Weapons and Warfare

Muilti Barrel Gun

Codex Atlanticus

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Siege Defenses

Codex Atlanticus

Leonardo here illustrates an idea for pushing away enemy ladders when defending a fortress. There is no evidence that this was ever built.

Seige Defenses

Codex Atlanticus

Rotating poles sweep atackers off the walls. One wonders how effective this would have been. The mechanical workings are essentially the same as that used in a mill of the same period; Leonardo was simply looking for a new application of the device.

Crossbow Machine

Codex Atlanticus

This rather hilarious contraption is designed to allow four crossbows to be repea tedly fired. Men running on the wheel supply power, while another places the darts in position. It would have been difficult to aim.

Giant Crossbow

Codex Atlanticus

This is a gigantic crossbow. It's difficult to know whether it would have worked, or whether it would have been superior to cannons of the same period. The idea is fascinating.

War Scythe

Codex Atlanticus

This is a sort of chariot or trailer with rotating scythes to wreak havoc among the opposing lines in battle. Leonardo himself admitted it "often did no less injury to friends than to enemies".

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