Trabucos: The Ultimate Ancient War Machine

If anyone were to think of Trabucos these days they probably think of taking a pumpkin and launching it across a football field to its short, doomed existence. But, believe it or not, the Trabuco was the premier war machine in ancient warfare.

One of the first recorded uses of the Trabuco was in 400 BC in China according to The Chinese military were the first to use the machine and they invented the traction bolt. The traction bolt is a more complex edition to what was essentially a slingshot. Depending on the size of the Trabuco built, it would take 15 to 25 men to work the pull ropes. The effectiveness of this new weapon could not be denied as other countries armies began to make their own copies of the Trabuco. By 600 AD the Trabuco was being utilized in Europe and did not fall in popularity until gunpowder and cannons were gaining widespread utilization according to


Trabucos were so effective because they would convert potential energy, like a rock lying in a sling, into kinetic energy, energy that is active such as the rock in flight. Some of the energy is used in the friction of causing the rocks flight. When the Trabucos were big enough, the damage caused when a flying rock was very substantial to free standing structures. Some armies would fling other objects, such as dieased corpses into the opposing army. Today, Trabucos are used more for physics classes as much smaller versions conviegh the principle of energy conversion well to students.

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