The Mangonel was a form of catapult, designed to throw projectiles (rocks) at fortifications. The accuracy of the device was very poor (especially when set up at a distance from it's intended target). Mangonel's also had a lower velocity to the more sophisticated siege engines of the time. It proved more effective against massed troops. This was a crew served weapon that took it's name from the type of French rock/stone common to the area of Mangon (in the South of France).
Made of wood, they were part of the "sling beam" classification of weapons. In their smaller anti-personnel configuration, the Mangonel was tension operated (requiring two men to turn handles on either side, thus stretching the skeins). When maximum tenstion was reached, rocks or lead projectiles would be placed into a placement cup. Releasing a lever would set loose the projectiles towards it's target. Some larger versions even used horses or oxen to pull the skiens. Speculated at having a maximum effective range of 400 to 600 yards, it depended on the terrain and other factors to achieve this range. Smaller versions could be mobile (on carts), while larger versions were fixed (and had to be taken apart). The Mangonel fell into disuse with the advent of gunpower and primitive cannon.