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Site Index > Introduction

Introduction

Military technology transfer means the conversion of military technologies to civilian use. The term spin-off also refers to civilian items that are the result of military technology transfer.

Technology Transfer

Throughout history, military technology has been the driving force of technological advancement. It would be impossible to create a comprehensive list of civilian items that are the result of military technology transfer because it is everywhere and such a list would be endless. The types of goods that are the result of military technology transfer are also surprising unless one considers that militaries must be concerned with all aspects of life. Nearly anything imaginable could be the result of military technology transfer. Military advancements not only affected ordnance and munitions technology, but also, food, clothing, shelter, transportation and the entire industries that produce them. Although the effect of military technology transfer is usually more noticeable after a major war, it seems that it has actually accelerated in the past few decades.

Research revealed that military technology has not only influenced the material existence of modern society, but it has also played a significant role in molding the social structures of modern industrial societies. While politics and economics are not the purpose of this work, the effect of military technology upon these aspects of life became evident. Therefore, a short analysis of this phenomenon is included its own section.Research revealed that military technology has not only influenced the material existence of modern society, but it has also played a significant role in molding the social structures of modern industrial societies. While politics and economics are not the purpose of this work, the effect of military technology upon these aspects of life became evident. Therefore, a short analysis of this phenomenon is included its own section.

Military Technology throughout History

The importance of military technology throughout history is nearly impossible to overstate and it is representative of the best technology and materials available to almost any society. The finest craftsmanship and most advanced materials of any society are found in their weapons. This is not odd because people’s lives frequently depended upon their weapons. In earlier times, nearly every member of any society was intimately connected to defense. This is not necessarily the case in industrialized countries today. Many citizens of modern industrial countries might never serve in the military or be involved in armed conflict. The ability of any person to not be directly involved in armed conflict is itself a luxury of military advancement. By and large, the absence of conscription has only been possible in modern industrial societies.

Background Advancements in Military Science and Technology

Most of human history is a record of conflict and it seems that is what humans do the best and the most of. As civilization emerged, marauder-type societies also developed that lived by strength, taking what they wanted from others by force. Throughout antiquity, if a conquered people were not killed during a raid they usually became the slaves of the victors and all of their possessions became the victor’s booty.

As civilizations developed, prospered and became more complex, they formed organized defenses to abate the foregoing problems. Because of conflict, civilization could not have developed without the protection of militaries. The earliest armies and defenses were developed to create stabler more productive and prosperous societies. As civilization emerged so did many different forms of political systems. One of the more common systems of antiquity was some form of monarchy.

As civilizations advanced, they also sought ways to provide safety inside their settlements. Defensive measures such as city walls were one of the innovations that helped to protect many early societies. This type of fortification was common throughout Mesopotamia, thought to be the birthplace of civilization. Mesopotamia was located more-or-less in present-day Iraq. As this area of the world developed, Babylon became the world’s first great empire and eventually formed the world’s first great army. The Babylonians used the best technologies available to augment their influence throughout the region. Some of these included metal helmets, spears and wheeled chariots.

The Wheel

There is wide variation in the historical record from Mesopotamia, the location of Babylon, in the period from 3000 – 4000 BC, but it is believed that this is where and when the wheel was invented. Archeologists and historians believe that the wheel was invented around 3500 BC and some experts are certain that it is was invented for military applications. Evidence is lacking that any other types of vehicles besides military chariots existed during or before that period.

It is thought that the earliest wheels were simply solid disks sliced from tree trunks and then mounted on axles. Since an object made that way would split very quickly, other Mesopotamian wheels have been recovered that were more-or-less solid cylinders made of planks held together with wooden cleats and copper nails. The most common design for the earliest wheels from Mesopotamia used three planks. Cleats are boards running perpendicular to the primary assembly and fasten it together. While information about anything from this far back in history is sketchy, the Babylonians did entomb many chariots with their dead, so some chariots have been recovered. Chariots were also chronicled in funerary and public shallow-relief sculptures.

It is known that one of the most important improvements to the wheel was the spoke design, and it was developed around 1450 BC in Egypt where military chariots were mass-produced. These wheels had four-spokes and were much lighter-weight than solid wheels. Simultaneously, the rest of the Egyptian vehicle became much lighter and more sophisticated. This basic design of spoke wheels continued in use throughout much of the world without radical changes until about the 19th century AD.

Chariots

The earliest known chariots appeared somewhere between 3000 – 4000 BC in Mesopotamia and they were constructed of wood with four solid wooden wheels. The chariot is the earliest known wheeled vehicle according to some experts. It is believed that oxen were used to propel these earliest chariots and that they moved slowly and had fixed axles. They had high dashboards and sidescreens protecting the riders, both spearmen and charioteers.

Many experts do not believe that fighting was conducted from the four-wheeled chariot. Aeragon believes that fighting probably was waged from this vehicle although it was probably not its intended tactical use. From the images available, it appears that they might have been a type of mobile fortress used to deliver troops into the heat of battle. At any rate, this would help explain the apparent lack of control that this design appeared to have because it is believed that neither axle could pivot. It also seems plausible that the Mesopotamian chariot might have ideally been used to break through enemy lines carrying troops that could attack from the rear in a pincer-type of movement. This conjecture is entirely based upon scant descriptions and pictures of the design of the vehicle and there is very little other surviving information available about them.

Eventually, two-wheeled chariots appeared and they were lighter, more maneuverable and much faster than the four-wheeled type. Subsequently, much lighter spoke wheels appeared on the two-wheeled chariot and they were probably developed specifically for military purposes in what became another early case of military technology transfer. Teams of either two or four onagers, or asses, drew these chariots. The configuration of the draft team is thought to have been two abreast at this time.

By about 2000 BC, horses began to be used as draft animals for chariots and this was a dramatic innovation that increased the speed of the chariot substantially. The military use of horses soon brought forth attempts at animal husbandry and selective breeding. Horse-drawn chariots gave militaries incredible mobility. The advantage of chariots was that their speed enabled them to run circles around the phalanx, a sophisticated and effective infantry formation of the period. Charioteers used bows to launch arrows at the enemy’s infantry while attempting to stay out of the range of enemy fire. As they circled about, they could tighten the circle about the enemy as they became worn down. Once the enemy was sufficiently softened up, chariots could be put into formation and a charge could then ride the enemy down. Although chariots were symbolic of military power by Bible times, they were expensive to operate, especially in terms of manpower. Each chariot required a crew of at least two or more men, only one of which would actually fight in battle.

Chariots changed battlefield tactics significantly and they were used in many parts of the ancient world. It is known that they were being mass-produced in Egypt by about 1435 BC. During this period, the wheels became a four-spoke design and the entire Egyptian chariot became much lighter and more sophisticated. Concurrently, chariots were in use throughout the Middle and Far East as well as Southern Europe and Crete.

The importance of chariots paled in deference to cavalry after this period. By the time of Alexander the Great, (335-323 BC) the cavalry had superceded chariots in importance, but they were still popular for racing. The war chariot remained in use until about 400 AD in remote places while chariot racing continued to be popular in many places. Racing chariots became distinct from war chariots including their draft configurations. By the time that chariot racing faded in popularity, ponies running three or four-abreast were common draft configurations for racing chariots.

First Fortifications

The Great WallCity walls are some of the oldest known types of fortifications. It is known for certain that elaborate defensive walls were supposed to protect Jericho, one of the oldest known settlements in the world. Over time, walls became larger and more complex and their designs evolved to maximize the defenses that they provided. The largest fortification ever built was the Great Wall of China and it dates from about the 7th through the 4th centuries BC. The Great Wall is still regarded to be the largest engineering and building project ever undertaken by mankind. Wall-type fortifications continued to advance beyond this time and probably reached their technical apex during the classical period. Greek fortifications during this period were designed so that overlapping fields of fire were possible from ballistae mounted in ramparts and towers. Roman fortifications continually became more sophisticated and towards the end of the period were built on sites that were naturally defensible.

Medieval Fortifications and Artillery

The fortified town continued to exist after the fall of Rome and examples existed in medieval Europe. This type of fortification was probably a carryover from the Roman Empire. Most European fortified towns were located along the Mediterranean.

To the Mechanical Artillery Page, Image © 2001, AeragonThe motte-and-bailey castle, another type of fortification, appeared in Europe during the Middle Ages. Castles are icons of the medieval period today. Early in the medieval period, castles were located where geographical features were suitable for them. Near the end of the period, they were located where economic, tactical and strategic factors determined they should be. The castle developed to a high art during the Middle Ages, but was very limited to a specific set of technological factors. Improvements in artillery during the period made the fortified castle useless as a military stronghold by the end of the period. Both mechanical and explosively-powered artillery advanced to the point as to assure the castle’s demise with both the trebuchet and cannon being factors. During most of the period, a king or lord resided inside the castle, but after this time, military architecture rarely served as residences for heads of state.

First Explosively-Powered Artillery

To the Ordnance Pages, Image © 2001, AeragonTechnological advancement accelerated toward the end of the Middle Ages and in the 14th century, the cannon was invented. In combination with black powder, this was one of the most significant achievements in the history of mankind. Cannon and black powder are probably two of the most important inventions of all time. The invention of the cannon is probably one of the major factors that brought the Renaissance.

Black powder was one of the first instances where mankind used chemical energy rather than muscle power. It also eventually brought forth the chemical industry and modern science.

An Idle Machine is an Empty Gun!Cannon actually brought about industrialization. While making cannon many fundamental foundry and machine building techniques were developed. Many of the processes that had been developed in making cannon were fundamental building blocks for industrialization. For example, steam power relies on cylinders and pistons that must be machined precisely, techniques that were learned by cannon makers. Furthermore, gun makers made significant contributions toward advancing metallurgy, another important constituent of industrialization. Furthermore, the precision of guns are generally several times more precise than any other types of manufactured items, so many industrial techniques advance as the result of their production. In addition to all of the foregoing aspects of the cannon’s role as the prime mover of industrialization, the incredible numbers of them that were manufactured during the early industrial revolution is sufficient to establish them as the preeminent impetus of industrialization.

Artillery Brings Industrialization

Because of the importance of cannon in the outcome of war, it became increasingly necessary to produce them rapidly. This caused a shift from agrarian and arts and crafts type societies to industrial societies. The production of arms was the prime motivation for industrialization. Armament manufacturing created the improvements in technology and processes that made industrial manufacturing practical. The definitive roots of industrialization, and the Industrial Revolution proper, can be traced directly to the manufacture of arms. In all reality throughout industrial-era history, the manufacturing of consumer goods was frequently simply utilization of excess materials and munitions manufacturing capacity that resulted from peacetime.

Industrialization Causes War

In 1798, Eli Whitney developed the concept of interchangeable parts to produce muskets for the United States Army. Whitney set up machines to produce uniform parts. This made it possible to use unskilled workers rather than skilled craftsman to assemble the muskets. Because the parts were exactly alike, they could be produced much more rapidly. This first successful instance of mass production in the modern era was for the manufacture of arms.

Another of Eli Whitney's inventions, the cotton gin, literally generated the conditions that were the primary causes of the American Civil War, widely considered the first modern war. It is extremely ironic that because the cotton gin could do the work of fifty men, the need for slave labor was greatly reduced. However, the cotton gin, combined with some other new mechanical inventions, enabled the Southern states to produce cotton much more cheaply than anywhere else in the world. Therefore, cotton production in the South increased exponentially. The enormous increase in cotton production created a huge increase in the need for labor. Consequently, many more slaves were acquired. In 1810, the South produced about 178,000 bales of cotton and collectively held about 1,000,000 slaves. By 1860, the south produced about 3,841,000 bales of cotton with about 4,000,000 slaves.

Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer. - quoting Peter - Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 02 April, 1863.Many of the people in the states that were not involved in cotton production had begun to have humanitarian concerns about slavery even before the 1800s. The large increase in cotton production in the South and subsequent increase in importation, or kidnapping, of slaves began to weigh on the consciences of many people. It also made the profit incentive far more enticing in the South. Therefore, an ever-widening rift developed between these two factions.

Slavery and the American Civil War

For the most part, the political posturing surrounding the slavery issue involved secondary issues. In the South, the constitutional right of the states to set policy and create law was the most debated issue leading to the American Civil War. The question of states' rights is a common one in American law. This issue led to the succession of eleven states and eventually the debate about succession caused war to break out. The cause of the states' rights rift was the slavery issue, which was actually caused by industrialization.

President Abraham Lincoln on the battlefield at Antietam, Maryland in October of 1862Before the cotton gin was developed, slavery was becoming unprofitable. For this reason, the issue of slavery received little attention. However, new technology made the slavery problem grow exponentially causing it to receive much more attention. Slavery was one of the major underlying reasons for the Civil War, but the initiating event cannot be traced to it. In fact, it was not until after the battle of Antietam in late 1862 that President Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation making slavery a prominent issue in the war. It now became a moral issue and a rallying cry for Union forces. However, the underlying and unrecognized cause of the conflict was that the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society required a fundamental change in the structure of the society and that transition was being implemented explosively. In short, industrialization caused the war and war caused industrialization.

Industrialization and Slavery

Slave pen interior. Alexandria, Virginia - Circa 1862The institution of Slavery was common throughout most of mankind's recorded history. Most societies, especially prominent societies, practiced some form of slavery. Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Rome and all the great empires used some type of slavery system to create their great civilizations. Instances where slaves served in very high positions were common. Many of these systems regarded at least some of the slaves as part of the family or household. Slaves frequently lived in the same house with their owners. There was usually some possibility that a slave could become a free person. For these reasons, it is highly unlikely that no one ever considered that slavery might not be the ideal social system before the nineteenth century. It is likely that there was just no plausible alternative until mankind enslaved the machine. Some believe slaves in America may have had more harsh conditions than other societies practiced. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that serving as a slave is the ideal arrangement for anyone anywhere.

Industrial Society in the Old South

In order to form a workable industrial society, resources must be allocated so that they may be readily obtained for industrial use. In the ante-bellum South, virtually all resources were controlled by landed gentry. The wealthy of the old south resisted change for a number of reasons and this eventually led to war. One of the main causes of the American Civil War was the resistance of the affluent to industrialization.

It is probable that economic conditions would have eventually brought about the same changes that war did, albeit more gently and gradually. The decisive factor in the Civil War was that the industrialized North was able to out-produce the agricultural South. The industrial factor was one of the most important determinants of the outcome of every major war that has occurred since the Civil War.

The First Modern War

The original ironclad USS Monitor just after her famous battle with the CSS Virginia, Hampton Roads Virginia, July 1862.The American Civil War is widely regarded as the first modern war. The reason that it attained that distinction is because it was the first war in which the telegraph, railroads, torpedoes, submarines, ironclad ships, rifles and other new inventions came into play. There were also some aerial military activities during the American Civil War. Although other wars were fought throughout the world during this period, other nations did not implement the use of these technologies in warfare to the extent that Americans did in the Civil War. In many cases, the Southern States were more innovative than the Union, probably to compensate for strategic disadvantages.

Today we think of the Civil War as the first modern war. Paradoxically, the cause of the war was the industrialization, and the cause of the industrialization was war. This theme underlies most subsequent large-scale modern wars and political revolutions.

American Method of Warfare

The style of warfare that was practiced in the United States was very different than the style that was used in Europe. There may be some important distinctions between the United States and European nations that helped foster this difference. One of the primary reasons for this is most likely because of the American Indian wars that the European settlers had been conducting in the US since before the American Revolution.

American Indians

The American Indians had numerous skills that were in many ways more advanced than those of the European settlers upon their arrival in the New World. Skills such as blending into the surroundings, stalking and many other hunting techniques were very helpful in warfare. In fact, if the Europeans had not had more advanced weapons, it is likely that the fate of the Native American would have been much different. Some of the skills and knowledge of the American Indian were gradually incorporated into the methodology of the European settlers in America. This substantially altered the way that war is conducted even to the present day.

Causes of World Wars

The underlying causes of the World Wars are remarkably similar to the causes of the American Civil War. In Europe, social structures from the feudal system remained at the beginning of the twentieth century. The basic characteristics of these systems were that the burghers, or landed gentry, possessed all of the materials of production and that the proletariat, or working class, lacked the means of sustenance. New political philosophies such as Fascism, Nazism, Marxism and Militarism emerged in response to this problem. These political systems facilitated the reallocation of resources into industrialized societies. Again, the cause of war was industrialization, and the cause of industrialization was war.

European Battlefield Techniques

US 23rd Infantry firing 37mm guns against German positions, 1918Battlefield techniques used in Europe until about the middle of World War I had been developed over thousands of years. The European techniques were very different from those of today and the soldiers generally engaged in classical formations on the battlefield. The influence of Alexander, Nebuchadnezzar and Rome were clear in these techniques. When establishing battlefield positions, the armies used siege warfare techniques, digging trenches and fortifying their positions. These methods had proven successful when attacking castles during the medieval era, but their use here caused a strategic standstill for several years.

To the Ordnance Pages, British MK IV World War I Tank. Photo © 2001, AeragonDuring World War I, it became obvious that classical battlefield techniques were ineffective with modern weapons. Many of the implements that should have resulted in substantial strategic advantages were not used to their best potential. For example, the tank, which made its first appearance here, was used in early operations where it would become stuck in the mud. After sufficient experience was gained, military leaders realized the potential and shortcomings of the new inventions. Gradually the combatants implemented new methods and strategies to optimize the use of new technologies, thus eventually ending the stalemate. The way that warfare is conducted changed substantially after that time.

New Technologies Spawn New Methods

To the Air Pages, World War I Junkers Airplane. 1917During World War I, the implementation of emerging technologies such as airplanes, tanks, radios, machine guns, automobiles, trucks and other inventions was frequently extremely awkward. Many of these objects were perfected while being adapted for military use during World War I. Because of the wartime imperative to resupply the lines and to produce newer weapons, manufacturing capacity increased exponentially, both in Europe and in the US, during WW I. Since the United States aided the Allies with industrial production they were able to out-produce the Central Powers, or Triple Alliance, and this had a significant effect on the outcome of the war. The United States eventually entered the war in 1917. During the war, the structure of the societies involved changed significantly as did military and industrial methods. At the end of the war most of Europe's remaining monarchies crumbled.

Interwar Years

Between World War I and World War II, the Allies dramatically reduced the size of their arsenals. This occurred because of feelings of complacency and a complete revulsion for the thought of war. Furthermore, since World War I had become known as “The War to End All Wars,” some allied leaders believed another war was impossible. Since military procurements were reduced to very low levels, the technological prowess of Allied forces diminished substantially.

Moving Toward World War II

To the Ordnance Pages, The V-1 Rocket. © 2001, AeragonOn the other hand, Germany, dissatisfied with the conclusion of World War I, secretly began preparations for another war. The German people felt that their politicians had betrayed their national honor at the armistice. Furthermore, the reparations for World War I demanded by the Allies were a great burden for Germany. During the Great Depression, Germany was particularly affected by economic hardship. In hope of relieving the economic crisis, the German people turned to National Socialism, also known as the Nazi Party.

As Adolf Hitler came to power and began militaristic activities, he began to build up Germany's arsenal in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Despite the provisions of the treaty stipulating that Germany not be armed, he began to increase armament production and even developed many products that could later be used for military purposes as civilian products initially. It will probably never be known if Hitler had his grand scheme figured out by the early 1930s, but he began massive industrialization programs to produce consumer goods. By the time World War II began, these industrial facilities were producing military equipment.

Similarly, Italy was faced with staggering inflation and an enormous public debt during the Great Depression. Many Italians blamed their government for not obtaining more land at the end of World War I. Italians then looked to the promise of Fascism to alleviate these problems.

Because of the Great Depression, Japan had trouble obtaining materials needed for industrial production. The Japanese then invaded Manchuria to acquire the needed resources. Outside of Asia, this was of little concern and no resistance was encountered by the Japanese. Returning to their ancient tradition of Samurai, the Japanese embarked upon a period of expansionism. As Japan increased its sphere of influence across the Pacific, it aligned with Germany and Italy. The alliance of Germany, Japan and Italy became known as The Axis, or the Axis Powers. It is also sometimes called the Tripartite Pact, after the treaty that created the alliance a tripartite treaty.

These conditions led to World War II, which is widely considered to be simply a continuation of World War I. Many historians feel that the unresolved issues of World War I caused World War II.

Economic Cause of War

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler riding in a parade in Munich, Germany. June, 1940Perhaps one of the primary factors that fostered the militaristic aspects of the Axis Powers was economic. During the Great Depression, militarism offered some escape from the economic hardship. By increasing the size of the armed forces, people could secure food, clothing and shelter. Militarism succeeded in putting millions of people to work and reviving the stalled economies of the world. In fact, it may have been the leaders of the Axis, or Tripartite Pact, that actually brought the world to economic recovery through the military buildups that occurred during this period.

As a part of the militaristic focus of the Axis powers that was succeeding in economic recovery, the governments began to manage industrial production and product design by the mid-1930s. As the militarism increased the government control of production increased until the military-political machines were in total control of all economic output.

Although the main objective of the military control of manufacturing was to produce arms, consumer items were also produced in limited quantities. In order to use resources frugally, most of the consumer products that were available were special new designs.

Ministry of Defense ..... and Industry

Women working on large shells in a munitions factory in Great Britain.Leading up to World War II, the Allies were generally a bit slow in meeting the challenge before them. Nevertheless, they did convert to wartime economies with Great Britain being the most successful in the conversion. The UK had many sophisticated weapons in their arsenal before the war began and merely had to increase production. However, in order to meet the needed production levels of military goods, Britain had to compromise its production of civilian items.

Since the war was a long one, it was not possible to completely interrupt the production of civilian goods. After all, things wear out and people have to have shoes, clothing and food so that they can work in the defense factories. Therefore, the British military-manufacturing ministries developed special lines of consumer products known as UTILITY products to sustain the civilian population.

UTILITY products were noted for being of good quality and a good value. The designs, while plain, were contemporary and practical. Many used new materials and production methods to use resources frugally.

Early American Involvement

The United States assisted the Allies by supplying arms, materials and millions of tons of SPAM through Lend-Lease and other programs. This permitted a gradual conversion of American industry to wartime production in the event that an American entry into the war became necessary. It also allowed time for the design and construction of many improved military items in America since the arsenal was obsolete. By the time that the United States entered the war in 1941, American industry had already been converted to wartime production and industrial capacity expanded exponentially during World War II.

US Department of Defense Manages Industry

The United States Department of Defense directly managed all American industrial production and all of the nation's resources during World War II. Involved European countries also experienced similar conditions. Nearly every aspect of industrial processes were studied and improved during this period. To confront the darkest hour, the War Department set out to produce "Astronomical quantities of everything and to hell with civilian needs." --Donald Nelson, Chairman of the US War Production Board, describing the military view of American wartime industry.

Firestone Tire's 1000 pound bombs waiting to be filled with explosives May, 1944This shift in industrial production was significant for several reasons. The efforts of industry were directed by the War Department, which oversaw virtually every aspect of an industrial item. The War Department coordinated all design, materials, manufacturing and economic output. With the accelerating growth in technical knowledge and the increasing complexity of the products to be produced, much of the burden for development and production of military goods was transferred to the military, all coordinated by the War Department. In order to maximize the output of military items, the war department oversaw all economic output, including the few civilian items that were available.

Military Advances Industry

By the end of World War II, most research, development and advances in industrial techniques were the result of military efforts. After the war, American industry had achieved a good deal of advancement from the point it was at in the late 1930's. The same trend occurred in most of the nations that survived the war with limited damage. Some of these advances were applied indirectly to consumer products in the form of materials, technology and industrial practices, and in some instances, military items simply were converted to civilian use. This phenomenon continued during the Cold War.

The Cold War

The big three - Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin at Yalta, February, 1945The Cold War can be considered a continuation of World War II, in many ways. In the case of the Cold War, however, it is widely speculated that if the World leaders of World War II had remained after WWII was over, the Cold War might not have occurred. Franklin Roosevelt died in office before the end of the war and Winston Churchill was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Britain shortly thereafter. Joseph Stalin remained but now had to deal with men that were unfamiliar. It is purely speculation, however, and many other historians doubt that this made any difference. One factor that is clear, however, is that all of these men were somewhat autocratic in their positions. It seems that their subordinates were not kept abreast of the affairs of the great leaders.

Unresolved issues from the World Wars combined with a mutual distrust of the world's new leaders in the West led to the Cold War. The proliferation of Communism was the result of the necessity to reallocate resources for the formation of an industrialized society. In fact, industrialization was one of the primary functions of the communist philosophy. On this note, it seems that there was actually more common ground between the East and the West than there were differences, it is just that nobody recognized it at the time.

Korea, Vietnam and the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Korean War and the Vietnam War may be considered parts of the Cold War. Although these wars are the primary instances of armed conflict that occurred during the Cold War, they are not even considered to be the critical moments of the Cold War. The most desperate moments of the Cold War are actually thought to be the Cuban Missile Crisis and the War Scare of 1983.

Methods of the Cold War

The Cold War was a war, but the method in which it was waged is very unique. Primarily, the Cold War was fought on the drawing boards of weapons designers. During the Cold War, the involved nations spent incredible amounts of resources to produce increasingly sophisticated weapons. Some experts feel that the Cold War ended because the western nations were able to appropriate vastly greater resources to military procurements.

The affect that the Cold War had on the involved societies cannot be overestimated. Most of the great spy and intrigue themes of the period were derived from the activities of the Cold War. In fact, many in Hollywood were concerned about where they would get inspiring material for motion pictures after the Cold War ended. So you see, the Cold War had created its own social consciousness just as any other major war does.

Prime Mover of Technological Advancement

The military influence on the societies of the world is and generally has been one of the prime movers toward technological advancement and social change. The amazing aspect of this phenomenon is that this influence is nearly ubiquitous and yet, it is nearly impossible to recognize that the effect is there. Today, many everyday products and services, including the methods used to produce them, are the result of military design and development.

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