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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject: wierd ancient seige weapons         Reply with quote

recently i ame across this book
http://books.google.com/books/osprey?id=N8LI3...mp;f=false
Beseiged, seige warfarein the ancient world by duncan campbell,
and i saw a very curious seige machine i remember seeing back in primary school in a bookcalled 'war machines, land'

i will post a picture highlingting the item in in question but it essentially consists of an arrow rested across the top of a post and and was apparently launched by being hit in the nock by a length of flexible wood bent back via winch... but i cannot for the life of me find a name for it.



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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It might be a springald.
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

interesting, now i feel i wanna build one, maybe abit later when ive t my own backyard
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Romulus Stoica




Location: Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a siege engine that saw little action because it was less effective that expected... Here is a picture of that type of siege machine ...
http://www.crossbowbook.com/page_316.html
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i watched a series of shows where this siege engine was documented. i want to say it was on 'building di vinci' where modern builders attempted to make his spring catapult from his sketch book and found it's design after building impractical. and i believe it was compared to the engine your point out to.

i'd say there's probably sufficient energy stored in the spring arm of the engine, but to have it 'slap' a bolt of that size seems like a large waste of that energy. i could assume it's a cross bow that someone was thinking out of the box when they built it, but i can't image it being accurate at all being that most bolt/arrow weapons relay on the time they are traveling with the string to gain accuracy.

but hey maybe you can build a scale model and test it out, maybe i'd be wrong.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

scale model is EXACTLY what im thinking of.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As i look over the referenced link, it doesn't look too hard to make. well, i mean if a model were made for the sake of experimenting.

i'd get a standard cross bow bolt, or a cheep carbon fiber arrow (aluminum might not take too kindly to getting smacked) router a small channel in a board for it to rest in. build a standing arm and from the standing arm seems to have the spring attached. use lee wood cut into strips built up similarly to the illustration to use as the spring arm (even though lee wood is like a plywood it's got a lot of flex in it.) that would seem to be the basic concept.

the link provided by Romulus Stoica stats that the weapon is an effective weapon (or else why would they build it anyway) but i look at it and think that maybe it was used in another way. i shoot traditional recurve and longbows and just from what i know about an arrow's flight mechanics it leads me to believe that the projectal is going to come off this thing like a smooth bore musket. now i know that i'm thinking bow/crossbow and applying it to siege engine, so maybe some the mechanics don't apply for flight.

i have all the materials in my shop needed to build such a thing . . . maybe if i get some time this winter when i start to fire up the metalworks shop it would be a cool side project. i always wanted to build a model trebuchet to sit on my desk at work - lob unsuspecting co-workers with outdated wads of memos.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I can tell there is not much evidence this was more than a theoretical concept. The only places I have ever seen illustrations of this weapon it is included with other more unlikely machines.

As far as springalds I am not sure any one who has researched them heavily thinks this thing is anything like what they were in period. The two major camps are a type of large crossbow which in England often seems the case or as Liebel indicates some type of machine with heavy skeins of sinew or the likes with arms inserted inside of them, apparently angled inside. I'd recommend the great crossbow and springalds to start.

I know of very little real work that has been done on these granted but recreations seem to be rather ineffective but I'd love to see one that works.

RPM
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2011 12:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, it's absolutely not a springald. It's an "Einarm"(one-arm). A very crude construction when you had too much time during being besieged. The advantage was that you could easily aim the bolt in any direction. The bolt was then launched with great energy by the lath hitting its rear. Very simple to reconstruct, take a lath out of a lath floor and a crossbow bolt. The rest is self-explaining. You could also make a test by using wood not suitable for bows or crossbows. If it's suitable for einarms, you've discovered why people built these, because there was always plenty of wood available for the besieged.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What was the purpose of the einarm, aside from being a quick thing to improvise?
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@William

The einarm was a stationary device to shoot bolts and kill people. The bolts were shot by a very strong and heavy machine, but with a very quick and light readjustment for aiming by moving the bolts to different vertical angles and with the ability to rotate the whole heavy machine horizontally with little angular momentum. Einarms are usually depicted with lots of options to shoot downwards under a suitable angle.

If someone is approaching you in a section where you quickly have to change the vertical angle of your weapon and you want to shoot with a very heavy device, the einarm would be the instrument of choice (because a very heavy crossbow would be too difficult to aim and handle). Such an area would be the last meters of a high wall/tower and with the einarm you can kill anybody running up to the wall/tower in order to quickly do something there (like using a ladder or fighting in a breach or laying fire to wooden structures) and getting outside the kill zone of other ranged weapons (that are more difficult to handle against a sprinter during the last few meters, especially if they are meant to be heavy anti-personnel artillery).
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do have any evidence of this ease of firing?
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Romulus Stoica




Location: Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When talking about evidences regarding siege engines we are on a "minefield". Those were the super weapons of the age and were shrouded in secrecy Happy ... Also many rumors were launched about them to scare the enemy. The first usage of a siege explosive rocket by Conrad Haas (he was an austrian military engineer that worked as arsenal master in Sibiu, Romania, Wikipedia link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Haas ) was rumored to be a magic summoned dragon Happy ...
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Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 3:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Do have any evidence of this ease of firing?


I read a primary source on them, but don't ask me which. I would have to look up the usual suspects, but I'm certain it was a German source, so the field isn't too broad. Very likely it was "Bellifortis". Just send me a reminder in a few weeks because right now I can't look it up.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As I said earlier I have never found any evidence of this being actually used in war. I have seen evidence of many of the other engines of war but I am still not convinced there is evidence this was ever anything past theory.

That said many accounts are ambiguous, but we have enough that are clear or fairly clear to know of a wide number of them were used but I still have not seen anything on this one that it was used.

If any one has proof of this I'd love to see it. I know some have tried to recreate this and the bolt the size it was in the MS fell to the ground 30 or so feet away. Seems a bit limited in use.

RPM
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
As I said earlier I have never found any evidence of this being actually used in war. I have seen evidence of many of the other engines of war but I am still not convinced there is evidence this was ever anything past theory.

That said many accounts are ambiguous, but we have enough that are clear or fairly clear to know of a wide number of them were used but I still have not seen anything on this one that it was used.

If any one has proof of this I'd love to see it. I know some have tried to recreate this and the bolt the size it was in the MS fell to the ground 30 or so feet away. Seems a bit limited in use.

RPM


I did a quick survey and was lucky. Here's an e-book publication in German that talks about the einarm, it's called monagker (page 20) and seems to be mentioned as in use during the carthaginian siege of Selinus by Heron (of Alexandria?) and seems to be discussed with specific detail of construction.
http://www.grin.com/de/e-book/48358/belagerun...ngstechnik
That's the best I can do now.
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was lucky and found by chance a better illustration of an einarm here labelled a ballista (?):

http://www.sthubertsrangers.org/dangerous_gam...age024.gif

It will still take me some time to find literature on the topic
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks Victorian..... I'd avoid its terminology like the plague. Sort of looks like it is based on something in Napoleon III's work.

The main issue that that medieval peoples seem to have variant terms they used for things often that are unclear what they are referring to. For future generations it was a difficult time to figure out what they are talking to. And of course things have come a long way from the 18th and 19th century so usually best ot look in more modern works. Seems like the 19th century was a much more 'creative' time with facts then ours.

RPM
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Looks Victorian..... I'd avoid its terminology like the plague. Sort of looks like it is based on something in Napoleon III's work.

The main issue that that medieval peoples seem to have variant terms they used for things often that are unclear what they are referring to. For future generations it was a difficult time to figure out what they are talking to. And of course things have come a long way from the 18th and 19th century so usually best ot look in more modern works. Seems like the 19th century was a much more 'creative' time with facts then ours.

RPM


http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/war/TheCatapult...ynter.html

That would be a fanciful Victorian image of this weapon.
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewar...22007.html
The Non-Chinese Siege Weapon, the European One Armed "Tension" Springald lists this weapon with Medieval sources for its existence.
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