I answered this question by theorizing that making a world's atmosphere thinner at sea level could limit the viability of airplanes used in naval warfare. My reasoning was that a thinner atmosphere would make it harder for planes to take off, requiring a longer runway (less feasible for aircraft carriers) and/or redesigned planes (which could limit effectiveness).
I'm curious about how else a thinner atmosphere might affect warfare on a planet from WWI-era to late Cold War-era technology. Some things that come to mind for me are:
- Chemical weapons would stay closer to the ground due to lower air density.
- Bullets and artillery may go farther due to lack of air resistance (or perhaps not due to aerodynamic limitations).
- Most airplanes, at least earlier on in the century, would fly much closer to the ground and therefore be in closer range of guns because of difficulty getting lift at higher altitudes.
- Airplanes would have a harder time getting into the air and might require redesigns (such as carrying less explosives or having larger wings).
- Perhaps fires wouldn't burn as long due to the thinner atmosphere.
I am presuming that the human-like civilization that evolved on such a planet would have adapted to a thinner atmosphere and would not have difficulty breathing as humans would in a thin atmosphere.
Is my reasoning correct or am I incorrect about some of my assumptions? Are there other dramatic ways warfare would be affected that I'm not thinking about?