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Trabuco The Medieval Monster

In 400 BC a monster was created by the Chinese that changed the world of medieval warfare. The trabuco was invented as a new invasion weapon to destroy walls and cities of an enemy. This military weapon stored energy using a large counter weight, and worked as a large sling. The trabaco could fire ammunition distances from 300 meters to 800 meters. Its easy construction and simple design made it easy to maintain.

People moved a trabuco using thick ropes, often pulling the large weapon great distances. It often took large amounts of people to move the massive weapon. The trabuco could remain a great distance back from the enemy providing its movers safety from defending fire. Defending cities found that they had to build thicker walls in efforts to protect themselves from a trabuco. Moats and closer defenses did nothing to help defend cities from these monster weapons. According to, builders of the trabuco found that the larger the counter weight on the end of the arm, the more powerful the shot was.


According to the largest trabuco ever reported took 250 people to move, and hurled 140lbs of stone up to 80 meters. By 600 AD the trabuco had found its way to Europe and was used greatly in the crusades. The Europeans used a hybrid style trabuco that had an added weight on the shorter end of the large arm. It was during the Crusades where the trabuco and chemical warfare collided. It was not uncommon for diseased cattle, poisoned logs, and barrels of sand mixed with chemicals to be used as ammunition for a trabuco. Other ammunition used for this large weapon included horses, dogs, human heads, and prisoners of war. Trabuco is a powerful weapon was used until gunpowder was invented. Then its used slowly diminished leaving behind only its amazing history.

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