General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Caltrops

Message started by Johnny on May 2nd, 2004 at 5:25pm

Title: Caltrops
Post by Johnny on May 2nd, 2004 at 5:25pm
I've been reading a book by Vic Hurley titled,"Arrows Against Steel". He writes: "Another innovation in the use of the sling was the casting of caltrops, iron balls with projecting sharp points to disable horses and impede cavalry charges." This book is primarily on the history of the bow and arrow in warfare. He mentions the sling as another great missle weapon!

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by Chris on May 2nd, 2004 at 11:31pm
Huh, thats pretty neat. I think I should write up a little article describing the various historical ammunition. Caltrops, hot ceramic, lead, stone, darts (from that text I have yet to post :) ), and primitive (see below with staff sling) and modern grenades (WW1).  


Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by Hondero on May 3rd, 2004 at 11:35am
Chris, nice engraving with bows and staff slings throwing grenades!

you are finding many things in the historical texts!! :D
The caltrops thrown by sling have been used initially by the Romans, and afterwards in Middle age by English, Italian, Spanish and others. This subjet is and old discussion in wich myself, Dan Bollinger and others were involved. The problem was to find the sort of sling that can throw the caltrops, as a conventional sling entangle the cords in the caltrop pikes. I posted then a drawing of Leonardo Davinci showing some sling designes that included, maybe, a sling to throw caltrops, but the drawing was deficiency and the discussion about it did not clarify the question, as the caltrop depicted may be in connection with the sling or with the device in the botton of the drawing, been the overlapping with the sling just a coincidence.
May be in this forum someone can find a full and better copy of the Davinci drawing.  

Itīs interesting too in the Davinci drawing that splited shaft wit a stone between, a sort of staff sling that release the stone when you turn the wrist in the throwing.

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by Johnny on May 3rd, 2004 at 11:56am
Those are some great illustrations!
I wondered what kind of sling could cast a spiked ball!

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by english on May 3rd, 2004 at 12:02pm
Interesting.  I know that ninjas used caltrops; they were just four spikes, joined together, so that one always stood up, but they were not basically round, so I would not have considered them for sling ammunition.  Anyway, very interesting.

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by siguy on May 8th, 2006 at 7:49pm
they were basically the skeletons of a triangular based prism, and sometimes solid wood blocks were used instead of metal.  they were shaped like a little pyramid.

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by slingbadger on May 9th, 2006 at 12:10pm
I have heard of the sling caltrop also. it was supposedly used against war elephants in the Pelopennisian ( is that spelled right?) wars. however, it was taken from second and third hand information, so its veracity is doubtful.
 As to Leonardo's stone thrower, that is a Viking device called a skepifletta.

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by bigkahuna on May 31st, 2006 at 12:21am
Looking at Leonardo's drawing closely,it appears to me that he shows a loaded sling with a mace-like spiked ball attached to the sling pocket that would allow the sling to function as a "morningstar" type flail in close combat. Look close and tell me what you think.

Title: i know it's egomaniac to qoute myself, but:
Post by Mordechaj on Jun 3rd, 2006 at 5:33am

wrote on May 24th, 2006 at 5:52am:
this made me remember one of the leonardo's drawings where he came up with an idea to sling morningstar heads.

if anyone don't know how norningstar/morgenstern looks like, i'll try to find a pic or two.

the trick was - how to make it that the spikes don't wear the sling off.

he removed pouch from his sling (and basically he just had a string now), and tied up the morningstar head to a short (one inch, or less) section of a metal pipe with some wire. so the spikes don't reach the pipe part.
now just get the retention cord trough the hollow of the pipe, the gravity centers it (when folded), and smooth pipe minimizes friction on the release.

i wouldn't like to learn a figure 8 stile with that one.

anyhow, try to draw it yourself, and you will see how simple it is.

/from the indoor ammo topic./

Title: Re: Caltrops
Post by lobohunter on Jun 17th, 2006 at 9:59am
I love it when i get to add my own acts into the possible reiactment of history.But i have cast many spike and very sharp forms of ammo from a normal sling with little or no trouble Forum » Powered by YaBB 2.5.2!
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