Dating back a thousand years, catapults were designed to lay siege to fortresses and castles.
These amazing weapons of war could reach 30 feet in height and 200 pounds stones up to 1,000 feet to destroy enemy fortresses.
Assailants were also known to throw corpses or parts from animal and even humans to spread disease. It was a crude form of biological warfare.
The major types of Catapults are
Successful sieges took patience.
Before assaults began, the attacking army might try to send spies to make their way into the castle and provide inside help. The besieging army would cut off food and water supplies to the castle, in effect trying to starve them into surrendering. Another method used was digging tunnels under the foundations of a fortress to undermine its stability.
Armies were comprised of knights, foot soldiers, archers and mercenaries. They also traveled with cooks, washer women, carpenters, blacksmiths, armorers, priests and surgeons.
The besieging army would camp outside of the castle and the battle of wills would begin.
Inside, the fortress inhabitants defended themselves. The design of castles included built-in defense mechanisms such as arrow slits and the ominous sounding murder holes.
When you come and visit the Ozark Medieval Fortress, you will learn how the besieged could survive, how they counter-attacked, and other aspects of medieval warfare.