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Ground War: Command And Control

Airs Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusader fortress in Syria. Its multiple walls and concentric layers of defenses provided “defense in depth.”

"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.

The siege ramp at the mountain fortress of Masada, Israel.
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Above: The siege ramp at the mountain fortress of Masada, Israel.

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.”

The final episode considers the ways in which armies have used or modified the terrain of the battlefield to their advantage for both defense and attack.

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.