War Wolf The Largest Trebuchet Ever Made

Laura Heggs | August 7th, 2018

Known as the Ludgar or Loup de Guerre which today would translate to The War Wolf, was an infamous trebuchet that was sent in to make the enemy forces surrender. It is believed to have been the largest trebuchet ever built and was created in Scotland, following the orders of King Edward I of England during the siege of Stirling Castle.

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This happened during the Wars of Scottish Independence which were a whole series of military campaigns between Scotland and England during the late 13th and early 14th centuries. They were of utmost importance to Scottish history, as even though there were periods of English rule, they never gave up and were able to retain their status as an independent state by the end of the wars.

Stirling castle was famous for being unbreakable and impenetrable it sat on the top of Castle Hill with steep cliffs around it, an amazing defensive position located on a key crossing point of River Forth. It was known as the access point to Northern Scotland, England knew that if it wanted a successful invasion they would need to take Stirling castle. In 1304, they attacked the castle with over twelve siege engines and they bombarded the castle for four whole months to no avail.

So King Edward ordered the construction of an immense war machine, a trebuchet bigger than any trebuchet seen before: he was too impatient to sit and wait them out. Famously when the Scotts saw how big the trebuchet was, they asked to surrender. King Edward refused their surrender, apparently, he wanted to see the destruction his new trebuchet would cause.

You don’t deserve any grace, but must surrender to my will. – King Edward I

When disassembled, the machine would fill up 30 wagons and when put together it was about 400 feet tall! It took over 3 months to build originally and could hurl missiles weighing over three hundred pounds. As you have guessed, it only took one shot to completely level a whole section of the castle. And thus started the legend of the War Wolf.

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