The History, Popularity, And Fate Of The Trabuco

The Trabuco is a Middle Age siege weapon that looks like a catapult. The weapon was invented in 400 AD in China and introduced in Europe in 600 AD. The Trabuco was also referred to as the balancing Trabuco to help distinguish it from its predecessor, the traction Trabuco. The balancing Trabuco was used in both Muslim and Christian countries around the Mediterranean. It was used to throw projectiles up to 140 kilos to the enemy 800 meters away.

Operation Mechanism of the Trabuco

Although it looked like a catapult, the Trabuco had a much easier operation mechanism. The Trabuco converted some gravitational (potential) energy into kinetic energy while the rest produced heat and sound. The weapon was easy to manufacture and maintain, which led to an increase in its popularity during the middle age. In addition, it was also able to launch heavy projectiles at longer distances than any other weapon that was in use during those days. It was also very accurate in hitting the target further increasing its prominence.

Popularity of the Trabuco

According to history on, the Trabuco varied in range and size and took to twelve days to manufacture depending on its size. An average Trabuco could throw 50-100 kilos projectile at a distance of 300 meters. These weapons were used to throw destructive balls and were first introduced in China after the Mongolian empire attacked the Xiangyang and the Fancheng. In 1421 on, Charles VII of France manufactured a Trabuco that was capable of throwing 800 kilos.

In late 12th century on, the Trabuco was introduced in Italy and in 1216, it arrived in England. Richard the Lionheart used two Trabucos in an attack against the Acre while Edward Longshanks ordered the construction of gigantic Trabucos to attack Stirling Castle in 1304. Trabucos were used to attack Burgos and Rhodes in 1475-1476 and 1480 respectively.

With the introduction of the gunpowder, the Trabuco was no longer the weapon of choice as the former was more convenient and efficient. Today, the Trabucos are only used in physics classes in explaining their basic operation mechanisms. They are also used for fun in pumpkin throwing championships.

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