It’s Military Advantages That Matter

According to Jared Diamond, the reason why Pizarro did capture Atahuallpa was that Spaniards had great military advantages over Inca troops. When Spaniards used steel weapons, guns and horses, Incas still made their tools and weapons from bronze. The imbalances of equipment directly led to the imbalances of military power between Spaniards and Incas. Due to Spaniards’ good use of steel swords and horses, Pizarro’s troops could achieve overwhelming victory even with fewer forces. Incas cannot hit back even they had more people.

I see from the war between Spaniards and Incas that military equipment and technology are of importance in the wars. Countries who have more sophisticated equipment are more likely to be the winner. Similar to steel swords and horses used by Spaniards, tanks and chemical weapons showed up the World War I and atom bombs were used as weapons of mass destruction in the World War II. These military weapons have something in common, that is, when they were first used in the wars, they helped countries that owned them build total advantages over countries that did not have. With the development and sophistication of military equipment and technology, victory of wars cannot be easily achieved through more forces; instead, military technology plays more important role. Incas used bronze weapons against Spaniards’ horsemen with steel swords, which reminds me of the war between Nazi Germany and Poland in the early stage of WWII. When the main troop of Poland consisted of cavalries, Germany had the advanced armored forces. There is no doubt that Poland was defeated as Inca. They cannot change the imbalances of equipment and turn a situation around.

We can conclude from two wars that military advantages really do matter. Only if countries have total military advantages can they win.


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