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Medium 9780253009845

2 Gunpowder Technology, 1490–1800

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Edward Gibbon was to claim that gunpowder “effected a new revolution in the art of war and the history of mankind,”1 a view that was common in the eighteenth century and indeed both earlier and later.2 More recently, the widely repeated thesis of the early modern Military Revolution3 has focused renewed attention on the issue of gunpowder technology. Improved firepower and changing fortification design, it is argued, greatly influenced developments across much of the world and, more specifically, the West’s relationship with the rest of the world. In other work, I have questioned the thesis,4 but here, first, I want to draw attention to the changes that stemmed from the use of gunpowder.

Gunpowder weaponry developed first in China. We cannot be sure when it was invented, but a formula for the manufacture of gunpowder was possibly discovered in the ninth century, and effective metal-barreled weapons were produced in the twelfth century. Guns were differentiated into cannon and handguns by the fourteenth.

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6 Revolution, Transformation, and the Present

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Modern military power is based upon technology, and technology is based upon computers. . . . We [the Soviet Union] will never be able to catch up with you [the United States] in modern arms until we have an economic revolution. And the question is whether we can have an economic revolution without a political revolution.

Nikolai Ogarkov, Chief of the Soviet General Staff, 1983, cited in the New York Times, August 20, 1992

The literature on recent, current, and future warfare is dominated by the language of change and modernization. As is the general pattern in modern culture, change and modernization are descriptive, prescriptive, and normative, being equated with improvement. Relative performance or promise is defined according to these emphases, as are the conflicts seen as worthy of attention by scholars, and therefore, in a circular sense, as contributing to their analyses. Such an approach to modernization, however, begs the question of what is a modern, let alone a more modern, style of military operations? This question is one of recurring relevance for military history and for understanding present and future situations, and thus links the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) discerned in the 1990s and 2000s to earlier episodes of what have been presented as military revolutions.

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One Introduction: Washington, London, and Two Very Separate Wars, 1921–1941

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION: WASHINGTON, LONDON, AND TWO VERY SEPARATE WARS, 1921–1941

ARMS RACES ARE NOT the cause of rivalries and wars but rather the reflection of conflicting ambition and intent, though inevitably they compound and add to these differences. The First World War was not the product of Anglo-German naval rivalry, though this was one of the major factors that determined Britain’s taking position in the ranks of Germany’s enemies, and most certainly it was a major factor in producing the growing sense of instability within Europe in the decade prior to 1914. But if the naval race was indeed one of the factors that made for war in 1914—although it should be noted that the most dangerous phase of this rivalry would seem to have passed by 1914—then there is the obvious problem of explaining the war in 1939–1941, in that the greater part of the inter-war period, between 1921 and 1936, was marked by a very deliberate policy of naval limitation on the part of the great powers. Admittedly the arrangements that were set in place in various treaties had lapsed by 1937, and a naval race had begun that most certainly was crucially important in terms of Japanese calculations in 1940 and 1941 and indeed was critical in the decision to initiate war in the Pacific. In summer 1941, as the Japanese naval command was obliged to consider the consequences of its own actions and the full implications of the U.S. Congress having passed the Two-Ocean Naval Expansion Act in July 1940, the Imperial Navy, the Kaigun, was caught in a go-now-or-never dilemma, and it, like its sister service, simply could not admit the futility and pointlessness of past endeavors and sacrifices. But, of course, not a few of these endeavors and sacrifices had been military and Asian and most definitely were not naval and Pacific.

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Four Japan and Its “Special Undeclared War”

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FOUR

JAPAN AND ITS “SPECIAL UNDECLARED WAR”

THE PERIOD BETWEEN the two world wars saw a series of conflicts, and the importance of naval power in some of these wars is seldom acknowledged. The Allied intervention in the Russian civil wars and involvement in the Greek-Turkish conflict were based on naval power, but, arguably, in the inter-war period in only one conflict did a navy play a major, indeed significant, role and possess more than en passant importance. The Sino-Japanese conflict, which began in July 1937, saw the major involvement of the Imperial Japanese Navy in two areas of operations with immediate and long-term relevance: a series of coastal operations and landings in southern China, most obviously the occupation of Canton in 1938 and Hainan Island in 1939, and involvement in air operations, and specifically in the strategic bombing campaigns staged in 1939 and 1940.1

The inter-war period was one that saw Japanese forces, and specifically the Imperial Japanese Army, the Nippon Teikoku Rikugun, involved in a series of conflicts that began with intervention in the Russian civil wars in which Rikugun forces reached as far west as Novosibirsk.2 The main focus of Japanese military attention, however, was China, with its interminable civil wars, power struggles, and secessionist problems, and specifically was directed to Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and northern China after September 1931. In the course of a three-month campaign the local Japanese garrison force, the Kwantung Army, overran three of Manchuria’s four provinces and paved the way for a double development.

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Fourteen The Japanese Situation—and Another, and Final, Dimension

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE JAPANESE SITUATION—AND ANOTHER, AND FINAL, DIMENSION

IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS the Japanese situation in terms of shipping, trade, and production has been subjected to examination, for one reason: for more than six decades the American public perception of the Pacific war has been focused primarily upon fleet and amphibious operations; what has been provided here is not a correction to such perspective but an addition, the presentation of matters seldom afforded much in the way of consideration but gathered here to provide balance and perspective. By definition, these short chapters cannot be comprehensive and must serve only as introduction to matters often given little historical consideration. This final chapter is concerned with battles and individuals, for the same reasons and with the same intent.

Excluding the attack by Japanese carrier aircraft on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the attacks by Allied carrier aircraft on a variety of targets in Japanese waters in the war’s last month (though perhaps the irony should be noted that the last survivor of the Pearl Harbor operation, the heavy cruiser Tone, was sunk at its mooring off Kure by U.S. carrier aircraft on 24 July 1945), during the war in the Pacific there were no fewer than eighteen actions involving warship formations on both sides.1 Of course, there also were actions involving aircraft and warships from opposing sides, the best known of these actions being those in the Bismarck Sea in March 1943 and when the battleship Yamato was sunk southwest of Kyushu in April 1945. Of all these actions perhaps the one that possessed greatest historical symbolism was the action off Cape St. George, which was the last action between warship formations other than in the Surigao Strait in October 1944, but the greater part of historical attention over the lifetime that has elapsed since these actions were fought has been directed to the action fought off Midway Islands and Leyte Gulf. The other four major carrier actions—Coral Sea, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, and Philippine Sea—have generally been afforded en passant consideration: the Coral Sea was but the prelude to Midway, and the Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz were not battles on which Americans dwell because neither resulted in victory. The second-tier status of the battle of the Philippine Sea is perhaps surprising given the fact that in terms of fleet and light carriers of the two sides this was the largest carrier battle of the war, larger even than Leyte, though the latter had many more warships than Philippine Sea and with escort carriers added to the list is the larger of the two battles in terms of carrier numbers.

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Medium 9780253014993

8. Exploiting Nationalism and Banal Cosmopolitanism: EA’s FIFA World Cup 2010

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Andrew Baerg

SPORT AND ITS REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA HAVE LONG BEEN A site for the communication and perpetuation of national identity. International mediated sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup have tended to become sites allowing for the expression of myths about collective, national identities. As such, it might be expected that this tight relationship between sport and the nation-state would continue in the comparatively new medium of the sports video game, especially one representing a competition between nations.

This chapter addresses this argument by performing a textual analysis of Electronic Arts’ soccer video game 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (hereafter FIFA WC10) in order to learn how it positions its users. By working through and applying cosmopolitan theory and then applying this theory to the text, the chapter argues that FIFA WC10 departs from a traditionally national orientation to the mediation of world soccer toward a cosmopolitan mediation of the sport. As such, rather than position players as national subjects, FIFA WC10’s various gameplay options position its users as global, cosmopolitan subjects.

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Medium 9781523095865

6 Online Technology and Life

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Are the many discouraging indicators, such as increasing depression and suicide and skyrocketing obesity, actually arising from our use of screen technologies? Clearly, these technologies cannot be the only factor, but in this chapter we look at how our omnipresent screens may be impairing our sleep and undermining other basic pillars of health and entailing a cascade of major compromises of our physical and mental states.

As we were writing this book, many of the tech industry’s most prominent members, troubled by the addictive and destructive behaviors that they perceive social media, mobile phones, and other technologies to intentionally foster, began offering serious criticism of the industry. They include former senior executives at Facebook, Google, and other prominent companies. Among the loudest and most insistent was Roger McNamee (whom we later asked to write the foreword to this book). Roger has been investing in technology companies, such as Facebook, for three decades, and introduced Sheryl Sandberg, its present chief operating officer, to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. From his seat at the table, McNamee has one of the longest perspectives on how the industry is affecting us and our world. In a Guardian interview in October 2017, he pointed out the underlying conundrum: “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”1

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Medium 9781626569737

9 Security and Privacy in an Era of Ubiquitous Connectivity

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In an episode of the popular TV series Homeland, Vice President William Walden is killed by a terrorist who hacked into Walden’s heart pacemaker. The hacker raises Walden’s heart rate, pushing him into a serious, inevitable cardiac arrest. Walden’s pacemaker had been connected to the Internet so that his doctors could monitor his health. That was the fatal mistake. Viewers watched in shock and disbelief, but this assassination plot seemingly out of science fiction was actually not that far-fetched.

These days, many complicated, critically important medical devices include onboard computers and wireless connectivity. Insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and defibrillators have all joined the Internet of Things. Every year at security conferences, hackers are demonstrating new ways to compromise the devices we rely on to keep us alive. Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously asked his doctors to disable the wireless connectivity of the pacemaker embedded in his chest. “It seemed to me to be a bad idea for the vice president to have a device that maybe somebody on a rope line or in the next hotel room or downstairs might be able to get into—hack into,” Cheney’s cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner of George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., told 60 Minutes in an interview in October 2013.1

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5 The Amazing and Scary Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Many of us with iPhones talk to Siri, the iPhone’s artificially intelligent assistant. Siri can answer many basic questions asked verbally in plain English. She (or, optionally, he) can, for example, tell you today’s date; when the next San Francisco Giant’s baseball game will take place; and where the nearest pizza restaurant is located. But, though Siri appears clever, she has obvious weaknesses. Unless you tell her the name of your mother or indicate the relationship specifically in Apple’s contact app, Siri will have no idea who your mother is, and so can’t respond to your request to call your mother. That’s hardly intelligent for someone who reads, and could potentially comprehend, every e-mail I send, every phone call I make, and every text I send. Siri also cannot tell you the best route to take in order to arrive home faster and avoid traffic.

That’s OK. Siri is undeniably useful despite her limitations. No longer do I need to tap into a keyboard to find the nearest service station or to recall what date Mother’s Day falls on. And Siri can remember all the pizza restaurants in Oakland, recall the winning and losing pitcher in any of last night’s baseball games, and tell me when the next episode of my favorite TV show will air.

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11 Designer Genes, the Bacteria in Our Guts, and Precision Medicine

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the near future, we will routinely have our genetic material analyzed; late in the next decade, we will be able to download and “print” at home medicines, tissues, and bacteria custom designed to suit our DNA and keep us healthy. In short, we will all be biohackers and amateur geneticists, able to understand how our genes work and how to fix them. That’s because these technologies are moving along the exponential technology curve.

Scientists published the first draft analysis of the human genome in 2001. The effort to sequence a human genome was a long and costly one. Started by the government-funded Human Genome Project and later augmented by Celera Genomics and its noted scientist CEO, Craig Venter, the sequencing spanned more than a decade and cost nearly $3 billion. Today, numerous companies are able to completely sequence your DNA for around $1,000, in less than three days. There are even venture-backed companies, such as 23andMe, that sequence parts of human DNA for consumers, without any doctor participation or prescription, for as little as $199.

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4 The Internal Combustion Engine: The Technology of Decentralized Power, 1910–2013

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Really a fearsome sight . . . The road was on a slope of the hill, and the tanks just crawled up the slope, up the right bank nose in air, down with a bump into the road and across it—almost perpendicularly up the left bank, and down with a bump behind it and so onward up the hill without a moment’s pause or hesitation.

B.W. Harvey and C. Fitzgerald, eds., Edward Heron-Allen’s Journal: The Great War: From Sussex Shore to Flanders Fields, 2002

Edward Heron-Allen’s account of British tanks crossing a road on October 16, 1918, as the Allies successfully advanced against the Germans on the western front in Belgium and France at the close of the First World War (1914–1918) ably described the subordination of terrain by the new weapon. Railways and roads might seem similar in that both provided routes along which troops, supplies, and firepower could be transported. However, there was also an important contrast. Trains could not leave railways and move cross-country. In contrast, road vehicles were able to leave roads provided the terrain was suitable. This capability brought a tremendous increase in mobility. That mobility was combined with firepower in the tank, a weapon that was to grip the imagination as a key example of the transforming character of new technology. The internal combustion engine also affected naval and air warfare.

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Two Washington and London

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER TWO

WASHINGTON AND LONDON

ALLIES ARE NOT NECESSARILY friends, and victory, or defeat, inevitably weakens the links that made for alliances and coalitions: the conflicting interests held in check by common need invariably reassert themselves, often with greater force than previously was the case. the First World War saw the passing of four empires, three of them multi-national empires, and the triumph of what in July 1919 were the five leading naval powers in the world, but those five powers’ wartime cooperation and common cause did not survive such episodes as the “Naval Battle of Paris” and the negotiations that produced the treaties that closed the First World War.

The period between the end of the war and the Washington conference and treaties, between November 1918 and February 1922, was a strange one in regard to naval power, and primarily for one reason. The war resulted in the elimination of three major navies, those of Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary, yet it ended with no fewer than three naval races, if not already ongoing then most certainly in the making: between Britain and the United States, between Japan and the United States, and, somewhat muted, between France and Italy. Leaving aside the latter, which never assumed importance or gained momentum in the twenties, the key development was the emergence of the United States as the greatest power in the world and its declared intention to secure for itself “a navy second to none.” To realize such an ambition the U.S. Congress authorized, in the act of 29 August 1916, the construction of no fewer than 162 warships, including 10 battleships, 6 battlecruisers, 10 cruisers, 50 destroyers, and 67 submarines. All of these warships were to be built between 1916 and 1919, and were in addition to a 1915 program that had made provision for 6 battleships, the general intention being that the United States would provide for itself no fewer than 60 battleships and battlecruisers by 1925. In framing its program the U.S. Navy, quite deliberately, had set aside the situation created by general war in Europe in favor of what it considered the “worst-case” possibility that might emerge after this war. What it planned for was the need to guard against either a German-Japanese or an Anglo-Japanese alliance that would be capable of threatening the United States in two oceans and preventing any expansion of American overseas trade. The total of 60 capital ships that were to be acquired by 1925 matched the total that Britain and Japan together might be able to deploy in a war against the United States. The least that could be said about such logic was that it grasped at the exceedingly unlikely in order to justify the manifestly unnecessary.

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Seven With Friends like These

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER SEVEN

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE

ANGLO-AMERICAN HISTORIOGRAPHY of the Second World War and the war at sea invariably traces the course and outcome of the two conflicts that together made up the Second World War in terms of the defeat of the German submarine offensive against shipping and the American advance across the southwest and central Pacific to the Japanese home islands. In the European conflict the focus of most historical attention has been on the British Navy, and specifically its escort forces, and the German U-boat service, and in the Pacific upon American carrier and amphibious formations. In a very obvious sense it is right and proper that this should be the case: at sea the European war was largely synonymous with the “Battle of the Atlantic,” whatever that phrase might mean, and in the Pacific the war was decided by fleet actions that ran in tandem with landing operations; the Imperial Japanese Navy and even the American submarine offensive against Japanese shipping have never been afforded consideration and recognition commensurate with that afforded American carrier operations.

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Ten The War across the Pacific: Introduction and Conclusion

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER TEN

THE WAR ACROSS THE PACIFIC: INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION

THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN is all but synonymous with an American naval war, and that war with American carrier formations. But the real basis of Japan’s defeat was the superior demographic, industrial, and financial resources of the United States, which allowed that country to wage war across an ocean in a manner that defied imagination even in 1941. At the time of the Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base, the United States possessed just seven fleet carriers—the Lexington and Saratoga, the Ranger, the Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet, and the Wasp—and the escort carrier Long Island. On 15 August 1945 the U.S. Navy had in service or in dockyards undergoing refit, repair, or overhaul a total of twenty fleet carriers, eight light carriers, and no fewer than seventy-one escort carriers, and in addition another four fleet and five escort carriers were to be commissioned before the end of the year. Such were the numbers employed by the United States to take the tide of war to the Japanese home islands, and thus it is all the more important to note that the carrier formations were but one dimension of this American effort; carrier operations goes alongside the submarine campaign against Japan shipping, the various amphibious operations that provided the paving stones in the journey across the western Pacific, and the land-based air offensive, which provided the final comment in this war.

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Fifteen Finis: The British Home Fleet, 15 August 1945

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

FINIS: THE BRITISH HOME FLEET, 15 AUGUST 1945

ON 31 AUGUST 1939 THE British Navy was by some margin the greatest navy in the world, and by virtue of a history and tradition that reached back hundreds of years. In terms of size it had ceded equality of status to the U.S. Navy at the Washington conference, but throughout the inter-war period it remained, in terms of standing, prestige, and reputation, the leading navy in the world, and a mark of its standing was the fact that throughout this time British warships occupied pride of position on the Bund at Shanghai.

When British warships returned to Shanghai with the end of the Japanese war they found their position already occupied by American warships.

The Second World War saw the position of naval leadership taken by the U.S. Navy in what was a somewhat unusual process. Ownership of the Trident passed from predecessor to successor without their fighting one another for possession, and perhaps the only parallel, which may be deemed not exact, would be the British acquisition of naval primacy in an eighteenth century, which saw Dutch decline and French defeat (E&OE). But whatever historical examples are drawn for reasons of comparison, the point herein is that in August 1945 the British Navy had ceded pride of place to its American counterpart, yet it remained, by what seemed at that time a very real and comfortable margin, the second greatest navy in the world; with one exception, all the other major navies had been defeated and suffered major losses that had reduced them to the status of the “also-ran.” The exception was the Royal Italian Navy, but the end of war pointed in the direction of its incurring major reduction in terms of reparation, even though with the end of the European war and the return of many of its warships to home ports in August 1945 the Italian Navy probably remained the largest single navy in the Mediterranean. The German and Japanese navies in effect ceased to exist with the end of their respective wars, though for some years German and Japanese warships remained in service under Allied operational control with respect to reparation and minesweeping duties. The losses incurred by the French and Soviet navies had reduced both to little more than auxiliary status, in the case of the French relative to the U.S. and British and in the case of the Soviet to its military counterpart. And, too easily forgotten but mentioned previously, the third-largest navy in the world at this time was that of Canada.

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