ARMAMENT AND MILITARY RESEARCH - The beginning of modern armament, The nuclear arms race during the Cold War and the situation of today



1. The beginning of modern armament

Technical further development is often connected with the armament and in the days of conflicts and wars research and science are heavy accelerated*.

In World War One the soldiers fought on the land, the seas and for the first time in the air, so the scientists researched in the field of aviation* and after the war the results were used in the civil aviation, for example the parachute* was developed during the war. The industrialization was intensified because of the increasing importance of iron during the war and there was an intensification of mass-production. The “material-battles” required large amounts of weapons and so the productivity was improved*. Iron became more and more important because the so-called “Tanks” were researched and iron ships replaced the wood ships. The tanks* became more important at the time of the following war, while the submarines* were also important in the first Great War.

During the Second World War the technology became decisive.

Since the beginning of the Third Reich the economy was organised for the rearmament* with the “Vierjahresplan” from 1936. Science and research were supported with large amounts of money at Nazi-Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the United States and other nations, which was not possible in the time of peace, because of other departments, which were more important for the governments, for example education or public transportation.

Important developed techniques during the Second World War:

®    The British developed the RADAR-technology (Radio detecting and ranging) and used “computers” at Bletchley Park for decoding* the German Enigma*

®    The Germans developed and used the first jet fighter, the Me 262

®    The Americans developed the first atomic bomb

And of course other things were developed, for example better tanks like the German “Königstiger”, but especially the rocket-technology was accelerated. The results are the German “V-Waffen” (V-1 and later V-2), which are developed from Wernher von Braun at Peenemünde, and the so-called “Stalinorgel” of the Soviets. Also the Americans used rockets for “preparing” landing zones like the Normandy in 1944. The so-called “Wunderwaffen” did not have the effect of a change on the battlefields for Hitler, but the arrested German scientists became very important during the Cold War. The Americans and Soviets really “hunted” the German research elite and dismantled* whole facilities*. 27235xhf66ecq9h

2. The nuclear arms race during the Cold War and the situation of today

The development of an atomic bomb began before the Second World War. Nazi-Germany worked on a bomb, the British had the nuclear program MAUD and 1942 the Americans started the “Manhattan Project”.

Result of these projects:

On Sunday the 16th July 1945 at half past five in the morning the American test-bomb “Trinity” exploded in a desert in the south of New Mexico. hc235x7266eccq

06th August 1945: “Little Boy” destroyed Hiroshima
09th August 1945: “Fat Man” destroyed Nagasaki

1949: the soviets developed an own bomb and the American monopoly of atomic bombs was destroyed; the arms race began

1950: Korea War ® The Americans used napalm bombs and thought about using atomic bombs

1954: the Americans tested the hydrogen bomb (H-bomb)

1957: The soviet satellite Sputnik made the first successful space flight ® the arms race expanded to space

1962: Cuba-Crisis ® Soviets installed missile launch ramps* at Cuba and the world stood
on the brink of an atomic war*, but the Soviets retreated*
® the problem of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction*) is
recognized by both nations

1963: The “Hot Line”, a direct connection between the White House and the Kremlin, was introduced for a better control in cases of crisis

1964: Vietnam War ® at the end the American Army retreated

1968: treaty for ensuring, that the atomic bomb will not spread* over other nations, the
so-called “Atomwaffensperrvertrag”

1969: Beginning of the process of détente* ® Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) at Helsinki

1972: ABM – treaty (Anti Ballistic Missile) and the SALT-I – treaty between USA and Soviet Union were signed, because the modern defence systems could disturb the existing system of nuclear deterrence*

1979: the disarmament* talks were interrupted by the soviet attack against Afghanistan

1983: Beginning of the American Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) for the installation of an satellite-supported defence system against rockets

1987: INF-Agreement (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces*)

1991: the START-I – treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction* Talks) was signed

1991: Gulf War ® after 39 days of bombardment the US Army invaded the Iraq

1993: START-II

2003: Operation “Iraqi Freedom”

Although the disarmament negotiations the United States of America start research programs for increasing the technical projection*. The development of effective strategic defence systems threatens the nuclear balance, but in spite of it the USA develops high tech weapons like the E-bomb (electro-magnetic impulse weapon, which disturbs hostile electronic systems) and the RNEP (Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator), the so-called “bunker-cracker”

Every year the USA spends billions of Dollars for the military and the amount still grows. Besides* the USA are still the number one in arms sales and weapon exports.