The name Trabuco stems from the French word Trebuchet, which translates to “throw over.” During battles in the Middle Ages, the Trabuco’s wielded great power and gave the advantage as it had the ability to destroy barricades and catapult projectiles such as fire, barrels or heavy rocks.
It’s interesting to note, that in some barbaric battles human bodies, burning tar, animals and even decapitated heads were used as missiles. As a matter of fact, during the Black Plague diseased bodies were hurled over communities for the expressed intent of infecting its residents. Historians believe the Trabuco originated in China at approximately 400BC and made its way to Europe two hundred years later. Trabuco’s were continued to be implemented in crusades until Chinese alchemists invented gunpowder in the ninth century.
Trabuco’s were constructed in many varied sizes and that affected whether it had to be built on the battlefield or could be transported. Ones that could be hauled from one location to another generally could not operate very substantial capacities but only needed one machinist who used their body weight to control the traction bolt. According to pt.wowhead.com, it took numerous manpower to maneuver the bigger Trabuco’s and approximately 336 working hours to construct.
There were two different types of this formidable weapon and they are the Tensile Trabuco and the Hybrid Trabuco according to priberam.pt. The Tensile mode exclusively used manpower to function and hurled 140 pounds of an object for about 262 feet. It could projectile up to four shots per sixty seconds. The hybrid version could carry more weight and go farther distances. The hybrid on zomato.com could hurl 400 pounds at a distance of more than 984 feet. The way the Trabuco operated was first by loading the rock or other projectile into the sling and then securing this to the end of the longer lever. The counterweight basket would then be filled with material on the short side of the lever and winched up into the air. The ropes holding the sling were severed and the counterweight dropped the lever causing the projectile to be released at the intended target.
Find more about Trabuco: http://pt.bab.la/dicionario/espanhol-portugues/trabuco