A battle in which our siege engine, the mangonel, was used, was the Siege of Dover, or the Battle of Sandwich, often given the nickname “the Great Siege”. The siege was just outside of Dover, England. This was the first time the mangonel was used in England. The two nations who fought in this battle were the English, loyal to King John, led by Hubert de Burgh, and the French, led by Prince Louis “the Lion”. There was also a contingent of English rebels, led by a group of angry English barons who wanted to dethrone King John and put Prince Louis in his place. The reason why the barons were angry was because King John had reneged on the Magna Carta, signed in 1215, and Louis was invited to take the English throne. This siege was part of the First Baron’s War.

The weapon was used to attempt to break down the walls and eventually fire over them (to kill soldiers on the other side) of the castle. The weapon was used primarily by the French and the English Rebels. However, the weapon was used in an attempt by the English to fire down on the enemy from the higher walls of the castle. Mangonel’s were perhaps one of the most effective weapons in siege warfare. This made mangonel’s an essential. Mangonel’s were used extensively throughout Europe (predominantly by the French) until 885-886 AD when new defence systems rendered mangonel’s ineffective, but since England was slightly backwards in defence, they could lay an effective siege to English castles.

In the end, I can conclude that the mangonel was a highly effective weapon, until nations developed more sophisticated fortifications, which outdated the mangonel. Also, the French did not end up winning the siege of dover, as it happened that Dover Castle was “modern” and could withstand the relentless pounding of the mangonels.