Vehicular attrition – Chapter 1, Strip 56

Someone like Sir Winston is not going to be stopped by little glitches with his means of transport. Just leave it to the Empire! (The British one, not the Sith one.)

Well, the sun never sets on the British Empire, but being an imperturbable hero sometimes exacts a high price in hardware.
After we had the classic biplane, I thought we could quickly cover a few other classic modes of transport from the world of late Victorian adventure. (As far as adventure movies are concerned, ‘late Victorian’ goes all the way to the ’50ies)

In the first panel, we have the Rolls Royce Armoured Car. ( Uhm, well, a somewhat liberal rendition of it, at least.) Yes, Rolls Royce – talk about going to war in style. The first of these started out as field conversions from limousines during the first world war, later they were manufactured specifically for the role, and continued to serve early into the second world war, mostly in North Africa. Of course, the make was not selected on prestige grounds, back then there were simply very few cars of sufficient size and engine power to allow conversion to an armed, armoured vehicle.

Secondly: the camel. This is also not a mere figment of my imagination (I hope), the British Army had camel-equipped cavalry units up until the late twenties. And they were really equipped with Gatling guns in some cases, which at that time still were operated manually, and loaded by pouring loose bullets into them through a funnel at the top. One thing the British camel-cavalrymen found out rather early was the reason why many Arabs preferred rifles with extremly, sometimes ridiculously, long barrels. Camels move their heads unpredictably when charging, and if you shoot a short barreled weapon from camelback, you have a very realistic chance to accidentally shoot your own ride.

And finally, we have the dreadnought battle-airship, which of course never even nearly existed, but still was a staple of Victorian adventure literature. Jules Verne supplied an early example in ‘Master of the World’ (, which starred Vincent Price in the movie adaption. Later there were numerous other examples, more adapted to actual airship development, but generally still totally fantastical. This is not to say that there would never have been military airships, quite a few were used during the first world war both for scouting and bombing, and remained in service into the thirties, but there are intrinsic limits to the military usefulness of a thin-skinned vehicle filled with combustible gas.

My claims on Monday, regarding the voting incentives and TWC, were a bit premature, I apologize. The incentive is still only up with, but we’ll also have it on TWC soon. Still, vote for me- it’s guaranteed to be less of a disaster than the federal elections in Germany.
On Monday, there will be a new strip, but I don’t know which yet, somehow, I completely messed up the numbering…

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