Nations with fi#htin# fores were sim$l' nations. -o what must ha!e han#ed to make
World War I so different from all other wars from the dawn of time, :learl'% the fi#htin# fores
must ha!e been re!olutioni6ed0 What onstitutes a fi#htin# fore, Let us see.
/ fi#htin# fore% or an arm'% is defined b' The Amerian Herita!e "itionary of the
En!lish #an!ua!e as <a lar#e #rou$ of $eo$le or#ani6ed and trained for warfare<. What made
World War I armies somethin# new% somethin# different% somethin# re!olutionar'% was the
modifiation of the or!anization of militar' fores. Or#ani6ation inludes e!er'thin# from si6e%
to e&ui$ment% to mobilit'% all of whih =as was learl' demonstrated earlier in this disourse?
were om$letel' re!olutioni6ed b' tehnolo#ial de!elo$ments that arose durin# the Industrial
9e!olution. I ha!e herein learl' demonstrated m' own ar#uments to be true% and those of m'
ad!ersaries to be entirel' erroneous.
It is learl' shown that World War I ushered in a new a#e of warfare. Anormous fores
battled for su$rema' with all of their nationsD resoures at their baks. /rmies were lar#er% more
mobile% more destruti!e% and more battle read' than e!er before. It has been learl' established

Laurie 13
that the reason for this militar' $henomenon was the re!olution in industr' that took $lae in the
late nineteenth entur'. "he im$ro!ements in e!er'thin# from nutrition to battleshi$s allowed for
war to be fou#ht on a #rand sale. Without the re!olutions in i!ilian industr' that marked the
turn of the entur'% World War I would ha!e been a war like all others that the world had seen
before. (efore World War I% armies had #one to war5 armies with militar' resoures at their
baks. (ut with the be#innin# of the onflit e!er'thin# han#ed. Io lon#er did armies #o to
war4 nations went to war. A!er' oune of the nationDs stren#th went toward the war effort. World
War I was a total war% a war that mobili6ed de!elo$ments in i!ilian tehnolo#' as well as in
militar' tehnolo#' to ahie!e !itor'. Cue to the dramati han#es in industr' in the late
nineteenth entur'% war as we know it han#ed fore!er.

Laurie 1B
-eleted (iblio#ra$h'
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.ol'tehni&ue 7ederale de Lausanne% 200B.
MLamb% Ari. *"he Aolo#ial Im$at of the Industrial 9e!olution.+ Aolo#'.om.
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.arker% 8eoffre'. The 'ilitary (evolution) Iew Jork5 :ambrid#e ;ni!ersit' .ress% 1>88.
-$iel!o#el% Jakson. Western Civilization: Fourth Edition Comprehensive Volume. (elmont5
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"erraine% John. White Heat: The New Warfare. London5 Maka's of :hatham Ltd.% 1>82.
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;ni!ersit' of Mihi#an.
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