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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Radio-Dirigible Torpedo  
  A drone missile that is controlled remotely by an operator.  

In furious haste the Secret Service men had been altering the controls of the radio-dirigible torpedoes, so that they would respond to ultra-wave control; and, few in number though they were, each was highly effective.

A hard-eyed observer, face almost against his plate and both hands and both feet manipulating controls, hurled the first torpedo. Propelling rockets viciously aflame, it twisted and looped around the incandescent rods of destruction so thickly and starkly outlined, under perfect control; unaffected by the hideous distortion of all ether-borne signals. Through a pirate screen it went, and under the terrific blast of its detonation one entire panel of the stricken battleship vanished, crumpled and broken.

From Triplanetary, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Not known in 1934
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