How The Trabuco Was Used In Middle Age Warfare

The Trabuco is a siege weapon that was also known as a trebuchet in French. It was used for centuries during the Middle Ages. The purpose of a Trabuco was to fling projectiles that were either fired at walls to destroy them or over the wall to kill those soldiers behind it. It was used in both Christian, Muslim, and Asian nations. While usually rocks were fired sometimes instead they were loaded with the bodies of people that had died of a disease. The bodies were flung over the wall to hit the ground and spread the disease amongst the enemy soldiers. This was the first time that biological warfare had been engaged in.

It was in China that Trabuco’s were first invented according to While they were first created in 400 BC it took a thousand years for them to reach the Middle East and Europe. They were used in Europe and the Middle East from 600 AD up until the time that army’s started using gunpowder which made the Trabuco technologically outdated on

Trabuco’s were very large contraptions. One of the biggest ever built was in China according to The historian Wu Jing Yao de Zong said that one was built that required 250 people to arm it. It was capable of throwing a stone weighing 140 pounds about 260 feet. Building one of this size and capability was fairly rare because of the logistics of operating one with such a large crew.

By using teams a Trabuco could be fired at a relatively rapid rate for the time. With a capable crew, a Trabuco could fling its payload about four times a minute. One of the problems was that getting the teams operating the Trabuco working in rhythm together. The different teams rarely pulled the ropes with the same force as the other teams operating the Trabuco which led to the projectiles hitting different targets somewhat randomly. It was due to these issues and that gunpowder worked better and more accurately that the use of Trabuco’s in warfare died out towards the end of the fifteenth century.


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