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# Catapults and Destruction (What a great way to learn

math)
Twas once an empire strong as steel when war arose it doth not yield where arrows fly
and rocks are hurled they let the chaos slowly unfurl. When the Mathematicians across
the lands joined together hand in hand they created the most destructive weapon known
to man.

There is record of the catapult being developed in Greece by Dionysius the Elder of
Syracuse around 350 BC. Other records and historians believe there were similar
inventions in China around or before this same time. The catapult was a large bulky
weapon and had problems with mobility, so they were used mainly in siege
warfare. Siege warfare is when you surround a city or a castle to create a blockade in
order to capture the city or castle. Alexander the Great is thought to be the first to use
them for cover fire for ground troops in addition to siege warfare, essentially
introducing artillery to the military world. In other words Alexander the Great used the
catapult as both a defensive and offensive weapon.
In Medieval times catapults were considered the best of weaponry. They varied in
styles based on their builders and available resources. There was the Ballista which was
a very large crossbow capable of launching wooden and metal bolts (fancy term for
arrow). Then there was the Mangonel which was a mobile catapult that launched rocks,
bodies with the black death (Yes this is true) and fire pots (Molotov Cocktail). Then
finally the Trebuchet this was an immobile 15 to 25 foot structure that could potentially
lob objects up to a mile and a half and give impressive yet terrifying results. Let me start
with the first catapult, the Ballista, is a very large crossbow that fired metal and wooden
bolts into walls and armies of people. It was a good weapon but, it took a long time to
load and it required a 4-6 man crew to move because they were very large objects.

Now we have the Mangonel which is the second tiered catapult. It was mobile and it
was easy to load and it didn't require a bolt projectile. All you needed with the
Mangonel catapult were: Boulders, Fire pots or bodies infected with the Black Death.
This was a smaller range of fire but still equally as dangerous. If you are asking why,
here is an explanation. Rocks or boulders could easily squish you, Fire pots will light you
on fire and the infected bodies will transmit the black death. All of these are very deadly
weapons. The last and most sophisticated was the tier three catapult or as we know it as
the Trebuchet. This behemoth varied from 15 to 25 foot apparatuses that could throw
Boulders, Firepots and anything else dangerous up to a MILE!All of those catapults were
from the Medieval times and before. Now we have catapults or weapons based on the
same design and principles on Aircraft carriers. That is how we launch planes from the
flight decks. Without the use of this design we would never be able to get enough thrust
and velocity to get a plane into flight. We also had catapults in WWII In 1940 when
Paris was occupied by the Third Reich. Hitler had a gun built called the Paris gun that
was technically an air cannon which again was built and designed using the same
principles of earlier catapults. This particular one could fire a projectile up to 75 miles.
Now in the modern age we have catapults that are used to smuggle narcotics over the
border and into the US. They are usually made up of plastic and metal framework and
mediocre design but it did get the job done. One other modern day version of the
catapult is the toy and sometimes weapon called the sling shot. The sling shot uses the
very simple concepts of the catapult to launch anything from rocks to other more
harmful items.
For this project we plan to build a catapult that uses a two liter bottle, bungee cords and
an H frame.