Trabuco – History Of The Ancient War Machine

A trabuco is an attack weapon that soldiers used in the middle ages. The machine was used to destroy stone work dividers and throw ammunition over a wall. It works similar to a sling or launch and there were two kinds balancing and traction. Brazilians call them trabuchet. The word trabuco in Brazil refers to shotgun and pistols.

In Brazil, Trabuco is used today for pumpkin chucking contests that were very popular in the 1980’s. This is a sport performed around the world and Brazil. Pumpkin chucking has teams that compete regularly.

It was used to fire heavy stones and objects over walls and to break walls so soldiers could gain access to the area. Trabuco was a powerful weapon because it could throw large stones or object at great speed. It was often called the revolver of the times. It could throw objects about 800 meter or more.

This weapon was first used in China for biological warfare in 400 B.C. according to They threw dead corpses with the disease into areas as a way to spread the illness. Eventually the trabuco was used in Europe for war. In Brazil they began to use it in the 16th century.

It crushed stone and brick walls and shoots heavy objects long distances. An piece of wood on the machine acts as lever to propel the object through the air. It takes several men to make it work. The Chinese made a smaller trabuco that required only one person to make it work.

This weapon was made in different sizes and the speed of throwing projectiles depended on the size. They made a trabuco that used gun powder for awhile. They eventually stopped using it due to the fact that it was hard to use gun powder in this machine.

In Europe it was first used by the Viking and smuggled into Germany via the North. It was used in an attack on Paris France according to It was used in Italy, England and by Richard the Lionheart during a siege in 1191. In fact he and his men built two large trabucos to use.

Using the machine required the skill of calculating how to determine the time and space needed to operate. Timing was important as this made the difference between success and failure to use this weapon.

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