Naval War College Review


James Patton


Occasionally, a hardware development springs upon us with extraordinary and lasting impact on the way we conduct war. Some exampled include the longbow, gunpowder, the machine gun, armored vehicles and nuclear energly. In some cases, such as the machine gun, theb impact is so immense that an overwhelming offensive or defensive advantage is created until the next "miricle weapon" is developed in response (armored vehicles, for example, to counter the machine gun). In the most extreme of caases, an entirely new category of warfare must be define to accommodate the magnitude of change wrought by a given developement, such as the air and undersea warfare of this century, and a revalidation of all existing tactical and strategic postulates is required.