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A key siege weapon for warfare, the Mangonel was used as early as Ancient Greece, but is definitely known for tearing down castle walls during the Middle Ages. This gigantic projectile weapon can hurl almost anything that can fit in its bowl-shaped hand, including large rocks, diseased corpses, or arrows. Catapults were so effective as siege weapons that even in World War I French Forces used modern-sized catapults to fling grenades at enemies in trench warfare.
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A catapult with an edge, this weapon was often used to throw large bolts at opponents, hence it was often known as a larger-than-life sized version of a crossbow. Unlike the mangonel which uses a string to project objects into the air, ballistas use bowstrings, hurling huge arrows that can rip through a row of soldiers, or break through an enemy fortress. Highly accurate, this weapon could take aim at targets over 500 yards away and deliver massive damage.
3. Greek Fire
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Byzantine forces certainly loved roasting their opponents, but why not use their flames where it's least expected? That's right, the Byzantine Empire had its navy forces equipped with incendiary weapons that would set enemies ablaze. Men on board would hold siphons (early versions of flamethrowers) and take pleasure in burning their enemies, helping them sink to the bottom of the sea. This weapon was so effective that ships would continue to burn even under water. In fact, the Byzantine were able to fend off Muslim forces with Greek fire and saved Constantinople in 672 AD.
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Japanese craftsmanship has never made something so beautiful yet so deadly. Not only is the Katana one of the most famous types of swords ever made, but it is also without one of the most dangerous. Slightly curved, with a long grip for two-handed wielding, this sword was often used by Samurais during Feudal Japan, and is often referred to as the "Samurai Sword." The Katana's cutting ability is unquestionable, and the fact that it can be drawn almost instantaneously makes it number 2 on the list.
1. Flaming Arrows
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Simple yet effective, flaming arrows have been used all over the world during sieges to destroy everything in their path. It's not uncommon that archers would send a shower of flaming arrows to set an enemy town or city on fire in a matter of minutes, after they were finished pillaging and plundering of course. Whether used by the Romans or the Chinese, every military force around the globe understood the havoc that flaming arrows could wreak upon enemy forces and territory.