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Old February 3rd, 2012, 03:53 PM   #1

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Siege weapons and defense weapons in ancient China


Siege warfare was certainly an important aspect of ancient Chinese warfare. Ancient Chinese armies might not be the strongest ancient armies in terms of offense, but they were definitely one of the strongest ancient armies in terms of defense. Throughout history, ancient Chinese craftsmen and engineers had invented various types of siege weapons and defensive weapons. I would like to introduce to you some of the ancient Chinese siege weapons and defensive weapons used during siege warfares.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:19 PM   #2

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First of all, let's look at some of the defensive weapons used for the defense of castles or cities.

No matter in ancient China or elsewhere, the most common strategy of siege warfares was to put up a long ladder and climb the castle walls or city walls. When enemy soldiers are climbing the walls, what should the defenders do? Throwing rocks at the besieging enemy is certainly an option, but the ancient Chinese had more suitable weapons to deal with this kind of urgent situation. Let me introduce to you the Lang Ya Pai (狼牙拍), or the Wolf Teeth Striker. Here is a picture of the Wolf Teeth Striker (the one on the right):

Click the image to open in full size.


Basically, the Wolf Teeth Striker is a large square wooden board with many spikes and nails underneath. The ancient Chinese soldiers defending the city walls would drop the Wolf Teeth Striker on the climbing enemy soldiers who try to lay siege to the city walls.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:34 PM   #3

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A similar ancient Chinese weapon used for similar purposes was called Ye Cha Lei (夜叉擂), or the Malevolent Wood (correct me if my translation is wrong). Here is a picture of the Malevolent Wood and the Wolf Teeth Striker (the left one is the Malevolent Wood, and the right one is the Wolf Teeth Striker):

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As you can see, the Malevolent Wood is basically a large cylindrical hardwood with many spikes on its sides. It would be devastating if the climbing enemy soldiers were hit by these spiky weapons.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:35 PM   #4

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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:56 PM   #5

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Another similar ancient Chinese weapon with similar purposes was the Zhuan Lei (塼檑), or the Brick Beam. It's a long cylindrical brick swing from city walls to hit the climbing enemy soldiers.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:00 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
A similar ancient Chinese weapon used for similar purposes was called Ye Cha Lei (夜叉擂), or the Malevolent Wood (correct me if my translation is wrong). Here is a picture of the Malevolent Wood and the Wolf Teeth Striker (the left one is the Malevolent Wood, and the right one is the Wolf Teeth Striker):

Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see, the Malevolent Wood is basically a large cylindrical hardwood with many spikes on its sides. It would be devastating if the climbing enemy soldiers were hit by these spiky weapons.
Good thread, Purak! These look impressive but I can't help to think that they're very limited in terms of where on the wall they can be used due to the pulley system on top. Could the pulley system be moved?
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:05 PM   #7

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Good thread, Purak! These look impressive but I can't help to think that they're very limited in terms of where on the wall they can be used due to the pulley system on top. Could the pulley system be moved?

No, they must have the pulley system. Without the pulley system, they would be too heavy for the defenders to use.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
Good thread, Purak! These look impressive but I can't help to think that they're very limited in terms of where on the wall they can be used due to the pulley system on top. Could the pulley system be moved?
Yes, of course the pulley system could be moved.

I mean, these three weapons must be attached to a movable pulley system in order to hit the enemy soldiers.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:38 PM   #9

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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:

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Old February 3rd, 2012, 06:09 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
First of all, let's look at some of the defensive weapons used for the defense of castles or cities.

No matter in ancient China or elsewhere, the most common strategy of siege warfares was to put up a long ladder and climb the castle walls or city walls. When enemy soldiers are climbing the walls, what should the defenders do? Throwing rocks at the besieging enemy is certainly an option, but the ancient Chinese had more suitable weapons to deal with this kind of urgent situation. Let me introduce to you the Lang Ya Pai (狼牙拍), or the Wolf Teeth Striker. Here is a picture of the Wolf Teeth Striker (the one on the right):

Click the image to open in full size.


Basically, the Wolf Teeth Striker is a large square wooden board with many spikes and nails underneath. The ancient Chinese soldiers defending the city walls would drop the Wolf Teeth Striker on the climbing enemy soldiers who try to lay siege to the city walls.

The weapon on the left was called Fei Gou (飛鈎), or the Flying Hook. It's also a weapon used for defending city walls. This weapon was specially designed to deal with the enemy soldiers who wore heavy armors. The defenders would use the Flying Hook to hook the enemy soldier's armor and suspend the enemy in midair.
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