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Entries in futuristic war (2)

Wednesday
Aug032011

Doughboys become "iron boys" to fight wars of the future (1926)

Between 1918 end of World War I and the 1939 start of World War II, American newspapers sometimes ran stories about how robots would battle in wars of the future. Still shaken from the incredible death toll of World War I, people hoped for a time when robots would fight in the place of humans. Sometimes this was imagined as something to ensure that only your side wouldn't see casualties, but other articles predicted a time when wars would simply be decided by whatever nation's robots could conquer that of another nation's robots, leaving no human casulaties.

The December 25, 1926 San Antonio Light ran this illustration of the robot soldier of the future. The illustration is based on an unnamed mechanical man with RUR emblazoned on its chest. R.U.R., of course being the name of the play by Karel Capek that introduced the word "robot" to the English speaking world in 1921. The caption explains that doughboys of the future (a term for American soldiers fighting in WWI) might be called iron boys if they're one day replaced by robots.

Possibly in some grim war of the future the doughboy will have become the "iron boy." The army has enlisted its first mechanical man "Private Robot," and put him to work at Aberdeen proving grounds.

 

Sunday
Jul102011

Futuristic Fliers for the Army (1958)

Who needs an army of robotic killing machines when you've got planes that look so darn intimidating and futuristic? According to this blurb in the March 29, 1958 Miami News, scaring the enemy to death was a possibility with a platton of these "fantastic fliers."

PHILADELPHIA, March 29 -- If the U.S. Army of the future can't beat an enemy, it may scare it to death with a platoon of flying machines like these. This is an artist's conception of air-ground vehicle designs submitted to the Army by various aircraft firms. The goal is to provide the Army with a utility vehicle that will give troops more mobility. These machines are supposed to rise vertically, hover at three feet or zip over mountains at 150 mph. They also are designed to fire rockets, duck behind hills, fly down an alley, hide amid trees and turn in their own length without touching the ground.