Misguided Weapons : Technological Failure and Surprise on the Battlefield


Misguided Weapons : Technological Failure and Surprise on the Battlefield

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 304 p.
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9781574885286
  • DDC分類 355

Full Description

Technological failure results when one side in a conflict does not fully grasp the potential impact of known, or even familiar, weapons in the enemy's hands. In most cases, such failure resulted from higher officials' ignorance or their total misunderstanding of the importance and relevance of such technology and science as well as of their application to warfare. Technological failure is also the root cause of technological surprise. While operational surprise on the battlefield poses grave problems, technological surprise is far more serious, because, as Azriel Lorber explains, it often leads to disasters on the battlefield and is more difficult to recover from. In too many cases, technological failure and surprise stem from all-too-human characteristics, such as self-satisfaction, disdain for the adversary, obtuseness, and conservatism. Because these traits show no evidence of disappearing, political decision makers and military commanders should be aware that technological failure and technological surprise could happen at any time.

Table of Contents

Preface                                            xi
Prologue: Early Technological Failure: The 1 (4)
Battle of Crecy
Predicting the Outcome of Conflicts 5 (10)
Introduction 5 (1)
The Importance of Quantitative Factors 6 (1)
The Quality of Troops and Commanders 7 (1)
Other Factors, Including Common Sense 8 (2)
Quality vs. Quantity 10 (2)
Lanchester's Equations 12 (3)
The Roots of Technological Failure 15 (22)
The Role of Weapons 15 (1)
The Origins of Various Misguided Attitudes 16 (4)
Some Possible Explanations 20 (3)
The Problems of Expanding Technology 23 (2)
Old Knowledge versus New, and the Effects 25 (2)
of Specialization
The Problems of Cooperation 27 (2)
The Effects of Large and Small Failures 29 (1)
Lack of Preparedness 30 (3)
How Do Technological Failures Occur? 33 (2)
Some Opinions of Military Leaders 35 (2)
Misunderstanding the Battlefield Environment 37 (49)
Machine Guns in the First World War 37 (14)
The Story of the Nitrates 51 (6)
Radars and the Battle of Britain 57 (8)
Strategic Bombing and the Self-Defense of 65 (11)
the Heavy Bomber
The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) Confronts 76 (5)
the Sagger Missile
The Effectiveness of the Patriot 81 (2)
Antiballistic Missile System
Iraq in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 83 (3)
Misunderstanding Available Technology 86 (25)
The Failure of Gas Warfare in World War I 86 (4)
Early British Tank Development 90 (5)
Drop Tanks: The German Failure 95 (5)
The Missed Opportunity of the Snorkel 100(4)
The Problem of the Allied Long-Range 104(3)
Escort Fighter
PGMs (Precision-Guided Munitions) in 107(4)
Bad Management, Worse Leadership, and NIH 111(45)
The Centimetric Wavelength Radar Battle 111(11)
NIH (Not Invented Here) and Gunnery in 122(3)
the U.S. Navy
Plastic Armor 125(3)
The Sherman Tank and the Seventeen-Pound 128(6)
The Scandal of the American Torpedoes 134(10)
``Window'' and What to Do about It 144(3)
Night Operations and the Failure of 147(4)
Bomber Command Leadership
The Japanese Atomic Bomb Project 151(5)
Preconceived Ideas, Overconfidence, and 156(32)
Introduction 156(1)
Henry Tizard and the Battle of the Beams 157(5)
Lord Cherwell and the Question of the V-2 162(2)
Enigma, Purple, and Overreliance on 164(11)
Preconceived Notions
The Predictions of Iraqi Missile Attacks 175(2)
Technological Predictions about Future 177(11)
Political and Ideological Meddling 188(19)
Introduction 188(1)
Nazi Germany and Science 189(7)
The Waste of the Me-262 196(7)
How the Bomb Saved Soviet Nuclear Physics 203(4)
Technological Developments and Science 207(19)
New Technologies and New Weapons 207(7)
Weapon Development Times 214(2)
Is It Really Science Fiction? 216(10)
Technological Surprise and Technological 226(21)
Battlefield Surprise 226(3)
Total Surprise and Self-Inflicted Surprise 229(1)
The Limitations of Intelligence Gathering 230(2)
The Effects of Technological Surprise 232(2)
Some Concluding Remarks about 234(6)
Technological Failure
The Problem of Feedback 240(2)
Some Current Potential Causes of 242(1)
Technological Failures
Lanchester's Equations and the Effect of 243(4)
Technological Innovations
Notes 247(26)
Bibliography 273(8)
Index 281(12)
About the Author 293