Siege artillery: the mangle

3d model and reconstruction

Siege artillery: the mangle

The mangle model was reconstructed based on drawings from the Encyclopédie médiévale by Viollet-le-Duc, a French 19th century architect, best known for the restoration work on  the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

Thanks to virtual reality applications it is possible to see how the machinery, a weapon used during sieges for the purpose of throwing large rocks actually worked.

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Short history of

Siege artillery: the mangle

​With the barbarian invasions and the fall of Roman Empire, it lost an important heritage of technical skills, essential to military operations in particular for sieges and defenses. It will be the Byzantine and Arab engineering that reintroduce a set of tactics and machines derived from the great tradition of Hellenistic-Roman technology.

The mangle, much smaller than the trebuchet, was a type of catapult usually used to break down the walls, and remained in use until the fifteenth century. The mangle was composed of a solid platform on which they stared two uprights, between which was hinged a large beam terminating at one end with a container, said spoon, or hooks that welcomed the bullets. At the other end it was placed a filling instead of tipping material with counterweight functions. The container was forced downwards thanks to a winch and attached to a snap mechanism. Released from the socket, the counterweight was taking the beam and consequently the projectile was thrown. With the advent of cannons, the mangle was no longer used, while the trebuchet had a longer life.