In my latest novel, Betrayal of the Covenant, the catapult plays an important role in an attack on Tierran’s Wall, an impregnable barrier between the north and south. A wall that is the key to winning back the entire island country of Taran.
Some folks have wondered how a catapult, also called a trebuchet or mangonel, could possibly damage stone walls a 120-feet high and 25-feet thick, that have stood for over a thousand years.
Well, I tell them that a large trebuchet could throw a 220 pound projectile up to 980 feet at the enemy. There were a few monster catapults that could throw even bigger objects a longer distance.
As machine guns, cannons, and aircraft were brought into war, the catapult was still in use as late as World War 1. Both sides had built trenches with a no-mans land sometimes hundreds of yards apart. It was hard to harass the enemy when they were dug down that far away. Along came the catapult. Small versions of the giant device were used to launch grenades across into the enemy’s trenches. These gave way later to the mortar
Catapults are even in use today – slingshots.
But don’t take my word for how powerful these weapons can be – the ingenuity of modern man has demonstrated this for me. See this YouTube video.
Can you imagine being a defender, standing atop the wall of your castle, and a Volvo came flying out of the sky. I think the flaming piano was a nice touch.
Check out Betrayal of the Covenant to see which one won – Tierran’s Wall or the Mangonels.