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FC: SIEGE!! Attacking and DESTROYING a Castle | By: Matt Lanzone
1: SIEGE!! Attacking and DESTROYING a Castle | By: Matthew Lanzone | Siege: the act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way to isolate it from help and supplies for the purpose of lessening resistance of the defenders and thereby making capture possible.
2: ATTACKING | Attacking Strategies | Underground Mining- Attacking soldiers tunneled under the castle wall, and replaced it with wooden props. Then they set the props on fire and the wall came tumbling down. Surrounding Castle- Attacking soldiers surrounded the castle and tried to cause the defenders to surrender. Starving Castle- Tried to starve the defenders by cutting off their food supplies and forcing them to surrender Spread Disease- Tried to cause disease by flinging dead carcasses into the castle. Scaling ladders- Tried to climb castle walls with ladders. This was the most dangerous strategy because the people climbing were easy targets.
3: BALLISTA | Ballistas were huge, anti personnel crossbows. It worked by using tension. It was designed to launch large darts and arrows. It was so powerful it could skew more than one man at a time! The ballista was invented by the Greeks and was modified by the Romans in Ancient Times. The weapon was introduced to England in 1216 A.D. during the siege of Dover. The design of the ballista was relatively simple. The two arms of the ballista were made of wood. Ropes, which were the springs, were attached to each arm. When the bow arms were pulled back, they twisted the rope. The bowstring was pulled back by a winch. The ballista could launch a variety of things. Darts with iron points, sharp wooden points, body parts, a rotting animal carcasses. | Ballistas were too cumbersome to carry around, so they were built when requested at the sight. Engineers would instruct soldiers how to build them. | SIEGE WEAPONS
4: TREBUCHET | Trebuchets were large catapults that worked by counter balance. The force of the trebuchet was so great it could reduce cities and castles to rubble. The trebuchet was first designed in Ancient China in 300 B.C. The trebuchet reached Europe in the Dark Ages, in 500 A.D. It was used extensively by the French. It was also introduced to England in 1216 A.D. in the siege of Dover. The trebuchet consisted of a lever and a sling. A force was loaded on the short end of the arm, the load was on the other long end and the fulcrum was in the middle. Heavy lead weights were attached to the short end. A heavy stone was placed in a pouch attached to the long end. When the arm was released, the force created by the falling weight propelling the long end upward, launching the stone towards the target. | The trebuchet could launch a large variety of things. They launched stones, wooden poles, darts, fire, casks of burning tar, pots of Greek Fire, dung, dead and mutilated bodies, disease ridden bodies, dead animals, body parts, anything rotting, burning sand which would get stuck in defenders armor, and quicklime. Like the ballista, they weren't carried to battle, they were built on the spot as requested
5: SIEGE TOWER | The siege tower was an invaluable weapon used to protect soldiers who were attacking the defensive walls of a castle. It could also hold soldiers and other siege weapons. It was usually a tall, rectangular figure with four wheels and it was usually the height of or tall than most castle walls. At the top of the siege tower was a drawbridge for the soldiers to get on to the castle. Siege towers were large and expensive to construct so they were the last thing built if hammering and pounding the walls didn't work. To protect siege towers, they would cover them with animal hides and before they went into battle they would soak them in mud and vinegar. They could also cover them in iron plates, but that was very expensive. The object of siege towers was to make a direct and a close attack. Towers could reach 3 stories in height. Some types of siege towers could even have battering rams built into the lowest level. Siege towers were used in China, and by the Greeks and Romans. It was first used in England at the siege of Kenilworth Castle in 1266. Records show it held over 200 archers and 11 siege weapons. Sometimes attackers would have to fill in moats and ditches for siege towers to go across, which could be a dangerous task. The siege tower would be rolled, pushed, or wheeled up to the desired spot next to the castle wall. Men were on every level. The drawbridge was lowered and the soldiers rushed across onto the wall. They were often helped by | reinforcements and archers usually shot up arrows to back them up further. Archers could also stay in siege tower and shoot through arrow slits instead of attacking.
6: BATTERING RAM | Battering rams were used to batter down enemy castle walls and gates. Huge tree trunks with metal covering at the end were used for the battering ram and they were supported by metal bands. Soldiers swung the trunk back and forth hitting the wall. Using the battering ram took time and rhythm, it could take up to 100 skilled men to operate it. Battering rams were most effective against wooden walls and doors, but they were effective against stone walls too, especially the corners of the wall. The metal tip was designed like a drill to break and gouge stone walls. Variations of the battering ram were used in China and by the Greeks and Romans. It was introduced to England by the Romans. The battering ram started as a simple log and made its way to being a series of levers, pulleys, ropes, and rollers, and winches enabling the penthouse and ram to be maneuvered against the target. But the battering ram became obsolete when the trebuchet began to dominate sieges. Depending on who they were besieging, the battering ram could range from 20 to 120 feet in length. Battering rams could also be used as bridges over moats and ditches. | Men using the battering ram were under constant attack from arrows and defenders, so a timber shed called a Penthouse was made to protect them. They were usually covered in animal hide to prevent fire and they could be covered in iron plates to protect against arrows.
7: MANGONEL | The mangonel was similar to the catapult in that it worked by torsion. Mangonels fired very heavy projectiles from a bowl shaped bucket at the end of the arm. Mangonels were used to fire various missiles at a castle. Mangonels were easy to construct and were easier to get around because of the wheels and it gave them better maneuverability. They weren't as accurate as ballistas but they could throw things farther than a trebuchet. The mangonel was invented by the Romans in the 400s B.C. and was introduced to England during the Siege of Dover in 1216. Mangonels could fire projectiles up to 1,300 feet! Rope attached to the timber arm of the mangonel was made of twisted strands of human hair of animal sinew. Mangonels could launch stones, wooden poles and darts, fire, burning tar, burning sand, Greek Fire, dung, dead or disease ridden bodies, body parts, dead animals rotting matter, and Quicklime. Mangonels would be built on sight because they were cumbersome to get from place to place over long distances.
8: GROUND SOLDIERS | Crossbowmen: Crossbowman were very deadly in sieges. Their weapons shot with the power of tension. Crossbows really were large rubber bands mounted on a wooden or steel frame. They would wind up the rope, then the trigger would release the stored energy causing arrow to fire. The power and speed was ENOURMOUS! It could penetrate a knight's full body armor. But crossbowmen didn't really fight though, and they had foot soldiers protection too. | Foot Soldiers: Foot soldiers were also a large part of battles and sieges. They were usually equipped with a long spear called a pike. They also had a sword and dagger. They either had chain mail, or sometimes even plate armor. They also wore a metal helmet. Their main job was to protect the archers and crossbowmen if they didn't have a shield.
9: Foot Soldier's Journal Entry | We just started to attack the castle yesterday. We had good success, knocking down part of the front wall by mining it underground by taking out the wall and putting wood in then setting it on fire. A big part of their sides are down because of our constant shooting of our trebuchets, which are our biggest and by far most powerful weapons. It is simply a gigantic catapult that works by counter balance. We are still bombarding the back wall with our mangonels, but it is not working that well, so we got word that we are going to send our siege towers back there to help the mangonels by giving them ground reinforcements. We roll the siege towers up to the wall and quickly load the men off, because ours are made of wood and they can burn easily. We just received word that our battering rams have broken through their walls too. The battering rams simply roll up to the wall, and a big tree trunk with a metal tip smashes into the wall. We also received word that disease has been spread in the city by our dead animal carcasses that we flung in the castle yesterday. Well, that is all for now; our break is over and we are going back to work. Goodbye and hopefully I will right later! | Dear Diary, | sincerely, Edward Rypelschump the third
10: Gravett, Christopher. Castle. New York: DK, 2000. Print. Gravett, Christopher. Warfare and Weapons. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2004. Print ."Siege Weapons." Middle Ages. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.
11: I dedicate this mixbook to anyone who feels like or decides to read it. | Thank you for reading my mixbook.