Corpse Catapult
The usage of early bioweapons
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(permanent link) added: 2013-05-08 09:22:31 sponsor: Olaf_Merchant (last reply: 2013-05-10 04:05:44)

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Usually in medieval or similar settings, the early use of biological warfare would involve the unabashed use of rotting (preferably diseased and highly contagious) corpses as munitions for siege engines, flinging the diseased carcasses into a besieged city in hopes of demoralizing and more importantly, infecting the garrison and local populace. Variations can include The Undead to give the locals a proper scare, or dumping bodies into water sources or just sending them downriver to your enemies.

Subtrope of Abnormal Ammo. Compare Catapult to Glory, where the person being launched is still very much alive and not disease-ridden, although they can wreak havoc in a multitude of different ways.

Examples

Film
  • The movie 'Flesh and Blood', Hawkwood catapults pieces of infected dog into the courtyard of the castle seized by opposing mercenaries. They drink water from the now-infected well, and succumb to the Plague.
  • In Red Cliff Cao Cao's troops are dying of typhoid. Instead of burning the corpses like his generals suggest, he sends them over to the Red Cliff garrison on boats to weaken his enemies.

Literature

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide description of catapults said that they could use dead animals as ammunition.

Video Games
  • Stronghold: It's possible to load up your trebuchets with rotting cow corpses for this effect.
  • Warcraft: The third game also contained the undead catapult Meat Wagon, with similar purpose.

Webcomics
  • In Ebin and May the rats used corpses of feral rabbits to infect the anthro ones with a plague.

Real Life

  • Genghis Khan would fire plague victims' corpses into towns under siege. Black Death was supposedly first introduced to the west with the siege of the city of Caffa in 1347, where the Mongols fired plague-ridden corpses into the city.
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