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Medieval Siege Weapons

History Research Assignment

Angus Currie

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of Medieval Siege Weapons

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli By Angus Currie Medieval Siege Weapons Siege Ladders THE Siege Ladder is the earliest known form of siege weapon and was first used by the ancient Greeks. It involved huge ladders being pushed against castle walls for soldiers to climb. The disadvantage of these ladders was that defenders could easily push them away from the walls and any defenders on or below the ladder would be killed. This was the reason they were unpopular in medieval europe. During medieval times they were used mostly during the Dark Ages. Battering Rams BATTERING rams were a popular siege weapon during the middle ages. They were used mostly during the dark ages and feudal era. The origins of the battering ram also trace back to the ancient greeks. Early rams were hand-held by up to ten soldiers who would swing it in time at castle doors. Later rams were hung on trolley-like frames and were swung at the enemy walls/doors by lifting them back and letting them swing forward. Siege Tower/Belfry THE siege tower (also known as the belfry) is a tower used to move infantry onto castle walls. It consists of a multi level tower on wheels that is pushed against the walls of the castle under siege and the infantry (already on the top level) pour out a drawbridge that's opened when the tower reaches the castle walls. Ballista Trebuchet THE trebuchet was a large siege weapon wheeled to the battlefield in parts and assembled on the battlefield. It was a kind of oversised sling that slung large missiles such as rocks over or at castle walls. Some other famous uses are the lobbing of diseased corpses of soldiers and animals and the throwing of heads of dead enemy soldiers. Bombards IN late medieval times the Bombard became a popular siege weapon. This was a large, primitive cannon and was almost as dangerous for the users as the people on the receiving end because these cannons were known for backfiring quite often. The reason that the bombard was still popular and in common use was because with a bombard you can level castle walls and they are a huge advantage to the attacking army. #Ladders
#Bombards BIBLIOGRAPHY Websites:
Battles of the medieval world 1000-1500 : from Hastings to Constantinople / Kell / DeVries, Kelly
Castle under siege / Richard Dargie. / Dargie, Richard
Medieval siege weapons (1) : Western Europe AD 585-1385. / Nicolle, David THE ballista is a huge version of a crossbow that fires bolts three to five meters long huge distances. It's historically reported that ballistae skewered up to fifteen men on one bolt. As you can see these machines were awesomely powerful on the field of battle and would make a huge difference for the army laying siege to a castle as they could do great damage to the defenders without putting themselves in range of the defenders arrows. Another similar machine is the espringal. One difference between these machines is that the espringal is slightly smaller. Another difference is that the ballista has two wheels attached to its front whereas the espringal is mounted inside a frame. THANKS FOR WATCHING =)
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