Martian Landings in the War of the Worlds
I'm glad you've ordered a copy of Global Dispatches! I have War of the Worlds to thank for first sparking my interest in Mars as a child, although I didn't read it until much later. Often, I like to read "The Crystal Egg", followed by WotW, then Global Dispatches, and then "Queen of the Niht's Aria", "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", or "Scarlet Traces", so that it is almost like reading a great epic of the Martian War. Admittedly, these tales contradict each other in places, but since I want it bad enough, I can ignore that.
In response to your annoyance with the landings of the Martian pods, I will postulate two things. First, no one ever actually sees the Martian cylinders land, they only witness their entry into our atmosphere. There is every possibility that they have reverse thrusters to cushion their fall. In fact, I'd say that's likely, for if objects of the size Wells describes truly collided with the Earth at full speed, the resulting explosion would likely be akin to a small nuclear blast. Furthermore, the fire trail of their descent is tinted green, which could be evidence of the working of rockets. Once the cylinder lands, its thruster cones are submerged in dirt, and thus not noticable to humanity until well after the invasion is over.
Secondly, the Martians possess no skeleton, and a remarkably simple anatomy compared to ours (apart from their enormous brains). Their bodies could compress in response to g forces, making them able to tolerate a more sudden stop than a human might be able to withstand.
With rockets to slow them and elastic bodies, it is conceivable to me that they could survive the landing on Earth, and that such a landing might produce a crater only as large as is described in the book. Hopefully that will help you too!