The Trabuco: A Weapon From Hell

The first people to witness a Trabuco approaching them must have been absolutely horrified. Derived from the sling, in 400 BC China, a basic weapon idea was turned into a super weapon. Capable of turning cities to rubble, a Trabuco could be small enough for a single man to operate, but most were built so big that 15-45 men had to operate the weapon. The Trabuco could be built and ready in about twelve days depending on the size.

The Trabuco operated with the use of a projectile secured to an arm, with a counterweight on the opposite end of the weapon. Men would pull the projectile side of the arm low to the ground with ropes, and once the ropes were let go of, the counterweight would fall and swing causing the opposite side of the arm to swing up and launch whatever projectile was being used. The action of the Trabuco launch is similar to that of how a mouse trap works.

Islamic scholar, Mardi Al-Tarsusi, wrote: “Trabucos are machines invented by unbelieving demons.” Not only were boulders were used as projectiles, but other means of harming the defenders as well. For example, in 1422 during the siege of Karlštejn, diseased men and manure were thrown over the city walls, causing infection to spread through the defending population inside. What a ghastly scene it must have been to witness a city under attack by towering Trabucos according to

Though the first Trabuco was invented by the Chinese, this weapon would continue to be improved upon, and used by many different groups of people across Europe, Asia, and Africa over the next 2000 years or so. However, with the invention of gunpowder around the 9th century, there was not a use for weapons like these as much. The last registered use for war was in the attack on the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán led by Cortes in 1521 because of a lack of gunpowder based on

Today, the canon has replaced the Trabuco and these ancient super weapons are now used by hobbyist and teachers to help explain mechanics instead of warriors. Thank God.