Based on an analysis of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (1898), this contribution deals with the fragile relationship of humans to their supposedly “natural” home planet in a war scenario that points to the World Wars of the 20th century. Already at the end of the 19th century, Wells’ novel makes us aware of the complex framework within which mankind regards the earth as a “natural” habitat. At the same time, the novel demonstrates the consequences of a war of annihilation and the resulting collapse of all social, political and institutional security systems. The article shows that Wells’ text remains still highly relevant in an age of global refugee flows and elementary ecological changes.