What technology was developed during the war and how did it affect your country?

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Monica Munch
Thomas Givens
Catherine Morrison
Logan Phillips

United States:

The one piece of knowledge that any man, woman, and most children would say they knew about, when it came to World War II, would be that there was a war that was between lots of countries. If you asked them what they think it would be like to live during WWII. They might say that they would be afraid because there were bullets flying by their head constantly, while their captain shouted things like “Move” or “Get down”. They would probably describe what it would feel like to be in the war. The true question at hand is what it would be like outside the war zone but to live during that time. Let’s narrow the question down even more and ask something more specific. Like, what technology did they have developed during that time? In World War II, continual advancements were necessary to maintain a competitive edge over the enemy. While technology advanced prior to the war, other developments were a direct result of the trials and errors suffered during the war. World War II housed many significant changes which affected weaponry, communications and intelligence, logistical support, and medicine and various industries.

Lots of technology was involved in World War II, and technology developed in many ways because of the war. One of the many developments that was key to success was the entire technology of radar. By using radio waves we could suddenly see when we were being ambushed, when air attacks were coming, and guide bombers. It brought us to a more advanced and stealthy form of warfare, while at the same time taking our technology level to places people hadn't dreamed of yet. We could now detect weather and storms, and our communication capabilities were broadened. One of the largest benefits of radar is that it is easily adaptable to new uses. The ability to detect threats became a race, with all of the countries involved trying to develop theirs the fastest. Part of its functionality was that it could be used in the air, land, and water, meaning that if you could find a way for it to work somewhere it was almost automatically an advantage of sorts. Radio technology works with different, pulses, wavelengths, and frequencies (bands). The different bands are P, L, S, C, X, Ku, and Ka. Some advancements the United States got from radio technology that were not military based, were the uses of communicating (which brought about the cell phone) and music and speaking channels on the radio. The people could now listen to music or listen to shows through transportable devices. Radio led to television later on, which led to the computer and the internet. World War II gave a huge technological boom to the United States, which led to many scientific and modern uses of not only radio technology, but other forms of movement and transport (a.k.a. cars, airplanes, and coming much later, rockets). Without the help of radio technology winning the second world war would have been very difficult, and the boost of technology would not have taken the United States so far so quickly.

One of the most important branches of the Military in WWII was the U.S. Army Air Force. In the beginning of WWII, both the Japanese and the Germans outclassed our planes majorly. Fortunately we had the talent, will, and the industrial base, to catch up quickly. Alexander P. de Severskv and his chief designer, Alexander Kartveli, were at the head of the development for fighter plane design during WWII. These two set America into the modern age of fighter aircraft, with their pre-war invention of the p-35 and the Airacobra, which had 37mm cannon that could shoot through the propeller disk, and the ability to carry 500 lbs of bombs. In 1941, Congress created the U.S. Army Air Forces, a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. As technology continued to progress, so did the planes. In 1942, the F6F Hellcat was invented, thus far the first plane to outfight Japanese fighters. The Hellcat was the very picture of U.S. ingenuity, with six machine guns the Hellcat only had to hit a Japanese Zero plane, to disable it completely. More than 12,300 Hellcats were produced during the war. The war also made us think of more ways to make an aircraft more practical, the “Wildcat” series of planes had folded wings which allowed us to fit more of the, on an aircraft carrier. The best propeller driven plane during the war was thought to be the P-51 Mustang. After some unique problems with the engine, British engineers realized the casing could hold the newest Rolls – Royce Merlin engine. With that engine the plane could reach 440 mph and could climb to 20,000 feet in half the time it would have taken for a Japanese or German fighter. The invention of the P-51 Mustang, topped all during the Second World War.

Among technology the question that pops into most people’s heads is what type of cars did they have? During the pre-war in 1940 the US alone dealt 4,680,000 cars. Then in 1943 the production of cars stopped abruptly due to the advent of World War II. Until 1946, civilian cars were not in production. The 1940's were the only time cars have ever completely halted in production. During the war a one-quarter ton four wheel drive military vehicle was developed that we know today as the jeep.1940's was when the first luxury cars were introduced. These cars include cars like the Delahaye 135 convertible which reach a top speed of 96 miles per hour, and the Packard Clipper. Cars in any generation tell people the wealth and status of the owner. New cars cost about $800 during the 1940’s, and a gallon of gas only cost 18 cents. With that 18 cents you could drive 15 to 20 miles.