As humanity evolved, so did our techniques, strategies and the weapons we employed in warfare. We went from riding horse-pulled chariots with swords and shields to manning powerful combat vehicles equipped with the more efficient ammunition. Many of these early vehicles paved the way for those that came after them. Below are five examples of combat vehicles whose impact has changed the way we fought on all fronts, for better or worse.
In 1910, there were many attempts to have aircrafts take off and land on ships. But this didn’t become a reality until 1922, when the Imperial Japanese Navy created the first effective aircraft carrier dubbed “Hosho.” This warship proved to be a huge advantage in battle, specifically during World War I, as it was able to carry 512 people and 15 aircrafts. The Hosho easily became one of the most advanced technologies of its time, so much so that it served as the blueprint for every other floating aircraft carrier after that.
2. Messerschmitt Me 262
Ever since the Wright brothers created the first aircraft, we’ve been finding all sorts of ways to make them faster and more efficient, especially when it comes to war. We went from propeller powered aircrafts to jet-powered ones like the German Messerschmitt Me 262, which was the first of its kind at the time. Even though they were fast, they had a lot of drawbacks and had to be scrapped. When the war ended, the Allies quickly got their hands on the aircraft, stripped it down then reverse-engineered it to create similar ones.
3. Little Willie
As the first armored Mark 1 tank, Little Willie had its fair share of issues, such as being too slow and getting stuck in the mud. But it wasn’t a bad start, considering it was built in 1915 by the British Army. The 14-ton behemoth soon underwent some much-needed upgrades – modifications that were initially a bust. But by World War II, all the hard work had paid off and the fourth prototype, the Mark IV, was a huge success. It was even able to combat the messy trenches that Little Willie could barely traverse. Little Willie’s failure served as the stepping stone for the modern tanks we know today.
4. HMS Dreadnought
The introduction of the HMS Dreadnought revolutionized naval power in such a way that its name quickly became associated with the first generation of battleships. It was a powerful and heavily armored vessel with thick deck armor that measured up to 3 inches or 7.6 centimeters, with various parts of the ship’s hulls measuring 3 to 12 inches or 7.6 to 30 centimeters. The showstopper, however, was the ten 12-inch guns, twenty-two 12-pounder 3-inch guns and 18-inch torpedo tubes that made it clear that the Dreadnought was not one to be messed with.
5. MQ-1 Predator
The MQ-1 Predator was far from the first drone used in warfare. But it was definitely the first aerial reconnaissance aircraft to be widely deployed in support of US military operations around the world. For 26 hours, the MQ-1 was able to be controlled from any part of the world, taking pilots away from dangerous airspace for some time. In 2001, the MQ-1 underwent an upgrade when it was fitted with Hellfire missiles that could be fired at targets outside of its visual and auditory range. The new aircraft was nicknamed the MQ-1A, which was also the first of its kind.
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