Actually, it could be argued that continual war in europe was what allowed these folks to pioneer gun/cannon technology. War also highlighted the importance of having a strong navy/industry. In a world pre-flight/birth of flight, troop and weapons deployment was most efficiently handled through ships or rail. With the rise of standing armies/infantry and less dependency on a dedicated caste of warriors, the mass production of weapons and armor became as important as having competent commanders/trained knights of old. As often is the case, war has its expensive costs, yet offers often unforseen benefits down the road. Crmi, your the one that says never argue for absolutes.