The Land Ironclads by H.G. Wells is a short story, originally published in a 1903 in an edition of Strand Magazine. It is used to show the audience that technology is an ever so important aspect of life. The story opens up on a battlefield where two armies are fighting each other, although the reason for this is never stated, each side believes that they are in the right for fighting. The army on the narrator’s side are all physical, brute men who have been training for the war and are experienced on the battlefield. On the contrary side, the other men are all civilized men, who have minimal war experience and are “a crowd of devitalised townsmen… They’re clerks, they’re factory hands, they’re students, they’re civilised men. They can write, they can talk, they can make and do all sorts of things, but they’re poor amateurs at war.” H.G. Wells leads us to believe that the other side has no chance in winning, however something changes all of this. All of a sudden soldiers started taking heavy fire and off in the distance of the battlefield, 100-foot-long (30 m) armoured fighting vehicles that carry riflemen, engineers, and a captain, and are armed with remote-controlled, semi-automatic rifles appear. By the end of the battle, the victor was not who the reader originally believed. The group of civilians defeats the physically superior army due to the help of 13 ironclads. At the end, only one ironclad was impaired compared to the narrator’s disheveled army.
This story was interesting to me because it shows that technology can be used to great advantages in life. Technology is everywhere in today’s life and without it, we would be lost. The story shows that technology is more powerful than humans and when humans and machines are combined, it creates an extremely important advantage. I believe that H.G. Wells was trying to tell his audience that science and technology are the keys to succeeding in life and we must use them wisely.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because it showed the sheer power that technology has on us. The book reminds me of 1984 by George Orwell, because at the time, no such technology was invented. He hypothesized a world where crafts with heavy powered guns was possible, and today that is the reality. People have spent billions of dollars creating technology like this for warfare. It is crazy to me how Wells could have predicted this.