World War II lasting from 1939 to 1945 was the deadliest and most widespread conflict ever recorded in history, resulting in the lost of over 70 million lives. The world was divided into two opposing alliances, the Axis and the Allies. The rapid technological escalation occurred during the war had been the major determining factor of the allied forces’ total victory.
Here is the list of greatest inventions that had helped the allied forces win World War II:
Initially, atomic bomb was developed to counter the assumed Nazi German bomb project. The US, Britain and Canada jointly formed the Manhattan Projectto develop this fatally explosive device from nuclear reaction. The team succeeded. The weapons were detonated over the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The bombing resulted in the lost of over 200,000 lives, the radiation injury to many thousand and Japan’s surrender. This event put the Pacific War and then the World War II to an end. Nuclear weapons detonated during World War II were in fact the only two atomic bombs ever used in history.
The process of developing radar began as early as the 19th century when Hertz noticed that radio waves could be reflected from solid object. Several other scientists had also been aware of this phenomenon but no one moved further with their discoveries. Serious study of this device as detection system as we know today only began in 1935 in Britain by a team led by Watson-Watt. The team produced a successful prototype that can determine the direction, speed, altitude and range of both fixed and moving objects including ships and aircraft. The prototype then became the basis of Great Britain’s radar network. This invention improved the allied forces surveillance system and had contributed to their victory.
Death of thousands of soldiers due to infected injuries during World War II had prompted the US government to mass produce this new type of medicine that had previously been neglected by the pharmacy industry. Started as early as 1928, penicillin, the first antibiotic groups known to the world, was discovered by Alexander Fleming when he noticed that specific fungi grown accidentally on top of his petri dish had stoppedthe development of bacteria. However, lack of media of mass production and government interest had made him set aside his invention and move on to another research. In 1939 Howard Florey, an Australian scientist, successfully tried penicillin on mice and proved it to be harmless and effective to fight infection. Florey then headed a research team to devise method of mass-producing penicillin. The mass production began in the US in 1944. It reduced the number of deaths and amputation cases during World War II significantly.
In World War II, the German utilized machine-encrypted signals called “enigma” to send secret military messages all around the world. Many methods had been tried to decrypt the enigma, and the most successful effort was the discovery of an electromechanical devise, the Bombe machine in 1939 by Alan Turing, an English mathematician and cryptanalysis. Turing had also influenced the development of modern computer. Bombe machine’s job was to discover the work of set of rotors inside enigma. This knowledge enabled the allies to understand messages sent by enigma within German military networks. 178 messages were broken during 1940s by two bombe machines.
Frank Whittle, a British Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer, had developed the concept of an aircraft that does not need any propeller and can fly at higher altitudes since the late 1930s. He finally succeeded in formulating fundamental details that led to the creation of jet engine. Unfortunately, he failed to attract the attention of the British government. However, with limited funding, his firm, Power Jets Ltd managed to create a prototype which ran in 1937. The Air Ministry finally took interest in the design following this success. A contract with the government was secured in 1940. A British experimental jet plane first took off in 1941. The US produced another prototype using Whittle engine which flew in 1942. This discovery had contributed to speed up the end of World War II.