Military Technology That Changed The World

The Crossbow

The crossbow was invented in China but developed into a significant weapon in medieval Europe. With a mechanism for holding the drawn bow until it was ready to release, it propelled arrows with tremendous force over 350 yards. The crossbow allowed soldiers to fire from great distances and avoid close contact with the enemy. Swords, which had to be used at close range, were no match.


The discovery of gunpowder led to the development of cannons in the 1300s. Cannons could demolish castle walls and blast through wooden ships. The cannon started as a clumsy battlefield weapon but soon became one of the most essential chess pieces for military commanders. As the weapon became more advanced, more uses were found for it.

Machine Guns

Machine guns allowed for rapid, continuous fire, thereby eliminating frequent reloading. The first was the Gatling gun, used in the American Civil War. The British soon carried them over to the Boer War, and soon the machine gun became one of the most common sights on the battlefield.

The Tank

The tank, an armored combat vehicle equipped with a cannon and machine guns, replaced the use of rifles in war. It put an end to trench warfare, since tanks, with their caterpillar traction, could easily bulldoze over trenches. Tanks were first used at the end of World War I, and they emerged as a symbol of modern warfare. They are still highly used today.


Combat aircraft, both bombers and fighter planes, changed the nature of war during World War II. Air superiority became critical to victory. The British Spitfire, American Mustang, and German Messerschmitt were among the most famous fighter planes of the war. Planes had first been used to great effect in the First World War, but the intervening years took them from being tools for scouting to tools of devastating power.

Nuclear Bombs

Nuclear weapons, first developed in 1945, allow for massive destruction. Atom and hydrogen bombs are examples of nuclear weapons. Because these weapons are so perilous to human existence, treaties limit their development, but many rogue countries still hope to build them.

Precision Smart Bombs

Smart bombs are highly accurate bombs that are guided to their targets by computers. Smart bombs hit their targets much more frequently than unguided dumb bombs and cause both fewer casualties and less damage to civilian areas.

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Futuristic Sci Fi writer.

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