56 votes
Accepted

How did 300,000 people survive the 3 1/2 year siege of Sarajevo?

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 ...
Schwern's user avatar
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33 votes

Could besieged medieval cities develop a micro-economy during wars to endure the siege for long time?

No. Cities were simply too small physically to feed themselves. Constantinople was one of the biggest cities of its time, at 2.3 sq miles. This works out to around 1500 acres. To feed a single ...
Gort the Robot's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

How were siege ladders used to attack medieval castle walls?

Although illustrations in medieval manuscripts often take a creative approach to reality, they can give a good interpretation of how ladders were used during an escalade. There are depictions of ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 3,994
18 votes

How did 300,000 people survive the 3 1/2 year siege of Sarajevo?

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 ...
Santiago's user avatar
  • 4,901
13 votes
Accepted

How did they manage accuracy with traction trebuchets?

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. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Would every Roman army have dedicated engineers?

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 ...
Docholl1's user avatar
  • 329
9 votes
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Are there examples of cities planned for urban combat that actually experienced it?

For Europe, I would say, that most of the major cities were not designed to make urban combat more of a mess than it already is. Most of the original European cities were not planned at all but ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,716
9 votes
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Which fortress east of Ancient Megiddo did Thutmose III go to during the siege?

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 ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
8 votes
Accepted

How effective were the Mongol siege equipment?

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 ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
8 votes
Accepted

Why did a Venetian colonel defect to the Ottomans during the siege of Candia?

The question is quite complex to google. Per the comment I dropped, the edit that added the detail seemed somewhat suspicious at first glance due to the lack of citations. After digging a bit deeper ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Battle of Ulm: why did general Mack surrender to Napoleon instead of retreating to Ulm and wait for the Russian Army?

I can imagine that a lack of provisions and/or logistics of keeping ~70 000 men in a city wouldn't make the situation ideal for Mack, but with the Russian army being not that far away they could have ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,756
7 votes
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Did besiegers ever come up through the latrine?

Short answer: Yes. One example: The protruding shaft of masonry that made up the toilet was buttressed from below or might nestle in the junction between a tower and wall. Some waste shafts were ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
6 votes

Could besieged medieval cities develop a micro-economy during wars to endure the siege for long time?

As answered in comments and by Gort, there is zero chance of this happening by growing crops. It's not just the space that's insufficient, it's the complete and utter lack of soil. The one workaround ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 1,324
6 votes
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Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was "the last of the old sieges"?

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 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes

How effective were the Mongol siege equipment?

Mongol siege tactics, not merely siege engines, were among the best in the world for their time. First, the Mongols employed captured Chinese and Persian engineers to design and manage their siege ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
5 votes

What kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars?

As for siege equipment used during the Punic Wars it's quite a long period and should be looked at in a progressive manner. When the Roman republic entered the war in 264 BC there was little siege ...
user27201's user avatar
5 votes

Could besieged medieval cities develop a micro-economy during wars to endure the siege for long time?

If people could grow enough food in cities, then they wouldn't have farms, they would just have cities. Even modern farms would not be able to supply enough food, and they are far from self-...
Acccumulation's user avatar
5 votes

Why did the Siege of Ceuta (1694-1720) take so long?

Resupply by sea The Spanish were able to resupply Ceuta by sea. Moroccans were not capable of preventing that. At that time the Spanish navy was no longer the world's dominant sea power, but more than ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22k
4 votes
Accepted

Were ships effective for sieging cities?

Ships were definitely effective in siege warfare during the gunpowder age and the industrial age - effectively from the time when cannons became small enough to install in ships until the time they ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 1,432
4 votes

Were ships effective for sieging cities?

Yes, ships were effective in besieging cities, provided of course that the city was close to a waterline or a waterfront. You'll find below some examples of sieges of city that show advantages and ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,695
3 votes

What was the military background of the Irish company at the Siege of Jadotville?

You should be aware that Ireland was a neutral country during the Second World War, and Ireland had no overseas colonies. As far as I can see, none of the 151 soldiers in "A" Company of the 35th ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
3 votes
Accepted

What was Masada's Roman ramp steep angle?

What am I missing? Alex points out in comments that a machine may be transported in sections, and this was apparently the intent here. A 19th century article in the Cyclopædia of Biblical, ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.7k
3 votes

How were siege ladders used to attack medieval castle walls?

how did they prevent the defenders from simply pushing down the ladder as they were climbing it the ladder does not necessarily reach all the way to the top of the rampart, so, to reach it, defenders ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
3 votes

Would every Roman army have dedicated engineers?

Yes, they had dedicated engineers for siege engines and works. Simple fortifications were handled by the legionnaires, but more complicated efforts had specialists. No, not every army had them. A ...
Rob Crawford's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Did "el Empecinado" fight in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)?

According to the Wikipedia article on the defence of Ciudad Rodrigo the siege lasted from 26th April to 10th July 1810. However, a book on the military exploits of Juan Martín Díez makes no mention of ...
Steve Bird's user avatar
  • 19.9k
2 votes

What happened to people who lived outside a castle when the castle was under siege?

I suppose you are asking about people who lived in the immediate vicinity and who were subjects of the castle owners. Normally they would be admitted and hide in the castle, with their movable ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes
Accepted

What happened to people who lived outside a castle when the castle was under siege?

The area of Europe is given as 3,931,000 square miles. If between one half and one quarter of that was divided into manors in medieval times, that gives about 982,750 to 1,965,500 square miles of ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
2 votes

Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was "the last of the old sieges"?

C. G. Gordon died in 1885, so what was "last" for him is not necessarily last for us. So it is not clear what exactly you are asking. In what context he said this, and what he did exactly mean is also ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes

Why were rockets not popular as part of artillery until 20th century?

I am going to suggest the following simple point which is certainly mentioned above: A rocket cannot, without a guidance system, be as accurate as a cannon which can be aimed iteratively. If you fire ...
Jeff's user avatar
  • 3,783
2 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of this Roman siege tactic as shown in this Illustration?

I am imagining the picture is stylized and not drawn to scale. Depending on how close the shield on the ramp was placed to the gates of the city, the shield would do two things: Offer some protection ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 2,882

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