How The Trabuco Changed Warfare

If you were to think of warfare in the Middle Ages, the long sieges on castles often come to mind. The Trabuco was the weapon of choice for warriors in the Middle Ages who wished to bring sieges to an end quickly. As an adaption of the catapult, the Trabuco was more sophisticated and better able to throw items that were larger and heavier.

The Trabuco was first used by the Chinese as early as 400 B.C. according to They were also the first to not only use the Trabuco as a tool to throw heavy objects such as rocks, but they created biological warfare when they utilized the Trabuco to throw bodies of people who had died from infectious diseases into the cities they were attacking. Around 1,000 years later, in 600 A.D, Europeans began using the Trabuco in their wars, first by the Vikings and later even adopted by the French and British in their Crusades according to

The name Trabuco is derived from the Spanish/Catalonian word trabuc which means catapult. The original form of this weapon was the traction Trabuco, but soon adaptations were made and the balancing Trabuco was created. This weapon could sling items up to 140 pounds as far as 80 meters. As a weapon, the Trabuco was useful not only in throwing items over castle walls but in breaking down the walls of the castle as well. Seeing a Trabuco coming up on a fortified city was sure to strike fear into the hearts of those trapped inside.

Although weaponry has advanced immensely in the 1,000 years since the Middle Ages, it is easy to see that the Trabuco was a useful tool before the advent of guns and other modern weapons. The ability to end sieges and claim lands gave rulers such as Richard the Lionheart of England access to spoils of war and new lands. In more than one war, the Trabuco changed the course of history.


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