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'Rocket cats' found in 16th century war book

Posted on Friday, 7 March, 2014 | Comment icon 50 comments

Strapping a rocket to a cat seemed like a good idea at the time. Image Credit: Franz Helm
Experts have uncovered a series of strange weapon diagrams in a warfare manual dating back to 1530.
Having recently been digitized by the University of Pennsylvania, the peculiar "Feuer Buech" manuscript sports a number of illustrations showing what may have been ideas for military weapons devised almost 500 years ago.

Written by artillery master Franz Helm, the book includes drawings of cats and doves with rocket packs attached to their backs for the purpose of "setting fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise." It isn't clear whether this idea was ever actually attempted.

"Create a small sack like a fire-arrow," Hanz wrote. "If you would like to get at a town or castle, seek to obtain a cat from that place. And bind the sack to the back of the cat, ignite it, let it glow well and thereafter let the cat go, so it runs to the nearest castle or town, and out of fear it thinks to hide itself where it ends up in barn hay or straw it will be ignited."

The unconventional manuscript has been gaining widespread attention since details of it appeared online.

"It's sort of a harebrained scheme," said researcher Mitch Fraas. "It seems like a really terrible idea, and very unlikely the animals would run back to where they came from. More likely they'd set your own camp on fire."

Source: Independent | Comments (50)

Tags: Cat, War, Rocket

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #41 Posted by lightly on 10 March, 2014, 18:33
and of course.. flying squirrel spy drones go wayyyyy back.
Comment icon #42 Posted by eaglesareskykittens on 10 March, 2014, 21:05
I guess cats are better at being weapons of mass destruction then they are at pulling of jell breaks.
Comment icon #43 Posted by eaglesareskykittens on 10 March, 2014, 22:08
Ok it is not letting me edit, meant jail, not jell-- stupid small touch keyboard you are the bane of my existence at times.
Comment icon #44 Posted by regeneratia on 10 March, 2014, 23:00
In the movie "Wanted", the hero releases bomb-laden rats into a complex.
Comment icon #45 Posted by Sundew on 10 March, 2014, 23:03
I swear my cat has a rocket strapped to it when you rattle its food container.
Comment icon #46 Posted by KNash on 14 March, 2014, 6:40
Mystery solved
Comment icon #47 Posted by Erowin on 16 March, 2014, 8:19
Wow, it's amazing how far rocket-cat technology has come.
Comment icon #48 Posted by MetalShinobi on 22 March, 2014, 19:17
Sick minded pos people creating their own conflicts from nothing but ideas in their own sick minds then using animals as weapons not caring that the animal is hurt or killed in the process. Disgusting. What's even more disgusting is there are probably people who are more put off by the obvious lack of effectiveness of this idea, rather than the obvious atrocity being committed. If I evewr saw some one treating an animal like this I would make sure they never thought about it again.
Comment icon #49 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 16 June, 2014, 14:39
U all should check this one:
Comment icon #50 Posted by aka CAT on 16 June, 2014, 16:42
Let us hope, despite a couple of your comments, none of you wants to be lumped together with Franz Helm.

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