Timeline: Weapons Technology

Following the 1945 detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb, called “The gadget,” at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, N.M., physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer focused on a statement from the Hindu book the Bhagavad Gita: “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

The 21st century is a century of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Smart Tech, Robotics, Aerospace and more that have made technology an indispensable part of our lives. Technology has evolved over the years as per the needs and ease of humans. Our lives have been in touch with the technology at personal, emotional, surrounding and community levels.

Technology can be constructive and beneficial for man and nature while on the other hand; it could be used as a weapon of mass destruction like Atomic Bombs, Chemical weapons, Cyber-Attacks, Nano Technology and more.


Humans have been fighting since the start of humanity for wood, land, and money but mostly for survival. To date back to the first fight of humans is difficult as everyone has a different story to tell. 

Humanity has survived a lot of wars that have managed to kill crores of people across the globe but there were other reasons which didn’t spare humans as well.

Some archaeologists believe that war during the Mesolithic period, which began around 9700 B.C. when the last Ice Age ended was the first. While, Nataruk, a resource-rich, verdant lagoon in eastern Africa, was the site of humanity’s first documented violent war 10,000 years ago and then, we have Trojan War between 1200 and 1300 BCE.

  • Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)
  • World War I (1914-1918)
  • Spanish Flu (1918)
  • Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
  • World War II (1939-1945)
  • COVID-19 Pandemic (2020-2021)

All of these have been painted in red in history and reading about them makes us sad. The takeaways from the War of the Worlds is how weapons have evolved over time:

  • Spears were the first weapon used by Humans in 400,000 BC for Hunting.
  • Arrows have been dated back between 72,000 and 60,000 BC in South Africa, like Sibudu Cave. The bow and arrow changed combat by allowing attackers to launch attacks from a range while posing significantly less risk.
  • Horses have played an important role in the history of warfare since 5300 BC. They could carry immense loads and used to travel far away with their swift legs. Horses assisted Alexander the Great in conquering most of the world and the Mongols in establishing the world’s greatest contiguous empire.
  • Swords were the weapons for those going to the wars. By 1000 BC, these were the easiest ways of killing someone, starting from Great Britain. Armours were also used to protect the soldiers in the Medieval era. 
  • Gunpowder was invented in China and used from 800 to 1300 BC. The first rocket and primitive bomb were made under the Song Dynasty, and used as a new technology to fight enemies and conquer kingdoms. The invention of gunpowder changed the rules of war. Many conventional fortifications were blown down by cannons and explosives, which were significantly more efficient than previous siege weaponry.
  • Rocket artillery (1750 to 1800) was deployed by Indian Tipu Sultan against the British which led to the invention of the Congreve Rocket.
  • Revolving guns were introduced in 1836 and then a Machine gun, gun silencer and bulletproof vest followed. These evolved the technology making killings easier, faster and more undercover.
  • Nuclear bombs are humankind’s most destructive weapons. In 1945, they were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended World War II but ushered in decades of global fear of nuclear annihilation.

Barak Obama during his historic visit to Hiroshima on May 27, 2016, said: “Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.”

  • Radio and Satellites have given countries eyes in the sky. Radio has helped countries control personnel, vehicles, missiles and robots during World War II. And now, satellites are helping them monitor and predict their enemies. 
  • Bio-Weapon: COVID-19 Pandemic is considered to be a Bio Weapon used by China on the world countries to paralysis their Health and Medical Infrastructure, making them an easier target.

Technology drives changes in warfare more than any other factor. It has always been exploited to make wealth as well as to make war. But with the advancement in technology, the goal is no longer just to make money; it is instead to conquer other countries’ land, people, and resources.


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