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Questions tagged [siege]

The [military] technique of blockading a city or other target that has a strong defensive position. Usually by surrounding it and trying to stop escapes and resources getting in.

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What was Masada's Roman ramp steep angle?

One thing that puzzled me about the story of Masada, is the ramp for the ram. The angle looked bizarre to me. I suppose it wore out over the years by the harsh winds, and maybe floods, but from ...
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How did 300,000 people survive the 3 1/2 year siege of Sarajevo?

How did the inhabitants of Sarajevo survive a 3 1/2-year siege from 1992 to 1996? Specifically, how did they deal with water, food, and heating? Background: In 2018, Sweden sent out a leaflet "If ...
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How effective were the Mongol siege equipment?

From what I understand, the mongols had engineers from China and Persia to handle the siege machinery. I'm mostly curious as if the machinery made by the Chinese engineers was unique and/or superior ...
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Which fortress east of Ancient Megiddo did Thutmose III go to during the siege?

After the ancient Battle of Megiddo, the rebels fell back to the city of Megiddo and the Egyptian army was victorious. The Egyptian army besieged the city of Megiddo by building a moat and a wooden ...
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Why did former warfare so focused on capturing fortifications persist till modern times? [duplicate]

One thing I do not get is why Army leaders in the past milleniums weagermess of seizing fortresses instead of going around them. I believe more and more that this paradigm of "We must take this ...
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1answer
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Did “el Empecinado” fight in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)?

I'm writing a little piece on Juan Martín Díez, el Empecinado (the most famous Spanish guerrilla leader of the Peninsular War), and I need to know if he took part in the defence of Ciudad Rodrigo ...
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What happened to people who lived outside a castle when the castle was under siege? [closed]

It seems to me that if a ruler let in too few ppl, s/he wouldn't have much to rule after the siege, and if s/he let in too many s/he wouldn't have much chance of outlasting it. What happened to ...
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Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was “the last of the old sieges”?

During the Crimean War (1853–56), Charles George Gordon took part in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), calling it "the last of the old sieges". What made Sevastopol so "old fashioned" for a comment ...
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847 views

Would every Roman army have dedicated engineers?

Would a Roman army have dedicated engineers to design and build the siege engines (onagers, scorpions etc)? Would the engineers be expected to fight? Personally, I am particularly interested in what ...
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1answer
809 views

How did they manage accuracy with traction trebuchets?

Traction trebuchets were the earliest kind of trebuchet, where instead of the more familiar counterweight, the force came from lots of men pulling ropes attached to the short arm: https://en....
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4answers
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Are there any examples of balistas, scorpions, or other catapult-like weapons being used in field battles

I know balistas, scorpions, and other war machines were used for sieges, but I'm wanting to know if they were ever used as offensive weapons for field battles. I've heard about the Battle of Jaxartes, ...
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Were any fortified castles self-sufficient in food?

I read here and there about sieges of fortified castles which lasted extended lengths of time (two years for instance). Was there any castle in Medieval Europe that was self-sustaining? By self-...
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What was the purpose of tunnel fighting in a 17th century siege?

Since I watched the movie Alatriste, and wondered what was the usage of tunnel fighting in the 17th century, as can be seen in the Hulst siege scene. I am aware that in medieval times, tunnels (or ...
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1answer
958 views

Sieges: Average Attacker to Defender Ratio in Middle Ages

I have read that attackers should outnumber defenders, 20 to 1 or better 50-100 to 1 in sieges in a book about conquest of İstanbul, though I can not find its reference right now. I remember that this ...
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Why were rockets not popular as part of artillery until 20th century?

Why were rockets not extensively used throughout the world like cannon until the 20th century? Maybe one may ask the reason for pointing out 20th century. I guess it's fair enough after thinking about ...
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Did the Trojan Horse actually exist?

The story of the Trojan Horse is very well known in the West, but did it actually exist, and if so what was it? Although the Odyssey is mostly mythical and fantastic, we know that a few elements were ...
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How were fortification doors protected against fire?

Ancient and medieval fortifications are often shown to have wooden gate doors in the midst of their stone walls. Now granted, these doors are often massive and incredibly thick, but it still seems ...
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How did the Carthaginians manage to survive three years of siege?

The siege of Carthage was the main event in the third Roman war. It went on from 149 B.C. to the spring of 146 B.C. According to Wikipedia the Carthaginians would have had about 410 000 citizens and ...
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3answers
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What went on during multi-year sieges?

You hear all the time in ancient history about cities or fortresses being besieged for a year, or two years, or even many years such as the sieges of Tripoli or Carthage or Drepana. I'm wondering, ...
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2answers
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How long did it take to build siege engines in the middle ages?

How long did it take to build various siege engines? I understand this can vary widely based on the size of the engine etc., but I'd be interested in somewhat average values. Let's say a stationary ...
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Was there any new military innovation during the Siege of Malta?

In the Siege of Malta, the Knights Hospitaller defended the island despite being heavily outnumbered by the invading Ottoman troops. Malta was such a small island, the Turks were the masters of the ...
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1answer
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Was Swedish king Charles X Gustav's horse killed during Siege of Kraków (1655)?

My question is related to Siege of Kraków, which took place in 1655, between 25th of September and 13th of October, during Second Northern War, which is usually referred to as "Swedish Deluge" in ...
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What kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars?

I would like to know which kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars on both sides, there is not very much information around.
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What is the origination of the Forlorn Hope?

Going back to a comment I had made in the question on What were the types of sieges something I had seen often referred to in the Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series was the Forlorn Hope. Basically these ...
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What Were the Types of Sieges?

As I understand it, there were two types of sieges. One was where the attacking army would "camp," surrounding the city, and let the defenders run out of food. An example was Ulysses S. Grant's siege ...
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Is there any historical evidence of boiling oil being poured on attackers?

A typical modern scenario of the medieval siege was the throwing of oil on the attackers from ramparts. Oil was really expensive so why waste it on attackers? Most commonly the items thrown were ...
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How did a besieged city/castle defend itself vs. catapulting diseased dead bodies into it?

I was a bit shocked to read that diseased dead bodies/animals where catapulted into besieged castles/towns. Biological warfare in the middle ages. But this "method" of warfare had probably a lot of ...