The Spanish-American War

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What technologies were used in the Spanish-American War?

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As the site from Army Heritage below notes, the Army was not well-equipped at the outset of the Spanish-American War in 1898. The army equipped some soldiers with canteens from the Civil War era, for example. New technology that was used in the war included repeating rifles, which had replaced single-shot weapons. These rifles were more accurate and fired more rapidly. They used cartridges that were more water-resistant than the powder that had formerly been used in firearms.

In addition, new forms of technology changed the way in which journalists covered the war. New technologies made it easier for newspapers to print photographs, and reporters sent back photographs from the battlefield (see the source from the Library of Congress, below). Joseph Pulitzer and other newspaper magnates featured photographs of the war in their papers, stirring up public sentiment against the Spanish and pushing the public to be in favor of the war.

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The Spanish-American War was not a particularly advanced war in terms of its technology.  There were no airplanes and no machine guns.  It was not a war that was won or lost because of technology.

On the American side, there were only two weapons that can really be seen as technologically advanced in any way.  The first of these was the Model 1896 Krag-Jorgenson Rifle.  This rifle was advanced because of the fact that it used smokeless powder (new to the US) and because it had a five shot magazine instead of being a single shot rifle.  Most American units, however, did not have this weapon because it was quite new.  Second, the US used the 1895 model of the Gatling Gun.  This was not a machine gun, but it was a weapon that could fire very rapidly.  The rate of fire of this weapon was considerable and it did help the US win the war.

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