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Proceedings Paper

Force transformation: an historical perspective from across the Atlantic
Author(s): John D. Salt
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Paper Abstract

The twentieth century saw the armies of the US and the UK successfully meet a number of extreme demands imposed by changes in weapons technology and by politico-military events. In many cases, on both sides of the Atlantic, this has demanded a greater or lesser transformation of military organisation and practice. The present paper attempts a broad conspectus of the reactions of both armies to the most significant of these technological challenges, such as the magazine rifle, war gases, the tank, indirect-fire artillery, radio control, the atomic bomb, the guided missile and the digital computer. It seems that the US Army has been much more prepared than the British to re-organise itself to meet technological change. The British Army not only seems to have transformed itself less often, but also as a response to pressures other than those of technology. The author concludes that there are certain principles that have held good throughout a century of sometimes dizzying technological change, and which will be worth holding on to. The force transformation we see may not be entirely the one we expect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2004
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5441, Battlespace Digitization and Network-Centric Systems IV, (19 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540979
Show Author Affiliations
John D. Salt, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5441:
Battlespace Digitization and Network-Centric Systems IV
Raja Suresh, Editor(s)

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