Trabuco’s, often known by their French name trébuchet, were a weapon used during the Middle Ages. Their purpose was to fling projectiles either at the walls of a structure to bring them down or to fire over the top of these walls. It is sometimes also called a balancing Trabuco in order to differentiate it from an older form of the weapon called the traction Trabuco.
According to spanishdict.com Trabuco’s were used throughout Europe and the Middle East. They were very powerful weapons that could fling up to 1550 kilos of projectiles at distances of up to 800 meters away. When manned by skilled soldiers they were also pretty accurate. Stones were used as projectiles in order to bring down walls. Stones could also be fired over the wall in order to try to hit enemy soldiers on the other side of the fortification. Additionally, sometimes diseased dead bodies were flung over walls in order to try to kill the enemy by spreading the disease.
It was in China that Trabuco’s were first created, in roughly 400 BC. It wasn’t until 600 AD that their use spread to Europe and the Middle East. They were used for centuries, right up until weapons using gunpowder made them obsolete. The last time that a Trabuco was used in a military conflict occurred in 1521 when the Spaniard Hernán Cortés used them in his attack on Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital.
Trabuco’s did not have any complicated mechanism’s to make them work. They were both simple for armies to make as well as easy to maintain. They work by translating gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy with some energy also being lost to sound and heat. Trabuco are still used even today by physics teachers who want to explain this type of principal of physics to their students.
People still build Trabuco’s even today, although for fun instead of for war based on wordreference.com. Instead of launching stones or diseased dead bodies they instead fling such things as pumpkins. There have been contests put on of who’s Trabuco can fling pumpkins the farther, for example.
Check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDAwt3JfWwY for more details about Trabuco.