How the mechanics of war have changed……..

Is today’s modern warfare any different to the way in which we previously fought wars?

Absolutely for me thats a Yes! Today’s war, if you want to even call it war, is vastly different to previous wars such as WW1 or WW2. Trying to fight against the threat of global terror, or wars in Afghanistan or the two gulf wars are a completely different fight to what was encountered in both the previous World Wars.

No previous wars have been fought in the media spotlight like we see today and with a so called hidden enemy. I guess the Vietnam war was maybe the first of this kind, with media spotlight and a hidden enemy.

Until the widespread use of firearms and guns, war was pretty much a matter of throwing men and metal, artillery and shells, at the enemy. The army with the most men and weaponary would generally win. That’s a very crude and simplistic way of looking at things.

Since the advent of modern weaponry, it has become more complicated. Numbers are no longer as critical as the power of weapons and their accuracy and range. With long range accurate weapons vs an enemy that has no counter measures and lacks similar weapons, destruction of military forces is pretty much certain. However, destruction of enemy forces is not sufficient to ensure victory. Wars can thus in essence last forever.

The more powerful force cannot be defeated and the less powerful force , if it is resilient, will simply not admit defeat (e.g. Afghanistan). Nothing really new here, in the middle ages some wars lasted for decades.

The main difference between the wars of today and the wars of bygone eras is that you no longer have to be able to see the enemy to kill them.

British and Afghan Soldiers Together in Afghanistan

Which brings me to my next question………….

Where do we see the future of modern warfare and to a lesser degree the structure of modern Armies, Air Forces and Navy’s? Can anybody who witnessed the First World War have envisaged how the mechanics of war have changed??

What do you think?????


Thanks for some valuable input from members of the History forum.

Please see my regular blog for Family Tree Magazine Here


2 thoughts on “How the mechanics of war have changed……..

  1. First, thank you for following me over at the 1951 Club. I’m now following you and look forward to reading more. Good post. Well made point about not having to see the enemy killed in modern warfare. It is very disturbing to see drone operators killing people a continent away.
    All the best. Chris.


    1. Thanks Chris for the comments, you might also like my blog regarding “is it fair how we judge history”. I have a general interest in military history and family history and look forward to reading nd sharing articles. Cheers Paul


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