Strassburg, C. Egenolff 1530.
4to. [i], p. TITLE WOODCUTS of an armored foot soldier and of two incendiary weapons.
Early 20th-century red cloth-backed marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine label (chipped).
First Edition of this immensely popular field booklet. Preuss divides the army in three — cavalry, artillery and infantry — and identifies the chief officers and their duties. His interest lies with artillery and troops bearing portable firearms. He reviews eight types of cannon and shoulder-fired weapons and gives the size or weight of their shot before turning to mortars, a recent innovation at the time. Of these he describes three, again with the weight of their shot and the ideal number of each a fighting force should have and their distribution on the battlefield.
He addresses THE CHEMISTRY OF BLACK POWDER AND OFFERS THREE RECIPES, INCLUDING ONE SUITABLE FOR A FLAMING ARROW INCENDIARY, illustrated in the text and on the title. Finally he details a new mortar, provides instructions for its construction, for its installation and for the preparation of the gunpowder tailored to it. No doubt as dangerous to its operator as its target, this weapon is also shown on the title and in the text. Useful and concise, the Ordnung was immediately collected into larger military manuals and was reprinted into the 17th century. Its preparation and publication were probably stimulated by the formation of the Schmalkaldic League, a military alliance forged in 1530 of Protestant states of which the Saxon Elector John the Steadfast (1468-1532) was a prominent leader. Preuss served the Elector as military advisor. Two copies in the U.S. In good condition (narrow pale stain at the extreme lower margin).
¶Leng, Ars Belli: Deutsche taktische und kriegstechnische Bilderhandschriften und Traktate im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert I: 297-9; Jähns, Geschichte der Kriegswissenschaften I: 486-7; Riling, Guns and Shooting no. 6; Cockle, Bibliography of Military Books up to 1642 509; Quellen zur Geschichte der Feuerwaffen…vom Germanischen Museum 68-70; Benzing, “Christian Egenolff zu Straßburg” in Das Antiquariat 10 (1954) 88,20; VD 16 P 4772.