3038 military research and science and war

synthetic foods and artificial milk (though with
limited success), and the development of
microphotography, which enabled a single
pigeon to carry up to 30,000 telegrams. After
the war, French scientists argued that their lack
of success necessitated an increase in state
funding and a rethinking of both science and
scientific education. The Third Republic thus
saw both the centralization of science and the
increasing involvement of scientists in politics.
The American Civil War (18615) was the
first war to witness the full impact of the
industrial revolution. Although the institutio
nalization of science and the American preoc
cupation with its practical applications were
stimulated in part during the American War
of Independence (177583), which among other
things saw the first use of a submarine in war
fare and the establishment of West Point. The
expansion of the American frontier during the
nineteenth century brought with it among
other things the mechanization of agriculture,
the development of the railroads, steamships,
telegraph, and advancements in both rifles and
small arms, most notably the Colt revolver.
While military requirements were not the pri
mary driver of this build up of the industrial
and technological base, they provided a power
ful added stimulus. There was a strong inter
action between military and civilian needs and
between the engineers, inventors, entrepre
neurs, and factory owners, who responded to
both. While science and technology shaped
warfare, again the Civil War shaped the institu
tions of science. The Union government estab
lished the National Academy of Science in 1863
to advise on the application of science and
technology in warfare and, while it contributed
little to the war effort, it eventually become one
of the most important scientific institutions in
the US.
The branch of the armed services with the
longest history of sustained, organized scientific
research in both Europe and the US has been the
navy. For example, during the period of rela
tive global peace from the end of the Napoleonic
Wars (17991815) to World War I (191418), the
British Navy substantially increased its invest
ment in scientific research across a range of
activities, including the establishment of spe
cialized institutions dealing with matters such
as the scientific design of ships hulls using
models and towing tanks. World War I also
brought with it further increases in the size
and commitment to scientific naval research
and development (R&D) and moves toward
improving its organization to make it more
responsive to navy needs.
Command technology (as William McNeill
termed the deliberate attempt to create new
weapon systems that surpass existing capabil
ities) was also a navy invention. Warships were
the most expensive and complex weapon sys
tems of their day and in the build up to World
War I played a major role in the arms race
between Britain and Germany. It was with
World War I, however, that command technol
ogy came ashore. Faced with dependence on
Germany for essential items such as optical
glass, magnetos, and even khaki dye for uni
forms, Britain established the Department of
Scientific and Industrial Research and began
the systematic incorporation of science and
technology into government.
For many observers, however, the watershed
of military science came with the outbreak of
World War II (193945). Not only were radical
new technologies developed during the war, but
the very scale of effort and complexity of the
science/military organization was also revolu
tionized. During the interwar years any large
armaments company could count itself the equal
of any government in terms of the resources and
organizational input into weapons related R&D.
By 1945, government science had grown enor
mously and shifted the balance toward scientists
and government research laboratories. During
World War II scientists came to play a new role:
as advisers at the highest level of government.
Probably the most renowned collaboration
between science and the military is the Manhat
tan Project, which brought together resources
and scientific labor power on an unprecedented
scale to produce the first atomic bombs, which
the US dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in 1945, ending the war with Japan.
Soon after World War II the Soviet Union suc
cessfully exploded its first atomic bomb (1949),
closely followed by Britain (1952), then France
(1960), China (1964), India (1974), and Pakistan
(1998). Other nuclear powers included Israel
and South Africa, although only suspicion
surrounds a possible test program by both coun
tries, which collaborated closely during the