Medieval Siege Engines

In medieval Europe, when besieging a castle there was a variety of siege engines, from battering rams to ballistas. The engines usually are classified into two types: projectiles and other. The most common types of projectiles are the mongrel (a type of catapult that gets its power from twisted ropes), the trebuchet (which gets its power from a heavy counter weight) and the ballista (which is a giant form of crossbow that could also fire stones). The most common other types of siege engines are the battering ram used to smash corners and burst through gates, the belfry, a siege tower used to get people onto the walls with archers on the top to give cover fire, and the cat, a type of cover that people used to protect themselves when filling in the moat or mining at the walls [sapping]. The cat is also is called a rat or tortoise. Which one, do you think, was the most effective when attacking a castle?

Japanese Castles

Japanese castles are on stone bases and have tall towers, high walls, wide moats and are beautiful to look at. Forts that senior officers lived in began in the 1070s, but castles in a grand scale -as a home as well as a fort, were built from 1400 to 1700. Some castles were so big, they were as large as the town that surrounded them.                        

A changing point in warfare and the history of Japan was the siege of Osaka castle that was thought to be impenetrable, but the defenders were tricked because the attackers agreed to “peace” if they filled in the moats. Then they attacked after all. When Osaka lost in 1616, the Tokugawa family came into power for the next 250 years. 

My favourite castle is Matsumoto castle, one of the ten remaining original keeps. What is yours?