The Land Ironclads
The Land Ironclads - Published 1904. Written in 1904 by H.G. Wells, The Land Ironclads is a short story prescient of the First World War. The Ironclads are 100 ft long machines with remote controlled guns and accommodation for 42 soldiers, including 7 officers. They move with small wheels with feet called "Pedrails", and attain a maximum of 8 mph. Many politicians during WWI wished to apply the concept and make real Ironclads. The First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and the Landships Committee developed the first tanks in WWI without Wells' involvement, Wells was embittered and developed an aversion to politics for a short time. It is said that this story was the starting point of tanks in World War I. Leonardo da Vinci had also designed a proto-tank, but Wells' chief inspiration seems to have been Ironclad warships, which also feature significantly in one incident from The War of the Worlds. An important book in the invasion literature genre, it predicts the breakthrough in trench warfare which was still not to be achieved until late in the Great War. Few science fiction works were as uncannily accurate in fortelling the future as this short story published in 1903 by H.G. Wells. It portrays a conflict remarkably similar to the trench warfare of the First World War, in which the two sides face each other across a no-man's land. Wells describes the invention that breaks the stalemate between the combatants -- an armoured, all-terrain vehicle that can withstand small-arms fire and cross trenches...the Land Ironclads. Illustrated.