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The Doclopedia #2,071
Rocking The Steampunk: Roland The Headless Automaton Gunner
During the First World War (1885-1889) the first Combat Automatons were built and sent out to the battlefield. At first, they proved to be far less reliable than human soldiers, but all sides soon improved the technology.
America got the first Type 3 units into the war in early 1887 and they proved to be both reliable and deadly. They turned the tide of the war until the French and Germans got their new versions working. Later, the British Mk III units helped slow the Franco-German addvance, but that just created a year long stalemate.
In the fall of 1888, the Americans brought the Type 4-C automatons into the mix and they chenged things fast. They were larger, averaging 7.5 feet tall, and they had the latest machine guns and ammunition.
Largest and best of the 4-Cs was Roland 5. He was actually a prototype for the new Type 5 and he had a bevy of improvements, including the ability to keep functioning without a head, something that stopped other Combat Automatons cold.
Roland lost his head in his first week on the frontline, but that didn’t slow him down a bit. He blasted a hole in the enemy lines, then while more troops came through behind him, he raised hell behind enemy lines. He was terrifying to behold. Five months later, the Germans & French surrendered.
Roland served in several smaller wars before he was finally damaged beyond repair. Now, you can see him in the National Museum of Military History in Boston.
The Doclopedia #2,072
Rocking The Steampunk: The Rocket Man Suit
This suit, created by one R. Dwight, an eccentric inventor from London, is both a wonder and a puzzle.
While it is indeed a truly effective flight suit powered by a battery of mini-rockets, it is also garishly colored in pink and purple. It is capable of speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour, but decorated with silver stars and glitter. The helmet is just outrageous and the goggles are, well, the less said about them, the better.
Still, the Royal Society of Inventors awarded Mr. Dwight a Second Place Prize at the 1896 show.