Frontline and FactoryComparative Perspectives on the Chemical Industry at War, 1914-1924
Archimedes, Band 16
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This book represents a first considered attempt to study the factors that conditioned industrial chemistry for war in 1914-18. Taking a comparative perspective, it reflects on the experience of France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Britain, Italy and Russia, and points to significant similarities and differences. It looks at changing patterns in the organisation of industry, and at the emerging symbiosis between science, industry and the military.
It has been said that history is a debate between the present and the past about the future. Nowhere are these lines drawn more significantly than in the study of science and war. And nowhere is the discourse more relevant, than in the study of science and technology as foundations and multipliers of military power. This book is concerned with one particularly seminal aspect of this development — the history of chemical munitions during and immediately after the First World War. The Great War, as it came to be known, was not the first industrial war, but it was the first to involve all the major industrial nations of the world. Within four years, the world witnessed unprecedented feats of industrial development, many of which drew upon and extended pre-war reservoirs of scientific and technological knowledge. The experience comes down to us as a conjuncture of scientific, economic, political and, ultimately, military departures, which by their nature involved new ways of meeting crises, and eventually new forms of critical thinking. That these new forms emerged only gradually and unexpectedly is not to underestimate their capacity to endure, or to minimize their relevance. From the Great War came patterns, assumptions, and practices which were to make an indelible mark on science and technology for the rest of the twentieth century and beyond.
Technological Mobilization and Munitions Production: Comparative Perspectives on Germany and Austria.- Mobilization and Industrial Policy: Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals In The French War Effort.- First World War Explosives Manufacture: The British Experience.- Transforming a Village into an Industrial Town: The Royal Prussian Powder Plant in Kirchmöser (Brandenburg).- Wartime Chemistry in Italy: Industry, the Military, and the Professors.- Munitions, the Military, and Chemistry in Russia.- Technical Expertise and U.S. Mobilization, 1917–18: High Explosives and War Gases.- Operating on Several Fronts: The Trans-National Activities of Royal Dutch/Shell, 1914–1918.- Kuhlmann at War, 1914–1924.- Organizing for Total War: DuPont and Smokeless Powder in World War I.- Science and the Military: The Kaiser Wilhelm Foundation for Military-Technical Science.- Managing Chemical Expertise: The Laboratories of the French Artillery and the Service des Poudres.- The War the Victors Lost: The Dilemmas of Chemical Disarmament, 1919–1926.
The first comparative study of the mobilisation of the international chemical industry for war, 1914-18
The first study to show the ‘chemists’ war’ as a war not only waged with chemical weapons, but also driven with the full force of international chemistry
A challenging essay in industrial and technological history, to be read alongside more conventional accounts of military campaigns and wartime developments in the political, economic and social spheres
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