The Trabuco, more commonly known in French and English as the ‘Trébuchet’, is a weapon of war found in the catapult family of siege engines. Like both mangonel and ballista style catapults, the trébuchet utilizes a source of mechanical potential energy to fling large objects at great speed to devastate both castle ramparts and what lay behind them.
Unlike its counterparts, instead of using torsion or spring energy like the mangonel and ballista respectively, it utilizes a massive gravity driven counterweight and a self-releasing sling system to hurl large projectiles faster and further than the two lesser machines, consistently according to zomato.com.
The Trabuco was capable of sending objects over a hundred (though in some cases, over a thousand) kilograms to distances of three hundred meters, a feat absolutely unheard of for the time. Moats, impassible terrain, or any defensive perimeter around a castle keep was rendered useless by the sheer range and power of the trébuchet.
But it was more than just in its range and capability to effectively bypass castle walls that the trabuco had changed the face of war. The size of the projectiles it could lob into or over castle walls enabled it field more types of projectiles that it could launch as compared to its smaller cousins. Flaming projectiles, plague ridden corpses, feces were among the ammunition the trabuco fielded in wartime, recording the first widespread use of germ warfare during the medieval era, in addition to its incendiary and conventional payloads.
In response, rapid engineering changes in order to combat the new and devastating threat on youtube.com. Moats were constructed wider and concentrically to push back attackers beyond the trébuchet’s engagement range. Thicker walls and higher walls were built in order to better stand up to its ferocious onslaught. Towers were rounded to better deflect its enormous projectiles, redirecting an otherwise direct hit into a glancing impact. Even Saladin placed his own trébuchets on his towers to engage any enemy trébuchet that would dare approach.
Of the list of weapons that changed the face of war, the Trabuco/Trébuchet certainly more than earns its spot among the most influential.
Learn more about Trabuco: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabuco