War and Social Upheaval: Military Branches

genocide
Figure 1.--

Military theoticians have argued about the importance of navies and more recently air forces. The first military forces must have been armies, albit small infantry forces. Eventually as the horse was domesticated, calvalry was added to armies. These land armies would dominate early warfare. There were several shifts in the dominance of infantry and calvalry. Much later would come the artillery. We know that armies came first because significant technological advances before navies could come into place. Battles cannot be fought from floating logs. None of the grreat river valley cuktures, the beginning of civilizations, were notable for building large navies. The first great naval power was the Phoenecians. It is notable that great fleers were built from the two major Mediterranean peninsulas (Greece and Rome). Persia became a great naval power, but somehow failed to defeat the Greeks with a much smaller fleet. Athens and its fleet failed to defeat the Spartans, but it was not until the Romans built a fleet that they were able to defeat the Carthaginians. The center of Western history for two millenia was the Mediterranean. Europeans once outside the Mediterraneam clung largely to costal waters, not daring to challenge the great unknown. The Arabs never challenged Byzantine mastery of the Mediterranean, but the Ottomans did and their mastery of naval arts finally enable them to take Constantinople. This set up a climatic 50-year struggle for mastery of the Mediterranean ending at Lepanto (1571). Lepanto marked not only the beginning of Ottoman decline, but also the last largest, but last great battle of galleys. While a hugely impotant battle, the locus of European history had already shifted West to the Atlantic. The countries of Western Rurope had opened sea routes to Asia and vegun to collonize the Americas. Mastery of the Atlantic would be the cental issue in subsequent Ruropean history. Air warfare emered in the 20th centtury and was particularly imprtant in World War II, but military strategidts at the outbreak of the War had not yet worked out just how to employ air power.

Land Warfare

Military theoticians have argued about the importance of navies and more recently air forces. The first military forces must have been armies, albit small infantry forces. Eventually as the horse was domesticated, calvalry was added to armies. These land armies would dominate early warfare. There were several shifts in the dominance of infantry and calvalry. Much later would come the artillery. With the rise of civilization would come conflicts between the settled agraian civilizations and the more barbaric peoples on the perifery. Armies were limited in the Bronze Ahe by the high cost of metal. The Irin Age meant much less expensive weaponry, but the leadership of the agrarian societies were uneasy about arming the masses. This would be a continuing concern until the Febch Revolution and the surge of nationalism in the 19th century.

Naval Warfare

We know that armies came first because significant technological advances before navies could come into place. Battles cannot be fought from floating logs. None of the grreat river valley cuktures, the beginning of civilizations, were notable for building large navies. The first great naval power was the Phoenecians. It is notable that great fleers were built from the two major Mediterranean peninsulas (Greece and Rome). Persia became a great naval power, but somehow failed to defeat the Greeks with a much smaller fleet. Athens and its fleet failed to defeat the Spartans, but it was not until the Romans built a fleet that they were able to defeat the Carthaginians. The center of Western history for two millenia was the Mediterranean. Europeans once outside the Mediterraneam clung largely to costal waters, not daring to challenge the great unknown. The Arabs never challenged Byzantine mastery of the Mediterranean, but the Ottomans did and their mastery of naval arts finally enable them to take Constantinople. This set up a climatic 50-year struggle for mastery of the Mediterranean ending at Lepanto (1571). Lepanto marked not only the beginning of Ottoman decline, but also the last largest, but last great battle of galleys. While a hugely impotant battle, the locus of European history had already shifted West to the Atlantic. The countries of Western Rurope had opened sea routes to Asia and vegun to collonize the Americas. Mastery of the Atlantic would be the cental issue in subsequent Ruropean history.

Air Warfare

Air warfare emered in the 20th centtury. Air power appeared for the first time in any significant form in World War I. The War ended before strategic bombin campaigns were launched. The initial use of air power resulted in a debate after the War as to how air power should be employed. The accepted axiom was 'The Bomber will always get through." Air power was key in World war II, but military strategidts at the outbreak of the War had not yet worked out just how to employ air power. The Germans with limited resources and an air force staffed with army officers, decided to build aactical air force. And the Liftwaffe startled the world witn the Blitkriegs that conquered mich of Europe. The Lutwaffe with only a limited strategic capability failed to conquer Britain. And the British and the Americans did have the capability to build both tactical and strategic air forces. The result was the destruction of German and then Japanese cities ending the capabilities of both countries to wage war.





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Created: 5:20 AM 9/19/2008
Last updated: 5:21 AM 9/19/2008