Category Archives: Siege Weapon

The Most Fierce Weapon Used In The Medieval Period

About The Trabuco and its Mechanism

The Trabuco war machine was an invention of the Chinese people in the fourth century. The siege machine was used to cause havoc by hurling rocks to destroy the walls of the enemies.

The Trabuco was derived from the sling method of shooting to the enemies. This was achieved by providing a more significant lever and strings attached to the short arm in larger sizes to fire large projectiles. What’s more, the Trabuco machines worked by conversion of the potential energy contained in the counterweight to kinetic energy to launch the missiles. Again, the speed of the projectile was equally proportional to the counterweight applied.

The Types of Trabuco Machines and their Usages

The Trabuco machines can further be sub-divided into two ages of their existence. The very first machines were purely operated by humans where they are known as the traction Trabuco. Some of the enormous war machines required a minimum number of 250 individuals to pull. Nevertheless, even though the Trabuco was able to give up to four rounds of shots per minute, the operation became unmanageable due to the large group of people who operated it. Consequently, because of the difficulty of the process of its functionality, the war machine was abandoned in the 11th century when another one was invented.


The balancing Trabuco was invented as a development of the first Trabuco whereby the use of humans was replaced by the use of counterweight to launch loads. Further, the balancing Trabuco was able to hurl heavier loads and longer distances according to While the traction could shoot up to 140 pounds and 80 meters far, some of the hybrid Trabuco machines would handle weights of more than 400 pounds. Also, the Trabuco machines not only hurled stones but armies would throw human skulls, fireballs, and even living prisoners.

Furthermore, the war machine stayed in usage for almost 1000 years while the Europeans acquired it in the 600 AD according to The war machine was also taken to the Middle East by the Roman-Arab merchants who also adopted it. Additionally, the Trabuco war weapon was used during crusades between Christians and Muslims. However, the Trabuco became obsolete in the 13th century when gunpowder was invented.

Learn more about Trabuco: