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In What Ways Has War Changed Over Time?

Over time war has been one of the defining characteristics of mankind, as humans we seem to be drawn towards waging war. A rough estimate given by some historians is that since the human race has been on earth there have been only 14 days of complete world peace. So a logical assumption is that since the human race is so attracted to warfare that it like us must evolve and adapt to all situations and environments, and it seems to have changed most in terms of; the causes for war, the role of the soldiers, the role of commanders / leaders, development of weaponry, and the nature of fighting. To begin with the causes for war have changed very drastically for example in 180 ad. The Roman Empire was locked in a series of vicious battles with the barbarian tribes of Germany who were trying to breach the Roman border and the cause of this war was purely because of the border wars (which eventually led to the downfall of the Roman Empire). Then the causality of war changed as the crusades were all about the control of the holy lands and so was all about religion, then later on the causality of war changed again as roughly 800 years later WWII was caused by mostly political causes and also with the ties of the various alliances. So the causes for war have changed from the imperial sort of cause, to the Religious war to the more contemporary cause of the political war. Secondly the role of soldiers has also changed vastly over the same period of time, in the Roman Empire soldiers were vastly used as the main driving force behind the army as during this period a good infantry was key to success on the battle field, then during the crusades the soldiers became more divided as there wasn’t just an infantry and then a cavalry there became an infantry, an archery division, a cavalry and many other divisions of which the soldiers were divided then finally during WWII soldiers had become less important than the technological advances and were in some cases deemed to be little more than collateral damage and used as a tool to wear down the enemy before the artillery took the glory and blasted away the remaining soldiers. Then the role of commanders has also changed as over time as commanders have become more and more involved on the front lines, as during the Roman times the commander was generally tucked away safely with an entourage of soldiers but he close enough to actually see the battle, however during the crusades the commander was fighting with the soldiers though not directly on the frontline (though he was within the secondary units and often did go into combat with the enemy though only in desperate situations, or if the enemy breached a perimeter of sorts) and then finally the commander had become even more involved in WWII and were on the frontline storming the trenches right beside his soldiers and right in the thick of it all. Also and possibly most importantly the tools of war have changed and also how they are used and how important they are in deciding the results of various conflicts, to begin with in Roman times they had perfected such weaponry as the trebuchet and the ballista as well as the traditional shield and sword or pike and shield and had various formations where they were used to their optimum effectiveness. Then a few hundred years later during the crusades they took this weaponry one step further and used it in siege warfare with such inventions as the mobile trebuchets and the more advanced uses of the swords and shields and the advent of the crossbow and in some parts of the world the repeater bow, and again during WWII there were various guns and also the invention of the automatic machine gun which added a huge new dimension to warfare as it

Charlie O’Toole

And lastly during WWII there was possibly the most arbitrary form of warfare ever conceived. Finally the nature of fighting has changed immensely over the fore mentioned period of time.In What Ways Has War Changed Over Time? allowed units to mow down entire battalions with a single gun. which is where there were literally two rows of trenches which is where entire battles would be fought and successes were measured in hundreds of meters and the loss of only a few hundred lives (as human life had become very expendable and possible less valuable than that of the survival of a tank or an aircraft). Then during the crusades they used (as mentioned before) siege warfare tactics. or to more efficiently defend checkpoints or sentry points etc. which is where they’d literally lay siege to a specific castle or fortified location in the hopes of pounding the enemy into submission by surrounding and killing them all. during the Roman period they were very regimented and used various tactics for various enemies. In Conclusion war has changed so much over the past hundred years alone that though I have covered a wider period of time waging war has become so efficiency based and so turned towards technology that it may be accurate to guess that in the foreseeable future the foot soldier or the whole concept of infantry may become outdated. trench warfare. also there were airplanes and tanks which meant that there had to have been anti airplane and tank weaponry developed and also this meant that the infantry had to adapt and change tactics to accommodate for all of this extra weaponry and added dangers. for example during the barbarian wars they used to thin out the enemy ranks with the archers and trebuchets and other long range weapons before marching with the infantry and flanking the enemy from behind with their cavalry. Charlie O’Toole .