People in the ancient and middle ages fortified their cities. This gave them and assured them of a sense of an actual security. This was until the invention of the Trabuco. The war machine that could catapult rocks and materials of up to140 kilograms in weight. The range was also quite effective as it went up to 800 meters.

It is safe to say this distance also came in handy in keeping the war machine safe from countermeasures from those under siege. For those without skillful and smarter countermeasures, they had little chance of survival.

The high speed which came from the thrust of this machine could create a large force on impact, laying waste on everything in its path. This catapult like instrument could either go over the walls or through the walls to create openings for their soldiers to go through.

About 400 B.C, the Chinese invented this war machine according to As a start, they used it for biological warfare. They would catapult dead bodies into cities to spread disease and weaken a cities people before attacking.


This almost always assured them of victory. The Trabuco hence became a battle favorite because upon reaching Europe, it spread like wildfire. The Vikings are the first known to use it on European soil. This was from the siege of Paris as stated by the monk of st. Germain, Abbo.

King Richard the lion heart also used “God’s Own Catapult” and “Bad Neighbour”, the two Trabucos he named and used to attack Acre in 1191 according to It is also generally stated that the Europeans used it in their campaign for Christianity.

How does this catapult function to turn cities into rubble? It involves physics. Turning gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy. The velocity of the projectile depends on the size of the counterweight.

Meaning the larger the counterweight, the larger the projectile. It was made of a long pole of wood levered on the motor. The longer side of the pole which would be extending is attached with the sling while the shorter extending side is attached with a stabilizer.

For more extortion, people used strings to pull on the weight of the Trabuco. This weight thus gave it more sling power, which is the ability to carry more weight. The Trabuco also was known as blunderbuss in Europe can be dated to as late as 1779 built by the British although its success is not known of.

They were replaced by gun powders which brought inventions of the gun and cannons, in which the later more effectively replaced it.

Find more about Trabuco:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *