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56

A combination of the UN, NATO, the Red Cross, Sarajevo International Airport, the Sarajevo Tunnel, smugglers, and the Bosnian Army saved Sarajevo. While the siege officially ended in Feb 1996, it was loosened by steps, and supplies were always flowing in. Early on, the UN Security Council made a number of resolutions to protect the civilians of Yugoslavia ...


32

The first example of catapulting plague victims into a besieged city was that of Caffa (Modern day Feodosia) in the Crimea. This was in fact the first account of plague in European history. Caffa had been under siege by the Mongol (aka. Tartar or Golden Horde) army. The siege had been protracted. First starting in 1343, it was lifted by the arrival of ...


22

The premise is a bit off. Because actually, rocket artillery did become somewhat popular before the 20th century. Rockets were used to great effect in India, by the Kingdom of Mysore against forces of the British East India Company. The British in turn learnt from the Indians and developed their own rocket weaponry which went on to feature in the Napoleonic ...


21

Your main question has been pretty well answered, but I'd like to clarify a few points: If the attackers had plague victims to toss over the wall, it means they were also exposed to the plague. Which might adversely affect their ability to maintain the siege. Even an extremely virulent plague like the Black Death only killed something like a third to ...


20

Obviously this depends on how many defenders there were inside the castle. A castle garrisoned by a single person could probably live reasonably well off the chickens that might be in the bailey, for instance. He could even start a vegetable garden or some such. Realistically, no castle could hope to produce enough food to sustain a reasonably-sized ...


18

Because it was not a complete siege thanks to the Sarajevo Tunnel and Operation Irma. The first one was a tunnel that passed below the siege, and the second one was a security zone protected by the United Nations around the airport of Sarajevo. These connections to the external world allowed people to be evacuated, and also supplies were sent to the city ...


17

No definite figure can be given, as so much depends on circumstances. Were prefabricated parts available for use? This saves a lot of time. Availability of appropriate raw materials. A nearby forest with nice straight trees helps a lot. Trained craftsmen. If you have a few hundred carpenters and blacksmiths experienced in building the equipment you need, ...


15

Like this thread on catapulting diseased dead bodies, the pouring of boiling oil and tar did happen, though not so commonly. Remember that many castles never saw action. Many more castles were built decoratively as a fashion rather than because defence was needed. However, when you look to city walls and city gates, you see more use. A city will have the ...


14

Short answer is, they weren't, not specifically. The siege of Sion (the castle in Bohemia) is thought to have been decided by the gatehouse being burned down, but there the entire gatehouse structure was wooden rather than just the gate itself, and it took several months of bombarding the entire castle with fire arrows. In general, protecting your gate from ...


13

This seems more like a technical question than a historical one, but anyway, "splash some oil and throw a torch" will not burn down a large door or any large piece of wood for that matter. Starting a fire requires a certain amount of heat, so you need a large mass of flammable tinder to get something started. The larger the door, the more tinder you will ...


13

As Steve Bird implied in his comment, firing at a very large target that isn't moving doesn't require pinpoint accuracy. Nonetheless, some degree of accuracy would undoubtedly have been desirable. W. T. S. Tarver, in The Traction Trebuchet: A Reconstruction of an Early Medieval Siege Engine (this link downloads a pdf) makes several observations "based on ...


11

The 'Highland fling', a trebuchet project in Scotland took some two weeks and around 35 people. It worked.


10

There's actually quite a bit available, even just from wikipedia: Catapults: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carthage_%28c._149_BC%29 Trireme Rams, Corvus (naval): http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_corvus.html Sambuca, Claw of Archimedes, Heat Ray, onagers (naval): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Syracuse_%28214%E2%80%93212_BC%29#...


10

Boiling oil is a good weapon, because its boiling point (400 degrees Fahrenheit) is much higher than that of water (212 degrees). It was a moderately effective weapon against men. But by its boiling and burning properties, it was a very effective weapon against ladders, rams, catapults, and other war instruments made of wood. Also, if successfully used, it ...


10

Note item (6) - New Harbour Entrance on your map. This entrance was constructed in 147 B.C. (the third year of the siege) simultaneous with item (7) - Scipio's Mole blocking the original entrance. During the siege the Carthaginians were able to continue trading overseas, albeit with limited success because of Rome's influence. The Siege was prosecuted ...


10

It is entirely possible that the whole story is fabricated. Genesis of Greek myths has been analysed by Paul Veyne; the corner point is that during Antiquity, there was no real difference between history and mythology, as practised by authors. The narrative was what mattered, so a "true" story was a story that "made sense" in a literary way. In the case of ...


9

To quote from Manual of Gunnery for Her Majesty's Fleet (1880): War Rockets This subject is at present under the consideration of a committee, the results obtained with Hale's rockets being considered most unsatisfactory. At present the 24-pr. rocket manufactured is Mark III., the later patterns having failed to meet the requirements of ...


9

The answer is yes. While both the strength of fortifications and terrible mistakes from the Ottomans (I would also count the great determination and strategy of defenders as a third condition) played a highly important role, during the siege, Hospitallers used also a kind of defensive weapons that were unavailable to any other forces of their times. I ...


9

As the comment above indicates, the Roman army before Julius Caesar's time seems to have had a dedicated engineer corps, but this group would also be expected to fight if necessary. From Julius Ceasar's rule onward, the Roman army retained a dedicated engineering officer or senior engineer called the Praefectus Fabrum, who could call upon specially trained ...


8

The other issue is that because disease was not fully understood, the efficacy of this maneuver would be mixed at best. Sure, if you send plague victims over the wall, that could give the people inside of the city the plague. However, the belief at the time was that disease was caused by bad smells, and so a dead, decaying horse would have been believed to ...


7

How do you defend against the plague? You seal up any house that gets hit. This was how they controlled the plague in Milan so I'd expect other cities and fortresses took similar measures at various times. Biological Warfare was quite common in the ancient and medieval world.


7

pretty much, yes. Set up camp, play loud music over the walls, send out parties to pillage and loot the surrounding countryside for supplies and to hunt for attempts at tunneling under your camp), if possible maybe rotate out part of your forces with fresh ones from home. It's a game of chicken basically, who has the most patience and resources, with the ...


7

Simple answer, no. As you increase the size of your fortified enclosure to contain more land for cultivation, you obviously increase the length of the walls. The longer the walls are, the more people you require to defend them successfully. At the same time, those people actively defending the walls (in a siege) cannot be working the fields and tending the ...


7

Thanks to the "heads-up" I got from your comment on my answer to your last question earlier, I had a chance to do some research on this today (although I'm not sure about your page numbering in Breasted. You may have a different edition to mine). While translations like the ones in Breasted (pp 175-192) and Lichtheim (pp 29-35) are excellent resources for ...


6

I like to visit old castles and am lucky enough to live where there are quite a few. If the old gate is still there you can see it was often covered in sheet metal. Some castles has skins stretched over the gates and would wet them to stop them catching fire. The doors were often set back inside the doorway so it wasn't easy to shoot at them. Fire arrows ...


6

Amplifying Tom Au's answer: With the military revolution in European warfare, two features entered military operations: professionalism intensive siege warfare Prior to the military revolution (cf: Tercio), a subcaste of the nobility mastered warfare, and primarily gained benefits by in group status and rapine. However, the professionalisation of ...


6

One way to evaluate if the siege warfare of the Mongols were better is to look beyond the equipment engines. Ideally, it should include a detailed discussion of the following (and then do a comparison against the Western/Muslim armies): military technology system (e.g. recruitment, training & building by artillerists, engineer, etc) the missiles (i.e. ...


5

I'm not sure that this was all that common as a means of overtaking a besieged castle. Perhaps more than anything else, it was intended to have a psychological effect on the occupants. As for how they defended themselves, quite honestly they couldn't. The most common means of handling this was to designate individuals who were responsible for gathering the ...


5

I don't believe there is a separate name for either type of siege, they are both considered simply a siege. The whole point of a siege in general is to overtake the castle, and as you indicated, there are different means for going about doing this. The considerations for choosing one over the other ultimately comes down to a basic function of time and ...


5

The context is clear in the previous paragraph. Charles George Gordon was referring to the end of "old arms and tactics of Frederick and Napoleon". Here's the full context: It was in the battle of the Tchernaya, fought in August 1855, that the first foundations of the present kingdom of Italy were laid; and while the arms of France, England, and Russia ...


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