The Trabuco: The Ancient Siege Machine Conquered The World In The Middle Ages

The Trabuco originated on the battlegrounds of ancient China and by the fourth century had spread worldwide to bring down fortress walls all across Britain, Spain, France,and the Middle East, and eventually made it’s way back to China in the weapon’s more advanced state. In essence, there were two types of Trabucos on ancient battle fields. The first was the balancing Trabuco, which was man powered by attaching straps to the long firing beam which was constructed within the frame of the weapon. The beam, which supported the weapon’s artillery loading sling, was pulled down by teams of men when ready to be fired, launching the Trabuco’s missile, usually a large boulder.


The second type of Trabuco, the counterweight Trabuco, which proved more popular and wieldy than the earlier balancing Trabuco, was developed when the earlier form of the weapon reached the Middle East by way of the nomadic Avars sometime around 600 A.D. according to The counterweight Trabuco functions in much the same manner as the balancing version of the weapon, with the exception of replacing the man powered sling with a lever mechanism, nulling the need for teams of soldiers to operate the weapon, and allowing the Trabuco to launch it’s payload much further. Persian engineers are said to have developed the more advanced version of the weapon, which shortly thereafter would make it’s way to Britain, France, and Spain, where the Trabuco would play a major role in rival kingdom scrimmages of the age according to

The Trabuco would also play a large roll in the Crusades, in which the weapon was used sometimes as a primitive chemical warfare deployment system. The sling of the Trabuco would be loaded with the dead, whom were infected with the plague, and launched into enemy camps on both sides in hopes of infecting enemy soldiers with the disease. Cannons would replace the Trabuco’s place on the battlefield as gunpowder rose to prominence, though history does record it’s use by cornered armies running low on gunpowder down throughout the centuries. Commonly constructed by historians and hobbyists these days, the Trabuco has seen modern combat sparsely as a weapon which can be inexpensively developed and used by protesters and revolutionaries.