The History of the Trabuco; One Of The Middle Ages’ Most Dangerous Weapons

As it made it’s way from culture to culture in the Middle Ages, the weapon itself saw the application of many various names over the centuries, yet no artillery at the time was considered quite as dangerous as the Trabuco.

Known as the Trebuchet in European countries, to which it had made its way by 600 B.C., it is commonly believed that the Trabuco was first invented in China two hundred years before, during the mongol invasion according to At the time, the weapon was developed to combat the invaders having held up in a conquered Chinese city. The development of two further Trabuco were assisted by two Persian designers, which cast some historically driven questions on the invention of the weapon as some believe weapons developers in the Middle East had the knowledge and technology to construct the Trabuco years before they were used in China according to This is further proposed by the fact that the Chinese word for the weapon is the same as that of the word for Muslim.

When the Trabuco made its way to Europe, it adopted both style and name changes. The Trabuco developed by the Chinese was man powered and known as the Traction Trebuchet, while the Counterweight Trebuchet, which uses a counterweight to activate the balancing mechanism. was developed from the Traction based weapons designs. The first historically instance of the counterweight Trabuco being used comes from writings of Saladin’s conquests. From that time, the Trabuco began seeing use in battles of kingdom rivalry, and during The Crusades.

During The Crusade period, the Trabuco saw employment as one of historical warfares first distributors of germ warfare, as both sides would use the weapon to lob corpses infected with the plague into enemy camps in hopes of initiating an outbreak. Both the Spaniard and Brazilian armies made use of the Trabuco in unique ways as well, loading the weapon’s sling with various random projectiles to launch in a shotgun like fashion at their enemies. Spain is also where the Trabuco gained itself the moniker. However useful in siege combat, though, the weapon died out upon the introduction of gunpowder and cannons in warfare.

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