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In support of the in-swinging ballista theory.
#1
Here's photographic proof that in-swinging torsion ballistae were once used in Gaul against the Germanic Tribes.......Mind you, I didn't say that the Romans had them :wink: I came across these images in Anthony Saunders "Weapons of the Trench War 1914 - 1918. I find it interesting that they chose the in-swinger configuration despite, as at least one modern expert has stated, "...its apparent advantage is destroyed by the resulting geometry of the arm travel." It seems those silly Gauls also had the gall to have "... invented a trigger mechanism travelling up and down the slider...". Confusedhock: One would think that when hurling something as dangerous as a grenade with a lit fuse they'd have gone with the obviously superior and proven out-swinger layout.
All sarcasm aside, this is certainly not proof of what the Greeks or Romans did. I do find it of some probative value that when faced with a real combat need, 20th Century engineers either chose Victor Prou's lesser known theory or came to a remarkably similar conclusion on their own.


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P. Clodius Secundus (Randi Richert), Legio III Cyrenaica
"Caesar\'s Conquerors"
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#2
Maybe they just copied the high medieval springald configuration.

[Image: torsionspringald2.jpg]

From "de rei militaria" A.D. 1454 by Roberto Valturio.
posted by Semih Koyuncu

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#3
Semih,
That is a possible explanation. After all, the springald is assumed to be a development of the Roman ballista. If that were their inspiration I would expect to see a box shaped frame around it. Also, the springald was an arrow shooter usually depicted with either a narrow aperture that the arrow travelled through, or with the arms further back inside the frame. Both those features would be very dangerous when throwing a grenade. These have the springs and arms at the very front where they can not easily block the throw. There is also the fact that the makers of this grenade thrower were French like Victor Prou and the machine bears a striking resemblance to the ones on Trajan's Column which helped inspire his theory.
P. Clodius Secundus (Randi Richert), Legio III Cyrenaica
"Caesar\'s Conquerors"
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#4
Moved to Off Tpoic
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#5
I can only speculate(which is quite fun Smile ) that it is not necessary to entirely copy idea of springald with box shaped frame. Only the configuration of arms could be borrowed too. If I remember correctly such devices used to throw fire pots, very similar to grenades or even more dangerous missile, filled with flammable substances.

Yet, since both owner of in-swinging theory and builder of grenade ballista are both French, it is also possible to technicians took a look about such studies and applied to the field.
posted by Semih Koyuncu

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#6
(02-07-2014, 08:17 PM)P. Clodius Secundus Wrote: Here's photographic proof that in-swinging torsion ballistae were once used in Gaul against the Germanic Tribes.......Mind you, I didn't say that the Romans had them  :wink:  I came across these images in Anthony Saunders "Weapons of the Trench War 1914 - 1918. I find it interesting that they chose the in-swinger configuration despite, as at least one modern expert has stated, "...its apparent advantage is destroyed by the resulting geometry of the arm travel." It seems those silly Gauls also had the gall to have "... invented a trigger mechanism travelling up and down the slider...".  Confusedhock: One would think that when hurling something as dangerous as a grenade with a lit fuse they'd have gone with the obviously superior and proven out-swinger layout.
All sarcasm aside, this is certainly not proof of what the Greeks or Romans did. I do find it of some probative value that when faced with a real combat need, 20th Century engineers either chose Victor Prou's lesser known theory or came to a remarkably similar conclusion on their own.

What you have there is the "Arbalette D'Imphy 1915" Range is a max of 125metres for a bomb of 1.2kgs, Patents and Manuals for this machine are available on the net, its by no means the only one which included Catapults and Crossbows of various types and sizes and a much larger version of this relatively common machine.... the advantage is that its silent so the enemy wouldnt know where the bomb had come from or have any warning, plus the ability to drop the bomb into a trench...
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#7
Interesting

well the definite advantage of the inswinger is that you have noting in the way of the projectile, with a grenade you would want this. With an arrow might be a different sory although given the fact that the Romans were really inventive the inswinger is not necessary a no go
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#8
(05-01-2017, 04:25 PM)Gunthamund Hasding Wrote: Interesting

well the definite advantage of the inswinger is that you have noting in the way of the projectile, with a grenade you would want this. With an arrow might be a different sory although given the fact that the Romans were really inventive the inswinger is not necessary a no go

One thing I forgot to mention is that these were not intended as high power weapons in other words it doesn't kill by the power of the blow, maybe even you could catch the bomb though you may not want too Wink

Also the width of the device is probably important for moving it in a trench without having to dismantle it and the in-swinging arms makes it easier to use in a confined environment.

Here is the GB patent for the device (Original document: GB100177):

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicat...cale=en_EP#
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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