The Crusades Siege Technology
The Crusades were a dangerous time and the siege devices that went along with it were even more dangerous. Without the siege technology the battle would be nothing. Imagine trying to break down a large castle gate without a battering ram to protect you. How about getting to the parapet (“A wall for protecting soldiers from enemy fire.”) of a castle without a siege tower. The siege weaponry was dangerous for anyone in a castle back then.
Here are some of the weapons used during the crusades.
· Siege Tower
One of the weapons during the medieval ages was the trebuchet. It was a medieval attack weapon that was similar to a catapult. It hurled heavy stones to destroy castles. It could turn a huge castle into rubble if it was used. The trebuchet got its name from the old French word “Trebucher”. It means thrown over. The trebuchet is also refurred t as a Trebucket. The trebuchet was believed to be invented in china in 300BC. The trebuchet was showed to England in 1216. It became one of the most powerful attack weapons.
One of the weapons during the middle ages was a Mangonel. It was like a catapult. The projectile came from a bowl shaped bucket attached to the arm. It was made for aiming various missiles. It dint have that good of accuracy as the Ballista. It threw dart missiles over head in a straight path hitting the target. Mangonel means “engine of war”.
These are a list of missiles the Mangonel threw.
· Dead bodies and animal, sometimes mutilated bodies.
· Body parts
· Any rotting matter
· Pots of Greek fire
· Casks of Burning Tar
· Disease ridden bodies
· Sharp wooden poles
The Ballista is one of the Crusades most accurate siege weapons. The weapon is designed it to look like a large crossbow. The Ballista uses tension to shoot large spears, darts, and bolts that could pierce through multiple enemies at a time. The ballista fired by having two large wooden arms with rope tied to each end that would be pulled back then released propelling the missiles toward the enemy. The missiles fired from the Ballista were
· Iron-tipped darts
· Sharpened wooden poles
· Body parts
· And infected carcases
The Battering Ram was very important in breaching castle walls. It’s job was to break castle walls so troops could go through them. Tree trunks were used to build the battering ram, sometimes they would put metal on the end of the trunk with metal supports along it. To protect soldiers using the battering ram from enemy weapons a sloped roof called the penthouse was installed above them. Penthouse comes from the French word “pente” which means slope.
The siege tower was essential for breaching the parapet of castle walls. The siege tower like it’s name is a large wooden tower with wheels that would go up to the top of castle walls and drop a bridge so soldiers can get to the top of the castle.
Back to home page