We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Battering Ram?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A battering ram is a type of siege engine used to break down walls or doors. Popular in ancient battles and medieval castle warfare, modern forms of the battering ram are still used today. Made from the trunks of enormous trees, battering rams were once the height of siege technology, and were incredibly difficult to stop once attackers reached the gates.

The simplest form of a battering ram is simply a large, relatively straight tree trunk. Any branches would be shaved off before using the ram in battle, and trees such as oaks or large firs were preferred for their strength. Many men would carry the ram by hand, propelling it into its target using their own strength. Some pre-prepared rams were capped with metal, to strengthen the impact and prevent the ram from shattering or breaking.

One of the problems with the early battering rams was that it could take a long time to bash a sturdy gate down. Aside from the strength of the men carrying it giving out, the long battering period gave defenders quite a while to shoot the men with the ram or pour boiling pitch onto their heads. It became clear that a more mobile form of ram was needed that would pack additional power and prevent the attackers from having to stand directly under the walls as they used it.

Originally, armies added power to the ram by placing it in a sling, which could be swung back and forth, giving the ram greater momentum. To aid in carrying it, the sling and ram were placed on a wheeled wagon. The sling, while handy, didn’t provide additional protection for the wielders of the battering ram, so eventually a covered shed was added above the ram, where attackers could hide as they worked the ram. This construct came to be called the turtle or tortoise, as the log would swing out when the carriage was moved, like a turtles head emerging from its shell.

Defenders often responded by using flaming arrows to set the sheds on fires and installing moats and drawbridges around the castle to prevent the battering ram from ever reaching the door. Some defenders would also try to pad the door from the outside to diminish the impact of the ram. This strategy was rarely successful, however, as shoving mattresses down in front of the gate would not have much affect on the blow given by an enormous oak tree.

Battering rams have been possible throughout history as a siege weapon. Artifacts from ancient cultures show that ram technology has been used since at least 900 BCE. After the castle era ended, they fell out of use somewhat, but the basic principle of the battering ram remained an important piece of warfare knowledge. Today, modern rams are often mounted on military vehicles used for forced entry, providing considerable increase in impact while protecting the passengers inside the car.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for EasyTechJunkie. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon30902 — On Apr 26, 2009

i love wisegeek it is my favorite site.

i am a high schooler in illnois and i love to be a wise geek.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.