Small device scattered on the ground to injure and make any passing horses lame (or later to puncture rubber tyres). It has four metal spikes forming the four corners of a tetrahedron so that one metal spike will always points upwards. Manufactured by setting the spikes in an iron ball, or by simply joining the spikes together.
1) A small spiked device, intended to impede horses.
(Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 347)
2) Small metal ball with four (angled) projecting spikes placed on battlefield to maim horses.
(Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 222)
small four pointed metal weapons that were strewn on the ground. They were designed in a way that one point would always be straight up. This would be a danger to enemies and in particular horses.

Medieval glossary. 2014.

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  • Caltrop — For the plant or its fruit, see water caltrop. Iron caltrop used in Vietnam. A caltrop (also known as caltrap, galtrop, cheval trap, galthrap, galtrap,[1] calthrop …   Wikipedia

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  • caltrop — /kal treuhp/, n. 1. any of several plants having spiny heads or fruit, as those of the genera Tribulus and Kallstroemia, or the star thistle, Centaurea calcitrapa. 2. an iron ball with four projecting spikes so disposed that when the ball is on… …   Universalium

  • caltrop — noun /ˈkæltrəp,ˈkɔːltrəp/ a) A small, metal object with spikes arranged so that, when thrown onto the ground, one always faces up as a threat to passers by. ...her father, the emperor Alexius, who reigned AD 1081 1118, ordered caltrops to be cast …   Wiktionary

  • caltrop — n. any of several species of plants with spiny heads or fruit; iron ball with four spikes arranged so that one is always pointing upward (used to hinder passage of cavalries or vehicles) …   English contemporary dictionary

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