Late Period Siege Techniques

When it was time to begin the siege, the defenders had to be surprised in order they not have any opportunity to rush in additional troops, ammunition, food stores, etc.

To achieve that, attackers could employ stratagems such as making a feint at another fort or town or moving the army in such a way as to appear to be marching at a tangent to the intended target or innocuously lingering some distance away. Then the attackers swept in quickly and thoroughly to surround the fort - to invest it.

To begin the siege, John Muller's Attac and Defence of Fortified Places made the case for sending in a large contingent, say 4-5,000, of cavalry if the country was open or a combination of horse and foot for wooded and uneven areas, moving as fast as possible. When around four or five miles from the fort, the attacking body divided itself into several parties to continue in alongroads, paths and clearings until just out of range of the defenders' cannons and arriving at around dusk. They took positions to stop any relief that may come for the defenders.

Next, small parties covered by squadrons of horse slipped in as close as the gates to carry off livestock, portable supplies and men so as to deprive defenders of even these.

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Keywords: Siege Warfare, Techniques, Tactics, Fortifications, Artillery


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