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Questions about palisade walls.

Discussion in 'Research' started by Son of the Roman, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Son of the Roman

    Son of the Roman Dreamer

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    Hello! My story takes place in the fortified cities of Pre-Columbian North America, and the main defenses are large palisade walls. Typically the trees that these walls were made out of were large and took a long process of cutting and burning in order to harvest. Other than going through the gate/opening, in what way(s) could someone break through such defenses, in a way preferably consistent with Pre-Columbian technology. Perhaps after a long time it would be possible to cut down the walls, but I can’t seem to think of any other ways. I appreciate the help!
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Fire. Undermining is possible, but I don't know a thing about pre-Columbian siege tactics.
     
  3. Battering ram, climbing over them (either individually by using some kind of hooks / irons to dig into the wood or with a ladder), pulling them down by throwing several lines with hooks on them to the top and pulling with a lot of people.

    No idea if any of this works in a pre-colombian setting, but it's the options I can think of in general for palisade walls.
     
  4. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    The best way to get past a wall is always to use the gate. Get some people over the palisade and open the gate for the rest of the attackers.

    Setting fire or cutting through a wall will take a very considerable time, which the defenders will use to shot arrows and spears at the attackers. It's possible to carry a fire-protected roof to the site where you want to make a hole, but the attackers will have plenty of warning where the hole will be. And they will be able to stab spears through the hole long before its large enough for attackers to charge through. It should also be able to extinguish a fire with water from the inside before the hole gets very big.

    Best call is really to make a surprise attack with lots of ladders to get someone over and open the gate. Or if possible, have someone climb in undetected at night.
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Yora reminds me of the surest and best method: treachery. Bribe someone to leave open a gate or a section of wall unguarded. That ladder trick (along with bribery) let Bohemond of Taranto get over the wall at Antioch in the First Crusade.
     
  6. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    Or wait and hope someone forgets to lock the gate. That's actually how a couple of sieges are reported to have ended.
     
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  7. Son of the Roman

    Son of the Roman Dreamer

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    The only one of those suggestions that would really work is a ladder. Battering rams were invented for heavy Old World gates, but hinged gates were unheard of in America, so battering rams were never invented.
     
  8. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    A giant wooden rabbit for men to hide inside, given as a gift... just don’t forget to have the men inside.
     
  9. Son of the Roman

    Son of the Roman Dreamer

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    Genius.
     
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  10. If that doesn’t work, you could try a large wooden badger...
     
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  11. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I suspect that you weigh the same as a duck.
     
  12. Jennifer91

    Jennifer91 New Member

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    :LOL::LOL::LOL:
     
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