Trabuco- Middle Age Siege Weapon

Created from the idea of a sling, the Trabuco was designed in the Middle Ages as a siege weapon. Also called a Trebuchet, the Trabuco was the weapon of choice for taking siege of a stronghold during the Middle Ages.

Believed to be invented in China around 400 B.C.E., has an accuracy of around 800 feet and can hurl projectiles weighing up to 140 kilograms. The Trabuco was inspired by the sling, but modified to be used with a stronger base by the Chinese. The newer weapon, the Trabuco, was much larger than the traditional slingshot which had originally been the inspiration for the siege weaponry.

The engineering of the Trabuco has been considered a masterpiece of war weapons. The device is based upon turning gravitational pull into kinetic energy. The Trabuco has a spring mechanism, so when the spring is released, the energy is released. This gave it the power to use heavy projectiles to knock down walls, or to shoot over them at the enemy. According to part of the popularity of the Trabuco, besides is effective destructive quality, was the fact that it was an easy machine to put together.

It is also rumored that bodies, killed by disease, were used as projectiles in hopes of spreading deadly and infectious sicknesses to the enemy. The Trabuco could be used for both outside destruction of walls, inside destruction with projectiles, and a primitive form of bio-hazard warfare on

The weapon evolved into a hybrid Trabuco. Arab merchants altered the design of the Trabuco to have a weight at end of the arm. This gave more strength to the counterweight and effect was added range to the projectiles. Through more changes and experimentation, the Trabuco, by the 13th century, was able to hurl stones that weighed over a ton, causing even more destruction to their enemy.

The Trabuco was a magnificent weapon for the Middle Ages. However, it’s popularity and use declined when the Chinese invented gunpowder. With the advent of gunpowder came new technology for using cannons. The Trabuco went out of use, but its legacy as a siege weapon remains.

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