Most Important Innovation?

Discussion in 'General' started by Ali Hollington, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Ali Hollington

    Ali Hollington Senior Member

    What invention/innovation would you credit with making the most difference to the War in Europe?

    The only reason I have added Europe is too reduce the significance of the atomic bomb. Was it Mulberry harbour- PLUTO- enigma (cracking of) etc.
    Regards
    Ali
     
  2. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    I have always felt that the key to war is logistics, so it would be these:

    the Liberty ship
    the deuce-and-a-half-ton truck
    the jeep
    the C-47
    the bulldozer
    the Bailey Bridge
    pre-fabricated airfield matting
    100 octane gasoline
    the Jerrican
    standardized parts
    penicillin
    anti-biotics
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Besides the logistical innovations and the saying that armies run on their stomachs, I would like to put forward the following as not so much specific to land based operations, but what their adaption to war contributed.

    "Radar Early Warning" (Robert Watson-Watt) designed specifically on request of the RAF. They wanted a "Death Ray" he gave them radar specifically adapted to detect approaching aicraft.

    If not available to Britain - What would the ramifications have been especially in the early stages of the Battle of Britain?

    Sonar, (SOund, NAvigation & Ranging), and derivitives - Shipboard depth detectors & Echo sounding devices necessitated by the war.

    The ability to detect submarines and attack with depth charges resulted in many hundreds of merchant ships being able to reach their destinations.

    "Depth Charges"

    "A depth charge has a magnificent laxative effect on a submariner."
    Lt. Sheldon H. Kinney, Commander, USS Bronstein (DE 189)

    While around since WW1 there were many advances made during WW2 on depth Charges such as K7, K8 (magnetic impulse detonator) & K9 (sink fast charge / greater depth - up to 1000 feet)
     
  4. ElHulio99

    ElHulio99 Junior Member

    Well as far as getting a successfull grip in the continent i'd say the landing craft used in D-Day helped a whole lot
     
  5. Ali Hollington

    Ali Hollington Senior Member

    Thanks for your replies.
    My vote goes at least in part to the Mulberry harbour, I might be bias though as most weeks I see a part of it that never made it further than the Thames estuary.
    Interesting to see the jerrican, I was recently reading about the North African campaign and reference is made to the state of the British versions.

    What sort of effective range did the early radar sets have?
    Ali
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Hi Ali,

    The "WATT" version was up to 200 miles.

    This time allowed for cross sector interceptions or the ability to cover a greater area with less fighter aircraft and the ability to gain the required height advantage before the bombers hit the coast. (That was the theory anyway)
     
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Originally posted by Ali Hollington@Jun 19 2005, 09:02 AM
    Thanks for your replies.
    My vote goes at least in part to the Mulberry harbour, I might be bias though as most weeks I see a part of it that never made it further than the Thames estuary.
    [post=35484]Quoted post[/post]

    I understand Winston Churchill was responsible for the concept.

    It is marvellous that many inventions come out of personal need.

    While the Omaha one was vitually destroyed on the 19th after a violent 3 day storm with great loss of craft it was still said to be a brilliant technical feat. The British used their's to good effect at Arromanches.

    There have been critics of the effectiveness of the Mulberry's which is commonplace. On paper it was a feasible option and should have been utilised.
     
  8. Dpalme01

    Dpalme01 Member

    In terms of affecting the actual war, I would probably say aircraft. I do realize that they had airplanes before this, mainly wwII. WWII was the first war where airplanes were actually used in large proportions and where it actually helped or hindered land battles.

    In terms of affecting the world today, I would either say the aircraft again (It is important) or the A-bomb. I think I would lean towards the A bomb.
     
  9. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    I clean forgot about an important weapon of war, that may have won it for the Allies by itself:

    the DUKW

    Absolutely critical, that vehicle.
     
  10. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Jun 21 2005, 02:30 AM
    I clean forgot about an important weapon of war, that may have won it for the Allies by itself:

    the DUKW

    Absolutely critical, that vehicle.
    [post=35543]Quoted post[/post]


    Very interesting.

    Saw a "History Channel" presentation on this last month and it was truly critical.

    It may have been an undesired piece of machinery early but it duly proved it's worth.
     
  11. Ali Hollington

    Ali Hollington Senior Member

    There are even a few still running, in London (and elsewhere) you can been driven around and then hit the river in a DUKW. Not sure of the exact vintage but it was a verrry strange sensation driving into the Thames!
    Ali
     
  12. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Ali Hollington@Jun 21 2005, 08:14 AM
    There are even a few still running, in London (and elsewhere) you can been driven around and then hit the river in a DUKW. Not sure of the exact vintage but it was a verrry strange sensation driving into the Thames!
    Ali
    [post=35591]Quoted post[/post]


    They use them in Philadelphia and Boston to give tours of the cities via road and river.
     
  13. halfyank

    halfyank Member

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Jun 17 2005, 08:27 AM
    I have always felt that the key to war is logistics, so it would be these:

    the Liberty ship
    the deuce-and-a-half-ton truck
    the jeep
    the C-47
    the bulldozer
    the Bailey Bridge
    pre-fabricated airfield matting
    100 octane gasoline
    the Jerrican
    standardized parts
    penicillin
    anti-biotics
    [post=35444]Quoted post[/post]

    My sentiments exactly. Since my Dad drove a deuce and a half I'd have to put it higher on the list but that isn't taking away anything from the Liberty Ship, Jeep, C-47, and the others. Oh, and since the DUKW was basically a water going duce and a half I'd say you covered that base also.
     
  14. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    With tongue in cheek of course we could say the German's enigma machine.

    Whilst they thought it invincible and were were decoding it, many thousands of allied lives were saved.
     
  15. Ali Hollington

    Ali Hollington Senior Member

    Thats the reason I mentioned it in my original post, the question is how effectively were the enigma decodes used?
    Ali
     
  16. ham and jam 1

    ham and jam 1 Member

    A great invention in my view were Hobart's funnies, its a shame the Americans didnt use them on D-day. Ike and Bradley were given a demonstration in January 44 and didnt like them, the only thing they ordered were the DD tanks and we know what happened to them.

    Andy
     
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Jun 17 2005, 03:27 PM
    I have always felt that the key to war is logistics, so it would be these:

    the Liberty ship
    the deuce-and-a-half-ton truck
    the jeep
    the C-47
    the bulldozer
    the Bailey Bridge
    pre-fabricated airfield matting
    100 octane gasoline
    the Jerrican
    standardized parts
    penicillin
    anti-biotics
    [post=35444]Quoted post[/post]


    I think radar etc would come under technical inventions and scientific development,similar to the development of medicine and field surgery as the first step in the prevention of death.These could be drawn up in separate lists.

    Looking at the list above I would add the 24 ton General Motors truck on the logistics parade.This tool did the heavy hauling too and fro the majority of the Second World War battlefields with supplies and consumerables such as petrol and oil.Under Lease Lend, the Russians received an abundance of these workhorses and in the end were better equipped than the Germans in this area on the Eastern Front.

    The Mulberry Harbour principle was an example of lateral thinking in civil engineering and military strategy.Born out of the disaster at Dieppe when it was obvious that it would be extremely difficult to capture a functioning seaport to gain a foothold on enemy territory to feed the battlefields with supplies and reinforcements, the Mulberry was a complete success and gave the invasion planners the option of not being restricted to port areas for a landing.

    The other innovation has surely to be PLUTO,"Pipeline under the Ocean".Undersea pipelines are quite common now in the modern world in the energy industry,Pluto ensured that the mechanised war of attrition of the enemy was nonstop although I do believe that forward units of Patton's armour found themselves so well ahead that they were held up waiting for fuel after the Battle for Normandy.
     
  18. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Originally posted by Harry Ree+Jun 24 2005, 11:42 PM-->(Harry Ree @ Jun 24 2005, 11:42 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Kiwiwriter@Jun 17 2005, 03:27 PM



    I think radar etc would come under technical inventions and scientific development,similar to the development of medicine and field surgery as the first step in the prevention of death.These could be drawn up in separate lists

    Looking at the list above I would add the 24 ton General Motors truck on the logistics parade.This tool did the heavy hauling too and fro the majority of the S
    [post=35752]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]
    Hi Harry,

    I agree with technical however the question asked was "What invention/innovation would you credit with making the most difference to the War in Europe? "Innovation" which means something newly invented or a new way of doing things. Similarly Sonar was "innovative" in WW2 because it was made to work and to better effect.

    Radar technology has been around since Heinrich Hertz in 1887 " identified Radio Waves. Robert Watson - Watt adapted it for war use.
     
  19. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Ali Hollington@Jun 24 2005, 07:29 AM
    Thats the reason I mentioned it in my original post, the question is how effectively were the enigma decodes used?
    Ali
    [post=35747]Quoted post[/post]

    The answer: Very, increasingly so as the war went on, for several reasons:

    1. Faster technology to break codes
    2. More codes broken
    3. Better understanding of how to use the material
    4. Increased reliance upon it.

    That reliance reached its nadir before the Bulge...the Germans kept the Wacht Am Rhein offensive secret by keping radio silence, so no Enigma messages on it went out. No Enigma warnings meant no offensive, and the Allies were surprised.

    On the other hand, Enigma's best use was to break the U-Boat offensive, which it did successfully, despite the four-wheeled German Enigma machine the U-Boats used.

    By V-E Day, Bletchley decrypts went straight to army and corps HQs, and at least one counterattack by Armee Blumentritt near Hamburg was stopped before it got properly started, because it was "leaked" by Enigma.
     
  20. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Radar technology has been around since Heinrich Hertz in 1887 " identified Radio Waves. Robert Watson - Watt adapted it for war use.
    [post=35755]Quoted post[/post]
    [/quote]


    Spidge,


    Just a small point it was the experiments in RDF (Radio Direction Finding) by the Bawdsey Research Team which led to the development of the early warning schemes devised by Watson Watt and the Bawdsey teams which were to be later known as Chain Home High and Chain Home Low and so vital in the Battle of Britain.This research came about because it was suggested that radio waves might be able to detect aircraft in flight and work started in early 1935.At that time British research proposed that aerial microphones or concrete sounders to be used as an aid to the early detection of incoming aircraft.

    The fact that Hertz was an early pioneer in the field of electromagnetic radiation had little bearing on the application of radio waves for direction and range finding.
     

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