The Use Of Trabuco During The Middle Ages

Since time immemorial weapons have always been used when attacking or when under attack. One of the conventional weapons that were used in the middle ages is the Trabuco. The Trabuco is a siege weapon similar to a catapult, whose main purpose was to crush masonry walls or to shoot stones over the walls. The weapon originated from China and was commonly used by the Europeans during the middle ages. At this time, it was the most efficient and powerful weapon used in battles. The weapon was abandoned as soon as gun power was invented.

The Trabuco has a simplified mechanism that it utilizes. Its mechanism involves converting gravitational energy into kinetic energy. Some of the potential energy channels into sound and heat while the rest is transformed into kinetic energy. It was prominent in the Middle Ages since it was easy to manufacture and maintain. Moreover, its ability to unveil larger and heavier projectiles from longer distances increased its prominence.


There existed two types of Trabuco; the tensile Trabuco and the hybrid Trabuco. The tensile Trabuco was operated by humans. Its shorter end was pulled by humans. A common tensile Trabuco as described by the Wu Jing Yao compendium was operated by 250 men and launched a 140 pound stone over 80 meters according to

The hybrid Trabuco is the second type of Trabuco. It was developed to replace the tensile Trabuco that was a bit difficult to be controlled by men. The hybrid Trabuco is an advanced type of tensile Trabuco. It has a weight added to the shorter arm. Such Trabuco hurled projectiles that weighed 400 pounds. They were later on improved and were able to hurl stone of up to a ton over very long distances. The sieging machines were not used to hurl insects alone. Even cows, barrels, horses and human were used as ammo. Armies ceased using Trabuco gunpowder when gunpowder emerged.

Trabuco still exists to date. However, they are not used as battle weapons. They are displayed in museums for fun and historical purposes. Furthermore, they are used in learning institutions to describe the concept of mechanism.

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