Technology during World War I
Technology during World War I reflected a trend toward industrialism and the application of mass production methods to weapons and to the technology of warfare in general. This trend began fifty years prior to World War I during the U.S. Civil War, and continued through many smaller conflicts in which new weapons were tested.August 1914 marked the end of a relatively peaceful century in Europe with unprecedented invention and new science. The 19th-century vision of a peaceful future fed by ever-increasing prosperity through technology was largely shattered by the war's end; after the technological escalation during World War II, it was apparent that whatever the gains in prosperity and comfort due to technology applied to civilian use would always be under the shadow of the horrors of technology applied to warfare.The earlier years of the First World War can be characterized as a clash of 20th-century technology with 19th-century warfare in the form of ineffective battles with huge numbers of casualties on both sides. It was not until the final year of the war that the major armies made effective steps in revolutionizing matters of command and control and tactics to adapt to the modern battlefield, and started to harness the myriad new technologies to effective military purposes. Tactical reorganizations (such as shifting the focus of command from the 100+ man company to the 10+ man squad) went hand-in-hand with armored cars, the first submachine guns, and automatic rifles that could be carried and used by one man.