Category: Ancient Weapon

Trabuco- The Siege Weapon Used In The Middle Age

Home | Ancient Weapon | Trabuco- The Siege Weapon Used In The Middle Age

The Trabuco weapon was one the most dangerous weapon that was used before the invention of modern ammunition. It was founded in the 400 BC by the Chinese who used it as a siege weapon to their enemies. The war machine fired shots in the form of large stones which were targeted to the protective walls of the opponents to cause massive destructions. The projectiles fired were not only stones, but they ranged from corpses, living prisoners, human skulls, fireballs, and even animal carcasses to scare their enemies.

The Trabuco Working Mechanism

The Trabuco war machine was developed using the sling or catapult mechanism. The war machine was easy to make where it consisted of a lever, counterweight, sling, and an armrest. Further, its mechanism involved the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy to hurl the projectiles. Also, the velocity of the missiles to its targets entirely depended on the force applied minus the heat that dissipated on friction. Moreover, the war machines were built in different sizes where the small ones could be operated by one person while the large ones required 15-45 people.


The Trabuco weapon era could further be sub-divided into two interfaces of its existence. The first one was referred to as the traction Trabuco while the other modified war machine was the hybrid Trabuco. The traction Trabuco was efficient in its usage as it would fire up to four times per minute but had major drawbacks. Its mechanism required large teams to operate it which was difficult as coordination was a problem hence its abandonment. Further, the war machine was modified in the 11th century when a counterweight solution was introduced instead of having people operate on the short arm beam.

Further, the war machine was used by the Europeans when they first acquired it in the 600 AD according to The Europeans encountered the Trabuco war weapon during crusades after the Arab merchants had taken it to the Middle East. What’s, more, the Europeans used the war weapon and laid siege to their enemies which caused destruction all over Europe. Also, the war weapon was used in battles between the Christian and Muslims at the Mediterranean surroundings during the middle age. Nonetheless, the war weapon became obsolete after gunpowder was invented.