interesting information about Medieval Weapons, Armor and arms,
specifically, the Siege Tower
Definition of a Siege Tower
The Siege Tower was a
device used during siege warfare. The Medieval Siege Tower was designed
to to protect the soldiers attacking the defensive walls of a castle,
town or fortress.
Medieval Siege Tower
The objective of a Medieval Siege Tower was
soldiers to mount a direct and close attack on a fortification - castle,
fortress or town. Siege
Towers were usually constructed with wheels and reached 3 stories in
height. A Medieval Siege Tower was a multipurpose machine which could hold men,
their weapons and even small siege engines from close-range
positions of relative safety. A Mangonel was sometimes placed at the top
of a Medieval Siege Tower.
Description and Siege
One of the siege weapons used the Medieval times include the Siege
The Medieval Siege Tower was an invaluable Medieval siege attack weapon. The
Medieval Siege Tower was designed to to protect the soldiers attacking the
defensive walls of a castle, town or fortress. It was also designed to
hold soldiers and siege weapons. The Medieval Siege Tower was usually a
tall, rectangular construction with four wheels and a height roughly
equal to that of the wall or sometimes higher. The Medieval Siege Tower mechanism
carried scores of soldiers, who climbed ladders to move between the
different levels of a Medieval Siege Tower. Near the top of the Medieval Siege Tower was a
strategically placed drawbridge which was lowered to allow the attackers
to race onto the battlements. Siege Towers were large and expensive to
construct - they were therefore the last type of siege weapon to be
constructed at a prolonged siege when the fortification could not be
penetrated by ladder assault, sapping or by pounding walls.
The relative safety offered by the Medieval Siege Tower from missiles or fire
was due to the cover that it offered the soldiers. The framework of the
Medieval Siege Tower was covered in animal hides. At the last minute when the
Medieval Siege Tower was about to be rolled or wheeled into place the hides were
soaked in mud and vinegar to add further protection. There were even
iron plates which could be added to the siege towers, although this was
an extremely expensive option.
Medieval Siege Tower
The relative safety offered by the
Medieval Siege Tower from missiles or fire led to a series of Medieval Siege Tower
variations. A horizontal version of a Medieval Siege Tower was developed to
provide cover for a battering ram. Conventional siege towers were also
known to have a battering ram built into the lowest level of the
structure. Each Medieval Siege Tower was designed to suit the requirements of the
wall it was required to attack.
Medieval Siege Tower History
Medieval Siege Tower history dates back to antiquity. The Medieval Siege Tower is believed to be
an ancient war engine which was used in China and by the Romans
and Greeks. Records of major English sieges of the Middle Ages mention
the use of siege towers. It was not uncommon for the defenders also to
build siege towers to directly oppose those of the attackers.
A Medieval Siege Tower was used at the siege of
Kenilworth Castle in 1266. Records show that the Medieval Siege Tower held two
hundred archers and eleven siege engines.
Preparing to use
the Medieval Siege Tower
Many preparations had to be made before using a Medieval Siege Tower. Many
castles and fortresses were surrounded by moats and ditches so before
the tower could be moved near the walls the moat or ditch had to be
filled with rubble and earth. The ground leading up to the required
position had to be chosen to allow for easy transportation of the siege
Attacking with the
Medieval Siege Tower
When all was ready the Medieval Siege Tower would be rolled, pushed or wheeled
into into place next to the wall. Men were positioned on all levels. The
drawbridge on the top deck was lowered, like a gangplank, enabling the
soldiers to rush forward on to the wall of the fortification.
As men departed from the Medieval Siege Tower reinforcements moved upwards from
the lower levels which added weight to the initial assault. Not all the
soldiers left the Medieval Siege Tower. They were often were defended by archers
shooting through arrow slits.
Building a Siege
Building a Medieval Siege Tower required the design and building skills.
Siege weapons, such as the Medieval Siege Tower, were made to order!
They were far too cumbersome to move from one place to another. In a
siege situation the commander would assess the situation and the siege
weapons design requirements to break a siege. Engineers would instruct
soldiers as to the construction and building of siege weapons such as
the Medieval Siege Tower.
and Armor - Siege Tower
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