Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
More on the few existing sensational gun arrows (German: Büchsenpfeile) from the early 1300's, the oldest and rarest gun ammunition ever - taken over from the bow and crossbow, as well as the first trigger system on any firearm, obviously appearing between ca. 1350 and 1400.
Please note the nailed-on iron fletches, the hemp binding to secure a tight fit over a short rear part of the length of the bolt haft in the muzzle, and the nailed-on iron rear protective plate, to keep the wood from bursting when the load went off sending the arrow to land on, and get stuck in, the shingled roofs of the houses in a narrow Medieval city.
The thick and high stone walls around cities proved completely ineffictive when hails of hundreds of fire arrows came targeting down on their parabola flight German: in einer Parabel abgeschossen); the glowing tar of their incendiary mass would immediately splatter all around on the wooden shingle,s or the straw, on the roofs, and within minutes cause an unstoppable fiery inferno bound to finally burn down the city.
It must have been one hell of a cruel scenario.
Attachments, from top:
- Haft protective bottom plate of
one of only two original gun arrows recorded to exist so far (German: Büchsen-Brandpfeile), closely resembling the one illustrated in the de Milemete ms of 1326-7;
its head formed by four wrought-iron guard bars encaging the incendiary mass, the tip spiked for attaching the straw-covered or shingled roofs of houses in the Middle Ages:
The Michael Trömner Collection;
Alfred Geibig: Might and Fire /Die Macht des Feuers.
Ernstes Feuerwerk des 15.-17. Jahrhunderts im Spiegel seiner sächlichen Überlieferung/An Object-Based Survey of Serious Fireworks of the 15th to the 17th Centuries, pp. 22-24.
Coburg, 2012, 363 pages with hundreds of color photos; only
25 Euro, plus p&p.:
- but 99 Euro at amazon.com ...
The author, Dr. Alfred Geibig, is curator of the arms and armor collections preserving the historic arsenal, in the Kunstsammlungen of the Veste/Fortress of Coburg.
All photos coyrighted by the author, Michael Trömner.