The Extended History Of The Middle Ages Most Dangerous Weapon; The Trabuco

The middle age’s most devastating siege weapon has been known to cause such fear in the opposing armies that retreats have been declared before battles have even broken out, upon sighting the twin spires of the frame of the Trabuco jutting into the sky.

The Trabuco possesses its humble origins in China, most historians agree. The Chinese name for the weapon, ‘HuiHui,’ which directly translates to the word for ‘Muslim,’ speaks of the Trabuco’s use, and mastery, in another culture before their own, however. Indeed, it is reported that as the Trabuco was being used to pin down a Mongol invasion in a captured Chinese city, that two Islamic designers were brought in to assist in the construction of further Trabuco’s according to


From there, the weapon’s themselves and their designs were brought first to Mediterranea by way of the nomadic Avars, before finding their way to Europe and France where the weapon was used extensively in kingdom conflicts, and later, the crusades. In France, the Trabuco gained the moniker of Trebuchet, before Spain and Brazil would provide the Trabuco with its most popular name. The weapon’s construction used a long beam, placed with in the frame, with a sling at one end which held the projectile. Using the beam’s potential energy, it is locked into place, allowing the lever mechanism to launch the Trabuco’s chosen missile.

According to, projectiles for Trabuco’s were essentially anything armies who made use of the weapon could lay their hands on. Giant boulders were popular for crumbling castle walls during kingdom scrimmages, while the Spanish would load Trabuco’s with several projectiles at once for a shotgun style effect. Reports from the crusades have shown that the Trabuco may have been used as an early weapon of germ warfare by launching plague ridden bodies into enemy camps. Though the weapon fell out of vogue with the introduction of gunpowder, Trabuco’s have seen rare use in modern day with revolutionaries and rebellions around the world.

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