Sling (weapon)

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Home-made sling Weapon Sling 1.jpg
Home-made sling
Home-made sling Weapon Sling 2.jpg
Home-made sling

A sling is a projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone, clay, or lead "sling-bullet". It is also known as the shepherd's sling. Someone who specialises in using slings is called a slinger.

A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defense, and warfare. In broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a tactical, strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary or enemy target.

A projectile is any object thrown into space by the exertion of a force. Although any object in motion through space may be called a projectile, the term more commonly refers to a ranged weapon. Mathematical equations of motion are used to analyze projectile trajectory. An object projected at an angle to the horizontal has both the vertical and horizontal components of velocity. The vertical component of the velocity on the y-axis given as Vy=USin(teta) while the horizontal component of the velocity Vx=UCos(teta). There are various terms used in projectiles at specific angle teta 1. Time to reach maximum height. It is symbolized as (t), which is the time taken for the projectile to reach the maximum height from the plane of projection. Mathematically, it is give as t=USin(teta)/g Where g=acceleration due to gravity(app 10m/s²) U= initial velocity (m/s) teta= angle made by the projectile with the horizontal axis.

Contents

A sling has a small cradle or pouch in the middle of two lengths of cord. The sling stone is placed in the pouch. The middle finger or thumb is placed through a loop on the end of one cord, and a tab at the end of the other cord is placed between the thumb and forefinger. The sling is swung in an arc, and the tab released at a precise moment. This frees the projectile to fly to the target. The sling essentially works by extending the length of a human arm, thus allowing stones to be thrown much farther than they could be by hand.

The sling is inexpensive and easy to build. It has historically been used for hunting game and in combat. Film exists of Spanish Civil War combatants using slings to throw grenades over buildings into enemy positions on the opposite street. Today the sling is of interest as a wilderness survival tool and an improvised weapon. [1]

Hunting Searching, pursuing, catching and killing wild animals

Hunting is the practice of killing or trapping animals, or pursuing or tracking them with the intent of doing so. Hunting wildlife or feral animals is most commonly done by humans for food, recreation, to remove predators that can be dangerous to humans or domestic animals, or for trade. Lawful hunting is distinguished from poaching, which is the illegal killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species. The species that are hunted are referred to as game or prey and are usually mammals and birds.

Spanish Civil War War between the Republicans and the Nationalists in Spain from 1936 to 1939

The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the elected, left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against a revolt by the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, Monarchists, Carlists, conservatives and Catholics, led by a military group among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, and different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism. It has been frequently called the "dress rehearsal" for World War II.

Improvised weapon

An improvised weapon is an object that was not designed to be used as a weapon but can be put to that use. They are generally used for self-defence or where the person is otherwise unarmed. In some cases improvised weapons are commonly used by attackers in street fights, muggings, murders or during riots, usually when conventional weapons such as firearms are unavailable or inappropriate.

The sling in antiquity

Origins

The sling is an ancient weapon known to Neolithic peoples around the Mediterranean, but is likely much older. It is possible that the sling was invented during the Upper Paleolithic at a time when new technologies such as the spear-thrower and the bow and arrow were emerging.

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.

Upper Paleolithic Subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age

The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, according to some theories coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity in early modern humans, until the advent of the Neolithic Revolution and agriculture.

Spear-thrower tool

A spear-thrower or atlatl is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing, and includes a bearing surface which allows the user to store energy during the throw.

With the exception of Australia, where spear throwing technology such as the woomera predominated, the sling became common all over the world, although it is not clear whether this occurred because of cultural diffusion or as an independent invention.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Woomera (spear-thrower) Australian Aboriginal spear-throwing device

A woomera is a wooden Australian Aboriginal spear-throwing device. Similar to an atlatl, it serves as an extension of the human arm, enabling a spear to travel at a greater speed and force than possible with only the arm.

Archaeology

Whereas sling-bullets are common finds in the archaeological record, slings themselves are rare. This is both because a sling's materials are biodegradable and because slings were lower-status weapons, rarely preserved in a wealthy person’s grave.

The oldest-known surviving slings—radiocarbon dated to c. 2500 BC—were recovered from South American archaeological sites located on the coast of Peru. The oldest-known surviving North American sling—radiocarbon dated to c. 1200 BC—was recovered from Lovelock Cave, Nevada. [2]

The oldest known extant slings from the Old World were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, who died about 1325 BC. A pair of finely plaited slings were found with other weapons. The sling was probably intended for the departed pharaoh to use for hunting game. [3]

Another Egyptian sling was excavated in El-Lahun in Al Fayyum Egypt in 1914 by William Matthew Flinders Petrie, and now resides in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology—Petrie dated it to about 800 BC. It was found alongside an iron spearhead. The remains are broken into three sections. Although fragile, the construction is clear: it is made of bast fibre (almost certainly flax) twine; the cords are braided in a 10-strand elliptical sennit and the cradle seems to have been woven from the same lengths of twine used to form the cords. [4]

Slingers on Trajan's Column. Slingers on Trajan's Column.JPG
Slingers on Trajan's Column.

Ancient representations

Representations of slingers can be found on artifacts from all over the ancient world, including Assyrian and Egyptian reliefs, the columns of Trajan [5] and Marcus Aurelius, on coins and on the Bayeux Tapestry.

The oldest representation of a slinger in art may be from Çatalhöyük, from approximately 7,000 BC, though it is the only such depiction at the site, despite numerous depictions of archers. [6]

Written history

Ancient Greek lead sling bullets with a winged thunderbolt molded on one side and the inscription "DEKsAI" (Dexai) meaning "take that" or "catch" on the other side, 4th century BC, from Athens, British Museum. Sling bullets BM GR1842.7-28.550 GR1851.5-7.11.jpg
Ancient Greek lead sling bullets with a winged thunderbolt molded on one side and the inscription "ΔΕΞΑΙ" (Dexai) meaning "take that" or "catch" on the other side, 4th century BC, from Athens, British Museum.

The sling is mentioned by Homer [8] and by other Greek authors. Xenophon in his history of the retreat of the Ten Thousand, 401 BC, relates that the Greeks suffered severely from the slingers in the army of Artaxerxes II of Persia, while they themselves had neither cavalry nor slingers, and were unable to reach the enemy with their arrows and javelins. This deficiency was rectified when a company of 200 Rhodians, who understood the use of leaden sling-bullets, was formed. They were able, says Xenophon, to project their missiles twice as far as the Persian slingers, who used large stones. [9]

Ancient authors seemed to believe, incorrectly, that sling-bullets could penetrate armour, and that lead projectiles, heated by their passage through the air, would melt in flight. [10] [11] In the first instance, it seems likely that the authors were indicating that slings could cause injury through armour by a percussive effect rather than by penetration. In the latter case we may imagine that they were impressed by the degree of deformation suffered by lead sling-bullet after hitting a hard target. [12]

Various ancient peoples enjoyed a reputation for skill with the sling. Thucydides mentions the Acarnanians and Livy refers to the inhabitants of three Greek cities on the northern coast of the Peloponnesus as expert slingers. Livy also mentions the most famous of ancient skillful slingers: the people of the Balearic Islands. Of these people Strabo writes: "And their training in the use of slings used to be such, from childhood up, that they would not so much as give bread to their children unless they first hit it with the sling." [13]

The late Roman writer Vegetius, in his work De Re Militari , wrote:

Recruits are to be taught the art of throwing stones both with the hand and sling. The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands are said to have been the inventors of slings, and to have managed them with surprising dexterity, owing to the manner of bringing up their children. The children were not allowed to have their food by their mothers till they had first struck it with their sling. Soldiers, notwithstanding their defensive armour, are often more annoyed by the round stones from the sling than by all the arrows of the enemy. Stones kill without mangling the body, and the contusion is mortal without loss of blood. It is universally known the ancients employed slingers in all their engagements. There is the greater reason for instructing all troops, without exception, in this exercise, as the sling cannot be reckoned any encumbrance, and often is of the greatest service, especially when they are obliged to engage in stony places, to defend a mountain or an eminence, or to repulse an enemy at the attack of a castle or city. [14]

According to description of Procopius, the sling had an effective range further than a Hun bow and arrow. In his book Wars of Justinian , he recorded the felling of a Hun warrior by a slinger:

Now one of the Huns who was fighting before the others was making more trouble for the Romans than all the rest. And some rustic made a good shot and hit him on the right knee with a sling, and he immediately fell headlong from his horse to the ground, which thing heartened the Romans still more. [15]

Biblical accounts

The sling is mentioned in the Bible, which provides what is believed to be the oldest textual reference to a sling in the Book of Judges, 20:16. This text was thought to have been written about 6th century BC, [16] but refers to events several centuries earlier.

The Bible provides a famous slinger account, the battle between David and Goliath from the First Book of Samuel 17:34–36, probably written in the 7th or 6th century BC, describing events having occurred around the 10th century BC. The sling, easily produced, was the weapon of choice for shepherds fending off animals. Due to this, the sling was a commonly used weapon by the Israelite militia. [17] Goliath was a tall, well equipped and experienced warrior. In this account, the shepherd David convinces Saul to let him fight Goliath on behalf of the Israelites. Unarmoured and equipped only with a sling, 5 smooth rocks, and his staff; David defeats the champion Goliath with a well-aimed shot to the head.

Use of the sling is also mentioned in Second Kings 3:25, First Chronicles 12:2, and Second Chronicles 26:14 to further illustrate Israelite use.

An artistic depiction of a slinger from the Balearic islands, famous for the skill of its slingers. Balearic Slinger.jpg
An artistic depiction of a slinger from the Balearic islands, famous for the skill of its slingers.

Combat

Ancient peoples used the sling in combat—armies included both specialist slingers and regular soldiers equipped with slings. As a weapon, the sling had several advantages; a sling bullet lobbed in a high trajectory can achieve ranges in excess of 400 metres (1,300 ft). [18] Modern authorities vary widely in their estimates of the effective range of ancient weapons. A bow and arrow could also have been used to produce a long range arcing trajectory, but ancient writers repeatedly stress the sling's advantage of range. The sling was light to carry and cheap to produce; ammunition in the form of stones was readily available and often to be found near the site of battle. The ranges the sling could achieve with molded lead sling-bullets was surpassed only by the strong composite bow.

Caches of sling ammunition have been found at the sites of Iron Age hill forts of Europe; some 22,000 sling stones were found at Maiden Castle, Dorset. [19] It is proposed that Iron Age hill forts of Europe were designed to maximise the effective defense of slingers.

The hilltop location of the wooden forts would have given the defending slingers the advantage of range over the attackers, and multiple concentric ramparts, each higher than the other, would allow a large number of men to create a hailstorm of stone. Consistent with this, it has been noted that defenses are generally narrow where the natural slope is steep, and wider where the slope is more gradual.

Construction

A classic sling is braided from non-elastic material. The traditional materials are flax, hemp or wool; those of the Balearic islanders were said to be made from a type of rush. Flax and hemp resist rotting, but wool is softer and more comfortable.

Braided cords are used in preference to twisted rope, as a braid resists twisting when stretched. This improves accuracy. [20]

The overall length of a sling can vary significantly; a slinger may have slings of different lengths, a longer sling being used when greater range is required. A length of about 61 to 100 cm (2.00 to 3.28 ft) would be typical.

At the centre of the sling, a cradle or pouch is constructed. This may be formed by making a wide braid from the same material as the cords or by inserting a piece of a different material such as leather. The cradle is typically diamond shaped (although some take the form of a net,) and will fold around the projectile in use. Some cradles have a hole or slit that allows the material to wrap around the projectile slightly, thereby holding it more securely.

At the end of one cord (called the retention cord) a finger-loop is formed. At the end of the other cord (the release cord), it is a common practice to form a knot or a tab. The release cord will be held between finger and thumb to be released at just the right moment, and may have a complex braid to add bulk to the end. This makes the knot easier to hold, and the extra weight allows the loose end of a discharged sling to be recovered with a flick of the wrist. [21]

Polyester is an excellent material for modern slings, because it does not rot or stretch and is soft and free of splinters.[ citation needed ]

Modern slings are begun by plaiting the cord for the finger loop in the center of a double-length set of cords.[ citation needed ] The cords are then folded to form the finger-loop. The cords are plaited as a single cord to the pocket. The pocket is then plaited, most simply as another pair of cords, or with flat braids or a woven net. The remainder of the sling is plaited as a single cord, and then finished with a knot. Braided construction resists stretching, and therefore produces an accurate sling.[ citation needed ]

Ammunition

Sling-bullets of baked clay and stone found at Ham Hill Iron Age hill fort. Sling bullets clay and stone.JPG
Sling-bullets of baked clay and stone found at Ham Hill Iron Age hill fort.

The simplest projectile was a stone, preferably well-rounded. Suitable ammunition is frequently from a river. The size of the projectiles can vary dramatically, from pebbles massing no more than 50 grams (1.8 oz) to fist-sized stones massing 500 grams (18 oz) or more.

Projectiles could also be purpose-made from clay; this allowed a very high consistency of size and shape to aid range and accuracy. Many examples have been found in the archaeological record.

The best ammunition was cast from lead. Leaden sling-bullets were widely used in the Greek and Roman world. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offers the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. In addition, leaden sling-bullets are small and difficult to see in flight.

In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mould made by pushing a finger or thumb into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. However, sling-bullets were more frequently cast in two part moulds. Such sling-bullets come in a number of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn; this could be the origin of the Latin word for a leaden sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans).

Other shapes include spherical and (by far the most common) biconical, which resembles the shape of the shell of an almond nut or a flattened American football.

The ancients do not seem to have taken advantage of the manufacturing process to produce consistent results; leaden sling-bullets vary significantly. The reason why the almond shape was favoured is not clear: it is possible that there is some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there is some more prosaic reason, such as the shape being easy to extract from a mould, or the fact that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out.

Almond shaped leaden sling-bullets were typically about 35 millimetres (1.4 in) long and about 20 millimetres (0.79 in) wide, massing approximately 28 grams (0.99 oz). Very often, symbols or writings were moulded into lead sling-bullets. Many examples have been found including a collection of about 80 sling-bullets from the siege of Perusia in Etruria from 41 BC, to be found in the museum of modern Perugia. Examples of symbols include a stylised lightning bolt, a snake, and a scorpion – reminders of how a sling might strike without warning. Writing might include the name of the owning military unit or commander or might be more imaginative: "Take this", "Ouch", and even "For Pompey's backside" added insult to injury, whereas dexai ("take this" or "catch!") [7] is merely sarcastic.

Julius Caesar writes in De bello Gallico , book 5, about clay shot being heated before slinging, so that it might set light to thatch. [22]

"Whistling" bullets

Some bullets have been found with holes drilled in them. It was thought the holes were to contain poison. John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, finding holed Roman bullets excavated at the Burnswark hillfort, has proposed that the holes would cause the bullets to "whistle" in flight and the sound would intimidate opponents. The holed bullets were generally small and thus not particularly dangerous. Several could fit into a pouch and a single slinger could produce a terrorizing barrage. Experiments with modern replicas demonstrate they produce a whooshing sound in flight. [23]

The sling in medieval period

Europe

The Bayeux Tapestry of the 1070s portrays the use of slings in a hunting context. Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor employed slingers during the Siege of Tortona in 1155 to suppress the garrison while his own men built siege engines. [24] On the Iberian peninsula, the Spanish and Portuguese infantry favoured it against light and agile Moorish troops. The staff sling continued to be used in sieges and the sling was used as a part of large siege engines. [25]

The Americas

A South American sling made of alpaca hair Andean sling 01.jpg
A South American sling made of alpaca hair

The sling was known throughout the Americas. [26]

In the ancient Andean civilizations such as Inca Empire, slings were made from llama wool. These slings typically have a cradle that is long and thin and features a relatively long slit. Andean slings were constructed from contrasting colours of wool; complex braids and fine workmanship can result in beautiful patterns. Ceremonial slings were also made; these were large, non-functional and generally lacked a slit. To this day, ceremonial slings are used in parts of the Andes as accessories in dances and in mock battles. They are also used by llama herders; the animals will move away from the sound of a stone landing. The stones are not slung to hit the animals, but to persuade them to move in the desired direction.

The sling was also used in the Americas for hunting and warfare. One notable use was in Incan resistance against the conquistadors. These slings were apparently very powerful; in 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, historian Charles C. Mann quoted a conquistador as saying that an Incan sling "could break a sword in two pieces" and "kill a horse". [27] Some slings spanned as much as 2.2 metres (86 in) long and weighed an impressive 410 grams (14.4 oz). [28] [29]

Variants

Medieval traction trebuchet next to a staff slinger Liber3.jpg
Medieval traction trebuchet next to a staff slinger

Staff sling

The staff sling, also known as the stave sling, fustibalus (Latin), fustibale (French), consists of a staff (a length of wood) with a short sling at one end. One cord of the sling is firmly attached to the stave and the other end has a loop that can slide off and release the projectile. Staff slings are extremely powerful because the stave can be made as long as two meters, creating a powerful lever. Ancient art shows slingers holding staff slings by one end, with the pocket behind them, and using both hands to throw the staves forward over their heads.

The staff sling has a similar or superior range to the shepherd's sling, and can be as accurate in practiced hands. It is generally suited for heavier missiles and siege situations as staff slings can achieve very steep trajectories for slinging over obstacles such as castle walls. The staff itself can become a close combat weapon in a melee. The staff sling is able to throw heavy projectiles a much greater distance and at a higher arc than a hand sling. Staff slings were in use well into the age of gunpowder as grenade launchers, and were used in ship-to-ship combat to throw incendiaries.

Medieval staff slingers (stern castle) Friezen vallen de toren van Damiate aan.jpg
Medieval staff slingers (stern castle)

Kestros

The kestros (also known as the kestrosphendone, cestrus or cestrosphendone) is a sling weapon mentioned by Livy and Polybius. It seems to have been a heavy dart flung from a leather sling. It was invented in 168 BC and was employed by some of the Macedonian troops of King Perseus in Third Macedonian war.

Siege engines

The traction trebuchet was a siege engine which uses the power of men pulling on ropes or the energy stored in a raised weight to rotate what was, again, a staff sling. It was designed so that, when the throwing arm of the trebuchet had swung forward sufficiently, one end of the sling would automatically become detached and release the projectile. Some trebuchets were small and operated by a very small crew; however, unlike the onager, it was possible to build the trebuchet on a gigantic scale: such giants could hurl enormous rocks at huge ranges. Trebuchets are, in essence, mechanised slings.

Today

A Tibetan girl guarding a herd of goats slings a small rock. Tibetan Girl Using a Sling.jpg
A Tibetan girl guarding a herd of goats slings a small rock.
Arab shepherd boy using a sling, c. 1900-1920, Jerusalem Shepherd boy slinging (LC-DIG-matpc-05262).jpg
Arab shepherd boy using a sling, c. 1900-1920, Jerusalem
Hooded youth rioters using slings

Traditional slinging is still practiced as it always has been in the Balearic Islands, and competitions and leagues are common. In the rest of the world, the sling is primarily a hobby weapon, and a growing number of people make and practice with them. In recent years 'slingfests' have been held in Wyoming, USA, in September 2007 and in Staffordshire, England, in June 2008.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current record for the greatest distance achieved in hurling an object from a sling is 437.10 m (1,434 ft 1 in), using a 129.5 cm (51.0 in) long sling and a 52 g (1.8 oz) ovoid stone, set by Larry Bray in Loa, Utah, USA on 21 August 1981. The sling is of interest to athletes who desire to break distance records; the best modern material is UHMWPE (trade name Spectra/Dyneema)[ citation needed ].

The principles of the sling may find use on a larger scale in the future; proposals exist for tether propulsion of spacecraft, which functionally is an oversized sling to propel a spaceship.

The sling is used today as a weapon primarily by protestors, to launch either stones or incendiary devices, such as Molotov cocktails. Classic woolen slings are still in use in the Middle East by Arab nomads and Bedouins to ward off jackals and hyenas. International Brigades used slings to throw grenades during the Spanish Civil War. Similarly, the Finns made use of sling-launched Molotov cocktails in the Winter War against Soviet tanks. Slings were used during the various Palestinian riots against modern army personnel and riot police. They were also used in the 2008 disturbances in Kenya. [30] [31]

See also

Footnotes

  1. Savage, Cliff (2011). The Sling for Sport & Survival. Boulder, Colorado: Paladin Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN   978-1-58160-565-5.
  2. Robert & Gigi York, Slings & Slingstones..., Kent State U. Press, 2011, pp. 76, 96, 122; Makiko Tada, English Translation for Braids of the Andes, Second Edition.
  3. Image of sling from the Tomb of Tutankhamen Archived 2006-04-03 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. Image of the Lahun sling and reconstruction by Burgess Archived 2006-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
  5. William Smith, LLD. William Wayte. G. E. Marindin (1890). "Image "Soldier with sling. (From the Column of Trajan)"". A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: John Murray.
  6. "Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic".
  7. 1 2 "Lead sling bullet; almond shape; a winged thunderbolt on one side and on the other, in high relief, the inscription DEXAI "Catch!"" . Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. "The Iliad of Homer, translated by Cowper". Gutenberg.org. 2005-08-05. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  9. "Xenophon, Anabasis, chapter III". Gutenberg.org. 1998-01-01. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  10. Lucretius, On the Nature of Things-- "Just as thou seest how motion will o'erheat / And set ablaze all objects, - verily / A leaden ball, hurtling through length of space, / Even melts."
  11. Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 9, Stanza LXXV – "His lance laid by, thrice whirling round his head / The whistling thong, Mezentius took his aim. / Clean through his temples hissed the molten lead, / And prostrate in the dust, the gallant youth lay dead."
  12. Pritchett, W. Kendrick (1992). The Greek State at War: Part V. University of California Press. pp. 24–25, footnote 44. ISBN   978-0-520-07374-6.
  13. "LacusCurtius • Strabo's Geography — Book III Chapter 5". Penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  14. "Digital | Attic – Warfare: De Re Militari Book I: The Selection and Training of New Levies". Pvv.ntnu.no. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  15. Procopius, Persian war
  16. Knoppers, Gary, "Is There a Future for the Deuteronomistic History?", In Thomas Romer, The Future of the Deuteronomistic History, Leuven University Press, 2000 ISBN   978-90-429-0858-1, p. 119.
  17. Yigael Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands (Jerusalem: International Publishing Company, 1963), 34–35
  18. Harrison, Chris (Spring 2006). "The Sling in Medieval Europe". The Bulletin of Primitive Technology. 31.
  19. Cunliffe, Barry (2005). Iron Age Communities in Britain: An Account of England, Scotland and Wales from the Seventh Century BC until the Roman Conquest (4th ed.). Routledge. p. 136. ISBN   978-0-415-56292-8.
  20. Cahlander, Adele (1980). Sling Braiding of the Andes (Weaver's Journal Monograph IV). St. Paul, MN: Dos Tejadores. ISBN   978-0937452035.
  21. Ramsey, Syed (2016). Tools of War: History of Weapons in Medieval Times. Alpha Editions. p. 147. ISBN   9386101661 . Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  22. Caesar Bell. Gall. 5,43,1.
  23. "Bullets, ballistas, and Burnswark – A Roman assault on a hillfort in Scotland". Current Archeology. 1 June 2016.
  24. Bradbury 1992, p. 89.
  25. Bradbury 1992, p. 262.
  26. Paul Campbell. "The Chumash Sling". ABOtech.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
  27. Mann, pg. 84.
  28. "Slings from Peru and Bolivia". Flight-toys.com. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  29. Jane Penrose. Slings in the Iron Age . Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  30. "Ethnic Clashes in Kenya". New York Times. 2008-02-03.
  31. Jeffrey Gettleman (2008-02-01). "Second Lawmaker Is Killed as Kenya's Riots Intensify". New York Times.

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A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile. It was a common powerful siege engine until the advent of gunpowder.

The Battle of Xiangyang was a key battle between the invading Mongols of the Yuan dynasty and Chinese Southern Song forces from AD 1267 to 1273. After the battle, the victorious Mongol forces pushed farther into the Chinese heartland. Previously for 30 years, Song China managed to handle several major offensives by the Mongol Empire. The strategic significance of Xiangyang came from the fact that it was in a position dominating the Han river. Once the Mongol forces occupied Xiangyang, they could travel by ships down the Han river into the Yangtze river. After the Battle of Xiangyang, China could not enjoy the protection of natural barriers any more and so it collapsed in just a few years, with the final battle being the relatively short naval Battle of Yamen in 1279.

Mangonel type of catapult or siege engine used in the medieval period

The mangonel, also called the traction trebuchet, was a type of trebuchet or siege engine used in Ancient China starting from the Warring States period, and later across Eurasia in the 6th century AD. Unlike the earlier torsion engines and later counterweight trebuchet, the mangonel operated on manpower pulling cords attached to a lever and sling to launch projectiles. Although the mangonel required more men to function, it was also less complex and faster to reload than the torsion powered ballista and onager which it replaced in early Medieval Europe.

Ballistics Science of the motion of projectiles

Ballistics is the field of mechanics that concerns with the launching, flight behavior and impact effects of projectiles, especially ranged weapon munitions such as bullets, unguided bombs, rockets or the like; the science or art of designing and accelerating projectiles so as to achieve a desired performance.

Siege engine device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare

A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some are immobile, constructed in place to attack enemy fortifications from a distance, while others have wheels to enable advancing up to the enemy fortification. There are many distinct types, such as siege towers to allow attacking soldiers to scale walls and attack the defenders, battering rams to break walls or gates, to catapults used to attack from a distance and fire a projectile; some complex siege engines were combinations of these types.

Onager (weapon) Roman siege engine

The onager was an imperial-era Roman torsion powered siege engine; in other words, a small catapult. The onager was first mentioned in 353 AD by Ammianus Marcellinus, who described onagers as the same as a scorpion.

Lucet tool for making cords or braids

A lucet is a tool used in cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking and Medieval periods, when it was used to create cords that were used on clothing, or to hang items from the belt. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loop like knots, and therefore will not unravel if cut. Unlike other braiding techniques such as kumihimo, finger-loop braiding or plaiting, where the threads are of a finite length, lucetted braids can be created without pre-measuring threads and so it is a technique suited for very long cords.

Ranged weapon weapon that can harm targets at distances greater than hand-to-hand distance

A ranged weapon is any weapon that can engage targets beyond hand-to-hand distance, i.e. at distances greater than the physical reach of the weapon itself. It is sometimes also called projectile weapon or missile weapon because it typically works by launching projectiles, though technically a directed-energy weapon is also a ranged weapon. In contrast, a weapon intended to be used in hand-to-hand combat is called a melee weapon.

Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. Relatively small efforts were made to develop the technology; however, the Romans brought an unrelentingly aggressive style to siege warfare that brought them repeated success. Up to the first century BC, the Romans utilized siege weapons only as required and relied for the most part on ladders, towers and rams to assault a fortified town. Ballistae were also employed, but held no permanent place within a legion's roster, until later in the republic, and were used sparingly. Julius Caesar took great interest in the integration of advanced siege engines, organizing their use for optimal battlefield efficiency.

Dart (missile) missile weapon

Darts are missile weapons, designed to fly such that a sharp, often weighted point will strike first. They can be distinguished from javelins by fletching and a shaft that is shorter and/or more flexible, and from arrows by the fact that they are not of the right length to use with a normal bow.

A lithobolos refers to any mechanical artillery weapon used and/or referred to as a stone thrower in ancient warfare. Typically this referred to engines that propel at stone along a flat track with two rigid bow arms powered by torsion, in particular all sizes of palintonon.

Torsion siege engine

A torsion siege engine is a type of artillery that utilizes torsion to launch projectiles. They were initially developed by the ancient Greeks, specifically Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, and used through the Middle Ages until the development of gunpowder artillery in the 14th century rendered them obsolete.

Petraria Arcatinus

Petraria Arcatinus is a possibly fictitious catapult which is claimed to have been in use during the Middle Ages. The name appears in some non-scholarly modern texts and websites. It is often roughly translated as "bow-powered stone-thrower". Modern depictions of this catapult are usually of an onager with its torsion spring power source replaced by a bow, but some doubt if this weapon ever existed.

The Floating Arm Trebuchet is a counterweight siege weapon which is a modern variation of the medieval trebuchet. Their defining feature is free movement of an axle on the throwing arm, and a linear drop channel for the counterweight. The design and construction of such machines is a popular project assignment in post-secondary engineering classes.

The Greeks and Romans both made extensive use of artillery for shooting large arrows or rocks.

Hu dun pao

Hu dun pao (虎蹲砲) is the name of two different missile weapons in Chinese history. In the Song dynasty (960–1279), it was a trebuchet and its name is translated into English as Crouching Tiger Trebuchet; in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the name was given to a type of bombard and it is known in English as Crouching Tiger Cannon.

This is an overview of Chinese siege weapons.