Africa’s First “High Tech” War

The Technological Impact of World War One on Africans

In: Journal of African Military History
Melvin Page East Tennessee State University

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Although some scientific innovations and technologies came to their continent during the process of colonization, only during the First World War did Africans experience the full potential of new weapons and engineering breakthroughs as well as transformative transportation methods and medical possibilities. The resulting encounters sometimes left them awe-struck, but Africans frequently seized the newer technologies and turned them into opportunities. Only a few rejected them as antithetical to tradition, though occasionally some Africans expected what seemed to be revolutionary advances alone to change and improve their lives. Ultimately few Africans were unaffected by the awesome wartime scientific and technological alterations brought to their lands and peoples as a result of the First World War.

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