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The First World War and Submarine WarfareThe first World War also known as the Great War took place shortly after the turn of the century from 1914-1918 and was so named because it was the first conflict of global proportions The war resulted in the loss of millions of lives and the virtual destruction of Europe The stunning proportions of the war were due largely to the application of technology to warfare The industrial revolution at the end of the nineteenth century had brought mechanization and mass production to society and the Great War had applied this technology to warfare The war saw the introduction of airplanes submarines and tanks as well as radio machine guns and poison gas One of mankinds least enviable talents lies in its ability to constantly create new and more efficient ways of killing members of its own species During this massive global conflict the war at sea was dominated by the expectation of titanic clashes between the heavily armed capital ships of the British and German navies Naval warfare had been revolutionized in 1906 when Britain launched the worlds first all big-gun battleship--HMS Dreadnought Previously battleships had been armed with an array of guns of varying caliber in main secondary and tertiary batteries The Dreadnought however was armed with ten 12-inch guns and no secondary armament marking a new trend in naval thought a warship with all big caliber guns which were both more destructive and of greater range could concentrate all her fire power on an enemy from long range and destroy her from a great distance In such a long range engagement the battle would be over long before the enemy came within range of a ships secondary armaments--in short the ship with the largest battery of big guns would win The Dreadnoughts revolutionary traits also included heavier armor plate to protect her against enemy shells and increased speed delivered by steam turbines powered by oil-burning boilers--the
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