Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

07 March, 2014

Rocket cat, burning out its fuse up there alone

Leave it to the Germans to turn Katzen into medieval siege weapons.

You're a 16th century German prince plotting to crush a peasant rebellion, or perhaps you're leading an army against the Ottoman Empire or looking to settle the score with a rival nobleman. What's a guy looking for a tactical edge to do?

Bring on the rocket cats!

Fanciful illustrations from a circa-1530 manual on artillery and siege warfare seem to show jet packs strapped to the backs of cats and doves, with the German-language text helpfully advising military commanders to use them to "set fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise."

"Create a small sack like a fire-arrow .Iif 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."

Sounds pretty ridiculous but according to Wikipedia, the Russians used anti-tank dogs in World War II and the U.S. military even trained some of their own.

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|| Palmer, 2:46 PM


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