Future War

Future War

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Gyro-Destroyer
Battleship Tanks
Megabattleship Tanks
Land Fortress
Walking Machine
Combat Walker
Automatic Soldier
Flame Tank
Jumping Jack
Mech Army
Magnetic Destroyer
Mile Tower
The Next War
Railgun
Gyrojet
Martian Soviet Pact
Sky Calvalry
Atomic Bomber
Orbital Weapons
Space Devastator
The End

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Predictions about the future seem to have a paradoxical quality about them.  On the one hand, you see all sorts of articles and images showing a prosperous, peaceful people enjoying complex and interesting lives with all sorts of wonderful gadgets.  On the other hand, you find gleeful descriptions of the most incredible means of wielding death that an adolescent mind can conjure. 

Come to think of it, that ended up being not very far from the truth. 

The late 20th century saw the West, and many parts of the rest of the world, enjoying incredible levels of prosperity with some of the most wonderful technological toys ever made, yet at the same time the entire world had a nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over its head.  The difference is that those who made such predictions never really considered the effect that such weapons can have on a society even if their use is only a potential, which is particularly odd because the people of the '20s, '30s, and '40s had first-hand experience of some of the most nightmarish wars in human history. 

Meanwhile,  those of us who lived through the Cold War were well aware of  the prospect of ending up as piles of radioactive brochettes, which tended to put the damper on the best of parties.

 

Consider the title illustration above from 1915.  It depicts the Radium Destroyer; an insect-legged fighting machine of utter destruction sporting a radium  death ray capable of laying waste to whole continents faster than an EU directive.   Such power blasting wide and free would have even given General Jack D. Ripper pause.  And this was supposed to be light reading!

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