It may look like those animals are wearing jetpacks, but the truth is considerably grimmer. The history of warfare is rich with horrible notions, but perhaps none are as out-the-gate disastrous as strapping an incendiary device to an enemy house feline and merely praying it dutifully operates headfirst back to your foe’s fortress.
That’s precisely the tactic offered by the author of the 16th-century German manuscript Feuerwerkbuch (< i> Firework Book ), who optimistically assumed a cat will sit still long enough to allow you to attach a flaming pouch of doom to its back. German artillery specialist Franz Helm described such a tactic in 1530( translation via The University of Pennsylvania ):
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 feline, erupt it, let it glow well, and thereafter let the cat run, so it runs to the nearest castle or township, and out of panic it imagines to hide itself where it aims up in barn fodder or straw it will be erupted . i>
As you can see from the illustration, fowl bombs were also indicated. It’s unclear whether anybody ever attempted this uniquely depressing form of war, but we’d like to think that someone willing to engage in such animal brutality was rewarded with a feline who, upon being armed with burn, immediately freaked out and ran down the closest tunic.
Take care of your felines, get them a nice cat tree . i > b>
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