How Battles Were Won Using The Trabuco

Most people have heard of the Catapult, but few have heard of an ancient war machine that was called the Trabuco. This was a machine that worked on the same concept as the catapult, but it was a lot more effective and could bring about a lot more damage as the accuracy was a lot better. So what was the history of this war machine and what was the downfall that led to it being retired from use? These answers are not as hard for you to find as you might think that they are.

First much like the catapult, this machine was able to destroy enemy walls by throwing large items like stones a long distance. This gave them a bigger advantage as they could attack from a distance and thus led to fewer men being killed in combat. The height of its use came in the middle ages when battles seem to break out at the least little thing.


The first recorded use of the Trabuco came in 400 B.C when it was first conceived in China according to The concept came from a very easy and sometimes effective weapon for the slingshot. The concept was taken to the much larger level and thus the Trabuco came into existence. The entire structure was made from wood and it would take a group of men having to pull on the smaller lever to pull it back and then they would let go of the lever and the stones which weighed between 140 and 400 pounds would be launched at their target. The concept would be brought then to Europe about two hundred years later.

It was in Europe that the Trabuco got a remodel and it became a little more evolved than it’s earlier concept. It now had the potential for a couple of versions, the counterweight version as well as the traction version. each of these had their advantages and disadvantages that made them ideal to use in the time of the battle. these new versions were now able to hurl stones that weighed as much as 1500 kilos at their targets. This allowed it to do a lot more damage than the previous version according to

With the advent of gunpowder and cannons, this war machine saw it’s glory days come to an end. there were now weapons that had a bigger punch they provided as well as they were easier to carry and a lot smaller. The Trabuco may not still be in use today, but the basic concept of it still lives on to teach about physics and mechanics in today’s world.


The Trabuco And It’s Role In Warfare

The first record of a trabuco used in warfare is when a Chinese commander invented the trabuco in the 1100’s while warring against the Mongols. The design is simply built, using wood and a heavy counterweight, taking just a few hours to a few days to complete depending on the size of the trabuco and the weight of the objects that the trabuco will be throwing.

Traditional trabucos use a counterweight the swings over the top of the mechanism so that it has the strength to throw the object on the carry through. The trabuco was effective in converting potential energy into kinetic energy. This made trabucos very handy at destroying defensive walls or even fortifications so that the invading army can enter with ease. For the record on, the Mongols never did gain ground with the Chinese commander and were not able to take the cities at that time.

After the 1200’s according to, the popularity of the trabuco was reaching across Europe to the point the French were perfecting the trabuco, eventually creating a machine that could fire every 15 seconds. By the 1400’s trabucos were being used for war craft across many different battlefields. Their design made trabucos easy to breakdown and carry over any terrain but by the mid 1400’s trabucos were starting to be replaced by gunpowder and cannons as the most destructive force on the battlefield.

In modern times the trabuco is used more in engineering or science classes than in modern warfare. Trabucos are used as examples of how to convert potential energy into kinetic energy. Although there are smaller ones in existence that are used for throwing competitions and demonstrations. Trabucos hold a special place in the history of warfare. They are examples of the very first in large armed machines, used for warring purposes. To read more about trabucos, please click at

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