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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Jul, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Sprinaglds, Balistas, Giant Crossbows, oh my!         Reply with quote

Looking for any pictures of Giant crossbows, balistas, etc. of the large artillary size. If anyone has pictures of one that is medieval it would be super. I also am looking for period artwork of them as well, thought it would be a good post and get some peoples opinions.
Something I am finding is that in many large towns of europe from the 13th to 15th giant crossbows are being mounted to their walls and towers as well as other places in civic defence. In London in 1340 they had somewhere in the ballpark of 15-20 per the memoranda books and Letter Books. York had some which are still being repaired into the late 15th. Aachen had them mounted over towers. Supposedly a number of the firearms in the popes inventory in 1350 are likely to be springalds as well (ad turnum- gives it away in my book but some people are not convinced). Any and all info on these would be good. I am getting a book Trnslated by Juliet Vale soon on this as well so I will post more as I go along.

Cheers,

Randall
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No info eh.... Thats ok,

Randall
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
No info eh.... Thats ok,

Randall


You might have to wait more than 23 hours for a response....

Happy

ChadA

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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
No info eh.... Thats ok,

Randall


Hi Randall,

A favored starting point for me with images is the Google image search. It can also help whittle down worthwhile sites for further information.

Click for image result, query of springald

A question on your reading of memoranda and letters. Are you using a web interface database, like the UK history site, or do you have access to original texts? I'm often a bit frustrated in searches online because of archaic and translated terminology. Though, once one finds a vein, there is often fruitful mining. With period spellings/terms in hand, there are often other documents that come up online.

There are the somehwhat whimsical drawings from Leonardo
http://www.artprintcollection.com/images/DaVinciGiantBallista.jpg

Artillery through the ages would/will be a good series here.

Cheers

GC
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad,

I know, I know, patience, patience. My wife keeps telling me I need to get some... sorry about that guess I got alittle carried away.

Glen,

Yep. I did a google and yahoo search on a few terms, springald(s), balista(s), etc. but sure I did not find it all. I am sure there are tons of terms I could have used that dd not come to mind. If you have some I am always open to them.

As far as the London Letter Books. They are owned by the city of London still and usually housed in the Guildhall. Currently the guildhall is being remodeled (until 2007 I think) and are at the London Metro Archive. They are a bit more picky about letting people see these.... pickly being a nice choice of words. The good thing is they have microfilm of the originals and will let most people see them. Now they are written in Anglo-Norman and Latin so language may perhaps be an issue as well and some is less straigt forward but they are very interesting. The Memoranda Rolls are also availible at the same place I believe, although I am using a copy of the originals not the originals so I am not 100% sure. Let me know if I can help, I am getting very familiar with archives.... One fun thing is the National archives online. Type in archer or man at arms and all sorts of fun things come up. They are just summaries so no real good info but it helps direct research. I found a listing for 100 springald strings being bought at one time by Edward III! crazy.

Thanks for the help and advice Big Grin

Randall
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Don Halter
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Location: Bryan, TX
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here's a book you might be interested in:

http://www.royalarmouries.org/extsite/view.js...&s2=43

And some websites....

http://www.legionxxiv.org/ballista.htm
http://198.144.2.125/Siege/Blueprints.htm

Don "Krag" Halter
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out this book and them let me know how it is because I don't yet have it in my library.


Click photo
for more info

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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall,

I do use the national archive site at times and the other, which seems to give me what might be available on the microfiche. The London records are there.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?c...=springald

I have to spend some time with my bookshelf there, it's getting kind of pack ratty (time to add more folders).

I'm always amazed at the depths of the resource material linked there but, as we are agreeing, language of the time can make searching/browsing some of it challenging at times.

Cheers

GC
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall;

I've mentioned this book before in other topic threads so you may already be aware of it, but just in case here it is again as it has some good stuff and illustrations in it:

ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL SIEGE WEAPONS, a fully illustrated guide to siege weapons and tactics, Konstantine Nossov.
THE LYONS PRESS.

Oh, there is at least one illustration of a Springald which works on the same principle as some of the torsion Roman Ballistae
( Spelling of ballista plurals ? ). The Springal is built, at least in these illustrations, as a more open framework and looks very different.

This book has a lot of information I haven't encountered before in other books and after decades of reading finding something totally new and unfamiliar was a nice surprise.

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Hisham Gaballa





Joined: 27 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 3:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread had a link to a book with pictures of some amazing weapons.

here's the thread:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=7214

Here's the book:
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/sammlung2/we...d=PAGE0016

Just use the arrow buttons on the actual page to browse.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don and Nathan,

I am still trying to get ahold of that book. I interlibrary loaned it about three weeks ago and have not heard anything. I am going to the RA next week so I may just use their copy.

Don,

Thatnks for the links as well. Good info.

Jean,

I am looking for this book as well. I am going to put an interlibrary loan on it as well.

Glen,

I figured you had seen it. Have you seen Foedera? Translated part of royal records by Rymer. It has some pretty neat military stuff in it as well. I actually have the original section from Book H on springalds copied and it seems the translation is lacking somewhat. I am working on a fuller one currently.
The memoranda rolls are online as well.

Hisham,

Thanks for the links. The pictures are very nice.

I spoke with the city Archaeologist and I will be going along the fortifications of the city and looking for evidence of mountings for artillery. Its a long shot but he offered so I figure it should be good. I will let you all know. It seems from what I can tell springald,balista etc. is the same item with different names, like catapult and mangon, mangonel etc. The springalds from teh letter books are clearly large crossbows as they specify it. I am imagining a large crossbow of over 1.8 meters bow length upward to 2.2m. Does that sound right?

Randall
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David Ruff




Location: Denton TX
Joined: 18 May 2006

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like this one?


It won't go thru armor tho :P


Fires a 10lb spear from what i understand. 2 man ballista. Have more pics of it and have a full set of plans. Have played with them and buit them (not this one). They can draw upto around 1200lbs and sling a spear out (or a ball if so desired) with umpff.. This one takes two men to load and operate.


What i do know is i have built them and during testing the field we were in was questioned as to the length vs the outside range of the machine. Won't get into what ours could and could not do for the sake of arguement.


David



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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

Did I mention i really want one.... the one in the picture is really nice.


ARE YOU SERIOUS IT WILL NOT GO THROUGH ARMOUR???? with over 1000 pounds of draw weight I have a hard time believing that, of course it seems a detection of sarcasm is being detected.... or perhaps you are serious and because the large projectile it does not. I would love an email from you with your results if you do not want to post them online.


I found indication that some of these were fairly large bows on them. A yew stave off one was a few inches in diameter and was over 4 feet long, what remained and they said it appeared to be less than half the span indicating over 2.2 meters in total. Supposedly some were steel as well. With such size I can imagine a huge potential draw weight. The london springalds must have been fairly large or thick as their bows were special and different from other self bows but were made of ash I think and they kept spares in case they broke.

Thanks for the info all. In fact any info on siege engines used in civic or fortress defence would be good as well... another topic?

Randall
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David Ruff




Location: Denton TX
Joined: 18 May 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
David,

Did I mention i really want one.... the one in the picture is really nice.


ARE YOU SERIOUS IT WILL NOT GO THROUGH ARMOUR???? with over 1000 pounds of draw weight I have a hard time believing that, of course it seems a detection of sarcasm is being detected.... or perhaps you are serious and because the large projectile it does not. I would love an email from you with your results if you do not want to post them online.


I found indication that some of these were fairly large bows on them. A yew stave off one was a few inches in diameter and was over 4 feet long, what remained and they said it appeared to be less than half the span indicating over 2.2 meters in total. Supposedly some were steel as well. With such size I can imagine a huge potential draw weight. The london springalds must have been fairly large or thick as their bows were special and different from other self bows but were made of ash I think and they kept spares in case they broke.

Thanks for the info all. In fact any info on siege engines used in civic or fortress defence would be good as well... another topic?

Randall



Hehehe being very sarcastic my friend Happy

I will NEVER post results here unfortunately and let people believe what they want to believe in regards to missile fire and armor. I learned a lesson there. But you are welcome to email me and i will send you the stories we have done with them.

I will say this however since it wasn't a sharp bolt..... We fired a 8lb ball off one of these once... It was a lead ball. It struck the bound 4x4 rack we made for it. The rack was about 100 yards out. It hit it with such force it splintered it and knocked it back about 2 feet, it did not pierce it, but left a crater in the wood. I would assume someone taking that force in the chest would have had thier heart stopped instantly... but who knows - pure speculation on my part.


Feel free to email or IM, i have owned, built or played with most medieval weaponry including firing it at hard targets of some sort or the other. In 3 weeks actually i leave to go work on a movie set (have been building the props now for about 3 months) so i will be gone for 2 weks this time around, but i will email back.


David
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David, this is the last time I'm going to point out to you that your sarcasm is not welcome here.
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David Ruff




Location: Denton TX
Joined: 18 May 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure if anyone has seen this video.

At 1hour 2 minutes it covers some of the crossbows and they fire on a breastplate and at a target. Keep in mind these are professional made medieval crossbows. It shows what a stout crossbow can do with a medieval target point NOT designed to pierce armor AND just how accurate the crossbow was.

It also covers other stuff im sure is of interest to others. Hope your Italian is good Happy


http://www.cacciaebalestra.altervista.org/INGLESE/Main0.html


Click ok the video part and then goto the middle age scroll. The part about the crossbows is at 1hour and 2 minutes and goes to 1 hour and 6 minutes. There is other things like polearms and swords etc.......

This video ALSO covers war wounds from hand held weapons to missile types. My Italian is not all that great but the forensic anthropolist goes into detail on some of it. Really worth a complete watch through.




Nathan..... didn't know sarcastic comments were not allowed with a :P behind it. I was attempting to be funny - lighten the mood share what i have done.


I will do my utmost best to refrain and control that........




David


Last edited by David Ruff on Sun 16 Jul, 2006 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Ruff wrote:

Nathan..... didn't know sarcastic comments were not allowed with a :P behind it. I was attempting to be funny - lighten the mood share what i have done.

I will do my utmost best to refrain and control that........

David


Personally I'm very interested by your observasion and I can come to my own conclusions, so if you give statistics about power, missile weight, point type, target carateristics and the resulting effects on target those are facts and extrapolation to past historical materials need not be mentioned.

Now if you can at some point get scientific pier reviewed results with the closests to period materials possible then it should be " discussable " IMHO. Does this mean that all would accept these as proven fact ? Probably not, and any flaws in the methodology would be fair criticism.

I just think that demanding scientific rigor and being careful making affirmative statements shouldn't mean walking on eggs around the subject. ( That is very stiffling to open discussion. )

One good reason to avoid any sarcasms is that this subject always seem to go " south " just when it starts getting interesting to me, and that is frankly " Boring ". The best thing I think is to not start any fights and if someone is being impolite let the moderators take care of it and just not respond.

( Oh, David these are comments related to your quoted post but of a general nature also. )

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David Ruff




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randel i have pictures and video of a 1000lb ballista hitting a 2" thick plank of oak from about 150 yards or so. The spear was tipped and was about 8 to 10lbs. I will post it on my site sometime. I plan to add a heavy seige area as i have built and sold a few to both movie and private collectors. Catapults are more fun in my opinion tho.




David
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2006 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

I will email you again for that info. I think there is always value from testing. I look forward to it.

Randall
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