back to visits

Technical advances during World War I

Our speaker for this evening was Richard Aldridge from Norwich Engineering Society, Richard has a keen interest in world war I which he enthusiastically shared with us. During this talk he focused on the leaps in technology made at that time. On this evening we also welcomed a number of guests from the Western Front Association, all-round making for a well-attended evening. The talk began with a look at some of the inventions and scientific findings leading up to the outbreak of war, starting around the 1870s with electromagnetism, through internal combustion engines in the 1890s and to the 1900s with quantum theory, powered flight and early electronic devices. Then we moved on to the adversaries, focusing on Britain, France and Germany in particular and the series of events that culminated in the outbreak of war and the way it turned into a trench war. The problems of trench warfare were looked at including the no manís land between the opposing lines brought about by the range of machine guns. Richard then discussed some of the technical solutions being employed such as air reconnaissance leading to fighter aircraft, mobile machine guns such as the Lewis gun, mobile protective screens such as armoured vehicles and the tank, the development of tracked vehicles as well as the use of poisonous gas. The technical advances were rounded off with a look at communications from animals such as pigeons and dogs through telegraph and air transmitted radio and ground wave transmitted communication.

hover mouse over picture for titles