Ancient and Medieval Weapons

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Yusuf, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Lets use this thread to discuss various weapons developed by man to wage war. This includes use of say for example an Elephant as well. So from the Sword to the Trebuchet, or even defencive tools like Shields and body armor.

    Lets not just list a weapons system but also try to discuss why what and how of it as well.
     
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  3. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    A voulge is a type of polearm that was used in medieval Europe. A voulge was very similar to glaive yet they differed in their construction and the way they were mounted on the wooden pole. A voulge was mounted by biding two thirds of the blade to the side of the shaft. On the other hand, the glaive featured a socket at the bottom of the blade. Also the main difference between the two weapons was the shape of the blade. The voulge featured a broad blade that was intended for hacking and the glaive had a narrow blade that was intended for cutting. With time, a sharp blade was added to the top of the voulge for stabbing and a hook was added on the other side of the blade.
    http://images.wikia.com/nethack/images/9/9b/Voulges-Colored.png
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Sambuke-gelo4.jpg/350px-Sambuke-gelo4.jpg

    The sambuca was a ship-borne siege engine which was invented byHeraclides of Tarentum [SUP][1][/SUP] and were first used unsuccessfully by Marcus Claudius Marcellus during the Roman siege of Syracuse in 213 BC. [SUP][2][/SUP]
    Polybius describes usage of the machine:
    As well as these vessels he had eight quinqueremes in pairs. Each pair had had their oars removed, one on the port and the other on the starboard side, and then these had been lashed together on the sides thus left bare. On these double vessels, rowed by the outer oars of each of the pair, they brought up under the walls some engines called “Sambucae,” the construction of which was as follows: A ladder was made four feet broad, and of a height to reach the top of the wall from the place where its foot had to rest; each side of the ladder was protected by a railing, and a covering or pent-house was added overhead. It was then placed so that its foot rested across the sides of the lashed-together vessels, which touched each other with its other extremity protruding a considerable way beyond the prows. On the tops of the masts pulleys were fixed with ropes: and when the engines were about to be used, men standing on the sterns of the vessels drew the ropes tied to the head of the ladder, while others standing on the prows assisted the raising of the machine and kept it steady with long poles. Having then brought the ships close in shore by using the outer oars of both vessels they tried to let the machine down upon the wall. At the head of the ladder was fixed a wooden stage secured on three sides by wicker-shields, upon which stood four men who fought and struggled with those who tried to prevent the sambuca from being made to rest on the battlements. But when they have fixed it and so got above the level of the top of the wall, the four men unfasten the wicker shields from either side of the stage, and walk out upon the battlements or towers as the case may be; they are followed by their comrades coming up by the sambuca, since the ladder’s foot is safely secured with ropes and stands upon both the ships. This construction has got the name “sambuca” or “harp” for the natural reason, that when it is raised the combination of the ship and ladder has very much the appearance of such an instrument.[SUP][3][/SUP]
    They were used again unsuccessfully during the siege of Chios. [SUP][4][/SUP] This may have been the siege conducted by Philip V in 201 BC, but neither source specified the date.
    A different design of machine, also called a sambuca, was used unsuccessfully by Mithridates IV of Pontus in his attack on Rhodes in 88 B.C. [SUP][5][/SUP]
    The engine was built upon two ships lashed together and consisted of towers between which an assault bridge was hoisted.[SUP][5][/SUP] Mithridates' sambuca had rams and projectiles as part of its offensive battery.[SUP][6][/SUP] During its deployment but before it could be successfully employed to transport soldiers, it fell. With it, fell the fortunes of the eastern wave against Rhodes, the Pontic king withdrawing.[SUP][5][/SUP] Fifteen years later, Mithridates again used a siege engine, in his unsuccessful attack on Cyzicus.[SUP][7][/SUP] Later classical sources confuse the sambuca for a ship mounted siege tower. Vegetius used the term sambuca as the name given to the assault ramp mounted on a siege tower. [SUP][8][/SUP]
    The name sambuca, is derived from an Egyptian harp which it was said to resemble.[SUP][9]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambuca_(siege_engine)[/SUP]
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...Castelnaud.jpg/350px-Trebuchet_Castelnaud.jpg

    A trebuchet[SUP][nb 1][/SUP] (French trébuchet) is a siege engine that was employed in the Middle Ages. It is sometimes called a "counterweight trebuchet" or "counterpoise trebuchet" in order to distinguish it from an earlier weapon that has come to be called the "traction trebuchet", the original version with pulling men instead of a counterweight. The counterweight trebuchet appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the twelfth century. It could fling projectiles of up to three hundred and fifty pounds (140 kg) at high speeds into enemy fortifications.
    The trebuchet did not become obsolete until the 15th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder, which appeared in Europe in second half of 13th century.

    A trebuchet is a type of catapult that works by using the energy of a raised counterweight to throw the projectile. Initially, the sling, which has a pouch containing the projectile, is placed in a trough below the axle, which supports the beam. Upon releasing the trigger, the sling and the beam swing around toward the vertical position, where one end of the sling releases, opening the pouch and propelling the projectile towards the target. The stored energy of the counterweight is transferred efficiently to the projectile.[SUP][3][/SUP]
    Modern-day enthusiasts have varied the original design, especially to control the path of the counterweight for increased efficiency.[SUP][4][/SUP]
    The three chief distinguishing characteristics of a trebuchet are:
    • The machine is powered exclusively by gravity; most often directly by means of a counterweight, though sometimes indirectly (such as in a traction trebuchet).
    • Such force rotates a throwing arm - usually four to six times the length of the counterweight arm - to multiply the speed of the arm and, eventually, the projectile.
    • The machine utilizes a sling affixed to the end of the throwing arm, acting as a secondary fulcrum, to further multiply the speed of the projectile.


    Trebuchet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...talent_caliber.jpg/300px-2-talent_caliber.jpg

    The ballista (Latin, from Greek βαλλίστρα - ballistra[SUP][1][/SUP] and that from - βάλλω ballō, "throw"),[SUP][2][/SUP] plural ballistae, was an ancient missile weapon which launched a large projectile at a distant target.
    Developed from earlier Greek weapons, it relied upon different mechanics, using two levers with torsion springs instead of a prod, the springs consisting of several loops of twisted skeins. Early versions ejected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes for siege warfare. It developed into a smaller sniper weapon, theScorpio,[SUP][3][/SUP] and possibly the polybolos.

    Ballista - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    [h=1]Cataphract[/h]
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...anid_Cataphract_Uther_Oxford_2003_06_2(1).jpg

    A cataphract was a form of armored heavy cavalry utilised in ancient warfare by a number of peoples in Western Eurasia and the Eurasian Steppe.
    The word in English is derived from the Greek: κατάφρακτος Kataphraktos (plural: κατάφρακτοι Kataphraktoi), literally meaning "armored" or "completely enclosed". Historically the cataphract was a very heavily armored horseman, with both the rider and steed draped from head-to-toe in scale armor, while typically wielding a kontosor lance as their weapon.
    ".. But no sooner had the first light of day appeared, than the glittering coats of mail, girt with bands of steel, and the gleaming cuirasses, seen from afar, showed that the king's forces were at hand." Ammianus Marcellinus, late Roman historian and soldier, describing the sight of Persian cataphracts approaching Roman infantry inAsia Minor, c. 4th century.[SUP][1][/SUP]
    Cataphracts served as either the elite cavalry or assault force for most empires and nations that fielded them, primarily used for impetuous charges to break through infantry formations. Chronicled by many historians from the earliest days of Antiquityup until the High Middle Ages, they are in part or wholly believed to have given rise to the Age of Feudalism in Europe and the later European equivalents of Knights andPaladins, via contact with the Byzantine Empire.[SUP][2][/SUP]
    Notable peoples and states deploying cataphracts at some point in their history include: the Scythians, Assyrians, Sarmatians, Parthian dynasties, Achaemenid Empire, Sakas, Armenia, Seleucids, Pergamenes, the Sassanid Empire, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
    In the West, the fashion for heavily armored Roman cavalry seems to have been a response to the Eastern campaigns of the Parthians and Sassanids in the region referred to as Asia Minor, as well as numerous defeats at the hands of cataphracts across the steppes of Eurasia, the most notable of which is the Battle of Carrhae. Traditionally Roman Cavalry was neither heavily armored nor all that effective; the Roman Equites corps were composed mainly of lightly armored horsemen bearing spears and swords to chase down stragglers and routing enemies. The adoption of cataphract-like cavalry formations took hold amongst the late Roman army during the late 3rd and 4th centuries. The Emperor Gallienus Augustus (253–268 AD) and his general and would-be usurper Aureolus, bear much of the responsibility for the institution of Roman cataphract contingents in the Late Roman army.

    Cataphract - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  9. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chakram

    [​IMG]

    Don’t be fooled, the chakram is not something you would want to play frisbee with. Unlike the frisbee, the chakram was often thrown vertically rather than horizontally. The deadly circle of metal was up to a foot in diameter. It’s extremely sharp edge ensured that the chakram could slice off arms and legs with ease. This weapon originated from India, where it was used extensively by the high ranking Indian Sikhs. Much like a distant relative, the shrunken, the chakram could be stacked one on the other and thrown repeatedly. One interesting throwing method used by professional warriors was to spin the chakram on their index finger, and then, with a sharp flick of the wrist, launch the whirring blade at their opponent.

    Katar

    [​IMG]

    This Indian weapon gave its owner the claws of wolverine, minus the strength and cutting power of adamantium. The katar at first glance has a single blade, however when a trigger on the h-shaped handle was activated, the blade would split into three, one on the middle and one on each side. The three blades not only made the weapon more effective at stabbing and slashing, but they also intimidated and/or startled the opponent. The blade’s positioning on the handle also allowed it to easily block attacks. Its unusual design has yet another purpose – the triple blades could easily stab through all kinds of Asian armor with ease.
    [​IMG]

    The Indian Katar is one of the weirdest Oriental weapons. This thrusting dagger, used by Hindu warriors, was often made from broken sword-blades. It incorporated two pistols that could be fired by squeezing the bars together and was sometimes fitted with a guard that enclosed the entire hand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  10. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Urumi of the Rajput

    [​IMG]

    The Urumi is one of the most dangerous weapons to use in the history of weapons, not only for its enemies, but for the wielder himself. This whip-sword was first designed in Southern India where it was known as a Chuttaval (Coiled Sword). As you can see in the video, it is very flexible and quite dangerous. The only downfall of the weapon is, like all other whips, it does not penetrate armor. What makes this whip-like weapon far more deadly than a leather whip is that it is made with steel, flattened into about a three quarters inch to an inch and sharpened like a razor on both edges. The four to six foot blade was often coiled around the waist when not in use, making it quite portable. Women who learned to use this blade would wear it like a fashionable belt.


    This weapon was primarily used when a warrior was surrounded by multiple opponents. The whipping blade made it very difficult to close in on the Rajput without receiving some kind of injury. Only the most well trained warriors of the Kalaripayattu martial arts are allowed to practice with this sword. Kalaripayattu is still practiced today in India and the Urumi is as much an art form as it is a combative skill. The Urumi requires perfect concentration and excellent agility as opposed to the strength and power that other swords would benefit from.
    The sound of the swinging Urumi makes an intimidating sliding and snapping sound as the blade spins around the Rajput warrior. Smart enemies would instinctively retreat out of the range of the weapon when hearing the sounds. The wounds from the Urumi are not as often fatal as many of the other weapons in the Rajput arsenal, but they can be extremely painful when the edge slices through unarmored skin. A good whip across an artery or a tendon can make the wound fatal or disabling.

    The Urumi is not a weapon you want to wrap around your exposed neck.

    The Khanda of the Rajput

    [​IMG]

    The Khanda is a fearsome Indian sword designed to combat armored opponents. Its grip enables it to be used one or two-handed and the serrated blade is designed to cause maximum damage. However, despite its reputation it wasn't the most reliable weapon.

    It was forged with iron, sharpened on both sides of the thick blade, but the tip was made blunt. The thick flared tip increased the weight of the blade and assisted in its ability to slice through anything in its path. A thin point was placed under the handle which allowed a deadly backswing. This could be used as puncture weapon if sharpened or a bludgeoning tool. Some of the later designs included a spine in the blade to increase its strength for chopping through thicker obstacles. The Rajput used two hands with this sword, and although it was light enough to swing with one hand, it was capable of chopping through leather and chain with enough force behind the blow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  11. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    Medieval Age that Changed the Face of Warfare
    -Importance of strategy had risen up
    -New Infantry units have formed
    -New War machines were created

    Before that armies used to fight sword-for-sword, soldier-for-soldier. Medival Age is were we seen a change, From New Infantry units to Cavalry to siege weapons. The Civilization which had Force multipliers had won!!



    For me, The Biggest weapon that made a difference was the Knight or Heavy Cavalry


    Elephants and Cavalry were like Tanks for Armies of Olden Days

    The mounted knights were the most formidable force in the Medieval Warfare. They made a huge impact over the Battlefield!!!

    In Battlefield, Cavalry was very useful to break Infantry ranks. A normal swordsmen cannot even wound the knight because of his thick armour. Most of the time, When their faced a knight the infantry would broke thier ranks and run.
    Moresoldiers were killed during the retreat than in battle, since mounted knights could quickly and easily dispatch the archers and infantry who were no longer protected by a line of pikes as they had been during the previous fighting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Many of the weapons I learned about from playing Diablo II :)
     
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  13. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    most ancient and most powerful weapons in the whole world...
    tears of women.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    Voulge looks like a Pike with long sword, More like a cross between a Pike and sword. Basically it was designed to use against Cavalry and also to be useful for hand-to-hand combat.
    The Voulge looks has a Terrifying weapon in appearance but not really effective. They were too slow and heavy. A Soldier would need a lot of strenght to fight with a Voulge.

    like the European voulge, The Japanese had a same class weapon called Nagamaki. Nagamaki is a Half Pike and Half Sword which is lighter and effective. It was mostly used for Anti-Cavalry!!

    [​IMG]
    Urmi would be very effective against light infantry but would be useless against an Heavy armoured soldier or Heavy cavalry.

    Agreed, A normal light Infantry would have no chance to get close to Rajput warrior without being wounded. A Urmi Warrior with Kalaripayattu martial arts is deadly combination




    lol,...........From a Club to Katar almost every single weapon was shown in Dibalo!!

    Barbarian with 2 long swords was the best for Melee Combat!!!
     
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  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Lots of trebuchets on youtube.
     
  16. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Two tanks, side by side.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The gladius, the weapon that made the Roman Empire. It was a steel, double-edged thrusting sword designed to kill quickly with minimal effort.
    [​IMG]

    The pila, a type of javelin. Every Roman legionary carried two pila into combat. The pila had a special tip that broke as soon as it made contact with a hard surface; this prevented the enemy from picking it up and using it against the same guy that threw it.
    [​IMG]

    The scutum, or "tower shield". It was made primarily of wood with a reinforced bronze edge. The scutum was designed to give the bearer optimal protection, and could be used to form the famous testudo formation, where mutiple legionaries would overlap their shields to create a protective wall.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    I don't quite well remember Urumi used with prominence, at least not in the commonly available documentation of major wards or at museums etc.
    Probably because it had only limited and very specific scope of application.

    Traditional khanda was a bit wider towards the tip because it had to be used on both sides & make contact with adversary's body as soon as possible.
    Khanda was the weapon of desperation visible in final stages of battle.
    It could be used to butcher an awed enemy and finish the story. Also when a Rajput warrior would see that victory was not near, he would wave the Khanda blaze-fully to cause maximum damage before laying down his life.
    Every people have a distinct way of looking at wars. Among many examples, Rajput desperado can be summarized also perhaps by these lines from - The Bhausahebanchi bakhar which quotes Jayappa Shinde's correspondence back home during his campaign in Rajasthan:
    "These are Marwadi Rajputs, incredibly valorous; their bodies dance around even if they are beheaded"

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
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  19. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    Actually we dont have any reliable articles on Ancient Indian Weapons over Internet!!

    Dunno about the Rajputs but it seems Kingdoms of Kerala used Urimi a lot. Urumi can be used has secondary weapon, They are light weight can be used used has belt across the warrior belly.

    In Battlefield, Kings and Officers are said to be carrying Urmi with them always.
     
  20. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Elephant-mounted cannons of the Mughal Empire

     
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