Chinese Siege Warfare Weapons

The Hudun Pao or "Crouching Tiger" Catapult, is a medium-sized catapult

appearing first somewhere during the middle of the Tang dynasty and seeing usage well into the Song dynasty. The original Hudun Pao was first developed as a traction catapult but the introduction of counterweight trebuchets by the Mongols into China in the late 13th century soon saw the adaptation of existing Song catapults to also use counterweights to counter the Mongol terror weapons from the Middle East. Starting from the A.D. 1273 siege of Xiangyang to the fall of the Song, the Hudun Pao saw major modifications to its design, the addition of a counterweight bucket to its throw arm, to increase the power and range of the catapult. Unfortunately, possibly due to the brevity of the Song dynasty's survival after the introduction of hinged counterweight catapults by the Mongols, no existing illustrations of the hinged counterweight Hudun Pao has been found to date.


The Hudun Pao had a simple triangular frame and fired relatively light projectiles, the most common being explosive grenades to do wide area damage to the attacking army arrayed outside the city walls. It was a very powerful catapult for its size, with its simple frame allowing for rapid deployment and yet being sturdy enough for a wide variety and range of projectiles.

In the traction version, the Hudun Pao was considered a medium-sized catapult, more powerful than the Xuanfeng Pao, but less powerful than the Sijiao Pao.

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Author: Leong Kit Meng

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Article and Image Source: http://www.grandhistorian.com

Keywords: Chinese, Siege Warfare, Weapons


Leong Kit Meng

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