Medieval Siege Tactics

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Medieval Siege Tactics. By: Morgan Miller. Offensive Tactics. Tactics is the art of commanding an army and are the most essential part of a battle: Blockade : surround the castle and cut off supplies. Escalade: direct attack employing Siege Engines and Artillery Bombardment - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Medieval Siege TacticsBy: Morgan Miller

  • Offensive TacticsTactics is the art of commanding an army and are the most essential part of a battle:Blockade : surround the castle and cut off supplies.Escalade: direct attack employing Siege Engines and Artillery Bombardment Breaching the Walls: breaking down the castle wallsMining: also used to breach castle wallsTrickery: deception to gain entryRetreat: used when the attackers were losing

  • BlockadesThe first option of attack on a castle was a Blockade.This technique was the most widely used and made it so the castle would starve.It was done by surrounding the castle and not letting any reinforcements or food supplies reach the castle.The castle would also fall if disease spread In the castle.To create disease the attackers would throw dead animals or prisoners over the walls.

  • Escalade An escalade was a direct attack on the castle.The attackers would use ladders to go over the walls but the defenders would try to push them off.They would also use Siege Engines to try to knock down the walls.This was very dangerous because the defenders would shoot arrows or throw boiling water on the attackers.The attackers would also use giant catapults to try to kill the defenders.They used battering rams to try to knock down the castle wall.The attackers threw flaming things into the castle to try to set fire to it.

  • Siege EnginesSiege engines were large pieces of machinery used to destroy a castle.These were very lethal weapons.They were very large and not easy to move.They were usually built on site before a battle.A siege engine would throw large pieces of stone at the castle.One engine would take at least threemen to fire.

  • Artillery Bombardment Artillery was used to break the castle walls.They were very big pieces of machinery.The most common was a trebuchet or catapult.These flung large rocks at the castle.They also threw flaming pieces of wood to try to start fires.Sometimes they even threw dead bodies over the walls to try to spread disease.

  • Breaching the WallsTo breach a wall the attackers would use an iron tipped battering ram to knock away the masonry.This was very dangerous.The defenders would throw rocks, arrows and other things at the attackers.They built thick wooden roofs to protect themselves.The defenders would also throw flaming objects on them.The attackers stretched wet cow hides to protect from fires.The attackers would also pick away at the mortar to loosen the stone so it would be easier to break away.

  • MiningMining was used to collapse a wall.The tunnel was dug from the besiegers lines to the enemies walls and then dug latterly.This took a long time but it was an easy way to break a wall.After it was dug the tunnel was filled with combustible materials .Since it was supported by wood, the tunnel would collapse, taking the wall with it.This created the desired breach.

  • TrickeryThis technique was often used to try and gain access to the castle without using brute force.The attackers would often disguise themselves as messengers or peasants.Another way to gain the defenders trust was to say you had information on the attackers plans.But this usually didnt work because the castle would get too suspicious and probably end up killing them.If it did work, when the castle opened the doors, the attackers would rush in.

  • Retreat This option was rarely used .This meant that the attacking force would back away from the defending castle.Retreat usually happened only when a reinforcement group came to help the defending castle.The retreats usually happened quickly .The attackers left most of their heavy artillery behind so they could move quicker.They would also retreat if disease spread through their camps

  • Defensive TacticsA castle was usually defended by throwing rocks, shooting arrows and pouring boiling water or tar on the attackers.They would also stockpile large amounts of food so they would not starve during a blockade.There were also large moats and walls surrounding the castle.The castle was usually built very well because it cost so much to build.Most of they time the castle did not fall to the attackers.

  • BibliographyWorld History, medieval and early modern time/ McDougal littleSiege Warfare, The art of Offense and Defense, By Stephen Francis WylyeThe History of Castles: Fortifications Around the World, By Christopher GravattCastle ~ Christopher GravattWorld History, Medieval and Early Modern Time, By: McDougal Littell

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  • Quiz A blockade make it so a castle would starve or become disease infected. It safe to try a direct assault on a castle.A battering ram had an iron tipped point.Siege engines easy to move. Was another name for a catapult a trebuchet? It took a short time to mine under a castle wall.Trickery worked every time it was tried.The option of retreat was used often.Most castles were built very poorly.The walls and moats around a castle were very big.

  • Quiz answersTrueFalseTrueFalseTrueFalseFalseFalseFalseTrue