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I'm sure there were several different kinds of triggering mechanisms. Everything from an iron hook to a wood pin struck by a large mallet to a rope and axe. Whatever they used had to be simple and fast. Seriously doubt there was any secret to it.
If there were any secrets at all about siege weapons they more likely would have been involving the fulcrum position and strength and size of materials such as the rope and timbers. These machines work under a lot of stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Its a little scary how accurate the ballista is, as a almost full sized one shoots a bolt roughly the size of a pool cue. I might have to see when their next stop is around me, I do t think they would pass it up. And I think the sense of humor is with a lot of wood workers in general. Its a good thing to know we still exist.
 

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What size is the 'correct' size ?
I doubt very much that there were rules of Medieval Warfare concerning the size of these weapons .
I recall reading that some had a crew of around 15 , and some as many as 45 , giving some indication of the variation in size.

'Helen', the GalGael Treebucket has a range of 180 Meters with lightweight hollow clay ball .
Loaded with heavy incendiary grenade , who knows what it could reach .
 

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There are two fulcrums to locate correctly = the axle for the throwing arm and the axle for the swinging basket counterweight.

The really interesting that I learned, by about treb #4 or 5, was that they scale up and down arithmetically.
Then you can build anything that you can score the wood for. 300lbs is plenty to give the club trap shooters
some 1lb paper bags of flour to shoot at.

Thank you for the pictures of the triggers. Far more complex than I imagined.
One long rope from the basket back to a stout peg in the end of the slide under the counterweight.
That works just fine for a counterweight of approx 1,000lbs.

The "War Wolf" was supposed to have had some 30,000 - 40,000lbs rock in the counterweight.
Thus able to throw a 1,500 lb dead horse the needed 300+ yards into the castle courtyard.
Hugh Kennedy (Britain) has built one to confirm that claim. Mostly, he uses small cars,
grand pianos, dead pigs and flaming toilets.
 

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There are two fulcrums to locate correctly = the axle for the throwing arm and the axle for the swinging basket counterweight.

The really interesting that I learned, by about treb #4 or 5, was that they scale up and down arithmetically.
Then you can build anything that you can score the wood for. 300lbs is plenty to give the club trap shooters
some 1lb paper bags of flour to shoot at.

Thank you for the pictures of the triggers. Far more complex than I imagined.
One long rope from the basket back to a stout peg in the end of the slide under the counterweight.
That works just fine for a counterweight of approx 1,000lbs.

The "War Wolf" was supposed to have had some 30,000 - 40,000lbs rock in the counterweight.
Thus able to throw a 1,500 lb dead horse the needed 300+ yards into the castle courtyard.
Hugh Kennedy (Britain) has built one to confirm that claim. Mostly, he uses small cars,
grand pianos, dead pigs and flaming toilets.
Dead pigs and flaming toilets? Sounds like a trip out to my cottage
 

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Back then, everything was flung over the wall including rats. If you couldn't get into the castle/fort just destroy the food and wait them out. Wars back then lasted many generations.
 

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What size is the 'correct' size ?
I doubt very much that there were rules of Medieval Warfare concerning the size of these weapons .
I recall reading that some had a crew of around 15 , and some as many as 45 , giving some indication of the variation in size.

'Helen', the GalGael Treebucket has a range of 180 Meters with lightweight hollow clay ball .
Loaded with heavy incendiary grenade , who knows what it could reach .
180 meters was too close.. even longbows could reach you
 

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It was generally conceeded that a volley of arrows from the strongest of castle archers could kill a man at 300 yards.
If there ever was any "rule" about siege weaponry, that was it.

Hugh Kennedy (UK) built and operates a replica of the "War Wolf."

Best account I ever read: the bad guys built a treb (600lb rocks were the ammo of choice.) The King sent an emmisary out from his
castle to negotiate a peace settlement. The bad guys killed him, loaded him into the treb and tossed him back into the castle courtyard. Dead or not, the sudden stop unpon his arrival in the courtyard would have finished him off.
 
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