16th century military manual features illustrations of “Rocket Cats”

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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.

Digitized by the University of Pennsylvania, the unusual, full-color illustrations recently caught the attention of an Australian book blog and then found their way to Penn researcher Mitch Fraas, who set out to unravel the mystery.

He says the manual’s German-language text advises military commanders to use cats and birds to deliver explosives to enemy territory.

The idea was to capture a cat from an enemy castle or village, attach a bomb to its back and light the fuse. Then cat was then supposed to run back home and start a fire.

Fraas says there’s no evidence the “harebrained scheme” was ever used.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.