Timeline of Events of the Martian Invasion

The Events Preceding the Martian Invasion

The Martian Invasion

Book I: The Coming of the Martians

Book II: The Earth Under the Martians


The Events Preceding the Martian Invasion

Late July/Early August, 1894 - During the Opposition of Mars, a great light is seen on illuminated part of the Martian disk.

1896, 1898 - Strange marks seen on the Martian disk during Opposition.

Midnight, August 12 1900 - First jet of green gas seen erupting from the surface of Mars by Lavelle of Java.

Midnight, August 13-22 1900 - Jets of green gas spurt out from Mars at 24 hour intervals.

The Martian Invasion

Book I: The Coming of the Martians

June 1902

Day 1: Friday

Midnight - the first Martian cylinder lands in Surrey on the common between Horsell, Ottershaw and Woking.

6 a.m. - the cylinder is found by Ogilvy the astronomer.

8 a.m. - a number of boys and unemployed men start for the common.

9 a.m. - a crowd of approximately twenty people gather at the edge of the pit.

Afternoon - Ogilvy, Henderson (a London journalist), and Stent, the Astronomer Royal, direct workmen in the task of excavating the cylinder.

Shortly before sunset - approximately two to three hundred people are gathered at the pit when the cylinder opens. At the sight of the Martians the crowd retreats from the edge of the pit.

Sunset - Their confidence somewhat restored by the lack of visible activity in the Pit, the crowd begins to slowly advance upon the Pit once more.

8.30 p.m. - The Deputation, consisting of Ogilvy, Henderson, Stent and a number of others, advances upon the Pit, waving a white flag. There is a flash of light and three puffs of greenish smoke rise into the air. The hissing noise that accompanies this activity slowly turns into a humming, then into a loud, droning noise. The Martians target the crowd with their Heat-Ray, and an invisible ray of heat flashes from man to man, and each bursts into flame, as if suddenly and momentarily turned to fire. The crowd flees in panic and scatters.

11.00 p.m. - a company of soldiers form a cordon around the edge of the common. A squadron of Hussars, two Maxim guns and four hundred men of the Cardigan regiment depart for the common from Aldershot.

Day 2: Saturday

Midnight - the second cylinder falls in the woods at Byfleet Golf Links, to the north-west of Woking, .

Morning - Newspapers report:

''The Martians, alarmed by the approach of a crowd, have killed a number of people with a quick-firing gun. Formidable as they seem to be, the Martians have not moved from the pit into which they have fallen, and, indeed, seem incapable of doing so. Probably this is due to the relative strength of the earth's gravitational energy.''

3 p.m. - the pine woods into which the second cylinder fell are shelled from Chertsey and Addlestone.

5 p.m. - a field gun reaches Chobham for use against the first group of Martians.

6 p.m. - a clash between the Martians and the soldiers around the first pit on Horsell Common occurs, as the Martians venture from their pit under cover of a large shield. The Oriental College is struck by the Heat-Ray. The evacuation of Woking begins.

7 p.m. - the artillery at Horsell Common is wiped out by the first of the Martian Fighting Machines.

7.15 p.m. - The first of the Fighting Machines attacks Woking.

8 p.m. - Newspapers report the loss of telegraphic communication with the area about Horsell Common, believed to be due to burning trees falling across the line. One of the Fighting Machines returns to Woking.

Day 3: Sunday

Midnight - the third cylinder falls in a field near Pyrford.

Morning - London newspapers report: ''About seven o'clock last night the Martians came out of the cylinder, and, moving about under an armour of metallic shields, have completely wrecked Woking station with the adjacent houses, and massacred an entire battalion of the Cardigan Regiment. No details are known. Maxims have been absolutely useless against their armour; the field guns have been disabled by them. Flying hussars have been galloping into Chertsey. The Martians appear to be moving slowly towards Chertsey or Windsor. Great anxiety prevails in West Surrey, and earthworks are being thrown up to check the advance Londonward.''

1 p.m. - Five Fighting Machines attack Weybridge and Shepperton. One of the Fighting Machines is destroyed by the guns concealed at Shepperton, and reels into the tower of Shepperton Church before collapsing into the river. Weybridge is levelled by the Martians’ Heat-Rays. The Martians return to Horsell Common with the wreckage of the destroyed Fighting Machine.

Afternoon - The Martians transfer all of their equipment from Addlestone Golf Links and Pyrford to the original pit on Horsell Common. Meanwhile, artillery is assembled around Kingston and Richmond, and scouts with heliographs carefully approach the Pit on Horsell Common to warn of any Martian activity.

5 p.m. - carriage trucks bearing huge guns and carriages crammed with soldiers pass through Waterloo Station from Woolwich and Chatham on their way to Kingston.

Evening - London newspapers give the first inkling of the power of the Martians:

''Fighting at Weybridge! Full description! Repulse of the Martians! London in Danger!'' Descriptions are given of ''vast spiderlike machines, nearly a hundred feet high, capable of the speed of an express train, and able to shoot out a beam of intense heat.''

Large numbers of guns, from Windsor, Portsmouth, Aldershot, Woolwich and also from the north are positioned in defence of London. Large quantities of high explosive are produced and distributed with the aim of destroying any further cylinders that land before they open.

8 p.m. - heavy firing is audible all over the south of London. Three Martians in Fighting Machines advance from the pit on Horsell Common, and move in a line through Byfleet and Pyrford towards Ripley and Weybridge. The guns at St. George’s Hill cripple one Fighting Machine before the guns are destroyed.

9 p.m. - The Martian whose machine was damaged by the guns at St. George's Hill completes the repairs to his Fighting Machine.

9.05 p.m. - the three Martians are joined by four more Fighting Machines, carrying launchers for the Black Smoke, and the first three are also given one such tube each. The Fighting Machines move to space themselves along a curved line between St. George’s Hill, Weybridge and Send. Two more position themselves to face Sunbury and Staines.

9.30 p.m. - the Martians unleash their Black Smoke against the forces between themselves and London.

11 p.m. - the siege guns at Richmond Hill and Kingston Hill are fired towards Hampton and Ditton, but are destroyed within a quarter of an hour.

Day 4: Monday

Midnight - the fourth cylinder falls in Bushey Park.

Early morning, shortly before dawn - the news begins to travel through London of approaching Martians. Extra editions of the newspapers report:

''The Martians are able to discharge enormous clouds of a black and poisonous vapour by means of rockets. They have smothered our batteries, destroyed Richmond, Kingston, and Wimbledon, and are advancing slowly towards London, destroying everything on the way. It is impossible to stop them. There is no safety from the Black Smoke but in instant flight.''

The Exodus from London begins. Approximately half of the members of the government gather at Birmingham. Large quantities of high explosive are prepared for use in automatic mines across the Midland Counties.

Morning - The Martians go to and fro over the North Downs between Guildford and Maidstone, using the Black Smoke to eliminate any artillery batteries located there.

10 a.m. - the police organisation breaks down

12 p.m. - the railway system collapses. A Martian Fighting Machine is sighted at Barnes, and the Black Smoke is used at Lambeth flats.

1 p.m. - the remnants of a cloud of the Black Smoke appears between the arches of Blackfriars Bridge. The ships which had until then been gathered in the Pool of London depart in a panic.

2 p.m. - A Fighting Machine appears beyond the Clock Tower and wades down the river.

Day 5: Tuesday

Midnight - the fifth cylinder falls at Sheen. The Narrator and the Parson are trapped beneath the Pit.

The Martians gain complete possession of London; Fighting Machines are sighted at Highgate and Neasden

Day 6: Wednesday

Midnight - the sixth cylinder falls at Wimbledon.

Morning - the Midland Railway Company replaces the desertions of the previous day, and resumes traffic, running northbound trains from St. Albans. Waltham Abbey Powder Mills are blown up in a vain attempt to destroy a Fighting Machine.

5 p.m. - Firing begins in the region of Shoeburyness.

5.30 p.m. - three Fighting Machines advance upon the fleet assembled in the English Channel. The torpedo ram Thunder Child attacks the three Martian Fighting Machines, destroying one with her guns before she is struck down by the Heat-Ray. Even so, in a valiant last act Thunder Child rams another of the Fighting Machines, taking it with her.

Sunset - the Battle of the Thames is fought by the Channel Fleet against a number of Fighting Machines. The battle is ended when the Martians’ newly-constructed Flying Machine arrives from the pit on Horsell Common, and rains down canisters of the Black Smoke on the fleet. On the return flight to Horsell the Flying Machine, not designed for such prolonged flights in Earth’s gravity, goes out of control and crashes in the Hammersmith area. The Martian pilots are killed in the crash, and the Flying Machine itself is largely buried by the rubble its impact created.

Day 7: Thursday

Midnight - the seventh cylinder lands on Primrose Hill.

Book II: The Earth Under the Martians

Day 12: Tuesday

Evening - The electricity supply in a small area of London is started up again, and Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus are ablaze with lights. They attract hundreds of survivors, ragged and drunken, who spend the night carousing.

Day 13: Wednesday

Dawn - the revellers in Regent Street and Piccadilly become aware of a Fighting Machine standing nearby the Langham. The Fighting Machine scoops up nearly a hundred people too drunk or paralysed with fear to move before leaving.

Day 16: Saturday

The Martians recover the wreckage of the Flying Machine, and carry it to their base on Primrose Hill. The Martians also transfer their main camp and most of their machines to the crater on Primrose Hill, abandoning many of the smaller pits.

Day 18: Monday

The Narrator escapes his prison at Sheen.

Day 19: Tuesday

The Martians at Primrose Hill manage to render the Flying Machine at least partly operational.

Day 23: Saturday

The last Martians die from the actions of terrestrial bacteria on their bodies. Soon thereafter the reconstruction begins, with ships from France, America and the rest of the world bringing food for the survivors of the invasion.

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