Kwan's Modern World History Blog

Monday, February 05, 2007


The bazooka was a man-portable anti-tank rocket launcher made famous during World War II where it was one of the United States Armed Forces's primary infantry anti-tank weapons. It was one of the first weapons based on the High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) shell to enter service. It was nicknamed"bazooka" from a vague resemblance to the musical instrument of the same name. It saw widespread use throughout WWII and the Korean War.

Bazooka M1A1
Length: 50 in (137 cm)

Caliber: 60 mm (2.36 in)
Weight: 15 lb (6.8 kg)
Warhead: M6A1 shaped charge (3.5 lb, 1.59 kg)
Maximum: 400 yards (365 m)
Effective: 150 yards (135 m)
Crew: 2, operator and loader

Purpose: Bazookas are used against tanks and are sometimes used by a squad in the field. The 3.5-inch bazooka is used against armor.

How the technology shaped the war: Bazookas made wars become even more brutal than they already were. Firing bazookas increases the range of destruction. When the USA realized that it had no infantry weapon to combat modern tanks. The invention of bazookas was effective. This helped them to fight back armed forces, including airplanes and tanks, of the Germans in WWII. Instead of using a whole infantry to bring down a tank, a Bazooka can blow it up in a blink.

How the war shaped the technology: USA's bazooka-inventions motivated Germany to create even more destructive weapons. Tanks used to be the most damaging weapons until the bazookas were invented. Later, Germany copied this idea to form a larger version of bazooka and was highly effective during wars.

Lasting affects due to the technology: Bazookas made wars more critical. Countries compete to create weapons as damaging as possible. Not so long after the bazookas were invented, super bazookas were born.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Russian Propaganda Poster Project

Propaganda is a method of presenting and spreading ideas to influence people’s opinions and behavior. By using propaganda, people are not allowed to have their own outlook but are forced to believe what is told. Some propagandists use half-truths and distorts the facts. However, in Russia, this technique was very popular and effective. The message in propaganda was carried out through newspapers, radios, posters, etc. Studying propaganda posters help us to learn about the main ideas in the Russian history, the ideas that widely spread in that period. They also show us the way of living of the Russians in the past.

This poster from 1918 shows the harsh working conditions of the Russian Labouring People. They encountered starvation and extreme poverty while the Tsar, priests and rich men had absolute control over them and lead a luxurious life. Skeletons and dead bodies are scattered on the ground which proves that the peasants and workers lives were miserable that they died. Many soldiers also died during the war. The main color is the gloomy brown which shows sadness and poor conditions of the peasants; their clothes were torn and even a little kid had to tolerate this harsh condition while the Tsar’s color is rich with orange and yellow. It is trying to get us to think that the Tsar is careless about his citizens, ignoring their health and living condition, and used his wealth to pleasure himself and the nobles. The Tsar was selfish. The difference in the conditions of the peasants and the Tsar is very effective. We could obviously see that the peasants are skeletal and suffering while the Tsar has extravagant costume and is taking advantage of the peasants.
The star is the symbol of USSR. In this poster, the star is constructed from the industrialization and working men. This means USSR was trying to improve its industry and trying to build more factories which are represented by the smoke in red. The red color means revolution and changes. It is trying to get people to modernize Russia and turn it into a key of industrialization. Men building factories are effective because they form a symbol of the USSR star.
The joyful faces of the people show that they were happy to have Stalin as their leader and were willing to give him support while Stalin claps his hands to show that he was thankful for them. People raise red flags which are the color flags for the revolution and hold up pictures of Stalin. This shows that they were satisfied with the revolution and the leader. The brown color resembles poverty and low status of the peasants and farmers, but with the red color contrasting it and the cheerful emotions, it shows that these working class people were really glad to have a revolution. The cheering crowd is very effective in this poster. It shows that Stalin gained a lot of support. This poster is trying to get people to join the revolution and give support to Stalin.
By the red color on the cloth, this picture strongly conveys the symbol of the revolution. The soldier with full-armed weapons is paying respect the red cloth, which is the color of the revolution, to show reverence to the revolution he is serving for. The sincerity in his face is very effective in this poster because it shows that he was loyal. It is trying to get people to start or continue to be loyal and respectful to the Russian Revolution as this soldier was.
In this poster, the star is the center of attention. It is the symbol for the USSR. A woman with a sickle and a man with a hammer represent the hard-working farmers and workers who were fully supporting the revolution. The soldier with a gun has his chin up with pride and his facial expression reveals his strength of mind to stand up for his country. The soldier is the big and stands in the front because he took a major role in the revolution; the farmer and worker were the supporters. Red is the color of the revolution, and in this poster, red is very strong and effective. This poster is trying to get people to support the revolution. Whether we are farmers, workers, or soldiers, we should all turn to the revolution.
A thin, bony hand of an old peasant is pointing towards a large number of peasants and workers who are suffering from famine like himself. He tries to show that the Russian people are having a disastrous living condition. The dull colors of black and brown show the sorrow and the lack of energy. In the center of the poster are bread and food which were what the peasants need most. It is trying to get us to pay more attention to them and how poorly their livings are. They needed food and help. The number of the desperate peasants is so effective in this poster. It really shows that too many of them are suffering and proves that this was a really serious problem.


Each propaganda poster has its own way of conveying its own message. Most of the posters are about supporting the Russian Revolution. For the revolution to stage, a leader needs a lot of support. Industrialization and serving for the country was an important task for the working-class people. Some posters show how badly the peasants were treated and how they suffered. The Tsar had more than enough of everything while the peasants endured unbearable conditions which led to deaths. To Russia, revolution is vital. Effectively, propaganda was used to carry out these messages to all of the people.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The 1950's: The Decade of Accomplishments

Unlike the other decades in the twentieth century, the 1950's is filled with multifarious acheivements and growths. In this decade, success outweighed failures. Some of the important and memorable people, events and technology developments from this decade are presented below.



Rosa Parks
(February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005)

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man on a public bus; she was arrested. This incident encouraged black people to stand up for their race.

Elvis Presley
(January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977)

Elvis Presley was an idol to teens of the 1950's. He was the most successful actor and musician and is popularly known all over the world as 'The King of Rock n' Roll" for his dance moves and distinctive voice.

Theodor Seuss Geisel
(March 2, 1904 - September 24, 1991)

Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss was a very famous and beloved author, for he had written over 40 children's books and sold over 200 million copies. His first book,
If I Ran the Zoo, was published on 1950. Many authors had mentioned Dr. Seuss as their inspiration and was well-liked by children all over the world.


First Satellite to Orbit the Space

Sputnik1 was the first satellite to orbit the space on October 1, 1957. It was launched by the Russians; this led to a movement to reform science education.

First Animal to Orbit the Space

Laika was the first animal ever sent to space. It rode in Sputnik II to orbit the space on November the 3 rd of 1957. For an animal, this was an admirable accomplishment. Some countries issued stamps to honor this special dog.

First to Reach the Top of the Everest

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to ascend the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, on May 29, 1953. This was the most successful achievement for humankind during that time. Later that year, Hillary was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Sound of Music

In 1959, The Sound of Music was inspired by the Trapp Family Singers who escaped from the Nazi's and had been told from generations to another through stage performances and films. The soundtrack included Do Re Mi and Edelweiss. This story still remains the world's favorite

Technology Developments

First Credit Card

It all started when Frank McNamara forgot his wallet at a diner. He, then, invented a credit card so that the incident would not happen again. This invention had created sufficiency when involving with great deal of money or purchasing goods.

First Color TV

The first successful color television was invented on December 17, 1953. It broadcasted more realistic and vivid television images to the publicity. This is a great leap to develop to a modernized media.

First Mass-Produced Computer

The first mass-produced computer, IBM 704, was generated in 1956. It was one of the greatest technological developments during this decade and was influencial for other designers to create more advanced developments which became the deluxe computers we have today.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

W E L C O M E !