Trabuco’s: A Wicked Weapon Of Warfare From The Middle Ages

The idea of ancient wars is often romanticized by books and movies. Fair maidens wish there warriors well, and fierce warriors win battles that seem impossible. Swords fly, ships sail, and other ancient weapons of warfare are utilized. One such weapon you may have seen in the movies when warriors were laying siege to a castle or other large building is called a Trabuco.

A Trabuco was a kind of a fancy catapult. It was a weapon used in the Middle Ages. The goal of using a Trabuco was to crush walls or to fire deadly projectiles over walls, much like a catapult. A Trabuco is also called a blunderbuss according to The Trabuco was able to throw about 140 kilograms of any kind of projectile approximately 800 meters. They had excellent accuracy. Trabuco’s were originally invented in 400 B.C. by the Chinese and made their way to European countries around 600 A.D. Trabuco’s were such excellent weapons that their use was not stopped until gunpowder began to be used. Trabuco’s also were used to commit biological warfare, Middle Ages style. Bodies that were infected with a disease were used as projectiles in an effort to sicken the opponents.


Trabuco’s work by transforming gravitational potential energy and turning it into kinetic energy. The idea behind the Trabuco is based upon the slingshot according to The counterweight that is used has a direct effect on how fast the projectile goes. Teachers often use the concept of the Trabuco to teach about potential difference between the kinetic energy produced from the gravitational potential energy since some of the energy dissipates due to friction. This basic physics concept allowed the people of the Middle Ages to create a weapon that was highly accurate as well as highly effective.

Find more about Trabuco:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *