The Nearly Forgotten Weapon Of Mass destruction, The Trabuco

The trebuchets, also known as Trabuco was one of the great inventions of the primordial wars. Justlike daggers, bows, spears, axes, and swords, it is only recognized today as an artifactof old war fare. However, the principle of operation of the Trabuco has inspired most of the modern day weapons of war.

A powerful siege weapon
While other weapons of old time wars involved one on one combat, the Trabuco was siege weapon of mass destruction. It hurled projectiles to long distances. Its operation mimics that of a massive catapult. It could hurl stones, sand barrels and animals such as horses and cows. In some cases on, human heads and slaves of war were used as projectiles. Today’smovies involving medieval wars show it being used to catapult fireballs at enemy troops.

Construction and Operation
The working principle of the Trabuco is to pull and release. Its main parts are a huge arm mounted on a stationary base or car. A counterweight is used to pull the arm, casting projectile into the sling. The sling is normally located opposite to the counter weight on The heavier the weight, the greater the pull of the sling and the power of throw is required. It involves a practical application of the physical principles of action and reaction forces, kinetic, potential and gravitational energies.

Development of the machine
According to, the early models of the trebuchet did not have the counterweight. Humans were used to dropping the projectile into the sling. Launching a 150 pound stone to a distance of 70-80 metersrequired the combined effort of approximately 250 people. Even then, the record shows that it was still possible to hurl four projectiles per minute.

The Arabs transformed the labor into an intensive weapon by adding the counterweight. It resulted in increased distance of reach. The hybrid Trabuco could catapult projectiles weighing up to 400 pounds. During the crusades of the middle ages, the European improved it further. It could throw tons of weight with better accuracy. Nevertheless, huge man power was still necessary for its operation. Today, this groundbreaking warfare invention of the medieval time has been replaced by guns and rocket launchers.

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