Trabuco: Ancient Artillery

Ancient warfare often revolved around sieges. These sieges were focused around breaking through the thick stone walls of castles. Storming the gates of a fortress like that inevitably results in massive casualties on both sides, but normally more so on the attacking army’s side. To successfully take a castle, an attacking army had to find some way to get inside those walls while minimizing their losses.

To accomplish this, the army trying to get through those walls often had to use something called a siege engine. A common example of a siege engine is catapults, launching projectiles using a spring mechanism. However, the catapult’s reputation as a superior siege engine is not entirely deserved. While it is, in fact, an excellent weapon, it is no match when compared to the trabuco, more commonly known as the trebuchet.

While the catapult relies on a spring mechanism to fling huge projectiles, the trebuchet uses a counterweight to fling even larger projectiles even further. The trebuchet can demolish enormous walls, creating a breach that the attacking army can rush through to take the castle successfully. While a catapult’s maximum weight does not exceed 180 pounds, the beautiful weapon that is the trebuchet can launch massive stones, surpassing even 140 pounds. Furthermore, for any given stone weight, the trebuchet can launch it further. When you are focused on breaking down an enormous defensive wall, being able to through larger stones from farther away can only be a good thing. Additionally, compared to the torsion machine that is the catapult, the trebuchet’s simple counterweight mechanism is quite robust.

Besides breaking down walls and allowing an invading army to storm a fortress, the trebuchet can cause massive loss of life on the side of the defending army. The stones thrown from the trebuchet can, of course, crush a human’s body. However, it can also lead to defenders falling off the wall and dying from the fall. Furthermore, the defenders may be crushed by debris that goes flying from the wall as the trebuchet knocks the away. You simply cannot surpass the amazing power of the trebuchet. CheckĀ  for more:


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