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Ground War: Warrior Weapons

Airs Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Mark Corby with a Macedonian spear.

Danish soldiers in camouflage suits.
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Above: Danish soldiers in camouflage suits.

"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.

Graeme Rimer at the Royal Armouries.
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Above: Graeme Rimer at the Royal Armouries.

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 traces the evolution of soldiers and their gear, from the phalanx formations of Alexander the Great to the the development of wearable exoskeletons that will one day soon make human soldiers stronger and faster.

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.