Nikola Tesla

Science and Discovery are the great Forces which will lead to the Consummation of the War


Whatever future ages may have in store for the human race, the development so far would indicate as its probable fate perpetual strife. Civilization alone is evidently insufficient for insuring permanent peace on earth. It but retards the clash to add to its intensity and magnitude, making it all the more dreadful and ruinous.

The present colossal struggle creates an impression apart, a feeling of awe, a sense of solemnity, springing from the knowledge that a terrible calamity, greater than any recorded in the annals of history, has befallen the world. Suddenly awakened from fancied security to the consciousness of insuspected and universal danger, the nations stand aghast. It is as if some vast terrestrial upheaval were taking place, as if gigantic forces were unchained, threatening the entire globe.

Never before were such immense armies engaged in battle and such frightfully destructive implements employed; never was so much dependent on a victory of arms. Already the losses incurred amount to tens of billions of dollars; more than three million men have been killed and disabled, and for each of these ten, at least, have been turned into nervous wrecks, which will impress their miseries on the succeeding generations and darken their days. All the world over countless sufferers, torn by anxiety, ask themselves how long is this appalling slaughter and sacrilegious waste to continue.

War is essentially a manifestation of energy involving the acceleration and retardation of a mass by a force. In such a. case it is a universally established truth that the time necessary to impart a given velocity and momentum is proportionate to the mass. The same law also applies to the annihilation of velocity and momentum by a resisting force. Translated in popular language this means that the period or duration of an armed conflict is theoretically proportionate to the magnitude of the armies or number of combatants.

It is obviously assumed that the resources are ample and all other conditions equal. Furthermore, in making deductions from previous wars a number of factors have to be taken into consideration and all quantities estimated at their proper value on the basis of statistical and other data. Supposing that, as it appears, 12,000,000 men are engaged in the present struggle, a comparison with some of the past wars gives the following results:





Number of Combatants




Civil war




Protracted by distance, poor communication and ineffective arms.

Present war




Franco-German war




Equipment not quite modern.

Present war





Russo-Japanese war




Lengthened by distance, poor communication and nature of campaign.

Present war




First Balkan war




In all respects up to date.

Present war




Hypothetical average war




Various causes affecting duration'.

Present war





Much more concordant and shorter terms would be obtained in these comparative estimates if the records available were corrected as indicated and due allowances made for the facilities, of transport and communication, increased power and destructiveness of arms and other factors tending to magnify the rate at which energy is delivered, and so to hasten the termination of the clash. The best inference is certainly that drawn from the Balkan war, as the most modern, according to which the term should be five years. Even though this be but a rough approximation, it is sufficient to show that, barring some extraordinary development, this war will be a long, one.

Indeed, it seems on purely scientific grounds that a conflict on such a vast scale can only be ended by exhaustion. The enormous extent of the battle front, owing to numbers and attendant impossibility of striking a decisive blow, is in further support of this theory. It is also highly significant to observe in this connection how the original battle lines, determined in advance by strategy, have been gradually shifted and straightened, contact between the fighting masses being finally established on lines fixed by natural law and brute force of push in defiance of military design. The likelihood of such termination is increased by the fact that the disturbance extends over an immense area, making the supply of necessities to some of the affected regions exceptionally difficult.

Accepting, then, this theory as correct, we are justified in expecting that, conditions remaining normal, the struggle will last more or less according to the form the exhaustion may take. Lack of food, deterioration and shortage of equipment, want of metals, chemicals and ammunition, scarcity of ready capital, failing supply of trained men or sheer giving out of human energy are some of the elements to be reckoned with, any, one of which may compel an early cessation of hostilities. That the war cannot be continued much longer with its present intensity can be easily shown.

The daily cost of operation is more than forty millions of dollars, and , judging from. the casualties recorded to date, twenty-five thousand men, on the average, are killed and disabled in battle every day. At that rate only four more months of active campaign would result in an expenditure of five billions of dollars and a loss of life of three millions of men. This is, manifestly, too great an additional burden to be borne, for even though the fighting material might be available, capital is sure to be lacking. It could be, therefore, concluded with certitude that peace would be restored before next winter, were it not for one possibility, or rather probability, that of a deadlock, which would be the very worst calamity, for, in view of the real cause of ,the trouble and the temper of nations involved, it could not fail to protract the war for years.

Prophesying is an ungrateful occupation, but scientific forecasting is a useful form of 'endeavor and would be much more such if human nature were not so prone to leave advice and lesson unheeded. Having made a careful study of the situation, an expert can predict certain happenings with perfect confidence. There are now only three possible issues of this war: first, collapse of Austria; second, conquest of England by the Germans, and, third, Germany's exhaustion and defeat.

The fall of Austria is inevitable and must occur within the next few months. She may defy German influence and sue independently for peace to save herself, but it is doubtful that she could offer anything acceptable to the Allies. Much more likely it is that the old Emperor, tired of life and recognizing the injustice of Austria's cause, will himself abdicate and recommend partition.

This may not be unwelcome to hard pressed Germany, for it will open up a way of making peace on terms which will not be humiliating and compensate her for the probable loss of Alsace-Lorraine and East Prussia.

The dual monarchy has maintained herself through decades as if by a wonder. It would have been dissolved long ago had it not been for the stubborn adherence of Hungarian magnates to a promise given to Maria Theresa and the extraordinary popularity of the reigning dynasty, largely due to compassion of the subjects of all nationalities aroused by the many strange misfortunes which have befallen the house of Hapsburg. It is well recognized that the unnatural existence of this feudal state has been a constant menace to European peace and is the chief cause of the present upheaval. A division of Austro-Hungarian territory along racial lines will satisfy all warring nations on the European continent. This is sure to come. It is a process natural and unavoidable as the falling of an overripe apple from the tree.

Regarding the second possibility, it is still unsafe to make a prediction and further developments must be awaited before a conclusion can be drawn as to the outcome. There are many indications that Germany is preparing for an attack on England with all energy and speed, and perhaps her operations in the east and west serve- the purpose of masking this move. The tension between the two countries is very great, the causes of the quarrel peculiar and a peaceful solution of the difficulty is next to impossible.

The third of the issues mentioned would mean a very long war. Germany cannot break through the steel wall in France and Belgium; her partial victories in Poland can make no impression on the Russian masses. Gradually she must settle on a defensive. She has the greatest load to carry and must give out first, according to financiers and statisticians.

But with a people so intelligent, industrious, resourceful and solidly united such forecasts are hazardous. The Germans are fully capable of "making two blades of grass grow where one grew before" and it is precisely because of this and their perfect military organization that the danger of a long conflict exists. Such a prospect is enough to cause the gravest apprehensions and the uppermost thought in the minds of seers is how to prevent such paralysis of progress and horrible carnage and waste. Can it be done?

There is a grim determination of all directly concerned to fight the issues to the bitter end on the ground that a premature peace, leaving the vital questions unsettled, would only mean the continuance of the existing pernicious regime and repetition of the evil. A new and irresistible argument must be brought forward to stop the conflict. The case is desperate, but there is a hope. This hope lies in science, discovery and invention. ,

Modern machinery wrought by science is responsible for this calamity; science will also undo the Frankenstein monster it has created. Centuries ago an ingenious contrivance of Archimedes is said to have decided a battle and terminated a great war. Be it a myth or a fact, this story affords an inspiring lesson. What is needed at this psychological moment is some such revelation. A new force, a new agent, a demonstration by any means, old or novel, but of a kind to surprise and suddenly, illuminate, to bring the belligerents to their senses and furnish irrefutable proof of the folly and uselessness of carrying on the brutal fight.

This idea, to which I have myself devoted years of work, has now taken hold of scientific men and experts all the world over. Thousands of inventors, fired on by this unique opportunity, are bent upon developing some process or apparatus for accomplishing the purpose, and there. is feverish. activity in France, Russia, and especially in Germany, among electricians, chemists and engineers. What the genius of nations will bring forth none can tell, but it is not too much to say that the results will be of such character as materially to affect the outcome and duration of the struggle.

It is on this account that importance attaches to vague reports of mysterious experiments with Zeppelins, explosive rays and magic bombs, for though such news items cannot be accepted as true, they reveal just so many startling possibilities. In the production and application of novel means of warfare Germany should be first, no only by reason of superior facilities and excellent training of her experts, but because this has become a dire necessity, a question of life and death in her present trying position.

The uncertain and often conflicting despatches of the daily happenings received from various sources have made it difficult to form a decided opinion as to the actual state of things, but in spite of rigid censorship the main facts have gradually transpired. One of these is that the Germans were the only people ready for war.

Not even the French, who boasted of preparedness; were able to mobilize on time. The invasion of East Prussia was but a daring stroke of the Russians to draw the enemy and relieve the pressure on France, successful but very costly to them. As to the complacent Britons, they were fast asleep. Whatever may be said against Great Britain, her utter unreadiness and the great danger to which she was exposing herself by her ultimatum to Germany would seem to be proof positive that she did not desire to enter the conflict.

Another fact, equally apparent, is that Germany, not content with a partial, even if certain, victory, had determined to defeat all the Allies in quick succession. Her plan of dictating terms of peace first in Paris, then in Petrograd, and finally in London, was not adopted as a military necessity, but as a deliberate programme based on the absolute confidence in the overwhelming power of her arms. Nor did she mean to stop at that. Her aim was much higher; she wanted nothing less than to rule all nations.

This is now frankly admitted by many of her leading men. To most of us such an undertaking is dumfounding in its boldness and magnitude, all the more as it is intended to be carried through by force. But it would be a mistake to accuse the Germans of conceit and arrogance. They are convinced of their superiority, and it must be admitted that there is some justification for their attempt.

The question has often been raised as to whether our further development will be in the direction of the artistic and beautiful or the scientific and useful. The inevitable conclusion is that art must be sacrificed to science. This being so, the rational Germans represent the nearest approach of the humanity of the future. The Slavs, who are in the ascendency and will lead in their turn, will give a fresh impetus to creative and spiritual effort, but they too will have to concentrate on the necessary and practical. A world of bees will be the ultimate result.

Germany has been foiled in her attempt. Though still undefeated, her campaign is a failure. Many statements have been made in explanation of the sudden halt of her victorious armies, as if by a miracle, at the very gates of Paris, but the views expressed are of speculative character and do not deal with the real physical causes. These may be briefly elucidated.

The German war machine is an attempt to substitute for an assemblage of loosely linked temperamental and problematical units a compact and apathetic mass moving at command with clock precision, machinelike, impassive, indifferent to danger and death, in battle the same as on parade. Its conception rests on a deeply scientific foundation. Every human being is swayed by courage and fear, but the former predominates. This is evident, for life or existence itself is a struggle fraught with perils and pains which must be met with determination and fortitude. Fear comes from the consciousness of inimical environment and is accentuated by isolation.

When many men are placed close together the friendly surrounding and sense of connectedness are productive of a distinct psychological mass effect, calming the nerves and subduing the inborn dread and apprehension. On the other hand, frequent and severe drilling kept up for years, besides being conducive to precision and synchrony of movements, is of decided hypnotic influence, still further eliminating individual initiative and incertitude. Thus results a strong and healthy body which moves and acts as a unit, which is without human failings and shortcomings and capable of maximum performance through well directed and simultaneous application .of separate efforts.

Such is the formidable engine Germany has perfected for the protection of her Kultur and conquest of the globe — an unfeeling automaton, a diabolical contrivance for scientific, pitiless, wholesale destruction the: like of which was not dreamed of before. It is believed to express the highest efficiency, but is deceptive in this respect, to none more than the Germans themselves. In reality this modern war machine, considered as a transformer of energy, is barbarously wasteful.

Not only does it call for enormous expenditure of money and effort when idle, but involves a fundamental fallacy which military writers ignore, namely, the conditions determining its performance, and therefore its efficiency, are largely, if not wholly, controlled by the enemy. Indeed, it is lack of appreciation of this truth that is responsible for the Paris failure.

The first of the two chief causes of German unsuccess is found in the admirable defensive tactics of the French, who refused to make a stand for a decisive battle, thus preventing the German machine from developing its full power and compelling it to work at low efficiency. The second, even more important, was the result of undue hurry of the Germans, who drove their engine too fast,thereby increasing greatly the losses without adequate gain in useful performance. Had they taken more time, which, as subsequent developments have shown, they could have well afforded, there would have been more energy conserved and the task in all probability successfully accomplished.

The most surprising of the facts which have transpired is that there have been made in diplomatic transaction and conduct of the German campaign a number of grievous mistakes, so patent now that no representations of the press can disguise them. This is a revelation for which the world was least prepared and which shows clearly that German erudition and technical proficiency have been obtained at the expense of intuition, tact and good judgment.

What a blunder was the violation of Belgian neutrality, what an error the expectation that England would tolerate an encroachment so dangerous to her existence, that Italy would sacrifice her fleet and commerce to please the alliance! The Germans had wonderful guns, rendering fortifications useless, and yet in attacking France, instead of the shortest, route, they took a circuitous path through Belgium, thus losing time and conjuring new perils and complications besides. Tens of thousands of men were driven into certain death in vain assaults in mass formation when a few shots from these guns would have been sufficient to level the forts.

Troops were withdrawn from France to less important points at the very moment when their presence meant certain victory. The Germans could have marched on Warsaw and Petrograd before the enemy was ready to put up an effective resistance, yet they delayed the invasion until the Russians brought up their millions. They could have taken Dunkirk and Calais without great effort and so avoided the terrible losses which this task, if at all realizable, must now involve. At present they are recklessly venturing far into Russian teritory against overwhelming numbers and in a season when snow-storms may cut the communications and put the whole army at the mercy of the enemy.

What explanation can be offered for these and other singular errors of a nation to which economy is religion, which is admittedly the first in achieving successes in the most scientific manner, along lines of least resistance? Only one reason can be given and it is one which has, caused the downfall of many an empire! It is overconfidence and contemptuous disregard of the adversaries.

Germany began the war with a blind faith in an offensive which knows no opposition. She has learned, after a 'frightful and unnecessary sacrifice of life and property, that France can be strong without Napoleon, that the rights of liberty loving nations, as the Belgian and Servian, cannot be trampled upon with impunity, that Russia is no longer the clumsy and helpless beast of the north. She has finally recognized what she should have known from the first, that England is her most dangerous enemy. She might maintain herself against the armies of the Continent, but with Great Britain shutting her off from the sea and strangling her by degrees the task is rendered impossible.

Victory over the Allies in the west, if at all obtainable, would weaken her to the point of danger; in the East the situation is becoming more hopeless every hour. Germany is losing ten thousand men and spending seventy-five millions of marks a day. Her life blood is ebbing fast; in the end she must lose. The only way to win is to crush England. In doing this she frees herself from the deadly grip at her throat and triumphs over all her enemies.

The Fatherland is now aflame with this thought and has started, with energy never shown before, a new campaign which if undertaken four months ago might have terminated the war before it was fairly under way. Germany enters this mortal combat not with the cold deliberation of a military power but with the passionate resolve of a nation animated by that one desire. She depends for success not only on her generals but on her physicists, engineers, inventors, chemists and artisans and on her volunteers who will offer themselves as martyrs for her cause.

She may make raids and demonstrations to trap the enemy, but she does not have the remotest intention to engage the British fleet in open battle. What she proposes to do is to destroy it by hellish means and artifices without losing a single ship of her own. Unless England wakes up immediately to this grave danger and prepares to meet science with science, skill with skill and sacrifice with sacrifice, the next few months may be critical for her reign as mistress of the seas. That the rules set down at The Hague are ineffective in. preventing the use of infernal devices has been already shown. International agreements are of two kinds and may be classified under two captions, which are: "United we stand, divided we fall" and "Circumstances alter cases." The provisions of The Hague are of the latter kind.

Those who would brush aside the above suggestion as highly improbable if not preposterous should bear in mind that a great nation leading in technical achievement is making a fight for its existence and that invention has already provided means by which such destruction can be accomplished, while others are foreshadowed in scientific investigations of recent years., The question that will interest everybody is what methods and contrivances is Germany likely to employ in her cunning undertaking and how can her efforts be met and frustrated?

In her attack upon England four ways are open to Germany: First, forceful invasion in disregard of the British fleet; second, engagement with the fleet in open battle; third, gradual destruction and weakening of the fleet by devices other than guns, and fourth, aerial attacks on land and sea.

History is full of daring conquests. It may be that we are to witness the most remarkable of all. The British Isles have been invaded before, but it was in times' of primitive arms. The means of defence have been brought to great perfection, it is true, but this is largely offset by correspondingly increased ,powers of offensive. The feat is difficult but not impossible.

Strategy, however, can play no important part in its consummation. It is a case of Hannibal crossing the Alps, a problem of overcoming natural barriers. England has a small coast line on which landing can be effected and many places are likely to be well guarded and fortified. If the Germans contemplate invasion it will come like a lightning stroke. They will attempt it in broad daylight and in their favored manner of hacking through the obstacles regardless of loss. Their frantic efforts to get control of the coast would seem to indicate that such is their intention.

Many experts are of the opinion that so long as there is a superior British fleet in existence an undertaking of this nature is wholly out of the question, but this is ,a mistake. It is certainly possible for the Germans to establish an operating zone in the Channel, protected on the sides by impenetrable mine fields and submarines. What is more, the possession of Calais, while it would be of great advantage to them, is not absolutely necessary to their purpose.

Whatever the plan, it will be a piece of engineering worked out in all details with German thoroughness. That is the reason why no credence can be placed in the flimsy proposals which have been described in some papers. No feasible scheme has as yet been disclosed, but I think that I am guessing correctly when I say that the Germans contemplate the use of specially designed floating fortresses, which will be in sections and transportable by rail.

They will be made virtually invulnerable to torpedo and gun attack and will be equipped with guns of great range and destructive power constructed with this very object in view. Under the protection of these fortresses, which will sweep the coast clear, landing of troops and artillery is to be effected while bodies of infantry are transported through the air, this latter operation being performed under cover of darkness. With guns of inferior calibre, and more or less unprepared, it will be hard for the Britons to frustrate the attempt.

There is some foundation to the belief that the Germans may venture a naval engagement on a large scale. They have a smaller number of vessels, but they are mostly of quite modern type and without doubt every unit is in perfect order. All reports agree that their guns are superior to those of the British, both in range and durability. The Germans are masters in the manufacture and treatment of heat resisting materials and many technical branches in other countries are entirely dependent on their product. When we add to this advantage the possibilities offered by mines, torpedoes, submarines, Zeppelins and other means of destruction, skilful manoeuvre and surprise the numerical inequality of the fleet assumes secondary importance.

The marvelous exploit of a small German submarine which sank four British cruisers and escaped undamaged is in itself sufficient to justify the conclusion that the impending duel between the two countries will not be decided by guns and armor alone, considered heretofore supreme on the ocean. And yet the full capabilities of this kind of craft remain to be shown.

Germany is apt to go other nations one better. Most inventions originating elsewhere are improved by the Germans. Not only this, but they work for effect, knowing that to surprise is to strike, to strike is to win. It is highly probable that they have developed new things in submarines and may have solved the particular problem confronting them now, which is to destroy battleships in protected harbors.

This might be done by miniature vessels of simplified construction which would be virtually nothing but torpedoes and manned with one or two volunteer operators. The displacement would not need to be more than five tons, so that two or three, if not more, could be lowered from a Zeppelin in convenient localities at night. Such devices controlled by resolute men would be a new terror of the sea hard to guard against.

In general it will be very difficult for the British to combat effectively the submarine peril. An airship or aeroplane can be fought with a similar machine, but under water this method is impracticable and special craft 'will have to be perfected. Battleships might discourage submarine attacks by small shells filled with explosives of very high velocity so as to produce shocks of great intensity. Minute mines may also be employed, so constructed as to float at a certain depth and to explode on contact. They would do no harm to a large surface vessel but would reveal the presence of and injure a submarine, the delicate apparatus of which is easily deranged.

Next to guns the Zeppelin form of airship is the most valuable war asset of the Germans; at least they think so. Many difficulties had to be overcome in its development. A process of manufacturing cheaply pure hydrogen was perfected, a new alloy of remarkable strength and lightness produced, suitable and highly economical engines constructed and a number of other technical problems successfully solved. While not involving great originality it was a notable advance such as could only be achieved .in Germany. Much has been said, both in exaltation and depreciation, of the Zeppelin, making it necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff `before expressing an opinion as to its merits.

A claim has been advanced that a new non-inflammable gas was recently discovered, by the use of which the carrying capacity of the vessel is increased two and a half times. The only foundation of this persistent report is that according to the periodic hypothesis of elements evolved by the great Russian Mendelejeff, which has proved an unerring guide in chemical research, there should be a gas of an atomic weight 04. In a way its existence is demonstrated in the solar corona — hence the name coronium — and also in the aurora borealis, in which ease it is referred to as terrestrial, or geocoronium.

In order to estimate what Germany might do with her air fleet a correct guess must be made as to its magnitude. Prior to the declaration of war she had thirty-six vessels of various sizes and actual facilities for turning out from eight to ten each month. But under war pressure this rate could be greatly increased.

The machine has passed the experimental stage and it is simply a question of reproduction. In view of the situation it would not. be surprising to find that a hundred or more have been manufactured by this tune. Produced in such numbers the cost of each would not be more than $ 125,000; which means that one hundred could be had for the price of one single dreadnought.

The carrying capacity has heretofore been given on the basis of passenger weight, but for war purposes it could be considerably increased, and in the latest type it might be as much as twenty tons. Such a vessel could transport 200 men with full equipment and a fleet of 100 could land 20,000 men in one operation.

But the possibilities of damage by explosives are much more impressive, especially as it can be inflicted without risk. A Zeppelin fitted out with proper instruments may sail in perfect safety at great height, find the exact point for attack by reference to two wireless plants in absolute darkness, drop many tons of picric compound and do this again and again.

Several experts have expressed themselves in a slighting manner in regard to the destructive effects, but the fact is that the explosion of three tons of dynamite produces an earthquake perceptible at a distance of thirty miles. If ten tons of clastic explosive were dropped into the heart of a large city thousands would be killed and hundreds of millions of property annihilated: Suppose that a fleet of 100 such vessels were to pass over England at night dropping 100,000 bombs of twenty pounds. Who can judge of the damage and demoralization which would ensue?

At the outbreak of the war it was reported that the Germans had devised a shell the poisonous fumes of which were of great destructiveness. Shortly after a marvelous new explosive was said to have been produced in France named turpinite. The first intimation came from military quarters and some weight was attached to the news on this account and also because the discovery was attributed to Eugene Turpin, an ingenious and prolific inventor of chemicals.

The idea of employing poisonous or asphyxiating bombs is old. It is authoritatively stated that some were actually thrown during the second siege of Paris against the army of Versailles, but with the only result of killing the expert who was filling them. There is a natural and deeply rooted prejudice against the employment of poisonous agents in warfare, and many of those who tolerate the present methods of destroying life would shrink from such use. Yet death from many of the toxins known is less painful and disfiguring.

In the absence of demonstrated facts I will endeavor to show in a few words how the effectiveness of such means can be enormously increased. Consider first a large shell which, on striking the ground, liberates a poisonous gas of atmospheric density spreading in half a sphere, and let the effective radius be 1,000 feet. Now imagine that an equivalent charge is subdivided in one million parts, giving that many little shells which can be scattered over a large area. Then, since the gas will be of the same volume as before, the radius of action of each shell will be ten feet and their combined destructive effect will be 100 times greater than that of the large shell; in fact, much more so, for the distribution of the gas will not be uniform. It will be seen the secret lies in the employment of extremely small charges in great numbers.

The same reasoning leads to the conclusion that by using minute projectiles of tungsten dipped in curare or similar poison, paralyzing heart or locomotor function, a means for fighting battles would be provided more humane than the present and incomparably more effective. A complete revolution in methods of attack may be brought on through the use of toxins or asphyxiants heavier than air. This may be illustrated by an example.

Let us suppose that ten tons of such liquefied gas are dropped on a battlefield from an aerial vessel. On evaporating a gas blanket will be formed over the earth's surface, the effective height of which may be assumed to be ten feet. If ten cubic feet of the gas weigh one pound, then ten .tons will give 200,000 cubic feet of gas, which may be more or less diluted, according to its toxic activity. Assume that it is not more poisonous than carbon monoxide, which is fatal when its percentage in the atmosphere is one-half of one .per cent. That means that the gas blanket will contain 40,000,000 cubic feet, and being ten feet high it will cover 4,000,000 square feet, or, roughly, 100 acres. In a populated city, on account of structures and other objects, the deadly zone would be very much extended.

This is danger enough, but if a gas were employed of lethal power equal to that of prussic acid, aconitine or of the strongest poison known, pseudoaconitine, the destructive area would be a hundred times greater. Evidently then there is a prospect that the chemist, who is largely responsible for the war, may also find the means of compelling its speedy termination.

Telautomatics is a name suggested for the wireless control of the organs and translatory movements of self-propelled automata. Fifteen years ago I showed its first applications and the results were received with an interest such as only few inventions have elicited. My demonstrations were repeated in Germany and other countries, but .on account of the fact that Hertz waves and imperfectly tuned circuits were employed a .general impression was created that such distant control of apparatus was not absolutely reliable.

A further argument was advanced that if it were unfailing, volunteers could always be found ready for sacrifice and more dependable because of intelligence and judgment not possessed by an inanimate machine. This view is held by those who are now advocating the use of manned aerial torpedoes, but nothing could be more erroneous. A crewless vessel controlled by proper wireless apparatus is in every way superior as a means of attack.

Large guns are now being manufactured in Germany so expensive and shortlived that a single shot from them costs a small fortune. It would be possible toy produce for less than the price of a shot a telautomatic aerial torpedo of much longer range and greater destructiveness which would hit its mark every time and dispense with the necessity of the gun altogether.

The new principle can also be applied to a submarine, and, particularly in connection with control from great elevation, it will afford the most perfect means for coast defence so far devised. But its full possibilities will only be appreciated when the use of certain electrical waves to which the earth is resonantly responsive becomes general. It will then be practicable to despatch a crewless boat or balloon to distances of hundreds of miles, guide it along any chart at will and release its potential energy at any point desired.

Great many of the present means and methods will then,become obsolete. It is very likely that if this war is protracted this invention will prove of importance. Recent reports would indicate that experiments are being made in Germany with telautomatic torpedoes released from balloons.

One good effect of this disastrous disturbance will be a long period of peace. This is a natural consequence of the law that action and reaction are equal. But in the present phase of human development occasional convulsions are in the order of things. A still greater struggle will probably come, that between the united races of the Orient and Occident.

So long as there are different nationalities there will be patriotism. This feeling must be eradicated from our hearts before permanent peace can be established. Its place must be filled by love of nature and scientific ideal. Science and discovery are the great forces which will lead to that consummation.

I have just made known an invention which will show to electricians how to produce immense electrical pressures and activities. By their means many wonderful results will be achieved. The human voice and likeness will be flashed around the globe without wire, energy projected through space, the wastes of the ocean will be made safe to navigation, transport facilitated, rain precipitated at will and, perhaps, the inexhaustible store of atomic energy released.

Advances of this kind will, in times to come, remove the physical causes of war, the chief of which is the vast extent of this planet. The gradual annihilation: of distance will put human beings in closer contact and harmonize their views and aspirations. The harnessing of the forces of nature will banish misery and want and, provide ample. means for safe and comfortable existence.

But one more accomplishment will still be lacking to make the triumph of the mind of man complete. A way must be found to interpret thought and thereby enable the accurate reduction of all forms of human effort. to a common equivalent. The problem is susceptible of solution.

The consequences of such an advance are incalculable. A new epoch in human history would be inaugurated and a colossal revolution in moral, social and other respects accomplished, innumerable causes of trouble would be removed, our lives profoundly modified for the better, and a new and firm foundation laid to all that makes for peace.

OCR by: Varsányi Péter (Pepe) Verzió: 1.01 (2002-07-28)

* The Sun — Dec. 20, 1914. ("Nikola Tesla looks to Science to end the War")

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Пројекат Растко / Библиотека Никола Тесла