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The Atomic Bomb of the Middle Ages
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Trebuchet and Catapult Books



Catapult Design, Construction and Competition
Catapult Design, Construction and Competition with the Projectile Throwing Engines of the Ancients, and Foreword by Ron Toms. If you've ever wanted to have a catapult or trebuchet competition, then you need this book!
   $19.95  more info


Chinese Siege Warfare
This exciting new book traces the development of Chinese siege engine technology from the 8th century B.C. to the end of the Qing dynasty and makes striking comparisons with siege weapons of other major world civilizations.
   $24.95  more info


Woosh, Boom, Splat, by William Gurstelle
How to build machines such as the Night Ligher 36 Spud Gun, Jam Jar Jet, Elastic Zip Cannon and Vortex Launcher, and more. Including detailed diagrams and supply lists, step-by-step instructions and history too.
   $12.95  more info


The Art of the Catapult, by William Gurstelle
So you want to build a catapult? This book shows you how to construct some basic types of catapults. Written for the skill level of an average 10 year old, just some simple, basic fun projects that help kids develop mechanical skills and have fun too!
   $12.95  more info


Backyard Ballistics, by William Gurstelle
The best book available for backyard fun with things that go boom! Many projects are suitable for science models in schools.
   $14.95  more info
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Interesting Notes

Some Trebuchet History:


From the 13th century writing: "Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi"

In June and July of 1191, Richard the Lionheart (the Duke of Normandy) laid siege to the city of Acre as part of the medieval Crusades.

The Duke concentrated on constructing siege machines and placing trebuchets [petrariae - literally, stone hurler] in suitable places. He arranged for these to shoot continually day and night. He had one excellent one which he called "Bad Neighbor" [Malvoisine]. Its continual bombardment partly destroyed the main city wall and shattered the Cursed Tower. On one side the Templars' trebuchet wreaked impressive devastation, while the Hospitallers trebuchet also never ceased hurling, to the terror of the Turks.

Besides these, there was a trebuchet that had been constructed at general expense, which they called "God's Stone-Thrower". A priest, a man of great probity, always stood next to it preaching and collecting money for its continual repair and for hiring people to gather the stones for its ammunition. This machine at last demolished the wall next to the Cursed Tower for around two perches' Length [11 yards or 10 meters].

The count of Flanders had had a choice trebuchet, which King Richard had after his death, as well as another trebuchet which was not so good. These two constantly bombarded the tower next to a gate which the Turks frequently used, until the tower was half-demolished. Besides these, King Richard had two new ones made with remarkable workmanship and material which would hit the intended target no matter how far off it was. . . . He also had two mangonels [traction trebuchets] prepared. One of these was so swift and violent that its shots reached the inner streets of the city meat market.

King Richard's trebuchets hurled constantly by day and night. It can be firmly stated that one of them killed twelve men with a single stone. That stone was sent for Saladin to see, with messengers who said that the diabolical king of England had brought from Messina, a city he had captured, sea flint and the smoothest stones to punish the Saracens. Nothing could withstand their blows; everything was crushed or reduced to dust.