War Theory: A Technical Analysis of War of the Worlds [Part 4]

By Daniel Duffy 22 May 2017 0

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. …Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.” War of the Worlds

Part IV – The Invasion Strategy and Operational Goals

As mentioned above, 10 cylinders, each containing up to five tripods were launched at Earth and landed in the English countryside outside of London. Locations of seven of the landing sites are known (Horsell Common, Addlestone, Pyrford, Bushey Park, Sheen, Wimbledon, and Primrose Hill).

Header Image courtesy of Khilat, DeviantArt

war of the worlds hg wells men hunting by by troc czarnyrobert d6pjzk2

A mere 50 war machines seem inadequate for the purposes of occupation. But then the Martians had arrived to exterminate, not occupy. As stated in previous parts, a 100 feet tall Martian tripod would have a line of sight to the horizon of almost 20 km with the ability to incinerate anything that moves within their field of view - or poison with gas if in hiding. Each tripod would have a zone of control equal to a diameter of 40 km. Five such tripods could form a line of battle 200 km long. The entire invasion force could form a continuous front of 2,000 km. The longest distance between points in the UK (Lands End, Cornwall to Duncansby Head in the far northeast of Scotland) is 968 km. So the Martian invasion force could literally sweep Great Britain with a continuous line of advance from one end to the other. Nothing on the island would escape them.

But why the UK? There are several advantages to landing in Great Britain to establish and invasion beachhead. As an island, it could be completely swept clean of defending Humans without having to worry about interference from contiguous lands. Great Britain was also one of the most technologically advanced societies on Earth with the greatest concentration of industrial capacity and technological prowess, and its defeat would augur well for future complete conquest of the planet. But most importantly, London was the largest city on the planet and therefore the largest single concentrated source of food available to the Martians. Perhaps the Martians thought of their invasion more as a hunting expedition of inferior food animals than as a military campaign.

The UK also offered the perfect place both geographically and logistically to establish a solid base of operations for subsequent advances across the globe. The initial invasion force of 50 tripods would be analogous to the first divisions that landed on the beaches on D-Day. The main invasion force would follow on through.


Aside from hunting and domesticating Humans for food, their long-range plans most likely included terra-forming (or more accurately “ares-forming”) the Earth to resemble the environment of their home planet. To that end they deliberately introduced the red weed as an invasive species. This Martian plant quickly overwhelmed the local ecosystem but also in time succumbed to Earth microbes. Had this initial first wave been successful, Great Britain would have been transformed into a human cattle pen whose other native species would have been driven to extinction by invading Martian life forms.

The fate of the planet would have been the same after the second wave had arrived.



Log in to join the discussion.

Related Posts from Wargamer