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Old August 20th, 2012, 07:28 AM   #71
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Here is the siege ladder cart, another commonly used ancient Chinese siege weapon. It's Chinese name is "雲梯", literally translated as "cloud ladder".

Click the image to open in full size.


Legend states that the "cloud ladder" was invented in the Spring and Autumn period by the famous carpenter of the Lu kingdom named Gongshu Ban (公輸班), commonly known as Lu Ban (鲁班).

During the Tang and Song dynasties, the cloud ladder received several modifications. The main ladder was fixed on a six-wheeled cart, and a foldable subsidiary ladder was subsequently added on top of the main ladder.

The siege ladder cart became obsolete in Ming Dynasty due to the introduction of cannons and other firearms.
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Old August 20th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #72

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Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
Here is the siege ladder cart, another commonly used ancient Chinese siege weapon. It's Chinese name is "雲梯", literally translated as "cloud ladder".

Click the image to open in full size.


Legend states that the "cloud ladder" was invented in the Spring and Autumn period by the famous carpenter of the Lu kingdom named Gongshu Ban (公輸班), commonly known as Lu Ban (鲁班).

During the Tang and Song dynasties, the cloud ladder received several modifications. The main ladder was fixed on a six-wheeled cart, and a foldable subsidiary ladder was subsequently added on top of the main ladder.

The siege ladder cart became obsolete in Ming Dynasty due to the introduction of cannons and other firearms.

And the significant of this scaling ladder that makes it superior to other scaling ladders, is the fact that it cannot easily be knocked down or away from the walls by simply pushing it.
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Old August 20th, 2012, 02:27 PM   #73

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Earliest depiction of a siege ladder from ~Spring&Autumn era, but unfortunately this doesn't show much:

Click the image to open in full size.

Also notice how the pikes are held overhand. The arrows are stuck into the ground like what the British Longbowmen did, which increases the chance of infection when the arrow draws blood.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #74
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Reconnoitre is important both in modern and in ancient warfares. Before a siege begins, generals need to know the terrains around the enemy city and the structures inside the city.

In ancient times, there were no radars and no planes, so it seemed that ancient people didn't have any tools for reconnoitre. Well, that's not true, because the ancient Chinese came up with this bizarre-looking cart, and it was specifically designed for reconnoitre.

This cart was called "Chao Che", literally means "Nest Cart". It was a huge eight-wheeled cart mounted with two tall wooden poles. A small wooden house was attached between the poles, and it served as a belvedere. A pulley would pull the house up and down. The house could contain two soldiers, and these soldiers would hide in this house to observe the situation inside the enemy city, hence this reconnoitre cart had to be taller than the walls of ancient Chinese cities.

This kind of reconnoitre cart probably appeared during Tang Dynasty.
I've read mentions about this in Three Kingdoms Romance. It was a war between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. Cao Cao made these and looked all over Yuan Shao's camp. Yuan Shao order someone (I forgot him) to make catapults to break these. It was the first mention of catapults in Chinese literature.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #75
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In ancient China, nunchuks and flails were also used for defending city walls. Flails were originally agricultural tools, but later they were modified to be used for defending city walls. The defenders would wield the flail to hit the head of climbing enemy soldiers.

Here is a Chinese three-section flail:

Click the image to open in full size.
can you repost this? the link is dead... and many others too. Thanks
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Old June 11th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #76

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I've read mentions about this in Three Kingdoms Romance. It was a war between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. Cao Cao made these and looked all over Yuan Shao's camp. Yuan Shao order someone (I forgot him) to make catapults to break these. It was the first mention of catapults in Chinese literature.
You have it the other way around. Yuan Shao built archery towers around Cao Cao's camp, so that archers could constantly harass Cao Cao's army with arrows (So these weren't nest carts as nest carts have no direct offensive purpose. ). Cao Cao built catapults to destroy the towers.

Plus the first mention of trebuchets came in the Mozi (400-300 BC), which is at least 500 years before Cao Cao. The Mozi also mentioned building ballistas as a counter to the nest cart.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; June 11th, 2013 at 07:41 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #77
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There was also the "fire wolves". It was an easy concept, take a dog / wolf wrap it in small leather armor lined with gunpowder, the dog / wolf would be sent into the enemy....

And...

Well, it combined the power of a trained attack dog with a suicide bomber vest.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 09:18 AM   #78
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There was also the "fire wolves". It was an easy concept, take a dog / wolf wrap it in small leather armor lined with gunpowder, the dog / wolf would be sent into the enemy....

And...

Well, it combined the power of a trained attack dog with a suicide bomber vest.
Really? I have never heard that the ancient Chinese used the fire wolves, but I know that they used fire oxens.
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