|Dell' Aqua Praxis
A XVI Century Polish Artillery Manual, Encompassing the Arts of Artillerymen, Sappers, and Pyrotechnicians
Gunnery, Siegecraft/engineering, and Fireworks
Selected Exeperts and Illustrations
(c) richard J. Orli, 2001
Hackovice - Wall Guns, or very large muskets that would be used from forts or mounted on a tabor wagon.
Galloper, wheeled (smeriglio) and sleigh (rebadokino) varieties, with a one pounder gun. These may be intended to be used as part of tabor wagon train. The Poles set up their tabor wagons a moveable wall to protect their camp and sometimes to guard their flanks in field engagements.
Finding the right piece of wood for a carriage...
Gun and Carriage design, mid 1500s The gun has trunnions, and is moderately short.
The Ironwork for the carriage. Note the proportion of the wheel in relation to the cannonball-size as a measuring standard. Note also that the entire cheek is shod in metal. This allows the whole carriage to be lighter, yet still stay strong - critical for light and mobile artillery. This is a major forward-looking design feature; all-in-all, this design is comparable to 18th century western european carriages.
Mounting that barrel, always a big job.
Aiming aid, unique look-through feature makes sense when you realize that the bores were seldom 'true' using old casting technologies. This way, you are assured that you are aiming according to the line of the bore. dell'Aqua also discusses the technology needed to grind out a bore using a lathe, a new technology that would not be mastered for a century yet.
Making a powder cartridge, measured according to ball diameters. (Note: just to be clear, the balls shown are for measurement of scale only, and are not actual balls.)
Military Engineering - The Sapper
Koszach - earthwork basket (Gabon). Tools shown include a wheelbarrow, shovel, mallet, strax/brush cutting knife, another knife.
Sandbags and Koszach defensive fieldwork
Bridging, showing a limbered carriage drawn by two horses harnessed to the pole and two in free harnesses. The bottom of the drawing illustrates the process of starting construction: swimming the first rope across. Other illustrations show the block and tackle design, and other details.
Some matters of aiming...
Rocketry and Bombs
Various types of rockets and projectile bombs were illustrated. These are a sample page.
A bomb, or large grenade
Firework displays are covered by dell'Aqua in some detail. This sample's fascinating image illustrates a fashion that demands to be noticed. Also, flaming swords, and a spinn' flamin' moon-face.
After the fireworks, a fire engine to put down the blazes.