The Battle of Horsell Common was a battle that took place during the Invasion of Earth. It was the British army's first engagement with the Martian Fighting Machines but with their armour plating the Martians were easily able to wipe out the army.
After the First Cylinder landed the Martians prepared to move to relieve the crew of the Second which was being shelled. The British Army believed they could keep the first Martians pinned while destroying the Second cylinder before it could be opened.
Firing began at 6 o'clock on the second day of the Invasion when the Martians emerged under a metal shield from the first cylinder and advanced on the second.
Shrugging off small arms fire from the British forces it unfolded into a Martian Fighting Machine at 7 o'clock in response to the unlimbering of a gun near Horsell. Standing up on its three legs it opened up with its Heat Ray, hitting the gun's ammunition and crew.
Seeing this the men of the Cardigan Regiment charged the pit in skirmishing order but were annihilated. The Hussars were present, though their role is unclear. Finally the Maxims kept firing for some time but were overrun and the Fighting Machine broke through to Woking station razing it and the surrounding town to the ground.
Immediately after the fighting two more Martian Fighting-Machines came up and the three began taking the survivors, knocking their heads against the trees.
One of the only known human survivors was an artilleryman who managed to stay covered and make it to Woking. Meanwhile the Martians gained access to the the second Cylinder and expanded the first crater. The British Army soon knew that the Martians were impervious to small arms fire and more Artillery would have to be brought to bear.