Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

German text of over 400 years ago theorized strapping bombs to cats

The modern house cat gives pleasure and companionship to many people. With their independent nature, affectionate manner and beauty, there are a staple in many homes. It's hard to believe at one time that they were thought of being used as weapons of mass destruction - but a 400-yer-old German textbook, "Feuer Buech," which translates as "Fire Book" theorized just that.

The wacky manuscript from 16th Century Germany considered using cats -- and birds to bomb opposing forces.

The wacky manuscript from 16th Century Germany considered using cats -- and birds to bomb opposing forces.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Cats, bombs, Germany, warfare, animals


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The wacky manuscript from 16th Century Germany considered using cats -- and birds to bomb opposing forces.

The 235-page volume from 1584 contains a drawing of a feline and his feathered friend with "rocket packs" strapped to backs as they ran and fly past a castle. Whether they were actually used is anyone's guess. Animals have been used for centuries in warfare, usually to deliver messages or for transportation. They have also been used at times as weapons.

At the beginning of the Southern Song Dynasty, which ruled China between 960 and 1279, monkeys were thought to have been employed in a battle between rebels of the Yanzhou province and the Chinese Imperial Army.

Clothed with straw, the monkeys were cruelly dipped in oil and set alight before being set loose into the enemy's camp.

In the 16th Century, a German artillery officer once presented a plan to use cats to spread poisonous gas among enemy soldiers, although the plan was never followed through.

And much like miners used canaries to warn of gas leaks, the British employed around 500,000 felines to warn of lethal fumes during World War One.

The U.S. military experimented with bat bombs during World War II, which consisted of a casing that contained a Mexican Free-tailed bat attached with a timed explosive. The casings were to be dropped from an aircraft and release the bats which would then roost in eaves and attics before the timers went off.

Several tests were carried out, but the plan was scrapped in 1944 when Fleet Admiral Ernest J King realized it would not be combat-ready until mid-1945. Around $2 million had already been spent on the project.

Donkeys have been used by insurgents to detonate explosives more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The use of animals was never really that widespread if for no other reason than nature's notorious unpredictability, which is never a reassuring quality where explosives are involved. Given the cat's highly independent nature, it seems unlikely they could have been directed to go into enemy camps to detonate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Europe

Evangelical, Missionary Pope Francis Calls Europe to Return to Jesus Christ and Christian Roots Watch

Image of The European Parliament building

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I believe that Europe has many resources for going forward. It's like a sickness that Europe has today. A wound. And the greatest resource is the person of Jesus. Europe, return to Jesus! Return to that Jesus whom you have said was not in your roots! And this is ... continue reading


Father William Nolan appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has appointed Father William Nolan, vicar general of Motherwell, as Bishop of Galloway. Father Nolan says he is "over-awed" by the appointment. He has served in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, for 20 years. Nolan will replace ... continue reading


Rome's Colosseum to host cultural events again Watch

Image of Occasional concerts are held inside the Colosseum but the rebuilding of the arena's wooden flooring would allow more frequent events.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It once hosted bloody sports galore, with gladiators fighting to the death as well as Christians being thrown to the lions. Now, Rome, Colosseum will begin hosting less blood-soaked events. Italy's culture minister has given the green light for special events ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints Robert Sarah to head the Vatican's congregation of liturgical practices Watch

Image of Robert Sarah, the 46-year-old president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has been named by Pope Francis to head a congregation on liturgical practices.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea has been appointed the new head for the Vatican congregation that oversees and determines the liturgical practices of the Catholic Church world wide. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis made the appointment on November ... continue reading


SCARY VIDEO! What the heck blew up in Russia's sky? Was it a meteor or something stranger?! Watch

Image of A still taken from footage of the phenomena that took place in Russia on November 14.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What was the mysterious phenomena that occurred in Russia and was witnessed and captured on camera by dozens of motorists? It appears that nobody knows for sure, and even experts are left scratching their heads while they struggle to find reasonable explanations. ... continue reading


Who really was Jack the Ripper? New evidence points to one man Watch

Image of A criminologist from England may have new evidence that points towards the real identity of Jack the Ripper.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new theory about the identity of infamous 19th century London serial killer Jack the Ripper may explain why the murderer was able to elude contemporary and modern authorities for so long and escape justice. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Gareth Norris, a ... continue reading


Which countries drink the most beer? Our list may surprise you! Watch

Image of Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who still drinks beer?  Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages, behind water and tea.  Beer is also a Catholic tradition, alongside wine-making, and has been widely practiced in monasteries, especially in Europe. Now, a list has emerged detailing ... continue reading


To raise money for the poor, Pope Francis to raffle gifts Watch

Image of The tickets are only a modest 10, but this includes a new Fiat Panda 4x4, with all optional extras.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talking the talk, walking the walk: Pope Francis has done it again. The pontiff is raffling gifts that have been given to him in order to raise money for the poor. Posters announcing the raffle have gone up all over Vatican City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Russia could destabilize Eastern Europe if Ukraine left unchecked, Merkel warns Watch

Image of It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine "called the whole of the European peaceful order into question." Adding to the gloomy outlook was a ... continue reading


The Pope Who Builds Showers for the Poor under St Peters Rattles our Comfort Zones Watch

Image of Pope Francis embracing Jesus in the face of the poor

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Those who love the poor - like Jesus loved the poor- are an instruction manual for the rest of us. They are a sign of the kingdom, making it present in their wake. We have such a man in this Pope named Francis. He recognizes that poverty is more than a lack of ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter