1939 Gumps comic strip predicts modern drone warfare

[high res] Everyone knows about this comic book, which Dick Cheney read as a boy and later used as the basis of his foreign policy during the Bush administration. Here's another comic, from 1939, that predicts modern drone warfare. (Thanks, Randy Regier!)

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  1. That appears to be predicting anti-aircraft homing missiles rather than drone warfare.

    Of course a Hellfire drone is really just a multi-stage cruise missile with a reusable first stage, so who's counting.

    (I gotta say that a sonic homing system sounds surprisingly plausible in an era before radar or IR sensors. Good job on the science for a cheap gag!)

  2. spejic says:

    There were tests of bomb dropping drones (or "automatic aircraft" as they called them) during WW I. Gyroscopes and radio existed before aircraft, and remote controlled boats existed before the turn of the century, so the idea of the drone was born when aircraft proved themselves viable, not by post-aircraft thinking or advances.

  3. Oh, hey, that reminds me of a fun fact: the first functional self-propelled naval torpedo, and arguably the first "guided missile" of any kind, had a spring-driven clockwork engine and was guided by a guy on the shore pulling on ropes to swing the rudder back and forth.

  4. Rufus says:

    Hmmm, I see the Bush administration and former VP Dick Cheney mentioned in a post about the drone warfare that has been used with ever-greater frequency but I don't see the name of the current Administration or VP. If only we knew the names of the President and VP who have been overseeing drone warfare for the last 5 years! Oh well, I guess that the answer will always be one of life's little mysteries...

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