Few science fiction works are as uncannily accurate in for telling the future as a short story published in 1903 by H.G. Wells. It portrays a conflict remarkably similar to the trench warfare of the First World War, in which the two sides face each other across a no-man's land. Wells describes the invention that breaks the stalemate between the combatants -- an armored, all-terrain vehicle that can withstand small-arms fire and cross trenches. We know these vehicles as tanks. Wells's name for his creations, and the title of his story, was The Land Ironclads.
Wells envisioned a huge, hundred-foot-long vehicle propelled by eight pairs of pedrails, wheels ringed with flexible feet to give traction. He also gave his vehicles innovative weapons: remotely controlled rifles with an advanced sighting system that gave tremendous accuracy even while moving.