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Ground War: The Evolution of the Battlefield 2010

  • 2010-05-27T04:00:00Z
  • PBS
  • 2010-05-20T07:00:00Z
  • 50 mins
  • 3 hours, 20 mins
  • Documentary, Special Interest
Ground War explores the key technological advances that have defined ground warfare through the ages. From the gladius to the AK-47, from the chariot to the tank, from the trebuchet to the howitzer, and from the battle ramp to the star fort, the series follows the fascinating punch and counterpunch of battle tactics and new technologies. With classic examples like the stirrup and lesser known innovations like the gunner's quadrant, the series reveals how even the smallest innovations can have a wide-ranging effect on the way wars are fought. The episodes link pivotal historical battles to the technologies and tactical turning points that transformed them: Warrior Weapons - traces the evolution of soldiers and their gear; Battlefield Mobility - explores mobility on the battlefield and the never-ending challenge to maximize effectiveness and find the right balance of protective armour, speed, mobility and firepower; Firepower - tracks the development of artillery from the ancient Greeks through the invention of gunpowder in China, to the very latest generation of big guns and directed-energy weapons; and Command and Control - considers the ways in which armies have used or modified the terrain of the battlefield to their advantage for both defence and attack. Ground War joins War Ship and War Plane as the final chapter in the critically acclaimed science and history trilogy that showcases the technological evolution of combat. To help viewers better understand the mechanics of the innovations explored, the series features instructive (and often explosive) modern-day testing and a rich arsenal of descriptive graphics, archival footage and expert interviews. "As was the case with War Ship and War Plane, this series highlights the remarkable stories behind the technologies," says executive producer Jared Lipworth. "It's not a laundry list of weapons or battles, but an in-depth look at the impact of technological advances -- some planned and some serendipitous -- that have transformed battlefields and forced commanders and soldiers to adapt to changing conditions on the battlefield."

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