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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 ...


33

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 person you need, at minimum 6-8 acres of land. This means that if the entire area of the city were farmland, it would feed at best around 250 people. Even with ...


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, ...


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 ...


12

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

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 ...


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#...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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. ...


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

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

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 involves 2 things: Exploitation of all available food sources. Drastic reduction of population.


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 ...


5

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 weapons. These cultures had the best siege weapons in the world in the 13th century. These included early cannon and primitive mortars. Second, the Mongols would ...


5

For Europe, I would say, that most of the major cities where 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 simply envolved as needed This lead to very unsanitary, fire prone, death traps. Fortified cities, as allready meantioned, did have a military plan in mind for ...


5

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-sufficient. They are heavily dependent on water and fossil fuels. And your title is a bit misleading; "economy" refers to the management of resources, not its ...


4

From Wikipedia: Several attempts to use artillery in the field are recorded but they were mostly unsuccessful, except when the artillery could be deployed in some protected place. For example, in the Battle of Jaxartes Alexander used catapults to clear the further bank of the river. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_and_Roman_artillery#Use This ...


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