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Ground War: Battlefield Mobility

Airs Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: American infantry training in an uparmoured humvee; Fort Irwin, California.

"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.

"Little Willie," the world's first tank, at Bovington Museum, England.
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Above: "Little Willie," the world's first tank, at Bovington Museum, England.

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 explore the development of the soldier and his weapons in “Warrior Weapons,” movement in the combat zone in “Battlefield Mobility,” the evolution of artillery in “Firepower” and battlefield engineering in “Command and Control.”

This episode explores mobility on the battlefield and the never-ending challenge to maximize effectiveness and find the right balance of protective armor, speed, mobility and firepower.

Video

Preview: Ground War

Above: "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.