catapult mangonel

The Mangonel Catapult




castle have a go opportunity
basic process equipment
need machine put/put/put
slow involve disadvantage
load engineer get involved
strand absolutely all the way down
power trigger (2) take a while
rope side (2) come/came/come
elastic advantage match stick
ole crank (3) get/got/got
stick projectile under pressure (2)
twist weapon come from
bar (3) fair (3) operate (2)
wood nervous shoot/shot/shot
siege probably good/better/best
react withstand bad/worse/worst
bit (2) massive draw/drew/drawn (3)
timber release here we go
oak band (3) stand back
fairly depend pressure (2)
flat (3) pound (2) depending on
affect pass (2) dangerous
effect amount instruction
impact arm (2) stand/stood/stood
severe forward ninety degrees
slack keep (2) leave/left/left (2)
loop line (3) all your might
loose prepare take a stance
pull powerful take/took/taken
crew snap (2) as hard as you can
stance pretty (2) around (2)






Here at Caerphilly Castle in Wales, they have a working mangonel. It’s now my opportunity to have a go on it.

Dan Snow, Reporter: “Hi Malcolm.”
Malcolm, Mangoneler: “Hi Dan. Your basic equipment you need.”

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Malcolm, Mangoneler: “One of the disadvantageous of this machine is it’s very slow in the loading process.

Now you are going to get involved with John the engineer here.”
Dan Snow, Reporter: “Shall I do this side?”
Malcolm, Mangoneler: “Absolutely.”

Dan Snow, Reporter: “Just all the way down?”
Malcolm, Mongoneler: “All the way down.”
Dan Snow, Reporter: “Yeah, takes a while, doesn’t it? And where’s the power coming from here? Is it all from this rope?”
Malcolm, Mongoneler: “Basically the actual power is coming from the strands of rope. There’s about a hundred-and-sixty meters of rope in there. And you can take the modern, elastic band, and put a match-stick in it; and keep twisting and twisting and twisting: that’s the concept of the mangonel, basically. This is where the power comes from.”
Dan Snow, Reporter: “You can almost feel the power — it’s quite hard to bring it back using this.”
Malcolm, Mongoneler: “It is. It is. It’s one of the disadvantages: it’s a very slow loading machine, as well, as you know, from getting involved down there, Dan. You’ve got to bring the bar. You’ve got to crank it back.

It’s a lot slower than any other siege weapons. You’re looking at perhaps one shot every two minutes, probably, from cranking it back to getting it started again.

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Dan Snow, Reporter: “The wood is under a lot of pressure. It’s probably dangerous for the crew to operate.”
Malcolm, Mongoneler: “It is. It’s probably one of the worse machines that we have here, because everything is under severe pressure. We believe it’s probably around a thousand pounds draw weigh, so that’s a massive amount of pressure that this timber is under.

But again, it’s good ole English oak, so it does withstand a fair bit.

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Dan Snow, Reporter: “Right, so there’s the projectile going in. What sort of range are we hoping for this?”

Malcolm, Mongoneler: “Again, this is a fairly flat projectile. You’re looking at sort of a hundred (100) meters to a hundred-and-fifty (150) meters, again depending on how the timber reacts, because obviously weather will affect it, rain, cold, sun.

So it will find its natural thing.

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John is now passing what is called the trigger rope, give some instructions about what to do. But we will stand back now, because the impact of this one is quite high.”

Dan Snow, Reporter: “This feels like a mouse trap that’s ready to spring.
John, Mangonel Engineer: “Very much so.”

When the trigger is released, the arm shoots forward ninety degrees and stops. The projectile keeps going.

John, Mangonel Engineer: “So take the rope in your hands, keeping your fingers outside the loop. Leave a little bit slack in the line. Take a stance. Prepare to loose. Leave some slack there.

On “loose”, pull as hard as you can, with all of your might. And it should release the trigger — and the arm will snap up.”

Dan Snow, Reporter: “All right.”
John, Mangonel Engineer: “Alright. It’s all yours.”

Dan Snow, Reporter: “Here we go. A bit nervous about this.

Malcolm, Mangoneler: “Prepare to loose . . . Loose!!!”

Dan Snow, Reporter: “Who ho, ho! That is pretty powerful!”

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Castle. The mangonel was in a sports field. True or false?

The men were wearing blue jeans, T-shirts, sneakers and baseball caps.

Palace. Does a machine power the mangonel firing arm? Is the mangonel arm powered mechanically?

Knights. The two man can pull the arm back very quickly — in about ten seconds. Is this right or wrong? How long does it take to get the mangonel ready to shoot?

King. Does the wood have to be very hard and strong?

Queen. When they released (fired) the mangonel, the men stood next to it. Is this correct or incorrect?

Prince. Was it very easy to pull the rope trigger? Did the shoot a rock the size of a watermelon or a grapefruit?
Princess. I have seen a catapult, mangonel, trebuchet or ballista. Yes or no?

Peasants. Have you seen or made a model of a catapult?

Lord, Vassal, Barron. My friends and I want to shoot a catapult. True or false?

Jester, Joker. Have you seen catapults in movies, TV shows, videos or video games?

Crown. What might happen in the future?

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