The Trabuco defined an era of medieval history in which devastating siege engines owned the battlefield. Siege engines, and The Trabuco especially, were designed to collapse protective fortress walls and allow for the invading army to gain access to more vulnerable areas of the interior castle. However, Trabuco’s were also known for their high mortality rate, and could wipe out entire groups of warriors at once due to the size of boulder artillery that the later counterweight designed Trabuco’s were able to launch. Trabuco’s gained the height of their popularity during the rival kingdom feuds of the middle ages throughout Europe and gained their legendary status during The Crusades in which both Muslim and Christian armies made wide use of their abilities.
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The Trabuco is a close cousin to another popular siege engine of the medieval period, The Catapult. Unlike the catapult, which worked primarily from torsion based mechanics, The Trabuco possessed a somewhat more complex traction based functionality. The original form of Trabuco, The Traction Trabuco, was thought to have been originally designed in ancient China, as that is where we first find historical record. From there, the weapon was brought to the European and Mediterranean lands by way of the nomadic Avars according to dicio.com.br. The traction based design of The Trabuco functioned by loading the sling, which sat at one end of a beam held by the weapon’s frame, with the ammunition, commonly giant boulders. With The Traction Trabuco, the other end of the beam is pulled downward using ropes and man power.
Due to the inconsistencies with the man driven machine, The Counterweight Trabuco is a much more preferable and durable weapon. The Counterweight Trabuco functions much like the traction based early form with the exception of replacing the man power with a lever device which launches the sling and artillery. It is believed The Counterweight Trabuco was designed in the Mediterranean using designs and inspiration from the original traction based siege engine according to veja.abril.com.br. Trabuco’s were used for centuries in combat, spreading to France, and Spain from Britain, and back to China in their updated form by way of the Mongol invasions.
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