From the campaign:
The Martian attack of 1898 brought terrible devastation to the city of London and set the course of human history upon an altogether unexpected path. Amongst the ruins of the greatest metropolis on Earth, the Martians had - in the end – faltered and perished. Everyone now knows that these invaders were overcome, not by the might of Queen Victoria’s armies, but by nature’s own forces of disease and decay. Against these mere microbes, the Martians’ superior minds could muster no defense. Where mankind had failed, the smallest and least significant of all Earth’s organisms had triumphed.
Although the Martian invasion shocked the world and caused widespread panic in the days that followed, by the early years of the twentieth century, many influential thinkers were eager to proclaim the aliens a spent force. Fear of further alien attack was gradually displaced by the humdrum concerns of life and commerce. It is sobering to reflect that most people were happy to accept this misguided notion, as we now know it to have been. All over the world, only a few visionaries continued to warn that the first attack might have been a scouting foray, the precursor to a full-scale invasion. They urged humanity to ready itself for war or risk extermination. These men were openly ridiculed and all too often dismissed as alarmists and cranks.
Few even noticed the arrival of the second wave of Martian cylinders that fell to earth sometime around the end of 1908. By the time the Martian presence came to the attention of the governments of Earth, it was already too late.