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What happened during the siege of a castle?

The attackers break into the castle.The attackers break into the castle.During a siege, a castle was surrounded by enemy soldiers. They prevented supplies from entering it and anyone inside from leaving it. Sooner or later, if the siege held, the castle inhabitants would be starved into surrender. Instead of waiting for this to happen, the attackers often set about forcing their way in to the castle. To do this, they used siege weapons.


Siege weapons

Siege weapons in actionSiege weapons in actionA mangonel in actionA mangonel in actionWhile trebuchets (giant catapults) bombarded the castle from a distance, the besieging army drew up smaller catapults called mangonels close to the castle walls. They used these to hurl boulders at them. They also filled in the moat and rolled a battering ram right up to the gatehouse. They would then set about smashing the gate down. The defenders dropped a large mattress in front of the ram to try to cushion the blows. They also attempted to haul it away with a giant grabber.

Some castle walls were more than 4 m (13 ft) thick. This made it difficult to destroy them by battering rams or by rocks hurled from mangonels or trebuchets.

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