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Entries in weapons (3)


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.



Poison War (1981)

Don't you hate it when countries use pterodactyls in war?

The 1981 book Future War and Weapons (World of Tomorrow) by Neil Ardley describes future wars being waged with drugs which would produce vivid hallucinations in opposing soldiers. Below is the entire two-page spread.

See also:
Robot Rebellion (1982)
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)


Space Colony Pirates (1981)

This scene of a picnic gone horribly wrong can be found in the book Future War and Weapons (World of Tomorrow) by Neil Ardley. The author talks about "the ultimate weapon," the death ray of science fiction which has become a reality. I suspect that this image had an effect on the children of 1981 similar to that of the Robot Rebellion we looked at earlier in the week.

See also:
Robot Rebellion (1982)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)