A report on Castle and Siege engine

Dating back to the early 12th century, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Europe.
Replica battering ram at Château des Baux, France
Built in 1385, Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England, is surrounded by a water-filled moat.
Siege engine in Assyrian relief of attack on an enemy town during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III 743-720 BC from his palace at Kalhu (Nimrud)
The Norman White Tower, the keep of the Tower of London, exemplifies all uses of a castle including city defence, a residence, and a place of refuge in times of crisis.
Roman siege engines.
Windsor Castle in England was founded as a fortification during the Norman Conquest and today is one of the principal official residences of Queen Elizabeth II.
A stone-throwing machine set to defend a gate, in the fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano by Simone Martini (14th century).
Baba Vida medieval castle build on the banks of the Danube in Vidin, Bulgaria
The medieval Mons Meg with its 20" (50 cm) cannonballs
São Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal, with a bridge over a moat
One of the super-heavy Karl-Gerät siege mortars used by the German army in World War II
The wooden palisades on top of mottes were often later replaced with stone, as in this example at Château de Gisors in France.
A German Big Bertha howitzer being readied for firing
A courtyard of the 14th-century Raseborg Castle in Finland
The 14th-century keep of Château de Vincennes near Paris towers above the castle's curtain wall. The wall exhibits features common to castle architecture: a gatehouse, corner towers, and machicolations.
Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey, North Wales, with curtain walls between the lower outer towers, and higher inner curtain walls between the higher inner towers.
A 13th-century gatehouse in the château de Châteaubriant, France. It connects the upper ward to the lower one.
Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland is surrounded by a moat.
Daorson, Bosnia, built around a prehistoric central fortified settlement or acropolis (existed there cca. 17/16th c. to the end of the Bronze Age, cca. 9/8th c. BCE), surrounded by cyclopean walls (similar to Mycenae) dated to the 4th c. BCE.
Borġ in-Nadur fort in Malta, built during the Tarxien phase and used until the Bronze Age.
The Bayeux Tapestry contains one of the earliest representations of a castle. It depicts attackers of the Château de Dinan in France using fire, a major threat to wooden castles.
Built in 1138, Castle Rising in Norfolk, England is an example of an elaborate donjon.
Albarrana tower in Paderne Castle, Portugal
The gatehouse to the inner ward of Beeston Castle in Cheshire, England, was built in the 1220s, and has an entrance between two D-shaped towers.
Krak des Chevaliers in Syria is a concentric castle built with both rectangular and rounded towers. It is one of the best-preserved Crusader castles.
The design of Edward I's Harlech Castle (built in the 1280s) in North Wales was influenced by his experience of the Crusades.
The northern walls of the Gran Castello in Gozo, Malta, were built in the 15th century.
Corvin Castle in Transylvania (built between 1446 and 1480) was one of the biggest in Eastern Europe at that time.
Castle De Haar, Utrecht, Netherlands.
The angled bastion, as used in Copertino Castle in Italy, was developed around 1500. First used in Italy, it allowed the evolution of artillery forts that eventually took over the military role of castles.
Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century historicist (neoromanesque) castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, inspired by the romanticism of the time.
Castello Dei Baroni, a country residence in Wardija, Malta, designed with castle-like features.
A 19th-century depiction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc of the construction of the large tower at Coucy Castle in France, with scaffolding and masons at work. The putlog holes mark the position of the scaffolding in earlier stages of construction. The tower was blown up in 1917.
Experimental archeology castle building at Guédelon Castle site in France (2015).
God Speed! by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900: a late Victorian view of a lady giving a favour to a knight about to do battle.
Highland castles such as Château de Montségur in southern France have become the popular idea of where castles should be found because they are photogenic, where in reality castles were built in a variety of places due to a range of considerations.
Srebrenik Fortress in Srebrenik, Bosnia: inaccessibility of location with only a narrow bridge traversing deep canyon provides excellent protection.
Almourol Castle in Portugal, which stands on a small islet in the Tejo River.
Tavastia Castle in Hämeenlinna, Finland, one of the northernmost castles in Europe. The exact date of construction of the castle is unclear, as far as it is known to have been built in the late 13th century, but the first mention of it in contemporary documents is from 1308. It was built close to Lake Vanajavesi.
An early 13th-century drawing by Matthew Paris showing contemporary warfare, including the use of castles (here Lincoln Castle), crossbowmen and mounted knights.
A reconstructed trebuchet at Château des Baux in Bouches-du-Rhône in the south of France.

A typical military confrontation in medieval times was for one side to lay siege to an opponent's castle.

- Siege engine

Although primitive, they were often effective, and were only overcome by the extensive use of siege engines and other siege warfare techniques, such as at the Battle of Alesia.

- Castle
Dating back to the early 12th century, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Europe.

3 related topics with Alpha


Depiction of the siege of Lisbon, 1147


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Military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault.

Military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault.

Depiction of the siege of Lisbon, 1147
Picture of the siege of Rancagua during the Chilean War of Independence
Assyrians using siege ladders in a relief of attack on an enemy town during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III 720–738 BCE from his palace at Kalhu (Nimrud)
The Egyptian siege of Dapur in the 13th century BC, from Ramesseum, Thebes
Depiction of various siege machines in the mid-16th century
Medieval trebuchets could sling about two projectiles per hour at enemy positions.
Cahir Castle in Ireland was besieged and captured three times: in 1599 by the Earl of Essex, in 1647 by Lord Inchiquin, and in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell.
Roman siege machines
Chinese and Korean troops assault the Japanese forces of Hideyoshi in the siege of Ulsan Castle during the Imjin War (1592–1598).
Late 16th-century illustration of cannon with gabions
The siege of Candia, regarded as one of the longest sieges in history (1648–1669)
Vauban's star-shaped fortified city of Neuf-Brisach
The Battle of Vienna took place in 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months.
Storming of Redoubt#10 during the siege of Yorktown
British infantry attempt to scale the walls of Badajoz, Peninsular War, 1812
French Engineer Corps during the siege of Antwerp, 1832
This sepoy PoW shows the conditions of the garrison at Kut at the end of the siege in World War I.
The Skoda 305 mm Model 1911
Siege of Przemyśl
Map showing Axis encirclement during the siege of Leningrad (1942–1943)
French troops seeking cover in trenches, Dien Bien Phu, 1954
Sarajevo residents collecting firewood, winter of 1992–1993
Map of destroyed infrastructure following the Siege of Marawi, 2017
The conflagration of the Mount Carmel Center on the final day of the Waco siege

This is typically coupled with attempts to reduce the fortifications by means of siege engines, artillery bombardment, mining (also known as sapping), or the use of deception or treachery to bypass defenses.

In the European Middle Ages, virtually all large cities had city walls—Dubrovnik in Dalmatia is a well-preserved example—and more important cities had citadels, forts, or castles.

12th century Siege of Lisbon with siege tower, trebuchets and mantlets.

Siege tower

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12th century Siege of Lisbon with siege tower, trebuchets and mantlets.
Assyrian attack on a town with archers and a wheeled battering ram; Neo-Assyrian relief, North-West Palace of Nimrud (room B, panel 18); 865–860 BC
The remains of the Roman siege-ramp at Masada
Roman siege tower
Sketch of a medieval siege tower
Chinese siege tower
Medieval English siege tower

A Roman siege tower or breaching tower (or in the Middle Ages, a belfry ) is a specialized siege engine, constructed to protect assailants and ladders while approaching the defensive walls of a fortification.

Some siege towers also had battering rams with which they used to bash down the defensive walls around a city or a castle gate.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise


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Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise
French soldiers in the Franco-Prussian War 1870–71
British 64 Pounder Rifled Muzzle-Loaded (RML) Gun on a Moncrieff disappearing mount, at Scaur Hill Fort, Bermuda. This is a part of a fixed battery, meant to protect against over-land attack and to serve as coastal artillery.
7-person gun crew firing a US M777 Light Towed Howitzer, War in Afghanistan, 2009
A bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon" from the Huolongjing.
A depiction of an early vase-shaped cannon (shown here as the "Long-range Awe-inspiring Cannon"(威遠砲)) complete with a crude sight and an ignition port dated from around 1350 AD. The illustration is from the 14th century Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing.
French gunner in the 15th century, a 1904 illustration
First Battle of Panipat
Bullocks dragging siege-guns up hill during Akbar's Siege of Ranthambore
The Austrian Pumhart von Steyr, the earliest extant large-calibre gun
Three of the large Korean artillery, Chongtong in the Jinju National Museum. These cannons were made in the mid 16th century. The closest is a "Cheonja chongtong"(천자총통, 天字銃筒), the second is a "Jija chongtong"(지자총통, 地字銃筒), and the third is a "Hyeonja chongtong"(현자총통, 玄字銃筒).
Artillery with gabion fortification
The Tsar Cannon (caliber 890 mm), cast in 1586 in Moscow. It is the largest bombard in the world.
A 19th-century cannon, set in the wall of Acre to commemorate the city's resistance to the 1799 siege by Napoleon's troops.
Prussian artillery at the Battle of Langensalza (1866)
Armstrong gun deployed by Japan during the Boshin war (1868–69)
8-inch Armstrong gun during American Civil War, Fort Fisher, 1865
The French Canon de 75 modèle 1897, the first modern artillery piece
German 15cm field howitzers during World War I
M982 Excalibur guided artillery shell
M1156 Precision Guidance Kit can be added to unguided projectiles
Artillery can be used to fire nuclear warheads, as seen in this 1953 nuclear test.
152 mm howitzer D-20 during the Iran–Iraq War
Battleship ammunition: 16" artillery shells aboard a United States
Cyclone of the 320th French Artillery, in Hoogstade, Belgium, September 5, 1917
The Finnish Defence Forces using 130 mm Gun M-46 during a direct fire mission in a live fire exercise in 2010.
German Army PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery
Horse-drawn artillery
Man-pulled artillery
Australian gunners, wearing gas masks, operate a 9.2 in howitzer during World War I
Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin (1772–1851)
A British 60-pounder (5 in) gun at full recoil, in action during the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915. Photo by Ernest Brooks.
Two French Army Giat GCT 155mm (155 mm AUF1) Self-propelled Guns, 40th Regiment d' Artillerie, with IFOR markings are parked at Hekon base, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Operation Joint Endeavor
A 155 mm artillery shell fired by a United States 11th Marine Regiment M-198 howitzer
USMC M-198 firing outside of Fallujah, Iraq in 2004
Modern artillery ammunition. Caliber 155 mm as used by the PzH 2000
Illustration of different trajectories used in MRSI: For any muzzle velocity there is a steeper (> 45°, solid line) and a lower (<45°, dashed line) trajectory. On these different trajectories, the shells have different flight times.
An artillery piece in the monument commemorating the 1864 Battle of Tupelo (American Civil War)

Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during sieges, and led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines.

Cannons were only useful for the defense of a castle, as demonstrated at Breteuil in 1356, when the besieged English used a cannon to destroy an attacking French assault tower.