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I'm looking for a short story about a two factions engaged in a space war where scientists of one faction figured out a better weapon, but they decided not to waste effort producing it, because, by the end of designing that weapon, they figured out they can actually build an even better weapon. But, once they finished designing that second weapon, they figured they can make an even better one. This repeated until they came to the ultimate weapon, but by which time the other faction already defeated them using the plain old weapons from the beginning of the war.

The story is told from a perspective of an officer of the losing faction explaining why they lost.

marked as duplicate by user14111 story-identification Nov 27 '18 at 12:39

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  • You have a nice start here but it would be a bit better if you could edit in some more information such as when you read this, if it was old or new at the time, what anthology you may have read this in etc. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 27 '18 at 11:07

This is the short story called "Superiority" by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1951 and has been included in several anthologies ever since.

According to the description:

It depicts an arms race during an interstellar war. It shows the side which is more technologically advanced being defeated, despite its apparent superiority, because of its willingness to discard old technology without having fully perfected the new. Meanwhile, the enemy steadily built up a far larger arsenal of weapons that while more primitive were also more reliable.

You can actually read it here for free.

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