World War II was the bloodiest conflict in human history and took millions of lives. However, modern technologies and various inventions we use today have been developed during this conflict. An urgent need for new weapons pushed governments of conflicting countries to invest vast sums into the development of different fields of science. Strange as it sounds, this conflict has become an era of scientific discoveries that shaped the world. World War II has shown the weakness and inefficiency of tactics and strategy that were adopted by generals and politicians of that period and forced them to look for new approaches.
Power was a real problem during WWII. Philips Company was the first manufacturer of dynamo-powered flashlights. The main advantage of these flashlights was that they didn’t require batteries, and the light was generated by squeezing the handle on the top. These torches were sold until the 50s.Although this technology was not new, Philips was the first company that started massive production of dynamo-powered touches and make them popular among troops.
Another significant achievement of the WWII was a massive production of penicillin. Although the penicillin was discovered in the pre-war period, its industrial production started exactly in the war period. Penicillin was widely used for the treatment of wounded soldiers. Therefore, its mass production was in the focus of attention of all conflicting parties. This medicine becomes popular after it was disclosed that it is effective in the treatment of gangrene.
World War II gave rise to the production of synthetic oil. Allies and Axis both required a huge amount of oil for tanks, airplanes, and other military equipment. Germany faced fuel problem from the first days of war. The development of synthetic oil was in the focus of attention of NAZIs before WWII. The major problem was low octane of synthetic fuel. German researchers made great efforts to increase octane level. Another important event was the use of synthetic rubber that has become a worthy alternative to natural rubber.
One of the most significant inventions of WWII was the radar. The radio-based technology was developed in different countries independently long before WWII. However, it was wildly disseminated during the war period. In mid-1940, Britain has included this radar into its national air defense.With this technology Great Britain was able to resist numerous German air attacks. Today, this technology is widely used in all countries. It is hard to imagine air defense without this technology. Radar systems are used not only for measurement of aircraft position but also for traffic control.
Germany has developed the first long-range ballistic missile called V-2 . This missile was designed to attack Allie’s cities during the Second World War. It was fitted with the liquid-propellant rocket engine. Today, this technology is used in modern launch vehicles. The significance of this technology can’t be overestimated since it made is possible to start development of space industry.
Moreover, WWII gave life to the development of the first computers that were developed by Tommy Flowers to solve cryptanalysis issues and got the name ‘Colossus.’ This invention has contributed to the development of electronic digital computing systems later.
Not only Germany but also Allies worked on the development of nuclear weapon. At the end of the war, the United States used this weapon in practice and dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While this bomb has almost destroyed these cities and caused the loss of many lives, it showed how dangerous and devastating future conflicts might be. The nuclear weapon has become a different factor that prevents the war and maintains piece in a word.
Geography was always a significant component of military conflicts. All conflicts, including WWII, are the battles for local resources. Moreover, the control over certain locations provides an opportunity to control broader regions. For instance, Naval Station Pearl Harbor allowed the US to control the Pacific region and resist possible attacks of the Japanese fleet.After Japan had destroyed American fleet, American government saw the threat at Pacific region and was forced to enter the war.
Great Britain strongly depended on sea lanes since they were the only routes, through which it receives all necessary resources and supplies. Therefore, the protection of sea lance was the major priority for Great Britain. Unlike Great Britain, USSR was land power with entirely internal infrastructure and vast territories.
Therefore, USSR put its faith in geography and numerous population. The Soviet Union supposed that the war between Germany and Great Britain would weaken the positions of these two countries in the Europe. USSR was such situation as beneficial since it would be able to strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe.
Hitler understood that the success in war depends on the availability of resources and the ability of its enemies to resist its attacks. He wanted to weaken Grain Britain by cutting the Britain from the supply. Moreover, oil and gas of Caucasian region would provide unlimited resources for Germany. Therefore, Hitler considered the war with the Soviet Union as an inevitable fact. The geographical position of Germany between two enemies (France and the Soviet Union) threaten German Command since in the case of war the Germany had to fight the war on two fronts. It is the main reason why Hitler decided to capture the France.
Therefore, geographical locations of conflicting countries significantly influenced their strategies and goals in this war. Some geographical features were beneficial while the others make the countries vulnerable to the enemy attacks.
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