HISTORY - choose 1 of the questions to answer - Essay Example

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One of the noteworthy evolutions of warfare during that time was in the area of technology, particularly the fielding of the rifles as well as use of the Minie ball…
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History 7) Discuss the impact of technology on the Civil War. Why did generals on both sides fail to adapt quickly? To what extend did this contribute to the massive loss of life on the both sides?
The American Civil War is regarded by critics as the first of its kind with regards to modern wars (Adams 1). One of the noteworthy evolutions of warfare during that time was in the area of technology, particularly the fielding of the rifles as well as use of the Minie ball. This article will discuss the impact of technology on strategies in the American Civil War.
As the United States Army fought the Mexican War, soldiers were given the smoothbore musket as their main arms weapon of the infantry (Adams 1). The smoothbore musket, however, did not offer rifling. It also fired a round lead ball. The efficient range of the smoothbore musket was only 200 yards (Adams 1). The Mississippi Rifle, on the other hand, which fielded simply to an extremely limited extent, is considered as one of the first army rifles. The rifle incorporated rifling, and was noticeably more precise than the smoothbore musket, but its main difficulty was that it fired a round orb making it hard to reload and not as precise as the future Minie Ball (Adams 1). The American Civil War led to the death of numerous traditional styles of warfare, the performance of new weapons, and the start of new creations. It also confirmed how unarmed inventions like rail, steam, as well as the telegraph, could renew the way war was fought.
As weapons become more successful, warfare became harsher than in the past. Military conditions were in frequent instability during the mechanized age as fresh weapons were developed and communication, as well as transportation, improved. Fresh technology made it feasible to produce a lot of weapons with improved power, precision and range. New inventions comprised of the percussion cap, breech-loading, cylindro-conodial bullet, metal cartridges, machine guns, magazine-fed small arms, smokeless powder and the TNT explosives with timers. Mass production of firearms, during the American Civil War, contributed to more dependence of technological weapons than normal weapons (Adams 1).
Army Generals, in both sides, failed to adapt quickly to this change as they were acquainted to the old weapons making it hard for them to change immediately (Adams 1). When the soldiers used the musket, they only aimed in the path of the opponent and fired volleys. The soldiers were acquainted to the musket, which was extremely inaccurate that they were taught to aim just to the general direction of the opponent. The suggestion of the volley was to gather as much ground towards the opponent as possible. It was, therefore, hard for the soldiers to forget this. Marksmanship, prior to the rifle, was not educated as an infantry skill (Adams 1). This technique became well-known during the Civil War. It was incorporated into training at the organization level. The correctness of the rifle permitted soldiers to choose a target before firing. However, acquiring this skill was not an easy task (Adams 1). The skill of aiming correctly was hard to achieve. The correctness of the rifle not only modified tactics but, affected training as well, modifying training to enhanced tactics due to the modification in small arms technology.
In conclusion, the use of technology during the American civil war had stern effects. A lot of people died to this factor as improved technology made it easier, after some time, for the Army to fight successfully.
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Adams, Hackman. Technology in the Civil War. N.p, 2009. Web. Read More
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