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How Important Was Technological Superiority in Explaining the Allied Victory in Ww1?
How important was technological superiority in explaining the allied victory in WW1?The allied victory in WW1 can be explained by a number of factors and indeed technological superiority played an important role in their success with the allies having a slight advantage through their use of the tank. However other factors such as tactics, resources and strategy also contributed to the outcome of the war and were arguably more influential in explaining the allied victory.At the start of the war in 1914 both the Germans and the allies had similar technological power, however by 1915 the Germans had developed a deadly new weapon, gas. Chlorine gas was first used by the Germans on 31st Germany 1915 against the Russian forces and then again a few months later against the French at Ypres. The gas attack at Ypres was hugely effective, covering four miles of trench lines, the gas affected some 10,000 troops, half of whom died within ten minutes of the gas reaching the front line.  Death was caused by asphyxiation.  Those who lived were temporarily blinded and stumbled around in confusion, coughing heavily. 2,000 of these troops were captured as prisoners of war. As you can see the effect of gas on the Allies at the start of the war was immense, however all this changed with the introduction of respirators which essentially counteracted the effects of the gas. Furthermore gas was often released from cylinders which at times could prove hugely problematic as it made it the gas too prone to wind direction meaning it was occasionally blown back from where it came from. However this problem was solved through the use of gas in artillery and mortar shells, allowing for a more accurate attack. Nevertheless by the end of the war both sides were using gas and both had respiratory equipment giving neither side an advantage over the other. Therefore it is debatable as to whether gas helped either side to win the war. On the other hand there is one major weapon that the allies had which the Germans had very little of. Tanks. First used by the British against the Germans at the battle of the Somme in 1916 they at first made very little difference. However near the end of the war at the battle of Amiens on 8th August 1918, 400 British tanks were used and helped the British achieve a significant breakthrough, though four days later only six were still in operation. This here highlights the major problems concerned with tanks, they were very prone to mechanical defects and often broke down. Furthermore they were extremely slow and cumbersome reaching a top speed of 5mph on roads and only 2mph on battleground. Also the very hot and noisy conditions in the tank made communications between the crew difficult while communication with those outside the tank was virtually impossible. Damaging though these problems were to the tanks overall effectiveness the battle of Amiens shows that when used in large numbers and with the right support they could be devastating. What’s more is that the Germans had only produced 20 of them by the end of the war giving the allies a superior technological advantage. Overall the allies technological advantage over the Germans did contribute to the allied victory in WW1 however the extent to which it did so was very small. With equally superior artillery, aircraft and chemical warfare, tanks were the only factor separating the two sides and these were only used effectively near the end of the war.

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Allied Victory And Use Of The Tank. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from