Seeking to defend the new Soviet Union with a devastated economic base and a vast technical gap with the West, Soviet military planners sought in new technology and the language of science the possibility of self-defense. Within that context, a group of young officers emerged as military futurists. Specifically, they theorized that technology was the decisive factor in war, and that technology had changed so fundamentally after 1918 that the operational lessons of the First World War were limited in usefulness. As a result of their leadership, the Red Army invested tremendous sums in new and exotic military technologies. This paper explores the military futurists' unique understanding of technology through an examination of two of the technological systems that they patronized: robotic tanks and a particle beam designed by Nikola Tesla.