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Looking for two English words

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Looking for two English words

Postby The_Hun » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:14 am

Dear All,

I'm looking for the English term for the following two types of soldiers in a medieval army:

1, The one that operated catapults, ballistas & the like before the advent of cannons.

2, The one that transported on a cart or wagon all the weaponry and supplies that the footsoldiers could not carry on their backs. (If there was such a person at all).

Thanks in advance,
A.
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Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:38 pm

Hun,

I think your question might include a few extra people. In the medieval period the man in charge of the wagon was simply a driver. Most of the time two per wagon from what I can tell. Usually they carried whatever they were told to. In war you could have literally hundreds of wagons in use for a single campaign. So for that simply driver would do though there are a few other names as well.

The men working the siege engines were called various things, gynnors- gunners, for example, originally was a person who worked the trebuchets and such and had nothing to do with guns, guns getting their name from them. They are referred to as engineers or siege engineers often though a much more general term than today applying to anyone working the 'engines' as all war machines more or less were called. You find specialist carpenters as well in this group, often in contracts listing them as carpenters for the engines of war...

Hope that helps, if not just ask. Jim Bradbury's book on sieges is very good by the way. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xVCR ... &ct=result

R
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Postby The_Hun » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:42 am

Wow R, thanks a lot for the exhaustive answer. You did indeed answer my question fully. :)

As far as I understand, a wagon driver wasn't even necessarily a soldier, right? He could have been a peasant as well, couldn't he, hired or drafted temporarily.

And I didn't know that the word gun originated from "gunners" who weren't even using guns. :wink:

Greetings,
A.
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Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:10 am

Gun likely comes from the word for traditional artillery or those who used them. Early on many firearms actually are called by the names of traditional artillery which makes life confusing and has led many mess ups by over eager gun enthusiasts.

Also artilleryman might be used as a term for men using artillery though I have not seen it used in period it is fairly common know.

Drivers most assuredly were commoners. No noble would take such work... :D They do fight at times. The Hussite dirvers seem to have had specific jobs.

R
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