The World Wars of the twentieth century had major implications on scientific and technological advancements as chemical warfare sparked a race for destruction. Chemical warfare is the only explanation for the immensely high death toll; over 75 million people died in a time frame equal to about a decade.  By simply analyzing the numbers, but more importantly those from World War II, it can be understood that the developments made in chemical warfare were what made that possible.

The elements of war at the time were what led to scientific and technological advances: how can we kill as much of the enemy as possible without putting our men in harms way? Scientists were pushed to the limit, simply being told to create weapons that would take the most human lives at once. Weapons were created that could wipe out entire regiments of soldiers with the click of a button. Consequently, the horrific outcome of both wars was driven by the desire to win. Nations were compelled to act in ways never yet seen before: this was most prevalent with the dropping of the atomic bomb. The United States government sanctioned the use of a weapon that took thousands of civilian lives, something we had never seen until that point. It was a display of scientific and technological dominance. The decision came out of desperation, and there is no question about that. The results of Pearl Harbor left the United States as a nation desperate for a way out. The atomic bomb gave our government that opportunity. The creators of the bomb recognized its’ scientific significance: “the atomic bomb was so terrifying that it would put an end to conventional warfare, but that, counterintuitively, this was not good, because the bomb would put in its stead a hideous peace as “horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity” (Oreskes). The idea was understood but its’ true implications were not. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the race for nuclear power and eventually, the Cold War. Because of that, the advancements made during the global wars were in fact detrimental to our society. The scientific and technological advancements made led to hysteria around the world. Nations began to compete for power, and soon countries possessed enough nuclear weapons to wipe out half of the world. Discoveries made in the mid twentieth century became the weaponry of the future, and has proved to be more destructive and more powerful than anything else.